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Week In Review

Existing Home Sales

Sales of existing homes fell 6.4% in December.

Our Take

At the end of 2017, sales were at a pace of 5.56 million homes. This number dropped to 4.99 million as 2018 ended. Housing is an interest rate sensitive sector, and higher mortgage rates have been a headwind for home sales. Couple that with an uncertain economic future and it really should be no surprise that the trend in home sales has been down.

Missing Data

Both durable goods and new home sale data releases have been postponed due to the government shutdown.

Our Take

As the shutdown drags on, more and more economic releases are being delayed. This hinders the market’s ability to accurately assess economic activity.


Washington D.C. House of Representatives Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton held an emergency town hall meeting on Thursday to discuss the government shutdown and draw attention to the issues that Washington D.C. residents and federal workers are facing, and how the District’s economy is being affected by the shutdown. Moody’s Investors Service released a report this week that indicated that Washington D.C. could lose $85 million of tax revenue if the shutdown lasts 8 weeks, and $145 million if the shutdown lasts 12 weeks.

Our Take

It is no surprise that the nation’s capital is experiencing significant effects from the shutdown. Washington D.C. is home to many federal employees, and people who work in Washington spend money in the area. In addition, tourism and transportation revenue has declined since the shutdown began. Washington D.C. will continue to struggle financially until the shutdown ends.