Good morning,
* The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.27% as of December 22, according to data released by Freddie Mac on Thursday. That’s down 4 basis points from the previous week — one basis point is equal to one-hundredth of a percentage point. Rates have dropped for the sixth week in a row. Rates were last at this level in mid-September. Last week, the 30-year was at 6.31%. Last year, the 30-year was averaging at 3.05%. (CNBC)
* 5 good financial news in 2022? Yup......:
1.  Savers are earning more with higher interest rates.
2. Those contributing to their retirement accounts are buying in at lower levels
3.   For home buyers, some prices have come down. And rent jumps seem to be cooling in areas too.
4.  The 3 major credit reporting bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — dropped fully-paid medical debts from credit reports. Consumers will also get 12 months (up from 6 months) before unpaid medical debt shows up on their credit report. Starting in 2023, credit reports won’t include unpaid medical debt that’s less than $500.
5.  49 jurisdictions (two states and 47 cities and counties) will meet or exceed a $15 minimum wage for some or all employers by year's end. While this has fueled labor costs, we should not forget that employees who are paid too little to survive seek government assistance.....that we have to pay for too!
* Newly built homes grew to represent an increasing share of homes for sale in the U.S. this year up to a record high of 29% of single-family listings during the third quarter of the year. In November, 36% of builders offered price reductions and 59% offered other incentives to buyers, which is relatively high and has been increasing since July, according to the NAHB. However, this is below the peak of 59% of builders offering price reductions in October 2007, as the housing market began to shift.(Mansion)
* The number of Las Vegas home sales dropped 51.8% in November compared to the same month a year ago. Las Vegas was one of the real estate boom markets recently as people left large cities in the West to find less expensive cities that might also have lower costs of living.
* The number of Homes sold dropped by 49.9% in Salt Lake City, 49.8% in Stockton, and 48.7% in Oxnard, CA (-48.7%). San Jose, which is the most expensive city in the US based on median home value also saw a drop of just over 50%.....with much higher prices though, the DOLLAR volume may not read as poorly.