Mortgage Market News

Small business owners' optimism turned lower in November, pointing to slower sales and growing inventories as consumers spent more cautiously. The National Federation of Independent Business's Small Business Optimism Index was unchanged in November slipping to 94.8 from 96.1 in October. Within the report it showed that six of the components fell from October, led by a decline in sales. On the bright side, owners continue to hire at a healthy pace with 45% reporting that they are hiring or trying to hire, though many owners are finding it more difficult to find qualified applicants.
The foreclosure sector of the housing market continues to improve as the housing market strengthens. CoreLogic, a consumer, financial and property information and analytics firm reported on Tuesday that completed foreclosures were down 27.1% from a year ago, while foreclosure inventories were down 21.5% compared with a year ago. The share of mortgages in serious delinquency, which is defined as being 90 days or more past due, as well as those in foreclosure or owned by lenders, hit a near-eight-year low of 3.4% in October.
With the holiday shopping season in high gear, Mintel International released a report showing that consumers are planning to spend $805 on holiday merchandise, up slightly from $802 last year. November and December are two of the most critical months of the year for retailers as sales during this period make up 30% of their annual revenues. Retail sales are expected to increase by 3.7% this year, which will hit an estimated $630.5 billion. Retailers cite improving economic and job growth along with low gas prices as a few of the factors contributing to strong sales this season.
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