The government shutdown is impacting the housing market

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January 9, 2019 12:16pm BATS:ITB

Housing Market

From Steve Goldstein: A new study from the nation’s leading real-estate agent advocacy group shows how the partial federal government shutdown is curbing economic activity.

The National Association of Realtors surveyed its members and found 11% reporting an impact on current clients and another 11% reporting an impact on potential clients.

The study of 2,211 members did find, notably, that 75% of agents found no impact. Still there were a number of ways the government shutdown impacted the market.

Of those that reported an impact, 25% was when a buyer decided not to buy because of government uncertainty. That question specifically excluded federal government employees deciding not to buy.

The survey did find 9% of agents said they were impacted because a federal government employee opted not to buy.

But there are other factors at work as well: some 17%, for instance, reported a closing delay due to a USDA loan, 13% reporting a delay due to IRS income verification and 9% reported a closing delay due to a hang up for their FHA loan, all showing the outsized role the federal government plays in the housing market.

After primetime speeches Tuesday from President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, there was no movement toward ending the shutdown that started on Dec. 21.

The housing market meanwhile has struggled over the last year, with existing home sales, housing starts and house price growth all down from peaks.

The iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB) was trading at $33.20 per share on Wednesday morning, up $0.88 (+2.72%). Year-to-date, ITB has declined -23.97%, versus a -2.89% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

ITB currently has an ETF Daily News SMART Grade of C (Neutral), and is ranked #27 of 33 ETFs in the Industrials Equities ETFs category.

This article is brought to you courtesy of MarketWatch.

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