Video: November 2023 Economic and Housing Market Update


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November 2023


  • I’m Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at® and here’s what you need to know in November!
  • We kicked off November with a Fed meeting and no rate change. In the post-meeting press conference, Chair Powell noted that the committee was not yet confident that its policy stance was sufficiently restrictive. While another hike in December is on the table, it is possible, and even likely that incoming data will convince the Fed’s voting members that they have done enough. But the Fed is cautious, with Chair Powell noting at a mid-month event that “inflation has given us a few head fakes.”
  • Fortunately, both labor market and inflation data have been right in the confidence bolstering zone. 
  • After a September surge, the jobs market took a big step back in October with companies adding only half as many workers to payrolls. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 3.9%, which is still a historically low level. 
  • Both job openings and quits were steady in September. In total, the job openings and labor turnover data (JOLTS) did not offer strong evidence of momentum in September, but the fundamentals still seem to favor job seekers over hiring firms. Jobless claims mirrored this trend, holding steady at a low level through November, suggesting a relatively favorable environment for workers. 
  • Further, after a mixed late summer and fall, recent inflation data have improved. A dip in energy prices helped drive the annual headline Consumer Price Index (or CPI) down in October, and month to month consumer prices were flat.  Importantly, Core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, also dipped lower. 
  • Shelter costs continue to be a big driver of recent inflation. With market rents dipping for a 5th straight month according to’s September Rental Trends report while the rental vacancy rate ticked up in the third quarter, it’s likely that shelter cost pressure will abate.
  • For capital markets, the combination of weaker labor market data, favorable government bond auctions, and improving inflation helped drive significant improvement in interest rates. 
  • The 10-year treasury yield pulled back from nearly 5% to 4.5% while mortgage rates eased from nearly 8% to 7.5%. Tempering this good news somewhat is the fact that even after this big drop, mortgage rates are higher than they were in September, but if they can hold at this level through the new year, it will help kickstart the housing market in the first quarter. 
  • It’s important to remember that reported rates are averages, so home shoppers will see higher or lower rates depending on their specifics. 
  • In fact, for Active Duty Military & Veterans who qualify for a VA loan, not only can a home be purchased with no money down, research from Economist Jiayi Xu shows that mortgage interest rates for the VA loan are typically lower than similar conforming loans, a key advantage in today’s still-high-rate environment . 
  • In October, housing data compiled by Sabrina Speianu pointed to a lot of stability vis a vis last year. Home prices were flat, homes sat just 1 day less on the market, while active listings and new listings were each just a few percent lower than in October 2022. The large gaps seen earlier in the year are closing. 
  • One potential area of concern or opportunity was the share of listing price cuts. Reductions are rarer than one year ago, but like last fall, they’ve become more common than is typical for this time of year, which could signal slowing home prices ahead.
  • Nevertheless, a lack of options and high costs has kept the housing market surprisingly competitive. One impact of this is that down payments have been rising. In fact, research from Hannah Jones found that the average down payment was a record-high 14.7% in the third quarter, bringing the median down payment to $30,000.  Regionally, metros in the South and West saw down payments shrink while Northeast metros where housing markets remain more competitive saw down payments grow.
  • You’ll find all the details and our housing data for download at  You can also follow us on X (formerly twitter) for real time updates. 
  • And I hope you enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday. Be sure to keep an eye on where we’ll release our 2024 Housing Market Forecast following the holiday!

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