Mar 05, 2014 Philip Burgess
Generally, the months following the holidays are slow for consumer spending, but with home value still on the rise, Americans might feel as though they are in a good financial spot to purchase goods and services.
In January, values were up 0.2 percent on a month-over-month basis, and 11.1 percent when compared to the same month a year earlier, according to Zillow's latest Real Estate Market Reports. Appreciation has slowed a bit, but that is because there are more homes available on the market.
"Last year, tight inventory contributed to very rapid home value appreciation," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. "Now, more inventory is helping to moderate home value increases in many areas."
Las Vegas continued to post strong appreciation, with year-over-year growth totaling 26.9 percent. Sacramento, Riverside, Calif., and Detroit all posted gains of 20 percent or higher as well.
Consumer spending ended 2013 strong
The holiday season proved to be a good one for the economy, as consumer spending increased more than forecast in December. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, household purchases were up 0.4 percent following a 0.6 percent gain in November. A Bloomberg survey of 18 economists called for a modest gain of 0.2 percent.
"There is a fair amount of strength in the economy," Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc., told Bloomberg. "Consumer spending is on solid ground. We're seeing other engines of growth picking up - capital spending is rebounding, exports are up."
Short term lending could prove beneficial to high-spending consumers
Just because people find themselves in a good financial situation and are able to spend, doesn't mean they are immune to money troubles. For example, someone who just bought a new car could run into unexpected expenses, such as a trip to the emergency room, that puts them in a position in which they can't afford their monthly bills.
People who find themselves in such a predicament might want to consider short term lending. This type for financing can provide funds quickly that allow people to pay all their bills. Additionally, this makes sure they don't incur any late fees and penalties for missing a credit card or utility bill payment.