Existing-home sales subsided throughout most of the country in December, but
2017 as a whole edged up 1.1 percent and ended up being the best year for sales
in 11 years, according to the National Association of Realtors®. NAR Chief
Economist, Lawrence Yun stated, “Existing sales concluded the year on a softer
note, but they were guided higher these last 12 months by a multi-year streak of
exceptional job growth, which ignited buyer demand. At the same time, market
conditions were far from perfect. New listings struggled to keep up with what was
sold very quickly, and buying became less affordable in a large swath of the
country. These two factors ultimately muted what should have been a stronger
sales pace.” Yun also stated, “Closings scaled back in most areas last month for
this same reason. Affordability pressures persisted, and the pool of interested
buyers at the end of the year significantly outweighed what was available for

Cryptocurrency Bitcoin showed extreme price declines in the month
of January ending the month at $10,138 as some now speculate the end of what
may be the biggest speculative bubble in history.

Overall, the month of January 2018 experienced heightened concerns in the bond
markets, increased volatility in US equity markets, sluggish housing sales, and
more American decreasing their personal savings and increasing spending based
on confidence in their “paper”.