Fun Financial Facts May 2022
- Airfares increased by +18.6% in April 2022 on a “month-over-month” basis and were up +33.3% on a “year-over-year” basis. The former represents the largest 1- month airfare inflation advance in US history and the latter is the highest annual airfare inflation increase reported since 1980 (source: Department of Labor).
- The median sales price of existing homes sold nationwide in April 2022 was $391,200, the highest level recorded in US history both on a nominal basis and on an inflation-adjusted basis. $391,200 is up +47% from the $266,300 median sales price in January 2020 (beginning of the pandemic) and up +125% from the $173,700 median sales price in April 2012, i.e., 10 years ago (source: National Association of Realtors).
- The “homeowner vacancy rate,” i.e., the proportion of the homeowner inventory that is vacant and available for sale, was 0.8% at the end of the 1st quarter 2022, the lowest percentage recorded for a statistic tracked for the last 66 years (source: Census Bureau).
- The average down payment percentage for first-time US home buyers in 2021 was 9.2% (source: CoreLogic).
- Productivity of the US worker declined 7.5% in the 1Q 2022, i.e., quarter-over-quarter change expressed as an annualized result, the largest quarterly decline since the 3Q 1947. The tumble was blamed on continued supply chain problems and the rising cost of labor (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).
- On 11/17/2021, 27% of investors were “bearish” on the prospects of the stock market for the upcoming 6 months. On 5/18/2022, 50% of investors were “bearish” on the prospects of the stock market for the upcoming 6 months. Since closing at an all-time high on 11/19/2021, the NASDAQ Composite has fallen 29.0% (total return) through the close of trading last Friday 5/20/2022. The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system (source: BTN Research).
- Between 12/16/2015 and 12/19/2018, the Fed raised interest rates 9 times. Each rate hike was 0.25 percentage points, a total increase of 2.25 percentage points. That took the Fed’s target short- term rate from 0% to 2.25%. From the close of trading on 12/16/2015 to the close of trading on 12/19/2018, the S&P 500 gained +28.6% (total return) over the 3-years, or +8.7% per year (source: BTN Research).
- The S&P 500 closed at 3901 last Friday 5/20/2022, down 18.7% from its all-time closing high of 4797 set on 1/03/2022. The S&P 500 has closed at least 20% below a previous closing high 6 times in the last 50 years, i.e., since 1972. The most recent “bear” was a 33- day tumble of 33.9% that bottomed on 3/23/2020 or 26 months ago in the early days of the pandemic (source: BTN Research).
- After 20 weeks of calendar year 2022, the S&P 500 is down 17.7% YTD (total return) through the close of trading last Friday 5/20/2022. The S&P 500 consists of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity and industry group representation. It is a market value weighted index with each stock's weight in the index proportionate to its market value (source: BTN Research).