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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 18, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 18th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - October 18, 2021

Last week’s economic reporting included readings on inflation, core inflation, and minutes of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting held on September 22 and 23. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also published.

September’s Consumer Price Index rose by 0.10 percent to 0.40 percent. The Core Consumer Price Index for September, which excludes volatile food and fuel sectors, rose by 0.10 percent to 0.20 percent and fell short of the expected reading of 0.30 percent growth.

Feds’ FOMC Meeting Minutes: Policymakers Consider Tapering Securities Purchases

Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting held September 21 and 22 indicated that policymakers discussed when to taper the Fed’s purchase of U.S. Treasuries and Mortgage-Backed Securities. Opinions were mixed as some policymakers recommended faster tapering of asset purchases and others were concerned about the potentially negative impact on financial markets if the Fed reduced its asset purchases too quickly. No specific dates for tapering asset purchases were set during the current FOMC meeting, but analysts expected the Committee to announce its plan for tapering asset purchases at its next meeting.

FOMC members also discussed inflation and were divided on their forecasts for inflation. While some members expected high inflationary growth in 2022, other FOMC members said that Covid-related bottlenecks in supply chains caused higher inflation in the near term.

Mortgage Rates Rise as Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week as rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by six basis points to 3.05 percent. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by seven basis points to 2.30 percent; rates for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rose averaged 2.55 percent and were three basis points higher Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims fell to 293,000 new claims filed as compared to the previous week’s reading of 329,000 first-time claims filed. Continuing jobless claims also fell with 2.59 million ongoing claims filed; 2.73 million ongoing claims were filed in the previous week.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions. Reporting on sales of previously-owned homes, housing starts, and building permits issued are expected; weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 11, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 11th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - October 11, 2021Last week’s scheduled economic news included readings on public and private-sector jobs and the national unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also published.

Non-Farm Payrolls: Jobs Growth Dips Sharply in September

U.S. jobs growth dipped sharply in September according to the federal government’s Non-Farm Payrolls report. 194,000 public and private sector jobs were added and fell far short of the expected reading of 500,000 jobs added. 366,000 public and private sector jobs were added in August. Hiring lagged as continuing concerns over Covid kept workers at home. Less hiring at public schools reduced September’s jobs growth at a time when schools traditionally hire for the upcoming school year.

ADP reported 568,000 private-sector jobs added in September; analysts expected 425,0000 jobs added based on 340,000 private-sector jobs added in August. In related news, the national unemployment rate fell to 4.80 percent in September as compared to August’s jobless rate of 5.20 percent. Analysts expected the national unemployment rate to drop to 5.10 percent in September.

Mortgage Rates Mixed, Jobless Claims Fall

Fixed mortgage rates fell last week as the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell two basis points to 2.99 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by five basis points on average to 2.23 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose by four basis points to 2.52 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages

New and continuing jobless claims fell last week as 326,000 initial jobless claims were filed as compared to the previous week’s reading of 364,000 first-time claims filed. Analysts expected 345,000 initial jobless claim filings. 2.71 million continuing jobless claims were filed last week as compared to the previous week’s reading of 2.81 million ongoing jobless claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on inflation, retail sales, and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be published.

 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 4, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 4th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - October 4, 2021Last week’s economic reporting included readings from S&P Case Shiller Home Price Indices, the National Association of Realtors®’ report on pending home sales, and the University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index for September. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

S&P Case-Shiller Reports 4th Consecutive Month of Record Home Price Growth

July Home Prices grew at a year-over-year pace of 19.70 percent as compared to June’s home price growth rate of 18.70 percent according to S&P Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index.

The S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index reported that July home prices grew by 19.90 percent year-over-year; 17 of 20 cities posted higher home price growth rates in September than in August. The top three home price growth rates in the 20-City Home Price Index were held by Phoenix, Arizona at 32.40 percent; San Diego, California home prices grew by 27.80 percent, and Seattle, Washington home prices grew by 25.50 percent year-over-year in September.

Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of investment strategy for S&P Dow Jones Indices, said “The last several months have been extraordinary not only in the level of price gains but in the consistency of gains across the country.” This differed from the traditional pattern of rapid home price growth in high-demand coastal metro areas as the covid pandemic drove homebuyers to seek out less congested and less expensive metro areas.

Pending home sales rose by 8.10 percent in August according to the National Association of Realtors® and far exceeded analyst expectations of 1.20 percent growth and July’s reading of -1.80 percent growth in pending home sales. Pending home sales are sales for which purchase contracts are signed, but the transactions are not completed. Real estate pros and mortgage lenders use pending home sales to predict future home sales and loan closings.

Mortgage Rates, Initial Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week as the yield on 10-Year Treasuries rose. The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 13 basis points to 3.01 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also rose by 13 basis points and averaged 2.28 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.48 percent and five basis points higher. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages; 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims increased to 362,000 first-time claims filed from the previous week’s reading of 351,000 new claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims decreased to 2.80 million continuing claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 2.82 million continuing jobless claims filed.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index rose to an index reading of  72.8 in September from August’s reading of 71.0. Analysts expected no change from August’s reading. 

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on public and private sector jobs, the national unemployment rate, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 27, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 27th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - September 27, 2021Last week’s economic news included reporting on housing markets, housing starts, and building permits issued. Data on new and existing home sales were published along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

NAHB: Builder Confidence Ticks Up as Demand for Homes Holds Steady

The National Association of Home Builders reported a one-point gain in its Housing Market Index for September with an index reading of 76. Analysts expected no change based on August’s reading of 75. Component readings for the HMI were mixed; the index reading for builder confidence in current market conditions rose one point to 82. Builder confidence in housing market conditions over the next six months was unchanged at 81 and builder confidence in buyer traffic in new single-family housing developments rose two points to an index reading of 61.

Builders continue to face headwinds as materials costs and home prices continue to rise. Home prices present a challenge to would-be buyers who don’t want to pay inflated prices or cannot qualify for mortgages based on rapidly rising home prices. Persistent shortages of homes kept homebuilders busy, but shortages of building materials forced builders to pace construction according to materials availability.

Housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.62 million starts in August; analysts expected a pace of 1.55 million starts, which was unchanged from July’s housing starts. Building permits were issued at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.73 million permits, which surpassed the expected reading of 1.62 million permits issued and July’s reading of 1.63 million permits issued.

Existing Home Sales Fall in August as New Home Sales Rise

The National Association of Realtors® reported fewer sales of previously-owned homes in August. 5.88 million homes were sold on a seasonally adjusted annual basis as compared to July’s reading of 6.00 million pre-owned homes sold. Slim supplies of previously-owned homes for sale, rising home prices, and competition with cash buyers sidelined buyers who preferred to wait for less challenging housing market conditions.

Limited options in available pre-owned homes boosted new home sales in August. 740,000 new homes were sold on a seasonally adjusted annual basis as compared to the expected reading of 720,000 new homes sold and July’s reading of 729,000 new homes sold.

Mortgage Rates Mixed, Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported mixed readings for mortgage rates last week as average rates for fixed-rate mortgages rose and the average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages fell. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by two points and averaged 2.88 percent. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by three basis points to 2.15 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages fell by eight basis points to 2.43 percent. Discount points averaged  0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.

New jobless claims rose to 351,000 initial claims filed from the previous week’s reading of 335,000 initial claims filed. 2.85 million continuing jobless claims were filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 2.71 million continuing claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings from S&P  Case-Shiller on home price growth, pending home sales, and construction spending. The University of Michigan will release its monthly Consumer Sentiment Index and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be published.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 20, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 20th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - September 20, 2021Last week’s scheduled economic reporting included readings on consumer prices, retail sales, and the University of  Michigan’s preliminary Consumer Sentiment Index. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

Consumer Price Growth Slows in August

The Consumer Price Index reported that consumer prices grew by  0.30 percent in August as compared to July’s consumer price growth pace of 0.50 percent. Core consumer prices, which exclude volatile food and fuel sectors, also slowed in August to a pace of 0.10 percent as compared to July’s reading of 0.30 percent growth. Used-car prices fell for the first time in six months but remained 32 percent higher year-over-year. Inventories of new and used cars were lower due to supply chain problems caused by the pandemic.

August’s Consumer Price Index rose by 5.30 percent year-over-year;  the Core Consumer Price Index grew by 4.00 percent year-over-year in August, which was unchanged from July’s year-over-year consumer price growth. Analysts expressed mixed opinions about how quickly inflation will slow, but Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that the Fed expects inflation to slow to the Fed’s targeted pace of 2.00 percent within the next year. Federal Reserve policymakers expect materials and labor shortages to ease as the post-pandemic recovery continues.

Retail Sales Rise in August

Retail sales rose by 0.70 percent in August and surpassed negative projections and July’s reading of -1.80 percent. Analysts said that inflation accounted for some of the increased sales, but said that consumers were spending despite the spreading  Delta variant of the Coronavirus. Retail sales rose by 1.80 percent when automotive sales were excluded. Shortages of new and used cars dragged down the pace of retail sales.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims

Freddie Mac reported little change in mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged two basis points lower at 2.86 percent; Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped by seven basis points to 2.12 percent on average. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose by nine basis points to an average of 2.51 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages fell to 0.10 percent on average.

Initial jobless claims rose to 332,000 first-time claims filed as compared to the previous week’s reading of 312,000 initial claims filed. Continuing claims fell with 2.67 million ongoing jobless claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 2.85 million ongoing claims filed.

The University of Michigan released its preliminary Consumer Sentiment Index for September and reported a one-point increase in September’s index reading of 71.0. Analysts forecasted a reading of 72.0 based on the August reading of 70.3.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings from the National Association of Home Builders,

The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee will release its post-meeting statement and Fed Chair Jerome Powell will give a press conference. Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits will be released along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 13, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 13th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - September 13, 2021Last week’s economic reporting was limited due to the Labor Day holiday. Job openings were reported along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

July Job Openings Higher Than Expected

The Labor Department reported record job openings for the fifth consecutive month in July. Economists said that the data used in the report lagged by a month and the readings were not impacted by the Delta variant of the Covid-19 virus.

Job openings fell in construction, trade, transportation, and utilities. There were less than 0.80 unemployed available for each job opening in July. Hiring fell by 160,000 hires to 6.70 million hires. Job separations, which included terminations and voluntary quits, rose by 174,000 to 5.80 million separations. Retirements and location transfers were not included in the job separation data. Private-sector quits rose from 3.00 percent to 3.10 percent, which indicated workers were confident they could find better jobs.

Economists don’t expect hot jobs markets to cool anytime soon. High demand for workers and rising wages indicated that less hiring is unlikely in the near term. 

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady, Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported little change in average mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by one basis point to 2.88 percent. Rates for 15-year mortgages also rose by one basis point to an average rate of 2.19 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged one basis point lower at 2.42 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-yar fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent. 

Initial jobless claims fell to 310,000 new claims filed as compared to 340,000 first-time claims filed n the previous week. Analysts estimated 335,0000 initial claims would be filed last week. Continuing jobless claims were also lower with 2.78 million ongoing claims filed; 2.81 million continuing claims were filed in the previous week.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on inflation, retail sales, and the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released. 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 7, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 7th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - September 7, 2021Last week’s economic news included readings on home prices from Case-Shiller; readings on construction spending and pending home sales were also released. Weekly data on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

Case-Shiller Posts New Record for Home Price Growth in June

U.S. home prices continued to gain at record levels in June according to S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. The National  Home Price Index rose from May’s seasonally adjusted annual reading of 16.80 percent growth to 18.60 percent year-over-year home price growth in June.

Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index reported no change in the top three cities for home price growth in June. Phoenix, Arizona, San Diego, California, and Seattle, Washington retained the top three positions in the 20-City Home Price Index. Analysts said that the current pace of home price growth isn’t sustainable. Demand for homes slowed in June as affordability sidelined would-be buyers. Less demand for homes was expected to ease home price growth and provide an additional inventory of available homes.

Pending Home Sales Slow in July as Construction Spending Increases

The National Association of Realtors® reported that pending home sales slowed in July. Pending sales are sales for which purchase offers are received but are not yet closed. Pending sales of previously-owned homes fell by -1.80 percent in July;  analysts expected pending sales to rise by 0.50 percent from June’s reading of -1.90 percent. Pending home sales fell by 8.50 percent year-over-year in July. Pending home sales provide real estate pros a compass for estimating home sales completed in the future.

Homebuilders faced with an ongoing shortage of available homes for sale increased construction spending in July. Lumber and materials prices have stabilized from earlier in 2021 and should help builders complete more homes. Shortages of buildable land and skilled labor continued to impact optimum home-building conditions.

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady as Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported no change in rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, which averaged 2.87 percent; rates for 15-year fixed- rate mortgages averaged 2.18 percent and one basis point higher than in the previous week. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged one basis point higher at 2.43 percent. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Jobless claims fell last week as 340,000 first-time claims were filed as compared to the previous week’s reading of 354,000 initial claims filed. Continuing jobless claims were also lower with 2.75 million continuing claims filed as compared to the previous week’s reading of 2.91 million ongoing claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports will be limited due to the Labor Day holiday. Readings on job openings and the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report will be released. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be published.

 

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Case-Shiller: June Home Prices Higher

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 1st, 2021

Case-Shiller: June Home Prices HigherS&P Case Shiller Home Price Indices reported new record gains for home prices in June. The National Home Price Index rose by a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 18.60 percent as compared to May’s home price increase rate of 16.80 percent. Home prices were 41 percent higher than they were during the 2006 housing boom; home price growth was driven by high demand for homes coupled with short supplies of homes for sale.  

20-City Home Price Index Posts Month-to-Month Home Price Gain of 2 Percent

The S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index posted a two percent gain in June as compared to May. Home prices rose by 19.10 percent on a seasonally adjusted annual basis in June;  all 20 cities included in the index reported higher home prices. Phoenix, Arizona held first place for home price growth in June with a year-over-year price gain of 29.30 percent. San Diego, California held second place in the 20-City Home Price Index with a year-over-year price gain of 27.10 percent and Seattle Washington followed with year-over-year home price growth of 25.00 percent.

All 20 cities posted higher home price gains in June than in May. Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said: “In June all 20 cities gained more in the 12 months ended in June than they did in the 12 months ended in May.”

Analysts Say Current Home Price Growth is Unsustainable

Rapidly rising home prices sidelined would-be homebuyers who expressed concerns over the fast pace of home sales, and limited choices of available homes. Cash buyers and bidding wars continued to challenge mortgage-dependent homebuyers, but low mortgage rates continued to draw homebuyers into the market.

Covid fueled an exodus from congested urban areas to less populated areas inland. Families who modified their lifestyles to include working from home and homeschooling their children needed larger homes. As workers switched from commuting to work to telecommuting, they were no longer constrained by physical proximity to their employers, but now that businesses and workplaces are reopening, it’s unknown how or if pre-covid housing and work trends will be re-established or if covid era home-based work and schooling options will expand.

In related news, the Federal Housing Finance Agency released data on sales of single-family homes owned or mortgaged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Home prices rose 17.4 percent from the second quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of 2021.FHFA reported that home prices rose 4.90 percent from the first quarter of 2021 through the second quarter of 2021, and were 1.60 percent higher for June 2021 than in May.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 30, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 30th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - August 30, 2021Last week’s economic reports included readings on new and existing home sales; the University of Michigan released its monthly Consumer Sentiment Index, and weekly updates on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also published.

New Home Sales and Median Home Price Rose in July

The Census Bureau reported that new homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 353,000 sales in July; analysts expected a pace of 350,000 new homes sold based on June’s reading of 349,000 sales of new homes. Homebuyers are buying new and existing homes at a faster pace as more homes and wider choices become available to would-be buyers. The number of new homes for sale rose 5.50 percent month-to-month and was 26 percent higher year-over-year. The median price for a new home rose to a new high of $390,500 in July.

The National Association of Realtors®  reported that July sales of previously-owned homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 5.99 million sales; analysts expected 5.87 million sales based on June’s sales pace of 5.83 million sales of previously-owned homes. Real estate pros were pleased with July’s increased sales pace and expected the trend to continue.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims

Freddie Mac reported little change in average mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged one basis point higher at 2.87 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also rose by one basis point to 2.17 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.42 percent and were one basis point lower. Discount points were lower across the board and averaged 0.60 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims rose to 353,000 claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 349,000 first-time claims filed. Analysts expected 350,000 new jobless claims to be filed last week. Continuing jobless claims dipped to 2.86 million claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 2.87 million ongoing jobless claims filed.

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for August ticked up to an index reading of 70.3 from July’s reading of 70.2; analysts expected an August reading of  71.0.

What’s Ahead

This week’s economic reporting included readings on Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, construction spending, and Government readings on public and private-sector jobs growth and the national unemployment rate.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 23, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 23rd, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - August 23, 2021Last week’s economic news included readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions and Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

NAHB: August Builder Confidence Fell to Lowest Level in 13 Months

Homebuilder confidence fell to its lowest level since July 2020 according to the National Association of Home Builder’s Housing Market Index for August. The HMI reading for August was 75; analysts expected a reading of 80 based on July’s index reading of 80. Readings over 50 represent positive sentiment among homebuilders surveyed. Ongoing obstacles to builder confidence included high materials costs, supply chain issues, and lack of skilled labor. Shortages of available homes and rapidly rising home prices sidelined buyers and dampened builder confidence.

Component readings of the Housing Market Index were lower in two categories as builder confidence slipped five points to an index reading of 81 for builder confidence in current market conditions and also fell five points to 60 for builder confidence in buyer traffic in new housing developments. Builder confidence in housing market conditions over the next six months was unchanged at an index reading of 81. Regional readings for builder confidence were also lower. The Midwestern region reported an index reading of 68 and was two points lower than in July. Builders in the Northeastern region reported their confidence reading slipped one point to 74. Homebuilder confidence in the South fell three points to 82; builder confidence in the West fell two points to an index reading of 85.

New home starts reflected builder hesitancy as they slipped from a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.64 million starts in June to 1.53 million starts in July. Building permits rose to a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.64 million permits issued in July as compared to June’s reading of 1.59 million building permits issued.

Mortgage Rates and Jobless Claims

Freddie Mac reported little change in average mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.86 percent and were one basis point lower than for the previous week. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.16 percent and were one basis point higher. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged one basis point lower at 2.43 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.

Fewer jobless claims were filed last week; 348,000 new claims were filed as compared to the previous week’s reading of 377,000 initial jobless claims filed. Continuing jobless claims also dropped last week with 2.82 million ongoing claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 2.90 million continuing jobless claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include reports on new and existing home sales, consumer spending, and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

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