Weekly Economic Review: Strong Week for U.S. Housing Market Data

Posted by Laine Smith on 6/1/15 3:00 PM

Topics: Economy

The national average mortgage rate ended last week a little lower, coupled with data indicating positive signs for the housing industry.


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pending home sales were up for the fourth straight month, jumping a higher-than-expected 3.4 percent in April following a revised 1.2 percent march gain. Regionally, April gains were concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest with the South up slightly, followed by the West. Pending home sales are up 14 percent year-over-year.

New home sales bounced back in April to a 517,000 annual rate, an increase of 6.8 percent. While supply of new homes rose slightly in April, its relativity to sales declined slightly, underscoring the recent surge in housing starts and permits.

Last week in the economy:

  • Mortgage rates (the national average) fell 0.05% (5 basis points).
  • April New Home Sales increased 6.8% to a 517,000 annual rate.
  • The purchase index of MBA Mortgage Applications increased 1% in the week of May 22, while refinancing applications were down 4%. Year-over-year purchase applications are still up 14%.
  • The FHFA House Price Index rose a lower-than-expected 0.3% in March.
  • Initial Jobless Claims increased 7,000 to a 282,000 level but remains low, as does the 4-week average.
  • Pending Home Sales jumped 3.4% in April.
  • Consumer Confidence has stabilized at 95.4 for May, just above the Econoday consensus. Income expectations and buying plans are all up, including home purchases.

What's on the economic calendar for the week of June 1, 2015:

Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Applications will be updated.

Thursday: Jobless Claims and Consumer Comfort Index will be released.

Friday: Employment Situation and Consumer Credit will be updated.

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