Mortgage rates were pushed and pulled by large movements in global stock markets with little impact from economic data. Mortgage rates ended the week a little higher, while existing home sales data showed strong gains in prices and sales year-over-year.
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Existing home sales are up 10.3% year-over-year across the country, according the National Association of Realtors August 2015 report. Sales increased to an annual rate of 5.59 million, marking the 10th month in a row of year-over-year gains.
Home prices are up 5.6% year-over-year, bringing the median price to $234,000. This is the 41st consecutive month of year-over-year price gains. Year-over-year prices increased in every U.S. region:
- West +8.4%
- Midwest 6.6%
- South +7%
- Northeast +1.3%
New home sales rose solidly in July, up 5.4% to a 507,000 annual pace. Year-over-year, new home sales have surged, up 26 perent.
Last week in the economy:
- Mortgage rates (the national average) increased 0.02% (2 basis points).
- The S&P 500 began the week at 1,971 and ended the week at 1,989 (up 0.92%).
- The purchase index of MBA Mortgage Applications rose 2% in the latest week, up a very strong 18% year-over-year. The refinancing index fell back 1%.
- The FHFA House Price Index showed the home price index increased only 0.2% in June, below low-end forecasts. Year-over-year, FHFA's home price growth is 5.6 percent.
- Initial Jobless Claims are still at rock-bottom lows, down 6,000 in the August 22 week.
- GDP showed a second quarter bounce at a revised annual growth rate of 3.7 percent, just ahead of the Econoday forecast. This points to better-than-expected momentum going into the current quarter.
- Consumer Confidence increased more than 10 points from July. The expectations component showed major strength, reflecting expectations for the employment outlook and income improvements.
- Pending home sales came in at the low end of expectations, though were still up 0.5 percent. Regionally, the strongest gains were in the Northeast, up 4%. Sales were unchanged in the Midwest and rose 0.6% in the South.
What's on the economic calendar for the week of August 31, 2015:
Wednesday: MBA Mortgage Applications and Gallup's U.S. Job Creation Index will be updated.
Thursday: Jobless Claims will be released.
Friday: The Employment Situation will be updated.
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