Weekly Economic Review: Home Prices Up Nearly 6 Percent Year-Over-Year

Posted by Laine Smith on 8/30/15 4:13 PM

Topics: Economy

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.


Image courtesy of ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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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