Last Week in the News

Retail sales fell 1.5% for the week ending August 18, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 3.1%.

Existing home sales rose 2.3% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million units from 4.37 million units in June. Compared to a year ago, existing home sales were up 10.4% in July. The inventory of unsold homes on the market increased 1.3% to 2.4 million in July, a 6.4-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 6.5-month supply in June.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending August 17 fell 7.4%. Refinancing applications decreased 9%. Purchase volume rose 0.9%.

New home sales rose 3.6% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 372,000 units from an upwardly revised rate of 359,000 units in June. The initial June reading was 350,000. On a year-over-year basis, new home sales are up 25.3% compared with July 2011. At the current sales pace, there’s a 4.6-month supply of new homes on the market.

Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — rose $9.4 billion or 4.2% to $230.7 billion in July. This increase follows a 1.6% increase in June. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, July orders posted a monthly decrease of 0.4%.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending August 18 rose by 4,000 to 372,000 from an upwardly revised 368,000 the prior week. Continuing claims for the week ending August 11 also rose by 4,000 to 3.317 million.

from Prospect Mortgage Economic Update

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Last Week in the News

The index of leading economic indicators — designed to forecast economic activity in the next three to six months — rose 0.7% in February, following a revised 0.2% increase in January. The February reading was the highest level since June 2008.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending March 17 fell by 5,000 to 348,000, the lowest reading since February 2008. Continuing claims for the week ending March 10 fell by 9,000 to 3.35 million.

The combined construction of new single-family homes and apartments in February fell 1.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 698,000 units, after an upwardly revised gain of 3.7% in January. The January figure was revised from 699,000 units to 706,000 units. Compared to a year ago, housing starts are up 34.7%. Applications for new building permits, seen as an indicator of future activity, rose 5.1% to an annual rate of 717,000 units.

Existing home sales fell 0.9% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million units from an upwardly revised 4.63 million units in January. The inventory of unsold homes on the market increased 4.3% to 2.43 million, a 6.4-month supply at the current sales pace, up from a 6-month supply in January.

New home sales fell 1.6% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 313,000 units from a downwardly revised rate of 318,000 units in January. The initial January reading was 321,000. The December rate was revised higher to 336,000 units, the highest level since the economic recovery began. On a year-over-year basis, new home sales are up 11.4%. At the current sales pace, there’s a 5.8-month supply of new homes on the market.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending March 16 fell 7.4%. Refinancing applications decreased 9.3%. Purchase volume fell 1%.

from Prospect Mortgage Economic Update

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Last Week in the News

Existing home sales rose 4.3% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million units from a downwardly revised 4.38 million units in December. The inventory of unsold homes on the market decreased to 2.31 million, a 6.1-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 6.4-month supply in December.

Retail sales rose 3% for the week ending February 18, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 3.2%.

New home sales fell 0.9% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 321,000 units from an upwardly revised rate of 324,000 units in December. The initial December reading was 307,000. The November rate was also revised higher to 318,000 units. At the current sales pace, there’s a 5.6-month supply of new homes on the market, the lowest reading in six years.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending February 17 fell 4.5%. Refinancing applications decreased 4.8%. Purchase volume fell 2.9%.

Industrial production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities was unchanged in January after advancing an upwardly revised 1% in December. Compared to a year ago, industrial production is up 3.4%. Capacity utilization fell slightly to 78.5% in January from 78.6% in December.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending February 18 were unchanged at 351,000. Continuing claims for the week ending February 11 fell by 52,000 to 3.392 million, the lowest level since August 2008.

From Prospect Mortgage Economic Update

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Last Week in the News

The combined construction of new single-family homes and apartments in November rose 9.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 units. Single-family starts increased 2.3%. Multifamily starts rose 25.3%. Applications for new building permits, seen as an indicator of future activity, rose 5.7% to an annual rate of 681,000 units.

Existing home sales rose 4% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.42 million units from 4.25 million units in October. The inventory of unsold homes on the market decreased to 2.58 million, a 7-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 7.7-month supply in October.

The Commerce Department announced that gross domestic product — the total output of goods and services produced in the U.S. — increased at a revised annual rate of 1.8% in the third quarter of 2011.

New home sales rose 1.6% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 315,000 units from a revised rate of 310,000 units in October. Compared to a year ago, new home sales were up 9.8%.

The index of leading economic indicators — designed to forecast economic activity in the next three to six months — rose a strong 0.5% in November, following a 0.9% increase in October.

Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — rose $7.5 billion or 3.8% to $207 billion in November. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, orders posted a monthly increase of 0.3%.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 4,000 to 364,000 for the week ending December 17. Continuing claims for the week ending December 10 fell by 79,000 to 3.546 million.

PS – The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has extended the temporary waiver of anti-flipping regulations through December 31, 2012.

from Prospect Mortgage Economic Update

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Last Week in the News

New home sales rose 1.3% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000 units from a revised rate of 303,000 units in September. Compared to a year ago, new home sales were up 8.9%.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index — on a non-seasonally adjusted basis — fell 0.6% in September after a 0.1% increase in August. On a year-over-year basis, prices fell 3.6% compared with September 2010.

The consumer confidence index rose to 56 in November from 40.9 in October, the largest gain since April 2003. The index was benchmarked at 100 in 1985, a year chosen because it was neither a peak nor a trough in consumer confidence.

Pending home sales, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, rose 10.4% in October after a 4.6% decrease in September. On a year-over-year basis, pending home sales are up 9.2%.

The Institute for Supply Management reported that the monthly composite index of manufacturing activity rose to 52.7 in November after a reading of 50.8 in October. A reading above 50 signals expansion. It was the 28th straight month of expansion.

Total construction spending rose 0.8% to $798.5 billion in October, following a 0.2% increase in September. Economists had anticipated an increase of 0.3% in October.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose by 6,000 to 402,000 for the week ending November 26. Continuing claims for the week ending November 19 rose by 35,000 to 3.7 million. The monthly unemployment rate fell to 8.6% in November from 9% in October.

from Prospect Mortgage Econonic Update

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Last Week in the News

New home sales fell 2.3% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 295,000 units from a revised rate of 302,000 units in July. Compared to a year ago, new home sales were up 6.1%.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index — on a non-seasonally adjusted basis — rose 0.9% in July after a 1.2% increase in June. On a year-over-year basis, prices fell 4.1% compared with July 2010.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending September 23 rose 9.3%. Refinancing applications increased 11.2%. Purchase volume rose 2.6%.

Pending home sales, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, fell 1.2% in August after a 1.3% increase in July. On a year-over-year basis, pending sales are up 13.1%.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell by 37,000 to 391,000 for the week ending September 24. Continuing claims for the week ending September 17 fell by 20,000 to 3.7 million.

from Prospect Mortgage Economic Update

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Economic Update – Last Week in the News

Retail sales fell 1% for the week ending August 20, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 3%.

New home sales fell 0.7% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000 units from a downwardly revised rate of 300,000 units in June.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending August 19 fell 2.4%. Refinancing applications decreased 1.7%. Purchase volume fell 5.7%.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose by 5,000 to 417,000 for the week ending August 20. Continuing claims for the week ending August 13 fell by 80,000 to 3.64 million, the lowest level since September 2008.

From Prospect Mortgage

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Economic Update – News from Last Week

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo monthly housing market index was unchanged in May at 16. An index reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market.

The combined construction of new single-family homes and apartments in April fell 10.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 523,000 units. Single-family starts decreased 5.1%. Multifamily starts fell 24.1%. Applications for new building permits, seen as an indicator of future activity, fell 4% to an annual rate of 551,000 units.

Industrial production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities was unchanged in April, following a revised 0.7% increase in March. Compared to a year ago, industrial production is up 5%. Capacity utilization was 76.9% in April.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending May 13 rose 7.8%. Refinancing applications increased 13.2%. Purchase volume fell 3.2%.

Existing home sales fell 0.8% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million units from a revised 5.1 million units in March. The inventory of unsold homes on the market increased 9.9% to 3.87 million, a 9.2-month supply at the current sales pace, up from an 8.3-month supply in March.

The index of leading economic indicators — designed to forecast economic activity in the next three to six months — fell 0.3% in April, following a revised 0.7% increase in March.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 29,000 to 409,000 for the week ending May 14. Continuing claims for the week ending May 7 fell by 81,000 to 3.7 million.

-Posted from Prospect Mortgage Economic Update

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