Some Promising Numbers

23 Mar

Mortgage rates dropped slightly this week after an uptick of just under ½% in the last two weeks. The recent rate increase, however, immediately impacted activity in the housing market. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that for the prior week, applications for home purchases declined by 1.0%. The big impact of the rate increase was felt in the refinance index which dropped 9.3%.

The Housing Market Index, which measures the confidence reported by the National Association of Home Builders, is at the highest level since the start of the recession. Home builders are indicating that they are expecting significant growth in new construction in the coming months. Although housing starts dropped slightly after January’s very strong report, the good news is that permits for new construction are continuing to increase which is evidence of the builder’s sentiment on an improving real estate picture.

Existing Home Sales dropped just under 1.0%, however this report comes after January’s upwardly revised jump of 5.7%. Compared to last year, existing home sales are up 8.8%, making us optimistic that housing is on the mend.

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