Headline News from Last Week
- MBA Purchase Applications – Demand for purchase applications remained flat, down 1.0% for the second straight week.
- Retail Sales – Sales disappointed for the second consecutive month. Following a 0.2% gain in June, sales were flat in July, jumping only 0.2%.
- Jobless Claims – Initial claims rose 21,000 last week, reaching their highest level since late June. The four-week average, though jumping to 295,750, is still nearly 15,000 below last month’s average.
According to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac, average fixed-rate mortgage rates edged lower.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 4.12% with an average 0.6 point for the week ending August 14, 2014, down from a week prior when they averaged 4.14%. A year ago at this time, 30-year FRMs averaged 4.40%.
15-year FRMs averaged 3.24% with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when they averaged 3.27%. A year ago at this time, 15-year FRMs averaged 3.44%.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 2.97% with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when they averaged 2.98%. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.23%.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.36% with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when they averaged 2.35%. At this time last year, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.67%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both increased nearly 0.4%. The NASDAQ increased slightly more than 0.4% and closed at 4,453.
The Week Ahead
Monday, August 18
Housing Market Index (10:00 a.m. ET) – The National Association of Home Builders produces a housing market index based on a survey in which respondents from this organization are asked to rate the general economy and housing market conditions. The housing market index is a weighted average of present sales of new homes, sales of new homes expected in the next six months, and traffic of prospective buyers in new homes.
Tuesday, August 19
Housing Starts (8:30 a.m. ET) – A housing start is registered at the start of construction (excavation) of a new building intended primarily as a residential building.
Wednesday, August 20
MBA Purchase Applications (7:00 a.m. ET) – The purchase applications index measures applications at mortgage lenders. This is a leading indicator for single-family home sales and housing construction.
Thursday, August 21
Jobless Claims (8:30 a.m. ET) – New unemployment claims are compiled weekly to show the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time.
Existing Home Sales (10:00 a.m. ET) – Existing Home Sales tallies the number of previously-constructed homes, condominiums and co-ops in which a sale closed during the month. Existing homes (also known as home resales) account for a larger share of the market than new homes and indicate housing market trends.
Visit the Quicken Loans Zing Blog for updated information on important economic releases that affect your wallet.