Headline News from Last Week
- New Home Sales – The lack of new homes on the market and the high prices have been constraining sales. The median price fell 3.7% to 269,800.
- FHFA House Price Index – Home price appreciation improved in June with a rise of 0.4%, compared to 0.2% in May.
- S&P Case-Shiller HPI – Monthly decline swept 13 of the 20 cities. Year-on-year, the adjusted rate is 8.1%.
- MBA Purchase Applications – Demand for purchase applications picked up last week, rising 3.0%. However, the trend remains stubbornly flat, down 11.0% for the year.
- Jobless Claims – Initial claims decreased by 1,000 last week to 298,000.
- Pending Home Sales Index – Pending sales jumped a very strong 3.3%, increasing well above top-end expectations.
According to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac, average fixed-rate mortgage rates remained largely unchanged amid mixed news on the housing front.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 4.10% with an average 0.5 point for the week ending August 28, 2014, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, 30-year FRMs averaged 4.51%.
15-year FRMs this week averaged 3.25% with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when they averaged 3.23%. A year ago at this time, 15-year FRMs averaged 3.54%.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 2.97% this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when they averaged 2.95%. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.24%.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.39% this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when they averaged 2.38%. At this time last year, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.64%.
Markets ended in the red amid concerns about Russia-Ukraine tension. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.3% and closed at 17,079.57, while the S&P 500 decreased 0.2% and closed at 1,996.74. The NASDAQ dropped 0.3% and closed at 4,557.69.
The Week Ahead
Wednesday, September 3
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, September 4
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.
Friday, September 5
Employment Situation (8:30 a.m. ET) – The employment situation is a set of market indicators based on two separate surveys. The unemployment rate equals the number of unemployed persons divided by the total number of persons in the labor force, which comes from a survey of 60,000 households.
Visit the Quicken Loans Zing Blog for updated information on important economic releases that affect your wallet.