- MBA Purchase Applications – The purchase index rose 5% after falling 3% the previous week. The refinance index jumped 10.0% a week after dropping 11%.
- Housing Market Index – With an index of 63, the Southern region was by far the largest region for new homes. The Midwest and West were right behind at 61, while the Northeast was by far the smallest region for new homes at 44.
- Housing Starts – Following a strong July, both starts and permits disappointed for August. Starts dropped 14.4%, while permits fell 5.6%.
- Jobless Claims – Initial claims fell a very steep 36,000 to a lower-than-expected level of 280,000. It marks the second lowest level of the recovery.
According to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac, average fixed-rate mortgage rates increased, making their biggest one-week gain of the year.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 4.23% with an average 0.5 point for the week ending September 18, 2014, up from last week when they averaged 4.12%. A year ago at this time, 30-year FRMs averaged 4.50%.
15-year FRMs this week averaged 3.37% with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when they averaged 3.26%. A year ago at this time, 15-year FRMs averaged 3.54%.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 3.06% this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when they averaged 2.99%. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.11%.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.43% this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when they averaged 2.45%. At this time last year, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.65%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 16.16 points to 17,282.15 and ended the week up 1.7%. The S&P 500 dropped 13.64 points to 4,579.79, but still finished the week up 1.3%. The NASDAQ dropped 13.64 points, but rose 0.3% overall.
The Week Ahead
Monday, September 22
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.
Tuesday, September 23
FHFA House Price Index (9:00 a.m. ET) – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI) covers single-family housing, using data provided by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The House Price Index is derived from transactions involving conforming conventional mortgages purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Wednesday, September 24
New Home Sales (10:00 a.m. ET) – New Home Sales measure the number of newly constructed homes with a committed sale during the month.
Thursday, September 25
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.
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