MBA Purchase Applications – The steep drop underway in mortgage rates is stimulating demand for refinancing, but it isn’t yet doing much for home purchases. The purchase index fell 1.0% for the week and 4.0% for the year.
Producer Price Index – The PPI for total final demand in September slipped 0.1%, following no change in August.
Retail Sales – Auto sales and gasoline sales tugged down on retail sales in September. Sales declined 0.3% after jumping 0.6% in August.
Jobless Claims – Claims declined 23,000, marking now the lowest point of the recovery and the lowest point since April 2000.
Housing Market Index – All regions showed declines in their composite scores, especially the Midwest, which dropped 8 points. The West also fell 6 points, while the South and Northeast had dips of 4 and 2.
Housing Starts – Starts jumped 6.3% after a 12.8% decrease in August.
Consumer Sentiment – Boosted by the improving jobs market and low gas prices, sentiment jumped 1.8 points to 86.4 for the mid-month October reading.
According to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac, average fixed-rate mortgage rates hit new lows for the year.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 3.97% with an average 0.5 point for the week ending October 16, 2014, down from last week when they averaged 4.12%. A year ago at this time, 30-year FRMs averaged 4.28%.
15-year FRMs this week averaged 3.18% with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when they averaged 3.30%. A year ago at this time, 15-year FRMs averaged 3.33%.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 2.92% this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when they averaged 3.05%. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.07%.
1-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.38% this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when they averaged 2.42%. At this time last year, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.63%.
The stock market showed signs of stabilization Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 263 points and trimmed its weekly loss to 1%. After closing at 4,258.44, the NASDAQ has increased 1.96% year-to-date, while the S&P 500’s 1,886.76 closing increased its year-to-date by 2.08%.
The Week Ahead
Tuesday, October 21
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.
Wednesday, October 22
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, October 23
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. An increasing trend suggests a deteriorating labor market. The four-week moving average of new claims smooths out weekly volatility.
Friday, October 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.
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