Tag Archive for ‘economics’

Interest Rates Little Changed on New Home Loans

On August 28, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported that, overall, mortgage interest rates were flat in July. To a large extent, the same was true for the subset of loans used to purchase new homes. Between June and July, the average contract interest rate on conventional mortgages for new homes ticked down, but only from 4.14 to 4.12…. Read More ›

Are Some Consumers Worried about the Future?

Consumers continue to regain confidence, but they may be concerned about the near future. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index increased for the fourth consecutive month to 92.4 in August. But the expectations for the next six months remained unchanged. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index climbed to 82.5 in August from 82.1 in July, and its Current… Read More ›

GDP in the Second Quarter – Faster, Stronger

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) revised its estimate of real GDP growth to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.2% in the second quarter, up from the initial estimate of 4.0%. The second estimate is based on more complete data than was available for the “advance” estimate. The estimates will be revised again next month based on more data…. Read More ›

Pending Sales Resume Upward Trend

Pending home sales increased 3.3% in July, climbing four of the last five months. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), increased to 105.9 in July from a downwardly revised June level of 102.5. The July reading was down 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. The July… Read More ›

House Prices Record Annual Gains

Recently released data by Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Case-Shiller indicates that its measure of house prices, the House Price Index – National, rose by 6% on a year-over-year not seasonally adjusted basis. This is the 26th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in the house price index. This index was recently converted from a quarterly frequency to a monthly one…. Read More ›

Survey Indicates Continued Easing of AD&C Loan Conditions

Builders and developers continue to report easing credit conditions for acquisition, development, and construction (AD&C) loans according to NAHB’s survey on AD&C financing. In the second quarter of 2014, the overall net tightening index based on the NAHB survey was -22.7, which represents somewhat less easing than in the 1st quarter 2014 when the index was -32.0. The index is… Read More ›

Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households

The Federal Reserve Board recently released its Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households. The report provides results from the Board’s 2013 survey of households on topics that include household finances, housing and living arrangements, student loan debt, retirement, and health expenses. Respondents to the survey were asked a series of questions relevant to the housing market. A significant… Read More ›

New Home Sales Hesitate

New home sales fell another 2.4% to an annual rate of 412,000 in July, down 10,000 from an upwardly revised June figure of 422,000. The last three months of sales averaged the same as the annual figure for 2013 at 429,000 — but in contrast to the first two months of the year that averaged 445,000 and the last quarter… Read More ›