Markets busy ahead of holiday
Posted November 23, 2011
We’re faced with a short trading week due to the Thanksgiving Holiday – but the markets have been very busy.
Existing home sales rose 1.4 percent in October – a good sign for inventories – and along those same lines, purchase numbers were up 8.2 percent for the week ending Nov. 18, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. As part of their weekly Mortgage Application Index, while purchases rose this week, refinance numbers declined for the second straight week. We are seeing an increase in purchases here in the Triangle which is very good news for the fundamental strength of housing here at home.
Weekly jobless claims were slightly higher than expected, coming in at 393,000 – that number was up two thousand from the previous reading. Not enough movement to impact the markets, especially since it stayed below the 400,000 figure, which many consider the line between growth and stagnant employment.
FHFA announced this week that conforming loan limits for 2012 will remain the same across the nation – $417,000 for most of North Carolina – and high cost areas will remain at $625,500. The one exception nationally is Fairfield County, Connecticut – where we will see an increase.
UCDP – the newest acronym in housing and mortgage – is the Uniform Collateral Data Portal – a new technology portal created by the GSE’s which will allow lenders to “electronically submit appraisal reports for conventional mortgages delivered to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac." This new system is for GFE loans delivered on or after March 19, 2012.
Finally this week, Forbes Magazine ranked North Carolina third in the nation when it comes to best states for business. We held the same position in last year’s ranking – criteria includes economic climate, costs, labor supply, etc.