Housing starts; mortgage applications jump
Posted July 18, 2012
Housing continues to be an economic bright spot as June Housing starts came in up 6.9% for the month. This was in stark contrast to the May number which was down 4.8%. June’s annual rate was 760,000 versus 711,000 in May. The annual rate is now at its highest level since October 2008. Construction of single-family homes was up 4.7% which is the strongest increase since April 2010 and solid news for the continued strength of housing fundamentals. Multi-family home starts were up 12.8% for the same period.
The MBA’s Mortgage Application Index skyrocketed last week, up 16.9% for the week ending July 13th. The index was driven by refinancing, which now accounts for over eighty percent of all mortgage transactions. That number is up from the seventy seven percent last week. Purchases were down 0.1% for the week.
The Fed’s Beige Book report was also released on Wednesday, indicating that overall economic activity was modest to moderate in the June to July timeframe. Price pressures were easing in most areas as energy prices were declining. Housing was noted as a bright spot with the Fed saying that “All District housing market reports were largely positive as sales and construction levels increased and home inventories declined." Continued good news for Triangle Housing fundamentals.
The 10 Year dipped slightly today, yielding 1.48% by mid-afternoon Wednesday.