New home sales down, pending sales up
Posted November 30, 2012
We’ve had a bit of mixed news this week in the world of housing.
The New Home Sales report for October was a disappointment to the markets earlier this week, delivering a 0.3 percent drop for the month. The number was short of expectations for October, and the September number was revised downwards. An anomaly that we should be concerned about, or simply a minor speed bump as the market continues to correct itself?
Juxtaposed to the New Home Report, Pending Home Sales came in higher than expected for October, paving the way for continued strength in future closings. The 5.2 percent gain was significantly higher than the consensus estimate of 0.8 percent.
The MBA’s Application Index showed a decline in mortgage applications by 0.9 percent for the week ending Nov. 23. Refinances once again led the decline, but purchases were up by 2.6 percent for the week.
The Fed’s Beige Book for November indicated that economic activity expanded at a “measured pace” across the 12 Federal Reserve districts. Slow but steady growth seems be the trend right now.
Mortgage rates have been trading in a very narrow range over the past couple of weeks. The markets are watching the euro debt and “fiscal cliff” issues very carefully.