Triangle Business Today

MLS data has sliver of hope for Triangle sellers

Posted October 19, 2011 4:28 p.m. EDT
Updated October 19, 2011 7:32 p.m. EDT

Let's begin this week with a sliver of positive home news from the Triangle. According to data from the Triangle Multiple Listing Service, closed sales for the entire Triangle increased 11 percent for September in year-over-year data.

That's the sliver of good news. The rest of the data is not positive. The number of new listings for that same period was down over 20 percent and the number of days on the market that homes are taking to sell has increased by almost 22 percent.

That year-over-year data was met with a surprise jump in housing starts for the nation on Wednesday coming in up 15 percent in month-over-month data.

Now before you start jumping for joy with that figure, it's important to understand that the majority of that uptick was caused due to an increase in multi-family units. The single-family units, which are what most consumers are purchasing, only rose 1.7 percent.

We also received Consumer Price Index data on Wednesday, which indicated that the rise in Consumer Prices was the smallest increase we have seen in six months, reinforcing the notion that inflation is being kept in check, for now.

Weekly jobless claims are set for release on Thursday, begging the question: Will we drop below that 400,000 threshold this week? And what will the October unemployment number look like when it's released in less than two weeks? 

The Philadelphia Fed Survey and Leading Economic Indicator reports are both being released on Thursday as well.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association and its seasonally adjusted index for both purchase and refinance activity, mortgage applications fell by 14.9 percent for the week ending Oct. 14. A slight rise in rates caused the markets to experience a pull-back from the torrid pace of refinance activity which has occurred over the past few weeks.

Finally this week, speaking of refinancing, the volume is being turned up on whispers that a new refinance program is being drafted in Washington to help millions of homeowners who are currently underwater on their mortgages.

Details are still vague, but so far it seems as though this program will be different from the current Home Affordable Refinance Program in that this would be targeted at consumers who are current on their mortgages, but do not have their mortgages being serviced by the GSE's - it would be focused on a group of consumers within five national banking institutions. I'll keep you posted on the most up to date program details as they become available.

About this Blog:

Jeremy Salemson, CEO of Corporate Investors Mortgage Group, blogs about economic trends and data and their impact on Triangle business. Each week, he interviews a Triangle-area business leader for a personal look at the local economy.