In the News
Existing home sales rose 2.1% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million units from 4.69 million units in September. Compared to a year ago, existing home sales were up 10.9% in October. The inventory of unsold homes on the market fell 1.4% to 2.14 million in October, a 5.4-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 5.6-month supply in September.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo monthly housing market index rose five points in November to 46, the highest level since May 2006. This marks the seventh consecutive monthly gain. An index reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending November 16 fell 2.2%. Refinancing applications decreased 3%. Purchase volume rose 3%.
The combined construction of new single-family homes and apartments in October rose 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000 units. Single-family starts decreased 0.2%. Volatile multifamily starts rose 11.9%. Compared to a year ago, housing starts were up 41.9% in October. Applications for new building permits, seen as an indicator of future activity, fell 2.7% to an annual rate of 866,000 units.
The index of leading economic indicators — designed to forecast economic activity in the next three to six months — rose 0.2% in October, following a revised 0.5% increase in September.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending November 17 fell by 41,000 to 410,000. Continuing claims for the week ending November 10 fell by 30,000 to 3.337 million.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on the housing price index on November 27, new home sales on November 28 and pending home sales on November 29