As promised, last week's reports gave us a complete picture of the housing market in August. Housing Starts rose 10.5% month-over-month to a 598,000 annual rate, well ahead of the expected 550,000 number. Building Permits, which reflect builder sentiment further out, grew a more modest 1.8% month-over-month to a slightly smaller 569,000 annual rate. Thursday, Existing Home Sales came in UP 7.6% over July, at a 4.13 million annual rate. But let's remember, July was a record low, so this gain still left sales down 19% from August a year ago. The median price for Existing Homes, however, ticked up 0.8% year-over-year, as reported by the National Association of Realtors.
The chance for additional Treasury purchases by the Fed helped Austin mortgage rates improve early this week. Stronger than expected economic growth data trimmed the gains later in the week. The net result was that Austin mortgage rates ended the week a little lower.
Wanted to let this fly as current level mortgage pricing is now off 8/32’s as stocks continue to improve. Worsening Austin mortgage rates are a NY minute away.
Generally weaker than expected economic data again pushed Austin mortgage rates to new lows this week. The current Fed outlook is for below average economic growth with low inflation, which is a favorable environment for low Austin mortgage rates.
Austin Mortgage rates moved even lower during the week, as uncertainty about the pace of the economic recovery has increased investor demand for relatively safer assets such as government guaranteed mortgage-backed securities (MBS).
Worries about European banks, UK austerity measures, US Housing, and the beginning of a two day FOMC meeting are all on today’s marquee
Worries about European banks, UK austerity measures, US Housing, and the beginning of a two day FOMC meeting are all on today’s marquee. Stress tests and downgrades on banks across the pond got the early morning trade going.
Analyst Meredith Whitney expects U.S. economy to have rough 2nd half – if true, expect Austin mortgage rates to stay low into 2011
In the "for what it’s worth" department, top analyst Meredith Whitney has a bearish call on equities (stocks) and expects the U.S. economy to have a rough second half. If true, expect Austin mortgage rates to stay low into 2011.
For the third month in a row, Existing Home Sales beat expectations, UP 7.6% for April and UP 22.8% over a year ago. A lot of the gain was put to the tax credit expiration that required a signed contract by April 30. But buyers have till June 30 to close, so observers feel sales will probably increase for the next couple of months, then take a short break before rising again. Inventories were up from 8.1 to 8.4 months, but this is similar to April gains in prior years, rather than evidence of some huge "shadow inventory" hitting the market. Meanwhile, the median price for an existing home went to $173,000, up 4.0% from a year ago.
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Last Tuesday the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported the Q1 median price for existing homes was up in 91 out of 152 metro areas compared to a year ago, showing the housing market is starting to stabilize. This was a nice gain over Q4 of last year when prices were up in only about 40% of the cities tracked. Even more encouraging, the percentage price increases in 29 cities were in double-digits.