1/17: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Mortgage applications soar 13.5 percent, with purchase loans rebounding to highest level since 2010

The Market Composite Index increased 13.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier to its highest level since February 2018.  Purchase loans rose 9.0 percent to their highest level since 2010 (and up 11 percent year-on-year), while refinance activity was up 19 percent to its highest level since last spring.   The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages remained unchanged at 4.74 percent.



January home builder confidence rises two points to 58 as mortgage rates dip

Buoyed by falling mortgage rates, builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose two points to 58 in January on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).  The index measuring current sales conditions rose two points to 63, the component gauging expectations in the next six months increased three points to 64 and the metric charting buyer traffic edged up one point to 44.



December Producer Price Index slipped 0.2 percent, but was up 2.5 percent year-on-year

The Producer Price Index for final demand fell 0.2 percent in December, after rising 0.1 percent in November and 0.6 percent in October.  On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index moved up 2.5 percent in 2018, the same as in 2017.