12/14: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

November applications for new home mortgages fell 14 percent from October, down 11 percent year-on-year

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for November 2018 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases decreased 11 percent from a year ago. Compared to October 2018, applications declined by 14 percent. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.

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NFIB:  Small business optimism declined slightly in November, but remains at high level

Small business optimism posted a modest decline in November with a reading of 104.8. Slightly more than half of the decline was attributable to Expected Business Conditions and Expected Real Sales. Increases in compensation tied a near 30-year high as owners seek to attract more qualified candidates. An increasing percentage of owners reported capital outlays and higher sales.

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Mortgage applications rise 1.6 percent as rates drop to lowest level since September

The Market Composite Index increased 1.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans up 3.0 percent and refinance activity rising 2.0 percent.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.96 percent, the lowest level since September 2018.

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