3/28: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Mortgage applications rise 8.9 percent as rates drop another 10 basis points

The Market Composite Index increased 8.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans up 6.0 percent and refinance activity rising 12.0 percent. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.45 percent from 4.55 percent.



February building permits slipped 1.6 percent from January and 2.0 percent year-on-year

February building permits were at an annual rate of 1,296,000, or 1.6 percent below January and down 2.0 percent year-on-year.  Single-family permits were unchanged from January.



February housing starts fell 8.7 percent from January and 9.9 percent year-on-year

February housing starts were at an annual rate of 1,162,000, or 8.7 below January and down 9.9 percent year-on-year.  Single-family starts fell 17.0 percent from January.