4/27: METROINTELLIGENCE ECONOMIC UPDATE

February FHFA House Price Index up 0.6 percent from January and 7.2 percent year-on-year

The FHFA House Price Index (HPI) reported a 0.6 percent increase in U.S. house prices in February from the previous month.  From February 2017 to February 2018, house prices were up 7.2 percent.

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1Q 2018 vacancy rates were 7.0 percent for rental housing and 1.5 percent for homeowner housing

National vacancy rates in the first quarter 2018 were 7.0 percent for rental housing (flat year-over-year) and 1.5 percent (down 0.2 percentage points year-over-year) for homeowner housing. The homeownership rate in the first quarter 2018 was 64.2 percent, up .06 percentage points from 63.6 percent a year ago.

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Durable goods orders up 2.6 percent in March, largely due to aviation

Orders for long-lasting or “durable” goods jumped 2.6% in March, riding a big increase in contracts for Boeing planes.  Still, orders were flat minus transportation, and business investment fell for the third time in four months.

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Bloomberg:  Consumer comfort index slips along with higher gas prices

The U.S. consumer comfort index eased last week from a 17-year high, falling from 58.1 to 57.5, as Americans felt the pinch of higher gasoline prices.

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Mortgage applications dip 0.2 percent, rates rise to highest level since September 2013

The Market Composite Index decreased 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans flat and refinances down 0.3 percent. The interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to its highest level since September 2013, 4.73 percent.

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Initial unemployment claims dip to lowest level since December 1969

In the week ending April 21, initial unemployment claims were 209,000, a decrease of 24,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since December 6, 1969 when it was 202,000 but the population was 38 percent lower. The 4-week moving average was 229,250, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week’s revised average.

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