4/4: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

CoreLogic:  Home prices forecast to rise 4.7 percent over next year

February home prices rose 4.0 percent year-on-year and 0.7 percent since the previous month. Over the next year, the CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates home prices will begin to pick up and increase by 4.7 percent on a year-over-year basis from February 2019.

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February retail sales dipped 0.2 percent from January, but still up 2.2 percent year-on-year

February U.S. retail and food services sales for February 2019 were $506.0 billion, a decrease of 0.2 percent from the previous month, but 2.2 percent above February 2018.  Total sales for the December 2018 through February 2019 period were up 2.2 percent from the same period a year ago. Finally, the December 2018 to January 2019 percent change was revised from up 0.2 percent to up 0.7 percent.

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Mortgage applications surge 18.6 percent as average rates drop another nine basis points

The Market Composite Index increased 18.6 percent from one week earlier, with purchase loans up 3.0 percent (rising nearly 10 percent year-on-year), and refinance activity rising 39 percent, the highest level since January 2016.   The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances decreased to 4.36 percent from 4.45 percent.

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