5/16: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

May builder confidence rose 3 points to highest level since last October

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose three points to 66 in May, or the highest level since October 2018.   The index measuring current sales conditions rose three points to 72, the component gauging expectations in the next six months edged one point higher to 72 and the metric charting buyer traffic moved up two points to 49.



Retail sales dipped 0.2 percent in April, but still up 3.1 percent year-on-year

U.S. retail and food services sales for April 2019 were $513.4 billion, a decrease of 0.2 percent from the previous month, but 3.1 percent above April 2018. Total sales for the February 2019 through April 2019 period were up 3.0 percent from the same period a year ago.



Mortgage applications dip 0.6 percent, but purchase loans up 7.0 percent year-on-year

The Market Composite Index decreased 0.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with both refinances and purchase loans falling 1.0 percent, but purchase loans were still up 7.0 percent year-on-year. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.40 percent from 4.41 percent.