Category: Market Outlook

Home Builder Confidence Rises in April

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that April’s Housing Market Index rose from a reading of 52 in March to 56 for April. This is in line with warmer weather and the peak home buying season in spring and summer. Readings over 50 indicate that more builders view market conditions as positive as those who do not. NAHB members cited lower mortgage rates and better labor market conditions as reasons they expect more home buyers to enter the market.

FOMC Minutes: Housing Market Stable But Slow

The minutes of the March meeting of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) were released Tuesday and included a staff review of current economic conditions. The minutes noted that while labor markets continued to grow, inflation to the Fed’s target rate of 2.00 percent was impeded by dropping fuel prices. The Committee noted that expectations for longer-term inflation remained stable.

S&P Case-Shiller: Home Price Growth Slows in 2015

According to the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index report for January, home prices grew by 4.50 percent year-over-year as compared to January 2014’s year-over-year price growth rate of 10.50 percent. This was the lowest rate of home price growth since 2012.

FHFA: Home Prices Rise 0.30 Percent in January

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported that home prices rose by a seasonally-adjusted rate of 0.30 percent in January, and were 5.10 percent higher as compared to home prices in January 2014. FHFA oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and its home price report is based on sales of homes financed by mortgages owned or backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – March 23, 2015

Last week’s events included the National Association of Home Builder’s Housing Market Index, which fell to its lowest reading since last summer. Other news included reports on housing starts and building permits, the FOMC meeting statement and Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s press conference.

FOMC Statement: Federal Reserve Discusses Rate Increase, But Concerned About Growth

The post-meeting statement of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee indicated that while the Fed is considering raising its target rate as early as June, the agency is in no hurry to cast anything in cement. The statement cited stronger labor markets and low unemployment rates as encouraging, but noted that FOMC members remain concerned about economic growth due to low inflation failing to meet the FOMC goal of two percent.