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New Existing-home sales post September rebound
After a modest decline last month, existing-home sales bounced back in September to their highest annual pace of the year, according to the National Association of Realtors. All major regions except for the Midwest experienced gains in September. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, increased 2.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million units in September. Sales are now at their highest pace of 2014, but still remain 1.7% below the 5.26 million-unit level from last September. The median existing-home price for all housing types in September was $209,700, which is 5.6% higher than the September 2013 average. Total housing inventory at the end of September fell 1.3% to 2.30 million existing homes for sale, representing a 5.3-month supply at the current sales pace. For more, click here...

September housing starts up 6.3%
U.S. housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.017 million units in September, 6.3% higher than the revised August estimate and 17.8% above the September 2013 rate, according to the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Single-family starts were at a SAAR of 646,000 units, 1.1% above the revised August figure. Housing units authorized by building permits were at a SAAR of 1.018 million units in September, 1.5% above the revised August rate and 2.5% above the September 2013 estimate. For more, click here...

Mortgage rates hit new 2014 lows
Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 3.97% for the week ending October 16, down from last week's average of 4.12%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.28%. The 30-year FRM was at its lowest level since the week of June 20, 2013. The 15-year FRM averaged 3.18% this week, down from last week's average of 3.30%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.33%. One-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 2.38% this week, down from last week's average of 2.42%. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 2.63%. For more, click here...

Four-month upturn ends as builder confidence falls in October
After four consecutive monthly gains, builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes fell 5 points to a level of 54 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. "We are seeing a return to the mid-50s index level trend established earlier in the summer, which is in line with the gradual pace of the housing recovery," said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. "While there was a dip this month, builders are still positive about the housing market." For more, click here...

Mortgage applications gain
Mortgage applications increased 5.6% from a week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 10. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 5.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis from a week earlier. The refinance component of the index increased 11% from the previous week, while the purchase component decreased 1%. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 59% of total applications, the highest level since February. For more, click here...

Canada's New Housing Price Index posts gain
Canada's New Housing Price Index rose 0.3% in August, following no change in July, according to Statistics Canada. The increase was the largest since January, and mainly the result of strong gains in Ontario and Alberta. For more, click here...

Restrictive lending standards still affecting home sales-- NAHB
Tight mortgage lending standards continue to affect sales for single-family builders across the nation, according to a survey released by the National Association of Home Builders. Well over half of the single-family builders surveyed indicated that lending standards were "tight" or "very tight," while only 11% indicated that standards were "somewhat easy," and no builders described them as "very easy." For more, click here...

September housing starts in Canada trend upward
The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 197,747 units in September, compared to 191,095 in August, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts. "The increase in the trend reflects stronger starts activity since April, largely concentrated in multi-unit dwellings, including condominiums," said Bob Dugan, CMHC's chief economist. The stand-alone monthly SAAR was 197,343 units in September, up modestly from 196,283 in August. For more, click here...

Canadian building permits plunge
The value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities fell 27.3% to $C6.7 billion in August, following three months of double-digit increases, according to Statistics Canada. The August decline was mainly attributable to lower construction intentions for non-residential buildings in Quebec, and residential buildings in Ontario. After five consecutive monthly advances, the value of permits in the residential sector declined 15.9% in August to $C4.2 billion. For more, click here...

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014


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