Key Economic Indicators – December 31, 2012

  • November new home sales increased 4.4% to an annualized rate of 377 thousand units. The median sales price of new houses sold was $246.2 thousand, 14.9% above the October 2011 figure.
  • The Pending Home Sales Index, a leading indicator for the housing sector, increased 1.7% to a reading of 106.4 in November, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  • The S & P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index posted annual increases of 3.4% and 4.3% in October, for the 10-city and 20-city composite indices, respectively.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed fixed mortgage rates remaining near record lows. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.35% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending December 27, down from last week when it averaged 3.37%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased by 12 thousand to 350 thousand in the week ending December 22.
  • The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index, which had declined slightly in November, posted another decrease in December.

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