Key Economic Indicators – March 25, 2013

  • Housing starts increased 0.8% in February, following a 7.3% decrease in the previous month. Building permits in February were 946 thousand units, up 4.6% from January, and were up 33.8% from February 2012.
  • February existing home sales increased 0.8% to an annualized rate of 4,980 thousand units. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $173.6 thousand, 11.6% above February 2012.
  • U.S. House prices rose 0.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis from December to January, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA). For the 12 months ending in January, U.S. prices rose 6.5%.
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo decreased 2 points to 44 in March. The index was 28 in March of 2012.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates reversing course from the previous week and heading lower with the start of the spring home-buying season.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 7.1% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending March 15th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 2 thousand to 336 thousand in the week ending March 16.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for March reported slight increases in manufacturing activity.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased 0.5% in February, while the coincident index increased 0.2%.

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