Key Economic Indicators – February 27, 2017

  • January existing home sales were up 3.3% from the previous month, and were up 3.8% from January 2016. The median sales price of existing houses sold was $228.9 thousand, 7.1% above January 2016. There were 1.69 million existing homes for sale at the end of the month.  This represents a supply of 3.6 months at the current sales rate, compared to 4.0 in January of 2016.
  • January new home sales increased 3.7% to an annualized rate of 555 thousand units. Sales were up 5.5% from January 2016. The median sales price of new houses sold was $312.9 thousand, 7.5% above January 2016.
  • U.S. House prices rose 1.5% in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) House Price Index. House prices rose 6.2% from the fourth quarter of 2015. The seasonally adjusted index for December was up 0.4% from November.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates changing by two basis points or less for the fourth consecutive week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.16% for the week ending February 23, up from last week when it averaged 4.15%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.62%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 2.0% from a week earlier week, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending February 17th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 6 thousand to 244 thousand in the week ending February 18. The 4-week moving average was 241 thousand, a decrease of 4 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since July 21, 1973 when kit was 239.5 thousand.
  • The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment was 96.3 in February, compared with 98.5 in January. The index was 91.7 in January 2016.
  • The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) decreased to negative 0.05 in January from positive 0.18 in December. The index’s three-month moving average edged down to negative 0.03 in January from negative 0.02 in December.
  • The National Financial Conditions Index (NFCI) was negative 0.83 for the week ending February 17, unchanged from the previous week.

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