10/17: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

October builder confidence rises to 20-month high of 71

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose three points to 71 in October, or to their highest point since February 2018.  The HMI index gauging current sales conditions increased three points to 78, the component measuring sales expectations in the next six months jumped six points to 76 and the measure charting traffic of prospective buyers rose four points to 54.



September retail sales dipped 0.3 percent from August, but up 4.1 percent year-on-year

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for September 2019 were $525.6 billion, a decrease of 0.3 percent from the previous month, but 4.1 percent above September 2018. Total sales for the July 2019 through September 2019 period were up 4.0 percent from the same period a year ago.



Mortgage applications rise 0.5 percent, rates rebound slightly

The Market Composite Index increased 0.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling four percent (up 12 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity rising four percent (up 199 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.92 percent from 3.90 percent.