MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
September U.S. economic index slips slightly, but still in growth mode
The IHS Markit Flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index posted 54.4 in September, down slightly on 54.6 seen in August (50.0 is neutral). The index’s quarterly average for 2Q20 was the highest since the opening three months of 2019.
August existing home sales up another 2.4 percent from July and 10.5 percent year-on-year
Total existing-home sales rose 2.4 percent from July and 10.5 percent year-on-year to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.00 million in August, the highest level since December 2006. The median existing-home price for all housing types in August was $310,600, up 11.4 percent from August 2019 as prices rose in every region. Unsold inventory sits at a 3.0-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 3.1 months in July and from the 4.0-month figure recorded in August 2019.
Pending new home sales up 3.0 percent in August and 39.6 percent year-on-year
The August New Home Pending Sales Index grew 3.0 percent month-over-month and 39.6 percent year-over-year. In April and May, the strength of the housing market varied wildly depending on geography. Today, nearly every market across the country is enjoying robust new home sales.
FHFA House Price Index up 1.0 percent in July and 6.5 percent year-on-year
According to the FHFA House Price Index, prices rose 6.5 percent from July 2019 to July 2020 and were up 1.0 percent for the month. The 12-month changes ranged from +5.4 percent in the West South Central division to +7.7 percent in both the Mountain and the East South Central divisions.
Purchase loan apps up 3 percent from previous week and 25 percent year-on-year
The Market Composite Index increased 6.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans rising 3 percent (up 25 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity rising 9 percent (up 86 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances increased slightly to 3.10 percent.