Mortgage Market News

Consumers weren't feeling too confident in July as the weight of the geo-political issues in Greece and the instability in the Chinese Stock markets weighed on their minds. The Conference Board released its July Consumer Confidence Index today, which fell to 90.9, a 10-month low, down from the 101.4 registered in June and below the 100 expected. Consumers were also less optimistic surrounding the labor markets, while business condition optimism declined. The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest.
Home price gains in a selected 20-city index remained solid in May, though the actual numbers fell a bit below what was estimated. The Case Shiller 20-city Home Price Index rose 4.9% from May 2014 through May 2015, though below the 5.6% gain expected. From April to May, prices rose 1.1%. Within the report it revealed that first time homebuyers are still sitting on the sidelines. Without those buyers, there is less activity as existing homeowners aren't seeing the liquidity and demand that supports selling their homes and trading up for a new purchase.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported today that the U.S. homeownership rate fell to 63.4% in the second quarter of 2015 as Americans have moved to rentals after the fallout from the housing bubble burst in 2008. The 63.4% is just below the 63.7% in the first quarter and below the 64.7% from the same period in 2014. Rates peaked at 69.2% at the end of 2004, during the housing boom. In comparison, multifamily dwelling construction surged 55% in June from June of 2014, while in the same period, single-family starts rose 15%.
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