Mortgage Market News

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported today that its Market Composite Index, a measure of total loan application volume, rose by 4.3% in the latest week after four straight weekly declines. The refinance index gained 7%, while the purchase index squeaked out a 1% gain. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 52% from 51% from one week earlier.
The housing sector received news this morning that March Housing Starts rose by nearly 3% to an annual rate of 946,000 units, but below the 955,000 that was expected. The 946,000 is down almost 6% from the March 2013 rate of 1,005,000. Within the report it showed that single-family starts in March came in at an annual rate of 872,000, up 7.7% from the 2013 March annual rate of 810,000. Building Permits, a sign of future construction, came in at an annual rate of 990,000, below expectations.
The Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book on Wednesday afternoon, which is always disseminated ahead of its Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. The FOMC meeting is scheduled for April 29-30. The Beige Book gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its Districts through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts and other sources.
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