Mortgage Market News

Home prices continue to rise, due in part to a tight supply of available homes for sale. CoreLogic, a real estate data provider, reported that home prices, including distressed sales, rose by 12.2% from February 2013 to February 2014. This represents 24 consecutive months of year-over-year increases. From January to February, there was a 0.8% gain. However, prices are still nearly 17% below the peak, which was set in April 2006.
National manufacturing held steady in March from the prior month as reported by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The ISM Index came in at 53.7 versus the 54.0 expected and just below the 53.2 recorded in February. Readings above 50 indicates expansion. Within the report it showed that the employment component fell 1.2 points to 51.1, while the new orders index increased 55.1 from 54.5.
A big decline in private residential home building caused a stagnation in construction spending in February, a sign that the harsh winter weather continued to cause some major hurdles for the economy. February construction spending barely increased by 0.1% to an annual rate of $955.7 billion last month, while January was revised lower to -0.2% from the original estimate of +0.1%.
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