Mortgage Market News

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported this week that mortgage applications for new home purchases declined by 6% in November compared with October. The MBA said that there were 37,000 new home sales in November, a decline of 5.1% compared to the 39,000 sold in October. New Home Sales were at an annual pace of 524,000 units in November, an increase of nearly 6% from the October pace of 495,000.
Consumer Sentiment was virtually unchanged in early December, though Americans evaluated economic conditions more favorably. The Consumer Sentiment Index came in at 91.8, just above the 91.6 expected and higher than November's reading of 91.3. A spokesperson said, "The survey recorded persistent strength in personal finances and buying plans, while the largest loss was in how consumers judged prospects for the national economy during the year ahead."
With the holiday shopping season well underway, consumer spending rose modestly in November, signaling that the sales are off to a good start, though less than spectacular. November Retail Sales rose 0.2% to $448 billion last month, up from 0.1% in October. Cheap gasoline prices have depressed overall sales volumes. The Retail Sales report is closely watched by economists each month to gauge spending habits by consumers, it drives 70% of the U.S. economy.
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