Last week’s economic reports included readings from S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices and data on pending home sales. Readings on job growth and und unemployment were also released along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims.
S&P Case-Shiller: April Home Price Gains Reach Record Highs
Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of investment strategy for S&P Dow Jones Indices, said that April’s year-over-year national home price growth rate of 14.60 percent was “ truly extraordinary.” All cities included in the 20-City Home Price Index posted higher home prices; five cities including Charlotte, North Carolina, Cleveland, Ohio, and Dallas, Texas posted their highest home price gains ever along with Denver, Colorado, and Seattle, Washington.
Phoenix, Arizona, San Diego, California, and Seattle, Washington continued to hold the top three positions for annual home price growth in the 20-City Home Price Index.
Realtors Report Increase in Pending Home Sales
Pending home sales rose by eight percent in May as compared to April. Analysts expected a one percent decrease in pending sales. Lawrence Yun, the chief economist at the National Association of Realtors®, said “May’s strong increase in transactions, as well as a sudden erosion in home affordability, was indeed a surprise. The housing market is attracting buyers b due to the decline in mortgage rates and an uptick in listings.”
Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Show Mixed Results
Freddie Mac reported lower average rates for fixed-rate mortgages. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by four basis points to 2.98 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by eight basis points to 2.26 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose by one basis point to 2.54 percent. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.70 percent for 15-yar fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged0.30 percent.
First-time jobless claims fell to 364,000 initial claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 415,000 new claims filed. Continuing jobless claims increased with 3.47 million ongoing claims filed. ADP reported 692,000 private-sector jobs added in June; The federal Non-Farm payrolls report posted 850,000 public and private-sector jobs added as compared to 583,000 jobs added in May. The national unemployment rate ticked up to 5.90 percent in June from May’s reading of 5.80 percent unemployed.
This week’s scheduled economic reports include the minutes from the most recent meeting of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee and the Labor Department’s report on job openings. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.