Real Estate News for the week of September 1st, 2014

Welcome to the Real Estate Report for the week of September 1st

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending August 22 rose 2.8% from the previous week. Purchase volume and Refinancing applications were up 3%.

Pending home sales rose 3.3% in July, following a revised 1.3% decrease in June. On a year-over-year basis, July pending home sales were down a little over 2% (2.1%)

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index – on a non-seasonally adjusted basis – rose 1% in June after a 1.2% increase in May. On a year-over-year basis, we’ve seen prices rise 8.1% when compared with June a year ago.

Orders for durable goods – items expected to last three or more years – increased $55.3 billion, or 22.6%, to $300.1 billion in July. The unusual spike was due to a large increase in orders for non-defense aircraft (Boeing). This follows a 2.7% increase in June. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, July orders posted a monthly decrease of 0.8%.

The consumer confidence index rose to 92.4 in August from a revised 90.3 in July. It was the highest reading since October 2007. The index was benchmarked at 100 in 1985, a year chosen because it was neither a peak nor a trough in consumer confidence.

The Commerce Department reports the gross domestic product – the total output of goods and services produced in the U.S. – increased at a revised annual rate of 4.2% in the second quarter of 2014. This follows a 2.1% decline in Q1.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending August 23 fell by 1,000 to 298,000. Continuing claims for the week ending August 16 rose by 25,000 to 2.527 million. The less volatile four-week average of claims for unemployment benefits was 299,750.

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