The job markets received good news this morning after it was reported that job growth in December was better than expected. ADP announced that private employers added 238,000 new jobs in December, above the 203,000 that was expected. The gains were broad based across all industries with heavy concentrations in construction and manufacturing.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning that its Market Composite Index, a measure of total loan application volume, rose by 2.6% in the latest week. It was the first increase in a month. The refinance index rose by 5% while the purchase index declined by 1%. The refinance portion of mortgage activity was 63% of total applications.
The National Association of Home Builders reported yesterday that newly built single family homes are getting bigger, more expensive to build and costlier for the buyer. The cost to build a single family home in 2013 was $246,453, the highest since 1998. The price of a new constructed home rose by 25% in 2013 to $399.532.