September Housing Starts Fell, Final Presidential Debate, Mortgage Rates edged higher in latest week

October 19, 2016

September Housing Starts fell 9% from August to an annual rate of 1.047 million units, below the 1.168 million expected. This was the lowest level in 18 months. However, single-family starts, which account for the largest share of residential housing, surged 8.1%. Multi-family dwellings fell a whopping 38%, which dragged down the headline number. Building Permits, a sign of future construction, beat expectations rising 6.3% from August to an annual rate of 1.225 million units, versus the 1.164 million expected.

The final presidential debate will air tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The debate will be moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace. The debate will be divided into six segments of 15 minutes each. Tonight’s topics will center around immigration, entitlements and debt, the Supreme Court, the economy, foreign policy and the capacity for each candidate to serve as president. The presidential election is November 8.

Mortgage rates edged higher in the latest week to their highest level since June 2016, though still just above record lows. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417K or less) increased to 3.73%, from 3.68%, with points increasing to 0.36 from 0.35 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio loans. Within the report it showed that total mortgage application volume increased 0.6%, while the purchase index increased 3% and the refinance index fell 1%.