Business activity declined in July from June in Philadelphia, Mortgage rates edged lower this week, Median home prices rose in June
July 20, 2017
Business activity declined in July from June in the Philadelphia region and fell to its lowest level of 2017. The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index fell to 19.5 in July, down from the 27.6 registered in June and below the 22 expected. Any reading above zero indicated improving conditions. Within the report it showed that firms remained generally optimistic about future growth, while more than one-third of the manufacturers expect to add to their payrolls over the next six months.
Mortgage rates edged lower this week after rising two consecutive weeks in a row. The lower rates came after political gridlock in Washington D.C., which pushed investors into the safe haven of the Bond markets. Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.96% from 4.03% with 0.6 in points and fees. Last year this time the rate was 3.42%.
Real estate listing company Zillow reported on Thursday that median home prices rose to all-time highs in June, due in part to a severe shortage of low-priced starter homes for sale. The median price in June was a bit north of $200,000, up 7% from last year. Housing inventories have fallen 11% in June year over year with big declines coming from San Francisco (26%) and Minneapolis-St. Paul down 30%.