Daily News 11/19/14

November 19, 2014

Wednesday – November 19

The government reported mixed housing news on Wednesday stating that October Housing Starts declined by 2.8% from September to an annual rate of 1.01 million units. That was below the 1.025 million expected. Single-family starts rose by 4.2%, while multi-family dwellings fell by nearly 16%. Building Permits, a sign of future construction, rose by nearly 5% to 1.080 units, a six-year high, signaling that new construction will bolster the economy in early 2015.

In mortgage news, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported that its Market Composite Index, a measure of total loan application volume, rose by almost 5% in the latest week, snapping a three-week decline. Home loan rates continue to hover near 18-month lows, but lending standards still remain tight. The purchase index surged by 12%, while the refinance gauge was up 1% from the previous week. The MBA reported that the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.18% from 4.19%.

With the holiday shopping season underway and Black Friday quickly approaching, a few facts for the shopping season. There are 26 days between Black Friday and Christmas, one more than 2013, but five less than 2012. It is expected that the average consumer will spend a bit more than $2,000 this season. It is estimated that mobile commerce will account for 33% of U.S. online shopping. Lastly, 70% of U.S. commerce shipments during this season will include free shipping.