New Home Sales in July fell, Mortgage rates remained near 2017 lows, Trump says will shut down government to build wall

August 23, 2017

The Commerce Department reported on Wednesday that New Home Sales in July fell by 9.4% to an annualized rate of 571,000 units, a seven month low, and below the 615,000 expected. However, June was revised higher to 630,000 from 610,000. Sales dropped in the Northeast, South and West but rose in the Midwest. Inventories for new homes for sale rose to 5.8 months in July from 5.2 in June, near the healthy rate of six months. From July 2016 to July 2017, sales were down nearly 9%.

Mortgage rates remained near the 2017 lows as reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The MBA reports that the 30-year fixed conforming mortgage rate was steady at 4.12%. In addition, the 30-year jumbo mortgage rate fell to a new low for 2017 of 3.99%, while the FHA fixed mortgage rate was 4.02%. Those rates do carry at least 0.30 in points added on top of the rate. The MBA’s Market Composite Index, a measure of total mortgage loan application volume, saw a 0.5% increase in the latest week. The MBA’s refinance index rose marginally by 0.3%, while the purchase index declined 1.5%.

On Wednesday night, President Trump said that he will shut down the U.S. government if necessary to build a wall along the border of Mexico, which has put a dent into Stock prices today. President Trump also said he might scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to legislate his pro-growth agenda. The president’s words are pushing Stock prices lower today, after yesterday’s big rally.