Economic Update May 28, 2012
Provided Courtesy of Marie Richarz, Prospect Mortgage
Existing home sales rose 3.4% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million units from a downwardly revised 4.47 million units in March. The inventory of unsold homes on the market increased 9.5% to 2.54 million, a 6.6-month supply at the current sales pace, up from a 6.2-month supply in March.
New home sales rose 3.3% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 343,000 units from an upwardly revised rate of 332,000 units in March. The initial March reading was 328,000. The February rate was revised higher to 358,000 units. On a year-over-year basis, new home sales are up 9.9%. At the current sales pace, there’s a 5.1-month supply of new homes on the market.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending May 18 rose 3.8%. Refinancing applications increased 5.6%. Purchase volume fell 3%.
Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — rose $0.3 billion or 0.2% to $215.5 billion in April. This increase follows a revised 3.7% decrease in March. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, April orders posted a monthly decrease of 0.6%.
The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for May’s final reading rose to 79.3 (the highest level since October 2007) from 76.4 in April. On a year-over-year basis, consumer sentiment is up 6.7%.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending May 19 fell by 2,000 to 370,000 from a revised 372,000 the prior week. Continuing claims for the week ending May 12 fell by 29,000 to 3.26 million.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on pending home sales on May 30 and construction spending on June 1.