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Market News (01/17/2013)
MADISON, Wis. (1/17/13)

  • Homebuilder confidence in the U.S. during January remained at the highest level in more than six years, according to the National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo Index of Builder Confidence. The latest figure adds toevidence that the residential real estate market will help boost an economic expansion (, Moody's Jan. 16). The index was at 47 this month--matching December as the highest reading since April 2006. Low borrowing costs and stronger sales are elevating traffic for lenders. Also, rising household formation and property values may continue to bring residential real estate sales and prices back to pre-recession levels, Bloomberg said. Although housing industry fundamentals continue to improve, hardships in obtaining accurate home appraisals, political squabbling over economic concerns, and ongoing stringent mortgage credit conditions still are obstacles to a housing recovery, NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said …
  • Mortgage applications in the U.S. jumped 15.2% for the week ended Jan. 11 from one week earlier, according to the Market Composite Index released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The index is part of the MBA Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. On an unadjusted basis, the index surged 45%. The Refinance Index increased 15%, while the refinance share of mortgage activity remained unchanged at 82% of total applications from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index rose 13% to the highest level since April 2011. The unadjusted Purchase Index spiked 47% and was 5% higher than the same week one year ago. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 3% of total applications. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) remained unchanged at 3.61%, with points decreasing to 0.38 from 0.41 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio loans. For the MBA report, use the link …

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