Keeping Current

Dated: 03/06/2017

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Wells Fargo Home Mortgage | Keeping Current
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    Existing home sales rose 3.3% in January to an annualized rate of 5.69 million units, its fastest pace in almost 10 years. 1   The median price of existing homes sold in January was $228,900, up 7.1% from January 2016.1 Prices on homes purchased using agency financing rose 6.2% in the year ending in the fourth quarter of 2016. The FHFA House Price Index now stands 6.0% above its pre-recession peak, set in early 2007.2 Home prices rose over the past year in 97 of the top 100 metropolitan areas. Appreciation ranged from the 13.1% gain in the Tampa-St Petersburg, FL, metro area to the -1.8% decline in Wilmington, DE. Eleven other metro areas saw double-digit gains: Seattle, WA; Jacksonville, FL; Colorado Springs, CO; Sarasota, FL; Portland, OR; Miami, FL; Dallas, TX; Fort Worth, TX; Denver, CO; Boise City, ID; and Austin, TX.2 Weakness in the multifamily sector caused housing starts to drop 2.6% in January. Starts of single-family units were up 1.9% in January at a 823,000-unit seasonally adjusted annual rate. Last year, construction started on 781,500 single-family units.3 Consumer prices jumped 0.6% in January. The last time prices rose more quickly was the 0.8% gain in June 2009. About half of the January increase was due to the 7.8% monthly gain in gasoline prices. Over the past year, the Consumer Price Index was up 2.5%.4 Industrial production dropped 0.3% in January, leaving the index exactly where it was a year earlier– that is, there was zero growth over the year. Much of the weakness in January came from the 5.7% decline in the utilities index, reflecting the reduced demand for heating during a relatively warm winter. Manufacturing production rose 0.2% in January and was up 0.3% over the past year. Its average annual increase during this recovery is 2.3%.5
  • The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages in Freddie Mac’s survey was 4.16% during the week ending February 23, up 1 basis point from the previous week. February’s average was 4.17%; January’s was 4.15%. October averaged 3.47%. All rates quoted have fees and points averaging 0.4% to 0.6% of the loan amount.

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