Market News 05-17-19
Mortgage Market Update
Trade tensions with China increased this week, causing stocks to fall and bonds to improve. The shift in bond prices helped move mortgage rates down slightly. After a big jump in March, retail sales declined 0.2% in April as consumers cut back spending on clothes, appliances, and home & garden supplies. Jobless claims fell more than expected last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength that should help underpin the economy if growth slows.
According to the NAHB monthly index, builder confidence for newly built single-family homes rose in May. It was the highest reading since October 2018. Housing starts increased more than expected in April. Data suggests declining mortgage rates are providing further support to the housing market. Home building’s future is also looking good, with building permits rising 0.6% in April. Permits had been in decline for the previous 3 months.