Rates Continue Down; Loan Applications Up

For those folks looking to refinance or purchase, the news on Wednesday continues to be nothing but positive.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported that their refinancing index jumped 8.6% in the July 16 week, making for a nearly 30% gain over the past four weeks. The average 30-year mortgage fell 10 basis points in the week to 4.59%, the lowest ever in the survey.
Low rates continue to be a consistent positive for home sales. The MBAs purchase index also rose — up 3.4%. Much of the demand was driven by government loans which have low down-payments.
Wednesday’s report, along with Tuesday’s rise in applications for housing permits, are indisputable good news for the housing sector.

Economic Events on July 22, 2010

At 8:30 AM EDT, the U.S. government will release its weekly Jobless Claims report.  The consensus is that there were 450,000 new jobless claims last week, which would would be an increase of about 20,000 claims from last week’s unexpectedly low number.

At 9:30 AM EDT, Ben Bernanke will testify before the House Committee on Financial Services about the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress.

At 10:00 AM EDT, the Existing Home Sales report for June will be released.  The consensus is that existing homes were sold at an annual rate of 5.26 million last month, which would continue the declining trend in sales due to the end of the incentives included in the economic stimulus package.

Also at 10:00 AM EDT, the FHFA House Price Index for May will be released, providing more information about the direction of the housing market.

Also at 10:00 AM EDT, the Leading Indicators report for June will be released.  The consensus is that this index decreased by 0.2% last month as mixed signals about the economy continue.

At 10:30 AM EDT, the weekly Energy Information Administration Natural Gas Report will be released, giving an update on natural gas inventories in the United States.

At 4:30 PM EDT, the Federal Reserve will release its Money Supply report, showing the amount of liquidity available in the U.S. economy.

Also at 4:30 PM EDT, the Federal Reserve will release its Balance Sheet report, showing the amount of liquidity the Fed has injected into the economy by adding or removing reserves.

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