4/18: MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY

Builder confidence rises one point to 63 in April

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose one point to 63 in April, and sentiment levels have held in the low 60s for the past three months.  The index gauging current sales conditions increased one point to 69, and the component measuring traffic of prospective buyers rose three points to 47. The measure charting sales expectations in the next six months fell one point to 71.



March industrial production slipped 0.1 percent but still up 2.8 percent year-on-year

Industrial production edged down 0.1 percent in March after edging up 0.1 percent in February, but was still up 2.8 percent year-on-year.  For the first quarter as a whole, the index slipped 0.3 at an annual rate.



Overall applications slip due to higher rates but purchase loans up 7.0 percent year-on-year

The Market Composite Index decreased 3.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans up 1.0 percent from the previous week (7.0 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity falling 8.0 percent.  The average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances increased to 4.44 percent from 4.40 percent.