5/25: METROINTELLIGENCE ECONOMIC UPDATE

FHFA:  Houses up 1.4 percent in 1Q2017 and 6.0 percent year-on-year

U.S. house prices rose 1.4 percent in the first quarter of 2017 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI).   House prices rose 6.0 percent from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017.  FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for March was up 0.6 percent from February.

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Federal Reserve meeting minutes suggest another hike possible in June

Federal Reserve officials expected at their policy meeting this month that it would “soon be appropriate” to raise short-term interest rates, a signal the U.S. central bank could move in June at its next gathering. The Fed also moved toward a consensus on a proposal to start gradually shrinking its $4.5 trillion in holdings of Treasury and mortgage securities later in the year.

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Applications rise 4.4 percent in latest survey as rates drop to lowest level since November 2016

The Market Composite Index increased 4.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling 1 percent and refinances rising 11 percent. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances decreased to its lowest level since November 2016, 4.17 percent.

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Initial unemployment claims rise 1,000 in latest report but 4-week average down to lowest level since April 1973

In the week ending May 20, initial unemployment claims were 234,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 235,250, a decrease of 5,750 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since April 14, 1973 when it was 232,750.

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