MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
New home sales decline 4.5 percent in January and 19.3 percent year-on-year
Sales of new single‐family houses in January 2022 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 801,000. This is 4.5 percent below the revised December rate of 839,000 and is 19.3 percent below the January 2021 estimate of 993,000.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 406,000. This represents a supply of 6.1 months at the current sales rate versus 6.8 months in December and 3.9 months in January 2021.
Purchase loan apps fall 10 percent from previous week and 6 percent year-on-year
The Market Composite Index for mortgage apps decreased 13.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling 10 percent (and down 6 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity falling 16 percent (and down 56 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($647,200 or less) increased to 4.06 percent.
Continued unemployment claims fall to lowest level since 1970
In the week ending February 19, initial unemployment claims were 232,000, a decrease of 17,000 from the previous week’s revised level. Continued claims during the week ending February 12 were 1,476,000, a decrease of 112,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since March 14, 1970. The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending February 5 was 2,032,667, a decrease of 30,906 from the previous week. There were 19,883,148 weekly claims filed for benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2021.