Thursday, July 23, 2015 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC -
The number of Americans filing for first time unemployment benefits fell to a 42-year low in the latest week as the job market continues to strengthen. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims fell by 26,000 to 255,000 and has been running below the 300,000 mark since February, the longest such streak in 15 years. However, July is one of the most volatile months of the year due to automakers and other various companies shutting down at different weeks of the year. The labor market is a key metric for Federal Reserve members to gauge the health of the U.S. economy.Government sponsored entity Fannie Mae released its July housing survey today forecasting that total home sales in 2015 are expected to reach 5.75 million, up from the June forecast of 5.65 million. The uptick in sales comes as most economists are also ramping up their figures for total sales across the nation. A Mortgage Bankers Association spokesperson said the housing market has "shifted into a higher gear" with more sales being refinanced and more applications being approved.RealtyTrac reported today that its June and Midyear 2015 U.S. Home Sales Report revealed that there were 914,291 single-family and condo sales through April 2015, which marks the highest level for the four month period since 2006. Within the report it showed that first-time home buyers and buyers using Federal Housing Administration loans were at two-year highs in the second quarter compared to a year ago.
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