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Mark Hemingway

Mortgage Market Update for January 18th

Friday, January 19, 2018 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC - Message

The Commerce Department reported that December Housing Starts fell 8.2% from November, driven lower by a sharp decrease in single-family units. It was the largest percentage drop since November 2006. Housing Starts came in at 1.192 million annualized units, below the 1.280 million expected and fell 6 percent year over year.

Single-family Housing Starts plunged nearly 12% month over month though they did increase 3.5% from December 2016. Multi-family dwellings rose 2.6% from November and plummeted 21% year over year. Building Permits, a sign of future construction, were essentially unchanged from November at an annual rate of 1.302 million units.

Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell to lows not seen since the early 1970s in the latest week. However, the decline could have been overstated as several states were estimated. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims fell 41,000 to 220,000, the lowest since February 1973. The latest numbers marked the 150th straight week that claims remained below the 300,000 mark, which signals a healthy job market.

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