Existing home sales, builder confidence rise

Existing home sales jumped 7.8 percent in August, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. NAR’s latest report produced a much higher than expected number for the market, which was certainly embraced. The August figure was in contrast to the 2.3-percent increase we saw for July. This provides continued momentum and additional support for housing fundamentals both here in North Carolina and across the nation.

Mortgage applications dropped slightly for the week ending Sept. 14. The Mortgage Banker Association’s application index delivered a 0.2 percent drop and indicated that refinances now account for 81 percent of all mortgage applications, up from 80 percent last week. Historically low mortgage rates continue to support strong application numbers throughout the industry.

Homebuilder confidence from the National Association of Home Builders has risen for the fifth consecutive month according to the September report from the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. While the reading is still below 50 – which is considered the threshold at which builders view building conditions to be more positive than negative – continued improvement in this index is great news for an industry that plays such an integral part in the success of our economy.

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