Mortgage rates continue their downward trend, touching year-long lows according to some sources. Home price appreciation has slowed down around the country.  Consumer confidence fell slightly but remains near a year-long high.  Both new purchase and refinance mortgage application submissions declined.  Weekly jobless claims increased but are still historically low.  Second quarter’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was revised slightly lower.  Pending home sales declined.  Personal income increased marginally, and consumer spending surged.  Consumer sentiment also slipped.

This week’s potential volatility:

  • In June, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index showed no month-over-month change and appreciated just 2.2% annually, the slowest rate since 2012. 
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) house price index increased 0.2% month-over-month and 4.8% year-over-year. 
  • The consumer confidence index slipped slightly in August, down to a level of 135.1, still near a 19-year high. 
  • After several weeks of strong refinance activity, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) weekly mortgage application survey declined a composite 6.2% week-over-week for the week ending 6.2%.  New purchase application submissions were down 4.0% and refinance application submissions were down 8.0%. 
  • The consumer confidence index slipped slightly in August, down to a level of 135.1, still near a 19-year high.  Recent US stock market uncertainty may have triggered the decline. 
  • For the week ending 8/24, initial jobless claims increased to a level of 215,000.  Continuing claims also increased, up to a level of 1.7 million.  Despite the past week’s increases, jobless claims are still historically low. 
  • Second quarter GDP was revised slightly lower to an annual growth rate of 2%.  The slowdown was attributed to a decline in exports and weaker corporate investments. 
  • Pending home sales fell in July, after several months of gains.  Month-over-month sales were down 2.5% and annually sales were just 0.3% lower. 
  • In July, consumer spending climbed 0.6% month-over-month, while personal income only increased 0.1%.  Inflation remains tame, the core PCE is up just 0.2% month-over-month and 1.6% year-over-year. 
  • In August, consumer sentiment fell to a level of 89.8, the largest month-over-month decline since 2012.  A possible trade war between the US and China pushed sentiment down