MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
November builder confidence rises to new record high of 90
Builder confidence rose another five points to 90 in November to a new record high, the third consecutive record high. All the HMI sub-indices also posted their highest readings ever in November: The HMI index gauging current sales conditions rose six points to 96, the component measuring sales expectations in the next six months increased one point to 89 and the measure charting traffic of prospective buyers rose three points to 77.
Housing starts up 4.9 percent in September and 14.2 percent year-on-year
Privately-owned housing starts in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,530,000. This is also 4.9 percent above the revised September estimate of 1,459,000 and is 14.2 percent above the October 2019 rate of 1,340,000.
Building permits flat from September but up 2.8 percent year-on-year
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate
of 1,545,000. This is unchanged from the revised September rate of 1,545,000, but is 2.8 percent above the October 2019 rate of 1,503,000.
Purchase loan apps up 4 percent from previous week and 26 percent year-on-year
The Market Composite Index decreased 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans rising 4 percent (and up 26 percent year-on-year) while refinance activity fell 2 percent (but up 98 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages edged up to 2.99 percent.
3Q20 service sector revenue recovers 7.8 percent from previous quarter, but down 3.9 percent year-on-year
Revenue for the U.S. service sector was $3.9 trillion in the third quarter of 2020, up 7.8 percent from the second
quarter of 2020 but down 3.9 percent from the third quarter of 2019. In the second quarter of 2020, service sector revenue had fallen 9.2 percent year-on-year.