MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
July service sector economic index rises 1.4 points to 56.7 percent
In July, the Services PMI® registered 56.7 percent, 1.4 percentage points higher than June’s reading of 55.3 percent. The slight increase in services sector growth was due to an increase in business activity and new orders. Availability issues with overland trucking, a restricted labor pool, various material shortages and inflation continue to be impediments for the services sector.”
Purchase loan applications rise 1 percent from previous week but down 16 percent year-on-year
The Market Composite Index for mortgage applications increased 1.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans rising 1 percent (but down 16 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity rising 2 percent (but down 81 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 5.43 percent from 5.74 percent.
More prospective buyers are actively searching for a home
The share of prospective home buyers who are actively engaged in the process to buy a home rose to 49% in the second quarter of 2022, after declining for three straight quarters. The pivot is likely driven by less competition from buyers who have exited the market, which has encouraged many of those remaining to become active buyers. Except for the South, the share of prospective buyers actively searching for a home rose in every region between the first and second quarters of 2022: Northeast (50% to 54%), Midwest (40% to 51%), and West (46% to 57%).