“Who will buy my sweet red roses?” (Oliver) Retailers looked to October sales for signs of a blossoming or thorny holiday shopping season ahead. Meanwhile, housing starts dug out from storm damage.

Retail sales slowed in October, rising just 0.2 percent. This was down from the 1.9 percent increase registered in September, which was boosted by post-hurricane spending. Year-over-year, sales were up 4.6 percent. Despite the small gains in October, only a few sectors were weak: building material suppliers, gas stations and non-store retailers. Heading into the holiday shopping season, the National Retail Federation expects total sales of $678.75 billion to $682 billion, up from $655.8 billion last year.

Housing starts hit a one-year high in October due in part to disruptions in September caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The Commerce Department reported that housing starts surged to an annual rate of 1.29 million units, up 13.7 percent from September, versus the 1.198 million expected. However, starts were down nearly 3 percent from a year ago. Single-family starts, which account for the largest share of the housing market, rose 5.3 percent. Starts on multi-family dwellings of five or more units rose a whopping 37.4 percent from September to October.

Building permits, a sign of future construction, rose 5.9 percent from September to an annual rate of 1.297 million.

Wholesale inflation came in hotter than expected in October. The Producer Price Index (PPI) rose 0.4 percent versus the 0.1 percent expected, fueled by higher costs for services. Core PPI, which excludes food and energy, also rose 0.4 percent, above expectations. Year-over-year, PPI saw the biggest increase since February 2012, rising 2.8 percent. Core PPI increased 2.4 percent over last year.

These inflationary pressures didn’t carry over to the more closely-watched consumer inflation reading, which remained tame. The October Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Core CPI were in line with expectations.

Inflation is an important measure to watch because inflationary pressures reduce the value of fixed investments like mortgage bonds and can harm the home loan rates tied to them.

At this time, home loan rates remain attractive.

Meeting minutes might be the market mover in this short week. Markets are closed Thursday for Thanksgiving. Stock markets close early at 1:00 p.m. ET Friday. Bond markets close at 2:00 p.m. ET Friday.

  • Existing Home Sales will be released on Tuesday.
  • Weekly Initial Jobless Claims, Durable Goods Orders and the Consumer Sentiment Index will be delivered on Wednesday, along with the Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes.

If you or someone you know has questions about home financing or home loan rates please contact me. I’d be happy to help.

Related Articles

There's no place like home, just ask Mackenzie Holowach. When the pandemic hit, Holowach was transferred to assist at a COVID testing site and later worked in a New Jersey ICU. Changing clothes before entering the home she shared with her sister became her norm and Holowach even spent time living…
Read More of the post Stories from the Frontline

Homebridge Launches Office of Diversity and Inclusion as Part of Commitment to Employees, The Housing Industry, And Customers Homebridge announced their newest commitments to diversity, inclusion and empowerment for borrowers and employees of the company. As of September 15th, 2020 – Homebridge has committed to the following initiatives as it…
Read More of the post Homebridge Launches Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Fall is here and as the leaves change colors you may be asking yourself, what would make my home the one I’ve always dreamed of? Maybe an inground pool, a backyard deck or even a sunroom? Lavish changes like these can certainly make a difference in how you feel about…
Read More of the post Top 3 Home Renovations and How to Achieve Them

Many homebuyers look for the “perfect” home rather than the right home. If you’re shopping for a new home to build equity and set down roots for you and your family, think about expanding your search to include the often-overlooked fixer-uppers. Combining your purchase loan with a renovation loan can…
Read More of the post Why & How to Buy & Reno a Fixer Upper

We recognize this is a difficult time for many people. Click here or call 866-913-2951 for more information and to learn about current options available to our borrowers.