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Lower Mortgage Rates Boost Homebuilders' Outlook
Index Registers Gains

Lower Mortgage Rates Boost Homebuilders' Outlook

The most recent survey of the residential building sector indicates optimism has somewhat returned to the industry.

After two months of losses totaling 12 points, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose two points, coinciding with a decline in mortgage rates.

In addition to the lower rates, which have dipped to under 4.5% after being near 5% in November, the Federal Reserve Board's vice chairman Richard Clarida, in his monetary policy speech, indicated a patient approach to raising rates this year.

As proof of a positive effect of the lower rates, applications for mortgages have increased 10% in each of the first two weeks in January.

And in spite of the potential lack of updated housing data due to the government shutdown, the Wells Fargo Securities Group states that "forward looking indicators suggest a modest improvement for housing, which we expect to continue through 2019."

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February 19, 2019, 7:58 am PST

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