Markets are getting pounded on the new worry du jour: Brexit. Bonds and MBS are rallying..
Brexit is the threat of the UK leaving the EU. It has implications mainly in the foreign exchange markets, but if the markets need something to worry about, well there you go.
Mortgage Applications fell 4.3% last week as purchases rose 2.2% and refis fell 7.7%. The spike in rates last week killed the refis.
New Home Sales continue to disappoint. Sales fell in January to 494k from 544k in December. For whatever reason, homebuilders continue to hold back production and rely in price hikes to move the top line.
Regardless, people are still optimistic about the housing sector going forward. Toll Brothers mentioned that a dearth of skilled labor is an issue. Interestingly, average selling prices on signed contracts are falling for them in some areas of the country (the Mid-Atlantic and the South) and are flat in the West. Their urban luxury apartment sector was where all the ASP growth was. Perhaps the builders have pushed price hikes about as far as they can and now buyers are beginning to balk.