Fed Chairman Bernanke’s speech to the House Financial Services Committee was released this morning saying that that the Fed’s asset purchases are by no means on a preset course. Mr. Bernanke went on to say that Bond buying could be reduced at faster pace, a slower pace, or even increased for a time, depending on outlook and they could begin later this year.
Housing Starts declined by nearly 10% in June from May to 836,000 units annualized and below 958,000 expected to the lowest level since August 2012. The drop was attributed towards a big decrease in apartments. Building Permits, a sign of future construction, fell by 7.7% to 911,000 and below the 1 million expected.
Mortgage application volume continues to decline as the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today that its Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume, fell by 2.6% in the latest week. The refi index declined by 4.2% while the purchase index rose marginally by 0.5%. The slowdown in application volume could be attributed towards the recent rise in home loan rates.