Pending Home Sales Up and Other Good Economic News

After a couple of weeks of seemingly endless negative reports about the economy, some bright spots started to shine today. A number of different news releases have provided a bit of optimism about the direction of our economic situation. Here are the highlights of what we’ve seen today:

  • Pending Homes sales were up unexpectedly in July as reported by the National Association of Realtors. This measurement of pending sales of existing homes was expected by analysts to drop by as much as 1%.  Instead, the latest report shows an increase of 5.2% and provides an indication that the real estate market is stabilizing. Recent headlines have continuously pointed to the expiration of the Federal Housing Tax Credit as the cause of a downward spiral in the housing market. Today’s report illustrates that there are still buyers who wish to purchase, regardless of the credit.
  • Retail Sales for the month of August were up, reporting a better-than-expected gain. Thomson Reuters reported the monthly results for their 27 large store retailers and indicated that sales were up 3.3%.  Analysts covering retail sales were anticipating a rise of 2.5%, providing yet another surprise in today’s market news.
  • In yet another surprising announcement, Initial Claims for Unemployment Benefits were unexpectedly lower this week. The U.S. Labor Department released the results showing initial claims for the week numbered 472,000 versus analyst expectations of 475,000.  Last week, initial claims were revised to indicate 478,000 filed last week. While 6,000 is not a large number, the surprising change in direction was welcome news.
  • Those watching the mortgage rates saw another slight decrease, bringing the average rate on a 30-year home loan to 4.32% according to Freddie Mac, who tracks the averages on a weekly basis. This was the 11th straight week of record low rates. If you are considering a purchase or a refinance, the drop in rates should be encouraging you to act soon. Refinancing activity has been climbing and we encourage those who are considering refinancing to contact us at for more information and to determine if now is the right time for you.

We understand that no single index will tell us that the economy is recovering or that now is the precise time to act. We also know that we have many challenges still to face and overcome. But, when we read these reports we are encouraged that these national numbers will be further magnified at the state and local level where Texas and Austin have consistently achieved results better than the national averages. It’s a great place to live and the time is right to consider a home purchase or refinance.  Email us today at for a personal consultation to help you determine what is best for you. You can also visit our website at for more information, to request a quote, or complete an online application.


About missionmortgage

A full-service professional mortgage banker providing lending in Texas for over 25 years. Our main office is located at 901 S. Mopac Expwy, Barton Oaks V- Suite 120, Austin, TX 78746 with branches in Lakeway, Houston, and Sealy. Mission Mortgage has been ranked as a Top 10 Mortgage Company in Austin for the past 7 years (Austin Business Journal).
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