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Craig Greene: Housing Market Index Inches Up

Single-family construction and applications for new building permits are also on the rise

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index rose four points in April to 19.

Economists had anticipated a reading of 16. An index reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market.

The combined construction of new single-family homes and apartments in March rose 1.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 626,000 units. Applications for new building permits, seen as an indicator of future activity, jumped 7.5 percent to an annual rate of 685,000 units.

In other economic news, consumer prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in March, following a flat reading in February. On a year-over-year basis, consumer prices are up 2.3 percent.

Retail sales rose 1.6 percent in March, following a revised 0.5 percent increase in February. Economists had anticipated retail sales to rise 1.2 percent in March. On a year-over-year basis, retail sales increased 7.6 percent.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose 24,000 to 484,000 in the week ending April 10. Continuing claims for the week ending April 3 rose by 73,000 to 4.639 million.

— Craig Greene is a senior loan officer at Prospect Mortgage, 3916 State St., Suite 100, Santa Barbara 93105. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.898.4211.

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