Central bankers from around the world are meeting this week for the Jackson Hole Symposium. Markets will be looking for signs of imminent policy changes. Very little economic news this week along with low trading volume has left markets quiet. This environment has helped to keep mortgage rates stable. Despite labor market strength, low inflation remains a concern. Speculation is the Fed cannot raise rates again this year unless inflation rises to around 2%.
New home sales were unexpectedly lower for July, down 9.4% from June. July’s sales were a 7-month low and caused some concerns about the housing market. However, before anyone panics, it should be noted that May and June numbers were revised higher. Median new home prices were up 6.3% over last year. Inventory of new homes rose 1.5% last month, the highest level since June 2009. Even still, a shortage of new and existing home inventory remains an issue.