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by CareyBot

Treasury and mortgage rates have again reached their post-August highs, but still in tight ranges: the 10-year Treasury note at 3.48 percent and low-fee mortgages just under 5.25 percent. The producer price index fell hard in September, down 0.6 percent, the much-hoped-for re-building of inventories not yet under way. Initial claims for unemployment insurance unexpectedly rose, back in the 525,000-550,000 weekly band. Early-week news of monthly housing starts (up 0.5 percent) and new building permits (down 1.2 percent) surprised on the weak side, and last week's minor up-tick in rates cut mortgage applications sharply: Purchases fell 7.6 percent and refis dropped 16.8 percent. Sales of previously owned homes jumped 9.4 percent in September, presumably in the race for the last ...