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Freddie Mac: The one variable stunting housing

"Still trying to move beyond stall speed"

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Halfway into 2014 and the housing market remains weak despite positive reports due to one variable holding growth back: home purchase applications.

According to Freddie Mac’s news Multi-Indicator Market Index, the national MiMi value stands at -3.01 in April, depicting a weak overall housing market with only slight improvement from March’s value of -3.06.   

This is a 3-month trend change of .07 points, which is flat. But year-over-year, the market has improved by .65 points.

To put this in perspective, the nation’s all-time MiMi low was 4.49 in November 2010.  

“With the latest release of MiMi we’re seeing very slow improvement on the housing front with most markets still trying to move beyond stall speed. The MiMi indicators that are improving across the board show the local jobs picture getting better and seriously delinquent rates continuing to come down,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said.

“Both indicators are critical to decreasing distress in local markets, but that’s also putting more pressure on markets with thinning inventory, especially where short sales have fallen off dramatically,” Nothaft added.  

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