It’s been a decent morning for homeowners.
The Mortgage Banker’s Association reported that mortgage applications on a seasonally adjusted basis increased 0.9% from the prior week. This increase was bolstered by mortgage refinances, which grew 4%.
The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage also fell 6 basis points to 4.33%, its lowest levels since October. Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage payments should benefit.
Refinance activity still remains more than more than 70% from its levels last year. Check out this historical chart from Calculated Risk.
This data also comes on the heels of earnings reports from home improvement retailers Home Depot (HD) and Lowe’s (LOW). Within the last day, both companies reported earnings, and while their first quarter results came in a bit mixed, their outlooks for the rest of the year were both upbeat.
Yesterday morning, Home Depot reaffirmed its fiscal 2014 sales outlook and raised its profit view, though the company’s earnings per share are expected to be bolstered by $US3.75 billion in share repurchases expected during the rest of the year.
Lowe’s this morning reported first quarter sales that disappointed, but the company’s quarterly earnings and fiscal year outlooks were in-line with expectations. Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock, “[p]erformance has improved in May which, together with our strengthening execution, gives us the confidence to reaffirm our sales and operating profit outlook for the year.”
Lowe’s also said it expects operating profit margin to improve 65 basis points.
Lowe’s shares opened fractionally lower, while Home Depot stock opened a bit higher.