Daily Market Update 2/22/12

Rates held steady Wednesday as mortgage-backed securities recovered from losses sustained late Tuesday.  In economic news, Existing Home Sales rose by 4.3% to 4.57 million annual units, below expectations.  The National Association of Realtors reported a 2% drop in the median home price in January to $154,700, the lowest level since November 2001.  The Mortgage Bankers Association weekly purchase activity index fell 2.9%, while the refinancing activity index declined by 4.8%.  Average reported 30-year fixed rates rose to 4.09%, not including fees.  The rare combination of low home prices and historically low interest rates have boosted home sales in recent months, particularly among investors and first-time buyers.  Results from today’s 5-year Treasury auction will be released at 1:00 PM.

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