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Mortgage loan applications dip 0.5 percent in most recent survey

The Market Composite Index decreased 0.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling 2.0 percent and refinance activity rising 0.3 percent. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages remained unchanged from the week prior at 4.12 percent. READ MORE

July existing home sales slipped 1.3 percent to lowest rate of year as prices rose 6.2 percent year-on-year

Total existing-home sales slipped 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.44 million in July. July's sales pace is still 2.1 percent above a year ago, but is the lowest of 2017. The median existing-home price for all housing types in July was $258,300, up 6.2 percent from July 2016 ($243,200). Show More Summary

Seaton Hall Expands

My alma mater, Kansas State University, is dedicating its expanded College of Architecture, Planning and Design on October 13. Regnier Hall, as the expansion is being called, is designed by New York's Ennead Architects (design partner...Show More Summary

Today's archidose #977

Here is a photo of the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion in London's Kensington Gardens (on display until October 8) by Diébédo Francis Kéré. (Photograph is by Iqbal Aalam, though be sure to check out his Flickr album that documents all of the...Show More Summary

From Shooting to Shopping

Astoria, Queens, isn't really known as a living hell, but that is how some residents described one portion of the neighborhood – the intersection of 36th Avenue and 34th Street, to be precise. That is where the disorderly Club Purlieu was located and where, in March 2016, a cab driver was shot in the head by club patrons. Show More Summary

Mark Yr Calendars: Architecture Books / Yet to be Written / 1982-2017-2052

This is my kind of event: 5 hours of architects talking about books. It takes place at The Great Hall of the Cooper Union on September 23rd. Details are below the image.Architecture Books / Yet to be Written / 1982-2017-2052 asks seminal voices to present and discuss the making of architecture and books. Show More Summary

Markit Flash shows sharp increase in U.S. business activity for August

US private sector companies signalled a sharp and accelerated increase in business activity during August. This was shown by the seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index rising from July's reading of 54.6 to 56.0, to indicate the fastest growth of overall activity since May 2015.READ MORE

July new home sales down 9.4 percent from June and 8.9 percent year-on-year

Sales of new single-family houses in July 2017 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000. This is 9.4 percent below the revised June rate of 630,000 and is 8.9 percent below the July 2016 estimate of 627,000.READ MORE

A Gated Corporation

Earlier today I had to take my laptop in for some service at the Apple Store in Grand Central Terminal. To get there I walked down Park Avenue, stopping at 270 Park Avenue to take some pictures of the trees and bollards surrounding the corporate tower that is home to JPMorgan Chase & Co. Show More Summary

Richmond Fed: Regional manufacturing activity unchanged in August

Reports on Fifth District manufacturing activity were largely unchanged in August, according to the latest survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The composite index remained at 14 in August, with an increase in the employment index offsetting a decrease in the shipments index and a very slight decline in the new orders metric. Show More Summary

FHFA: House prices up 1.6 percent in 2Q 2017 and 6.6 percent year-on-year

U.S. house prices rose 1.6 percent in the second quarter of 2017 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). House prices rose 6.6 percent from the second quarter of 2016 to the second quarter of 2017.READ MORE

Chicago Fed National Activity Index declined in July, but growth still within historical trend

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) moved down to -0.01 in July from +0.16 in June. The index's three-month moving average moved down to -0.05 in July from +0.09 in June.READ MORE

Book Briefs #30

"Book Briefs" are an ongoing series of posts with two- or three-sentence first-hand descriptions of some of the numerous books that make their way into my library. These briefs are not full-blown reviews, but they are a way to share more books worthy of attention than can find their way into reviews on this blog. Show More Summary

Eclipse Architecture?

The United State's eclipse fever culminates in tomorrow's total solar eclipse cutting a path across the country from West Coast to East Coast. Although New York City will only see a 71% eclipse, the fever is just as strong here as in the path of the total eclipse. Show More Summary

MTA's 'Wave' Crossings

The Dream: [A design, by Grimshaw, for the approach to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge with a chain-metal "wave" covering the toll gantry. | Image from "Reimagining New York's Crossings"] The Reality: [My photo of the toll gantry on approach...Show More Summary

2Q 2017 service sector revenue up 3.2 percent from 1Q and 6.2 percent year-on-year

The estimate of U.S. selected services total revenue for the second calendar quarter of 2017 was $3,685.1 billion, an increase of 3.2 percent from the first quarter of 2017 and up 6.2 percent from the second quarter of 2016. READ MORE

Consumer confidence rises in first half of August

Consumer confidence rose in the first half of August to its highest level since January due to a more positive outlook for the overall economy as well as more favorable personal financial prospects. Too few interviews were conductedShow More Summary

Initial unemployment claims fall by 12,000 in latest report

In the week ending August 12, initial unemployment claims were 232,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 244,000. The 4-week moving average was 240,500, a decrease of 500 from the previous week's unrevised average of 241,000.READ MORE

Mortgage applications rise 0.1 percent in weekly survey, rates dip

The Market Composite Index increased 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans down 2 percent and refinances rising 2 percent. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to its lowest level since November 2016, 4.12 percent.READ MORE

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