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U.S. housing stocks fall after data suggest weak start to 2019 market.

Shares of homebuilders and realtors are falling in early trading after another weak housing data point suggested the sector is still under pressure for 2019. According to an earlier report from the Commerce Department, new-home sales dropped 6.9% in January from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 607,000. Economists are citing the U.S. government shutdown and stock market jitters as possible reasons for home buyer reluctance. MORTGAGE RATES: According to Freddie Mac, with mortgage rates starting to gradually increase, ending the last quarter of 2018 at 4.8% for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate, compared with 3.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017, there are not many borrowers left who can lower their mortgage rate through a refinance. Despite the gradual rise in rates, Freddie Mac anticipates that the U.S. economy will continue to grow and the housing market will bounce back, posting modest growth in 2019. PRICE ACTION: Shares of homebuilders are all down, including Lennar (LEN), PulteGroup (PHM), D.R. Horton (DHI), and KB Home (KBH). OTHERS: Shares of real estate firms are also down across the board, with Zillow Group (Z) down 2%, Realogy Holdings (RLGY) lower by 3%, and Redfin (RDFN) down 1.75%.

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Publication:The Fly
Date:Mar 14, 2019
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