Consumer prices rose 5.3% from a year ago and only 0.3% from July, a smaller than expected increase in inflation. The lower inflation reading helps keep mortgage rates low.

Retail sales posted a surprise gain in August, up 0.7% vs expectations of a 0.8% decline. The increase in consumer spending shows the economy is continuing to recover.

Jobless claims rose slightly last week, mostly due to a regional jump after Hurricane Ida. Continuing claims fell to a fresh pandemic low, now down to 2.7 million.

Purchase mortgage applications jumped 7% last week, hitting the highest weekly level since April. Applications to refinance were down 3% on the week.

The FHFA is suspending limits on loans secured by second homes and investment properties. The move should lead to rate improvements for affected mortgages.

According to a recent analysis, competition for homes is lessening, providing an opening for homebuyers who have been losing out amid this year’s bidding wars.