PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 May, 2007, 12:00am

Mortgage : A loan where the borrower offers property or land as security to the lender until the loan is repaid. Payments are usually made every month over a long period of time, for example 25 years.

US new home sales : An economic indicator that measures sales of newly built homes. The data is released by the US Department of Commerce's Census Bureau. The government also issues data on existing home sales.

Consumer confidence : This is a measure of the level of optimism consumers have about the performance of the economy. Generally consumer confidence is high when the unemployment rate is low and economic growth is high. Housing prices can also affect consumer confidence.