Posts Tagged ‘Home Sales’

not always early, but ALWAYS on time….MORTGAGE TIME!

March 10, 2014
MORTGAGE TIME
Mortgage Market News for the week of March 7, 2014
Compliments of:
Patrick Gardner
Mortgage Loan Officer
NMLS ID: 378888
415-423-1424
Email me
Visit my website

 


JOBS DATA AND UKRAINE
It was a volatile week in mortgage markets. Early in the week, rapidly changing conditions in Ukraine caused a great deal of movement in mortgage rates, but there was little net impact. Later in the week, stronger than expected labor market data was negative for mortgage rates, and rates ended the week higher.

Against a consensus forecast of 140K, the economy added 175K jobs in February, and the figures for the prior two months were revised a little higher. This took place, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, despite the largest weather related disruption since 1996. The Unemployment Rate unexpectedly rose from 6.6% to 6.7%, but this was due to an increase in the number of people that entered the labor force. The solid jobs report exceeded expectations nearly across the board. Since stronger economic growth raises future inflationary pressures, this was unfavorable news for mortgage rates.

After Russia moved troops into Ukraine, the threat of an escalating conflict caused a “flight to safety” in financial markets on Monday. This involved a shift by investors to relatively safer assets, resulting in a large decline in stocks and significant improvement in bonds, including mortgage-backed securities (MBS). A complete reversal took place on Tuesday, however, after the Russian President said that Russia would not use military force in Ukraine.

ALSO NOTABLE
ISM Services declined to the lowest level since February 2010
The Treasury will auction $64 billion in securities next week
The European Central Bank (ECB) made no change in rates
Chinese manufacturing data fell to the lowest level in 8 months

WEEK AHEAD
The most significant economic report next week will be the Retail Sales data on Thursday. Retail Sales account for about 70% of economic activity. Before that, the JOLTS report, measuring job openings and labor turnover, will come out on Tuesday. The Producer Price Index (PPI) focuses on the increase in prices of “intermediate” goods used by companies to produce finished products and will come out on Friday. Import Prices and Consumer Sentiment will round out the schedule. In addition, there will be Treasury auctions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Changes in the situation in Ukraine also could have an impact on mortgage rates.

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it’s a little late…yet still on time! MORTGAGE TIME

February 25, 2014
MORTGAGE TIME
Mortgage Market News for the week of Feb. 21, 2014
Compliments of:

 

Patrick Gardner
Mortgage Loan Officer
NMLS ID: 378888
415-423-1424
Email me
Visit my website

 


RATES HIGHER AFTER FED MINUTES
The positive momentum in mortgage rates shifted direction after the release of the Fed Minutes on Wednesday. Investors viewed the Minutes as somewhat positive for stocks and negative for bonds. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week a little higher.

The Minutes from the January 29 Fed Meeting revealed that Fed officials remained very divided as to the appropriate path for future policy. Overall, though, the perception of investors was that the position of the hawks remained solid, while the views of the doves may have weakened a little. As a reminder, “hawks” tend to favor less stimulus to help keep inflation low, while “doves” prefer more stimulus to boost economic growth. The Minutes stated that “a few participants” considered the possibility that it “might be appropriate” to raise the fed funds rate sooner than many expect. The Minutes also reinforced Fed Chair Yellen’s recent comments that there is a high hurdle for the Fed to pause in reducing its bond purchase program. The Fed’s bond purchases have helped keep mortgage rates low, and the Minutes reduced the likelihood that the program could be stretched out for a longer period of time.

The economic data released this week continued to be affected by the unusually severe weather this winter. In particular, the housing reports all fell short of expectations. January Existing Home Sales declined 5% from December to the lowest level since July 2012. They were 15% below the peak levels seen last summer. On the plus side, total housing inventory available for sale increased. The results for January Housing Starts fell even farther below expectations with a decline of 16% from December. Building Permits declined as well. Finally, the February NAHB/ Wells Fargo Housing Market index showed that builder confidence dropped sharply. Both the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) attributed the weakness in recent data to a combination of bad weather, limited supply, and tight credit conditions.

ALSO NOTABLE
Core CPI inflation was just 1.6% higher than one year ago
The Philly Fed index dropped to the lowest level since February 2013
The Treasury will auction $96 billion in securities next week
Chinese PMI manufacturing data was weaker than expected

 

WEEK AHEAD
Next week, New Home Sales will be released on Wednesday. Durable Orders, an important indicator of economic activity, will come out on Thursday. Pending Home Sales, Chicago PMI Manufacturing, and revisions to fourth quarter GDP will be released on Friday. Consumer Confidence and Consumer Sentiment will round out the schedule. In addition, there will be Treasury auctions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

January 3, 2014
MORTGAGE TIME
Mortgage Market News for the week of Jan. 3, 2014
Compliments of:
Patrick Gardner
Mortgage Loan Officer
NMLS ID: 378888
415-423-1424
Email me
Visit my website

IMPROVING ECONOMIC ACTIVITY
The economic data released this week reflected continued improvement in the economy, but there was little market reaction. While some volatility was seen during the final days of 2013, mortgage rates ended the week with little net change.

Heading into the new year, recent economic data has provided many reasons to be optimistic about the performance of the economy. The US has added an average of nearly 200K jobs over the past three months, and the Unemployment Rate has declined to 7.0%, the lowest level since November 2008. The ISM national manufacturing index held near the highest level since April 2011. Consumer Sentiment jumped to the highest level since July. Finally, Housing Starts were 30% higher than one year ago, at the highest level since February 2008. The Fed’s recent decision to taper its bond purchases reflects its confidence in the sustainability of the economic recovery.

Mel Watt is scheduled to be sworn in on January 6 as the new Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The FHFA is the agency that oversees the operations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Since a large percentage of mortgage loans made today are eventually sold to or insured by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Watt will have a very significant influence over mortgage lending. Watt has not made public much of what he will do differently from outgoing Acting Director Edward DeMarco, but his policies are expected to be more accommodating to housing finance. Watt has stated that he will delay the recently announced guarantee fee increases that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had planned to begin charging in March.

ALSO NOTABLE
November Pending Home Sales increased slightly from October
Construction Spending rose to the highest level since March 2009
2013 was the best year for the Dow stock index since 1995
The Treasury will auction $64 billion in 3-yr, 10-yr, and 30-yr securities

WEEK AHEAD
The important monthly Employment report will come out on Friday. As usual, this data on the number of jobs, the Unemployment Rate, and wage inflation will be the most highly anticipated economic data of the month. Before that, ISM Services and Factory Orders will come out on Monday. The Trade Balance will be released on Tuesday. The Minutes from the December 18 Fed Meeting will be released on Wednesday. These detailed Minutes provide additional insight into the debate between Fed officials, and it will be interesting to see the degree of support behind the decision to taper. In addition, there will be Treasury auctions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Your Weekly Mortgage Time is Here…(better late than NEVER!)

October 29, 2013
MORTGAGE TIME
Mortgage Market News for the week of Oct. 25, 2013
Patrick Gardner
Mortgage Loan Officer
415-423-1424
Patrick.Gardner@EverBank.com
NMLS ID: 378888
Visit my website

JOBS FALL SHORT
With the end of the government shutdown, investors turned their attention to the economic data. The September Employment report was weaker than expected, while the rest of the data released this week was mixed. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week a little lower.

Delayed by the shutdown, the September Employment data was released on Tuesday. Against a consensus forecast of 180K, the economy added just 148K jobs. The Unemployment Rate unexpectedly dropped from 7.3% to 7.2%, the lowest level since November 2008. The decline was mixed news, though, since it was due to both job gains and to people who left the labor force, meaning that they stopped trying to find a job. Bottom line, the results were weaker than what Fed officials would like to see. Between the ongoing uncertainty about future fiscal policy and the slow pace of improvement in the labor market, investors now expect that the Fed will not begin to taper until at least the March Fed meeting.

While the labor market data disappointed investors, the housing market continued to perform well. September Existing Home Sales were just slightly down from the four-year high reached in August, and they were 11% higher than one year ago. Total inventory of existing homes available for sale was unchanged at a five-month supply. Since the Existing Home Sales data is produced by the National Association of Realtors, it was unaffected by the government shutdown. The New Home Sales report, which is produced by the government, is delayed.

ALSO NOTABLE
FHFA said Fannie/Freddie loan limits won’t be reduced for at least 6 months
Consumer Sentiment declined to the lowest level since December 2012
Oil prices dropped below $100 per barrel for the first time since early July
The Treasury will auction $96 billion in 2-yr, 5-yr, and 7-yr securities next week

WEEK AHEAD
Next week will be packed with economic news, as the calendar includes many reports that were delayed by the shutdown. Wednesday will be the biggest day due to the Fed meeting. Investors will be looking for indications that Fed policy will not change any time soon. The crowded calendar includes Industrial Production and Pending Home Sales on Monday, PPI and Retail Sales on Tuesday, CPI on Wednesday, Chicago PMI on Thursday, and ISM Manufacturing on Friday. And that’s not all, as there will be Treasury auctions on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.