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For the Week Ending August 23, 2019

 

Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.

 

The Fed released the minutes from July's FOMC meeting, where it cut policy rates by 0.25%. The minutes showed support for future rate cuts only if necessary.
Stocks climbed on strong earnings reports from retailers this week. Gains in earnings highlight consumer confidence and ease fears of a slowing economy.
Jobless claims fell sharply last week, suggesting the labor market is holding firm despite a manufacturing slowdown and concerns about a possible recession.

 

Housing starts dropped for the 3rd straight month in July to 1.191 million units, but a steep decline in construction of multi-family housing units was to blame. 
Single-family homebuilding actually increased 1.3% to the highest level in 6 months. Permits surged 8.4% in July, the largest gain since June 2017.
Existing home sales rose 2.5% in July, more than expected. Despite a global economic slowdown, the housing market appears to be strengthening.

 

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.

 


For the Week Ending August 16, 2019

 

Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.

 

 

Stocks plummeted this week as 10yr Treasury yields fell below those for 2yr bonds. The resulting inverted yield curve could indicate a coming recession.
Retail sales surged in July, which could ease worries of a pending recession. Inflation also picked up slightly in July as consumer prices increased.
Despite the recent economic data showing the economy isn't slowing as drastically as some expected, mortgage rates remain low and could go lower.

 

Falling mortgage rates support home builder confidence. According to NAHB, builder confidence for single-family homes rose one point to 66 in August.
However, builders still are not producing enough homes to meet demand. Land and labor shortages contribute to higher costs, hindering new construction.
Lower mortgage rates boost buyer demand, but inventory remains an issue. Newly listed properties were down 7% in July compared to a year ago.

 

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.


For the Week Ending August 9, 2019

 

Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.

 

At the end of July, the Fed made its first policy rate cut since 2008. Over the following week, mortgage interest rates dropped to their lowest level since 2016.
President Trump announced a new round of tariffs on Chinese imports to start in September. Stocks plummeted and bonds rallied, pushing mortgage rates lower.
Weekly jobless claims fell last week, pointing to a strong labor market despite a slowing economy and deteriorating trade relations with China.

 

Fannie Mae's Home Purchase Sentiment Index hit a record high in July, showing consumer confidence. The HPSI reached 93.7, up 7.2 points over last year.
Mortgage applications rose 5.3% from the previous week and 46.5% over a year ago. Most of the increase was in refinance applications.
Home prices continued to rise in the 2nd quarter. The national median existing single-family home sales price was $279,600, up 4.3% from a year ago.

 

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.

 


For the Week Ending August 2, 2019

 

Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.

 

The Fed meeting ended on Wednesday with a 0.25% cut to its policy rate for the first time since 2008. Mortgage rates were stable on the news.
Stocks declined after the Fed announcement as many traders were expecting a drop of 0.50%. Falling stock prices can be good for mortgage rates.
Comments from the Fed Chairman make future rate cuts less certain. Prior expectations were for continued cuts through the end of the year.
A Realtor.com survey found 42% of spring home shoppers were first-time buyers. Those who hadn't yet purchased most commonly cited affordability as an issue.
Pending home sales rose in June, compared both to the previous month and last year. Economists credit favorable economic conditions and low rates.
According to Case-Shiller, May's national home prices realized a 3.4% monthly increase. Rising prices and low rates should continue to motivate buyers.

 

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.

 


For the Week Ending July 19, 2019

 

Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.

 

 

Retail sales increased in June, pointing to strong consumer spending. This could offset the slowdown from the business sector.
Lower import prices in June are evidence of declining inflation. Low inflation helps prevent rising rates.
Jobless claims last week were up slightly. However, the overall labor market remains strong.

 

Housing starts fell for a 2nd straight month in June, and permits dropped to a 2-year low. Home builders grapple with labor shortages and high construction costs.
However, home builder confidence rose slightly in July, with lower rates contributing to affordability. 

Real estate purchases by foreign buyers are declining. Causes are likely a slowdown in global economic growth coupled with low housing inventory.

 

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.

 


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