Archive for August, 2019

The Importance Of “Rights” When Buying A Property

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 30th, 2019

The Importance Of Rights When Buying A PropertyWhen buying real estate there are certain standard rights usually included, unless the property has an encumbrance that in some way causes an exclusion as noted in the sale.There are also additional rights that may or may not be in the sale, which may represent significant value.

Standard Real Estate Ownership Rights

The standard rights conveyed to the owner of the title deed for a property include:

  • Possession: Possession is a legal word for ownership. Possession occurs after closing on the purchase of a property, receiving the title, and recording the sale with the county office where the property is. Anyone who has a claim against the property files a lien with the county for the amount of the claim. These can be on behalf of the mortgage lender, a tax authority, a building contractor, and others who win a judgment award, in the courts, against the property owner.
  • Control: The buyer of the property gets control over it, subject to any prohibitions under law or rules of a homeowners’ association (HOA) called “covenants and restrictions.” Be sure to read all the details of the HOA rules (if any). Investigate any county and city restrictions as well to understand allowed uses of the property.
  • Exclusion: Owners of private property control who uses it, with the exception of any easements that may exist. Common easements allow utility companies and municipalities access to some portion of the property. These may be found in the zoning regulations or indicated in the title documentation. Less common easements, allow others to cross the property or have an access road to get to other properties.
  • Enjoyment: This permits the owner to use the property in any legal manner. For example, if not prohibited by any HOA rules, county laws, or other restrictions, a new property owner can do whatever they like on their property, such as put up a pig farm or fill the yard with broken-down automobiles. However, there are usually rules and laws that prohibit this type of “enjoyment.”
  • Disposition: This right allows an owner to rent, sell, or transfer the property when desired. However, any liens have the ability to have priority to block a sale or transfer until they are fully satisfied.

Special Real Estate Ownership Rights

There are additional rights that may be included in the sale or not, which include:

  • Mineral Rights: These rights include anything found underground such as valuable metals, gemstones, minerals, natural gas, and oil. If these rights do not sell with a property, it is possible that a third-party will own them and have the right to come onto the property to extract them.
  • Water Rights: If there is any natural water available to the property, such as lakes, rivers, streams, water wells, and underground aquifers, these water rights can be sold, or not, with the property.
  • Air/View Rights: These rights may include all the air above the property and the views from the property. These rights become important in congested areas where construction on an adjacent property might block a view, put the property in a shadow, or inhibit desirable breezes.

Title Insurance

Most real estate transactions close with the help of a title company. The title company does the research to determine the included rights and any encumbrance by liens. Title insurance is protection for the home buyers that there are no claims, which remain unidentified in the closing documents by the title company.

Ownership of property comes from holding the title to it. The documentation of the title is the deed. When a sale occurs, creating a new deed transfers the title of the property along with any rights associated with it.

Summary

Knowing the rights when buying a property is a part of being a well-informed buyer. All rights that are available for a specific property are valuable. The rights included the sale (or lack thereof) create the full value of the real estate.

Be sure to partner with a trusted real estate agent and home mortgage professional to assist you with all of your real estate needs.

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What Is A 1031 Tax Exchange?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 29th, 2019

What Is A 1031 Tax ExchangeA 1031 tax exchange is a legal way to defer paying capital gains when selling a property and then buying a “like-kind” property within the allowed period. The time limits allowed are 45 calendar days after the close of the sale of the first property to identify the like-kind property for acquisition and then close the purchase transaction to complete the 1031 exchange within 180 calendar days.

Like-Kind Property

The property’s broad characteristics determine if it is a like-kind property, not the quality of the asset. In real estate investing, there is a wide variety of things that qualify for like-kind exchanges. For example, vacant land is exchangeable for a commercial building, an industrial site, or a portfolio of residential rental properties.

Since all these properties are types of real estate investments made in commerce, they are like-kind properties. It is not permitted to make like-kind exchanges of property for personal use. The properties that qualify for 1031 exchanges are for investment purposes only. Investors need to hold them for at least two years for them to qualify. A 1031 exchange cannot be used to “flip” a property purchased and then resold more quickly.

Equal Or Greater Value

The property for the acquisition side of a 1031 deal must have a value that is equal to or greater than the property sold. There are three ways to identify the property with the sufficient combined value needed for the acquisition, which are:

  1. Identify up to three properties for the acquisition regardless of their individual values.
  2. Identify an unlimited amount of properties that have a combined value of up to 200% of the value of the property sold.
  3. Identify an unlimited amount of properties that exceed 200% of the value of the property sold as long as the acquisition equals 95% of the total value of the identified properties.

Reverse 1031 Exchange

In a reverse 1031 exchange, the property acquisition occurs first and then within 45 calendar days identify the property to sell as part of the 1031 exchange and complete the entire transaction in 180 calendar days.

1031 Exchange Intermediary

A qualified intermediary is necessary to complete a 1031 exchange. The intermediary holds the funds in a segregated escrow account from the sale of the first property and then uses those funds in the acquisition transaction of the identified property.

It is extremely important that the owner of the first property never has direct control over the proceeds from the sale. If the owner takes direct control of those funds, for even just a moment, this triggers a tax event and the capital gains taxes will be due.

Conclusion

A 1031 tax exchange is a very convenient way to defer paying capital gains tax. Use competent legal counsel for the transaction and an intermediary to hold the funds that has a perfect reputation for successfully working with this process.

If you are interested in buying a new property for personal or investment purposes, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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Case-Shiller: June Home Prices Grew at Slowest Pace in 12 Years

Posted in Market Outlook by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 28th, 2019

Case-Shiller June Home Prices Grew at Slowest Pace in 12 YearsHome price growth continued to slow in June according to Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index. 17 cities reported higher home prices in June, but three cities reported lower home prices month-to-month. Seattle, Washington was the only city to report lower home prices year-over-year in June.

Phoenix, Arizona Home Price Growth Highest in June

Phoenix, Arizona toppled Last Vegas, Nevada’s hold on first place for home price growth in June. According to Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index, home prices in Phoenix rose by 5.80 percent year-over-year in June. Las Vegas, Nevada followed closely with year-over-year home price growth of 5.50 percent. Tampa, Florida had the third highest rate of home price growth with a year-over-year reading of 4.70 percent.

Home prices also slowed nationally; Case-Shiller reported 3.10 percent growth as compared to May’s year-over-year pace of 3.30 percent growth in home prices.

Home Buyers Leaving High-Cost West Coast

Analysts pointed out that recent slowing in home price growth followed a long period of rapidly rising home prices and higher mortgage rates. This sidelined many buyers as cash buyers and investors competed for fewer available homes. First-time and moderate income buyers could not afford rapidly rising prices and mortgages. Stricter mortgage loan requirements put in place after the Great Recession made qualifying for home loans more difficult.

Homeowners may not be seeing top pricing, buyer competition and offers higher than their asking prices, but after the long and fast increase in home prices, many sellers stand to realize significant profits after years of gains. At the height of the housing recovery, cities on the west coast saw steep rises in home prices. Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, California enjoyed rapid home price growth as buyers paid cash and outbid each other, but lagging home price growth suggests that sky-high home prices have peaked in the West.

Seattle, Washington was the first city to show a year-over-year drop in home prices. Low mortgage rates may encourage formerly sidelined home buyers to enter the housing market. Analysts said that the only obstacle to increasing home sales might be homeowners unwilling to sell as home prices ease. Consumer concerns over the economic impact of trade tariffs may delay decisions to buy a home as consumer costs continue to rise. Home builders share these concerns as the cost of imported building materials increases.

 

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Should You Brace For A Potential Market Downturn Next Year?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 27th, 2019

Should You Brace For A Potential Market Downturn Next YearDon’t panic, a looming recession may be good news for those wanting to sell their homes. The experts say this recession may happen in 2020, so there is still plenty of time to make plans for how to deal with a potential economic downturn.

In many parts of America, especially in popular cities, the real estate markets are super hot for sellers. Home sales are coming in at prices that are record highs. For sellers in these hot markets, it might be time to sell. For buyers, able to wait until next year, the prices may come down.

What The ‘Experts’ Say

A Pulsenomics survey of 100 real estate market experts says that the pressures on the economy, which are negative, are not coming from the housing market this time. In fact, the Federal Reserve announced it will not make any changes until 2021, so the financial market supporting home loans will be coasting along pretty much as it is now.

The damage to the U.S. economy is coming from the delayed effects of the tariffs. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the tariffs is not the issue. The tariff changes that already went into effect, will have an economic impact next year or the year after.

Economists use the analogy of observing a big, slow-moving tidal wave. Scientists can see it coming from miles away. If those potentially affected by the danger pay attention to the warnings soon enough, they may have a chance to get out of the way.

Half the experts see the tariffs having a significant impact in 2020. Most of the other half see it coming in 2021. Nobody thinks the recession will hit before the end of 2019.

Summer 2019 – Selling Time

Home sales toward the end of summer are usually the strongest when compared to other times of the year. After returning from vacation, and before school starts, it is a popular time to look for a home when the weather is still nice outside.

Next Year 2020 – Buying Time

If a recession hits in 2020, then home sales prices may go down due to lowered demand. Again, this may be helpful for buyers who wait until next year to buy a home.

Conclusion

It is interesting to see that any possible recession will not be caused by the housing market this time. Real estate experts think that the housing market will price-in the effect of the recession up to one year ahead of when it hits.

If there are plans to sell a home, such as going into retirement and wanting to downsize or buy an RV for a happy retirement traveling, now may be an opportune time to consider selling.

If there are plans to buy a home and there is no rush, just take the time to work with your real estate agent to get a good deal and wait for a possible overall economic slowdown to get a better price. And be sure to contact your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss your financing options.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 26th, 2019

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 26th, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 26th, 2019Last week’s economic news included readings  from the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index and July readings on housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly readings on initial jobless claims and mortgage rates were also released.

NAHB: Home Builder Sentiment Remains High

According to the National Association of Home Builders, builder confidence in housing market conditions rose one point to an index reading of 66 for August. Housing Market Index readings showed that builder sentiment has held steady with readings of 64 to 66; any reading over 50 indicates positive builder sentiment.

Analysts said that despite strong readings for builder confidence in recent months, Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued did not reflect high builder confidence readings. Reports on housing starts and building permits issued fall one month behind the NAHB Housing Market Index.

Housing Starts Falter as Building Permits Increase

Commerce Department readings for July showed mixed results for housing starts and building permits issued as starts fell from June’s  downwardly revised reading of 1.24 million starts to 1.19 million starts in July. Housing starts are calculated on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis.

July building permits rose from June’s reading of 1.232 million permits to 1.336 million permits issued. Analysts expected a reading of 1.287 million housing starts for July. This was the second consecutive positive reading for housing starts after a post-recession period of fewer starts.

While building permits for single-family homes traditionally outpace permits issued for multi-family housing, analysts noted that demand for multi-family housing developments is trending higher due to high prices for single-family homes.

Increasing costs for building materials, indications of  global and domestic economic uncertainty and changing consumer priorities were cited as trends impacting housing starts.

Mortgage Rates Hold Near Record  Low, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported little change in mortgage rates last week; the average rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages was unchanged at 3.60 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.07 percent and were two basis points higher.

The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages fell one basis point to 3.35 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims rose last week to 220,000 new claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 211,000 new jobless claims filed. Analysts expected 212,000 claims to be filed last week. Nearly 6000 new jobless claims filed in California boosted last week’s reading for new claims.

The less volatile four-week rolling report on new jobless claims rose by 1000 claims to  213,750 new claims filed. New jobless claims hit their highest level in six weeks, but were lower than average.

Consumer sentiment concerning current economic conditions fell 6.20 points to an index reading of 92.1 according to the University of Michigan monthly survey of consumer confidence in the economy.

Concerns over trade wars and the Federal Reserve’s decision to lower its target interest rate range prompted consumer confidence to slip in August.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on sales of new and previously owned homes and minutes from the last meeting of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

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Important Tips To Help Kids Adjust To The Move

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 23rd, 2019

Important Tips To Help Kids Adjust To The MoveMoving takes a certain amount of adjustment. Kids of all ages may need a little help getting used to the new environment. Help kids adjust to the move by keeping the following in mind. 

Kids Are Resilient

Don’t overly worry about how your kids will adjust to the move. Kids are resilient. They tend to acclimate to new situations fairly quickly. It may even be that your kids get used to the move before you do!

Make Friends With Other Parents

You could facilitate your kids’ making new friends by making friends with parents of kids the same age as your child. To do this, attend any school functions and meetings that come up. Make a point of seeking out other parents and perhaps inviting them and their kids over to your house for lunch.

Add Bonuses To The Move

Help get your kids excited about the move by adding some bonuses they didn’t have before. Has your daughter always wanted to take ballerina lessons? Has your son always wanted to try horseback riding? Consider paying for some local lessons in your new area. This will incentivize your child and help them see how moving is a beginning, not an end.

Cut Them Some Slack

In the beginning, your child’s grades may slip at their new school. Be patient and allow them this period of adjustment until they get used to the new routines. Your child may also undergo some mood changes after the move. Let them know that you’re ready to listen whenever they want to talk about what they’re feeling about the move.

Help Them Fit In

Fitting in is very important for most kids. At their new school, kids will likely be into different things than at your child’s previous school. Even the trendy fashion may be different. Do what you can to help your child fit in with a few new outfits or a different style of shoes. Although you know how little material things matter in life, these things can make a huge difference in how comfortable your child feels as school.

Let Them Help

One reason kids feel afraid about moving is the lack of control. When you let kids help with the move, they regain some control. Let kids help with choosing new furnishings, packing belongings or other small tasks.

It’s likely that one reason you’re moving is for better opportunities for you and your children. Once your kids adjust to the move, you’ll be able to see for yourself how they are thriving in the new environment. 

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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A $400,000 Profit From Flipping A Single House?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 22nd, 2019

A $400,000 Profit From Flipping A Single House 1Flipping homes is popular once again. It took about eight years after the Great Recession that started in 2006 for home prices to rebound to the levels seen before the recession. Then, by 2016, in many areas, home prices started to rapidly increase.

The increases in home prices caused more flipping activity due to the potential profits. CNN reports the average gross profit on a flipped home sold during the past three years was about 50%.

In 2017, one real estate speculator took nearly one million dollars ($985,00) in cash and bought a home in an “as-is” condition, sight-unseen. That is what Mr. Lin He did, hoping to make some easy profit.

The Math

Flipping properties successfully is math with a bit of luck mixed in. Mr. He had good luck with his purchase in that it was in Malibu, California. He bought the home at a price well below its market value. The home was a foreclosure that listed for sale at $1.39 million. There were no buyers at that price, so the home went up for auction in 2017. Mr. He was the high bidder at $985,000.

That price was irresistible. Simple math meant that there was about $400,000 in potential profits between the purchase price and the value of the home, once the home was back in a nice condition.

Mr. He was very happy to buy the home for that low price. Then, he went to visit the property.

The Mess

The house was a disaster. The previous owner, who lost the house to the bank, was obviously angry about the foreclosure and intentionally broke as much as possible. The condition of this home, made the most-wrecked fixer-upper look like a palace compared to the mess bought by Mr. He.

After he saw the home in person, Mr. He admits the home was in even worse condition than he expected. On top of that, there was an extended delay caused by the local building department, which took six months to issue the building permit needed for the construction. Then, renovations cost $300,000 and the comprehensive remodeling work went on for three full months after it started.

The Result

In early 2019, the home was ready and beautifully prepared for sale with expert staging. It listed with a very successful real estate agent in the Malibu area who marketed the property well as a featured listing.

The listing price was $1.97 million, which was double the price paid by Mr. He to buy the home. In less than three weeks, it sold for the full listing price, giving Mr. He about $400,000 in gross profits after the renovation expenses.

Mr. He was very lucky that the home prices rose so quickly that he got the $400,000 profit he thought was in the deal when he bought the home, even though he had to invest $300,000 in the renovation work.

Summary

With 50% average gross returns potentially possible, flipping is attractive to many; however, as Mr. He says, “It is not as easy as it looks on television.”

If you are interested in finding a property to flip, be sure to consult with your trusted real estate professional.

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How Important Is The Land Around A Potential Home?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 21st, 2019

How Important Is The Land Around A Potential HomeWhen viewing a potential home, how much consideration should you give to the surrounding land?

In many ways, the land should be carefully regarded, since land is the thing that is hardest to alter. You can rip up carpet, paint walls and even knock down walls, but it takes a lot more effort to change land. 

Mature Landscaping 

Mature landscaping is typically cited as a benefit, but what if you’re the type who enjoys looking out at wide open spaces? It could also be that the mature landscaping – older trees – are situated dangerously near the house.

Weakened trees could lose heavy branches in storms and cause damage your roof. Mature trees also have vast root systems that can damage or destroy septic lines.

Downward Slope

It’s charming to stand at the top of the street and look down upon your future home. In the winter, your kids could have a front yard sledding hill. But if torrential rains come, your valley home will likely be prone to flooding. Even if you’re not in a designated flood zone, you should probably carry flood insurance in a case like this.

Upward Slope

Everyone envies the owner who lives atop the hill. Your home will look impressive to anyone passing by. But bear in mind that the lawn mowing will be especially tricky because you’ll be navigating that steep slant in your landscaping. 

Rocky Lawn

If you’re looking forward to starting your own home garden, pay attention to the quality of the soil surrounding your home. If it’s overly rocky, you’ll likely need to have raised beds or potted plants for your garden to thrive. Also, consider if the land around the home is very shady. If it is, you may need to remove some trees in order to capture enough sunlight for your plants.

Poor Quality Lawn

If the lawn isn’t lush green and instead it’s kind of a mottled greenish-brown, just realize that you’ll need to invest time and money to bring it back into good condition. A land treatment company can help you with this, but it will take some time before you see results.

The nature of the land around a potential home is important. But there are always steps you can take to resolve land issues. While it’s important to note the condition of the land, don’t let it stop you from making and offer on a truly awesome new home.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

 

 

 

 

 

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Four Key Injury Prevention Tips On Moving Day

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 20th, 2019

Four Key Injury Prevention Tips On Moving DayIt’s more likely that someone will incur an injury on moving day than on an ordinary day. The reason is that people are moving in ways that they don’t normally move, loads can be heavy, and accidents do happen. However, most injuries on moving day can be prevented by taking a few simple precautions.

Use A Dolly

Instead of trying to move more than one box by hand, use a dolly or a hand truck. This inexpensive tool can safely move multiple boxes without you having to lift anything at all. Keep in mind that all the boxes should be of equal size; don’t attempt to stack uneven boxes because they may shift and fall, causing an injury.

Take Breaks

Moving day is stressful because there is often a time constraint involved. Everything has to be moved into the truck by a certain time in order to remain on schedule. However, this is the kind of pressure that can lead to injuries. Being overtired leads to carelessness and that’s when accidents occur. Take multiple 10-minute rest breaks throughout the day so your body and mind have a chance to recuperate.

Don’t Overload Boxes

One of the most common moving day injuries happens when someone tries to lift a box that ends up being excessively heavy. Be mindful of the weigh of each box as you pack it. It’s better to keep the weight reasonable and stuff the box with filler than to overload boxes. You don’t have to weigh each box, but just give it a gentle lift to monitor how heavy it’s getting as you pack it.

Send Smaller Kids Packing

If you have smaller kids, the best option is to send them to the parents’ house, or to a babysitter’s until everything is in the truck. Smaller kids may run around and trip you up, distract your attention or otherwise get injured.  

Even the backyard is not a great idea, because they may wander near the truck out of curiosity. For their safety and yours, consider having someone care for them for the day off the premises.

Finally, if you do feel a twinge in your back or get overly exerted, stop what you’re doing and sit or lay down for a few minutes. Don’t try to “push through” the pain; it’s not worth it. Moving day injuries can be minimized or prevented when you take these simple steps. 

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 19th, 2019

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 19th, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 19th, 2019Last week’s economic news included readings  from the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index and July readings on housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly readings on initial jobless claims and mortgage rates were also released.

NAHB: Home Builder Sentiment Remains High

According to the National Association of Home Builders, builder confidence in housing market conditions rose one point to an index reading of 66 for August. Housing Market Index readings showed that builder sentiment has held steady with readings of 64 to 66; any reading over 50 indicates positive builder sentiment.

Analysts said that despite strong readings for builder confidence in recent months, Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued did not reflect high builder confidence readings. Reports on housing starts and building permits issued fall one month behind the NAHB Housing Market Index.

Housing Starts Falter as Building Permits Increase

Commerce Department readings for July showed mixed results for housing starts and building permits issued as starts fell from June’s downwardly revised reading of 1.24 million starts to 1.19 million starts in July. Housing starts are calculated on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis.

July building permits rose from June’s reading of 1.232 million permits to 1.336 million permits issued. Analysts expected a reading of 1.287 million housing starts for July. This was the second consecutive positive reading for housing starts after a post-recession period of fewer starts.

While building permits for single-family homes traditionally outpace permits issued for multi-family housing, analysts noted that demand for multi-family housing developments is trending higher due to high prices for single-family homes.

Increasing costs for building materials, indications of  global and domestic economic uncertainty and changing consumer priorities were cited as trends impacting housing starts.

Mortgage Rates Hold Near Record Low, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported little change in mortgage rates last week; the average rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages was unchanged at 3.60 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.07 percent and were two basis points higher.

The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages fell one basis point to 3.35 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims rose last week to 220,000 new claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 211,000 new jobless claims filed. Analysts expected 212,000 claims to be filed last week. Nearly 6,000 new jobless claims filed in California boosted last week’s reading for new claims.

The less volatile four-week rolling report on new jobless claims rose by 1,000 claims to  213,750 new claims filed. New jobless claims hit their highest level in six weeks, but were lower than average.

Consumer sentiment concerning current economic conditions fell 6.20 points to an index reading of 92.1 according to the University of Michigan monthly survey of consumer confidence in the economy. Concerns over trade wars and the Federal Reserve’s decision to lower its target interest rate range prompted consumer confidence to slip in August.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on sales of new and previously owned homes and minutes from the last meeting of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

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