What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -March 17th, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 17th, 2020

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -March 17th, 2020Last week’s scheduled economic reports included readings on inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.

Inflation Holds Steady in February

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.10 percent in February and matched January’s reading. Analysts expected no inflationary growth for February and noted that the Coronavirus had not yet impacted national inflation.

Higher rents and grocery prices caused inflation to rise in February. Year-over-year, the Consumer Price Index rose 2.30 percent in February after posting its highest reading of 2.50 percent in January; analysts expect inflation to decrease in the coming months.

The Core Consumer Price Index, which excludes volatile food and energy sectors, grew by 0.20 percent and matched expectations and January’s growth rate.

Mortgage Rates Mixed as New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported that the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose seven basis points to 3.36 percent last week after posting the lowest rate on record the prior week. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell two basis points to 2.77 percent.

The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages dropped by 17 basis points to 3.01 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims fell to 211,000 claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 215,000 first-time claims filed. Consumer sentiment dropped to an index reading of 95.90 in March as compared to February’s reading of 101.00; analysts expected consumer sentiment to fall to an index reading of 95.00.

The March reading was the weakest in five months and was attributed to fears of the Coronavirus. The current consumer sentiment index covered data through March 11 and index readings are expected to fall lower as impacts of the Coronavirus unfold.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions, sales of pre-owned homes reported by the National Association of Realtors® and Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued.

The Federal Reserve will issue its post-meeting statement of its Federal Open Market Committee and Fed Chair Jerome Powell will give a press conference after the FOMC statement. Additional economic news and policy announcements related to the Coronavirus may also be released.

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December Home Prices Rise According To S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 25th, 2016

December Home Prices Rise According To S&P Case-Shiller Home Price IndexHome prices rose slightly in December according to S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released Tuesday. According to the S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index, which covers cities representing all nine US Census divisions, home prices rose 5.40 percent year-over-year in December as compared to November’s reading of 5.20 percent.

December’s year-over-year home price increases were led by Portland Oregon at 11.40 percent, San Francisco, California at 10.30 percent and Denver, Colorado with a year-over-year reading of 10.20 percent. 10 cities reported higher home prices while eight cities reported lower home prices and year-over-year home prices were unchanged for two cities.

Year-over-year national home prices equaled winter 2007 home price levels, The S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index has recovered by 36.30 percent since March 2012. Phoenix, Arizona posted its 12th consecutive month of home price gains for the longest streak of price gains in 2015.

Home Price Growth Surpasses Core Inflation Rate

David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said that while home prices continue to rise, they are rising at a slower pace. All but one city (Washington, D.C.) posted home price gains higher than the core inflation rate of 2.20 percent. Home prices rising faster than inflation is positive for home sellers, but would-be-buyers may sit on the sidelines due to concerns about affordability. On the plus side, job markets are strong and mortgage rates remain low, which will likely encourage more first-time and moderate income buyers to enter the market.

S&P Case-Shiller Month-to-Month Readings

After seasonal adjustments, both the Case-Shiller 10 and 20 City home price indices posted a month-to-month gain of 0.80 percent. 19 of 20 cities posted month-to-month gains after seasonal adjustments. Factors contributing to higher home prices include high demand for homes coupled with a short supply of available homes. Home builders are ramping up construction, which should ease demand and help stabilize prices.

In related news, The National Association of Realtors reported that January sales of existing homes rose to 5.47 million sales on an annual basis as compared to expectations of 5.30 million sales and December’s reading of 5.45 million sales. January’s reading was 11 percent higher year-over-year and indicated that homes are selling in spite of rapidly rising prices in many areas.

Analysts said that the shortage of homes is causing an imbalance in market conditions; currently there is a four month supply of available homes as compared to an average six month supply of available homes. There have been only three instances when home supplies were lower in the past 16 years.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week: February 25th, 2013

Posted in Mortgage Rates by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 25th, 2013

What's Ahead This WeekA quiet past week in economic news caused mortgage rates to worsen slightly.

This week, however, will be packed with economic reports which may have an impact on interest rates going forward.

Freddie Mac reported that the average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose by 3 basis points from 3.53 percent to 3.56 percent with borrowers paying 0.8 in discount points and all of their closing costs.

The average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage was unchanged from last week at 2.77 percent with borrowers paying 0.8 in discount points and all of their closing costs.

In other economic news, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for January fell slightly to 0.0 percent as compared to Wall Street expectations of 0.1 percent and December’s reading of 0.1 percent.

The Core CPI, which measures consumer prices exclusive of volatile food and energy sectors, was 0.3 percent for January and surpassed analyst expectations of 0.2 percent and December’s reading of 0.1 percent.

Inflation Remains Low

These readings remain well below the 2.5 percent inflation level cited by the Fed as cause for concern.

According to the Department of Commerce, Housing Starts for January fell to 890,000 from December’s 954,000 and below Wall Street projections of 910,000.

These seasonally adjusted and annualized numbers are obtained from a sample of 844 builders selected from 17,000 newly permitted building sites.

Falling construction rates could further affect low supplies of homes reported in some areas; as demand for homes increase, home prices and mortgage rates can be expected to rise.

Full Economic Calendar This Week

This week’s economic news schedule is full; Treasury auctions are scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. New Home Sales will be released Tuesday.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is set to testify before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wednesday’s news includes the Pending Home Sales Index and Durable Orders.

Thursday’s news includes the preliminary GDP report for Q4 2012, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index, and weekly jobless claims.

Friday brings Personal Income and Core Personal Expenditures (CPE).

Consumer Sentiment, the ISM Index and Construction Spending round out the week’s economic news.

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Breaking Down The Federal Reserve Statement (January 2013 Edition)

Posted in Federal Reserve by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 31st, 2013

FOMC statementThe Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted to maintain the Federal Funds Rate within its current range of zero to 0.25 percent, and to continue its current stimulus program of purchasing $85 billion monthly in Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities (MBS).

Citing weather-related events such as Hurricane Sandy and drought in the Midwest, the committee said in its statement that information received since its December 2012 meeting “suggests that growth in economic activity has paused in recent months in large part because of weather-related disruptions and other transitory factors.”

Concerns over the then-looming fiscal cliff crisis may have also contributed to the economic contraction during the last quarter of 2012. Positive economic trends observed by the Fed included:

  • Improved household spending
  • Improving housing markets
  • Growth in business fixed investments

The Fed initiated its third round of quantitative easing (QE3) in September as part of an ongoing effort to hold down interest rates and to encourage business spending. The benchmark Federal Funds Rate will remain between zero and.0.25 percent until the unemployment rate falls to 6.5 percent and provided that inflation remains stable.

The Fed Funds Rate has stayed near zero since December 2008.

The national unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in December, and Wall Street expects it to be 7.7 percent for January. The Department of Labor will release its monthly jobs report on Friday; this report includes the monthly unemployment rate. Inflation is expected to remain at or below the Fed’s target level of 2.0 percent or less for the medium-term.

While noting that “strains on global financial markets have eased somewhat,” the FOMC said that it “continues to see downside risks to the economic outlook.” Low overall interest rates and gradual inflation work in favor of home buyers as home prices and mortgage rates are likely to rise at a gradual pace.

Mortgage rates in Bloomfield Hills improved slightly after the FOMC release.

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