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Compliments of

JonathanWhite

President and CEO
Mortgage Broker | NMLS ID: 3443

Blue Door Mortgage, LLC

NMLS: 2218

Call: 617.527.BLUE (2583)

jwhiteloan@bluedoormortgage.com
www.bluedoormortgage.com

1280 Centre Street

Newton,MA02459

Strong Retail Sales

It was a relatively quiet week for mortgage rates. The major economic data was mixed, and mortgage rates ended a bit higher.

Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of economic activity in the U.S., and the retail sales data is a key indicator of growth. Retail Sales unexpectedly turned negative for three months during the winter, causing investors to question the strength of the economy. Since then, however, sales have been very strong.

Monday's data showed a solid increase in June of 0.5% from May, and the May results were revised much higher to 1.3% from 0.8%, which was the largest monthly gain since September 2017. Given the strong retail sales data, along with other major reports, the Atlanta Fed's forecast for second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) is up to a whopping 4.5%, more than double the 2.0% growth seen in the first quarter.

The news from the housing sector was less encouraging. In June, housing starts fell 12% from May to the lowest level since September 2017. The decline was split roughly evenly between single-family and multi-family units. Single-family starts reached a 10-year high in November 2017, but they have fallen steadily since then. Despite a huge need for more inventory of homes in many regions, higher labor, land, and material costs are some of the reasons cited by homebuilders for the slowdown in new construction.

Looking ahead, Existing Home Sales will be released on Monday and New Home Sales on Wednesday. Durable Orders, an important indicator of economic activity, will come out on Thursday. The first reading for second quarter gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic growth, will be released on Friday. In addition, a European Central Bank meeting on Thursday could influence U.S. mortgage rates.

Weekly Change

Mortgage rates

fell

0.02

Dow

rose

75

NASDAQ

rose

25

Calendar

Mon

7/23

Existing Home Sales

Thu

7/26

ECB Meeting

Fri

7/27

GDP

All material Copyright © Ress No. 1, LTD (DBA MBSQuoteline) and may not be reproduced without permission.

Posted by Jonathan White on July 21st, 2018 12:36 PM

Compliments of

JonathanWhite

President and CEO
Mortgage Broker | NMLS ID: 3443

Blue Door Mortgage, LLC

NMLS: 2218

Call: 617.527.BLUE (2583)

jwhiteloan@bluedoormortgage.com
www.bluedoormortgage.com

1280 Centre Street

Newton,MA02459

Mixed Employment Data

The main influence on mortgage rates this week was Friday's Employment report which was viewed on balance as a little weaker than expected. The Fed minutes and the other data had just a minor impact. As a result, mortgage rates ended lower.

Against a consensus forecast of 190,000, the economy gained 213,000 jobs in June. In addition, upward revisions added 37,000 jobs to the results for prior months. The economy has gained an average of 215,000 jobs per month so far this year, exceeding even the strong pace of 182,000 seen over this period last year.

The unemployment rate increased from an 18-year low of 3.8% to 4.0%, above the consensus for a flat reading of 3.8%. There are two factors which influence the unemployment rate, and June's increase was due to a surge of workers entering the labor force rather than job losses, so this actually was viewed as a sign of strength.

Average hourly earnings, an indicator of wage growth, fell slightly short of expectations. They were 2.7% higher than a year ago, the same annual rate of increase as last month. Overall, the shortfall in wage growth was viewed by investors as more significant than the strong job gains, and mortgage rates moved a little lower after the data.

The minutes from the June 13 Fed meeting released on Thursday contained no major surprises and caused little reaction for mortgage rates. Noteworthy, though, Fed officials discussed both upside and downside risks to the economy. They pointed to the recent tax cuts as a potential source of support for economic growth in coming years, but also the risk that increased trade tensions could slow future investment activity, which would be negative for the economy.

Looking ahead, the inflation data will get the most attention. 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 Wednesday. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the most closely watched monthly inflation report, will come out on Thursday. CPI looks at the price change for finished goods and services. In addition, Treasury auctions on Wednesday and Thursday could influence mortgage rates.

Weekly Change

Mortgage rates

fell

0.05

Dow

rose

100

NASDAQ

rose

100

Calendar

Wed

7/11

PPI

Wed

7/11

10-yr Auction

Thu

7/12

CPI

All material Copyright © Ress No. 1, LTD (DBA MBSQuoteline) and may not be reproduced without permission.

Posted by Jonathan White on July 6th, 2018 11:59 AM

Compliments of

JonathanWhite

President and CEO
Mortgage Broker | NMLS ID: 3443

Blue Door Mortgage, LLC

NMLS: 2218

Call: 617.527.BLUE (2583)

jwhiteloan@bluedoormortgage.com
www.bluedoormortgage.com

1280 Centre Street

Newton,MA02459

Fed Officials Debate Inflation

Comments from Fed officials caused some volatility this week but had little net effect. The economic data caused little reaction. Mortgage rates ended the week nearly unchanged, close to the best levels of the year.

Last week's weak inflation data had Fed officials talking this week. To the surprise of many, inflation has declined during each of the last few months. Fed officials seem divided on how to react. Some consider the recent decline transitory and want to continue monetary tightening. Others question this and want to slow things down. On Monday, New York Fed President Dudley said that he thinks rising wages will push inflation higher and that to slow the current pace of monetary tightening could do harm to the economy. On Tuesday, Chicago Fed President Evans said that the Fed "can afford" to wait "a little bit" to see if inflation moves higher. The debate caused some market volatility.

The existing-home sales data from the National Association of Realtors released on Wednesday revealed that a shortage of inventory continued to be an issue in May. Total inventory of existing homes available for sale was significantly lower than a year ago and was at just a 4.2-month supply. A 6-month supply is considered a nice balance between buyers and sellers. The low supply of inventory and robust buyer demand caused prices to rise and properties to be sold very quickly. The median existing-home price reached a record high in May, and it took just 27 days on average for properties to be sold. This was the shortest duration since tracking began in 2011.

Even with a low level of inventory in many markets, existing-home sales in May rose a little from April to the third highest level over the past twelve months. Sales of new homes, which make up roughly 10% of the market, also climbed in May, and the median price of new homes rose to a record high as well.

Looking ahead, Durable Orders, an important indicator of economic activity, will come out on Monday. Pending Home Sales will be released on Wednesday. The Core PCE price index, the inflation indicator favored by the Fed, will come out on Friday. In addition, there will be Treasury auctions on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

All material Copyright © Ress No. 1, LTD (DBA MBSQuoteline) and may not be reproduced without permission.

Posted by Jonathan White on June 23rd, 2017 11:52 AM

Compliments of

JonathanWhite

President and CEO
Mortgage Broker | NMLS ID: 3443

Blue Door Mortgage, LLC

NMLS: 2218

Call: 617.527.BLUE (2583)

jwhiteloan@bluedoormortgage.com
www.bluedoormortgage.com

1280 Centre Street

Newton,MA02459

Strong Data

Based on the economic news over the past week, it would not have been surprising to see a large increase in mortgage rates. With stronger than expected economic data nearly across the board, hawkish comments from the Fed, and a stock market rally, the first half of the week indeed was rough on rates. Once all the news was out, however, mortgage rates recovered their losses and ended the week with little change.

Most of the reports on economic activity released this week far exceeded expected levels. Excluding the volatile auto component, retail sales doubled the expected increase in January, and the December figures were revised higher as well. Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of economic output, and the retail sales data is a key indicator.

Housing starts in January also surpassed expectations. The biggest surprises, though, were two regional manufacturing indexes which beat the consensus by a wide margin, one of which reached the highest level since 1984. In addition to these reports, the CPI and PPI inflation data for January came in above the expected levels. Increasing economic activity and rising inflation are not good for mortgage rates.

Early in the week, Fed Chair Yellen delivered her semi-annual testimony to Congress. Her comments were viewed as more hawkish than expected. Yellen stressed that it would be "unwise" to wait too long to raise the federal funds rate. She also said that in coming months the Fed will consider when to begin to reduce the Fed's portfolio of mortgage-backed securities (MBS). On the plus side, she pointed out that the Fed will do so very gradually. However, demand for MBS from the Fed has helped push down mortgage rates in recent years. The possibility of reduced demand put upward pressure on mortgage rates.

Looking ahead, the minutes from the February 1 Fed meeting will come out on Wednesday. These detailed minutes provide additional insight into the debate between Fed officials and have the potential to significantly move markets. Existing Home Sales will be released on Wednesday and New Home Sales will come out on Friday. Mortgage markets will be closed on Monday in observance of Presidents Day.

All material Copyright © Ress No. 1, LTD (DBA MBSQuoteline) and may not be reproduced without permission.

Posted by Jonathan White on February 17th, 2017 12:13 PM

Compliments of

JonathanWhite

President and CEO
Mortgage Broker | NMLS ID: 3443

Blue Door Mortgage, LLC

NMLS: 2218

Call: 617.527.BLUE (2583)

jwhiteloan@bluedoormortgage.com
www.bluedoormortgage.com

1280 Centre Street

Newton,MA02459

Sentiment Remains High

Last Friday's Employment report left investors feeling good about buying bonds, and mortgage rates improved over the first half of this week. An announcement from President Trump on Thursday was negative for bonds, however, and a partial reversal took place. After a couple of weeks with relatively little net change, mortgage rates ended this week a little lower.

The much weaker than expected wage growth in the Employment report released on February 3 eased investor concerns about future inflation. Lower inflation increases the value of future cash flows from bonds. With little economic news early in the week, investors purchased bonds, including mortgage-backed securities (MBS). Since mortgage rates are set based on MBS prices, rates declined.

On Thursday, President Trump said to expect an announcement about tax cuts in two to three weeks. Mortgage rates moved a little higher after the comment. There are a couple of reasons why tax cuts are viewed as negative for mortgage rates. The first is that tax cuts increase the wealth of the affected individuals or businesses. As they spend some of this money, it boosts economic activity, which in turn raises the outlook for future inflation. The second reason is that tax cuts increase the budget deficit, at least initially. This means that the government has to issue more Treasury bonds to fund the deficit. The added supply reduces the value of bonds, including MBS.

The report on Consumer Sentiment released on Friday showed that consumers remained optimistic about economic activity. While the reading was a little below the 13-year high seen last month, it was still quite high by historical standards. This survey from the University of Michigan measures the level of optimism or pessimism about current and future economic conditions.

Looking ahead, Retail Sales will be released on Wednesday. Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of economic output in the U.S., and the retail sales data is a key indicator. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a widely followed monthly inflation report, also will come out on Wednesday. CPI looks at the price change for goods and services which are purchased by consumers. Housing Starts will be released on Thursday. In addition, Fed Vice Chair Fisher will be speaking on Saturday morning, and Fed Chair Yellen will deliver her semi-annual testimony to Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday.

All material Copyright © Ress No. 1, LTD (DBA MBSQuoteline) and may not be reproduced without permission.

Posted by Jonathan White on February 10th, 2017 12:39 PM

Compliments of

JonathanWhite

President and CEO
Mortgage Broker | NMLS ID: 3443

Blue Door Mortgage, LLC

NMLS: 2218

Call: 617.527.BLUE (2583)

jwhiteloan@bluedoormortgage.com
www.bluedoormortgage.com

1280 Centre Street

Newton,MA02459

Home Sales Rise

The economic data released this week had little impact on mortgage rates. Tuesday's Bank of Japan meeting also caused little reaction in U.S. markets. Mortgage rates ended the week lower.

While it had little market impact, Wednesday's report on sales of previously owned homes exceeded expectations and reached another multi-year high. November existing home sales increased a little from October to the highest level since February 2007. Existing home sales were 15% higher than a year ago.

This figure is inflated somewhat, though, since sales in November of last year were depressed by the implementation of new closing disclosure requirements. Total inventory of existing homes available for sale fell to a 4-month supply, and it was 9% lower than a year ago. The median existing-home price was 7% higher than a year ago. Since sales of previously owned homes measure closings, the November data was not affected much by the increase in mortgage rates seen since the election.

Thursday's report on orders for durable goods contained mixed news. Durable goods are products which are expected to last more than three years. The overall figure revealed that orders for durable goods in November declined 4.6% from October, which was close to the expected levels. The decline was mostly due to a drop in aircraft orders. Since certain products such as aircraft tend to be very volatile from month to month, investors generally prefer to look at a core reading to get a better sense of the underlying trend. This core indicator of business investment, nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, showed a healthy increase of 0.9% from October.

Looking ahead, it will be a light week for economic data. Pending Home Sales will come out on Wednesday. There will be Treasury auctions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. During the last couple of weeks in December, trading volume tends to be lighter than usual, which can lead to exaggerated price swings. Mortgage markets will be closed on Monday in observance of Christmas.

All material Copyright © Ress No. 1, LTD (DBA MBSQuoteline) and may not be reproduced without permission.

Posted by Jonathan White on December 22nd, 2016 3:48 PM

Compliments of

JonathanWhite

President and CEO
Mortgage Broker | NMLS ID: 3443

Blue Door Mortgage, LLC

NMLS: 2218

Call: 617.527.BLUE (2583)

jwhiteloan@bluedoormortgage.com
www.bluedoormortgage.com

1280 Centre Street

Newton,MA02459

Fed Projects Faster Pace of Hikes

Wednesday's Fed meeting turned out to be negative for mortgage rates. Recent economic data had little impact. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week higher.

As widely expected, the Fed raised the federal funds rate by 25 basis points. Unfortunately for MBS, Fed officials also raised their outlook for the pace of future rate hikes. They now forecast three rate hikes in 2017, one more than previously projected. The faster pace was viewed as negative for mortgage rates. But why? The purpose for raising the federal funds rate is to keep inflation from rising above the Fed's target of 2%. This should be a good thing for mortgage rates.

Part of the reason for the adverse reaction stems from a more direct effect the Fed has on mortgage rates. The Fed owns over $1.7 trillion of the agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that it purchased during its quantitative easing (QE) days. The Fed keeps the balance of MBS around that level by buying new MBS to replace that which pays off. The Fed is currently the buyer of approximately 25%of all newly issued MBS. This added demand from the Fed drives MBS prices higher and mortgage rates lower. The Fed says that it will not allow its holdings of MBS to decline until "normalization of the level of the federal funds rate is well under way." When that will be is hard to say, but the faster they raise the federal funds rate, the sooner their demand for new MBS will be removed.

On Thursday, the December National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) housing index showed that home builder confidence jumped from 63 to 70, far above the consensus, and the highest level since 2005. According to the NAHB, home builders are optimistic that the Trump administration will "reduce costly regulatory burdens."

Looking ahead, there will be a meeting of the Bank of Japan on Tuesday which could influence U.S. mortgage rates. In the U.S., Existing Home Sales will be released on Wednesday. Durable Orders and Core PCE will come out on Thursday. Core PCE is the inflation indicator favored by the Fed. New Home Sales will be released on Friday. Mortgage markets will close early on Friday in observance of Christmas.

All material Copyright © Ress No. 1, LTD (DBA MBSQuoteline) and may not be reproduced without permission.

Posted by Jonathan White on December 16th, 2016 12:16 PM

Compliments of

JonathanWhite

President and CEO
Mortgage Broker | NMLS ID: 3443

Blue Door Mortgage, LLC

NMLS: 2218

Call: 617.527.BLUE (2583)

jwhiteloan@bluedoormortgage.com
www.bluedoormortgage.com

1280 Centre Street

Newton,MA02459

Three Central Bank Meetings

Over the past week, the meeting of the Bank of England and news related to the U.S. election were the main influences on mortgage rates. The U.S. economic data had little impact. The net result was that mortgage rates ended the week a little lower.

Three major central banks had meetings over the past week, and none of them made any policy changes. In the case of the U.S. Fed and the Bank of Japan, this was the expected outcome. However, investors were disappointed that the Bank of England (BOE) held rates steady and downplayed the likelihood of further rate cuts. Bond purchases from central banks around the world have helped push global bond yields lower in recent years, so this indication from the BOE that there may be less future stimulus than expected caused yields to rise on Thursday, including U.S. mortgage rates.

As expected, the Fed made no change in policy and few changes in its statement. The statement suggested that the economy is closer to the threshold required to increase the federal funds rate. Fed officials also expressed more confidence that inflation will rise to its target level of 2.0% "over the medium term."

The economy added 161K jobs in October, a little below the consensus of 175K. However, upward revisions added 44K jobs to the results for prior months. Investors focused more on wage growth, which rose more than expected. Average hourly earnings were 2.8% higher than a year ago, which was the largest annual increase since June 2009.

Over the past week, there were many news stories about the two candidates in the U.S. election, and some of these stories had a noticeable effect on mortgage rates. Generally, news which favors a Trump victory has been positive for bonds and negative for stocks. News which favors a Clinton victory has caused the opposite reaction.

Looking ahead, the U.S. election likely will continue to influence mortgage rates. In addition, there will be Treasury auctions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The economic calendar will be very light. The JOLTS report, which measures job openings and labor turnover rates, will be released on Tuesday. Consumer Sentiment will come out on Friday. While the stock market will be open, mortgage markets will be closed on Friday in observance of Veterans Day.

All material Copyright © Ress No. 1, LTD (DBA MBSQuoteline) and may not be reproduced without permission.

Posted by Jonathan White on November 4th, 2016 12:05 PM

 

Compliments of

Jonathan White

President and CEO
Mortgage Broker | NMLS ID: 3443

Blue Door Mortgage, LLC

NMLS: 2218

Call: 617.527.BLUE (2583)

jwhiteloan@bluedoormortgage.com
www.bluedoormortgage.com

1280 Centre Street

Newton, MA 02459

     

 

Shift in Outlook for Fed Policy

 

Stronger than expected economic data and a shift in expectations for Fed policy were negative for mortgage rates over the past week. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week higher.

 

Speeches made by Fed officials during the first part of the week alerted investors that the Fed may be much closer to another federal funds rate hike than investors expected. On Wednesday, the release of the minutes from the April 27 Fed meeting confirmed this. In the minutes, Fed officials made it clear that they will consider raising rates as soon as June if economic conditions continue to improve. Investors currently view tighter Fed policy as negative for mortgage rates, so rates rose as the Fed's position became better understood.

 

One factor supporting the case for tighter monetary policy is stronger than expected improvement in the recent housing data. Existing home sales in April rose for the second straight month and were 6% higher than a year ago. Inventories of existing homes available for sale jumped 9% from March. Sales of existing homes make up about 90% of the market. Housing starts, an indicator of future sales activity for newly built homes, increased 7% in April from March. 

 

Complicating the decision for the Fed a little is the recent inflation data. The core consumer price index (CPI) in April was 2.1% higher than a year ago, down from a multi-year high of 2.3% in February. After rising significantly for several months, core inflation has declined for the last two months. If this trend continues, it would make the Fed less likely to raise rates. 

 

 

Looking ahead, the new home sales data will be released on Tuesday. Durable orders and the pending home sales data will come out on Thursday. The second estimate of first quarter GDP, the broadest measure of economic growth, will be released on Friday. There will be Treasury auctions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Several Fed officials are scheduled to make speeches next week as well. Mortgage markets will close early on Friday in observance of Memorial Day. 

 

 

All material Copyright © Ress No. 1, LTD (DBA MBSQuoteline) and may not be reproduced without permission.

 

 

 

Posted by Jonathan White on May 20th, 2016 12:25 PM

 

Compliments of

Jonathan White

President and CEO
Mortgage Broker | NMLS ID: 3443

Blue Door Mortgage, LLC

NMLS: 2218

Call: 617.527.BLUE (2583)

jwhiteloan@bluedoormortgage.com
www.bluedoormortgage.com

1280 Centre Street

Newton, MA 02459

     

 

Retail Sales Jump 

 

The economic data released over the past week was generally better than expected. Strength was seen in retail sales, the labor market, and consumer sentiment. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week a little higher, but they remain near the best levels of the year. 

 

After a slow start to the year, Friday's report on retail sales went a long way to increase optimism about stronger economic growth during the second quarter. April retail sales, excluding the volatile auto component, jumped 0.8% from March, which was far more than expected. It was the largest monthly gain in nearly a year. The results for March also were revised higher. 

 

Despite what appeared to be a weak report on jobless claims, this week's labor market data was encouraging. A spike in jobless claims was seen, but this was due to a strike at Verizon. Nice gains were seen in the JOLTS report, which measures job openings and labor turnover rates. The JOLTS report helps to provide a broader picture of the performance of the labor market. Job openings in March increased to levels which were very close to record highs. The "quits rate" also was at levels consistent with a healthy labor market. Employees are more likely to voluntarily leave their jobs if they are confident that they will find a better job.

 

 

Looking ahead, Housing Starts, Industrial Production, and the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a widely followed monthly inflation report, will come out on Tuesday. CPI looks at the price change for goods and services which are sold to consumers. The Fed Minutes from the April 27 meeting will come out on Wednesday. These detailed minutes provide additional insight into the debate between Fed officials and have the potential to significantly move markets. Existing Home Sales will be released on Friday. 

 

 

All material Copyright © Ress No. 1, LTD (DBA MBSQuoteline) and may not be reproduced without permission.

 

 

 

Posted by Jonathan White on May 13th, 2016 12:59 PM

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