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Sales of Existing U.S. Homes Slump on Delayed Contract Closings

Sales of previously owned homes slumped in November to the lowest level since April of last year as a change in industry rules lengthened the amount of time it took buyers to close on a deal.

Closings on existing homes, which usually take place a month or two after a contract is signed, declined 10.5 percent to a 4.76 million annual rate after a revised 5.32 million pace in October, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. November sales were weaker than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey.

 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-22/sales-of-existing-u-s-homes-slump-on-delayed-contract-closings


 

Posted by Jonathan White on December 24th, 2015 4:28 PM

Was my home a good investment?

CNN

http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/home-rate-of-return/

 

 

Posted by Jonathan White on October 18th, 2015 5:38 PM

Infographic: What 1% Will Save You on Your Mortgage     

Zillow

http://www.zillow.com/blog/what-1-percent-saves-you-145195/

Posted by Jonathan White on October 18th, 2015 5:35 PM

 

Compliments of

Jonathan White

President and CEO
Mortgage Broker | NMLS ID: 3443

Blue Door Mortgage, LLC

NMLS: 2218

Call: 781.235.2583 (BLUE)

jwhiteloan@bluedoormortgage.com
www.bluedoormortgage.com

1280 Centre Street

Newton, MA 02459

     

 

Waiting for the Fed

 

There was little market moving economic news for mortgage rates over the past week. Ahead of the upcoming Fed meeting, mortgage rates again ended the week with little change. 

 

Investors remain divided about whether the Fed will raise the federal funds rate on Thursday. Fed officials have stated that policy decisions will be determined by the performance of the economy, but recent comments reveal mixed views on whether the conditions for a rate hike have been met. The labor market has continued to perform well, but the inflation rate remains well below the Fed's target level of 2.0%. The uncertainty about the outcome makes it likely that Thursday's Fed statement and press conference will cause a large market reaction. 

 

Following the decline in the unemployment rate to a multi-year low seen last week, additional labor market data released on Wednesday contained more good news for the economy. The JOLTS report indicated that job openings in July jumped to the highest level since the data collection began in 2000.

 

In addition, the "quit" rate remained high. Economists generally view a willingness for employees to voluntarily leave their jobs as a sign that they have confidence in their prospects for finding a new job. The number of hires declined in July, possibly indicating that employers need to raise wages to attract workers.

 

 

The highly anticipated Fed statement and press conference will take place on Thursday. With investors divided about the outcome, it likely will be a volatile session. Before that, Retail Sales will be released on Tuesday. Retail Sales account for about 70% of economic activity. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the most closely watched monthly inflation report, will come out on Wednesday. CPI looks at the price change for finished goods which are sold to consumers. Housing Starts will be released on Thursday. 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in:General
Posted by Jonathan White on September 11th, 2015 1:45 PM

 

Compliments of

Jonathan White

President and CEO
Mortgage Broker | NMLS ID: 3443

Blue Door Mortgage, LLC

NMLS: 2218

Call: 781.235.2583 (BLUE)

jwhiteloan@bluedoormortgage.com
www.bluedoormortgage.com

1280 Centre Street

Newton, MA 02459

     

 

Mixed Employment Data

 

In the face of continued stock market volatility and major economic data, mortgage rates showed surprisingly little movement. For the second straight week, mortgage rates ended with little change. 

 

Friday's Employment report came in close to the forecasts overall. A small shortfall in job gains was offset by stronger than expected wage gains and a decline in the unemployment rate. 

 

Against a consensus forecast of 220K, the economy added 173K jobs in August, but upward revisions to prior months added another 44K. The unemployment rate declined from 5.3% to 5.1%, the lowest level since April 2008. It was 6.1% a year ago. Average hourly earnings, a proxy for wage growth, were 2.2% higher than a year ago. 

 

Investors had been looking to the Employment report to provide more clarity on whether the Fed will begin to raise the federal funds rate at the September 17 meeting. The on target data provided little guidance, however, and investors remain divided. One reason is that recent comments from Fed officials have spanned the spectrum from fully supportive to strongly against. There is broad agreement that the performance of the labor market is on track to match the Fed's conditions for a rate hike. Inflation, however, is much more debatable. Core inflation has held far below the Fed's target level of 2.0%, and potentially slower economic growth around the world has reduced expectations for future inflation. 

 

 

Next week will be a light one for economic reports. The JOLTS report, measuring job openings and labor turnover rates, will be released on Wednesday. The Producer Price Index (PPI), which focuses on the increase in prices of "intermediate" goods and services used by companies to produce finished products, 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. Mortgage markets will be closed on Monday in observance of Labor Day.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Posted in:General
Posted by Jonathan White on September 4th, 2015 12:01 PM

 

Compliments of

Jonathan White

President and CEO
Mortgage Broker | NMLS ID: 3443

Blue Door Mortgage, LLC

Co. NMLS MB2218

Call: 781.235.2583 (BLUE)

jwhiteloan@bluedoormortgage.com
www.bluedoormortgage.com

20 Walnut Street

Suite 12

Wellesley, MA 02481

     

 

China Devalues Currency

 

A surprise move in China helped mortgage rates improve early in the week. Stronger than expected U.S. economic data had the opposite effect later in the week. After the offsetting influences, mortgage rates ended slightly higher.

 

China has long held its currency, the yuan, at a fixed value versus the dollar. On Tuesday, China unexpectedly implemented a policy change which let the value of the yuan drop versus the dollar.  Mortgage rates improved on the announcement because investors saw the move as an indication that the Chinese economy is slowing more quickly than expected. If this is true, global inflationary pressure will fall. In addition, US exports to China likely will slow as U.S. goods and services will be more costly, further reducing inflationary pressure. Lower inflation is positive for mortgage rates.

 

Recent U.S. economic data told a different story about the outlook for inflation. Retail sales account for about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. The report released Thursday revealed that retail sales rose solidly in July, but this was expected. The surprise was that the disappointing results for June were revised significantly higher. Friday's report on industrial production, another important indicator of economic activity, also exceeded expectations. 

 

 

Looking ahead, Housing Starts will come out on Tuesday. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the most closely watched monthly inflation report, will come out on Wednesday. The Minutes from the July 29 Fed meeting also will be released on Wednesday. These detailed Minutes provide additional insight into the debate between Fed officials. Existing Home Sales and the Philly Fed regional manufacturing index will come out on Thursday. 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Posted in:General
Posted by Jonathan White on August 14th, 2015 5:08 PM

 

Compliments of

Jonathan White

President and CEO
Mortgage Broker | NMLS ID: 3443

Blue Door Mortgage, LLC

Co. NMLS MB2218

Call: 781.235.2583 (BLUE)

jwhiteloan@bluedoormortgage.com
www.bluedoormortgage.com

20 Walnut Street

Suite 12

Wellesley, MA 02481

     

 

Is Fed Rate Hike Near?

 

During the past week, comments from a Fed official increased investor expectations for a Fed rate hike this year, causing mortgage rates to move a little higher. The week's economic data was mostly right on target and had little net effect. 

 

On Tuesday, Fed member Dennis Lockhart gave investors the impression that the first federal funds rate hike is likely to take place soon. In essence, he said that he believes that a rate hike will be appropriate in September unless the economy significantly underperforms expectations. While other Fed officials may feel differently, investors took this as a warning to be prepared for a rate hike at the next Fed meeting on September 17.

 

The major economic reports released since Lockhart's comments showed that the economy remains on track to meet his requirements for a rate hike. Wednesday's ISM Services data revealed an unexpectedly large increase to the highest level since 2005. 

 

Friday's Employment data, the biggest report of the month, matched the consensus forecast across the board. The economy continued its pace of strong job gains above 200K with the addition of 215K jobs in July. The Unemployment Rate remained at 5.3%. Average Hourly Earnings, an indicator of wage growth, were 2.2% higher than a year ago.

 

 

Looking ahead, we will get more labor market data on Tuesday with the JOLTS report, which measures job openings and labor turnover rates. After that, Retail Sales will be released on Thursday. Since retail sales account for roughly 70% of economic activity, this is one of the biggest reports of the month. Industrial Production, another important indicator of economic activity, will come out on Friday. In addition, there will be Treasury auctions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Posted in:General
Posted by Jonathan White on August 7th, 2015 12:29 PM

 

Compliments of

Jonathan White

President and CEO
Mortgage Broker | NMLS ID: 3443

Blue Door Mortgage, LLC

Co. NMLS MB2218

Call: 781.235.2583 (BLUE)

jwhiteloan@bluedoormortgage.com
www.bluedoormortgage.com

20 Walnut Street

Suite 12

Wellesley, MA 02481

    

 

Big Events Ahead

 

Sandwiched between weeks containing the highest level of significant economic events, investors took a breather this week. In addition, the economic data released this week contained few surprises. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week with little change. 

 

Between last week's Fed meeting and next week's European Central Bank (ECB) meeting and US Employment report, investors have a great deal of information to digest. This week's news, however, contained little to cause investors to shift their outlook for the performance of the economy. Durable Orders, Jobless Claims, and revisions to second quarter GDP all came in very close to the consensus forecasts. While there were several volatile sessions during the week, the increases offset the decreases. 

 

The housing data released this week continued to be encouraging. August New Home Sales jumped 18% from July to the highest level since May 2008. Existing Home Sales, which include roughly 90% of the market, did decline slightly in August, but this followed four straight months of gains. With mortgage rates remaining relatively low, home sales are near the highest levels of the year. 

 

 

Next week, there will be a European Central Bank (ECB) meeting on Thursday. The policy announcement from the ECB likely will have an influence on US mortgage rates. In the US, the important monthly Employment report will be released 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, Pending Home Sales, Core PCE inflation, and Personal Income will be released on Monday. ISM Manufacturing and ADP Employment Change will come out on Wednesday. ISM Services, Construction Spending, Chicago PMI Manufacturing, and Consumer Confidence will round out a busy schedule. 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Posted in:General
Posted by Jonathan White on September 29th, 2014 12:13 PM

 

Compliments of

Jonathan White

President and CEO
Mortgage Broker | NMLS ID: 3443

Blue Door Mortgage, LLC

Co. NMLS MB2218

Call: 781.235.2583 (BLUE)

jwhiteloan@bluedoormortgage.com
www.bluedoormortgage.com

20 Walnut Street

Suite 12

Wellesley, MA 02481

    

 

Fed Guidance May Change

 

Increased concerns that the Fed will raise the fed funds rate more quickly than previously expected was the driving factor for mortgage rates this week. Stronger than expected economic data was another negative factor, and mortgage rates ended the week higher.

 

A report from the San Francisco Fed released this week caused investors to question their outlook for future Fed policy. The report called attention to a discrepancy between investor expectations for the pace of fed funds rate hikes and the forecasts from Fed officials themselves. In short, the report points out that Fed officials are less dovish than investors think. There is growing concern that next week's Fed announcement will open the door to a fed funds rate hike sooner than previously expected. Highly accommodative monetary policy has helped keep mortgage rates low in recent years, so the prospect of tighter policy was unfavorable news. 

 

Retail sales account for roughly 70% of economic activity, making them an important indicator of the strength of the economy. Last month, the Retail Sales report for July fell short of expectations with a disappointing flat reading from June. The Retail Sales report released this week revealed a solid increase of 0.6% in August from July, matching the consensus forecast.

 

The surprise came from a significant upward revision to the flat reading in July. Instead of stalling in July, Retail Sales actually continued to improve at a moderate pace. Unfortunately, stronger economic growth is negative for mortgage rates, as it increases future inflationary pressures. 

 

 

The big story next week will be Wednesday's Fed meeting. Investors will be looking for a change in language which will make the timing of the first fed funds rate hike more dependent on the performance of the economy and less on guidance toward a specific date. Next week's economic data will include important inflation and housing data. The Producer Price Index (PPI) will come out on Tuesday. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the most closely watched monthly inflation report, will come out on Wednesday. The NAHB Housing Survey also will come out on Wednesday and Housing Starts will be released on Thursday. Industrial Production and Philly Fed will round out the schedule. In addition, investors will be keeping an eye on the conflict in Ukraine and the independence vote in Scotland. 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Posted in:General
Posted by Jonathan White on September 15th, 2014 11:58 AM

 

Compliments of

Jonathan White

President and CEO
Mortgage Broker | NMLS ID: 3443

Blue Door Mortgage, LLC

Co. NMLS MB2218

Call: 781.235.2583 (BLUE)

jwhiteloan@bluedoormortgage.com
www.bluedoormortgage.com

20 Walnut Street

Suite 12

Wellesley, MA 02481

    

 

European Weakness Drives Rates

 

The US economic data released this week struggled to elicit a reaction in the market. Instead, investors focused on increased expectations for asset purchases by the European Central Bank (ECB). This news was favorable for US mortgage rates, which ended near the lowest levels of the year.

 

The ECB has a reputation for being tougher on inflation than the Fed, and monetary policy has been tighter in the euro zone than in the US. Recent comments suggest that the ECB is headed in the opposite direction, though. While an improving US economy has caused the Fed to wind down its bond purchase program, ECB officials have expressed growing support to implement an asset purchase program to counter weak euro zone economic growth. Investors have added European bonds to their portfolios ahead of this expected added demand from the ECB, pushing their yields lower. This has made global bond yields in other regions relatively more attractive, including US mortgage-backed securities (MBS). The extra demand for MBS has helped push down mortgage rates.

 

Recent data on the US housing market has been mixed. The Existing Home Sales report released last week showed nice improvement, while this week's New Home Sales data revealed a slight decline. The July Pending Home Sales report, which is a leading indicator of future activity, rose to 105.9, the highest level since September 2013. The National Association of Realtors (NAR), which issues the report, defines a reading of 100 as an "average level of contract activity".

 

 

Looking ahead, there will be a summit on Saturday between EU officials and Ukrainian officials. This may lead to additional sanctions against Russia. In the US, the important monthly Employment report will be released 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 Manufacturing will be released on Tuesday. The ADP Employment Change will come out on Wednesday. Productivity and ISM Services will be released on Thursday. Mortgage markets will be closed on Monday in observance of Labor Day.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Posted in:General
Posted by Jonathan White on August 29th, 2014 2:04 PM

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