Wednesday, May 20, 2009
A "housing start" is a new home on which construction has started and, for the fourth straight month, single-family home construction remained flat in April.
For the battered housing market, this is the latest in a series of signals that a long-awaited turnaround is coming.
* The number of homes under contract to sell are rising
* The national housing inventory is down by nearly 1 million from March 2009
* Home values are rising, according to a government report
The current plateau in Housing Starts may indicate that builders are more confident in the economy, and that Americans are, too. Especially in light of the free fall over the past few years.
Single-Family Housing Starts have hugged the 360,000 mark since January 2009.
However, there is a footnote to the story.
As noted by the Commerce Department in its official report, the April Housing Starts conclusion is suspect because of the data's large Margin of Error. Had the government's sample set included a different series of data, in other words, it may have concluded that housing starts had fallen instead of staying flat. Or risen.
We won't know the final results of the report until 3 months from now but if the initial figures hold, it will fortify the argument that the housing market has, indeed, found its bottom.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Retail Sales are down worse-than-expected for April 2009. After a dreadful start to the month of May, mortgage markets improved last week, pushing mortgage rates lower overall. The ANGELs.
It was the first week since late-April in which mortgage rates fell.
The biggest reason rates improved last week was because the economic optimism that was responsible for the stock market's 30% gain since March faded somewhat.
Retail Sales came in weaker-than-expected as did Initial Jobless claims. Both of these data points show that the economy may not be recovering as quickly as investors had wanted to believe.
Combined with gas prices ballooning more than 10 percent over the last 3 weeks, it's clear that consumer spending will be muted this summer and into fall. THE DEMONS
Consumer spending is important because it accounts for two-third of the economy. If it's slowed for any reason, the economy is less likely to emerge from the current recession as quickly as had been anticipated. THE DEMONS
This is good news for mortgage rates because a slow economy tends to draw investors out of stocks and into bonds, including the mortgage-backed kind. More mortgage bond demand leads to higher bond prices and, therefore, lower bond yields and mortgage rates. THE ANGELS
This week, there isn't much data to watch and, because of Memorial Day, trading will be very light towards Thursday and Friday. THE ANGELS
It's during "calm" weeks like this that mortgage rates can make huge movements up or down. With no official announcements against which traders can make bets, every piece of news is a surprise. THE DEMONS
If you're still floating a mortgage rate, take some risk off the table by locking in this week. Call 404.643.4793 or see http://www.atlloans.com/
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
This credit reduces tax liability, if any excess remains after '09 that would roll over to next year. It is not restricted to first time home buyers but some homes would not be included so consult your Realtor confirm eligibility.
First time buyers combine this with the Federal credit of $8,000 and you are looking at 10 grand in tax incentives, not including other deductions that will come along with owning a home. Also, now HUD is releasing a new policy where the $8000 can be used for down payment at closing.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Nonetheless, the agency's flagship home-buying program remains solid, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said yesterday.
To read the entire article, please visit: Washingtonpost.com http://ow.ly/6qKu
If need a FHA loan in Georgia see www.atlloans.com
Monday, May 11, 2009
Mortgage markets hit their worst levels since March last week, sending mortgage rates higher for the second week in a row.
Today's conforming mortgage rates are much higher than from the registered low point of April 30, 2009.
There are a few reasons why mortgage rates were up last week.
- Stress test results weren't as bad as originally feared
- The pace of job loss appears to be slowing
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained another 4 percent
Separately, bullet points like these can move markets and change rates. Together, though, they're a force.
The combination of events reinforces Wall Street's belief that the U.S. economy is on the mend. Even Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke remarked in his testimony to Congress that the economy should "turn up later this year".
As a result, this week, markets will be tuned in to inflation-related data.
Oil prices have been rising steadily since January and are up roughly 30 percent year-to-date. Because of this, Thursday and Friday's Producer Price Index and Consumer Price Index, respectively, will be closely watched. Both are a sort of "Cost of Living" measurement and are, therefore, susceptible to spiraling energy costs.
If either reading comes in higher-than-expected, look for inflation fears to ignite on Wall Street and mortgage rates to rise.
Similarly, if Friday's Consumer Sentiment Index reveals a more confident American consumer, mortgage rates are likely to rise in that scenario, too. This is because a confident consumer tends to spend more, thereby hastening the recession's end.
And, lastly, it's worth noting that six members of the Federal Reserve will be delivering prepared speeches this week, including Chairman Bernanke. When Fed officials speak, the markets can move quickly.
If you're still shopping for a mortgage rate, consider locking one in soon. Rates have been trending higher and there's little reason for them to fall.
See www.atlloans.com to get your loan rate today!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
See www.SmyrnaCity.com for information on how to be a vendor.
It's a similar run-up to what we've seen for retail gas prices in each of the last 5 Spring Seasons.
For people trying to time the mortgage market's bottom, clues about the future of mortgage rates may be at the local gas station.
Rising gas prices are indicative of the rising cost of energy and, indeed, crude oil is closing in on its 2009 highpoint. As these energy costs grow, so do inflationary pressures on the U.S. economy.
Inflation, of course, is awful for mortgage rates. When it's present, mortgage markets deteriorate and rates tend to rise -- often sharply and with little advance warning.
So, for today's homebuyers-in-process and would-be refinancers, prices at the pump may foreshadow bad news for the future of housing affordability. Even a modest, quarter-percent increase would have a palpable effect on payments, adding $372 in annual costs to a $200,000 home loan.
Since last week, gas prices are already up by 10 cents per gallon.
Live music lasts until 10pm at the Smyrna Market Village.
For band line up and more visit www.davefm.com.