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Markets in a Minute | September 23, 2016

For the Week Ending September 23, 2016
 

Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.

The Fed voted not to raise policy rates at this week’s meeting, but did leave the door open for a hike before the end of the year. Odds currently favor December.
Stocks rallied on the news, hitting new highs. Bonds also improved, which is supportive of lower mortgage rates or better loan pricing.
The labor market remains strong, with jobless claims dropping to a two-month low. A strong labor market could play into the Fed’s decision to raise rates this year.

Home builders are showing the strongest confidence in the housing market in 11 months, prompted by a surge in interest in new homes following a summer lull.
New housing starts were down slightly in August after two months of increases. However, building permits were up, suggesting a rebound in the coming months.
Housing inventory remains tight, although demand is strong. Home prices were up 0.5% from June to July, according to the Federal Home Finance Agency.

A man goes to the lawyer and asks, “What’s your fee?”

The lawyer says, “Five hundred dollars for three questions.”

The man says, “Wow, so much! Isn’t that a bit expensive?”

The lawyer says, “Yes, I suppose it is. What’s your third question?”

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.

Markets in a Minute | September 16, 2016

For the Week Ending September 16, 2016
 

Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.

Opinions vary on the likelihood of a Fed policy rate increase at next week’s meeting. Markets are volatile as traders prepare for what they think will happen.
Central bank economic stimulus overseas has been helping U.S. bond yields remain low but is now waning. Higher bond yields could cause mortgage rates to increase.
A strong jobs report and firming inflation pressured rates and fueled volatility this week. On the flip side, retail sales slumped.

According to CoreLogic, 548,000 homeowners regained equity in Q2. That brings the percentage of homes in the U.S. with positive equity to almost 93%.
Foreclosure inventory continues to dwindle. CoreLogic reports that foreclosure inventory declined 29.1% in July, and was down 16.5% year-over-year.
Mortgage applications for purchase transactions were up 9%, signaling a stronger fall market ahead. Although up slightly, mortgage rates are still near record lows.

On this week’s premiere of “Dancing With the Stars,” two men rushed the stage as Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte received his scores. Security stopped them within about 10 seconds, or as Lochte put it, “They kidnapped me, put a gun to my head, and dropped me off at the Grand Canyon!”

– Jimmy Fallon, “The Tonight Show”

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.