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Markets in a Minute

Markets in a Minute | February 23, 2018

 

 

 

Minutes from the Fed’s last FOMC meeting point to more policy rate hikes ahead. Officials have seen an increase in economic growth and an uptick in inflation.
The Fed doesn’t control mortgage rates, yet rates are influenced by the Fed’s actions. As the Fed raises policy rates this year, mortgage rates will likely follow.
Jobless claims hit a near 45-year low last week, pointing to strong job growth in February. A strong labor market supports the growing economy.

 

Existing home sales fell unexpectedly in January, possibly due to tight inventory and rising mortgage rates. Home supply has declined for 32 straight months.
New housing starts were up though, to a 1-yr high of 1.326 million in January. Building permits soared to their highest level since 2007.
While builders are busy creating new homes, condos are lacking. Condos are 7% of the multifamily market (down from an average of 22% from 1985-2003).

 

Q: What starts with E, ends with E, and has only 1 letter in it?
A: Envelope
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 | February 16, 2018

 

 

Consumer prices rose more than expected in January, fueling fears that inflation is moving higher. Rising inflation will continue to pressure mortgage rates higher.
The labor market is still showing strength, with jobless claims remaining below the 300,000 threshold. Wages are also showing signs of increasing.
Rising inflation and the strong labor market have economists thinking the Fed may actually raise policy rates 4 times this year instead of 3.

 

Higher rates are affecting mortgage applications, which were down 4.1% overall last week. Purchase applications were still 4% higher than last year though.
Two-thirds of home buyers said they searched 3+ months before going under contract. Twenty-seven percent said they were outbid by another buyer.
In a recent survey, only 6% of home shoppers said they would stop their current home search if mortgage rates were to rise above 5%. Not too bad.

 

My wife called me lazy and said I’d better have something planned for Valentine’s Day. I said, “Yes, I was thinking of taking the Christmas decorations down.”

 

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.