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Markets in a Minute

Market in a Minute | December 30, 2016

For the Week Ending December 30, 2016
 

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

The markets are quiet this week as traders take the rest of the year off. Very little economic news for the week as the year winds down.
The rise in oil prices stalled as U.S. inventories were higher than expected. Increasing oil prices could fuel inflation, which helps drive up interest rates.
The labor market appears to be near full strength as jobless claims came in lower than expected. This is the 95th straight week claims were below 300,000.

Home prices hit a new high in October, up 5.6% year-over-year. The housing market is supported by strong employment and high consumer confidence.
Pending home sales were down slightly in November. The drop was blamed on tight inventory and the brisk upswing in mortgage rates.
However, a recent Redfin survey shows recent increases in mortgage rates aren’t scaring away buyers. Only 2.6% had decided to postpone their search.

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.

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 | December 16, 2016

For the Week Ending December 16, 2016
 

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

As expected, the Fed raised policy rates 0.25% at this month’s FOMC meeting. Bond yields jumped on the news, pressuring mortgage rates higher.
The U.S. dollar is at the highest level since 2003, and stocks continue to hit all-time highs. Strong economic activity contributes to mortgage rates increasing.
The Fed is expected to continue to raise policy rates in 2017, possibly up to three times. Rising inflation and a tightening job market support this speculation.

Rising mortgage rates aren’t dampening builders’ enthusiasm for the housing market. The NAHB housing market index rose to a 9-year high in December.
The HAMP mortgage program expires December 31, 2016. It is being replaced with a new payment reducing Flex Modification foreclosure prevention program.
Rising mortgage rates are not curbing demand, as inventory remains stubbornly low. Constrained supply is expected for at least 4 more years, according to NAR.

Polar Vortex – what weather people say when they’ve exhausted every other possible way of saying “it’s freaky cold outside.”

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.