Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Housing Trends Weekly Update

Milton Hall
Mortgage Loan Originator
NMLS #324509
3441 Cypress Mill Road, Suite 102
Brunswick, GA 31520
Cell: (912) 217-9025
Fax: (866) 290-3738
HomeBridge Financial Services, Inc.
For the week of June 22, 2015 – Vol. 13, Issue 25

>> Market Update 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving."--Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., American physician, professor, and writer
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... Housing Starts in May did not stand in a very comfortable place, down 11.1% from April. But let's take the advice of the famed Boston Brahmin and consider the direction--up 5.1% from a year ago. Single-family starts are up even more--6.8% in the past year. For more input on direction, we look to the 12-month moving average, and that's at its highest level since August 2008. More rational minds, not easy to find these days, also pointed out that May's dip in  housing starts followed April's spectacular 22.1% gain. And, finally the total number of homes under construction (started but not finished) was up 0.5% in May and is up 14.5% from a year ago.

New Building Permits stood in a very decent place, shooting up 11.8% in May, following their 9.8% April increase. Permits are now at their highest level since 2007 and, yes, that's before the housing downturn. This of course bodes well for future Housing Starts and New Home Sales. No wonder the National Association of Home Builders confidence index shot up five points in June, to 59, and the index of present sales hit its highest level since 2005. Lastly, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to postpone starting its TRID regulations from August 1 to October 1. These regs could stall closings just before the start of the school year, so it would be great if the delay is approved. 
BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... Neuroscientists have shown that when multitasking, your brain is less effective at each individual task. You're doing more simultaneously, but hurting your productivity overall. Whenever possible, separate tasks and focus on one at a time.

>> Review of Last Week 

GREEK WEEK... No, there wasn't any fraternity rushing on Wall Street, just more worries over Greek debt. These investor concerns bookended the week, pushing stocks down on Monday and Friday. But in between, traders felt good enough about our own economic situation to send stocks northward, the Nasdaq setting a new intraday record high on Thursday, beating levels last seen in March 2000. The midweek up moves were enough to offset the downers, so all three major stock indexes closed ahead for the week. The Greek drama inspired caution, as no deal was reached between Greece and its creditors, while the Greek banking system keeps running out of money.

At least the Fed isn't shaking things up just yet. The FOMC Meeting on Wednesday left the Fed Funds Rate at its rock bottom level, although the rate forecast that came with the policy statement implied two tiny rate increases before year end. But the Fed also lowered their forecast for 2015 GDP growth from the 2.3%-2.7% range to 1.8%-2.0%. This should make them hesitant to jack up rates. And at her presser, Fed Chair Janet Yellen sounded cautious, wanting to see more "decisive evidence" on inflation and employment before hiking rates. She looks at 19 different indicators and some economists don't think she'll see such evidence until next year. Of course, no one knows.
The week ended with the Dow UP 0.6%, to 18014; the S&P 500 UP 0.8%, to 2110; and the Nasdaq UP 1.3%, to 5117.
Friday's stock sell-off sent money into Treasuries and other bonds. Winners included the 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond we watch, which finished the week up .87, at $106.08. For the week ending June 11,Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey saw national average fixed mortgage rates move lower from the prior week's 2015 high. But rates remain near historical lows. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up to the minute information. 

DID YOU KNOW?... More people are making more money. In a recent survey, the share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than 12 months ago rose to 24%. 

>> This Week’s Forecast

EXISTING AND NEW HOME SALES, CONSUMER SPENDING AND PRICES, ALL UP... The housing market should keep improving in May, with Existing Home Sales and New Home Sales expected to make good moves up. Personal Spending is also forecast to improve in May after going nowhere in April. In addition, Core PCE Prices are predicted up, but only by 0.1%, which means it should take a while to hit the Fed's 2% inflation target. They want to avoid deflation, feared earlier in the recovery.

>> The Week’s Economic Indicator Calendar

Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and rising loan rates.

Economic Calendar for the Week of June 22 – June 26

 DateTime (ET)ReleaseForConsensusPriorImpact
Jun 22
10:00Existing Home SalesMay5.26M5.04MModerate
Jun 23
08:30Durable Goods OrdersMay-0.5%-0.1%Moderate
Jun 23
10:00New Home SalesMay525K517KModerate
Jun 24
08:30GDP-Third EstimateQ1-0.2%-0.7%Moderate
Jun 24
08:30GDP Deflator-Third Est.Q1-0.1%-0.1%Moderate
Jun 24
10:30Crude Inventories6/20NANAModerate
Jun 25
08:30Initial Unemployment Claims6/20271K267KModerate
Jun 25
08:30Continuing Unemployment Claims6/132.210M2.222MModerate
Jun 25
08:30Personal IncomeMay0.5%0.4%Moderate
Jun 25
08:30Personal SpendingMay0.7%0.0%HIGH
Jun 25
08:30PCE Prices-CoreMay0.1%0.1%HIGH
Jun 26
10:00U. of Michigan Consumer Sentiment-FinalJun94.894.6Moderate

>> Federal Reserve Watch   

Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months... After Fed Chair Janet Yellen's comments last Wednesday, fewer economists think the Fed will start hiking the rate in September or October. Interesting. Note: In the lower chart, a 12% probability of change is a 88% certainty the rate will stay the same.
Current Fed Funds Rate: 0%–0.25%
After FOMC meeting on:Consensus
Jul 290%-0.25%
Sep 170%-0.25%
Oct 280%-0.25%

Probability of change from current policy:

After FOMC meeting on:Consensus
Jul 29       0%
Sep 17     12%
Oct 28     30%

This e-mail is an advertisement for Milton Hall. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice, or a commitment to lend. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, there is no guarantee of its accuracy. The material contained in this message is the property of HomeBridge Financial Services, Inc. and cannot be reproduced for any use without prior written consent. This message is intended for business professionals only and is not intended for distribution to consumers or other third parties. The material does not represent the opinion of HomeBridge Financial Services, Inc.. HomeBridge Financial Services, Inc.; Corporate NMLS ID #6521 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org (http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/)); 194 Wood Avenue South, 9th Floor, Iselin, NJ 08830; (866) 933-6342; AL; AK; AZ Mortgage Banker License 922458; AR; Licensed by the Department of Corrections under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act; Regulated by the CO Division of Real Estate; CT; DE; DC; FL; GA Mortgage Lender License 22495; HI; ID; Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee; IN; IA; Kansas Licensed Mortgage Company MC.0025113; KY; LA; ME; MD; Licensed by the Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance; MN; MO, 1116 Remington Plaza, Suite D, Raymore, MO 64078 ; MT; NE; Licensed by the New Hampshire Banking Department; NJ; NM; NY Licensed Mortgage Banker (B500691) – NYSDFS; NC; ND; NV; OH Mortgage Broker Act Mortgage Banker Exemption MBMB.850046.000; OK; OR; Licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities; RI Lenders License 20112804LL; SC; TN; TX, 14160 Dallas Parkway, Suite 850, Dallas, TX 75254; VT; Licensed by the VA State Corporation Commission # MC3046; WA Consumer Loan Company License CL-6521; WV; WI; WY. 

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