Housing Quiz: What Year In Housing Is It?
Let’s see if you can guess what year the following real housing data is from:
Existing Home Sales increased 10.4% over the prior year.
Home prices appreciate at 9.4% per year.
Home inventory available for sale are at only 6.4 months of supply.
Is it 1997, 1998, the height of our housing boom in 2004?
Nope it is right now. That’s right, according to the recent release of Existing Home Sales by the National Association of Realtors, the median price of homes sold rose to $187,300 in July which is up 9.4% from this same period last year. Plus, home inventories for sale dropped which is very important because inventory levels near the 6 month level is considered the “sweet spot” for home prices.
Existing Home Sales increased 2.3% from last month but moved up 10.4% from last year.
In a separate report released by the Commerce Department, New Home Sales rose 3.6% last month and were up 25.3% from this time a year earlier.
Clearly, the housing market is one of the bright spots of our economy and now is the time to get serious with home values appreciating and interest rates near their historic lows.
What Happened to Rates Last Week:
Mortgage backed securities (MBS) gained +86 basis points from last Friday to the prior Friday which caused 30 year fixed mortgage rates to move lower.
We had our highest mortgage rates on Tuesday and our lowest early Friday morning.
We had more good economic news with gains in Existing Home Sales, New Home Sales, and Durable Goods Orders. Normally, this type of good economic news would hurt MBS pricing and cause mortgage rates to rise.
Offsetting the good economic news were the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC aka “the Fed”) minutes from their last meeting. After reading the minutes, traders speculated that the Fed would likely host another round of quantitative easing in the first quarter of 2013 even though the Fed didn’t officially announce any such plans.
Also, foreign investors began to park money back into U.S. based bonds (which helps to lower your rates) on concerns over Italy and Greece.
What to Watch Out For This Week:
The following are the major economic reports that will hit the market this week. They each have the ability to affect the pricing of Mortgage Backed Securities and therefore, interest rates for Government and Conventional mortgages. I will be watching these reports closely for you and let you know if there are any big surprises:
|Date||ET||Economic Release||Actual||Market Expects||Prior|
|28-Aug||9:00 AM||Case-Shiller 20-city Index||–||-0.30%||-0.70%|
|28-Aug||10:00 AM||Consumer Confidence||–||65.5||65.9|
|29-Aug||7:00 AM||MBA Mortgage Index||–||NA||-7.40%|
|29-Aug||8:30 AM||GDP – Second Estimate||–||1.60%||1.50%|
|29-Aug||8:30 AM||GDP Deflator – Second Estimate||–||1.60%||1.60%|
|29-Aug||10:00 AM||Pending Home Sales||–||0.00%||-1.40%|
|29-Aug||10:30 AM||Crude Inventories||–||NA||-5.412M|
|29-Aug||2:00 PM||Fed’s Beige Book||–||–||–|
|30-Aug||8:30 AM||Initial Claims||–||370K||372K|
|30-Aug||8:30 AM||Continuing Claims||–||3300K||3317K|
|30-Aug||8:30 AM||Personal Income||–||0.30%||0.50%|
|30-Aug||8:30 AM||Personal Spending||–||0.50%||0.00%|
|30-Aug||8:30 AM||PCE Prices – Core||–||0.10%||0.20%|
|31-Aug||9:45 AM||Chicago PMI||–||53.8||53.7|
|31-Aug||9:55 AM||Michigan Sentiment – Final||–||73.6||73.6|
|31-Aug||10:00 AM||Factory Orders||–||2.00%||-0.50%|
I will be watching these reports closely for you and let you know if there are any big surprises:
It is virtually impossible for you to keep track of what is going on with the economy and other events that can impact the housing and mortgage markets. Just leave it to me, I monitor the live trading of Mortgage Backed Securities which are the only thing government and conventional mortgage rates are based upon.