Building Permits Hit 5 Year High
The Commerce Department said Thursday that applications for building permits rose 14.3 percent to a rate of 1.02 million, the most since June 2008.
Builders are benefiting from a sustained rebound in housing that began a year ago. Steady job growth, rock-bottom mortgage rates and rising home values have boosted demand.
Housing starts came in at a seasonally adjusted rate of 853,000 which was a decline from last month. However, the majority of that decline was in apartment and multi-family and not in single family residences.
Confidence among builders is rising. The National Association of Home Builders says its builder confidence index rebounded in May to a reading of 44, up from 41 in April. The outlook for sales reached its highest point in more than six years.
What Happened to Rates Last Week:
Mortgage backed securities (MBS) lost -65 basis points from last Friday to the prior Friday which caused 30 year fixed mortgage rates to move upward for the third straight week. We had our highest mortgage rateson Friday and our lowest rates on Thursday.
We had a very volatile week with large swings in MBS pricing. We traded in a very large range with a -86 BPS range between our highs and lows. Bonds (which include MBS) sold off on much better than expected Retail Sales and Consumer Sentiment. But bonds rallied on very tame inflationary data as measured by CPI and PPI, and higher than expected Initial Jobless Claims. In the end, the economic data was responsible for some daily spikes in pricing but the real momentum in the market place was something else.
And that momentum was not good for rates. Bonds were hammered as traders started to join in on the belief that the Federal Reserve would begin to scale back on the amount of monthly MBS purchases sooner rather than later. There is no exact time frame and no “official” announcement has been made on the timing, but market participates are betting that it is sometime around September. Since the Fed is the single largest purchaser of MBS, having even a small decrease in their monthly bond purchases would pressure mortgage rates.
|Date||ET||Economic Release||Actual||Market Expects||Prior|
|22-May||7:00 AM||MBA Mortgage Index||–||NA||-7.30%|
|22-May||10:00 AM||Existing Home Sales||–||4.98M||4.92M|
|22-May||10:00 AM||Bernanke Testimony||–||–||–|
|22-May||10:30 AM||Crude Inventories||–||NA||-0.624M|
|22-May||2:00 PM||FOMC Minutes||–||–||–|
|23-May||8:30 AM||Initial Claims||–||348K||360K|
|23-May||8:30 AM||Continuing Claims||–||3005K||3009K|
|23-May||9:00 AM||FHFA Housing Price Index||–||NA||0.70%|
|23-May||10:00 AM||New Home Sales||–||425K||417K|
|23-May||10:30 AM||Natural Gas Inventories||–||NA||NA|
|24-May||8:30 AM||Durable Orders||–||1.60%||-6.90%|
|24-May||8:30 AM||Durable Goods -ex transportation||–||0.50%||-2.90%|
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.