The Stock Market and the Fed:
Other than a brief, and I mean for less than 30 minutes, did the stock market become concerned about the latest Fed meeting statement. You can look at stock market charts minute by minute and you will see within seconds of the Fed announcement that the Fed will likely increase rates before years end, the Dow plunged 50 points. However, within 30 minutes of the announcement the market was rising once again. In total 45 minutes from the announcement, the Dow was back to pre-announcement levels. The Dow finished the trading day up 39 points.
Mortgage Rates and Applications: Despite the fact that mortgage rates virtually flat last week, applications for purchases and refinances both declined. Apps dropped 11.0 percent and 9.0 percent respectively, and caught may analysts by surprise. Overall applications versus the same time last year are only up 2.0 percent. This is the closest gap we have seen between present and last year’s statistics.
Limited housing inventory continues to contribute to the limited growth in housing. As of late, the inventory, which had been increasing slightly, has once again returned to contraction. There continues to be speculation that with the rise in home prices all year, the fall could drive sellers to enter the market.
This sector of the market is doing well. The latest stats for August show an increase of 7.9 percent from the prior month. To be transparent, some of the increase is due to rebuilding taking place in Texas related to the storm damage of Hurricane Harvey. It is likely that we will see additional increases in the coming months from the continuation of building in Texas, plus the addition of construction in Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. However, it is important to note that overall housing starts are higher even when you subtract out the Hurricane factor.
FHFA House Price Index
Home price increases have been cooling as of late, and the latest report for July continues to show this trend. Home prices only rose 0.2 percent from June to July. Overall prices remain 6.3 percent above last year. The Mountain and Pacific States remain on top with annual prices increases of 8.2 percent.
Next week’s potential market moving reports are:
· Monday September 25th – Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey
· Tuesday September 26th – New home Sales, Consumer Confidence
· Wednesday September 27th - MBA Mortgage Applications, Pending Home Sales
· Thursday September 28th - First Time Jobless Claims, GDP
· Friday September 29th – Consumer Sentiment
As your mortgage and real estate professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate trends. I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can. Please feel free to reach me at (707) 455-7070.