Saturday, August 27, 2016

Challenges


New Home Sales:  Trying to chart the trajectory of new home sales can prove challenging.  For the month of July, sales rocketed up 12.4 percent to 654,000 annualized rate.  This however follows June’s modest report that was revised downward by 10,000 to 572,000 annually.  Up or down, we just don’t seem to see a clear path as to which direction the market is going.

It appears that the jump in sales is being driven by builders offering pricing discounts as the median price fell by 5.1 percent.  What appears odd in the report is that prices have declined despite the fact that inventory has declined as well.  It would be expected that with inventories dropping to 4.3 months from 4.9 months, this would create upward movement in pricing versus the opposite which is being seen.

FHFA House Price Index:  The FHFA HPI appears to reinforce the data from the new home sales report that home sales are moving higher with increasing seller incentives and discounts.  For the second straight month the index is up, although a meager 0.2 percent.  Currently prices are 5.6 percent higher than the same time last year.  In March and April, the difference between this year and prior year prices were 6.3 percent and 6.0 percent.  It is clear that price momentum is slowing.

Mortgage Rates and Applications:  The data from the Mortgage Bankers Association of America continues to point to slowing activity for home purchases.  For the week ending 8/19, the data shows a slight decline in purchase applications of 0.3 percent.  This follows the prior report of a 4.0 percent drop.  Refinances have also been slowing for the second consecutive week by 3.0 percent.  This follows the previous week decline of 4.0 percent.  Applications compared to the same time last year remain higher by 8.0 percent.

First Time Jobless Claims:  It is getting to the point that writing about first time jobless claims is like a broken record.  Once again the claims remain at a very healthy rate of 261,000.  This is a slight drop from the prior week’s 265,000 and remain well below the artificial threshold of 300K.

The Fed and Interest Rates:  Traders appear to be thinking that the odds of the Fed raising interest rates in September are rising.  The latest surveys show that about 1/3 of investors believe that a September rate hike will occur.  Although this is all speculation, many investors will be focused on Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s comments in her speech at the monetary policy symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming to try and get a better gauge of the Fed mindset for their next meeting.  

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Monday August 29th – Personal Income and Outlays
·        Tuesday August 30th – S&P Case-Shiller HPI & Consumer Confidence
·        Wednesday August 31st - MBA Mortgage Applications, ADP Employment Report, Pending Home Sales, and EIA Petroleum Status Report
·        Thursday September 1st - First Time Jobless Claims, ISM Mfg Index & Construction Spending
·        Friday September 2nd – National Employment & Factory Orders

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.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Which Type Of Mortgage Is Best For You?


Finding a good mortgage or remortgage deal can be hard work if you don't know what you're looking for. There are a wide variety of options out there including fixed, tracker and discount mortgages, how do you know which deal is best for you? This article takes a look at the basics and helps you to make a decision when looking for a mortgage or remortgage.

Different types of mortgage

There are three main types of mortgage which we will look at, tracker, fixed and discount.

Tracker Mortgages - These have their interest rate linked to the base rate from the Bank of England. At the time of writing, this is 0.5% and has been this way for over six years now. There is a mixed opinion as to when this will change but many analysts believe next year or the year after we will see a rise in this base rate. With a tracker mortgage, once the base rate rises, so do your mortgage repayments. In essence, have a tracker mortgage is a minor gamble and could see your monthly repayments increasing if the base rate were to change.

With this in mind, a lot of mortgage terms are for 2 years. At this point you are entitled to change your mortgage to a different product or a different lender all together. This mitigates the risk somewhat, because if the base rate does rise, you will only have a certain amount of time left until you can change your mortgage deal.

Discount Mortgages - These work in a similar way to tracker mortgages, however, the interest rate is not linked to the base rate of the Bank of England, instead, it is fixed to the lenders base rate. The problem with this is that the lender can change it at any time and usually without warning. This means you are in essence taking a chance with your monthly repayments and could find your bills creeping up. On the flip side, if the lender were to reduce their base rate, your repayments would go down.

Fixed Mortgages - These have their interest rate fixed for the entire mortgage period. If the Bank of England base rate changes, these will remain the same. The advantages to fixed mortgages is that you know exactly how much you will be paying each month and can budget accordingly. Some lenders are currently offering very low interest rates, especially if you have a decent amount of deposit available. If budgeting is important to you and you don't like fluctuations in your monthly bills, then a fixed mortgage is a good idea.

In summary, tracker and discount mortgages bring a certain amount of uncertainty with them. They can be viable in the short term, but if rates are increased, your repayments will go up. With a fixed mortgage, you are in total control of how much you pay throughout the mortgage term length.

If you are still unsure which is best for you, it is recommended you use a mortgage broker in the local area who can assist you. They are able to review your financial case individually and give you the best recommendation to suit your requirements.



Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9201803

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Rates Inching Down


Mortgage Rates and Applications:  Once again the proof of just how sensitive the real estate and mortgage markets are to interest rate changes, last week applications for both increased.  With rates once again inching down, mortgage applications for purchase and refinances increased 3.0 percent and 10.0 percent respectively in the week ended August 5th.  This follows the previous week’s declines of 2.0 percent and 4.0 percent.

Employment:  The job openings data increase by 2.0 percent for the month of June.  Openings for the month were all the way up to a 5.624 million annualized rate.  This follows May’s soft report of 5.514 million.

First Time Jobless Claims:  I feel like a broken record when it comes to the weekly first time jobless claims data.  The latest report shows claims remaining steady at 266k for the week ending August 6th.  This is 1k lower than the previous revised weekly data and remains well below 300k, which is considered a tipping point for the labor market.

EIA Petroleum Status:  Have you been to the gas pump lately?  Gas prices continue to decline with the surplus of petroleum on the market.  Continuing without a consensus on oil output from OPEC, the world is getting flooded with oil and reserves continue to increase.  Year over year gas inventories are up 9.2 percent and crude oil inventories are up 15.4 percent.  Needless to say, sales of larger vehicles are very high as consumers don’t fear having to empty their wallets to fill their gas tanks.

Consumer Sentiment:  Recent information seems to point that not only is instability in the world and domestic economies playing a role in consumer’s lack of confidence in the future, but the rhetoric from the presidential candidates is making things much worse.

The Olympics are providing a little bit of a distraction from the daily headlines of both candidates attacking each other.  However, they continue to remain very much part of the daily news headlines.  The non-stop attacks on each other seems to be having little impact on changing voter’s decision as to whom they will vote for.  One thing that is happening on both sides is that voter disgust and lack of confidence in the future is getting worse.

Further proof of the decline in consumer optimism is the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index.  The latest report shows a sharp decline for the week of August 7th.  The index currently sitting at 41.8, is the lowest reading of the year.  The low numbers are the effect of the negative presidential campaigning combined with Brexit uncertainties.

This survey conducted by Bloomberg is a weekly random-sample survey tracking Americans’ views on the condition of the U.S. economy, their personal finances and the buying climate.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Monday August 15th – Housing Market Index
·        Tuesday August 16th – Housing Starts, Consumer Price Index, and Industrial Production
·        Wednesday August 17th - MBA Mortgage Applications and EIA Petroleum Report
·        Thursday August 18th - First Time Jobless Claims

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.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

203K Mortgage



Mike gives an overview as to why a 203K mortgage can be extremely beneficial to a home buyer. See more at http://www.thelendingpros.com

Monday, August 15, 2016

Sensitive Market


Mortgage Rates and Applications:  Once again the proof of just how sensitive the real estate and mortgage markets are to interest rate changes, last week applications for both increased.  With rates once again inching down, mortgage applications for purchase and refinances increased 3.0 percent and 10.0 percent respectively in the week ended August 5th.  This follows the previous week’s declines of 2.0 percent and 4.0 percent.

Employment:  The job openings data increase by 2.0 percent for the month of June.  Openings for the month were all the way up to a 5.624 million annualized rate.  This follows May’s soft report of 5.514 million.

First Time Jobless Claims:  I feel like a broken record when it comes to the weekly first time jobless claims data.  The latest report shows claims remaining steady at 266k for the week ending August 6th.  This is 1k lower than the previous revised weekly data and remains well below 300k, which is considered a tipping point for the labor market.

EIA Petroleum Status:  Have you been to the gas pump lately?  Gas prices continue to decline with the surplus of petroleum on the market.  Continuing without a consensus on oil output from OPEC, the world is getting flooded with oil and reserves continue to increase.  Year over year gas inventories are up 9.2 percent and crude oil inventories are up 15.4 percent.  Needless to say, sales of larger vehicles are very high as consumers don’t fear having to empty their wallets to fill their gas tanks.

Consumer Sentiment:  Recent information seems to point that not only is instability in the world and domestic economies playing a role in consumer’s lack of confidence in the future, but the rhetoric from the presidential candidates is making things much worse.

The Olympics are providing a little bit of a distraction from the daily headlines of both candidates attacking each other.  However, they continue to remain very much part of the daily news headlines.  The non-stop attacks on each other seems to be having little impact on changing voter’s decision as to whom they will vote for.  One thing that is happening on both sides is that voter disgust and lack of confidence in the future is getting worse.

Further proof of the decline in consumer optimism is the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index.  The latest report shows a sharp decline for the week of August 7th.  The index currently sitting at 41.8, is the lowest reading of the year.  The low numbers are the effect of the negative presidential campaigning combined with Brexit uncertainties.

This survey conducted by Bloomberg is a weekly random-sample survey tracking Americans’ views on the condition of the U.S. economy, their personal finances and the buying climate.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Monday August 15th – Housing Market Index
·        Tuesday August 16th – Housing Starts, Consumer Price Index, and Industrial Production
·        Wednesday August 17th - MBA Mortgage Applications and EIA Petroleum Report
·        Thursday August 18th - First Time Jobless Claims

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.

Friday, August 12, 2016

What Will Back-To-School Shopping Cost You?



It’s the second highest spending period of the year. Find out how much the average family spends on back-to-school supplies and apparel.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Cost Of Being Employed



The average American spends $3,300 a year on work-related costs. We break down how much workers are spending on everything from transportation to clothing.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Is The Well Running Dry For Refinancing?


Mortgage Rates and Applications:  Despite the fact that interest rates dropped slightly for the week ending July 29th, applications for both refinances declined 2.0 percent and 4.0 percent respectively.  This is the third consecutive week of declines in purchases.  Additionally, it is the lowest pace of home purchases since February.  Applications are currently running only 6.0 percent higher than the same time last year.

The question that some industry insiders are asking is “is the well running dry for refinancing?”.  Despite mortgage rates having declined slightly, this week’s decline in applications follows last week’s double digit drop of 15.0 percent.

Employment:  As was expected, the ADP Employment Report, which provides data on private payrolls, showed that the for the month of July companies increased payrolls by 179,000.  This figure was on the upper end of analyst’s expectations.  The ADP Employment report this year has been far more accurate than last year.

Construction Spending:  Although expectations were that spending in this sector would rise somewhere in the area of 0.6 percent, it actually declined by 0.6 percent for the month of June.  May was revised with an improvement from 0.8 percent down to only a minimal drop of 0.1 percent.

Single-family construction fell 0.4 percent which extends the negative path dating back to March.  Over all construction spending is up 4.8 percent from last year in June.  One of the bright sides of this month’s report is that it appears that home improvement spending in the residential sector is up by 1.2 percent.

First Time Jobless Claims:  Claims for the week ending July 30th moved up slightly to 269,000.  This an increase of 3,000 from the prior week.  Overall claims remain well below the psychological benchmark of 300,000.  The upward trend needs to be watched as in recent weeks there have been more increases in claims than declines.

EIA Petroleum Status:  The only way you would not know that gas prices have been dropping is if you don’t use a car.  With oil prices having dipped below $40 a barrel earlier in the week, we are seeing the cost of filling our vehicles steadily moving lower.  This is also a reversal of the typical trend of higher gas prices during the peak driving months.

Petroleum inventories jumped by 1.4 million barrels in the week of July 29th.  The overall gain in storage has increased by 14.8 percent from the same time last year.  Even though refineries have cut back production slightly, it seems that less oil is being used by consumers.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Monday August 8th – Labor Market Conditions
·        Tuesday August 9th – Small Business Optimism Index
·        Wednesday August 10th - MBA Mortgage Applications and EIA Petroleum Report
·        Thursday August 11th - First Time Jobless Claims
·        Friday August 12th – Retail Sales, Producer Price Index, and 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.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

10 DIY Hacks To Improve Your Home Office



With professional guidance from Apartment Therapy, learn how to create a zen workspace with some easy (and affordable) tips.