Mortgage Market Weekly – Update Mar 9, 2015

In This Issue…

Last Week in Review: February’s Jobs Report was better than expected, while home price gains are at sustainable levels.

Forecast for the Week: Look for news on wholesale inflation, consumer sentiment and retail sales.

View: Spring clean your office space with these easy tips. [Read more…]

Mortgage Market Weekly – Update Sep 08, 2014

In This Issue…

Last Week in Review: The Jobs Report for August came in worse than expected, but Mortgage Bonds and home loan rates hovered near some of their best levels of the year.

Forecast for the Week: Look for news on jobless claims, retail sales and consumer sentiment—all in the second half of the week.

View: Check out these great video conferencing options when face-to-face meetings aren’t possible.

Last Week in Review

Get used to disappointment.” While the Jobs Report for August was a disappointment, hopefully that quote from the classic movie The Princess Bride won’t apply to additional reports later this year. Here are the highlights.

Corelogic-Home-Price-Index_2014-09-05The Labor Department reported that 142,000 jobs were created in August, far below the 223,000 expected and the recent trend of 215,000 plus job creations per month in 2014. Adding insult to the report was a downward revision to June, showing that 28,000 less jobs were created than previously reported.

The Unemployment Rate fell to 6.1 percent from 6.2 percent, but that’s not much of a silver lining considering that the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) also fell to 62.8 percent, matching 36-year lows. The LFPR measures the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one, and it should be moving higher in a recovery. This was not a good report, but historically August non-farm payrolls have been prone to sharp revisions higher as many households and businesses fail to respond to the government surveys. It will be important to monitor this report in the coming months, to see if this report was a one-off, or the start of a disappointing trend in the labor sector.

In housing news, research firm CoreLogic reported that home prices, including distressed sales, rose by 7.41 percent on an annual basis in July, marking the twenty-ninth consecutive month of year-over-year home price gains. However, prices are still nearly 12 percent below the peak set in April 2006.

And in news overseas, the debt crisis in Europe and continued uncertainty in other regions like the Middle East and Ukraine have helped Mortgage Bonds benefit from a safe haven trade. As a result, home loan rates, which are tied to Mortgage Bonds, remain near some of their best levels of the year.

The bottom line is that now is a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.

Forecast for the Week

Economic reports are few and far between this week, all occurring in the second half of the week.

First up this week is Thursday’s Weekly Initial Jobless Claims, which continue to hover near the 300,000 mark.

Friday brings Retail Sales for August, along with the September Consumer Sentiment Index.

Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond on which home loan rates are based.

When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving—and when they are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.

To go one step further—a red “candle” means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green “candle” means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes were on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.

As you can see in the chart below, Mortgage Bonds reached some of their best levels of the year, meaning home loan rates are hovering near twelve-month lows. I’ll continue to monitor them closely.

Chart: Fannie Mae 4.0% Mortgage Bond (Friday Sep 05, 2014)

Mortgage-Bonds_2014-09-05

The Mortgage Market Guide View…

Connecting with Video

Face-to-face conversations are a key component to building and maintaining client and colleague relationships. Sometimes, though, coordinating schedules can get hectic.

If schedules hamper that personal connection – whether it’s across town or across the country – consider using free or low-cost video conferencing. Several easy-to-use choices are available online.

Here are three popular services to get you started. All of them provide live video feeds, public and private chat functions, screen sharing, call-in access, and mobile applications. Pricing varies by number of meeting attendees, but all three provide a free option.

GoToMeeting. Calls for up to 100 people. Basic package provides free meetings for up to 3 attendees. www.gotomeeting.com

Skype. Calls for up to 25 people. Free Skype-to-Skype calls. www.skype.com

WebEx. Calls for up to 100 people. Basic package provides free meetings for up to 3 attendees. www.webex.com

Video conferencing provides a cost-effective, efficient solution for connecting. Plus, the video feed and screen capture provide that “just-like-being-there” feeling, making video conferencing an especially great option for meeting out of town clients who are relocating and appreciate a more personal connection.

As always, please feel free to pass these tips along to your team, colleagues and clients.

econ-calendar-2014-09-08

The material contained in this newsletter is provided by a third party to real estate, financial services and other professionals only for their use and the use of their clients. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness and as a result, there is no guarantee it is without errors.

As your mortgage professional, I am sending you the MMG WEEKLY because I am committed to keeping you updated on the economic events that impact interest rates and how they may affect you.

Don Parsons
Commerce Mortgage – NMLS 2105
450 Newport Center Drive Suite 350
Newport Beach, CA 92660
2130 Main Street Suite 260
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Mortgage Market Weekly Update – February 7, 2014

job-creations_2014-02-07When it comes to recent Jobs Reports, what has been tough is being good every month, as both January’s and December’s numbers were disappointments. January’s Jobs Report can best be described as lackluster, as employers added just 113,000 new workers. This was well below expectations of 175,000 new jobs. In addition, the number of job creations for December was raised just a paltry 1,000, bringing December’s total to 75,000. November was revised higher to 274,000.

The Unemployment Rate did fall to 6.6 percent, from 6.7 percent. However, this is not necessarily a good metric of labor market health, as the more important Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) remains at 63 percent, a 35-year low. The LFPR measures the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one, and it should be moving higher in a recovery.

Also of note, productivity in the fourth quarter of 2013 rose by 3.2 percent, with both the third and fourth quarters the highest since the second half of 2009. Employers are squeezing more out of current workers and may not be on the hunt for new employees given the economic landscape, which is another negative for the labor market. In housing news, research firm CoreLogic reported that home prices, including distressed sales, rose by 11 percent in December 2013 compared to December 2012. December marked the 22nd consecutive year-over-year gain in home prices nationally. However, from November to December, prices fell by 0.1 percent.

What does this mean for home loan rates? Mortgage Bonds and home loan rates have seen some improvement of late, due to some weak economic reports, while Stocks have suffered as a result. But a big question remains as we move ahead in 2014: If economic reports continue to be weak, will the Fed continue to taper its Bond purchases? Remember that the Fed is now purchasing $35 billion in Treasuries and $30 billion in Mortgage Bonds (the type of Bonds on which home loan rates are based) to help stimulate the economy and housing market. This figure is down from the $85 billion in Bonds and Treasuries the Fed had been purchasing last year. The timing of further tapering is sure to impact Stocks, Bonds and home loan rates throughout the year, and it is a key story to monitor.

The bottom line is that now remains a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance, as home loan rates remain attractive compared to historical levels. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.

Forecast for the Week

The economic report calendar is light this week, with reports not beginning until Thursday.

  • Weekly Initial Jobless Claims will be released as usual on Thursday. Claims have been stuck in a tight range the past four weeks.
  • Also on Thursday, look for January’s Retail Sales data.
  • The last report this week will be the preliminary reading on February Consumer Sentiment.

Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond on which home loan rates are based.

When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving  and when they are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.

To go one step further, a red “candle” means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green “candle” means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes were on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.

As you can see in the chart below, Mortgage Bonds and home loan rates improved after the weak Jobs Report for January was released. I’ll be watching the news closely this week to see if these improvements continue.

Chart: Fannie Mae 4.0% Mortgage Bond (Friday Feb 07, 2014)

jan2014--bonds-chart

The Mortgage Market Guide View…

Mileage Rates for 2014 If you drive a car, truck or van for work, you’ll want to make sure you know standard mileage rates the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has set for 2014.

These mileage rates are used to calculate deductible costs for driving an automobile for business, charitable, medical and moving purposes. So when it comes to filing your taxes this year, you’ll need these numbers!

New for 2014

As of January 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates are as follows:

  • Businesses = 56 cents per mile driven
  • Medical or moving = 23.5 cents per mile driven
  • Charitable organizations = 14 cents per mile driven

You’ll notice that the rates for business, medical and moving expenses decreased one-half cent from the 2013 rates.

Make Sure You Qualify

Before you calculate your deduction, make sure you qualify. The IRS reminds taxpayers that they cannot use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.

Additional Option

Although the IRS provides the standard mileage rate for ease and convenience, you’re not required to use it. If you prefer, you can calculate the actual costs of using your vehicle instead of using the standard mileage rates.

Remember, if you have questions or concerns, talk to a tax consultant or accountant to discuss your options and unique situation. Please feel free to pass these tips along to your team, clients, and colleagues.

Economic Calendar for the Week of February 10 – February 14

econ-calendar-20140210

The material contained in this newsletter is provided by a third party to real estate, financial services and other professionals only for their use and the use of their clients. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness and as a result, there is no guarantee it is without errors.

As your mortgage professional, I am sending you the MMG WEEKLY because I am committed to keeping you updated on the economic events that impact interest rates and how they may affect you.

In the unlikely event that you no longer wish to receive these valuable market updates, please email: don@donparsons.com

If you prefer to send your removal request by mail the address is:

Don Parsons
Commerce Mortgage
NMLS 2105
450 Newport Center Drive Suite 350
Newport Beach, CA 92660
2130 Main Street Suite 260
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

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