Mortgage Market Weekly – Update June 26, 2015

In This Issue…

Last Week in Review: The housing sector is batting strong, while the overall economy showed signs of a slump.

Forecast for the Week: The markets may be closed on Friday, but not before key reports on housing, manufacturing and the labor sector are released.

View: Check out these six keys to maximizing your success.

Last Week in Review

“You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go.” Yogi Berra. May was a good time for the housing sector, as several reports came in strong.

jun26-new-home-salesNew Home Sales hit their highest level in seven years in May, rising 2.2 percent from April to an annualized rate of 546,000. April’s figures were also revised higher to 534,000. Sales of new single-family homes are up nearly 20 percent from May 2014! Existing Home Sales also rose 5.1 percent in May from April.

However, the economy overall isn’t batting as well, as the final reading for first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showed that economic growth contracted by 0.2 percent, though less severe than the -0.7 percent from the second reading. In addition, the negative reading for the quarter was the fifth time in the six-year recovery that the economy couldn’t produce at least an anemic reading of 1 percent.

Growth in the first quarter was stunted by a negative trade balance due to the stronger dollar, harsh weather and the West Coast port closing. And with inflation still tame, rest assured the Fed will be watching economic reports closely this summer, as they determine when to raise the benchmark Fed Funds Rate (the rate banks charge each other to lend money overnight).

Overseas, the uncertainty surrounding Greece continues. Mortgage Bonds reversed course and moved lower in recent days, in part because signs have pointed to a possible deal. This will be a key story to watch in the next week.

Home loan rates are near 2015 highs, but are still very close to historic lows. If I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients about a home purchase or refinance, please get in touch!

Forecast for the Week

The fireworks could begin early in this holiday-shortened but jam-packed week.

  • In the housing sector, Pending Home Sales will be released on Monday, followed by the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index on Tuesday.
  • Look for manufacturing data from the Chicago PMI on Tuesday and the ISM Index on Wednesday.
  • Consumer Confidence will also be released on Tuesday.
  • The first of two key reports on the labor sector will be released on Wednesday with the ADP National Employment Report.
  • Thursday is the big day with the June Jobs Report, which includes Non-farm Payrolls, Hourly Earnings and the Unemployment Rate. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims will also be reported on Thursday, as usual.

All U.S. markets will be closed on Friday in observance of the July 4th holiday.

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 have struggled in recent days. I’ll be watching closely to see if they’re able to bounce back in the days and weeks ahead.

Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday Jun 26, 2015)

jun26-bonds-chart

The Mortgage Market Guide View…

6 Keys to Remarkable Success

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle, 345 B.C.

The myth that people are born talented is evaporating. The scientific community is at last catching up with what even Aristotle knew—the difference between success and non-success, skill and mediocrity, is a matter of dedication and time rather than innate ability.

But can the way you practice make a difference? Yes, says Tony Schwartz, author of “The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working,” who offers six principles for becoming really good at anything:

Pursue your passion. Passion will keep you motivated better than anything. If you can’t be passionate, find something else or you may burn out.

Hard work first. Most experts (and experts who study experts) say that practicing first thing in the morning when you have the most energy is best.

Practice intensely, but not too long. Working without interruption for short periods of no longer than 90 minutes with short breaks (and not longer than 4.5 hours each day) seems to be the norm for top performers.

Get feedback in small doses. Too much advice too frequently can impede learning and make you gun shy. Focus on your own experiments.

Refresh regularly. All work and no play … stinks! And it won’t help you in the long run. Plus, if it’s a breakthrough you want, rest is the best thing for activating your creative right hemisphere.

Ritualize practice. Time blocking ensures you don’t have to expend any energy thinking about when or how to work.

As always, feel free to pass these helpful tips along to your team, clients and colleagues!

econ-calendar-20150626

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.

Don Parsons
Commerce Home Mortgage – NMLS 2105
450 Newport Center Drive Suite 480
Newport Beach, CA 92660
2130 Main Street Suite 260
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Mortgage Market Weekly – Update Feb 23, 2015

In This Issue…

Last Week in Review: Recent housing reports were disappointing, while inflation remains low.

Forecast for the Week: February ends on a busy note, with key reports on housing, consumer attitudes, U.S. economic growth and inflation.

View: Protect yourself from identity theft with these important tips.

Last Week in Review

“I knew the record would stand until it was broken.” Yogi Berra. Record low temperatures have hit much of the nation, but that’s not the only chill in the air. [Read more…]

Mortgage Market Weekly – Update Jan 5, 2015

In This Issue…

Last Week in Review: The U.S. economy had a strong third quarter, while recent housing reports show signs of slowing in that sector.

Forecast for the Week: On Friday, the Jobs Report for December could be a market mover.

View: If you received new electronics over the holidays, see the tips below for selling, recycling or donating your old gadgets.

Last Week in Review 

“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day…and I’m feeling good.” Nina Simone. The new year is here, and with home loan rates still near historic lows, 2015 rang in with plenty for consumers to feel good about. Here are some other highlights from the end of 2014.

existing-home-sales-2015-01-05 The final reading for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2014 came in at a blistering 5.0 percent, the fastest pace of economic growth since the third quarter of 2003. The big gains were led by a surge in both consumer and business spending. GDP is considered the broadest measure of economic activity, so this is a strong sign for our economy heading into the new year.

In housing news, the October S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index came in at an annual rate of 4.5 percent, down from the 4.8 percent recorded in September. The October reading was the eleventh straight month of decelerating price gains. It was also the smallest annual gain since October 2012, as price gains return to more normal levels. Also of note, sales of new and existing homes fell in November as well. The housing market continues to remain in a somewhat choppy trend, despite an improving economy and job market.

As we look ahead into 2015, the uncertainty in Europe will continue to rear its head over time. The European Union (EU) is fighting deflation, recessionary pressures, a Greece exit from the EU, and limited political capital required for the necessary fixes. This could lead to safe haven trading in our bond market, helping Mortgage Bonds and home loan rates (which are tied to Mortgage Bonds) in the process.

The bottom line is that home loan rates remain near historic lows, and 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.

[Read more…]

Mortgage Market Weekly – Update Nov 24, 2014

In This Issue…

Last Week in Review: The housing sector continues to improve, as home loan rates remain near annual lows.

Forecast for the Week: Look for news on housing, inflation, consumer confidence and the state of our economy—all ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

View: Get more from your lunch hour with these great tips.

Last Week in Review

Time is on our side. Time continues to be on the side of potential homebuyers, as home loan rates remain near 18-month lows. But could a hint of inflation be creeping into our economy – and if so, could higher home loan rates be on the horizon? [Read more…]

Mortgage Market Weekly – Update Aug 25, 2014

In This Issue…

Last Week in Review: Key reports indicate that the housing recovery is back on track, while inflation remains tame.

Forecast for the Week: August ends on a busy note, with important reports on housing, inflation, economic growth and more.

View: Need some extra help at the office? Check out these six steps for hiring an intern.

Last Week in Review

“There is nothing as sweet as a comeback.” Anne Lamott. That’s certainly true when it comes to the housing sector, as recent reports indicate that the stall in the housing recovery seen late last year and in recent months may be over.

housing-starts_2014-08-22Housing Starts for July surged by nearly 16 percent to an annual rate of 1.093 million, above expectations and up from the 945,000 in June. Building Permits, a sign of future construction, also came in above expectations while Existing Home Sales for July increased by 2.4 percent from June.

In addition, the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, which is a measure of builder confidence, rose two points to 55 in August from the 53 recorded in July. This was the third straight monthly gain and brings the index to its highest level since the 56 recorded in January. As a rule, 50 is the line between positive and negative sentiment. All in all, these reports are a good sign that the housing sector is coming back strong.

In other news, despite signs earlier this summer that inflation may be heating up, the latest reports show that inflation at the consumer level remains tame. This is good news for Bonds, as inflation reduces the value of fixed investments like Bonds. And since home loan rates are tied to Mortgage Bonds, tame inflation is typically good news for home loan rates as well.

The bottom line is that home loan rates remain near some of their best levels of the year and 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

The economic calendar is packed this week with key housing, inflation, manufacturing and economic growth data.

  • Housing news kicks off the week with July New Home Sales on Monday. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index follows on Tuesday, with Pending Home Sales for July being reported Thursday.
  • We’ll get a sense of how consumers are feeling with Consumer Confidence on Tuesday and the Consumer Sentiment Index on Friday.
  • Look for Durable Goods Orders (i.e. orders for items that last for an extended period of time) on Tuesday.
  • Important news is ahead Thursday with the second reading of second quarter Gross Domestic Product.
  • Weekly Initial Jobless Claims will also be reported on Thursday. Claims continue to hover near the 300,000 mark.
  • Friday wraps up the week with Personal Income, Personal Spending and Personal Consumption Expenditures, the Fed’s favorite measure of inflation. Regional manufacturing news via the Chicago PMI will also be reported.

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 improved in the latter part of the week despite the positive housing data. Home loan rates remain near some of their best levels of the year and I’ll continue to monitor them closely.

Chart: Fannie Mae 4.0% Mortgage Bond (Friday Aug 22, 2014)

aug22-bonds-chart

The Mortgage Market Guide View…

6 Steps for Hiring an Intern

Hiring an intern is a win-win. The intern gains valuable skills and experience. You gain extra help on a temporary basis. Follow these six steps to hire an intern:

  1. Create a clear, meaningful job description. Do you need someone to focus on a special project or a social media coordinator to expand your social media outreach? Include the time commitment (usually up to 20 hours per week) and preferred work hours. Finally, outline the compensation (e.g., hourly wage or stipend).
  2. Recruit candidates. Turn to social media, your networks, and local colleges and universities. Provide the job description for reference.
  3. Prepare a workspace. Your intern will need a computer and a comfortable space. A phone may be necessary if the intern is calling contacts on your behalf.
  4. Plan for mentoring and supervision. Your intern will be learning everything from job responsibilities, to appropriate dress code, to performance expectations, and office protocol. Plan for guidance every step of the way.
  5. Give specific feedback. Concrete praise encourages a repeat performance. Concrete constructive feedback allows for corrective action. If you work with a college, you may have additional requirements of reporting to an internship coordinator or having a site visit.
  6. Offer to be a reference. Internships aren’t expected to lead directly to a job with the host company. Offer to be a reference and speak about your interns’ job responsibilities and strengths with their prospective employers.

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

Sources: Forbes.com, inc.com, internprofits.com, sba.gov

Economic Calendar for the Week of August 25 – August 29

economic-chart-aug22

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