Posts Tagged ‘Financial Reports’

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 18th, 2019

November 17, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 18th, 2019Last week’s economic reporting included readings on inflation, testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and new unemployment claims.

Rising Gas Prices Fuel Jump in Inflation

Consumer inflation increased at its fastest pace in seven months according to the Consumer Price Index for October. Consumer prices rose 0.40 percent and exceeded analysts’ forecast of 0.30 percent and September’s reading of 0.00 percent inflationary growth.  Analysts attributed the jump in prices to rapidly rising gasoline prices.

October’s reading for core inflation, which excludes fuel and food prices, supported this view. Core inflation grew by 0.20 percent in October, which matched expectations and exceeded September’s core inflation reading of 0.10 percent.

Year-over-year inflation rose from 1.70 percent to 1.80 percent; this was lower than the top year-over-year reading that approached 3.00 percent.

Fed Chair Says Interest Rates on Hold Unless Economy Deteriorates

In testimony before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said,: “We see the current stance of monetary policy to remain appropriate as long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with our outlook of moderate economic growth, a strong labor market,  and inflation near our symmetric rate of 2.00 percent.”

Mr. Powell said that Federal Reserve Policy is flexible and subject to adjustment as required by future news and economic events. The benchmark Federal Funds rate range is currently 1.50 percent to 2.00 percent.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose six basis points to 3.25 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose seven basis points to 3.20 percent;  the average rate for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages rose five basis points to 3.44 percent.

Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.50 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 0.40 percent.

225,000 first-time jobless claims were filed last week; this exceeded expectations of 210,000 new claims and the prior week’s reading of 211,000 new jobless claims filed. Analysts said the spike in new claims was caused by seasonal anomalies and not by layoffs. New jobless claims are likely to fall as the holiday season approaches and seasonal hiring picks up.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions; the Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued. Readings on sales of pre-owned homes and consumer sentiment will also be released along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 12th, 2019

November 11, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 12th, 2019Last week’s scheduled economic news included the Federal Reserve’s survey of loan officers and the University of Michigan’s report on consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.

Fed Survey of Loan Officers Finds Banks Tightened Lending Standards

The Federal Reserve’s survey of financial institutions found that lenders tightened standards for credit card and other consumer loan approval. Lending officials said that concerns over the economy drove decisions to tighten standards for new credit cards, auto loans, and personal loans.

Lenders also tightened lending requirements for new borrowers in January and March. January’s revision to lending requirements was the strictest since 2009.

Lending officials surveyed said that less tolerance for risk and concerns over new borrowers’ ability to repay loans drove decisions to tighten loan approval requirements. Growing concerns over student loan debt may have influenced lenders’ reluctance to extend credit to new borrowers.

Survey respondents said that they did not tighten requirements for residential real estate loans, but did increase restrictions on commercial real estate loans. Survey participants included 76 domestic banks and 22 foreign banks and agents of federal banks.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported lower average mortgage rates last week after the prior week’s spike. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell nine basis points and averaged 3.69 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell six basis points to an average of 3.13 percent.

The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages fell four basis points to 3.39 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.

Initial jobless claims fell to a one-month low of 211,000 new claims filed; analysts said that last week’s reading approached a 50-year low and proved the staying power of the strongest job market in decades. In other news, the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 95.70 in November as compared to October’s index reading of 95.50. Analysts expected consumer sentiment to fall to 95.00.

What’s Ahead

This week’s economic releases include reports on inflation and retail sales. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and initial jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 28th, 2019

October 27, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 28th, 2019Last week’s economic news included readings on sales of new and previously-owned homes and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

New Home Sales Dip in September

Commerce Department readings indicated fewer sales of new homes than in August. 701,000 sales were reported in September on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis; 706,000 new homes were sold in August and analysts expected 700,000  sales of new homes.

Sales fell by 0.70 percent month-to-month but were 15.50 percent higher year-over-year. September was the second time in 12 years that new home sales exceeded 700,000 in consecutive months.

Sales of new homes were lower in three of four regions. Sales fell by -2.80 percent in the Northeast and were -3.80 percent lower in the West.  New home sales fell -0.20 percent in the South but rose +6.30 percent in the Midwest. The median sale price of new homes fell in September, which indicated that builders may be building more affordable homes. 

In recent years, builders concentrated on building high-end homes. Real estate pros said there was a 5.50 month supply of new homes available in September as compared to the benchmark reading of a six month supply of homes for sale that indicates markets are balanced between home buyers and sellers.

Sales of pre-owned homes also fell in September.5.38 million previously-owned homes were sold on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. Analysts expected 5.40 million sales and  5.50 million pre-owned homes were sold in August.

Mortgage Rates Rise;   Initial Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week as the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose six basis points to 3.75 percent. The average rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose three basis points to 3.18 percent. 

Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.40 percent and were five basis points higher. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims fell last week; 212,000 first-time claims were filed. Analysts expected 215,000 claims based on the prior week’s reading of 218,000 initial claims. Analysts said there were no indications of rising layoffs and noted that new jobless claims stayed near a 50-year low.

October’s Consumer Sentiment Index fell to an index reading of 95.50 as compared to September’s reading of 96.00. Consumers surveyed were less anxious about trade disputes with China than in September. 

Readings for the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index have held steady in recent months, but remain below the post-recession peak reading of 101.40.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings from Case-Shiller on home prices and a statement from the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee on monetary policy decisions. 

The Labor Department also reports on Non-Farm Payrolls and national unemployment is also scheduled along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 21st, 2019

October 21, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 21st, 2019Last week’s economic reports included readings from the National Association of Home Builders on builder confidence in housing market conditions, Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also reported.

Builder Confidence in Housing Markets Rises

The NAHB Housing Market Index rose in October from September’s index reading of 68 to 71.Home builders were confident in market conditions due to strong demand for homes caused by low mortgage rates and slower growth in home prices.

Obstacles including tariffs on building materials did not deter builder confidence; any reading above 50 on the Housing Market Index indicates that most builders are confident about housing market conditions.

Robert Dietz, Chief Economist for NAHB, said: “The second half of 2019 has seen steady gains in single-family construction, and this is mirrored by a gradual uptick in builder sentiment over the past few months.” Mr. Dietz cited “ongoing supply side constraints and concerns about a slowing economy” as factors expected to negatively impact builder sentiment in coming months.

The Commerce Department reported a  seasonally-adjusted annual pace  of 1.26 million housing starts in September. Analysts expected a pace of 1.32  million starts; August’s reading for housing starts was 1.39 million starts.

Fewer building permits were issued in September with 1.39 million permits issued as compared to August’s reading of 1.43 million permits issued; analysts expected 1.38 million building permits to be issued.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher rates for fixed rate mortgages last week. The average rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages rose 12 basis points to 3.69 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed rate mortgages rose 10 basis points to 3.15 percent.

The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was unchanged at 3.15 percent. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for 30-year fixed rate mortgages and 0.50 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.40 percent.

Initial jobless claims also rose last week. 214,000 new claims were filed as compared to expectations of 215,000 claims filed and the prior week’s reading of 210,000 first-time jobless claims filed. Analysts noted that new jobless claims remained near a 50-year low.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on sales of new and previously-owned homes along with a report on consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and initial jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 15th, 2019

October 15, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 15th, 2019Last week’s economic releases included readings on inflation, an essay from Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan and the monthly consumer sentiment index. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.

Inflation Flat in September

Inflation did not change in September; August’s reading showed 0.10 percent growth, which matched the July reading. Falling gasoline prices caused the flat reading. Analysts said that cooling inflation may prompt Federal Reserve policymakers to cut the target Federal Funds interest rate range at their next meeting.

The core inflation rate, which excludes volatile food and fuel sectors rose 0.10 percent in September; analysts expected 0.20 percent growth based on August’s month-to-month inflation rate of 0.30 percent growth.

In related news, Robert Kaplan, President of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, said in an essay that he had no pre-determined plan for the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting at the end of October. He wrote, “I intend to avoid being rigid or predetermined from here and plan to remain highly vigilant and keep an open mind on whether further action on the federal funds rate is appropriate.”  

Mr. Kaplan cited a concern that he shares with other FOMC members over a pull-back in business spending that could impact consumer confidence and spending Mr. Kaplan wrote that he was “mindful about “asset bubbles” caused by investors seeking higher yields.

Mortgage Rates and New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported lower mortgage rates last week as the average rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages fell eight basis points to 3.57 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed rate mortgages fell nine basis points to 3.05 percent and rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.35 percent and three basis points lower. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims fell to 210,000 initial claims filed and were lower than the expected reading of 220,000 claims filed. Analysts said that fewer first-time jobless claims indicated minimal threat of layoffs.

October’s Consumer Confidence Index rose to 2.80 points to an index reading of 96 as compared to September’s reading of 93.20 points. Analysts expected an index reading of 92.50 points.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on homebuilder confidence in housing market conditions, Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 7th, 2019

October 7, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 7th, 2019Last week’s economic news included readings on construction spending, and labor reports on public and private sector jobs and the national unemployment rate. Weekly reports on new jobless claims and mortgage rates were also released.

Construction Spending Ticks Up in August

Commerce Department reporting on construction spending showed 0.10 percent growth in August as compared to a revised flat reading for July. Construction spending hit a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of  $1.29 trillion for August.  Analysts expected 0.40 percent growth, which was based on the original July reading of 0.10 percent growth.

Residential construction spending rose 0.90 percent in August ; public construction spending rose 0.40 percent for the month. Factors impacting residential construction spending include rising costs of building materials, winter weather conditions and mortgage rates

Mortgage Rates Little Changed; New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported mixed activity with mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages rose one basis points to an average of 3.65 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.14 percent and were two basis points lower.

The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was unchanged at 3.38 percent. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for 30-year fixed rate mortgages and 0.50 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages  averaged 0.40 percent.

First-time jobless claims rose to 219,000 claims filed and surpassed expectations of 218,000 new claims. 215,000 first-time claims were filed the prior week.

Jobs Growth Slows; National Unemployment Rate Drops

September jobs reports showed fewer jobs available for public and private sector employers. The federal government’s Non-Farm Payrolls report showed 136,000 jobs added as compared to an expected reading of 150,000 jobs added and the previous month’s reading of 168,000 public and private sector jobs added.

ADP reported 135,000 private-sector jobs added in September as compared to 157,000 jobs added in August. The national unemployment rt rate dropped to 3.50 percent in September.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on job openings, minutes of the most recent FOMC meeting, and reports on inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 30th, 2019

September 30, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 30th, 2019Last week’s economic reports included readings from Case-Shiller on home prices along with data on new and pending home sales. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and initial jobless claims were also released.

Case-Shiller: Home Price Gains Slow to Lowest Pace in 7 Years

Case-Shiller Home Price Indices reported slower home price growth in July with 3.20 percent growth year-over-year. There was no change in July’s reading for the 20-City Home Price Index as compared to June after seasonal adjustments.

The top-three cities in Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index were Phoenix, Arizona with 5.80 percent home price growth year-over-year. Las Vegas, Nevada reported 4.70 percent growth and Charlotte, North Carolina home prices rose by 4.60 percent.

West coast cities that dominated home price growth in recent years have given way to more affordable markets. Seattle, Washington reported a negative reading of -0.60 percent year-over-year. Low mortgage rates have compelled buyers to enter the market; this could drive up demand again and boost home prices at a higher pace than they are rising now.

New and Pending Home Sales Increase in August

New home sales rose to 713,000 year-over-year in August as compared to July’s reading of 686.000 sales and expectations of 660,000 new homes sold in August. Pending sales rose 1.60 percent in August after posting a negative reading of -2.50 percent  in July.

Pending sales are transactions with signed purchase contracts, but that have not closed. Home sales typically taper off in fall after the peak selling season in spring and summer; rising sales during fall suggest stronger housing markets.

Mortgage Rates Fall, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported lower mortgage rates last week; rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.64 percent and were nine basis points lower than in the prior week. The average rate for 15-year fixed rate mortgages was five basis points lower at 3.16 percent and rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages fell 11 basis points to an average of 3.38 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims rose to 213,000 claims filed from 210,000 new claims filed the prior week. Analysts said the GM auto worker strike caused the increase in new claims.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on construction spending and labor sector reports on public and private sector jobs and the national unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 23rd, 2019

September 23, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 23rd, 2019Last week’s economic reports included readings from the National Association of  Home Builders on housing market conditions, Commerce Department reports on Housing starts and building permits issued and the National Association of Realtors® report on sales of previously owned homes.

The Fed reduced its key interest rate and weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

Builder Confidence in Housing Market Improves, Sales of Pre-Owned Homes Rise

The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index rose one point to an index reading of 68 in September. August’s reading was adjusted to 67 from an initial reading of 66. September’s reading matched the highest reading posted year-over-year.

Readings over 50 indicate that most builders are confident about housing markets. Analysts noted that builder confidence rose despite ongoing concerns about higher materials costs caused by trade wars and tariffs.

According to the Commerce Department, housing starts rose in August with 1.364 million starts on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. Analysts expected 1.300 million starts and 1.215 million starts were posted for July. More housing starts are good news for housing markets stifled by short supplies of available homes and high demand for homes.  

Building permits issued in August also rose from July’s reading. 1.419 million permits were issued as compared to July’s reading of 1.217 million permits issued on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis.

August sales of previously-owned homes rose to 5.49 million sales as compared to July’s annual sales pace of 5.42 million sales. Analysts predicted August sales of pre-owned homes to decrease to 5.39 million sales.

Mortgage Rates, Weekly Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week with rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages 17 basis points higher at an average of 3.73 percent. Rates averaged 3.21 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages and were 12 basis points higher.

The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was 13 basis points higher at  3.49 percent. First-time jobless claims rose last week to 208,000 claims. Analysts expected 215,000 new claims based on the prior week’s reading of 206,000 new jobless claims filed.

The Fed cut its benchmark short-term interest rate by one-quarter point to 1.75 to 2.00 percent, but there was some dissent among policymakers. Seven members of the Federal Open Market Committee voted for the rate decrease; two members voted against the rate cut and one member thought that rates should be cut 0.50 percent.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, inflation, pending home sales and consumer sentiment. Weekly  readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 16th, 2019

September 16, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 16th, 2019Last week’s economic news included readings on inflation, core inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

Lower Gas Prices Dampen August Inflation Rate

Consumer prices fell in August; analysts attributed the decline to lower gasoline prices. August’s reading matched expectations, but was 0.20 percent lower than July’s reading. The Core Consumer Price Index, which excludes volatile food and fuel sectors, rose by 0.30 percent and matched July’s reading.

Analysts expected an August core inflation reading of 0.20 percent. Rising housing and healthcare costs indicated that overall inflation would rise in coming months. Core inflation rose to its highest level in 13 months and was 2.40 percent higher year-over-year.

Mortgage Rates, Rise; New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.56 percent and were two basis points higher than in the prior week. Rates for 15-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.09 percent and were nine basis points higher on average.

Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate rose six  basis points to an average rate of 3.36 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims fell last week with 204,000 first-time claims filed. Analysts expected 213,000 new claims filed based on the prior week’s reading of 219,000 initial claims.

The University of Michigan reported a jump in consumer sentiment in September;  August readings fell due to consumer concerns over the impact of tariffs on imported goods. September’s consumer sentiment index reading rose to 92.00 as compared to August’s index reading of 89.80.

Analysts predicted a September index reading of 91.40. Analysts said that while confidence in general economic conditions rose, consumers continued to be worried about the effects of tariffs.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued and a statement by the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee statement.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will also give a press conference. Sales of pre-owned homes will be reported along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 3rd, 2019

September 3, 2019

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 3rd, 2019Last week’s economic news included  readings on home price trends, pending home sales and weekly readings on average mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims. The University of Michigan also released consumer sentiment report.

Case-Shiller Reports Slower Home Price Growth in June

According to Case-Shiller Home Price Indices for June, home prices gained an average of 2.10 percent year-over-year. This was the slowest growth of home prices since 2012. Analysts said that home prices grew at one-third the 6.30 percent that home prices grew last year.

Home prices grew fastest in Phoenix, Arizona with year-over-year growth of 5.80 percent; Las Vegas, Nevada home prices rose 5.50 percent and Tampa, Florida reported 4.70 percent growth in home prices.

West coast cities led home price growth in recent years when home prices were rapidly increasing, but growth has slowed and Seattle, Washington reported negative year-over-year growth of home prices in June.Potential obstacles to home price growth include rising materials costs due to tariffs on imported building materials and concerns over slowing economic growth.

Pending Home Sales Lower in July

The National Association of Realtors® reported fewer pending home sales in July as compared to June. Pending sales, which are defined as sales for which purchase contracts have been signed, but sales not closed, fell by -2.50 percent in July as compared to 2,80 percent growth in June. Real estate pros said that the peak home-buying season slows as summer progresses.

All four regions reported fewer contract signings for previously-owned homes in July; the Northeast reported -1.60 percent fewer pending sales, the Midwest had -2.50 percent fewer pending sales and the South reported -2.40 percent fewer sales contracts signed. The biggest dip in contracts signed was in the West with sales contracts -3.40 percent lower than for June.

Analysts and real estate pros expected falling mortgage rates to boost home sales, but current homeowners took advantage of low mortgage rates to refinance their mortgages as would-be home buyers were unaffected by low mortgage rates.

Mortgage Rates Mixed, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates for fixed rate loans; rates rose three basis points on average for 30 and 15-year fixed rate mortgages. Rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.58 percent; the average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage was 3.06 percent and 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rates averaged 3.31 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages

Initial jobless claims rose from the prior week’s reading of 211,000 to 215,000 new jobless claims filed last week. Analysts expected 214,000 new claims to be filed. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index dropped to an index reading of 89.8 as compared to the expected reading of 92.3 and July’s reading of 92.1. August’s reading was the lowest measurement of consumer sentiment since 2012.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on construction spending and data on public and private-sector jobs growth and the national unemployment rate. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims will also be released.