Darryl Steffey
Senior Loan Officer, NMLS# 107940
Residential Mortgage Services
Cell Phone: 610-587-7746
2208 Quarry Drive, Suite 205
West Lawn, PA 19609
  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?

The housing sector continues to be a bright spot, as Existing Home Sales in October reached their best level since September 2013, coming in at 5.26 million units. Low home loan rates and an improving job market are two key factors that drove buyer decisions.

There was also a double dose of good news on the builder side. Building Permits, a sign of future construction, reached their highest level since November of last year. And the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that its November Housing Market Index rebounded to 58, up four points from October. The NAHB Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales, and readings over 50 are seen as positive.

The one downside from the housing sector came from October Housing Starts, which declined from September. It's important to note that within the report, starts for single family homes increased 4.2 percent, while multi-family dwellings fell by 15.4 percent. More housing reports are ahead in the coming week. Will they also signal a continued recovery in the housing sector?

And there's another thing to watch in the next week, as Personal Consumption Expenditures (the Fed's favorite measure of inflation) will be released. While inflation on the consumer side via the Consumer Price Index remained tame in October, wholesale inflation came in hotter than expected. While one month doesn't constitute a trend—and expectations are for inflation to remain cool—remember that inflation is bad for Bonds, as it impacts the value of fixed investments like Bonds. This means inflation can also cause home loan rates to worsen, as home loan rates are tied to Mortgage Bonds.

The bottom line is that at this time, 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  
  A slew of economic reports will be released Tuesday and Wednesday, as the markets are closed on Thursday in observance of Thanksgiving. Both Stocks and Bonds will also be closing early on Friday.
  • Gross Domestic Product for the third quarter will be released on Tuesday. This is the second of three estimates for the quarter.
  • Housing data will be plentiful. On Tuesday, look for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. New Home Sales and Pending Home Sales for October will be released on Wednesday.
  • We'll get a sense of how consumers are feeling with November's Consumer Confidence reading on Tuesday and the Consumer Sentiment Index on Wednesday.
  • Also on Wednesday, look for Weekly Initial Jobless Claims, Durable Goods Orders, Personal Income, Personal Spending, the inflation-measuring Personal Consumption Expenditures, and manufacturing news via Chicago PMI.
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 improved recently. Home loan rates remain near 18-month lows.
 
Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday November 21, 2014)
Japanese Candlestick Chart
 
     
  The Mortgage Market Guide View...  
  Productivity Points
5 Ways to Spend Your Lunch Hour


SUCCESS Magazine recently asked several entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council to share how they get more out of their lunch hour each day. Here are five of their answers.

1. Unplug completely. When you give yourself a break to clear your head, you'll feel more energized and may get fresh ideas. Changing gears with a book, a funny podcast or inspiring interview can also help refresh your perspective, especially on hectic days.

2. Step away from the computer. While you eat, give yourself some quiet time to write down goals, update your to do list, or plan task completion. This can ensure you finish the day strong.

3. Watch something educational. Instead of trying to multitask with a working lunch, hit rewind and watch a video on Fora.tv or take a class on Lynda.com or Khan Academy.

4. Meet someone new. Don't turn down lunch or coffee with someone who wants to meet with you. Lunch is the perfect way to meet new contacts, discover opportunities, share your projects, or get someone else's advice on a business problem.

5. Go outside. Studies show that long periods of sitting can be harmful to your health. A little fresh air can go a long way, but add a short, brisk walk and you've got the perfect tonic for a powerful second act in the afternoon.

As always, feel free to share these great tips with your team, clients and colleagues.

Source: SUCCESS Magazine, Salary.com, The JAMA Network


Economic Calendar for the Week of November 24 - November 28
Date
ET
Economic Report
For
Estimate
Actual
Prior
Impact
Tue. November 25
08:30
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Q3
NA
 
3.5%
Moderate
Tue. November 25
08:30
GDP Chain Deflator
Q3
NA
 
1.3%
Moderate
Tue. November 25
09:00
S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index
Sep
NA
 
5.6%
Moderate
Tue. November 25
10:00
Consumer Confidence
Nov
NA
 
94.5
Moderate
Wed. November 26
10:00
New Home Sales
Oct
NA
 
467K
Moderate
Wed. November 26
10:00
Consumer Sentiment Index (UoM)
Nov
NA
 
89.4
Moderate
Wed. November 26
09:45
Chicago PMI
Nov
NA
 
66.2
HIGH
Wed. November 26
08:30
Personal Consumption Expenditures and Core PCE
YOY
NA
 
1.5%
HIGH
Wed. November 26
08:30
Personal Consumption Expenditures and Core PCE
Oct
NA
 
0.1%
HIGH
Wed. November 26
08:30
Personal Spending
Oct
NA
 
-0.2%
Moderate
Wed. November 26
08:30
Personal Income
Oct
NA
 
0.2%
Moderate
Wed. November 26
08:30
Durable Goods Orders
Oct
NA
 
-1.3%
Moderate
Wed. November 26
08:00
Jobless Claims (Initial)
11/22
NA
 
NA
Moderate
Wed. November 26
10:00
Pending Home Sales
Oct
NA
 
0.3%
Moderate
 
 
 
 
 
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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.
 
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