“There is a powerful driving force inside every human being that, once unleashed, can make any vision, dream, or desire a reality.”—Anthony Robbins, American motivational speaker, coach, author, and philanthropist
NATIONAL MARKET UPDATE
Up 8% for the week ending September 10, purchase mortgage applications rebounded to their highest level since April 2021. Purchase apps are still down from a year ago, but the year-over-year dip was the smallest in 14 weeks.
Last issue, we reported Yardi Matrix had rents up at a record rate in June. Their latest data shows asking rents in August surged 10.3% year-over-year, the first time annual rent growth hit double digits in the firm’s history.
Freddie Mac’s chief economist: “It’s Groundhog Day for mortgage rates, as they have remained virtually flat for over two months." This "reflects the markets’ view that the prospects for the economy have dimmed somewhat.”
REVIEW OF LAST WEEK
GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS, STOCKS SLIP... As investors digested good and bad economic data, stocks suffered modest weekly declines, the Dow down now three weeks in a row, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq down two.
The bad news: weekly jobless claims jumped, plus University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment held at a roughly 10-year low, as people feel worse about the economy now than at any point during the pandemic.
The good news: Retail Sales surprised to the upside, manufacturing reports were strong, and CPI inflation was lower than expected. But this could mean the Fed may start tightening its supportive monetary policies sooner: bad news.
The week ended with the Dow down 0.1%, to 34,585; the S&P 500 down 0.6%, to 4,433; and the Nasdaq down 0.5%, to 15,044.
Overall, bond prices finished flat for the week, though the UMBS 3.0% was UP .14, to $104.75. Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey reported the national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate down slightly, staying near historic lows. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.
DID YOU KNOW?... August's jobs report was disappointing overall, but actually upbeat for housing. There were 17,400 residential construction jobs added, a boost for home builders working to relieve tight supplies.
THIS WEEK'S FORECAST
NEW HOME BUILDING AND SALES UP, EXISTING SALES SLIP, THE FED MEETS... Analysts are predicting reports will show Housing Starts and New Home Sales were both up in August. Existing Home Sales should dip a tad but remain close to a very decent 6-million-unit annual rate. Economists expect no change in the FOMC Rate Decision at this week's Fed confab, but the policy statement will be scrutinized as usual.
FEDERAL RESERVE WATCH
Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months. The Fed meets this Wednesday and virtually no one on Wall Street expects a rate hike. But we’ll all be looking for signs of when the central bank will start tapering its monthly bond purchases, which could edge up mortgage rates. Note: In the lower chart a 0.0% probability of change is a 100.0% certainty the rate will stay the same.
Current Fed Funds Rate: 0%-0.25%
AFTER FOMC MEETING ON:
Probability of change from current policy:
AFTER FOMC MEETING ON:
BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK
Pivoting got many of us through the past year and a half, and agility will continue to be the key to success. Because change is inevitable, the ability to learn new things is a skill we all need to develop.
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