The Weekly Rap! Friday July 25th, 2014

The National Debt is currently: $17,600,771,776,587.00  is Higher by another 6 BILLION.  The interest pay-out alone on the debt is 225 Billion per year!  I post this so we will be aware of what we are leaving to our children.

If you are looking for a new home or know of any potential buyers looking for a home, it’s time to get  “approved by an Underwriter” not just “pre-approved.”  Most pre-approval letters are not worth the paper they’re printed on, but underwriter approved will make you almost as strong as a cash buyer and significantly speeds up the loan process.  Think about it; you won’t have to deal with the 17 day removal of the loan contingency because your offer will not have a loan contingency and you can have a shorter escrow. Call me today and get approved before you go shopping. 

The Dow last traded at 16,940 about 160pts lower than where it was a week ago.  The S&P 500 is trading at 1,977.  Gold is trading at $1,304 an ounce, while oil futures at $101.99 a barrel.  Gas prices, (Regular in El Dorado Hills, Costco, AM/PM), are at $3.75/Gal. 

Mortgage Backed Securities or “MBS” yields are interest rates at which banks sell their loans into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bond programs. The FNMA 30-year fixed 3.5% coupon, containing 3.75% – 4.125% mortgages, pretty much the benchmark or how rate sheets are priced these days  is currently trading at 102.34 about .10 worse than where we were last week.  Basically each percent change in the price of the security translates to the price (or points paid or credited) of the mortgage rate.  The higher the number (price), the better the rate.   

In economic news this week; The reader’s digest version, not much change this week.  The economy continues to grow albeit at slow levels.  It looks like more home buyers prefer purchasing an existing home over an newly built one as sales of existing homes were higher while new home sales declined.  Consumer inflation is still in check.

Economic activity edged down to 0.12 in June, from 0.16 in May according to the Chicago Fed national activity index released Monday.  This is still the fourth month above zero. A reading of zero is equal to trend growth. The index is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity.  The three-month average slowed to 0.18 in June from 0.33 in May.

Consumer prices gained again in June but the rise was not as broad-based as in the prior month and was driven mainly by the rising cost for gasoline.  The Labor Department said the consumer price index increased 0.3% in June after a 0.4% gain in May.  The gasoline index rose 3.3% in June, and accounted for two-thirds of the increase in overall June prices.  Food and so-called core prices slowed in June.  Food prices rose 0.1% in June, the smallest monthly increase since January, after a steep 0.5% gain in May.  Excluding volatile food and energy prices, “core” prices rose just 0.1% after three straight gains of 0.2% or more.

June’s relatively tame reading should alleviate concerns that inflation is beginning to break to the upside.  While the Fed’s favorite measure of inflation, the personal consumption expenditure index, has been more moderate that the CPI, there is some concern the central bank is falling behind the curve on inflation.  The Fed is meeting next week and is expected to take another step toward ending its bond-buying program. After that program ends in October, the Fed has said it will wait a “considerable period” before raising rates.

Orders for durable goods such as computers, aircraft and heavy machinery rose 0.7% in June, but the details of the report suggest the rebound in business investment in the second quarter will not be as strong as previously hoped.  The increase in orders for big-ticket items last month was the fourth increase in the last five months, with gains in most major categories.

On the Real Estate front:  Nationally, home prices rose 0.4% in May, and April’s price move was revised to show 0.1% growth from a previously estimated no change, the said Tuesday. The FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Agency) house price index is based on mortgages bought or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Compared to May 2013, prices were up 5.5%, led by 9.6% growth in the Pacific region. Prices are 6.5% below the April 2007 peak, FHFA added.

Rising for a third consecutive month, sales of existing homes in June hit the fastest pace in eight months, signaling that the housing market’s recovery hasn’t petered out.  The National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday that sales of existing homes grew 2.6% in June to an annual rate of 5.04 million.

The sales pace of new single-family homes fell 8.1% in June to a three-month low, according to the Commerce Department adding to worries over the housing market’s recovery.  New-home sales in June were down 11.5% from a year earlier. The supply of new homes rose to 5.8 months from 5.2 months in May. This metric measures how long the number of homes on the market would last at the current sales rate, assuming that builders did not add to inventory.

On the Employment front:  The number of people who applied for regular state unemployment-insurance benefits last week tumbled by 19,000 to 284,000, the lowest level since February 2006, signaling that companies have further slowed down the pace of layoffs and are letting go of few workers.  The average of new claims over the past month declined by 7,250 to 302,000, the lowest level since May 2007, the U.S. Labor Department reported. The government also said that continuing claims in the week that ended July 12 dropped by 8,000 to 2.5 million, the lowest level since June 2007. Continuing claims reflect the number of people already receiving benefits.

You can visit my corporate website at: http://bill.bartok.stanfordloans.com

Sincerely,

Bill Bartok

Mortgage Advisor MLO# 445991

The nicest compliment I can receive is the referral of your family, friends and co-workers.

Thank you!

Bill Bartok ESIG 9-25-13

The Weekly Rap! Friday July 4th, 2014

The National Debt is currently: $17,581,866,962,587.00 is Higher by about 43 BILLION.  The interest pay-out alone on the debt is 246 Billion per year!  I post this so we will be aware of what we are leaving to our children.

The Dow last traded at 17,068 about 100pts higher than where it was a week ago and establishing another all time high.  The S&P 500 is trading at 1,985.  Gold is trading at $1,321 an ounce, while oil futures at $103.77 a barrel.  Gas prices, (Regular in El Dorado Hills, Costco, AM/PM), are at $3.82/Gal. 

Mortgage Backed Securities or “MBS” yields are interest rates at which banks sell their loans into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bond programs. The FNMA 30-year fixed 3.5% coupon, containing 3.75% – 4.125% mortgages, pretty much the benchmark or how rate sheets are priced these days  is currently trading at 102.09 about .75 worse than where we were last week.  Basically each percent change in the price of the security translates to the price (or points paid or credited) of the mortgage rate.  The higher the number (price), the better the rate.   

In economic news this week; The reader’s digest version Employment has picked up, pending home sale are higher as are home prices, and manufacturing is trudging along.

There are 2 million “missing households” in the US – which represents pent up demand for new residences.  These are Millennials who are living with their parents or rooming together in an apartment. That represents 2 years of housing starts at the current pace. Rents are increasing, jobs are tough to get, and student debt is high. Fun fact – we haven’t been building this few homes since World War II, according to the NAHB.

In the manufacturing sector; Chicago PMI retreated to 62.6 in June after hitting a seven-month high in May. A fall in new orders led the decline in June. But the index remains above 60 for the third straight month, signaling a bounce-back in the second quarter after a sharp decline in first quarter gross domestic product. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.  

The final Markit reading of U.S. manufacturing conditions in June totaled 57.3. Despite the slight decline, this is still the highest reading of the index since May 2010.  The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index registered 55.3% in June, just a hair below May’s reading of 55.4%. Any number above 50% signals expansion.

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen was at the podium again this week saying Federal Reserve monetary policy should continue to focus on jobs and inflation and leave stability concerns to regulation.  “I do not presently see a need for monetary policy to deviate from a primary focus on attaining price stability and maximum employment, in order to address financial stability concerns,” Yellen said in a speech at the International Monetary Fund.

On the Real Estate front:  Pending home sales jumped 6.1% in May to reach the highest level in eight months, signaling that upcoming closings of existing homes are likely to speed up, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday. The index of pending home sales hit 103.9 in May, compared with 97.9 in April. Low mortgage rates, a growing number of homes on the market and stronger job creation will all likely fuel more sales.  Although pending sales have risen three months in row, first-quarter closings were weak enough that NAR expects them to drag down 2014’s total sales tally below last year’s result. In May the pending-sales gauge was down 5.2% from a year earlier. An index reading of 100 equals 2001’s average contract activity level.

As spring sales continued, home prices in May rose 1.4%, and 10 states set record highs.  Record prices were hit in states such as Texas, New York and North Dakota.  Despite the monthly gain, annual growth slowed down as more homes were put on the market. Annual home-price growth hit 8.8% in May, down almost three percentage points from a quarter earlier. Looking forward, CoreLogic expects annual growth to slow to 6% by May 2015. Including May 2014’s increase, national home prices were about 13.5% below a 2006 peak.

Jobs Growth June 2014

On the Employment front:  The U.S. produced another big batch of jobs in June and the unemployment rate fell to a nearly six-year low as more people entered the labor force and found work, another strong signal that economic growth has rebounded after a dismal first quarter.  The economy created 288,000 jobs last month, posting a fifth straight gain of 200,000 or more, according to the government’s survey of worksites. The last time that happened was in 1999.  The unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell to 6.1% from 6.3%, based on a separate Labor Department survey of Americans households. That’s the lowest jobless rate since September 2008.

The strong jobs report is further indication that the economy continues to build momentum after a surprising rough patch in the first quarter, when growth contracted by 2.9%.  The first-quarter decline marked the steepest drop in growth outside of a recession since 1947, but the economites chalk it up to an a particularly harsh winter and other unusual factors that are unlikely to be repeated soon.The better-than-expected employment report pushed the Dow above the 17,000 mark for the first time ever and Bond yields higher.

Curb your enthusiasm folks… while the increase is good news, the year-over-year acceleration is still small, arguing that this has been catch-up.  Hours worked and average hourly earnings do not imply much momentum for the economy.  The number of people who had to take on a part-time job for financial reasons jumped by 275,000, offsetting a similarly sized decline in Americans who’ve been without a job six months or longer. And the fewest young adults entered the labor market in June in four years, though that could be the result of a longer school year.

You can visit my corporate website at: http://bill.bartok.stanfordloans.com

Sincerely,

Bill Bartok

Mortgage AdvisorMLO# 445991

The nicest compliment I can receive is the referral of your family, friends and co-workers.

Thank you!

Bill Bartok ESIG