The Weekly Rap! Government Rhetoric, the Economy and other stuff. 3/25/16

The National Debt is currently: $19,158,639,132,587.00  is Higher by another 41 BILLION in the last week.  The interest pay-out alone on the debt is 233 Billion per year!  I post this so we will be aware of what we are leaving to our children.

Stocks ended five consecutive weeks of gains Thursday, as a rally that carried shares to their highest levels of the year petered out during a holiday-shortened week.  The Dow closed higher by 13 points at 17,568 Thursday and was closed yesterday for Good Friday.  The S&P 500 closed at 2,044.  Gold is trading at $1,218 an ounce, while oil futures at $39.59 a barrel.  Gas prices, (Regular in El Dorado Hills, Costco, AM/PM), are at $2.37/Gal. Summer gas (higher priced) is in production.

The FNMA 30-year fixed 3.0% coupon (interest rates at which banks sell their loans into Fannie Mae), containing 3.25% – 3.625% mortgage rates, the benchmark or how rate sheets are priced these days is currently trading at 101.88.  Our current trading range is about 101.25 to about 102.8.  Each .50 change in the price of the security translates to about 0.125 in rate.  Basically the 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 lower the rate.  

You’ve no doubt heard that Republicans could have what’s called a “contested” Convention.  So exactly what is a Contested Convention?  Sometimes a contested convention is called a “brokered convention,” under the presumption that powerbrokers will negotiate backroom deals in order to determine the ultimate nominee. The terms are essentially interchangeable, but “contested convention” is more precise because the situation may resolve itself more organically.

In most election years, one presidential candidate wins enough delegates during the primary-caucuses process in order for the presumptive nominee to earn a majority of the delegates before the convention begins.  In a contested convention, however, no presumptive nominee exists because no candidate garners a majority of the delegates on the first ballot. So even though a convention is often just a perfunctory meeting for top party officials used to rally around the flag into the general election, a contested convention means the meetings actually make a pivotal difference for who the nominee will be.

What I really want to know is exactly “who” is making the rules?   GOP “rules” say that a candidate needs to win a majority in at least eight states in order to be nominated on the floor of the convention.  It was originally aimed at stifling Ron Paul supporters at the 2012 convention.  But party “officials” say this threshold could be lowered in the days before the convention to either allow (or block) certain candidates from getting nominated on the convention floor.  In other words Donald Trump could have the approval of the voters but not the party “officials” who could block him from getting nominated, which is why I think the Party let him run in the first place.  You can just see it…  “We’ll let him run to make sure he doesn’t run Independent.  He won’t win anyway and if he does we’ll control the nomination at the Convention.”  I can see that happening.  Voters may be in for a rude awakening when they learn that the votes cast by delegates on the floor of the convention — rather than those cast in primaries and caucuses — actually determine the Republican nominee.

In economic news this week; Orders for Durable goods fell, revised fourth Quarter GDP showed corporate profits fell, as did existing home sales.  This coming week will end with a gusher of fresh data on the health of our economy: High-profile reports on the labor market and the manufacturing sector are set to come out Friday morning. Other releases throughout the week will offer insight into consumer confidence and spending, inflation and the path forward for the Federal Reserve.

Orders for long-lasting or durable goods fell 2.8% in February (the third drop in four months) as every major industrial sector except for autos showed declines.  The details of the report show widespread weakness that underscores why the economy has slowed since last fall.  A strong dollar, weak global economy and nosedive in the U.S. energy sector have dented demand for American manufactured goods.  And there’s little reason to expect a big rebound anytime soon.

The fourth quarter’s slowdown was less severe than previously estimated but corporate profits fell, showing the economy entered 2016 on uneven footing.  Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, advanced at a 1.4% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. That was an upward revision from last month’s estimate of 1% growth.

Corporate profits sank 3.2% in 2015 to mark the first decline since the Great Recession, adding another weight on a slow-growing economy.  American companies have been squeezed by falling exports, cheaper imports and continued caution on the part of savings-minded consumers.  Firms have also incurred higher labor costs.  Weak earnings call into question whether companies can continue to add new workers, increase investment and sustain an economic recovery that’s almost seven years old.

On the Real Estate front: Millennials and others looking to buy a first — or “starter” — home are struggling to find ones they can afford, a new research report says.  There are fewer affordable starter homes in 95 of the 100 largest U.S. markets now compared with 2012, according to the San Francisco-based real estate research company Trulia.com. Trulia defines a starter as a home that is in the lower third of a market’s valuation and affordable to those making the median income in that market.

There’s a paradox in Monday’s existing-home-sales data.  Sales slid 7.1% to the lowest pace since November, the National Association of Realtors reported.  NAR has warned for many months that low levels of supply, which are pushing prices ever higher, will eventually cripple the market.  February’s decline may be a sign that the Realtors’ fears are coming true, although it may still turn out to be a temporary blip caused by weather, new closing regulations, and the difficulties of adjusting data to account for all those anomalies. 

Still, as NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement, “the main issue continues to be a supply and affordability problem. Finding the right property at an affordable price is burdening many potential buyers.”  That may sound obvious: if you can’t afford the few limited options available on the market, you’d probably give up too. It also tracks with a survey NAR published last week, which found that the share of current renters who say now is a good time to buy fell in the most recent quarter.

Sales of new homes bounced back in February, another sign of continued, if subdued, momentum in the housing market.  New home sales ran at an annual pace of 512,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.  That was the highest since December.  February’s rate was 2% higher than January’s, but 6.1% lower than year-ago levels.  The median national sales price in February was $301,400, up 6.2% compared to January. There was 5.6 months’ worth of supply available at the current sales pace at the end of the month.

By 2016, about 238,000 homes or 28% of the total available inventory of 860,000 in those markets surveyed were considered starter homes, down from 425,000 homes or 30% of all homes in 2012, out of a total of 1.4 million that year the report found.  In 2016, the median starter home list price was $154,156, and a buyer would need to dedicate 37% of his income just to afford it, compared with 32% in 2012, Trulia said.

On the Employment front:  The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits in the mid-March was little changed at 265,000, reflecting the low level of layoffs taking place across the economy.  Initial claims have now been below 300,000 for 55 weeks, a feat last accomplished in 1973, when the size of the labor force was much smaller.  The average of new claims over the past four weeks edged up by 250 to 259,750, the Labor Department said Thursday. The monthly average is seen as a more accurate predictor of labor-market trends.

If you like this commentary please visit and “Like” my Facebook pageI put all of my prospective buyers through underwriting so that when they place their offer, it is as close to “cash” as you can get.  So to get your clients “underwriter approved”, please contact me and get your offer accepted!

I have a personal App for your phone that replaces my business card.  You can contact me (various formats), run the mortgage calculator, get RE/Mortgage news, and have access to my social media sites including this weekly commentary.  You can even share my app with others.  Please check it out and let me know what you think.  Click on the following link from your phone and hit “add to home screen, then click “add” and you’re done.

Bill’s phone App:  https://bbartok.mortgagemapp.com/

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!

The Weekly Rap! Government Rhetoric, the Economy and other stuff. 3/18/16

The National Debt is currently: $19,117,639,132,587.00  is Higher by another 8 BILLION in the last week.  The interest pay-out alone on the debt is 233 Billion per year!  I post this so we will be aware of what we are leaving to our children.

Last Wednesday, on March 9, 2016, the bull market officially celebrated its seventh birthday. During that seven-year period, the S&P 500 nearly tripled, gaining 194% in price and producing a total return of 241%. Despite all of the time that has passed, memories of the stock market collapse in 2008 and 2009 remain vivid for all of us.  Set up by the severe 2008 – 09 decline, this bull market has been one of the strongest in history.  My question is; Why?  I would say the biggest driver of gains in the current Bull market has been Federal Reserve (Fed) policy.  Monetary policy stimulus, including quantitative easing (QE) and the so-called ZIRP (zero interest rate policy), has played a Huge role in powering this bull.

Think about it; if the Fed isn’t raising rates because the economy isn’t strong enough, shouldn’t the stock market fall?  Stocks have historically done quite well after the Fed starts rising interest rates.  Why would companies like lower rates better than a booming economy?  Because their borrowing cost is next to nothing and when you have lower expenses, your earnings look better. 

Folks, Wall Street firms will never tell you they think the market is poised for a fall.  They want you invested in stocks and other assets.  It’s how they make $$$.  Even in a bear market (2008-20010) they will tell you “everything’s going to be alright”.  While a Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch (14yrs) I was reprimanded for telling clients to go to cash.  They said it was “timing the Market” and not allowed.  This is one of the many reasons I left that business.

As I stated last week, we’ve been stuck in the current “growth” pattern for the last 7 years.  An average real gross domestic product, GDP, (the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States) growth rate of about 1.88% (2009 thru 2015) is not growth, but treading water.  The highest we’ve gotten is 3.00% back in 2010.  Prior to this recent time period we averaged about 3.5% growth. 

The Dow is higher by 91 points today/Friday and the highest of the year. The Dow is at 17,573.  The S&P 500 is trading at 2,045.  Gold is trading at $1,254 an ounce, while oil futures at $39.52 a barrel.  Gas prices, (Regular in El Dorado Hills, Costco, AM/PM), are at $2.29/Gal. Summer gas (higher priced) is in production.

The FNMA 30-year fixed 3.0% coupon (interest rates at which banks sell their loans into Fannie Mae), containing 3.25% – 3.625% mortgage rates, the benchmark or how rate sheets are priced these days is currently trading at 102.06.  We tested the support (lower) end of the trading range last week.   Our current trading range is about 101.25 to about 102.8.  Each .50 change in the price of the security translates to about 0.125 in rate.  Basically the 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 lower the rate.    

In economic news this week; Stocks rose again today, putting major indexes on pace for their fifth straight week of gains.  The week’s advance accelerated after the Fed on Wednesday signaled a more gradual path of interest-rate increases. The Dow, which has risen each day this week, is up 2.1% so far this week. The S&P 500 has added 1.2%.

The Federal Reserve held their scheduled meeting this week and held interest rates steady along with signaling it will lift them more slowly than previously indicated because of a weak global environment and volatile stock market.  The Fed said in a statement that they decided to leave the central bank’s benchmark interest rate in a range of 0.25%-0.5%. The decision was widely expected.

The big change was in the Fed’s so-called “dot plot,” where officials penciled in only two quarter-point hikes this year, down from four in December.  “We continue to see risks,” Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said in a press conference after top officials met.  But she also pointed out that “the U.S. economy has been very resilient in recent months.”

Just a few months ago, the Fed appeared ready to embark on a series of interest-rate increases after determining the economy was strong enough to handle it. Yet big losses in the stock market early in the year, slowing U.S. growth and fresh worries the global economy spurred the Fed to back off.  See last week commentary regarding the Fed backing itself into a corner where rates are concerned.  Financial markets now don’t expect a rate hike before June and rallied on the news.

More recently our economy seems to have stabilized, easing some of the Fed’s concerns. The Fed pointed to improved consumer spending, a stronger housing market and “strong job gains.”  Yet the Fed acknowledged that exports and business investment remain soft.  Inflation is expected to remain on the low side this year, even though there are some signs that price pressures are building.  The Fed predicted its preferred PCE inflation gauge will end 2016 at 1.2%, down from a prior forecast of 1.6%.  The bank wants to see inflation rise to the 2% level it considers a sign of a healthier economy.

Other Central Banks adjusted their rates this week:  Norway’s central bank cut its main interest rate as it sought to boost a slowing economy and keep prices rising close to its 2.5% target.  Indonesia’s central bank cut interest rates for the third time this year to offer more support for the domestic economy. The South African Reserve Bank raised its key interest rate to 7.0%, from 6.75% previously, citing the threat that a weakening currency poses to inflation.

U.S. wholesale prices fell 0.2% in February to mark the fifth decline in seven months, largely because of lower gasoline and food prices.  The price of goods dropped 0.6% last month. Wholesale gas prices sank 15% and food declined 0.3%. The cost of services was flat.  Over the past year overall producer prices are flat in unadjusted terms.  Excluding the volatile categories of food, energy and trade, core prices edged up 0.1% in February.  Core wholesale prices have risen 0.9% in the same span, the biggest 12-month increase since last summer. While some pressure appears to be building, inflation is still very low.

Consumer prices also fell in February as well owing to another drop in gasoline, but the rising cost of shelter and medical care is creating upward pressure on underlying inflation.  The consumer price index declined 0.2% last month, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.  Energy prices dropped 6% last month, mostly because of cheaper gasoline. The price of food, however, moved up 0.2% as the cost of groceries rose for the first time since last fall.  Over the past 12 months the CPI has risen at a mild 1% rate. That’s down from 1.4% in January.  Yet stripping out food and energy, so-called core prices rose 0.3% in February.  Core consumer prices have climbed at a 2.3% annual rate, the fastest pace since May 2012.

Sales at U.S. retailers dipped in February after an even bigger drop in January, a sign that consumers haven’t ramped up spending despite steady job creation.  Retail sales fell 0.1% last month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.  And sales for January were revised lower to show a 0.4% decline instead of a 0.2% gain.  Retail sales account for about 25% of consumer spending, the main engine of economic growth.  The lackluster pace of sales in the first two months could mean another tepid increase in gross domestic product, GDP, in the first quarter.  The economy expanded at a weak 1% annual clip in the fourth quarter and was projected to accelerate to a 2.3% rate in early 2016.

A measure used to help determine GDP, known as core retail sales, was unchanged in February. Core sales strip out gas, autos, building materials and grocery stores. Core sales have risen a scant 1.1% in the past three months.  The retail sales figures, however, do not take inflation into account. Cheap gas, falling import prices and a recent decline in the cost of food have helped Americans to stretch their paychecks.  Real consumer spending is therefore stronger than retail sales suggest.

A measure of U.S. leading economic indicators rose in February for the first time in three months and suggests steady if mild growth in the months ahead.  The leading economic index rose 0.1% to 123.2 last month, according to the nonprofit Conference Board.  “Although the LEI’s six-month growth rate has moderated considerably in recent months, the outlook remains positive with little chance of a downturn in the near-term,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, an economist at the board that produces the report.  A separate index of current conditions rose 0.1% in February. The LEI is a weighted gauge of 10 indicators designed to signal business-cycle peaks and valleys.

U.S. consumer sentiment slipped to 90.0 in March from 91.7 in February, the lowest reading in five months, because of concerns about how fast the economy will grow in the months ahead as well as the expectation that gasoline prices will rise.  “While consumers do not anticipate a recession, they no longer expect the economy to outperform the 2.4% rate of economic growth recorded in the past two years,” said Richard Curtin, chief economist of the survey.  The last time the index was as low as it is now was in October. The sentiment index reached a post-recession peak of 98.1 in January 2015 but has averaged 92 since then.  The all-time high for the sentiment index is 112, set in January 2000. The index hasn’t topped 100 since 2004.

On the Real Estate front: Confidence among home builders held steady in March, an industry group reported Tuesday, even as another issued a call for more housing construction.  Construction on new houses rose in February to a five-month high, led by the biggest increase in single-family units in nine years.  Sales of existing homes hit the second-highest rate of the expansion in January, the National Association of Realtors said last month.  Houses sold at such a strong pace that inventory fell to one of the lowest levels in decades, pushing prices ever higher.

On Tuesday, NAR released a survey showing demand for homeownership was still strong. The vast majority, 82%, of current homeowners surveyed said now is a good time to buy. The survey also demonstrated what NAR calls “an overwhelming consumer preference for single-family homes in suburban areas.”  In a release, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said that “supply and demand imbalances and unhealthy levels of price growth in several metro areas have made buying an affordable home an onerous task for far too many first-time buyers and middle-class families.”

On the Employment front:  The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits last week rose by 7,000 to 265,000, but the rate of layoffs taking place in the economy are still exceedingly low.

If you like this commentary please visit and “Like” my Facebook pageI put all of my prospective buyers through underwriting so that when they place their offer, it is as close to “cash” as you can get.  So to get your clients “underwriter approved”, please contact me and get your offer accepted!

I have a personal App for your phone that replaces my business card.  You can contact me (various formats), run the mortgage calculator, get RE/Mortgage news, and have access to my social media sites including this weekly commentary.  You can even share my app with others.  Please check it out and let me know what you think.  Click on the following link from your phone and hit “add to home screen, then click “add” and you’re done.

Bill’s phone App:  https://bbartok.mortgagemapp.com/

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!

The Weekly Rap! Government Rhetoric, the Economy and other stuff. 3/11/16

The National Debt is currently: $19,109,639,132,587.00 is Higher by another 80 BILLION in the last week. The interest pay-out alone on the debt is 233 Billion per year! I post this so we will be aware of what we are leaving to our children.

If you like this commentary please visit and “Like” my Facebook page. I put all of my prospective buyers through underwriting so that when they place their offer, it is as close to “cash” as you can get. So to get your clients “underwriter approved”, please contact me and get your offer accepted!

Try making an accurate economic forecast for 2017 when the next U.S. president could be anyone from Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump. Just as the 2016 race has stymied political prognosticators, it is also confounding the economites (my term for economists, think of a creature that ruffles its fur/feathers when its right and hides when wrong).

This is the primary reason most folks are fed up with our government and are voting for an outsider like Trump, as bold as he might be. President Barack Obama said last Friday that the February jobs report showed that the U.S. economy was “the envy of the world” and that “Republican presidential candidates should stop talking down the economy.” If we are the envy of the world then that doesn’t say much for the rest of the world.

Obama said in remarks to reporters ahead of a meeting of his economic team. “The facts don’t lie….America is pretty darn great right now.” Trump’s motto is “Make America Great Again.” While the Labor Department on Friday reported a strong (in relation to the last 8 years) 242,000 jobs created in February this is in no way indicative of a growing economy to be bragging about. If he’s referring to a 2.00% growth rate then this is a good number. But there are a certain number of new jobs needed to absorb population growth. More on this next week.

The president also said that he didn’t expect the unnamed candidates would change their “doomsday rhetoric” and said “his plans” to grow the economy have worked. Really??? The national Debt has doubled, and by 10 Trillion dollars. His comments mask some stubborn problems. One of the most acute is weak wage growth despite a sinking unemployment rate. Hourly pay has been rising just 2.1% a year since the recovery took root in 2010. By contrast, wages grew 3.2% annually during the 2001-2007 expansion and 3.2% in the 1991-2000 boom.

More than three-fourths of forecasters in a new Wall Street Journal survey say the presidential election has introduced more uncertainty than is typical from a change at the White House. While it doesn’t take a poll to tell me that, the stock markets have rebounded over the past month as economic reports bolstered the case that continued—though moderate—economic growth seems likely. The average survey respondent estimates the economy will grow about 2.4% this year and next and that the unemployment rate will fall to 4.6% in 2017.

We’ve been stuck in the current “growth” pattern for the last 7 years, or since Prez Obama took office. I would say that at an average real gross domestic product, GDP, (the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States) growth rate of about 1.88% (2009 thru 2015) is not growth, but treading water. The highest we’ve gotten is 3.00% back in 2010. Prior to this recent time period we averaged about 3.5% growth.

During this time period the Fed has kept short term rates at “0” and the Stock market (Dow Index) has gone from just over 6,000 to over 18,000. I’ve said this before, but the Fed has backed itself into a corner. If/when they raise rates they will have to do it when the economy is doing better or they risk a potential stock market correction. And I don’t see the economy improving any better than the stagnant 2.00% we’ve been stuck at since 2010, And when they do raise rates (to beyond 3.5%) corporate earnings will suffer due to interest rate expense. I thought we would’ve seen changes after the last election but we’ve gotten more of the same. A lot depends on the upcoming election. The Fed predicts the economy will trudge along at a 1.8% to 2.2% growth rate until at least 2018.

Most economites surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect the Fed to leave short-term interest rates unchanged at its next two policy meetings, and next raise them in June. About 76% of business and academic economites polled in recent days said the Fed would next raise its benchmark fed-funds rate at its June 14-15 policy meeting, up from 60% in the February survey. Just 3% of forecasters predicted Fed Gods would lift rates at the March 15-16 meeting, down from 9% in the last survey. Asked to gauge the probability of a March rate increase, on average they said 12%.

In economic news this week; the fact that there has been no real “bad” economic data, and improvements in consumer spending and employment, is helping ease investors’ concerns about weak corporate earnings and worries that the country could be headed toward a recession.

Small-business owners turned slightly less confident about their economic prospects last month, with lackluster sales crimping margins and ongoing uncertainty over the economic outlook and political landscape pinching spending plans. The National Federation of Independent Business’s small-business optimism index, based on a survey sent to about 5,000 owners, slipped 1 point to 92.9, the lowest level in about two years. In 2015, the gauge averaged 96.1.

While overall consumer credit increased 3.6% in January, credit growth actually slowed as consumers cut back on credit card use, the Federal Reserve reported Monday. This is the smallest percentage increase since March 2013. It’s also a sharp deceleration from December’s 7.3%. The slowdown brought consumer credit below expectations. Total consumer borrowing, which does not include mortgage debt, now totals $3.5 trillion. Credit card borrowing declined 1.4% in January following gains averaging 7.5% over the past two months. This is the first decline since last February. The Economites often view credit card use as a proxy for consumer confidence. Non-revolving credit, which includes auto loans and student loans, grew 5.4% in January after a 7.4% gain in December.

The federal government ran a budget deficit of $193 billion in February, the Treasury Department reported Thursday, just slightly higher than the $192 billion recorded in the same month a year ago. The last time the government brought in more $$$ than is spent was in 2000. Total spending for the month was $362 billion, Treasury said, or 9% more than a year ago. Spending rose for interest payments on the public debt, Medicare and Medicaid benefits and veterans’ programs, among other budget areas. Receipts totaled $169 billion, up 21% from last February. Individual income and payroll taxes rose by 12%.

On the Real Estate front: On the national level; the National Association of Realtors gauge of pending home sales dipped 2.5% in January. Also NAR’s monthly gauge fell to 106.0 from an upwardly-revised 108.7 in December. It was the 17th straight month in which the index has been higher compared to a year ago, but that gain was only 1.4% in January. On the local level; pending sales in El Dorado County were higher by 58% from Jan to Feb and new listings were higher by 33% in the same period. The index tracks real estate transactions in which a sales contract has been signed, but the deal has not yet closed.

The decline probably reflects some impact from the massive blizzard in January, NAR said, but also the strong acceleration in home prices, along with lean inventory. “Some buyers could be waiting for a hike in listings come springtime,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. Sales of existing homes surged last month but prices also jumped, by 8.2%. NAR forecasts such sales will rise 2.5% over the 2015 tally in 2016, to 5.38 million. The group contends new home construction is needed to bring balance into the market.

On the Employment front:  The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits fell by 18,000 in the first week of March, setting a five-month low of 259,000 and reflecting a low rate of layoffs in a steadily growing economy. Initial claims fell below the 300,000 threshold that signals a healthy labor market more than a year ago. They have remained under that mark since. New claims touched a 42-year low of 256,000 in October.

Stocks rallied today as investors reassessed the impact of the European Central Bank’s latest stimulus measures and the health of the U.S. economy. The Dow is higher by 217 points today/Friday and the highest of the year. The Dow is at 17,212. The S&P 500 is trading at 2,022. Gold is trading at $1,251 an ounce, while oil futures at $38.55 a barrel. Gas prices, (Regular in El Dorado Hills, Costco, AM/PM), are at $2.13/Gal.

The FNMA 30-year fixed 3.0% coupon (interest rates at which banks sell their loans into Fannie Mae), containing 3.25% – 3.625% mortgage rates, the benchmark or how rate sheets are priced these days is currently trading at 101.44. We are currently testing the support of the trading range. Our current trading range is about 101.50 to about 103.00. Each .50 change in the price of the security translates to about 0.125 in rate. Basically the 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 lower the rate.

I have a personal App for your phone that replaces my business card. You can contact me (various formats), run the mortgage calculator, get RE/Mortgage news, and have access to my social media sites including this weekly commentary. You can even share my app with others. Please check it out and let me know what you think. Click on the following link from your phone and hit “add to home screen, then click “add” and you’re done.

Bill’s phone App: https://bbartok.mortgagemapp.com/

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!