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Mortgage Time

18 Aug
Data, Fed, Politics
Uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration and dovish Fed minutes were positive for mortgage rates this week. Stronger than expected economic data had the opposite effect. While it was a fairly volatile week, the net result of these influences was that mortgage rates ended the week with little change, remaining near the best levels of the year.

After several months of surprisingly weak reports on retail sales, the data released on Tuesday was encouraging. Excluding the volatile auto component, retail sales in July surged 0.5% from June, which was well above the expected gains. In addition, the results for June were revised significantly higher.
Since retail sales are a critical part of the economy, this month’s strong results were viewed as a positive sign for future economic growth, but also a contributor to rising inflation. This caused a negative reaction in mortgage rates.
It appears from the Fed minutes released on Wednesday that there is a growing split between Fed officials about when inflation will begin to rise. A growing number of officials would like to move slowly to raise the federal funds rate any further. They argued that the Fed "could afford to be patient under current circumstances." The more dovish tone of the minutes was favorable for mortgage rates.
President Trump’s comments this week about the events in Charlottesville drew widespread condemnation. Apparent loss of support from political allies and business leaders and the rumored resignation of a key advisor sparked a stock market selloff late in the week. The chance that pro-growth legislation will pass any time soon is believed to have diminished. While this was bad for stocks, it was good for mortgage rates because expectations for future inflation also declined.
Looking ahead, investors will be watching for further developments regarding the Trump administration. It will be a light week for economic data. New Home Sales will be released on Wednesday and Existing Home Sales on Thursday. Durable Orders, an important indicator of economic activity, will come out on Friday. In addition, global central bankers will be attending the annual Jackson Hole conference Thursday through Saturday, and any comments about future monetary policy could affect mortgage rates.

>> Read the newsletter online: http://www.mbsquoteline.com/newsletter/view/273/21342/0/3

The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Visit my website at: www.juliecnichols.com or contact me with any of your home loan questions.

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Mortgage Time

11 Aug
Low Inflation
Low inflation and rising tensions with North Korea were good for mortgage rates this week, while strong labor market data was negative. The net effect was that mortgage rates ended the week a little lower, near the best levels of the year.

Fed officials are hoping for inflation to rise, but the recent data has not cooperated. On Friday, the core consumer price index (CPI), a widely followed indicator, revealed that inflation in July was just 1.7% higher than a year ago, which was the same annual rate as last month. Just a few months ago, the annual rate was 2.2%.
The recent trend in inflation has been good for mortgage rates, and it could slow the pace of monetary tightening by the Fed. Earlier in the week, the Fed’s Evans said that December is the earliest that the Fed should consider another federal funds rate hike and that if inflation remains weak they could put off another rate hike "until later."
Concerns about the threat posed by North Korea increased this week. Investors reacted by shifting from riskier assets such as stocks to relatively safer assets such as bonds. Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) were one beneficiary of this flight to safety. The added demand raised MBS prices, which was good for mortgage rates.
Tuesday’s JOLTS report revealed job openings and labor turnover rates for June. While labor turnover rates were little changed, job openings unexpectedly surged to 6.2 million, which was a record high. A greater number of unfilled positions is viewed as a sign of strength for the labor market, so this data was good news for the economy. Stronger economic activity raises expectations for future inflation, however, so this report was negative for mortgage rates.
Looking ahead, Retail Sales will be released on Tuesday. Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of economic activity in the U.S., and the retail sales data is a key indicator. Housing Starts will come out on Wednesday. Industrial Production, an important indicator of economic activity, will be released on Thursday. In addition, the Minutes from the July 25 European Central Bank Meeting will come out on Thursday and could influence U.S. markets. News about North Korea could affect mortgage rates as well.

>> Read the newsletter online: http://www.mbsquoteline.com/newsletter/view/272/21342/0/3

The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Visit my website at: www.juliecnichols.com or contact me with any of your home loan questions.

#MortgageBlog, #BestMortgageLender, #GMFS, #JulieNichols, #NicholsTeam

Thank you Ashlie for the Nice Review!

4 Aug

Nothing makes my Friday afternoon like receiving a 5-star review from a customer!

The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Visit my website at: www.juliecnichols.com or contact me with any of your home loan questions.

#MortgageBlog, #BestMortgageLender, #GMFS, #JulieNichols, #NicholsTeam, #ChangingLives

Mortgage Time

4 Aug
Mixed Data
With little fresh news from global central bankers this week, the economic data was the primary influence on mortgage rates. Some reports were positive and some were negative. The net effect was that mortgage rates ended the week slightly lower.
The Fed’s target level for inflation is an annual rate of 2.0%. Tuesday’s release of the core PCE price index, the inflation indicator favored by the Fed, revealed that inflation remains well below this level. In June, core PCE was just 1.5% higher than a year ago, which was the same annual rate as in May. Low inflation is good for mortgage rates, and rates improved on Tuesday.
Aside from the Employment data, one of the most highly anticipated reports each month covers the services sector, which represents more than 75% of the jobs in the U.S. Slower than expected growth in this sector caused mortgage rates to fall on Thursday. The July ISM Services index fell to 53.9, well below the consensus, and the lowest level since August 2016.

Mortgage rates rose on Friday following the release of modestly stronger than expected Employment data. Against a consensus forecast of 180K, the economy added 209K jobs in July. Strength was seen in health care, business services, and leisure and hospitality. The unemployment rate declined from 4.4% to 4.3%, which matched May’s reading at the lowest level since 2001.
Looking ahead, the most significant report during a light week will be the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which will come out on Friday. CPI is a widely followed monthly inflation report that looks at the price change for goods and services which are purchased by consumers. Before that, the JOLTS report will be released on Tuesday. JOLTS measures job openings and labor turnover rates and has been described by Fed Chair Yellen as very useful data. In addition, there will be Treasury auctions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

>> Read the newsletter on-line: http://www.mbsquoteline.com/newsletter/view/271/21342/0/3

The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Visit my website at: www.juliecnichols.com or contact me with any of your home loan questions.

#MortgageBlog, #BestMortgageLender, #GMFS, #JulieNichols, #NicholsTeam, #ChangingLives

Congratulations Jeff & Ashlie!

2 Aug

All in the Family! Buyers and Sellers! Congratulations Jeff & Ashlie. It was great working with everyone and what a fun closing with your precious little ones!

The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Visit my website at: www.juliecnichols.com or contact me with any of your home loan questions.

#MortgageBlog #NicholsTeam #HomePurchase #GMFS #JulieNichols #ChangingLives #MortgageLoans

Julie C. Nichols | NMLS #280620

Dallas: 469-786-8662 | Austin: 512-953-7071

Cell: 214-616-4549 | Fax: 888-267-4250

2600 N. Dallas Pkwy | Ste 140 | Frisco, TX 75034

NAR: Future appraiser shortage is real

28 Jul

Reblogged from Scotsman Guide – Victor Whitman

Realtors are again ringing alarm bells over a potential future crisis in the appraisal industry.

In a new report, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said that a wave of retiring appraisers and a lack of new entrants into the field could create a serious shortage of available appraisers for the housing and mortgage markets, particularly in rural areas.

NAR estimated that the current population of appraisers stands at about 82,000 nationwide. That number could decline by roughly a quarter over the next 30 years given the 2016 level of appraisers entering the field, the trade group said.

NAR cited figures from the Appraisal Foundation, which keeps tabs on people who pass the National Uniform Licensing and Certifications Examinations exam each year, a requirement to practice.

In 2016, that number reached a new low at 662, which is down from 2,087 in 2008. This number averaged just 1,000 from 2010 to 2014.

“We are well below replacement at this level, so we do need more appraisers, and we need high-qualify appraisers,” said Ken Fears, NAR’s director of housing finance and regional economics.

A wave of appraisers is expected to reach retirement age over the next 10 to 15 years. Appraisers also have been leaving the industry before reaching retirement as the government has ratcheted up the training requirements and regulations.

"A lot of appraisers seem to be very concerned about the AMCs [appraisal management companies, through
which lenders must now order appraisals services] adding to the workload without adding to their commissions, actually taking away from their commissions," Fears told Scotsman Guide News. "Essentially, in economics, we would call them rent seekers. They are not really adding value."

Fears said that increased automation will likely reduce the demand for live appraisers. Even if a large number of future appraisals are handled through automation, however, the industry will likely face a shortage of live appraisers. Fears noted that the modeling tends to work only in newer developments with similar properties. In neighborhoods with a lot of variation and aging properties, live appraisers will always be needed.

“Even if we do automate roughly 50 percent of the GSE and FHA space [loans purchased by Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac, and insured by the Federal Housing Administration], that is not enough,” Fears said. “We need to train a lot more people.”

>> Read the original article here: http://www.scotsmanguide.com/News/2017/07/NAR–Future-appraiser-shortage-is-real/?utm_source=TopNews072817&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=TopNews

The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Visit my website at: www.juliecnichols.com or contact me with any of your home loan questions.

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Mortgage Time

28 Jul
Fed to Act "Relatively Soon"
This week’s Fed meeting caused some volatility but had almost no net effect on mortgage rates. The economic data caused little reaction. Mortgage rates ended the week very slightly higher.
The statement released on Wednesday following the conclusion of the Fed meeting contained little new guidance about future policy. According to the statement, officials expect to begin to scale back (taper) the Fed’s holdings of Treasury and mortgage securities "relatively soon." Many investors think that the Fed will announce the tapering at the next meeting on September 20. As expected, the Fed made no change in the federal funds rate. Officials provided little indication that the low inflation readings seen in recent months have altered their outlook for the pace of future rate hikes.

On Friday, the first reading for second quarter gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic activity, was 2.6%, which was very close to the consensus forecast. First quarter GDP was revised lower to 1.2% from 1.4%. During the second quarter, strength was seen in the key areas of consumer spending and business investment.
The large improvement during the second quarter was great news for the economy. However, since it was right on target with the expected levels, there was little market reaction.
Monday’s report on home sales activity showed that little has changed over the last few months. In June, sales of existing homes were at roughly the same level as in April and May. They were slightly higher than a year ago. The inventory of existing homes for sale was at just a 4.3-month supply and was 7% lower than a year ago. The median existing-home price was 7% higher than a year ago.
Looking ahead, the important monthly Employment report will be released on Friday. As usual, this data on the number of jobs, the unemployment rate, and wage inflation will be the most highly anticipated economic data of the month. Before that, the ISM national manufacturing index and the Core PCE price index, the inflation indicator favored by the Fed, will be released on Tuesday. The ISM national services index will come out on Thursday.

>> Read the article on-line: http://www.mbsquoteline.com/newsletter/view/270/21342/0/3

The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Visit my website at: www.juliecnichols.com or contact me with any of your home loan questions.

#MortgageBlog, #BestMortgageLender, #GMFS, #JulieNichols, #NicholsTeam, #ChangingLives

Mortgage Time

21 Jul
ECB More Dovish
This week’s movement in mortgage rates was mostly due to a more dovish investor outlook for the European Central Bank (ECB). The economic data caused little reaction. Mortgage rates ended the week lower.
For years, the ECB has had a program in place to purchase massive quantities of bonds. The most recent extension of the program consists of buying 60 billion euros per month through December. This added demand has helped push bond yields lower around the world, including U.S. mortgage rates. Investors have been speculating for months about when the ECB will begin to scale back (taper) its bond purchases. On June 27, ECB President Draghi surprised investors by indicating that the extension of the bond purchase program next year might be at reduced monthly levels, and global bond yields moved higher. Recently, however, comments from ECB officials have become more dovish, meaning that the ECB may be less eager to scale back its stimulus programs as soon as some investors had thought. At Thursday’s ECB meeting, Draghi provided just the vague guidance that the discussion about tapering should take place "in the fall." The apparent lack of urgency to taper helped mortgage rates improve over the last two weeks, nearly back to the levels seen before the comments on June 27.
One of the few bright spots in the recent U.S. economic data came from the housing sector this week. Despite a lack of inventory in many markets, a disturbing trend had appeared to be developing, as housing starts had declined in March, April, and May. However, the report for June released on Wednesday suggested that the three months of declines merely reflected that the data is highly volatile over the short-term.

In June, single-family housing starts jumped 6% from May, and the results for May were revised higher as well. Single-family housing starts were 10% higher than a year ago. Similar gains were seen for building permits for single-family homes in June. They were 9% higher than a year ago.
Looking ahead, the next Fed meeting will take place on Wednesday. No change in the federal funds rate is expected, but investors will be looking for guidance about future monetary policy. Before that, Existing Home Sales will be released on Monday and New Home Sales on Wednesday. Durable Orders, an important indicator of economic activity, will come out on Thursday. The first reading for second quarter GDP, the broadest measure of economic activity, will be released on Friday. In addition, there will be Treasury auctions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

>> View the newsletter online: http://www.mbsquoteline.com/newsletter/view/269/21342/0/3

The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Visit my website at: www.juliecnichols.com or contact me with any of your home loan questions.

#MortgageBlog, #BestMortgageLender, #GMFS, #JulieNichols, #NicholsTeam

Congratulations Yameen and Mariam on your investment home purchase!

18 Jul

Congratulations Yameen and Mariam on your investment home purchase! Great location and investment potential.

The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Visit my website at: www.juliecnichols.com or contact me with any of your home loan questions.

#MortgageBlog, #BestMortgageLender, #GMFS, #JulieNichols, #NicholsTeam, #ChangingLives

I love those happy customers!

14 Jul

The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Visit my website at: www.juliecnichols.com or contact me with any of your home loan questions.

#MortgageBlog, #BestMortgageLender, #GMFS, #JulieNichols, #NicholsTeam, #ChangingLives