Consumer Sentiment Down To Its Lowest Point Since 2011

March brought another dip in consumer sentiment, with the University of Michigan’s index registering its lowest level since August 2011. The March index was revised down to 59.4 from a reading of 59.7 two weeks ago. An index of 100 is equal to sentiment in Q1 1966. A year ago at this time, the index was 84.9. Consumer sentiment is now down 41.6 points from its peak in February 2020 and is even below the lows seen in four of the last six recessions.  “When asked to explain changes in their finances in their own words, more consumers mentioned reduced living standards due to rising inflation than any other time except during the two worst recessions in the past fifty…

Analysts React To Fed Rate Hike

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time since 2018 on Wednesday in an effort to combat rising inflation, and economists have mixed feelings about its impact on the housing market. The Consumer Price Index rose 0.8% in February, up 7.9% over the last year, to its highest rate in 40 years. As Americans spend more on less, the impact is becoming apparent. Retail sales rose 0.3% in February, a slowdown in the pace of spending that suggested inflation was taking its toll on American consumers. But while rising prices for gas and groceries may burden American households, it’s things like health insurance and housing that are the “silent killers,” according to Justin Wolfers, University of Michigan professor…

Morning Roundup (2/17/2022)– Real Estate Investors, Climate Damage

Good Morning! Today is Thursday, February 17. The Education Department will cancel loans for students defrauded by DeVry University. Ukraine accused Russian-backed separatists of shelling a Kindergarten, calling it “a big provocation.” Retail sales rose by a seasonally adjusted 3.8% in January. The Mortgage Note Reports Office Spaces Are Not A Thing Of The Past: Despite many employees working from home and companies adopting hybrid work models, investors are still attracted to the land of cubicles. “Stronger Than Ever”: Real estate investors bought a record 18.4% of all homes sold in Q4 2021, nearly three-quarters of which were all-cash purchases. Climate Damage: More than 14.5 million single- and multifamily homes were impacted by natural disasters in 2021, causing an estimated…

Morning Roundup (1/27/2022)– Behind The Inflation Curve, Loan Apps Down

Good Morning! Today is Thursday, January 27. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring. Neil Young is removing his music from Spotify, saying it has become “the home of life-threatening Covid misinformation.” The U.S. rejected Russia’s demands that NATO retreat from Eastern Europe and bar Ukraine from ever joining, but offered other areas of negotiation. The Mortgage Note Reports Rate Increases Into 2023: At least one economist says the Federal Reserve is already behind the inflation curve, and the mortgage industry should expect interest rate increases into 2023. Down, Up, Then Back Down: Mortgage loan application volume fell 7.1% from last week, with refis tumbling 13%, MBA reported. “Appropriate Pricing Policies”: CHLA sent a letter to FHFA Acting Director Sandra…

Morning Roundup (1/7/2022)– Rates Climb To Highest Level Since May 2020

Good Morning! Today is Friday, December 7. President Biden accused Donald Trump of spreading a “web of lies about the 2020 election.” The Supreme Court will hear arguments today in cases challenging the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates. Canada’s ban on conversion therapy takes effect today. And in mortgage and housing news… Rates Climb: Mortgage rates rose to their highest level since May 2020, up to an average of 3.22%, Freddie Mac reported. Forbearances Improve: Active forbearance plans dropped by 8% in the first week of January, according to Black Knight’s blog, Vision.  December Jobs: The US economy added just 199,000 jobs in December, far below economists’ expectations of 422,000 gains. FHFA Changes Explained: The FHFA this week announced loan-level price…

Rates Rise To Highest Level Since May 2020

Mortgage rates rose to their highest level since May 2020, up to an average of 3.22%, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.22%, significantly higher than last week’s 3.11%. It disrupts a trend of rates hovering around 3.10% or 3.11%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.65%. “Mortgage rates increased during the first week of 2022 to the highest level since May 2020 and are more than half a percent higher than January 2021,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.  “With higher inflation, promising economic growth, and a tight labor market, we expect rates will continue to rise. The impact of higher rates…

Morning Roundup (1/6/2022)– Rocket Leadership Changeup, Second Home Demand Remains High

Good Morning! Today is Thursday, January 6. It’s the anniversary of the January 6 riot, and President Biden will speak today on steps to strengthen democracy in the US. A Philadelphia fire left at least thirteen dead and two hospitalized. The CDC recommended Pfizer boosters for children aged twelve and up. And in mortgage and housing news… Check Out The Photos!: These are the most expensive homes in 2022’s hottest housing markets. Second Home Demand Stays High: December demand for vacation homes topped pre-pandemic levels by 77% as affluent Americans continue to take advantage of remote work and low-interest rates. But it’s so hard to get into the game, some people are comparing it to finding their way into an…

Freddie Mac: Rates Up Slightly After FOMC Announcement

Mortgage rates rose slightly over the last week, up from an average of 3.10% to 3.12%, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.12%, rising slightly after a weeks-long pattern of hovering around 3.10% or 3.11%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.67%. “Mortgage rates inched up as a result of economic improvement and a shift in monetary policy guidance,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “While house price growth is slowing, prices remain high due to solid housing demand and low supply. We expect rates to continue to increase into 2022 which may leave some potential homebuyers with less room in their budgets…

Analysts Respond To FOMC Tapering Announcement

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced it will double the pace of tapering its pandemic asset purchase program, and signaled it would likely raise interest rates next year. This would be its first rate hike since March 2020. The move comes in response to concerns about rising inflation. At its November meeting, the FOMC said it would reduce its purchases of Treasury securities from $80 billion to $70 billion and from $40 billion to $35 billion for mortgage-backed securities. Since then, inflation has reached a 39-year high and become a major sticking point for the American public. As to how this announcement affects the mortgage and real estate industries, analyst response has focused on rising costs. “Increasing mortgage rates…

Fed Outlines Plan To Taper Bond-Buying, No Movement On Rate Hikes

The Federal Reserve outlined a plan to begin tapering its emergency bond purchases. The purchases of $120 billion per month in Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) were a government effort to keep financial markets afloat after the economic fall out from Covid-19. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) met for two days this week then released a statement saying the Fed will begin tapering those purchases later this month. It will reduce its purchases of Treasury securities from $80 billion to $70 billion and from $40 billion to $35 billion for mortgage-backed securities. “In light of the substantial further progress the economy has made toward the Committee’s goals since last December, the Committee decided to begin reducing the monthly pace…