By Fred Arnold
The stock market has been steadily rising throughout the month of January increasing over 750 points, (great news for you 401K). The American public have been slowly starting to believe in the viability of investing in stocks once again!
If you have been wondering why mortgage rates have been slowly rising, it is simply that more and more people are feeling better about the future of housing and money is moving out of bonds into the stock market. The reality of things is that housing is fast becoming the bright spot in the economic recovery (Imagine that!).
To make things even better, the future of home building looks very strong as there is a lot of pent up demand for housing. The challenge is inventory of existing homes for sale is quite low. The National Association of Realtors most recent report on existing home sales showed a decline as there is not much in the way of inventory for sale. Buyer demand remains very strong. If there is not much existing inventory on the market for sale, then builders need to build, and they are certainly starting to do that now.
Applications for mortgage refinances dropped 10% in the last week. The decline is most likely a direct reflection that interest rates have risen approximately ¼%. Rates are still ridiculously low however borrowers have become very sensitive to slight rate movements.
The Case-Shiller Home Value Index reported that home prices for the nationu2019s 20 major cities increased by .6 percent. Additionally home prices are up 5.5% from a year ago which continues to support the facts that a housing recovery exists. We are still a long way off from recovering the lost equity from the housing meltdown however now that demand is increasing, we are starting to slowly recover some of the value lost.
To no oneu2019s surprise the Fed announced that they will continue to keep rates low and that they will continue their bond purchasing program to artificially keep mortgage rates down. The one thing to realize is that if housing continues to improve at the current pace, mortgage rates will increase despite the Fedu2019s efforts.
There does continue to be signs that the economy is not quite as strong as we would like to believe. We have all heard time and time again that housing takes us into a recession and it takes us out of it. It appears that housing has started the process of healing the economy and things should keep improving.
Next week housing reports will dominate the economic calendar of reports.
- Wednesday February 6 - MBA Applications
- Thursday February 7th - First Time Jobless Claims
As your mortgage professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate information. I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can. Please feel free to reach me at 661-505-4300 to http://fredarnold.com .