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Posted To: MBS Commentary

When you pay the sort of price we paid last week (in terms of rates surging to 7-year highs), you expect to get something reasonably nice in return. This, then, is our recompense. In terms of ground covered, it was the best week we've had since April 2017. An unresolved question remains: would it have happened without Italian political drama? I know the answer. Yes , we still would have rallied, but no , we probably wouldn't have rallied at such a fast pace. Domestic bond markets and even German Bunds RESISTED the Italian implication last week and only really got with the program as things got more serious on Wednesday. The additional safe-haven buying was the last thing bond sellers wanted to see a few short days after pushing yields to long-term highs. It meant a big accumulation...(read more)

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5/25/2018 3:22:29 PM

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved much lower this week with another strong move today. As we discussed yesterday, this is certainly at odds with the prevailing news coverage, which continues to focus on yesterday's Freddie Mac survey. Here's a link to yesterday's article, or you can take my word for it that Freddie's survey is now outdated. Or you could just forget all that and consider the following. At several huge, "household name" lenders, the upfront costs on a 30yr fixed quote of 4.75% are now the same as they were for 4.875% just a few days ago. That's a strong week by anyone's standards, and it brings today's rates in line with the lowest of the past several weeks. Whether or not the strength persists, remains to be seen . We'll be waiting at least until next Tuesday to get any clues as markets...(read more)

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5/25/2018 3:02:00 PM

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The May edition of Freddie Mac's monthly Outlook , produced by its Economic & Housing Research Group, is focused on the resiliency of the American homebuyer . It notes that, "Through the first five months of 2018, home shoppers have battled the trifecta of climbing home prices, higher mortgage rates and low supply ." One entry in the trifecta is interest rates, and Freddie Mac's economists see firming inflation continuing to put upward pressure on rates in general, including mortgage rates. They continued to climb during May, reaching 4.66 percent by the middle of the month. Rates, according to their forecast, will average 4.9 percent in the fourth quarter of this year and 5.4 percent by the same quarter in 2019. Higher mortgage rates have not yet slowed home purchase demand. Buyer resiliency...(read more)

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5/25/2018 8:18:21 AM

Posted To: MBS Commentary

If you'd just had your worst week in 7 years, it's always nice if the next could be markedly different. That's the case for bond markets this week, assuming nothing outrageous happens for the rest of the day. In fact, if markets closed right now, this week's gains would easily outpace last week's losses. Who can we thank? In a word: Italy. More than anything, it's been the downward spiral in Italian politics fueling a rally in safer-haven bonds (like Treasuries and German Bunds). Who cares about Italy? More people than you might think. Even though it's only one of 19 countries in the Eurozone, it's important for a few reasons. First off, it's the 3rd biggest economy in Europe, so the economic impacts of any Italian drama can't easily be brushed off. Just...(read more)

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5/25/2018 7:33:53 AM

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Did you know that the number of female chief executives of Fortune 500 companies this year declined by 25 percent (from 32 to 24)? Not good. One of the highlights for me of this week’s MBA Secondary Marketing Conference was the mPower lunch. Besides some great networking and meeting some new folks, the lunch featured author Joanne Lipman who spoke about unconscious biases that many have (if you want to test yours, visit this site ), strategies for improving your workplace, and closing the gender divide. Yes, there are differences between men and women, but companies are better off by constructively realizing them and using them to their advantage. (If you have questions about the mPower program, which is also having events at various conferences around the nation, please contact the MBA’s...(read more)

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5/25/2018 7:07:38 AM

Posted To: MND NewsWire

CoreLogic says flipping is back. The term applies to the act of buying, renovating and/or repairing a house, then reselling it, all within a short timeframe. Investors who specialize in flipping are always out there, but when prices are rising, or appear about to, lots more people join in the game. Bin He, writing in CoreLogic's Insights blog, looked at the current levels of flipping, using as the criteria a house that is bought then sold in under 12 months. He found that 6.2 percent of home sales in the first quarter appeared to be flips . This matches the previous post-crash high in the first quarter of 2013. But, he points out, it was a different world back then. Prices were just beginning to rebound from their 2012 lows, the supply of homes was outstripping demand, and distressed sales...(read more)

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5/25/2018 6:10:12 AM

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Yesterday was an important one for anyone hoping NOT to see the bond market completely give up hope in the fight against higher rates. To be fair, the fundamental realities in place over the past few years have clearly pointed toward higher rates, but there's always some uncertainty regarding how quickly we move and which levels will end up being important. With a break beyond the weakest levels in 7 years, it was (and still is) fair to wonder if we were on the precipice of a more abrupt move. As of right now, that more abrupt move is clearly on hold . This week's strong round of Treasury auctions sends the message that there's even some sponsorship for the bond market beyond the "risk-off" motivations from European political drama. That said, if European political drama...(read more)

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5/24/2018 2:29:28 PM

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved lower again today, bringing them to the best levels in at least 2 weeks. This assertion is very much at odds with the prevailing mortgage rate headlines today. News stories abound with talk of sharp increases to fresh 7-year highs (google news search if you don't believe me), yet nothing could be more of a disservice to the demographic that typically looks for mortgage rate news (people who are in the market)! If you are indeed in the market or otherwise have a vested interest in day-to-day mortgage rate fluctuations, you need to understand that all those news stories are based on Freddie Mac's weekly rate survey, and that Freddie Mac is wrong . To be fair, it's not so much "wrong" as it is " late ." Unfortunately, Freddie's survey typically captures lenders' claimed rate...(read more)

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5/24/2018 1:14:00 PM

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Existing home sales put an end to two straight months of gains , retreating in April on both a monthly and annual basis. The National Association of Realtors® said the sales of single-family homes, townhouses, condos, and cooperative apartments dropped by 2.5 percent from March's estimate of 5.60 million to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million. That put sales at a 1.4 percent deficit when compared to April 2017. It was the second straight month that sales have lagged on an annual basis. Economists polled by Econoday were not looking for greatly improved numbers but results even missed that target . Estimates ranged from 5.48 million to 5.64 million. The consensus was for no change from the March 5.60 million number. Single-family home sales were down by 3.0 percent to a seasonally...(read more)

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5/24/2018 9:00:28 AM

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Home prices in the first quarter of 2018 were 1.7 percent higher than at the end of the fourth quarter of last year. The Federal Housing Finance Agency said its Housing Price Index (HPI) gained 6.9 percent when compared to the level at the end of March 2017. On a monthly basis prices were 0.1 percent higher than in February. The month over month rate of increase in March was significantly higher than the 0.6 percent gain from January to February, but the annual increase slowed compared to the previous month. The rate of appreciation from February 2017 to February 2018 was 7.2 percent. "Home prices continue to rise across the U.S. but there are signs of tapering ," said Dr. William Doerner, FHFA's Senior Economist. "Since housing markets began to rebound in 2012, house price appreciation has...(read more)

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5/24/2018 8:29:47 AM

Ken Flory, Bennion Deville Homes 760-485-2123 or email: flry7@aol.com  California BRE Lic#01361850


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