Could Fed Interest Rate Hike Help Home Buyers?

Real Estate , ,
News of the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates appears to have caused unnecessary panic among people poised to purchase a first home or a larger one for a growing family. Headlines and news reports that talk about interest rates being at their highest since 2014 can be alarming. Announcements from the Fed that rates would increase four times in 2018 and again in 2019 seems downright scary. After all, isn't it logical that increased interest rates mean that monthly mortgage payment could be substantially higher? As it turns out, neither the click-bait headlines about dramatic rate increases or higher monthly premiums…
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Fed Raises Key Interest Rate For 3rd Consecutive Time

Real Estate , ,
The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve announced that it raised the target federal funds rate to a range of 2.00 percent to 2.25 percent. This was the third consecutive increase in the Fed's key interest rate and was the eighth time the Fed raised its key interest rate since 2015. In its customary post-meeting statement, Committee members cited strong economic conditions and continued labor market growth coupled with historically low unemployment rates as a basis for raising the federal funds interest rate. Fed Cites Steady Inflation, Healthy Household And Business Spending Further economic conditions cited in the…
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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 13, 2016

Financial Reports , ,
Last week's economic news was highlighted by Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech in Philadelphia. Although Chair Yellen alluded to future Fed rate hikes, she did not specify when Fed policymakers would next raise the target federal funds rate.  Increases in the fed funds rate typically signal increases in consumer credit and home mortgage rates. Last week's speech was seen as a precursor to the Federal Open Market Committee statement that will occur at the conclusion of next week's FOMC meeting.  Chair Yellen is also scheduled to give a press conference after the FOMC statement next Wednesday. Mortgage rates and new…
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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – February 16, 2016

Market Outlook , ,
Last week's economic events included weekly releases on new jobless claims, mortgage rates and testimony by Fed Chair Janet Yellen concerning the Federal Reserve's monetary policy. Here are the details: Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Drop Freddie Mac reported that average mortgage rates fell across the board last Thursday, with the rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage seven basis points lower at 3.65 percent. The average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage was six basis points lower at 2.95 percent, and the average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage was two basis points lower at 2.83 percent.…
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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – Feburary 8, 2016

Market Outlook , ,
Last week's scheduled economic news included reports on construction spending and several labor-related reports along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims. The details: Construction Spending Higher in December U.S. construction spending rose by 0.10 percent in December for a seasonally adjusted annual total of $1.12 trillion. The Commerce Department reported that construction firms spent 10.5 percent more than in 2014.Residential construction spending totaled $416.8 billion for 2015, which was 12.60 percent higher than in 2015. Higher construction spending can be a double-edged sword, as it can indicate that builders are stepping up construction or that they…
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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 18, 2016

Market Outlook , , ,
In addition to weekly reports on mortgage rates and new unemployment claims, last week's economic news included the Fed's Beige Book report, retail sales and consumer sentiment. January's Empire State Index showed an unexpected dip and Consumer Sentiment increased for January. Fed's Beige Book Shows Diverse Economic Trends According to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book report for January, the central bank's business contacts reported strength in housing, while agriculture, energy and manufacturing sectors were struggling. New York's Empire State Manufacturing Index for January supported this trend with a sharp drop. New York manufacturing has hit its lowest level since the…
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Federal Reserve Raises Short-Term Interest Rates

Market Outlook , ,
After prolonged speculation by economic analysts and news media, the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates for the first time in seven years. Committee members voted to raise the target federal funds rate to a range of 0.25 to 0.50 percent from a range of 0.00 to 0.25 percent to be effective December 17. The good news about the Fed's decision is that the Central Bank had enough confidence in improving economic conditions to warrant its decision. But how will the Fed's decision affect mortgage rates?December's FOMC statement cited improving job markets, increased consumer…
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S&P Case-Shiller: September Home Prices Gain Across U.S.

Market Outlook , ,
Home prices increased across the S&P Case Shiller 20-City Home Price Index in September. According to the 20-City Home Price Index, Year-over year home price gains increased to 5.50 percent from August's reading of 5.10 percent. 17 cities posted higher year-over0year price gains in September as compared to August. Western cities led price gains with San Francisco, California reclaiming its lead with a year-over-year gain of 11.20 percent in September. Denver, Colorado followed with a year-over-year gain of 10.90 percent and Portland, Oregon achieved the third highest year-over-year home price gain of 10.10 percent. Phoenix, Arizona had the longest consecutive…
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Case-Shiller Housing Market Index: Home Prices Rise in July

Market Outlook , ,
U.S. home prices rose by 0.10 percent in July according to the S&P Case-Shiller Housing Market Index. San Francisco, California edged past Denver Colorado with a year-over-year price increase of 10.40 percent as compared to Denver's reading of 10.30 percent. All year-over-readings for the 20-City Home Price Index posted gains, but Washington, D.C. showed the lowest year-over0-year growth rate at 1.70 percent. Chicago, Illinois and New York City followed closely with year-over-year readings of 1.80 percent and 1.90 percent respectively. Seasonally-Adjusted Home Prices Fall Although seasonally-adjusted home prices typically rise during the peak home selling season during spring and summer,…
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NAHB: Builder Confidence Hits Highest Rate in 9 Years; Fed Doesn’t Raise Rates

Market Outlook , , ,
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) / Wells Fargo Housing Market Index reported that home builder confidence rose by one point to a reading of 62 for September. This was the highest reading since November 2005, when the NAHB reported a reading of 68 for home builder confidence. Any reading above 50 indicates that more builders are confident about housing market conditions than those who are not. NAHB notes that builder confidence has been growing at a moderate pace since July 2014; this is in line with economic conditions in general. Relatively low mortgage rates and stronger labor markets…
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