Shelter Six:  Home Sales Flat but Inventory up Slightly

September 24, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

1. After four straight months of declines, Existing Home Sales were flat in August.

2. Inventory was a little higher than a year ago though, marking the first year-over-year increase in about three years.

3. Inventory remained at a 4.3-month supply from July, which is still low considering a 6-month supply is considered healthy.

4. In August, Housing Starts rose a strong 9% from July, but most of the increase was due to multi-family units and Single-Family starts were up just 2% from July.

5. Builders point to rising land, material, and labor costs as obstacles to a faster pace of new construction.

6. Overall, the economy remains strong with record highs in the stock market, a solid labor market, faster wage increases, and strong consumer confidence.

Rate Update

A rally in the stock market drew assets away from bonds last week pushing yields higher and mortgage rates to the highest point in seven years.

This Week

The next Federal Reserve meeting will take place on Wednesday.  Investors expect a .25% increase in short-term rates.  New Home Sales will be out on Wednesday, Durable Orders on Thursday, and the Core PCE Price Index on Friday.

Shelter Six:  Condo Financing Easier Than Ever

September 17, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

1. Inflation continues to be tame.  Last week’s Consumer Price Index figures came in lower than expected and were only 2.2% higher than a year ago.

2. After a hot spring and summer, Retail Sales cooled off in August coming in less than expected but July’s figures were revised higher by about the same amount as the shortfall.

3. Non-warrantable condo financing is now easier than ever with Shelter’s new SmartCondo program.

4. SmartCondo requires only 10% down with no PMI and allows credit scores down to 660, debt ratios up to 45%, and an interest-only feature.

5. The program allows up to 75% investor concentration, up to 50% commercial space, and up to 49% single-entity ownership.

6. SmartCondo’s pre-sale requirements also go down to as low as 30% of units sold or under contract.  When it comes to condo financing, be smart with SmartCondo!

Rate Update

Strong economic news domestically as well as no surprises from a key European Central Bank meeting contributed to mortgage rates pushing up slightly last week.

This Week

The NAHB Home Builder Confidence index will be released on Tuesday, Housing Starts on Wednesday, and Existing Home Sales on Thursday.

Shelter Six:  Strong Economic Data Leads to Higher Rates

September 7, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

1. Last week’s Employment Report came in stronger than expected as the economy added 201K jobs in August while Unemployment remained at 3.9%

2. The report’s biggest surprise was August Average Hourly Earnings, which came in 2.9% higher than a year ago and at the largest annual rate of increase since April 2009!

3. There was equally strong data released last week in both manufacturing and services, too.

4. The ISM National Manufacturing Index surged to 61.3, the highest level since May 2004 and the second strongest figure ever recorded.

5. Similarly, the ISM National Services Index jumped to 58.5.  Readings above 50 indicate an expansion, and both sectors have been improving at near record rates for many months.

6. It is easier than ever to get financing for a Non-Warrantable Condo thanks to the lenient guidelines of Shelter’s new SmartCondo program.  Give us a call to learn more!

Rate Update

Last week’s strong economic data raised the outlook for future inflation and thus caused mortgage rates to push higher.

This Week

The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Rates Report (JOLTS) will be released on Wednesday, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on Thursday, and Retail Sales on Friday.

Shelter Six:  Consumer Confidence Surges

September 3, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

1. Optimism remains strong for the U.S. economy as Consumer Confidence figures surged last week far more than expected and to the highest level since 2000.

2. A strong labor market, solid economic growth, and record stock prices have contributed to the high level of optimism.

3. July Retail Sales, excluding the volatile auto component, rose .6% from June but the June results were revised lower offsetting the surge.

4. Inflation continues to push higher but remains within the Fed’s stated target level of 2%.

5. Shelter’s new SmartTrac program is designed for borrowers who have had a Bankruptcy or Short Sale over one year ago or multiple late mortgage payments within the last year.

6. SmartTrac requires 20% down and a 620 credit score, offers an interest-only feature, and doesn’t require a prepayment penalty.

Rate Update

An easing of U.S. trade tensions last week prompted investors to shift from safer to riskier investments, which had the effect of pushing mortgage rates slightly higher.

This Week

Employment figures are due out on Friday, but not before the ISM National Manufacturing Index on Tuesday and the ISM National Services on Thursday.  News on the trade deals could continue to influence rates as well.