Shelter Six: Existing-Home Sales 26% Higher Than a Year Ago

December 28, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

The President signed the $900B Covid-19 Relief Bill into law on Sunday, keeping the US Government running, including USDA programs, through next September.

November Existing-Home Sales, after five months of healthy gains, decreased 2.5% from October to an annual rate of 6.69M, 26% higher than a year ago.

November New-Home Sales fell .9% to 845K units.

National Listing Inventory dropped to a record-low 2.3-month supply, 22% lower than a year ago.

National days-on-the-market slipped to 21 days, down from 38 days last November (73% of homes sold were on market for less than a month).

The National Median Existing-Home Price surged to $310,800, 15% higher than a year ago (105th straight month of year-over-year appreciation).

Rate Update

Mortgage rates continue to hold steady near all-time lows and this week between Christmas and New Year’s should be a quiet one.

This Week

The October S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index will be released on Tuesday, the Pending Home Sales Index on Wednesday, and Jobless Claims on Thursday.

Shelter Six: Fed Meeting Brings Little Drama to Markets

December 21, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

Last week’s Federal Reserve Meeting produced little drama and reaction as it contained no significant market-moving announcements.

November Retail Sales were down 1.1% from October as rising coronavirus cases halted consumer spending early in the crucial holiday shopping season.

November Single-Family Housing Starts were up 22% over a year ago and at the best level since 2007.

New Construction continues to become more expensive and a primary reason is the price of lumber, which presently sits about twice as high as before the pandemic.

According to Ellie Mae’s Origination Insight Report, the time to close a mortgage industry-wide increased in October to 49 days for a purchase and 59 days for a refi.

Shelter’s turn times continue to run 25-30 days for a purchase around 40 days for a refinance. We would love to help you with your refi while rates are still low!

Rate Update

Amazingly, mortgage rates have trickled down even further over the last week to yet a new all-time low level.

This Week

Existing Home Sales will be released on Tuesday and both New Home Sales and the Core PCE Price Index will come out on Wednesday.

Shelter Six: Mortgage Rates Approach Lows Only Seen in August

December 14, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

Mortgage rates have been resiliently low most of the year but, at some point, they will push higher. There are three primary threats to low rates at this time.

The first is if a potential new stimulus bill ends up being larger than the $1 Trillion bill that investors currently believe is going to soon pass.

A second threat is that the Fed will announce a reduction in the level of bonds that they purchase moving forward. There is a big Fed meeting on Wednesday of this week.

A third threat, and one we would happily live with, is that Covid cases drop significantly which boosts employment and the economy.

A key November inflation index indicated inflation was only 1.6% higher than a year ago, which continues to be less than the Fed’s target of 2%.

The CFPB issued a new QM rule last week which prevents the Debt Ratio on Conforming and Government loans from being capped at 43% beginning in January.

Rate Update

Mortgage rates fell further last week hitting all-time low levels previously seen only in August of this year.

This Week

The Federal Reserve meets on Wednesday. Retail Sales will be released on Wednesday and Housing Starts on Thursday.

Shelter Six: FHA Loan Limits Increase for 2021

December 7, 2020 by · Leave a Comment 

The maximum FHA loan limit for Metro Atlanta has increased from $401,350 to $412,850 for single-family properties.

The FHA limits have also increased to $528,500 for 2-Unit, $638,850 for 3-Unit, and $793,950 for 4-Unit properties.

The maximum Conforming loan limit increased last week from $510,400 to $548,250.

In November, the economy gained 245K jobs and has now recovered more than half of the 22 million jobs lost in March and April. The consensus forecast was for 450K jobs.

The Unemployment Rate fell from 6.9% in October to 6.7%, matching expectations.

Average Hourly Earnings rose 0.3% from October, above the consensus for an increase of 0.1%, and were an impressive 4.4% higher than a year ago.

Rate Update

The 30-year hit a record low 2.71% in last week’s Freddie Mac mortgage rate survey.  There has never been a better time to lock in a rate – for a purchase or a refinance.

This Week

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is due out on Thursday. CPI is a widely followed monthly inflation report that looks at the price change for goods and services.