Shelter Six:  Three Straight Years of More Buyers Than Renters

March 18, 2019 by · Leave a Comment

A vote passed last week extending the Brexit departure date from March 29 to June 30, but there continues to be great uncertainty around if and when the UK will leave the EU. Last week’s inflation news was very positive as the latest Consumer Price Index figures increased less than expected. According to the U.S. […]

Shelter Six:  Wages Continue to Rise

March 11, 2019 by · Leave a Comment

February Wage Growth reached the highest level since April 2009 as average hourly earnings were up 3.2% from January and 3.4% from a year ago.  Rising incomes are always good for home sales. The Unemployment Rate declined from 4% to 3.8%, with much of the reduction due to workers returning to the workforce after the […]

Shelter Six:  National Homeownership Rate Up to 64.8%

March 4, 2019 by · Leave a Comment

Housing demand continues to be strong.  For the third straight year, there was growth in homeownership and 2018 ended up being the strongest year for owner household formation since 2004. National Homeownership Rate up.  The Census Bureau reported last week that the national homeownership rate rose in the 4th Quarter to 64.8%, the highest level […]

Shelter Six:  Long-Term Economic Outlook Favorable

February 25, 2019 by · Leave a Comment

The bad news.  Existing Home Sales declined in January for the 6th straight month, were 11% lower than a year ago, and down to the lowest level since November 2015. The reason why.  Home Sales have been affected over the last few months by one-time events like the government shutdown, stock market volatility, and the […]

Shelter Six:  Inflation Flat but Retail Sales Down

February 18, 2019 by · Leave a Comment

Inflation still not a threat.  The most recent major inflation data came in very close to expected levels and had little impact on mortgage rates. Retail Sales way down.  Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of all economic activity in the U.S., so Retail Sales figures are a key indicator. December Retail Sales figures were […]

Shelter Six:  GDP Forecasts Solid for U.S. but Down in Europe

February 11, 2019 by · Leave a Comment

1. Although the 2019 forecast for U.S. GDP remains around 2.5%, global GDP has emerged as a key economic concern early in the new year. 2. Last week, 2019 GDP forecasts were sharply reduced for Europe (1.9% to 1.3%), Germany (1.8% to 1.1%), and the UK (1.7% to 1.2%). 3. A major concern over the […]

Shelter Six:  Many Now Projecting Fewer Rate Hikes in 2019

February 4, 2019 by · Leave a Comment

1. As expected, the Fed did not increase short-term rates last week. Not expected, however, were comments from Fed members that point to fewer Fed rate hikes in 2019. 2. The Fed is now also considering selling fewer Treasuries and mortgage-back securities than previously indicated, which would go a long way in helping keep mortgage […]

Shelter Six:  Partial Government Shutdown Temporarily Ends

January 28, 2019 by · Leave a Comment

1. After 35 days, the longest US government shutdown in history ended on Friday but with only a temporary three-week agreement. 2. This is still great news for 800K government employees returning to work this week and finally getting paid, but plenty of uncertainty remains around what will happen past February 15. 3. The Mortgage […]

Shelter Six: IRS Resumes Providing Income Verifications

January 21, 2019 by · Leave a Comment

1. One key part of the government shutdown is over as the IRS has resumed providing tax transcripts for mortgage applications, thanks to efforts of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). 2. MBA advocacy is also responsible for the resumption of flood insurance policies, which FEMA had halted at the beginning of the shutdown. 3. Last […]

Shelter Six:  Mortgage Business as Usual Despite Government Shutdown

January 14, 2019 by · Leave a Comment

1. As we enter the fourth week of the partial government shutdown, the mortgage business has been mostly unaffected but concerns around FHA, verifying income, and funding all loom. 2. The shutdown is causing delays in the release of some government economic reports, which are coming out more sporadically than normal. 3. Good news on […]

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