Market Update for the Week of August 27, 2018


New Home Sales slid 1.7% in July to a 627,000 yearly rate, off for the second straight month. But the housing recovery holds: sales for the first seven months of 2018 are up a healthy 7% over 2017.

Existing Home Sales slipped 0.7% in July to 5.34 million units annually, off now four straight months. But the decline in inventories reversed, coming in unchanged versus a year ago for the first time in 37 months!

Buyers may also be encouraged by the fact that although home prices rose in Q2, they did so at the slowest pace in four years for purchases financed with conventional (FHFA) mortgages.


NEW HEIGHTS… The Dow gained a decent 0.5%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit new highs, as trade and politics took a back seat to Fed Chairman Powell’s comments, economic data and strong corporate earnings.

At the Fed’s symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Powell said “the current path of gradually raising interest rates” would keep the economy growing without overheating and prevent inflation from overshooting its target range.

One more measure of the strengthening economy is Durable Goods Orders, up 9.2% overall from a year ago. Gains were widespread, though the volatile transportation sector pulled down July’s overall read.

The week ended with the Dow UP 0.5%, to 25790; the S&P 500 UP 0.9%, to 2875, and the Nasdaq UP 1.7%, to 7946.

Bonds fell as investors flocked to stocks, but the Fed chair’s speech brought prices back up on Friday. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond ended up .15, to $101.98. In Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell for the third week in a row. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.


Millennials account for one in three home purchases, and 89% of new home shoppers use a mobile search engine throughout the buying process.


ALL GOOD: PENDING HOME SALES, GDP, MANUFACTURING, INFLATION…  July Pending Home Sales are forecast up, same as June. The GDP-Second Estimate for Q2 should show strong 4% economic growth. Midwest factory activity is predicted up according to the closely-watched Chicago PMI, while the Fed’s favorite inflation read, PCE Prices, should stay in the central bank’s target range.

NOTE: Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and rising loan rates.


Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months…Wall Street still sees two small rate hikes before the end of the year, one at the end of September, the second in December. Note: In the lower chart, a 96% probability of change is only a 4% probability the rate will stay the same.

Current Fed Funds Rate: 1.75%-2.00%

Sep 26 2.00%-2.25%
Nov 8 2.00%-2.25%
Dec 19 2.25%-2.50%


Probability of change from current policy:

Sep 26 96%
Nov 8  4%
Dec 19 67%


On cold calls, be positive and confident. Lead with how you can help prospects, acknowledge any objections, nail down what they want to accomplish, then say how you’ll help them achieve it.

This is an advertisement for Jim Passi. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice, or a commitment to lend. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, there is no guarantee of its accuracy. The material contained in this message is the property of Citywide Home Loans and cannot be reproduced for any use without prior written consent. This message is intended for business professionals only and is not intended for distribution to consumers or other third parties. The material does not represent the opinion of Citywide Home Loans. Citywide CO NMLS #67180. Regulated by the Division of Real Estate.

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Jim Passi
Regional Manager
NMLS# 158000

1284 West Northwest Hwy.
Palatine, IL 60067
Mobile: 847-899-1813

Jim is a consummate professional

Jim is a consummate professional and seemingly works round the clock. Not only would I give him a positive review but the opposing party’s realtor commented regarding how on the ball he was. I would recommend him as a loan officer.
Thomas K.