Market Update for the Week of October 1, 2018


New Home Sales went up 3.5% in August, though most of the gain came from a downward revision to July. Yet the trend is higher: sales the first eight months of this year are up 6.8% from the same period in 2017.

But Pending Homes Sales slipped 1.8% in August. Supply is the prob, as folks hang onto their homes. The median age of homes went from 31 years in 2005 to 37 years in 2016.

Despite rising mortgage rates, First American‘s chief economist feels the strong economy will support demand: “While the pace of sales may initially slow, home buyers typically adjust to the new rate environment.”


HOT QUARTER, COOL WEEK… Stocks wrapped up Q3 posting their hottest quarterly gains since 2013, though the Dow and the S&P 500 cooled for the week, while the Nasdaq stayed warm.

Dampening the festivities were trade worries, rising oil prices and Italy’s projected deficit increasing to 2.4% of GDP. We also had the expected quarter percent hike from the Fed who say they’ll proceed at a moderate pace.

Meanwhile, the economy booms: GDP growth at 4.2% in Q2 and on track for the best year since 2005; personal income up 4.7% the past year; and the National Federation of Independent Business optimism index at a 35-year high.

The week ended with the Dow down 1.1%, to 26458; the S&P 500 down 0.5%, to 2914; but the Nasdaq was UP 0.7%, to 8046.

Bonds benefited with the flight to quality from Italy’s molto grande deficit. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond ended UP .07, at $100.91. Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey reported the national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate up again. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.


The National Association of Realtors reports that in 2017 only 9% of buyers found their agents online, the same as in 2008. Despite their growing online activities, 91% of buyers still hire agents through personal referrals.


THE BEAT GOES ON: MANUFACTURING, SERVICES, JOBS ALL GAIN…  Economists predict the ISM Manufacturing and ISM Services indexes will show strong expansion in September, though slightly less than the month prior. They also expect Hurricane Florence to temporarily trim growth in Nonfarm Payrolls, but still see more than 180,000 new jobs created.

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 higher loan rates.


Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months… The futures market expects last week’s rate hike to hold in November, with another small hike in December which will hold in January. Note: In the lower chart, a 1% probability of change is a 99% probability the rate will stay the same.

Current Fed Funds Rate: 2.00%-2.25%

Nov   8 2.00%-2.25%
Dec 19 2.25%-2.50%
Jan  30 2.25%-2.50%


Probability of change from current policy:

Nov   8    1%
Dec 19   79%
Jan 30   24%


Today begins the last quarter of the year. Review your goals for 2018 and determine what you need to do now to reach them. Then start thinking about the best way to kick off 2019.

The Jim Passi Team at Citywide Home Loans proudly serves Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Georgia and Flordia. If you are looking to buy a home or refinance, we have you covered. Apply Now to get started.
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Jim Passi - Citiwide Home Loans

Jim Passi
Regional Manager
NMLS# 158000

1300 East Woodfield Road, Suite 302
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Mobile: 847-899-1813
Office: 847-273-3265

This testimony is from my

This testimony is from my experience being a first-time home buyer going through the process of purchasing a home with Jim Passi from City Wide home loans. Let me just start off by saying how reliable, courteous, genuine, informational and hardworking Jim Passi is. Jim is not like a lot of other loan officers. My house I purchased for under 160 grand, not a huge real estate deal. From experience with other loan officers they don’t want to deal with a smaller purchase or work on a loan that might be difficult. With our credit score being low and work history not at expectations I was almost positive I would have to wait a year or maybe two years before being approved and close on a house. I definitely had doubts that I would be a home owner, Jim worked hard and stayed in contact with us updating us almost every day of the process, even during evening hours and weekends during the stressful underwriting process. Communication is key and I give Jim a 5-star rating with that. I consider myself an average blue-collar hard-working guy that has experienced hardships during life. Jim was never turned away by the hardships, he was understanding of them and I feel like it made him work even harder to make this process a success.

I just successfully closed on a house with my fiancé. Jim did what I thought was impossible. Again, with our credit score being under 600 and spotty work history it was a difficult process that became a success with a lot of hard work. Jim also got me the best interest rate that was available. He was constantly checking the market and keeping me informed on what was available. He wanted me to take my time and make sure what rate was in our best interest. Jim has a cretin genuine care for his clients and speaking with him so much during this process I know he truly cares and wants to help people. Even after we closed Jim called and congratulated us with excitement. Jim made a dream come true for us that I was sure we would have to wait for. I’m just going to say if he made my dream come true with all the problems I had he can make a lot of others come true for any one in a similar situation. Jim Passi is highly recommended.

Tim A.