Market Update for the Week of April 1, 2019

MARKET UPDATE

February saw New Home Sales grow 4.9%, reaching a 667,000 annual rate. The median price was measurably down from a year ago, along with mortgage rates, so it’s no surprise that buyers are showing up.

Housing Starts didn’t do so well, down 8.7%, to a 1.162 million annual rate. Yet 195,000 homes were authorized but not started, close to the largest number since 2007, and homes under construction stayed near a post-recession high.

Pending Home Sales also dipped in February, but only by a modest 1%, and that followed a healthy January bump. But home price gains keep shrinking, and purchase mortgage apps rose 6% for the week.

REVIEW OF LAST WEEK

MAKING HISTORY… Investors sent stock prices north, to close out an historic quarter. The S&P 500 rose 13.1%, its best three-month gain in nearly ten years. The market is a leading indicator of the economy, so this is good news.

With final Q4 GDP at 2.2%, some talked economic slowdown, yet GDP grew 3.0% in 2018, the fastest calendar year growth since 2005, and weekly initial jobless claims dropped by 5,000.

Those who fret about trade were frustrated by signs of progress in the U.S.-China negotiations and a lower-than-expected January trade deficit. Plus, Personal Income was up, and PCE inflation stayed well under the Fed’s 2% target.

The week ended with the Dow UP 1.7%, to 25929; the S&P 500 UP 1.2%, to 2834; and the Nasdaq UP 1.1%, to 7729.

Bonds came under pressure, but many recovered. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond ended UP .02, to $102.83. In Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate took the biggest drop in over 10 years. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?

In January, the S&P Dow Jones Case-Shiller National Home Price Index rose 4.3%, two percentage points below its pace in January 2018.

THIS WEEK’S FORECAST

ALL GROW: RETAIL, MANUFACTURING, SERVICES, JOBS, WAGES…  Expect all the key reports to show an expanding economy: Retail Sales, ISM Manufacturing, ISM Services, and March jobs, with Nonfarm Payrolls and Hourly Earnings forecast to deliver strong numbers.

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.

FEDERAL RESERVE WATCH

Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months… The Fed Funds Futures market sees rates holding through the summer. All the probabilities of change are for a downward move in rates. Note: In the lower chart, an 8% probability of change is a 92% probability the rate will stay the same.

Current Fed Funds Rate: 2.25%-2.50%

AFTER FOMC MEETING ON: CONSENSUS
May  1 2.25%-2.50%
Jun 19 2.25%-2.50%
Jul  31 2.25%-2.50%

 

Probability of change from current policy:

AFTER FOMC MEETING ON: CONSENSUS
May  1     8%
Jun 19    17%
Jul  31    24%

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.

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.