Market Update for the Week of April 15, 2019


Fannie Mae reports that at the start of the spring home buying season, more consumers feel now is a good time to buy and sell. Their latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index surged 5.5 points to 89.8, its biggest climb since last June.

A new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows first time buyers are NOT hampered by affordability concerns. First-timers made up 46% of the market in 2016, their share relatively consistent since the early 2000s.

Lastly, the typical American family has more estimated income to afford a home at the national median price, according to the latest National Association of Realtors affordability index, which hit its highest mark since February 2018.


LOOKING GOOD… Realizing things are looking pretty good, investors sent two of the three major indexes north, with the broadly-based S&P 500 breaking above 2900, though the Dow slipped a tick.

Concerns about slowing global economic growth were answered by a rebound in China’s exports and bank lending, the extension of the Brexit deadline, and the European Central Bank’s assurance to keep rates on hold.

Rates should stay down on our side of the pond too, as the minutes of the Fed’s last meet revealed. Additional positive signs came from moderating inflation data, solid wage growth, optimistic consumers, and solid business investment.

The week ended with the Dow down 0.1%, to 26412; the S&P 500 UP 0.5%, to 2907; and the Nasdaq UP 0.6%, to 7984.

Bonds suffered from the decent economic data here and abroad. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond ended down .32, to $102.41. The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose modestly in Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.


With lower borrowing costs and a strong job market, purchase mortgage applications are up more than 13% over last year, and forecasting firm iEmergent projects a 3.9% gain in total home-loan volume for 2019.


HOME BUILDING GAINS, RETAIL REBOUNDS …  Expected to push well above the 1.2 million unit annual rate, Housing Starts and Building Permits are forecast to show nice gains in March. Likewise Retail Sales should bounce back into growth territory, a good sign for the economy.

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 Fed Funds futures market expects no change in rates for the next three meetings, with only a slight possibility for a rate cut. Note: In the lower chart, a 1% probability of change is a 99% probability the rate will stay the same.

Current Fed Funds Rate: 2.25%-2.50%

May  1 2.25%-2.50%
Jun 19 2.25%-2.50%
Jul  31 2.25%-2.50%


Probability of change from current policy:

May  1     1%
Jun 19    10%
Jul  31    13%
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

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

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