Market Update for the Week of April 22, 2019


Housing Starts slowed 0.3% nationally in March, to a 1.139 million annual rate, staying strong in the West, but down a bit in the South and Northeast, with a big drop in the flood-ravaged Midwest.

Yet National Association of Home Builders builder confidence rose to 63 in April, thanks to job growth and low mortgage rates. That should mean an April uptick in starts, and a possible upward revision to March numbers.

Freddie Mac’s chief economist observed last week that although “mortgage rates have modestly increased… purchase activity reached a nine-year high–indicative of a strong spring homebuying season.”


INVESTORS GO LONG IN A SHORT WEEK… Financial markets were closed Good Friday, and in the short trading week, investors mostly went long, pushing the Dow and the Nasdaq up, leaving the S&P 500 flat.

The first full week of corporate earnings saw a slew of companies report first quarter beats, roundly rebuffing analysts expecting drops. Retail Sales rebounded nicely in March, up a very nice 1.6%.

Those seeking copacetic economic news had to look no further than Initial Unemployment Claims, down for the fifth straight week, to 192,000, a near-50-year low!

The week ended with the Dow UP 0.6%, to 26560; the S&P 500 off just two points, to 2905; and the Nasdaq UP 0.2%, to 7998.

Bonds were boosted by disappointing manufacturing reads from abroad. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond ended UP .06, to $102.47. In Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose a tick but stayed well below its level of a year ago. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.


A poll of home shoppers by found that just under 60% were considering a home that needs major improvements and were willing to spend $20,000 or more for renovations.


NEW AND EXISTING HOME SALES, GDP SLIP JUST A BIT…  March New Home Sales and Existing Home Sales are forecast down a bit from February. The GDP-Advance Estimate for Q1 should show the economy growing at around a 2% annual rate, off a tick from the prior read.

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… Wall Street still sees very little chance of a rate hike, or a rate cut, at the next three Fed meetups. 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     7%
Jul  31    11%
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.