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Economic Forecast: Watch Pending Home Sales, Core PCE and Unemployment Claims - 06/27/11 03:57 PM
It will be interesting to see if Wednesday's Pending Home Sales give us some positive signs about the state of housing sales a few months out. The expectation is for a small gain. The week begins with the Fed's favorite inflation reading, Core PCE Prices, forecast to be up a benign 0.2% for May.We'll all watch for signs of improvement in Thursday's Initial Unemployment Claims, but the figure should still be above the 400,000 threshold. Nevertheless, consumers aren't too discouraged, as Tuesday's Consumer Confidence and Friday's University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index are both expected to hold steady for June. From (0 comments)
Green Shoots: Looking for signs of economic recovery in housing - 2nd half headed higher NAR says - 06/27/11 03:55 PM
It certainly takes plenty of determination to find the opportunities in today's housing market. Last week the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Existing Home Sales down 3.8% in May to an annual rate of 4.81 million units, a six-month low. The median price was up for the month, though down 4.6% from a year ago. Inventories declined, but the months' supply increased to 9.3 because of the slower sales rate. Nevertheless, the NAR's economist opined, "...sales activity in the second half of the year is expected to be stronger than the first half, and will be much stronger than the (0 comments)
Interest Rate Update: Rates improved in the last week (ending June 24, 2011) - 06/27/11 03:52 PM
Weaker stock prices and stronger concerns over European sovereign debt sent investors to the safe haven of bonds, whose prices benefited. The FNMA 4.0% bond we watch ended the week up .84, closing at $101.09. In Freddie Mac's weekly survey, national average rates for conforming mortgages held at levels that are near the lowest for the year. From my weekly enewsletter INSIDE LENDING, for real estate pros, June 27, 2011 (0 comments)
Week-in-Review: Stock Markets Mixed (week ending June 24, 2011) - 06/27/11 03:51 PM
It was a volatile week in stocks, with only the Nasdaq index up, while both the Dow and the S&P 500 were off. The up-and-down stock prices mimicked Wall Street's responses to the economic situation. The week started on an up note, as Greek debt problems (which could impact U.S. banks) seemed closer to solution. But on this side of the pond, investors found little solace in Fed Chairman Bernanke's admission that the economic recovery is slower than expected. He thinks food and energy prices will subside, but doesn't have a clear take on why the slow pace of recovery persists. He (0 comments)
Federal Reserve Watch: Same ol', same ol' expected from Fed - 06/27/11 03:49 PM
In last week's presser, Fed Chairman Bernanke explained that keeping the Funds Rate where it is for an "extended period" means at least two or three meetings. Economists are taking him at his word. Note: In the lower chart, a 1% probability of change is a 99% certainty the rate will stay the same. Current Fed Funds Rate: 0%-0.25% From my weekly enewsletter INSIDE LENDING, for real estate pros, June 27, 2011 (0 comments)
The Week Ahead - News to Watch: Existing and New Home Sales Numbers (Jun. 21 & Jun. 23, 2011) - 06/21/11 11:39 AM
What more could you want? Tuesday's Existing Home Sales and Thursday's New Home Sales will show us if May's closings pushed the annual sales rate up or down. Unfortunately, down is forecast, although surprises are always possible. Wednesday we get the Fed's pronouncement on the Funds Rate and the state of the economy. No one expects the rate to budge, since Fed Chairman Bernanke keeps saying it needs to remain at its rock bottom level for an "extended period." But it will be useful to examine the Fed's policy statement for their take on inflation and the pace of the recovery. From my (0 comments)
Economic News: Some Silver Linings (or Green Shoots?) - 06/21/11 11:37 AM
What was gaining on us last week were May Housing Starts, up 3.5% for the month to a higher-than-expected 560,000 unit annual rate. The gain included a 29% increase in multi-family starts, which are now up 17.5% over a year ago. New building permits were also up in May, by 8.7%, to a 612,000 annual rate. Permits indicate the level of starts a short time out, so some economists see the beginning of an upward trend. With the number of homes under construction at the lowest levels on record back to 1970, and as inventories continue to come down, home building (0 comments)
Week-in-Review: Stocks Barley Up Last Week, Start Higher This Week (week of June 20, 2011) - 06/21/11 11:35 AM
After six down weeks, the Dow and the S&P 500 stock indexes finally showed weekly gains, although the S&P was up a mere half point. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was still off a tick for the week, dragged down by the makers of BlackBerry, whose stock dropped mightily on earnings that fell well short of Street expectations. Economic reports came in mixed. Inflation continues to be a worry to all but the Fed, as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for May was up 0.2%. In case you think that's just from higher food and gas prices, the Core CPI, which excludes those, (0 comments)
Federal Reserve Watch: Still no movement expected (June 21, 2011) - 06/21/11 11:34 AM
Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months... Given Fed Chairman Bernanke's continued pronouncements, economists do not expect a hike in the Funds Rate any time soon. Note: In the lower chart, a 1% probability of change is a 99% certainty the rate will stay the same. Current Fed Funds Rate: 0%-0.25% From my weekly enewsletter for real estate pros, INSIDE LENDING, for the week of June 20, 2011
To Dip or Not to Double Dip: That is the Question for Housing - 06/14/11 08:56 AM
There are those who think the housing market is in bad shape, with the start of a second dip in home prices. Then there are those who see something better -- a bumpy bottoming of home prices, which will soon head back up. Those of us in the second camp were given more ammunition last week by real estate data company Altos Research. Their evidence shows prices bottomed out in March and achieved seasonal rises in April and May. Their VP of market analytics said in a recent webcast: "We're pretty confident that means there is going to be a rebound.... (1 comments)
Week-in-Review: Dow Under 12,000 (week ending June 11, 2011) - 06/14/11 08:54 AM
UNDER TWELVE THOUSAND... That's not just a price range for used cars, it's also where the Dow landed last week. Not surprising, as we've now had six down weeks in the stock market, matching the six weeks there's been a negative mood on Wall Street. That mood of course has come from signs of a slowdown in the economic recovery, even though there have also been signs of economic progress. Speaking in Atlanta on Tuesday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke admitted that our economic growth has been slower than expected this year. He also said the inflation triggered by higher energy prices was (0 comments)
Economic Forecast: Watch Store Sales, Price Moves and Home Building - 06/14/11 08:52 AM
Last week's lull in economic news will now be followed by a barrage of data from all directions. One report that matters is May Retail Sales, expected to dip slightly overall, but gain slightly when you take out slowing auto sales. The prices we consumers pay will be reflected in the inflation reports. The May Consumer Price Index (CPI) is forecast to come in flat, while the Core CPI, taking out food and gas, should be up 0.2%, not going in the right direction.Thursday reveals the status of homebuilding. May Housing Starts are expected up a bit, although not back to (0 comments)
Economic Calendar: It's a Busy Week of News (June 13-17, 2011) - 06/14/11 08:50 AM
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. Economic Calendar for the Week of June 13 - June 17 From my weekly enewsletter for real estate pros, INSIDE LENDING, for the week of June 13, 2011 (0 comments)
HUD Releases 2011 Median Family Income Limits - 06/06/11 12:33 PM
Effective May 31, 2011, HUD has announced the 2011 Fiscal Year Median Family Income Limits per county. This information impacts loan programs that have Median Income Limitation requirements, such as state bond and many down payment assistance programs. To view the 2010 & 2011 Fiscal Year Median Family Income Limits, here are the links: 2011 Fiscal Year Median Family Income Limits @ http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/il/il11/index.html 2010 Fiscal Year Median Family Income Limits @ http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/il/il10/index.html
Economic Forecast: Focus for this week is on Fed Survey and Global Trade, Otherwise a Quiet Week Expected - 06/06/11 12:28 PM
After all the emotional unrest caused by last week's economic reports, the coming five days will be refreshingly quiet. The Fed's Beige Book on Wednesday is a survey of the current economic and business situation in each of the Federal Reserve Districts around the country. Coming out a couple of weeks before the next FOMC meeting, it can help us see where the Fed might be headed with its Funds Rate decision on June 22. Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims are expected to remain above their disappointing 400,000 level. The Trade Balance should inch up slightly. From my weekly enewsletter for real (0 comments)
Fed Watch: No Movement in Rates Expected for the Near Term - 06/06/11 12:26 PM
Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months...If the Fed pays attention to any of last weeks negativity, they certainly won't put any pressure on the recovery by raising the Funds Rate. That's why economists expect the rate to remain at its super low 0%-0.25% level into next year. Note: In the lower chart, a 1% probability of change is a 99% certainty the rate will stay the same. Current Fed Funds Rate: 0% - .25% From my weekly enewsletter for real estate pros, INSIDE LENDING, for the week of June 6, 2011
Economic Calendar: Week Ahead beginning June 6, 2011 - 06/06/11 12:25 PM
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. Economic Calendar for the Week of June 6 - June 10 From my weekly enewsletter for real estate pros, INSIDE LENDING, for the week of June 6, 2011 (0 comments)
Week-in-Review: Dow Down Again, but so are Mortgage Interest Rates - 06/06/11 12:24 PM
We watch the stock market to see how professional investors view the economy going forward. Well, their response to this week's disappointing economic data left the Dow recording its fifth straight weekly loss. The highlight was the May Employment Report, with a way weaker than expected growth of just 54,000 new jobs for the month and the unemployment rate ticking up to 9.1% thanks to an expanding workforce. We also had a lower than expected ISM Manufacturing Index. Both reports were showing increases, but at a much slower rate, which was upsetting to Wall Street.On a more encouraging note, the ISM (0 comments)
Looking Deeper into the Case-Shiller Home Price Index - 06/06/11 12:22 PM
Last Tuesday another housing market obstacle appeared in the form of Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index for March. Prices for 20 major metro areas dropped 0.8% for the month and were down 3.6% from a year ago. These numbers had some folks claiming the double dip in housing prices had arrived. But Case-Shiller's longer term data reveals that in their 20 measured metros, home prices are still UP 38.2% since January 2000. This shows that in real estate, you have to look at the long term picture, just like you do with your 401K. You can see a chart of (0 comments)
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