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An Interesting Week! - 03/31/08 09:33 AM
The week is off to an unusual start I say that because the Chicago NAPM (the gauge for manufacturing and non-manufacturing productivity for the Chicago area) came in slightly better than forecast 48.2 (forecast was 46.0); keep in mind anything less than 50 signals contraction. In the past anything that was even close to expectations signaled a big "sell-off" in the MBS (Mortgage Backed Securities) and hence higher rates. However this mornings release has actually held MBS very steady, in fact we are up 12bp since the close on Friday and in turn this mornings rate sheets are slightly better than (0 comments)
Good Bye 100% Hope to See You Again Soon! - 03/27/08 10:49 AM
Well the bottom "may have" hit as far as underwriting guidelines go this morning. I was just informed that the maximum loan-to-value (ltv) that MI companies will now ensure is 97% (Effective April 1, 2008). This also applies to the ever popular and state specific Missouri Housing Development Corp. or (MHDC) program. After speaking with Don Brinker, Managing Director for the MHDC program the main problem they are having is the appetite for there bonds. In the past companies like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros. would purchase the state issued bonds. However, with the "liquidity and credit (0 comments)
This Week's Financial Data - 03/24/08 11:07 AM
For the most part this is a "light" first couple of days to the week for "pertinent" economic data being released! Most of the what will influence the markets will be "headline" news, for instance this mornings news that JP Morgan Chase will up its stock offer for Bear Stearns from $2.00 to $10.00 a share and take on the first BILLION in losses. Oh, I almost forget Bear Stearns agreed to sell a 39.5% stake in the company in order to "bypass" shareholder approval! This GREAT (sarcastically stated) news has far out weighed the fact that FHLB (Federal Home Loan (0 comments)
Boone County Roundtable - 03/20/08 10:17 AM
recently attended a "Round Table" Luncheon with some local real estate professionals (i.e. appraisers, real estate agents, bankers, attorneys, brokers, developers and builders) and I thought I would shed some light on the challenges facing many of these individuals. I'll just throw out some of the verbage that was used in the meeting.- Fear- Education- Volatility- Offers being "low balled"- Comp concerns and marketing time- Original List Price to Selling Ratio- Qualifying for Loans or programs changing at the last minute- Bad Publicity or Wrongful News- Interest Rate VolatilityAll of the above and many more face the real estate professionals in (2 comments)
The Truth on Boone County Missouri - 03/19/08 11:10 AM
Over the past week or so I have heard so much miss-information concerning Boone County and its designation as a "declining market" that I really feel sorry for the individuals both releasing it and those who read it. So much so that I recently read an article released from a Boone County business that couldn't even spell Fannie Mae (or "May" as they put it) correctly. The purpose of this post to lay out the truth and hopefully lay to rest the rumors that are floating around out there.First, Freddie Mac (not Fannie Mae) has designated Boone and Howard counties as (0 comments)
Monday Madness - 03/17/08 08:47 AM
The action happening on Wall Street, behind closed doors with The Fed, and the economy certainly isn't hurting mortgage rates, however with every piece of good news there is bad and the fact remains the economy is heading further into the tank!In a desperate and awkwardly timed move the Fed cut its discount rate a .25% to 3.25% just 1 day ahead of their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday. This was an extremely weird and trying move as seen by most in both Washington and Wall Street. Perhaps the U.S. economy and in particular the U.S. Financial Sector is in much (0 comments)
Friday Frenzy! - 03/14/08 10:00 AM
What a day, consumer sentiment hit a 16 year low, inflation stalled in February (very good news for mortgage rates), and the S&P stated late Thursday evening that the sub-prime write downs were toward the end of there rope. Add on this up and what do you have? Another volatile day for both the Dow, MBS (Mortgage Backed Securities) and in turn mortgage rates.Are we at the bottom? Some analysts seem to think we are very close while others believe we have a little way to go but can see light at the end of the tunnel. What does this mean (0 comments)
Retail Sales Plunge - 03/13/08 09:14 AM
The verdict is out; families are simply not spending their discretionary income! Retail sales plummeted to -.6% (that's right it's a negative); to show you how bad the outlook was on this the forecast was for a -.1% (that's right still a negative)! The market has already dropped almost 200 points and there seems to be strong momentum to support the downward spiral. Why is this statistic so important?Retail sales account for approximately 1/3 of all GDP (Gross Domestic Product) so having this number be that bad really sets the stage for further declines and in turn stalled spending, credit borrowering, (0 comments)
Rally, Rally, Rally!! - 03/12/08 03:13 PM
That's the word of the day as the last two days have been great to mortgage rates. It seems the confidence, trust, and bearable risk in MBS (Mortgage Backed Securities) the government has instilled in this sector will do some good (at least short-term) for mortgage rates; as we have seen a .50%bps point improvement since the news broke early yesterday morning. As usual however the current market we operate in is still extremely volatile and can swing at a moments notice, however with that being said look for continued improvement in mortgage rates after the release of retail sales data (0 comments)
What Will This Week Hold For Us? - 03/10/08 10:51 AM
It's 10:27am CST and I am already exhausted! The MBS (Mortgage Backed Securities) and 10 Year Treasury started the morning out well then in a blink everything went red and then in another split second we were back to gains and substantial ones at that. Why? Well there is not a whole lot of data until Wednesday when retail sales results are released but the market has been anything but predictable for quite some time. I believe investors are just starting to realize that the economic issues are here to stay and the efforts that the Fed, Government, and others attempt (0 comments)
Four Dollar Gas? Not Too Far Around the Corner - 03/03/08 10:29 AM
At the current time March 3, 2008 10:01AM the price for a barrel of oil is trading at $103.65. This could equate to approximately $3.50 for a gallon of gas! Listen I am not that old and even I can remember paying .90 cents per gallon. It would cost me approximately $22-$25 dollars to fill up my 3/4 ton truck. Now this same truck (although no longer owned by me) would cost over $90.00 to fill.After doing some research on oil prices I found some very unusual data. First, after 9/11 we experienced a cost of $20.83 for a barrel. The (0 comments)
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