Here are some interesting Home sales statistics for 2010 in the metro Richmond, Virginia market:

•        Homes sales under $250,000 were down 7%.

•        Homes sales priced between $250,000 and $500,000 were down 15%.

•        Homes sales priced between $500,000 and $750,000 were up 4%.

•        Homes sales priced above $750,000 were up 24%.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
  • By doing your homework before you buy, you’ll feel more content about your new home. Read

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2011 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
by | Categories: main | No Comments

The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 329 thousand. This is up from a revised 280 thousand in November.  The headline looks good, the guts were a little less so. In the west sales increased 71.9% and 2010 sales declined 14.4%, and it still leaves a 6.9 month supply but the news is positive.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
by | Categories: main | No Comments

Mortgage bond prices ended lower meaning higher mortgage rates at the end of last week as compared to the star of the week.   Spain and Portugal had somewhat successful bond auctions, which reversed the flight to quality buying of US debt instruments that helped rates fall.  Lower than expected weekly jobless claims Thursday added to the losses causing rates to spike higher.  Analysts were looking for jobless claims at 425k and the actual release showed claims at 404k.  Leading economic indicators were higher than expected with an increase of 1% compared to the anticipated 0.6% increase.

Date Time (ET) Statistic For Market Expects
01/25/11 09:00:00 AM Case-Shiller 20-city Index Nov -1.50%
01/25/11 10:00:00 AM Consumer Confidence Jan 53.5
01/25/11 10:00:00 AM FHFA Housing Price Index Nov NA
01/26/11 10:00:00 AM New Home Sales Dec 300K
01/26/11 02:15:00 PM FOMC Rate Decision Jan 0.25%
01/27/11 08:30:00 AM Initial Claims 01/22/11 410K
01/27/11 08:30:00 AM Continuing Claims 01/22/11 3835K
01/27/11 08:30:00 AM Durable Orders Dec 1.50%
01/27/11 08:30:00 AM Durable Orders ex Transportation Dec 0.60%
01/27/11 10:00:00 AM Pending Home Sales Nov -0.50%
01/28/11 08:30:00 AM GDP-Adv. Q4 3.70%
01/28/11 08:30:00 AM Chain Deflator-Adv. Q4 1.50%
01/28/11 08:30:00 AM Employment Cost Index Q4 0.40%
01/28/11 09:55:00 AM Michigan Sentiment – Final Jan 73.2

.

This week is busy in terms of economic data scheduled for release and will likely be an active week for mortgage rates. The number of releases is actually irrelevant due to the importance of the some of the reports. There are seven economic releases scheduled for the week in addition to the first Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting of the year and two potentially influential Treasury auctions. All but one of them are considered to be of moderate or high importance, meaning we should see quite a bit of movement in mortgage rates this week.

Tuesday Morning kicks off this busy week of economic reporting with the release of January’s Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) late Tuesday morning. This report is considered to be of importance to the bond market and may have a significant impact on mortgage rates. Waning confidence in their own financial situations usually means that consumers are less willing to make large purchases in the near future. Since consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy, market participants are very attentive to related data. Analysts are expecting to see an increase from December’s reading, indicating a higher level of consumer confidence. A reading much smaller than the expected 53.5 would be ideal for the bond market and mortgage rates.

10:00 AM Wednesday will be the release of December’s New Home. It is considered to be the sibling release to last week’s Existing Home Sales. Wednesday’s release is forecasted to show an increase in sales of newly constructed homes, but is not important enough to heavily influence mortgage pricing unless it varies greatly from forecasts.

Also Wednesday is this year’s first FOMC meeting results. It will begin Tuesday and adjourn at 2:15 PM ET Wednesday. It is expected to yield no change to short-term interest rates, but as is often the case, traders will be looking for any indication of the Fed’s next move and when they may make it. I believe that there is little chance of indicating a possible rate hike in the near future, but any hints of a change in theories or timetable by the Fed will cause afternoon volatility in the financial and mortgage markets.

Thursday morning brings us the release of December’s Durable Goods Orders. This data helps us measure manufacturing strength by tracking new orders at U.S. factories for products that are expected to last three or more years, also known as big-ticket items. The data often is quite volatile from month to month, but is currently expected to show an increase in orders of approximately 1.5%. A smaller than expected increase would be considered good news for bonds and mortgage rates, but a slight variance likely will have little impact on Thursday’ s mortgage pricing.

Three reports are scheduled for release Friday. The first of them is arguably the single most important reports that we see regularly. The initial reading of the 4th Quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be posted early Friday morning. This data is so important because it is considered to be the best measurement of economic growth. The GDP itself is the total sum of all goods and services produced in the United States. Its’ results usually have a major impact on the financial markets and can cause significant changes in mortgage rates. There are three readings to each quarter’s activity, each released approximately one month apart. The first reading, which usually carries the most significance, is expected to be an increase of 3.8%. A noticeably weaker reading would be great news for the bond market, questioning the pace of the economic recovery. That would likely fuel stock selling and a rally in bonds that would push mor tgage rates lower Friday morning. However, a stronger than expected reading would probably lead to bond selling and higher mortgage rates.

The 4th Quarter Employment Cost Index (ECI) is also scheduled for release early Friday morning. It measures employer costs for employee wages and benefits, giving us an indication of the threat of wage inflation. It usually has more of an effect on the bond market than the stock markets. Current forecasts are showing an increase of 0.4%. A lower than expected reading would be favorable to bonds and mortgage rates, but the GDP reading will be the biggest influence on trading and rates Friday morning.

The last report of the week is the revised reading to the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment. This index is another measurement of consumer confidence, which is thought to indicate consumer willingness to spend. I don’t see this data having much of an impact on the markets or mortgag e rates due to the importance of the GDP and ECI readings.

And if we didn’t have enough to watch already, there are two relatively important Treasury auctions for the markets to digest. The Fed will auction 5-year and 7-year Treasury Notes Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. If they are met with a strong demand from investors, the broader bond market may rally during afternoon hours those days. However, a lackluster interest in the sales could lead to bond selling and higher mortgage rates.

Look for Wednesday or Friday to be the biggest days for mortgage rates. Friday’s GDP is the single most important piece of data this week, but we may see quite a bit of movement in rates Wednesday afternoon. If we see weaker than expected results from the most important reports, mortgage rates should close the week lower than last Friday’s closing levels. If the data shows stronger than expected results, we may see mortgage rates move h igher for the week. This is of course, assuming that the Fed meeting doesn’t reveal any surprises. I strongly recommend that fairly constant contact is maintained with your mortgage professional this week if still floating an interest rate.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Outlook for markets good in 2011, analysts say | Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
by | Categories: main | No Comments

7 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers – My Money (usnews.com).

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
by | Categories: main | No Comments

Mortgage rates ended higher last week as the bond market suffered. Monday the FOMC meeting begins with the statement coming tomorrow afternoon at 2:15. No supply this week from Treasury; today the Fed is scheduled to buy Treasuries dated 06/30/16 – 11/30/17. China did not increase interest rates as many were fearful they would. Inflation fears are one of the reasons we are seeing rates increase, China is making efforts to slow their inflation rate which is now at 6.0%, that and the Fed’s desire to get the US inflation higher is dealing a blow to US rates. Inflation fears and the increasingly better economic outlook with tax cuts, payroll tax cuts, tuition credits and the extension of emergency unemployment benefits are combining to paint a smiley face on the economic future. A huge leap of faith, nevertheless it is what investors are increasingly expecting, the Senate is sure to pass the bill put together by Obama and Republicans, the House however is fighting it with many Democrats resisting the plan because it keeps the tax cuts for “the wealthy”. Over the weekend the House was decorating the Tree, and not the National Christmas Tree, adding pork to the bill to bribe some of the dissenters. Subsidies for ethanol, wind farms and a few other ornaments; it isn’t possible for Congress to pass a bill on its merits without hanging pork on it.

Date Time (ET) Statistic For Market Expects Prior
12/14/10 08:30:00 AM PPI Nov 0.50% 0.40%
12/14/10 08:30:00 AM Core PPI Nov 0.20% -0.60%
12/14/10 08:30:00 AM Retail Sales Nov 0.50% 1.20%
12/14/10 08:30:00 AM Retail Sales ex-auto Nov 0.60% 0.40%
12/14/10 10:00:00 AM Business Inventories Oct 1.10% 0.90%
12/14/10 03:15:00 PM FOMC Rate Decision 12/14/10 0.25% 0.25%
12/15/10 07:00:00 AM MBA Mortgage Applications 12/10/10 NA -0.90%
12/15/10 08:30:00 AM CPI Nov 0.20% 0.20%
12/15/10 08:30:00 AM Core CPI Nov 0.10% 0.00%
12/15/10 09:15:00 AM Industrial Production Nov 0.30% 0.00%
12/15/10 09:15:00 AM Capacity Utilization Nov 75.00% 74.80%
12/15/10 10:00:00 AM NAHB Housing Market Index Dec 17 16
12/15/10 10:30:00 AM Crude Inventories 12/11/10 NA -3.82M
12/16/10 08:30:00 AM Initial Claims 12/11/10 425K 421K
12/16/10 08:30:00 AM Continuing Claims 12/05/10 4078K 4086K
12/16/10 08:30:00 AM Housing Starts Nov 545K 519K
12/16/10 08:30:00 AM Building Permits Nov 560K 550K
12/16/10 08:30:00 AM Current Account Balance Q3 -$125.3B -$123.3B
12/16/10 10:00:00 AM Philadelphia Fed Dec 13 22.5
12/17/10 10:00:00 AM Leading Indicators Nov 1.20% 0.50%

.

Tuesday has two of the more important reports of the week with November’s Retail Sale s report and Producer Price Index (PPI). The Retail Sales report tracks retail level sales and is very important to the financial markets because it measures consumer spending. Since consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy, any related data is watched closely. Current forecasts call for it to show a 0.5% increase in sales from October’s levels. If it reveals weaker than expected sales, the bond market should thrive and mortgage rates should fall as a result. A stronger than expected reading would indicate economic growth, leading to stock market gains and higher mortgage rates Tuesday.

November’s Producer Price Index (PPI) will also be posted early Tuesday morning. It measures inflationary pressures at the producer level of the economy. There are two portions of the index that are used- the overall reading and the core data reading. The core data is the more important of the two because it excludes more volatile food and energy pric es. If Tuesday’s release reveals stronger than expected readings, indicating that inflationary pressures are rising, the bond market will probably react negatively and drive mortgage rates higher. If we see in-line or weaker than expected numbers, the bond market should fair well and mortgage rates should fall. Current forecasts are showing a 0.5% increase in the overall index and a 0.2% rise in the core data.

The last FOMC meeting of the year will be held Tuesday, adjourning at 2:15 PM ET. There is not much debate about what the Fed will do at this meeting with no chance of them raising key short-term interest rates. Therefore, the post meeting statement will likely be the sole source of a market reaction. This statement has the potential to have a significant influence on the markets and mortgage rates as investors look for any indication of what and when the Fed may do next. We are hoping that Mr. Bernanke and friends will take the opportunity to remind the markets that the economy still has significant hurdles to overcome and that inflation is still not a concern. A properly worded post-meeting statement could cause stock selling and an improvement in bond prices, leading to improvements to mortgage rates Tuesday afternoon.
The week’s most important economic data comes Wednesday morning when November’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) is posted. It is similar to Tuesday’s Producer Price Index, except it tracks inflationary pressures at the more important consumer level of the economy. Current forecasts call for an increase of 0.2% in the overall index and a 0.1% rise in the core data reading. The core data is watched more closely because it excludes more volatile food and energy prices, giving a more stabile reading for analysts to consider. This data is one of the most watched inflation indexes, which is extremely important to long-term securities such as mortgage related bonds. Ri sing inflation erodes the value of a bond’s future fixed interest payments, making them less appealing to investors. That translates into falling bond prices and rising mortgage rates.

November’s Industrial Production data is also scheduled to be posted Wednesday morning, but a little later than the CPI. This report gives us a measurement of manufacturing sector strength by tracking output at U.S. factories, mines and utilities. Analysts are expecting it to show a 0.3% increase in output. A smaller than expected rise would be good news for bonds, while a stronger than expected reading may result in slightly higher mortgage pricing. However, the CPI release is more important to the markets than this data is.

Thursday’s only monthly data is November’s Housing Starts, but it is the week’s least important data. I don’t see it causing much movement in mortgage rates unless it shows a huge variance from expectations. It is expected to show a sizable increase in starts of new homes, indicating housing sector strength. Generally speaking, this would be bad news for bonds and mortgage pricing, but unless there is a significant surprise it will likely have little impact on Thursday’s mortgage rates.

The last piece of economic news will be posted late Friday morning when the Conference Board releases their Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) for the month of November. This 10:00 AM release attempts to measure or predict economic activity over the next three to six months. It is expected to show a sizable increase in activity, meaning that it predicts an expanding economy over the next several months. This probably will not have much of an impact on bond prices or affect mortgage rates unless it exceeds current forecasts of a 1.2% increase from October’s reading. The lower the reading the better the news for bonds. If it shows a smaller increase, the bond market may move slightly higher, leading to a minor improvement in rates.

Expect to see yet another volatile week in the financial markets and mortgage pricing. The most important day of the week is either Tuesday or Wednesday due to the reports being posted those days and the FOMC meeting scheduled. Maintain contact with your mortgage professional if you have not locked an interest rate yet because we may see sizable changes to mortgage pricing more than one day this week.

.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
by | Categories: main | No Comments

After last week’s nightmare for mortgage rates, the lack of important data may be good news this week.  This week is fairly light in terms of the number of economic releases scheduled for release. There are only two monthly or quarterly reports on the agenda in addition to two Treasury auctions the middle part of the week that have the potential to influence mortgage rates. That means that the stock markets could be the focal point multiple days.

Date Time (ET) Statistic For Market Expects Prior
12/07/10 03:00:00 PM Consumer Credit Oct -$2.3B $2.1B
12/08/10 07:00:00 AM MBA Mortgage Applications 12/03/10 NA -16.50%
12/09/10 08:30:00 AM Initial Claims 12/04/10 430K 436K
12/09/10 08:30:00 AM Continuing Claims 11/27/10 4250K 4270K
12/09/10 10:00:00 AM Wholesale Inventories Oct 0.80% 1.50%
12/10/10 08:30:00 AM Trade Balance Oct -$44.5B -$44.0B
12/10/10 08:30:00 AM Export Prices ex-ag. Nov NA 0.70%
12/10/10 08:30:00 AM Import Prices ex-oil Nov NA 0.30%
12/10/10 09:55:00 AM Mich Sentiment Dec 72.5 71.6
12/10/10 02:00:00 PM Treasury Budget Nov -$134.0B -$120.3B

.

.

There are Treasury auctions scheduled for several days this week, but the two important ones are the 10-year Note sale Wednesday and the 30-year Bond sale Thursday. Wednesday’s auction is the more important of the two events and will likely influence mortgage rates more. Results of each sale will be posted at 1:00 PM ET. If they were met with a strong demand from investors, particularly international buyers, we should see afternoon strength in bonds and improvements to mortgage pricing those days. It will be interesting to see just how much of an interest these sales bring. The most recent ones have not gone ve ry well and after last week’s bond selling, it appears general interest in bonds is not high at the moment. However, the recent spike in bond yields could help draw additional buyers.

There is no relevant economic news scheduled for release until Friday morning. October’s Goods and Services Trade Balance report will be posted early Friday morning. This report gives us the size of the U.S. trade deficit, but it is not considered to be highly important to mortgage rates. It is expected to show a $44.4 billion trade deficit. Unless it varies greatly from forecasts, I don’t expect this data to affect mortgage pricing.

Also Friday is the release of December’s preliminary reading to the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Sentiment. This index measures consumer willingness to spend and can usually have enough of an impact on the financial markets to change mortgage rates slightly. It is expected to show a reading of 72.5 , which would be an increase from last month’s final reading.

Comments from Bernanke last night that unemployment will stay very high for years and that the Fed will do more easing if necessary may change the longer outlook for rates. That said, at the moment the bond and mortgage markets remain bearish, we still hold that mortgage rates won’t decline much over the next few weeks but our take away from Bernanke on 60 Minutes is that he remains very concerned the US economy is hanging by a thread now. He has taken a lot of criticism recently for QE 2 but isn’t waffling one bit, convinced the economy is going to struggle with housing markets in depression and continued high unemployment. Over the past three weeks interest rates have shot higher very quickly as investors jettisoned fixed income investments in favor of equities; Bernanke’s comments have shaken the bearish outlook for interest rates for now.

.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
by | Categories: main | No Comments

Consider Locking.

Dec 3, 2010

Mortgage rates have steadily risen this week. Reasons for this include the US agreeing to help bail out Europe and consumers suffering from “recession Fatigue”

A change this morning may give home owners and buyers an opportunity to get last weeks rates as payroll data released this morning not a s strong as expected.  Those looking at refinancing in the near future should call their mortgage professional today to discuss locking.

Paul Cantor

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Last Friday mortgage prices increased a little, but not much; holiday trade generally doesn’t amount to much. This morning the bond and mortgage markets opened better with no data points today; this week however, is filled with data beginning tomorrow. The dollar is stronger again this morning, not what equity markets want to see, the stock index futures were lower as a result. The US rate markets are supported on concern the rescue for Ireland will fail to contain Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis, increasing demand for the safety of U.S. government debt. Next up are Portugal and Spain as Europe’s debt issues show little signs of being contained. The tensions between South and North Korea continue to be a concern but so far as these kinds of face offs go, it hasn’t been a major impact on the markets.

.

Christmas shopping (yes, I said Christmas) was slightly stronger than last year. Consumer spending on Black Friday was up about 0.3%, with most retailers better but still remains an unfinished story. Not anyway scientific, I was out briefly on Sunday and wasn’t impressed with what I saw at the most prestigious malls in Indy, not as much traffic as one would have expected. Most analysts expect stronger Christmas sales than last year, but refrain from becoming too optimistic.

.

More QE 2 Fed buying today; the Fed is scheduled today to buy $1.5B to $2.5B of Treasuries due from February 2021 to November 2027 and $6B to $8B in government debt maturing from May 2013 to November 2014. The central bank plans to focus about 86% of its purchases on notes due in 2.5 years to 10 years, leaving the 30- year bond as the security that most closely reflects market expectations for inflation. Since the Fed’s Nov. 3 announcement, the 30-year yield rose 0.28 percentage points, suggesting growing investor confidence in the central bank’s efforts to avoid deflation as the economy expands.

.

Date Time (ET) Statistic For Market Expects Prior
11/30/10 09:00:00 AM Case-Shiller 20-city Index Sep 1.00% 1.70%
11/30/10 10:00:00 AM Consumer Confidence Nov 52 50.2
12/01/10 08:15:00 AM ADP Employment Report Nov 58K 43K
12/01/10 08:30:00 AM Productivity-Rev. Q3 2.40% 1.9
12/01/10 10:00:00 AM ISM Index Nov 56.5 56.9
12/01/10 10:00:00 AM Construction Spending Oct -0.50% 0.50%
12/01/10 02:00:00 PM Auto Sales Nov 3.71M 3.68M
12/01/10 02:00:00 PM Truck Sales Nov 5.35M 5.59M
12/01/10 02:00:00 PM Fed’s Beige Book Dec
12/02/10 08:30:00 AM Continuing Claims 11/20/10 4200K 4182K
12/02/10 08:30:00 AM Initial Claims 11/27/10 422K 407K
12/02/10 10:00:00 AM Pending Home Sales Oct 0.00% -1.80%
12/03/10 08:30:00 AM Nonfarm Payrolls Nov 130K 151K
12/03/10 08:30:00 AM Nonfarm Private Payrolls Nov 140K 159K
12/03/10 08:30:00 AM Unemployment Rate Nov 9.60% 9.60%
12/03/10 10:00:00 AM Factory Orders Oct -1.30% 2.10%

.

Overall, the most important day of the week is Friday with the employment figures being released, but we may also see sizable movement in rates Wednesday. Friday’s employment data could cause a significant change in rates, but Wednesday’s ISM index is also one of the more important reports we see each month. If Friday’s data reveals stronger than expected results we may see rates spike higher after its release, possibly erasing any gains from the week. It will probably be the key to rates moving lower or higher for the week. I suspect it will be another fairly active week for the markets and mortgage pricing, so it would be prudent to maintain contact with your mortgage professional if still floating an interest rate.

.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter