MMG Weekly 3/21/18

Guy R. Vetrano NMLS# 183357
Senior Loan Officer
Bay Equity Home Loans
Phone: 480.500.6000 x 6017
Mobile: 602-692-7196
gvetrano@bayeq.com
www.vetranoteam.com

In This Issue  
Last Week in Review: Retail Sales and Housing Starts disappoint, while inflation remains tame.

Forecast for the Week: Key housing reports highlight the second half of the week. Plus, the Fed meets.

View: Scan receipts, documents, business cards and more, right from your smartphone.


Last Week in Review  
“Go on, take the money and run.” Steve Miller Band. Consumers haven’t been running to the registers with their hard-earned money, as spending at U.S. retail stores fell for the third straight month.

The Commerce Department reported that February Retail Sales fell 0.1 percent, versus the gain of 0.3 percent expected. This is the first time since April 2012 that Retail Sales have declined three months in a row. The important question is whether this data signals an economic slowdown in the first quarter, as consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy and is crucial to a healthy economy.

Housing Starts also declined in February, dropping 7 percent from January to an annual rate of 1.236 million units. This was below expectations, and down from the 1.329 million reported in January, the Commerce Department reported. The big drag on starts was a 28 percent plunge in multi-family units from January to February. Single-family starts, which account for the biggest share of the housing market, rose 2.9 percent from January. Total Housing Starts fell in the Northeast, South and West but gains were seen in the Midwest. Building Permits, a sign of future construction, fell 5.7 percent from January. For buyers struggling with limited inventory across much of the country, this report was disappointing after the strong gains in January.

Consumer inflation via the Consumer Price Index (CPI) remained tame in February, coming in at 0.2 percent, which was in line with estimates and down from the 0.5 percent recorded in January, the Labor Department reported. Lower energy prices were the catalysts for the lower reading. When stripping out volatile food and energy prices, the more closely watched Core CPI was also in line at 0.2 percent.

The Producer Price Index, which measures inflation at the wholesale level, showed wholesale inflation was also tame in February. Tame inflation typically benefits fixed investments like Mortgage Bonds, and the home loan rates tied to them.

At this time, home loan rates remain attractive and near historic lows.

If you or someone you know has any questions about home loans, please get in touch. I’d be happy to help.


Forecast for the Week  
We’ll get a read on home sales and a sense of how the Fed feels the economy is doing.
  • The two-day FOMC meeting begins on Tuesday and ends Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. ET with the release of the Fed’s monetary policy statement.
  • Look for housing news with Existing Home Sales on Wednesday and New Home Sales on Friday.
  • Weekly Initial Jobless Claims will be released as usual on Thursday.
  • Durable Goods Orders will be delivered Friday.
Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve. In contrast, strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond on which home loan rates are based.

When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving. When Bond prices are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.

To go one step further, a red “candle” means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green “candle” means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes are on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.

As you can see in the chart below, Mortgage Bonds have benefited from weak economic data in recent days. Home loan rates remain attractive.

Chart: Fannie Mae 4.0% Mortgage Bond (Friday Mar 16, 2018)
Japanese Candlestick Chart

The Mortgage Market Guide View…  
Tech Tip: 3 Must-Have Mobile Scanner Apps

From receipts and business cards to notes, documents and to-do lists, it’s easy to get into a paper pile-up. Don’t risk misplacing or losing that information for good. You can convert all these items and more into permanent digital files with one of these smartphone scanner apps.

Genius Scan helps you easily digitize all sorts of documents for free. The perspective correction feature fixes distortion, so you don’t have to snap a perfect picture to capture your data. Additionally, you can convert all your scans into PDF files, export and share them through Dropbox, Evernote and other popular cloud-storage services. Genius Scan+ ($7.99*) offers an ad-free experience with additional export options, PDF encryption and more. Available on Android and iOS.*

Scanbot offers the ability to scan all sorts of media into PDF or JPEG files. The app supports major clouds services and allows you to automatically export based on your preferences. iOS users also have the ability to fax documents right through the app to more than 50 supported countries. Available on Android and iOS.*

Google Drive allows Android users to take a picture of receipts, letters, statements and other documents and convert them into a PDF file. While the scan feature is not yet available to iOS users, other features of Google Drive are still accessible. Free for Android, iOS and desktop.*

These apps can help make your smartphone even smarter and you even more productive.

*Prices and availability current at the time of writing.

Economic Calendar for the Week of March 19 – March 23
Date
ET
Economic Report
For
Estimate
Actual
Prior
Impact
Wed. March 21
10:00
Existing Home Sales
Feb
NA
5.38M
Moderate
Wed. March 21
02:00
FOMC Meeting
Mar
NA
1.375%
HIGH
Thu. March 22
08:30
Jobless Claims (Initial)
3/17
NA
NA
Moderate
Fri. March 23
08:30
Durable Goods Orders
Feb
NA
-3.7%
Moderate
Fri. March 23
10:00
New Home Sales
Feb
NA
593K
Moderate
The material contained in this newsletter has been prepared by an independent third-party provider. The content is provided for use by real estate, financial services and other professionals only and is not intended for consumer distribution. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, there is no guarantee it is without errors.
As your mortgage professional, I am sending you the MMG WEEKLY because I am committed to keeping you updated on the economic events that impact interest rates and how they may affect you.
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