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Summer Market Update
>> Market Update QUOTE OF THE WEEK... "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"--Steven Wright, American comedian, actor, writer, and film producerINFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... We don't have everything we'd like in the housing market, but we do keep seeing progress. Last week gave us Housing Starts up 9.8% in June, reaching a 1.174 million annual rate. Negative types will point out that all the gain came from multi-family units (true), but the fact is, single-family starts are up 14.7% in the past year and the pace of starts from April to June was the fastest since 2007. Economists point out that the underlying trend has been heading upward since 2011, and they see that trend continuing. Hey, the number of homes under construction rose 0.9% in June and is now 15.1% ahead of where it was a year ago.Best news of all? Building Permits shot up 7.4% in June, following their 9.6% May hike and 9.8% gain in April. That adds up to 29.4% growth in the last three months, a pace not seen since 1982. At a 1.343 million annual rate, permits sit at their highest level since July 2007. This of course bodes well for future gains in home building. No wonder the National Association of Home Builders builder confidence index came in at 60 for July, indicating that the solid majority of those who responded reported good market conditions. The Mortgage Bankers Association Builder Application Survey for June had mortgage applications for new homes up by 1%, month-to-month.BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... When working with clients, manage expectations right from the start. Keep in touch, flagging potential issues before they arise. This creates the superior buyer experience that naturally generates more referrals.>> Review of Last WeekBACK ON TRACK... The stock market is back on track posting very nice gains, even if the economy has yet to get back on track in this painfully slow recovery. Nonetheless, investor sentiment is a reliable indicator of future economic performance, so positive moves on Wall Street should encourage the rest of us. Not only did the three major stock indexes log solid gains for the week, the Nasdaq wound up setting a new record. That resulted from a rally in tech companies inspired by better than expected earnings from a certain large search engine outfit. Worries about Europe were alleviated when the Greek parliament overwhelmingly voted for austerity measures that will allow a bailout. Phew!Over here, we listened to the usual good news-bad news economic reports. Bad news: Retail Sales dropped 0.3% in June (actually, 0.7% after downward revs to prior months). They're now up just 1.4% from a year ago. More bad news: the Consumer Price Index (CPI) went up 0.3% in June, though this is good news to the Fed who wants to start raising rates but first needs to see a rise in inflation. Home building looks good (see above), but consumers remain wary, as Michigan Consumer Sentiment dipped in July. More good news: Initial Unemployment Claims dropped by 15,000, registering their 19th week in a row below 300,000, while Continuing Unemployment Claims shrank by 112,000 to 2.215 million. The week ended with the Dow UP 1.8%, to 18086; the S&P 500 UP 2.4%, at 2127; and the Nasdaq UP 4.3%, to 5210.In spite of Friday's nice housing data and CPI inflation up but in line with expectations, investors remained plenty interested in hedging their bets in the bond market. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond we watch finished the week UP .08, at $105.29. National average fixed mortgage rates for the week ended July 16 reversed course again, edging up in Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Their chief economist explained, "the crisis in Greece continues to generate volatility" in the bond market, which causes mortgage rates to roller coaster. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up to the minute information. DID YOU KNOW?... The New York Fed's June Survey of Consumer Expectations shows people have a slightly more positive outlook on the economy, as both their earnings and household spending increased over the prior month. >> This Week’s Forecast ALL HOME SALES UP, LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATORS OK... We'll see both Existing Home Sales and New Home Sales for June, and both are forecast up, though not by a ton. The light week of reports includes Leading Economic Indicators, predicted ahead by a smidge for June, and we'll of course keep an eye on Initial and Continuing Unemployment Claims, expected to stay where they've been.>> The Week’s Economic Indicator CalendarWeaker 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 July 20 – July 24 DateTime (ET)ReleaseForConsensusPriorImpactWJul 2210:00Existing Home SalesJun5.40M5.35MModerateWJul 2210:30Crude Inventories7/18NA-4.346MModerateThJul 2308:30Initial Unemployment Claims7/18278K281KModerateThJul 23 08:30Continuing Unemployment Claims7/112.218M2.215MModerateThJul 2310:00Leading Economic Indicators (LEI)Jun0.2%0.7%ModerateFJul 2410:00New Home SalesJun550K546KModerate >> Federal Reserve Watch Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months... Given the Fed's latest comments and some reasonably decent economic numbers we're seeing, more economists feel the rate will start going up this year, though later rather than sooner. Note: In the lower chart, a 17% probability of change is an 83% certainty the rate will stay the same.Current Fed Funds Rate: 0%–0.25%After FOMC meeting on:Consensus Jul 290%-0.25%Sep 170%-0.25%Oct 280%-0.25%Probability of change from current policy:After FOMC meeting on:Consensus Jul 29 0%Sep 17 17%Oct 28 34%
THE CHIODO TEAM - Ralph Chiodo Broker / Owner 610-579-9514 Karen Chiodo Realtor / Owner 610-579-9514 Together Ralph and Karen (and their dedicated Team) have success....