Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.
Consumer spending was flat in December, and savings was at a 3-year high, contributing to low inflation. Disinflation supports low mortgage interest rates.
Oil prices have appeared to stabilize, but equity and bond markets are still very volatile. Volatility in the markets can cause volatility in mortgage rates.
Jobless claims increased slightly last week, but remained below the 300,000 mark once again. Traders will be watching for signs of a slowdown in the labor market.
Punxsutawney Phil suggests an early start to the spring buying season. When the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow, February sales increase an average 11%.
Builders are adding features that increase energy efficiency and added spaces to entice buyers. Features include walk-in closets, high ceilings, and kitchen islands.
Fannie Mae reports the serious mortgage delinquency rate declined in December. A mortgage is seriously delinquent when it is 3 payments or more past due.
When the office photocopies began to look faint, the office manager called in a local repair service.
After inspecting the equipment, the friendly technician informed the manager that the machine was in need of a good cleaning.
The tech suggested that someone might try reading the operator’s manual and perform the job themselves, since it would cost $100.00 if he did the work.
Pleasantly surprised by his candor, the office manager asked, “Does your boss know you are discouraging business?”
The technician replied, “Actually, my boss demands we explain this to all of our customers. After people first try to fix things themselves, we end up making much more money on repairs.”
Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.