Mortgage Update Courtesy of John Barrett jr.

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John Barrett Jr.
Sr. Loan Officer
WJ Bradley Mortgage Capital Corp
Phone: 650-295-0550
Fax: 877-272-8402
License: NMLS#326498
  In This Issue 

Last Week in Review: Positive economic data capped a rough week for Mortgage Bonds and home loan rates, despite tame inflation data.

Forecast for the Week: Housing news and the Fed meeting minutes highlight a quiet economic calendar.

View: Knowing the difference between action and activity can make a big difference in achieving your goals. The easy tips below can help.

  Last Week in Review 

“If you build it, they will come.” And while that line from the movie Field of Dreams may have referred to a baseball field, after last week’s news it could also apply to the housing market.

The housing sector continues to improve despite the recent rise in home loan rates, as Housing Starts rose 5.9 percent from June to July to 896,000 on an annualized basis. This was in line with estimates. Building Permits, a sign of future construction, were up 2.7 percent, coming in above expectations. In addition, the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index rose to 59 in August from the 57 recorded in July. This is the best level in nearly eight years.

Retails Sales for July were also positive, rising for the fourth straight month. When stripping out autos, sales surged by 0.5 percent, the fastest pace this year. And there was good news for the labor market, as Weekly Initial Jobless Claims fell to 320,000, a level not seen since October 2007. There were no apparent seasonal distortions in the numbers. In the manufacturing sector, Empire State Manufacturing came in above expectations, while the Philadelphia Fed Index came in just below expectations.

What does this mean for home loan rates? Remember that the Fed has been buying $85 billion of Bonds a month to help stimulate the economy and housing market. This includes Mortgage Bonds, to which home loan rates are tied, and these purchases have helped home loan rates remain attractive.

The Fed has said the rate of its purchases will continue to depend on economic data, and could be increased or decreased accordingly. Rest assured that the Fed was watching all the good economic reports from last week very closely. The data that continues to come in will be a key factor in whether the Fed begins tapering these purchases as early as its meeting in mid-September, or if it waits until later in the year or even 2014.

One thing that is also important to note–inflation at both the wholesale and consumer levels remains tame, as evidenced by the Producer and Consumer Price Indexes for July. This gives the Fed cover to continue its Bond purchases if economic data takes a turn for the worse.

The bottom line is that now remains a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance, as home loan rates remain attractive compared to historical levels. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.

  Forecast for the Week 

The economic calendar is quiet this week, but the Fed meeting minutes could move the markets.

  • Housing data is front and center, with Existing Home Sales on Wednesday and New Homes Sales on Friday.
  • The only other report of significance is Thursday’s Weekly Initial Jobless Claims.

In addition, the minutes from the Fed’s latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting will be released on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. ET. If the minutes hint that the Fed may start tapering its Bond purchases after its September meeting, this could cause volatility to ramp up to an extremely high level.

Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond that home loan rates are based on. 

When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving — and when they 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 were 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, last week was a rough one for Mortgage Bonds and home loan rates. I’ll be watching the news closely to see if economic reports continue to be positive…and if there is more talk of the Fed’s tapering its Bond purchases in September.

Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday Aug 16, 2013)

Japanese Candlestick Chart
  The Mortgage Market Guide View… 

Activity or Action
Do You Know the Difference?

The words activity and action sound similar, and are sometimes used as synonyms. To a casual observer, there may not be any visual difference between one person’s activity and another’saction. Yet when it comes to reaching goals in business or life, activity and action are two very different things.

So what’s the difference? 
Activity is ‘doing’, it has no destination, it is an expense of energy. Action is ‘accomplishing’, it is based on a plan, it builds its own momentum. Here are a few examples to help clarify:

Activity: Making a New Year’s resolution. Action: Stop smoking.

Activity: Planning a newsletter to clients. Action: Send a newsletter to clients.

Activity: Researching gym memberships. Action: Exercise.

Activity: Reading diet books. Action: Eat healthy.

Is activity bad? 
Absolutely not. We need to plan, and activity is an essential step in the process. This is the appropriate place to prepare, research, study, set goals, or create a vision. Still, it’s a preliminary step, and that’s where people tend to get stuck. (Did you ever notice how busy you feel when you’re procrastinating?)

In reality, activity is only preparation for the actions that will make a difference in your life and career.

How to take more action:
If activity has become your preferred form of procrastination, here’s what to do:

Schedule it. Schedule everything from working out, to writing prospecting emails, to sending newsletters. Remember, don’t use this time for planning goals, use it for taking actions that move your goals ahead.

Pick a date. For larger scale goals or projects requiring more planning, it’s good to put your deadline in your calendar. Schedule all the pieces as they come up, but stick to your deadline.

Tell somebody. Always try to build accountability into taking action. Make both your goals and your deadlines public by telling a close friend, a mentor, posting it on Facebook, or even enlisting as many people as you can. There’s pressure, but it’s the good kind!

Don’t forget to pass these helpful tips along to your clients and colleagues.

Economic Calendar for the Week of August 19 – August 23

Economic Report
Wed. August 21
Existing Home Sales
Wed. August 21
FOMC Minutes
Thu. August 22
Jobless Claims (Initial)
Fri. August 23
New Home Sales


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.

Mortgage Market Guide, LLC is the copyright owner or licensee of the content and/or information in this email, unless otherwise indicated.   Mortgage Market Guide, LLC does not grant to you a license to any content, features or materials in this email.   You may not distribute, download, or save a copy of any of the content or screens except as otherwise provided in our Terms and Conditions of Membership, for any purpose.

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