Monthly Archives: December 2009

The consensus among analysts seems to be for another 10% decline in home prices in 2010, making a new bottom

The S&P / Case Shiller home price index fell in October after five straight monthly increases. While the decline was barely measurable, it serves as a reminder that the bounce back in real estate prices is not likely to occur as quickly as the three-year decline. The consensus among analysts seems to be for another 10% decline in home prices in 2010, making a new bottom. Continue reading

Austin Mortgage Rates Rise at Year End

The final two weeks of December have not been kind to mortgage rates. Stronger than expected economic data, comments from Fed officials, and a stock market rally all were negative for mortgage markets, and mortgage rates moved higher during the period. Continue reading

Until we see a bottom (which we feel is close) you must stay on defense

Trouble is, every sector of the curve remains weak and cannot be trusted. Until we see a bottom (which we feel is close) you must stay on defense. Kind of a Yogi Berra thing, “it’s not over till it’s over.” Continue reading

Austin Mortgage Market Update – For the week of December 28, 2009

Last week presented us with divergent housing news. First, November Existing Home Sales came in UP 7.4%, at an annual rate of 6.54 million. This was way ahead of estimates and a 44.1% sales jump over a year ago. We had increases in all regions of the country, all due to single-family homes. Continue reading

33% of the sales were distressed units and 51% of the borrowers were first time home buyers. Just think where we’d be without the 8K program

The unemployment picture however, will not heal with growth below 3.0%. Existing Home Sales were also on tap, up 7.4% to 6.54 million units annualized. 33% of the sales were distressed units and 51% of the borrowers were first time home buyers. Just think where we’d be without the 8K program. Continue reading

We expect a limited recovery as fixed income traders have a mind set of selling strength

We expect a limited recovery as fixed income traders have a mind set of selling strength. With the bears firmly in control and next week’s auction paper (2 year, 5 year, and 7 year notes) laying in the weeds (who’s going to buy it?), best bet is to stay defensive into year end. Continue reading

Austin Mortgage Market – For the week of December 21, 2009

We saw strong evidence last week that homebuilders are well on their way to recovery. Housing starts for November were UP 8.9%, to an annual rate of 574,000 units. Single-family starts were 35.0% higher than their January and February lows. The very volatile multi-units starts were UP 67.3% from the previous month’s cyclical low. And get this — starts were UP in every major region across the country!
Continue reading

No Change from Fed

In a week full of major economic news, mortgage rates ended with little change. Wednesday’s Fed meeting produced little reaction in mortgage markets. The PPI inflation report was higher than expected, but the more closely watched CPI report was right on target, remaining at low levels. Economic troubles in some developing nations produced a flight to safer assets, which helped mortgage markets late in the wee Continue reading

2 Reasons to Buy a Home Before Year-End: Watch for a hike in interest rates and take advantage of the Homebuyer Tax Credit

The Homebuyer Tax Credit Has Been Extended and Expanded. Now first-time homebuyers can qualify for a tax credit if they have a binding contract on a home in place by April 30, 2010—and they close by June 30. Buyers who have not owned a home during the last three years get a tax credit up to 10% of the home price, up to $8,000. Continue reading

Sharp moves in either direction can occur at any time in low volume markets. That’s why it’s best to be extremely careful when locking in your interest rate

Sharp moves in either direction can occur at any time in low volume markets. That’s why it’s best to be extremely careful when locking in your interest rate. Expect this kind of behavior to last until the new year. Continue reading