Case-Shiller 20 city home price index was the first to hit the tape, down 3.1% year on year and off 2.5% Q4. The numbers were close to expectations with a few bright spots like Dallas, Washington DC, San Francisco, and San Diego showing year on year price appreciation. David Blitzer, Chairman of the index committee at Standard and Poor’s, said the housing market is in better shape than it was a year ago and showing signs of stability.
Our next hurdle will be the removal of MBS purchases by the Fed and the elimination of the 8K tax credit. Time will tell.
Consumer Confidence was up next, falling sharply by nearly 10 points to 46.0. The present situation hit 27 year lows while future expectations fell to levels not seen since July 2009. The weather could have been a factor but overall, the numbers are disappointing as consumers do not see their problems as temporary.
All of the above, combined with a drop in Germany’s consumer confidence has given our market a nice little pop. Stocks are on the slide, down 65 on the big board but the 10 year note is plus 17/32’s on the day. Mortgage backs are up 12/32’s on the 4.50% security. We priced up 11/32’s, giving you the benefit of the market right out of the shoot. The buying today has pushed the chart back through resistance but has not eliminated the bearish trend readings. We like the price action which has put the market in a neutral bias, stopping the bearish bias of the past few days. One thing to keep in mind is that auction supply started today and concludes on Thursday.
Given the souring economic data, we’d expect willing buyers of all three issues. Good time to take advantage of better mortgage pricing.