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Improving Market Index : Up To 201 Cities For December 2012 Improving Market Index : Up To 201 Cities For December 2012Comments Off on Improving Market Index : Up To 201 Cities For December 2012

Last week’s National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) brought positive news about U.S. housing markets and the broader U.S. economy, in general.

According to the IMI, there are now 201 U.S. markets which can be considered “improving”.

To meet this standard, a local area economy must exhibit at least six consecutive months of improvement in terms of local employment, single-family housing permits and area home prices; and, at least six months must have passed since each of these readings were at their respective low points, called troughs.

The Improving Market Index added 76 metropolitan areas in December as compared to the month prior. 45 states are now represented on the list, in addition to the District of Columbia.

The cities deemed “improving” aren’t limited to recent, high-profile hot spots such as Detroit, Michigan; and Phoenix, Arizona, either. Several of the newly-included areas for December were :

  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Bloomfield, Illinois
  • Ithaca, New York
  • Riverside, California
  • Seattle, Washington

The geographic diversity of this month’s Improving Market Index suggests a nationwide economic recovery in progress. More jobs, a steady supply of available homes, plus rising home prices helps communities thrive.

Unfortunately, it may also mean less opportunity to buy homes as rock-bottom prices.

As sellers and home builders gain confidence in the economy, it may be more challenging for today’s buyers to get a “great deal”.  In addition, an improving, post-recession economy will likely lead mortgage rates higher, robbing home buyers of their purchasing power.

Freddie Mac says that the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate is 3.32% nationwide. In a fully-recovered economy, that rate could be 5 percent or higher. The impact on monthly housing payments would be palpable.

The National Association of Homebuilders expects more markets to join the Improving Market Index list through 2013. Today’s home buyers may want to lock in today’s low rates before economic improvement leads mortgage rates higher.

The Federal Reserve Begins A 2-Day Meeting Today The Federal Reserve Begins A 2-Day Meeting TodayComments Off on The Federal Reserve Begins A 2-Day Meeting Today

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) begins a 2-day meeting today, its last of 8 scheduled meetings this year.

The Federal Open Market Committee is a 12-person subcommittee within the Federal Reserve. It’s the group which votes upon U.S. monetary policy. 

The monetary policy action for which the FOMC is most well-known is its setting of the Fed Funds Funds. The Fed Funds Rate is the interest rate at which banks borrow money from each other overnight.

Since late-2008, the Fed Funds Rate has been near zero percent.

Prime Rate, a business and consumer interest rate used in lines of credit and credit card rates, is based on the Fed Funds Rate. Prime Rate has been similarly unchanged since 2008.

One rate which the Federal Reserve does not set is the 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) rate.

Like all other mortgage rates, the 30-year FRM is based on the market value of mortgage-backed bonds; securities bought and sold by investors.

There is no correlation between the Federal Reserve’s Fed Funds Rate and the everyday homeowner’s 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate. Some months, the two rates converge. Other months, they diverge. Since 2000, they’ve been separated by as many as 5.29 percentage points.

They’ve been as close as 0.52 percentage points.

However, although the Federal Reserve does not set U.S. mortgage rates, that doesn’t mean that it can’t influence them. The Fed’s post-meeting press release has been known to make mortgage rates get volatile.

If, in its post-meeting press release, the Fed notes that the U.S. economy is slowing and that new economic stimulus is warranted, mortgage rates will likely fall. This is because additional Fed stimulus would likely lend support to U.S. mortgage markets which would, in turn, boost demand for mortgage-backed bonds.

Conversely, if the Fed acknowledges stronger-than-expected growth in the U.S. economy and no need for new stimulus, mortgage rates are expected to rise.

Either way, mortgage rates will change Wednesday upon the FOMC’s adjournment — we just don’t know in which direction. Rate shoppers may see fluctuations of as much as 0.250 percent.

The FOMC adjourns at 12:30 PM ET.

October Jobs Report Blows Away Estimates; Mortgage Rates Falling October Jobs Report Blows Away Estimates; Mortgage Rates FallingComments Off on October Jobs Report Blows Away Estimates; Mortgage Rates Falling

Another month, another good showing for the U.S. economy.

Mortgage rates are performing surprisingly well after Friday’s release of the October 2012 Non-Farm Payrolls report. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly report beat Wall Street expectations, while also showing a giant revision to the previously-released job tallies of August and September.

171,000 net new jobs were created last month against calls for 125,000 and revisions for the two months prior totalled 84,000.

October also marked the 25th consecutive month of U.S. job growth — a period during which 3.8 million jobs have been reclaimed. This sum represents more than half of the 7.3 million jobs lost between 2008-2009.

Nationally, the Unemployment Rate rose by one-tenth of one percent last month to 7.9%. It may seem counter-intuitive to see unemployment rates rise even as job growth soars. However, it’s a sign of economic strength.

October’s rising Unemployment Rate is the result of more workers entering the U.S. workforce and actively looking for jobs, a manifestation of rising consumer confidence levels and optimism for the future.

Typically, mortgage rates in VA would worsen on a strong jobs report like this. This month, however, rates are improving. This is mostly the result of Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to create a drag on the U.S. economy with its $50 billion damage tag.

The storm has Wall Street looking past the strong jobs report, positioning itself for the next few months. Investors are moving into less risky assets until the uncertainty surrounding the storm’s effects subside. Mortgage-backed bonds are considered “safe” and are benefiting from this safe haven buying pattern.

For home owners and buyers in Washington, DC and nationwide, the shift is yielding an opportunity to lock mortgage rates at artifically-low levels. 30-year fixed rate mortgages remain well below 3.50% for borrowers willing to pay discount points, and home affordability is approaching an all-time high.

Home values are expected to rise through 2013 so consider this week’s low rates a gift. If you’re in a position to go to contract and/or lock a mortgage rate, you may want to take that step today.

Locating the Best Milwaukee Mortgage Rates by Gus Dahleh Locating the Best Milwaukee Mortgage Rates by Gus Dahleh(1)

Milwaukee Mortgage Rates by Gus Dahleh:

Due to today’s historically competitive loan rates, a large amount of folks throughout the Windy City are generally asking about how they could attain the most beneficial Milwaukee refinance rates rates. The following are a couple of pointers to help consumers identify the hottest deal.:

Broker Vs. Banker:
Generally there are just a couple of major varieties of mortgage providers for consideration. The first are brokers that technically will not fund the closings with their money, but they typically provide the largest options of “big bank” investors to place the loans with (these banks being Wells Fargo, Citibank, Chase, and GMAC to name a few). The negative effects connected with the broker not using their own funds to actually fund your transaction is their outsourcing of essential services. This could sometimes bring about additional hassles for consumers hoping for the smoothest dealing possible. As opposed to brokers, mortgage bankers offer a similar experience but in most cases have in-house underwriters that approve the mortgage loan to close plus they eventually close the loans on their own giving them the last say in approving conditions.

Studying Closing Cost Structures and How These Institution’s Bring In Revenue can be Critical to Acquiring You the Best Milwaukee Mortgage Rates with Gus Dahleh:

It is crucial you grasp that Broker organizations commonly have the cheapest expenses which will mean the absolute lowest rates. Nonetheless, quite a few borrowers still frown upon them because they also typically delegate many of the important services that involve getting your loan closed and that can lead to some of the head aches stated above in Tip #1. Conversely, the “Big Banks” including Wells Fargo, Chase, and Citi provide the absolute highest overhead costs and that usually end up charged to to the buyer in undesirable rates. The “Big Banks” have substantial continuing carrying costs such as billboards, tv and radio commercials, web banner advertisements, numerous levels of operations, loss mitigation departments, legal departments, and on and on. For this reason, you can typically obtain the best Milwaukee mortgage rates by selecting the lender in the middle of the spectrum: the mortgage bankers. Mortgage bankers generally have relatively low expenses yet nevertheless have the control of crucial services in house, specifically underwriting and closing departments.

Lenders Closing Costs and Getting the Best Milwaukee Mortgage Rates with Gus Dahleh:

You may have seen several banks advertising and marketing “no closing costs”, particularly on refinances. Be cautious though because quite often they’ve already built those fees in to the rate one way or another. For instance, it should be up to you the borrower whether you’d like the closing expenses paid at closing in cash, built in to the new transaction, or, paid for by the lender but in exchange for a marginally increased interest rate. In general with mortgage bankers like Bridgeview Bank, they could cover the majority of or all your closing expenses and also still enable you to get a rate that is lower compared with any of the “big banks”.

Article writer “Gus Dahleh” is a sales innovator who is owner of GusDahleh.com and is focused to delivering readers with important and also helpful tips. Find out more about the following link for a Complimentary refinance assessment as well as skilled assistance on how to obtain the best Milwaukee mortgage rates with Gus Dahleh.

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