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Is Now the Time To Buy? Homebuyer’s Mortgage Watch – March 3, 2019

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This Week Highlights the Following Updates:

  • Mortgage rates spent most of the week drifting sideways. Fed Chair Powell’s testimony to Congress held few insights or surprises.
  • The Fed continues to maintain that it will be flexible in terms of monetary policy and that challenges to global growth may present the biggest obstacle to keeping the US economy growing.
  • GDP did register a decline, dropping to 2.6%, and the ISM Manufacturing Index dipped to 54.2.
  • Consumer moods brightened considerably with Consumer Confidence bouncing up to 131.4, well above experts’ expectations. If consumer moods are reflected in future consumer spending measures, it may help buoy the economy if international challenges persist.
  • This week starts with the ISM Services Index. If it drops rather than increases, we could see some of the recent upward pressure on rates decreasing.
  • The week ends with monthly employment data. Some experts are warning of big adjustments to January’s numbers.
  • If we see the average for the last year pulled below recent trend lines, then rates are likely to remain flat, waiting for more economic data.

Homeownership Improves Again

In the second quarter of 2016, homeownership hit an all-time low at 62.9%, according to the Census Bureau. Since then, it has been slowly improving, coming in at 64.8% for Q4 2018. Young buyers, aged 34-44, increased by 1.2%, the largest increase in any age group. ATTOM Data Solutions released January’s foreclosure data, noting that 2018 saw foreclosures drop to near 2005 levels at 624,753, down 8% from 2017. In 2010, the US saw almost 3 million homes foreclosed.

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