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FOR THE WEEK OF AUGUST 26, 2019
YOUR WEEKLY SMILE
Continuing the upward trend that began in January, Existing Home Sales climbed 2.5% in July, to a 5.420 million annual rate. The recovery has now taken year-over-year sales into positive space, up 0.6%, for the first time in 17 months.
July New Home Sales fell 12.8%, but mostly because June sales were revised up to a post-recession high 728,000, the 20% monthly gain the largest since 1992! Plus, July's number is still 4.3% higher than last year.
Freddie Mac's chief economist noted that thanks to the drop in rates, "home purchase demand is up five percent from a year ago...while refinances surged to their highest share in three and a half years."
|NATIONAL MARKET UPDATE|
TRADE TENSIONS TRIP TRADERS... Friday, China unveiled retaliatory tariffs, the President responded by ordering American companies to look for "an alternative to China," and the three major stock indexes finished down for the week.
Traders were initially heartened after Fed Chair Powell's Jackson Hole speech left the door open for a rate cut in September as a hedge against "a global slowdown," though "the U.S. economy has continued to perform well overall."
How well? Solid earnings from major retailers show consumer spending that drives 70% of the economy is very healthy. Wages have grown above 3% 12 months in a row, the longest streak since 2007, and unemployment nears a 50-year low.
The week ended with the Dow down 1.0%, to 25629; the S&P 500 down 1.4%, to 2847; and the Nasdaq down 1.8%, to 7752.
In bonds, investors sought a safe haven in Treasuries, though the 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond ended down .06, to $103.64. Freddie Mac reported the national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to another three-year low in the Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Remember , mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.
DID YOU KNOW?... First American says single-family starts are a more reliable recession indicator. They were down 20% or more year-over-year before four of the past five recessions, while the yield curve inverted 31 times without a subsequent recession. (Please note: single-family starts were UP 1.9% year-over-year in July.)
|REVIEW OF LAST WEEK|
PENDING HOME SALES, GDP GROW, CONSUMERS SPEND, INFLATION OK...Contracts on existing homes should gain in July by the Pending Home Sales index, and GDP is forecast at still solid 2.0% growth. Analysts predict Personal Spendingwill show a rise in consumer spending, while Core PCE Prices inflation stays mild.
NOTE: Weaker economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and higher loan rates.
|THIS WEEK'S FORECAST|
Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months... The Fed Chair's speech on Friday left the Futures market certain of a September rate cut, with a good probability of one in October, but that's it for the year. Note: In the lower chart, a 100% probability of change is a 0% probability the rate will stay the same.
Current Fed Funds Rate: 2.00%-2.25%
|FEDERAL RESERVE WATCH|
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|BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK|
Senior Real Estate Loan Officer
901 North Mission Street
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Office: (509) 664-5324
Mobile: (509) 860-3301
Fax: (509) 664-5315