January 06, 2020 at 8:47am | Jeff Hallman
Brought to you by Darel Ansley 
Inside Lending
After the drop in October, Pending Home Sales gained 1.2% in November, up 7.4% year-over-year. The NAR said, "favorable conditions are expected throughout 2020...but supply is not yet meeting healthy demand."
That demand was quite evident as home showings increased in November for the fourth month in a row  according to the ShowingTime Showing Index, which reported a 12.6% year-over-year boost in traffic.
October's S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index gained 3.3% year-over-year. The managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices added, "U.S. housing data continue to be reassuring."

RISING TENSIONS LOWER STOCKS... Stocks sank Friday after U.S. forces killed the general who ran Iran's extraterritorial operations. But this followed record highs on Thursday, so the three major indexes ended the week little changed. 
Investors also didn't much like Friday's ISM Manufacturing Index, still below 50, indicating contraction. But manufacturing will be helped by the Fed's low rate stance and the Phase One China trade deal to be signed January 15.  
We also got the news construction spending was up overall in November, October's numbers were revised upward, and residential construction spending went up the most, with single-family construction the main driver.

The week ended with the Dow flat (down just 10 points), at 28,635; the S&P 500 down 0.2%, to 3,235; but the Nasdaq UP 0.2%, to 9,021.

While stocks slipped, bonds finished the week firmly higher. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond was UP .11, to $104.06. The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell slightly in Freddie Mac's 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?... The New York Fed reports the average annual salary for full-time workers rose to a record-high $69,181 in November, in the strongest job market in five decades. This supports real estate demand, with more buyers qualifying for mortgages.

SERVICES SECTOR GROWS, JOBS TOO... The services sector provides over 80% of our economy's jobs and is expected to keep growing in December, according to the  ISM Non-Manufacturing Index. Jobs overall should also expand by a strong 160,000 Nonfarm Payrolls.
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.

Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months... There's a slightly stronger feeling rates could move up or down this year, but it's still a very small minority of futures traders leaning that way. Note: In the lower chart, a 6% probability of change is a 94% probability the rate will stay the same.
Current Fed Funds Rate: 1.50%-1.75%
Jan 29 1.50%-1.75%
Mar 18  1.50%-1.75%
Apr 29 1.50%-1.75%
Probability of change from current policy:
Jan 29     6%
Mar 18      10%
Apr 29     21%

  Darel Ansley Darel Ansley
Senior Real Estate Loan Officer
NMLS# 500247

901 North Mission Street
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Office: (509) 664-5324
Mobile: (509) 860-3301
Fax: (509) 664-5315
  Peoples Bank  


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