Unrest in the Middle East might create a buying opportunity at home.

Unrest in the Middle East might create a buying opportunity at home.

It’s February 24th and the J. Berman Group is gearing up for a busier than usual March. Two factors will likely push consumers to make some decisions on home financing sooner rather than later. The first factor is the dramatic change in compensation for mortgage originators effective April 1st, 2011. This regulation will undoubtedly raise costs on home buyers and will result in higher interest rates being charged by all originators upon consumers. The federal government has effectively eliminated much of the benefit of shopping for a mortgage. The second factor is the current unrest in the Middle East. A shift to safety by investors that have been riding the stock market is likely as folks are getting nervous about global events. Certainly Libya is a concern but Bahrain looms much larger as a potential powder keg for widespread chaos. These two events should create a short-term refinancing and purchase opportunity for US homeowners. I wouldn’t be shocked to see […]

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : October 5, 2009

Mortgage markets rallied for most of last week, but ended Friday on a sour note. After touching their lowest levels since Memorial Day, mortgage rates spiked to close out the week. Despite pricing getting worse by 1/4 percent Friday afternoon, however, mortgage rates still managed to fall for the second consecutive week. There were two main storylines last week on Wall Street.  The first was data-driven. After several months of better-than-expected results, the September Non-Farm Payrolls report fell well short of expectations. According to the government, another quarter-million jobs were lost last month, raising the 12-month tally to 5.75 million.  Additionally, consumer confidence figures dropped.  The stories are related and it brings us to the second storyline.  Without job growth, some analysts are openly wondering how the economy will ever start to expand.  Especially with the Holiday Shopping season getting underway. The negative vibes were enough to shake off an overwhelmingly positive series of housing reports.  Both Pending Home Sales and the Case-Shiller […]

Understanding The Federal Reserve Statement (September 23, 2009 Edition)

The Federal Open Market Committee voted to leave the Fed Funds Rate within its target range of 0.000-0.250 percent. It also reiterated plans to support the mortgage market to the tune of $1.5 trillion. In its press release, the FOMC noted that the U.S. economy is “picking up following its severe downturn” and that financial markets have “improved further”. It’s the second consecutive post-FOMC statement in which the Fed appears somewhat optimistic — a signal that the recession will end soon, or has already ended. That said, the economy still has some soft spots and the Fed made a point to single them out.  Each poses a distinct threat to economic recovery. Ongoing job losses Sluggish income growth Tight credit conditions Also in its statement, the Fed confirmed its plan to hold the Fed Funds Rate near zero percent “for an extended period” and to honor its $1.25 trillion commitment to the mortgage bond market. However, the FOMC changed its timeframe on the […]

Should You Lock Your Mortgage Rate In Advance Of Tomorrow’s Federal Reserve Announcement?

The Federal Open Market Committee starts a 2-day meeting today in Washington.  The scheduled get-together ends at 2:15 PM ET Wednesday after which the FOMC will issue a press release to the markets. Consider locking your mortgage in advance of the press release.  The FOMC meets 8 times annually and its adjournments are among the biggest market-movers of the year.  The Fed’s post-meeting press release is a direct look into the mind of the Federal Reserve and Wall Street is looking for clues anywhere it can find them. After its August 2009 meeting, the FOMC said in its press release: Financial markets have improved, relative Household spending remains constrained Although weak, the economy is “leveling off” Since then, however, credit risks have lessened on Wall Street, consumer spending have shown signs of life and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the recession is “very likely over”. This is why tomorrow’s FOMC press release is so important.  Markets don’t expect the Fed to raise or […]

What’s Ahead For Colorado Mortgage Rates This Week : September 21, 2009

After improving in the two prior weeks, mortgage markets finished last week unchanged overall.  Mortgage rates were down early in the week but managed to give up all of their gains late-Friday afternoon.  It’s the same volatility variety we’ve seen in most weeks this year.  Markets moved on to both positive- and negative-type news last week.  On the positive side: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the recession is “very likely over“ Retail Sales were much stronger than expected Warren Buffett confirmed to CNBC that he was back in the market On the negative side, Housing Starts idled and corporate earnings fell flat. This week, the market moves on.  Investors will watch several key releases including Existing Home Sales on Thursday, and Consumer Sentiment and New Homes Sales on Friday.  The most important event of the week by far, however, is the scheduled, 2-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee.  The FOMC is the policy-setting group of the Federal Reserve and each […]