Mortgage Watch – July 15

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NAR Chief Economist sees promise in housing market

A a recent report by National Association of Realtors' Chief Economist Danielle Hale details how and why the housing market is looking more promising over the next few months. "I don't think we'll get back all the way to...the frenzy we saw at the beginning of 2018," she says. "But it's certainly a possibility that home sales and prices will pick up, especially if mortgage rates stay low."

When mortgage rates are at historical lows, the market tends to heat up, offering a tangible incentive for people to buy. Freddie Mac's latest mortgage rate survey revealed those historical lows recently. "We're seeing a tug of war happen as the fixed income market flashes warning signs while the equities market continues to march higher with optimism," Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's Chief Economist, said. "The data suggests the economy is weakening but is still on very solid ground with high consumer confidence and a strong labor market. Closer to home, the housing market continues to slowly improve and gain momentum as we head into the second half of the year, which is good news and should keep the economy growing."

Realtor.com's Clare Trapasso reported that said that the report also indicates that a number of homes for sale are expected to decline again over the next few months because the growth in inventory is starting to slow, slipping from 2.9% annual growth in May to 2.8% in June. "We're not seeing as many new listings come up on the market," Hale said. That could be because homeowners looking to trade up to bigger, nicer residences can't find anything in their price range. It was only 18 months ago that the number of homes for sale hit its lowest level in recorded history and sparked the fiercest competition among buyers we've ever seen."

Source: NAR, Realtor, TheMReport, TBWS

Rates Currently Trending: Neutral

Mortgage rates are trending sideways so far today. Last week the MBS market worsened by -20bps. This was enough to worsen rates or fees. Last week we saw a good deal of volatility and we are likely to see the same this week.

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