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Sierra Nevada Insider November 2018

by Jeffrey Corman
WINTER IS IN THE AIR
 
With below freezing temps in the evenings, our Lake Tahoe resorts are blowing snow and
gearing up for Thanksgiving weekend and a festive kick off to ski season in the Sierra.
 
FEATURED HAPPENINGS
 
 

November 16
Bud Fish Tree Lighting
Downtown Truckee

Join Sierra Sotheby's International Realty for cookie decorating and cocoa during this annual Truckee holiday tradition. 
 
 

November 16 - December 16
Polar Express
V&T Railroad, Carson City

One hour long rides with characters, entertainment, Santa and a souvenir silver sleigh bell to
remember the journey. 
 
 

November 16
42nd Annual Elegant Affair
Tahoe City
 
Support North Tahoe Boosters and Tahoe
athletics programs at this annual local's favorite, black-tie-optional food and wine affair. 
 
 
November 17 | 4-7 pm
Tree Lighting at the Summit
Sierra Sotheby's @ The Summit Mall Reno
 
Join Sierra Sotheby's International Realty for a
Holiday Kick Off for our associates, family and friends featuring a Hot Cocoa Bar, light
appetizers, beverages and a warm place to watch the fireworks during the Summit Tree Lighting. 
 
 

November 17-18
Sacramento Ski Expo
Cal Expo
 
Huge Gear Sale, Beer & Wine Tasting,
Pro Athlete Exhibitions, Lift Tickets and so much more... 
 
 

November 23
Heavenly Village Tree Lighting
Heavenly Village, South Lake Tahoe
 
Gather ‘round for the first annual lighting of the monstrous 45’ tall highly decorated cut fir tree and the kick off to Heavenly Holidays Festival
 
 
November 23 - 25
Finding Neverland
Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, Reno
 
Directed by visionary Tony®-winner Diane Paulus and based on the critically-acclaimed Academy Award® winning film, Finding Neverland tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan. 
 
 
November 23 
Warren Miller's Face of Winter
Squaw Valley
 
69th installment from Warren Miller Entertainment featuring the world’s best skiers and riders in some of the most legendary destinations to honor a face that launched a thousand quips.
 
 
IN THE NEWS
 
Orbital Reflector Anticipated to Launch November 19
 
After three years in the making, Trevor Paglen: Orbital Reflector, co-produced and presented by the Nevada Museum of Art, will soon be visible from Earth with the naked eye — like a slowly moving artificial star as bright as a star in the Big Dipper. Download the App (Starwalk for iOS) (Starwalk for Android) and prepare to track the satellite once it launches.
 
Google Debuts ARCore Exclusive with Curate App for
Sotheby's International Realty 
 
In collaboration with Google, Sotheby's International Realty® brand is the first real estate brand to launch a virtual staging AR app, transforming the homebuying and selling
experience by allowing consumers to visualize a home as their own before purchase.
Download the Curate App on Itunes or Google Play
 
Jeffrey Corman , Kirstin Burbank- Corman , Brendan Donovan
 
775.339.1144
BlogFacebookLinkedIn
 
 
Sierra Insider - November 2018
MARKET UPDATE
 
 
 

Pending Home Sales (an index of contracts signed on existing homes) went up 0.5% in September. This indicates a modest boost in existing home sales come October.

But September New Home Sales skidded down 5.5%, to a 553,000 annual rate. Yet the trend stays upward, as sales the first nine months of 2018 are still up 3.4% from the same period a year ago.

The Mortgage Bankers Association chief economist feels home sales will grow over the next five years, as mortgage rates peak and 47 million millennials enter their home buying years--"a tremendous support for housing demand."  

 
 
 
 
REVIEW OF LAST WEEK
 
 
 

TURN THE PAGE... Let us simply move on from this very bad week in the stock market, whose best performance was the 3.0% dive for the Dow. Investors worried about earnings growth, even though the data proved otherwise. 

To wit, FactSet reported the blended third quarter corporate earnings growth rate was 22.5%, and the forward 12-month earnings-per-share estimate is up 0.8% over the same period.  

Friday, we learned the economy grew 3.5% annually in Q3, after 4.2% growth in Q2, the best consecutive quarters of economic performance since 2005. So, what worries Wall Street? That the Fed will hike too fast and kill the party.

The week ended with the Dow down 3.0%, to 24688; the S&P 500 down 3.9%, to 2659; and the Nasdaq down 3.8%, to 7167.

The weakness in stocks sent traders over to bonds, pushing prices higher. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond ended UP .47, at $100.36. Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey had the national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate up just one basis point (0.01%)Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... A recent report on insights from 3,000 consumers revealed that more video is now consumed on computers, tablets and smartphones than on TV.

 
 
 
 
THIS WEEK'S FORECAST
 
 
 

INFLATION MILD; EMPLOYMENT COSTS UP; JOBS, FACTORIES STRONG...  The Fed likes the Core PCE Prices take on inflation, so it's good that a mild read is forecast. But more inflation could come with a climbing Employment Cost Index. In line with that, we should see growth in wages (Average Hourly Earnings) and Nonfarm Payrolls in Friday's jobs report. Finally, the ISM Index is expected to reveal factories are still humming nicely.

NOTE: Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and higher loan rates.

 
 
 
 
FEDERAL RESERVE WATCH
 
 
 

Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months... The market expects the Fed Funds Rate to hold come November, then bump up a quarter percent in December, but stay there through the beginning of next year. Note: In the lower chart, a 5% probability of change is a 95% probability the rate will stay the same.

Current Fed Funds Rate: 2.00%-2.25%

AFTER FOMC MEETING ON: CONSENSUS
Nov   8 2.00%-2.25%
Dec 19 2.25%-2.50%
Jan  30 2.25%-2.50%
 

Probability of change from current policy:

AFTER FOMC MEETING ON: CONSENSUS
Nov   8    5%
Dec 19   74%
Jan 30   32%

Amid housing crisis, Reno's motor lodges become last resort

by Jeffrey Corman

RENO, Nev.  — They were the toast of Reno in the 1950s, when the growing casino industry sparked a boom that for a time turned northern Nevada into the West's top gambling destination.

Dozens of downtown motor lodges provided spare but comfortable retreats for motorists who took to the nation's new highways to see the bright lights of the self-proclaimed "Biggest Little City in the World" and try their luck at the slot machines and blackjack tables.

Today, the lodges still standing are in disrepair and rent rooms by the week. But there is one similarity to their heyday: Reno is booming again and so are the lodges — just not with vacationers or fortune-seekers.

They have become the housing of last resort for Reno's down-and-out, a population that has soared in recent years as a red hot housing and rental market have priced out more and more people.

California is partly to blame.

Silicon Valley firms from Apple to Tesla have set up operations in the Reno area, bringing waves of well-paid tech and manufacturing workers. At the same time, California's soaring home prices and rents have sent thousands of people across the state line looking for more affordable housing.

Four of every 10 people who will move to Nevada this year will be from California, and most of those arriving in Reno and its suburbs are from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Along with that human stampede have come rising home prices and rents — as well as rising anxiety for those living on the margins.

"We're not worried with keeping up with the Joneses," said Dave Frazier, who lives in one of the old motor lodges. "We just want to keep a roof over our head."

He and his partner pay $850 a month for a small studio in the Fireside Inn, cooking food they get at a pantry on a small portable skillet they place next to the bathroom sink. Both are thankful they are no longer on the streets but say many of their neighbors are senior citizens or the disabled who are on fixed incomes and just one rent increase away from homelessness.

"It takes every cent they have to keep a roof over their head," said Frazier, 74. "When they get to that and the rent goes up high enough, they buy a tent and go live on the river."

An estimated 4,000 people — mostly working-class families, seniors and the disabled — live in the pay-by-the-week motels. For many, the lodges are the last stop before being forced onto the streets or to live in their cars.

The growing number of homeless in and around Reno is among the most visible effects of the area's recent population surge, bringing to Nevada a crisis that has been plaguing California and other West Coast states for years.

Reno's homeless shelters are over-flowing and local police periodically clear makeshift homeless camps from the banks of the Truckee River, which flows through downtown. They're places Wendy Wiglesworth doesn't want to return to.

Last year, she finally was able to save enough money for an apartment after years of being homeless. A few months later, she got bad news: The building was being sold to developers who wanted to tear it down to make way for student housing near the University of Nevada.

She ended up at one of the old motor lodges, which typically rent for about $800 a month — $500 less than rent for the average two-bedroom apartment.

Its owners have so far refused similar purchase offers, but Wiglesworth said she lives in constant fear that could change.

"It's horrible," she said. "There's no place to go."

Last year, 27 indigent people, identified by service groups as homeless, died in Washoe County. That's a statistic that is personal for Aria Overli, an organizer with the community group ACTIONN.

A few years ago, her sister moved into her apartment after being evicted from her own place. Rising medical bills left her unable to afford rent.

Last March, she took her own life.

"For me, that's a housing issue," Overli said, her voice cracking as she stood in front of one of the dilapidated weekly motels. "People are literally dying because there's not adequate housing."

Civic groups such as ACTIONN, local elected representatives and interfaith clergy toured several of the motor lodges over the summer, hoping to create a strategy to address Reno's housing problem.

City Councilwoman Jenny Brekhus said the economic boom, fueled in large part by government tax credits, has "put the city in a difficult position."

 

"We were not ready for such robust growth rates and are in many ways still not recovered from the downturn," she said, identifying housing and homelessness as the most pressing issues facing the city.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition ranks Nevada last among all states for providing affordable housing for its poorest families.

Over the past year, the Reno City Council expanded homeless shelter capacity, beefed up inspections of the weekly motels and budgeted $1 million to identify the most promising housing ideas.

The city and county have used federal block grants to build 342 affordable housing units over the past year and have another 1,200 under review or being built.

Creating a special fund dedicated to making affordable housing more widespread is another potential strategy, but one that will require approval by the state Legislature. A main supporter of that approach is Eric Novak, president of Reno-based Praxis Consulting Group, which helps various groups finance affordable housing projects.

"Unfortunately," he said, "the problem is the money, as it always is."

 
MARKET UPDATE
 
 
 

Hurricane Florence blew September Housing Starts down 13.7% in the South, though they were up 3.8% in the rest of the country. So, starts overall slipped 5.3%, to a 1.201 million annual rate.

The National Association of Home Builders chairman noted their confidence index rose on "solid housing demand fueled by a growing economy." In addition,"lumber prices have declined for three straight months."

September Existing Home Sales were down 3.4%, with Florence contributing to a 5.4% dip in the South. Lack of supply is the prob, but inventories are improving, now up two months in a row after 18 months flat or down.

 
 
 
 
REVIEW OF LAST WEEK
 
 
 

MIXED... The Dow was up, the S&P 500 flat and the Nasdaq down, but this was better than the three prior weeks of declines. As corporate earnings season starts, investors are skittish over interest rates and some of the economic data.

Rate worries were somewhat allayed when FOMC Minutes confirmed the Fed's penchant for gradual hikes, though the hurricane-battered housing data looked bad, same as the lower-than-expected September Retail Sales read.

But manufacturing stays strong, in Philadelphia Fed, Empire State and Industrial Production data. And initial jobless claims fell (210,000) while continuing claims sank (1.64 million), indicating good job strength for the housing market.

The week ended with the Dow UP 0.4%, to 25444; the S&P 500 virtually flat, at 2768; and the Nasdaq down 0.6%, to 7449.

Bonds headed south, led by Treasuries, which finished the week lower. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond ended down .24, to $99.89. The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped back iFreddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market SurveyRemember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... Attom Data Solutions reports homes remain more affordable than at the height of the housing boom in 2006, when buying a home required 52% of average wages, versus 37% today.

 
 
 
 
THIS WEEK'S FORECAST
 
 
 

HOME SALES SLIP, GDP GROWS... September numbers for both New Home Sales and Pending Home Sales are forecast a tad down, thanks again to Hurricane Florence. Yet the GDP-Advanced read for Q3 should show economic growth still north of 3%, good for jobs, wages and real estate.

NOTE: Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and higher loan rates.

 
 
 
 
FEDERAL RESERVE WATCH
 
 
 

Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months... The Fed futures market is still betting on no rate hike next month, then a quarter percent uptick in December, but no move in January. Note: In the lower chart, a 6% probability of change is a 94% probability the rate will stay the same.

Current Fed Funds Rate: 2.00%-2.25%

AFTER FOMC MEETING ON: CONSENSUS
Nov   8 2.00%-2.25%
Dec 19 2.25%-2.50%
Jan  30 2.25%-2.50%
 

Probability of change from current policy:

AFTER FOMC MEETING ON: CONSENSUS
Nov   8    6%
Dec 19   85%
Jan 30   22%
 
 
MARKET UPDATE
 
 
 

Fannie Mae's Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) slipped a tick overall in September, though the share of respondents who say now is a good time to buy rose by 5%.

The ADP and Moody's Analytics National Employment Report revealed 34,000 construction jobs were added to the economy in September. That should boost home building activity.

Recent data reveals home prices are easing some--17.4% of Trulia's listings in August had price cuts, up from 16.7% a year ago, and now at the highest level in four years.

 
 
 
 
REVIEW OF LAST WEEK
 
 
 

OUCH!... Stocks dipped badly, then recovered, though not enough to avoid the S&P 500's worst week since March. Rate concerns caused the pain, as bond prices dropped, sending yields (and possibly interest rates) up. 

But the Fed hikes rates to tame inflation, and last week, CPI inflation came in lower than expected. Anyway, as one analyst put it, "higher interest rates are warranted when the economy is strong." 

Hey, S&P 500 companies should report Q3 earnings up almost 20% the past year, according to FactSet. Plus, preliminary University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment for October came in higher than the average read for 2018. 

The week ended with the Dow down 4.2%, to 25340; the S&P 500 down 4.1%, to 2767; and the Nasdaq down 3.7%, to 7497.

Bond prices in general went lower, although the 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond ended UP .16, to $100.13. In Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate headed back upRemember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... The latest Zillow Group study on consumer housing trends reports down payments averaged 15 percent for first-time buyers.

 
 
 
 
THIS WEEK'S FORECAST
 
 
 

EXISTING HOME SALES, HOUSING STARTS SLIP; PERMITS, RETAIL SOAR; WE CHECK ON THE FED... The forecast is for a slower pace of Existing Home Sales and Housing Starts in September, but Building Permits and Retail Salesshould climb, good signs going forward. And FOMC Minutes will tell us what the Fed said at the last meeting.

NOTE: Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and higher loan rates.

 
 
 
 
FEDERAL RESERVE WATCH
 
 
 

Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months... Despite last week's talk about rising rates, the Fed futures market expects no changes until a quarter percent bump at the final FOMC meeting of the year. Note: In the lower chart, a 2% probability of change is a 98% probability the rate will stay the same.

Current Fed Funds Rate: 2.00%-2.25%

AFTER FOMC MEETING ON: CONSENSUS
Nov   8 2.00%-2.25%
Dec 19 2.25%-2.50%
Jan  30 2.25%-2.50%
 

Probability of change from current policy:

AFTER FOMC MEETING ON: CONSENSUS
Nov   8    2%
Dec 19   80%
Jan 30   25%

Q3 Reno-Tahoe Real Estate Data Released

by Jeffrey Corman
Third Quarter Real Estate Market Data 
 
The Reno-Tahoe real estate market continued its upward trend during the third quarter of 2018 with sales volume and average sales prices capping the all time peaks of 2006 in some markets and hitting near all-time highs in others. As
demand continues to outpace sensibly priced inventory and interest rates remain at healthy lows, we anticipate robust year-end market activity with buyers shifting their interest to ski homes for the coming winter.

 

CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO REVIEW DATA BY NEIGHBORHOOD 
 
If your community of interest is not listed or you’re unsure what the data means for your situation, please don't hesitate to contact me.  Data is current as of October 8, 2018. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. 
 
2018 Q3 Real Estate Data

FOR THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 8, 2018

 
 
 

.

 
 
 
 
MARKET UPDATE
 
 
 

Realtor.com reports 465,000 new listings hit the market in September, up 8% from the year before, the largest annual gain in five years. The hot sales pace left inventory flat, but it's expected to increase soon.

Prices are already beginning to moderate, as the August CoreLogic Insights report posted a 5.5% annual gain, the slowest year-over-year home price growth in almost two years.

Even the number of homes selling above list is falling. An online real estate  database reports that in September, 22.9% of homes sold above asking, down from 29% in June.

 
 
 
 
REVIEW OF LAST WEEK
 
 
 

ECONOMY UP, STOCKS DOWN... Rising stocks usually mean a rising economy (that's why we watch them), but last week's good economic data made traders worry the Fed may raise rates faster, which sent stocks down.

Good stuff included the read on the huge services sector of our economy that unexpectedly jumped to its highest level in more than 20 years, while the  manufacturing index fell just a tad from August's 14-year high.

September saw a lower than expected 134,000 new jobs, but 87,000 were added to July and August numbers, total cash earnings rose 5.4% the past year and the unemployment rate fell to 3.7%, the lowest in 49 years!

The week ended with the Dow down 11 points, to 26447; the S&P 500 down 1.0%, to 2886; and the Nasdaq down 3.2%, to 7788.

Bond prices sank, sending yields up, also making traders worried over rates. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond ended down .94, to $99.97. Yet the national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate inched back in Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market SurveyRemember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... Goldman Sachs economist Daan Struyven claims little chance of recession in the next three years. He said, "the model still classifies the expansion as mid-cycle."

 
 
 
 
THIS WEEK'S FORECAST
 
 
 

INFLATION EDGES UP, BUT NOT MUCH... The key reads this week are on inflation. Both the wholesale Producer Price Index and the Consumer Price Indexare expected to drift up, but not much higher than the Fed's 2% annual target. That should keep the central bank (and Wall Street) calm about rates for now.

NOTE: Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and higher loan rates.

 
 
 
 
FEDERAL RESERVE WATCH
 
 
 

Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months... The consensus feels the Fed will sit on the present rate in November, do another quarter percent hike in December, then hold in January. Note: In the lower chart, a 5% probability of change is a 95% probability the rate will stay the same.

Current Fed Funds Rate: 2.00%-2.25%

AFTER FOMC MEETING ON: CONSENSUS
Nov   8 2.00%-2.25%
Dec 19 2.25%-2.50%
Jan  30 2.25%-2.50%
 

Probability of change from current policy:

AFTER FOMC MEETING ON: CONSENSUS
Nov   8    5%
Dec 19   83%
Jan 30   24%

Sweet Days of Autumn in the Sierra

by Jeffrey Corman
 
 
 
Sierra Insider - October 2018
The Sweet Days of Autumn in the Sierra
 
For many locals, autumn is a favorite time of the year in the Sierra. Enjoy warm days coupled with cools nights, colorful hikes, calm waters and dining specials at your favorite restaurants. 
 
 
FEATURED HAPPENINGS
 
 
October 6
Truckee Wine Walk & Shop
Downtown Truckee

Join Sierra Sotheby's International Realty as you sip, eat and shop your way through Downtown Truckee during this popular annual event.
 
 
October  6-7
The Great Reno Italian Festival
Downtown Reno
 
A celebration of Italian culture and traditions 
including live entertainment, a sauce cooking
contest and of course, pasta – lots of pasta.
 
 
October 6-7
Kokanee Salmon Festival
Taylor Creek, South Lake Tahoe
 
Celebrate the annual fall migration of the Kokanee salmon during the Fall Fish Fest at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, Lake Tahoe.
 
 
October 6-7
Oktoberfest
Camp Richardson, South Lake Tahoe
 
Enjoy great food, music, family games and
activities, and a famous Beer and Wine Garden during this free family-friendly event.  
 
 
October 12-14
Lake Tahoe Marathon Week
Throughout Lake Tahoe
 
Three days of running and fun with something for your whole family, club or group of friends at one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.
 
 
October 13-14
Blue Angels at the Minden Airport
Minden
 
U.S. Navy Blue Angels to Perform During the
Aviation Round-up at the Minden Tahoe Airport 2018 Aviation Roundup Airshow. 
 
 
IN THE NEWS
 
Lake Tahoe's First Via Ferrata Opens at Squaw Valley 
 
Via Ferrata, an Italian term meaning Iron Road, is a protected climbing route with
permanent steel anchors and cables that allow participants to be safely connected to the rock via a Continuous Lifeline System. 
 
Underwater Heritage Trail Opens at Emerald Bay
 
California's first underwater trail. The trail is devoted to showcasing Lake Tahoe's historic recreational watercraft and barges resting below the surface of Emerald Bay. Scuba and snorkel diving visitors can explore the underwater "trail" of historic features at
several sites along the shoreline.
Sotheby's Auction: Important Watches 
 
Sotheby's is proud to present the Autumn Important Watches Sale in Hong Kong October 2-5, 2018 featuring a carefully selected collection of 436 fine contemporary and vintage timepieces from renowned brands including Patek Philippe, Rolex, Audemars Piguet and A. Lange & Söhne to independent watchmakers such as F.P. Journe and Greubel Forsey. 
 
FEATURED PROPERTIES
 
 
434 Valerie Court Incline Village $3,995,000
 
 
638 Fairview Blvd. Incline Village $3,248,000
 
 
431 Valerie Court Incline Village $3,998,000
 
Jeffrey Corman and Kirstin Burbank- Corman
 
775.339.1144
BlogFacebookLinkedIn
 
 
 

FOR THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 1, 2018

 
 
 

 I

 
 
 
 
MARKET UPDATE
 
 
 

New Home Sales went up 3.5% in August, though most of the gain came from a downward revision to July. Yet the trend is higher: sales the first eight months of this year are up 6.8% from the same period in 2017.

But Pending Homes Sales slipped 1.8% in August. Supply is the prob, as folks hang onto their homes. The median age of homes went from 31 years in 2005 to 37 years in 2016.

Despite rising mortgage rates, First American's chief economist feels the strong economy will support demand: "While the pace of sales may initially slow, home buyers typically adjust to the new rate environment."

 
 
 
 
REVIEW OF LAST WEEK
 
 
 

HOT QUARTER, COOL WEEK... Stocks wrapped up Q3 posting their hottest quarterly gains since 2013, though the Dow and the S&P 500 cooled for the week, while the Nasdaq stayed warm.

Dampening the festivities were trade worries, rising oil prices and Italy's projected deficit increasing to 2.4% of GDP. We also had the expected quarter percent hike from the Fed who say they'll proceed at a moderate pace.

Meanwhile, the economy booms: GDP growth at 4.2% in Q2 and on track for the best year since 2005; personal income up 4.7% the past year; and the National Federation of Independent Business optimism index at a 35-year high.

The week ended with the Dow down 1.1%, to 26458; the S&P 500 down 0.5%, to 2914; but the Nasdaq was UP 0.7%, to 8046.

Bonds benefited with the flight to quality from Italy's molto grande deficit. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond ended UP .07, at $100.91. Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey reported the national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate up again. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... The National Association of Realtors reports that in 2017 only 9% of buyers found their agents online, the same as in 2008. Despite their growing online activities, 91% of buyers still hire agents through personal referrals. 

 
 
 
 
THIS WEEK'S FORECAST
 
 
 

THE BEAT GOES ON: MANUFACTURING, SERVICES, JOBS ALL GAIN...  Economists predict the ISM Manufacturing and ISM Services indexes will show strong expansion in September, though slightly less than the month prior. They also expect Hurricane Florence to temporarily trim growth in Nonfarm Payrolls, but still see more than 180,000 new jobs created.

NOTE: Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and higher loan rates.

 
 
 
 
FEDERAL RESERVE WATCH
 
 
 

Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months... The futures market expects last week's rate hike to hold in November, with another small hike in December which will hold in January. Note: In the lower chart, a 1% probability of change is a 99% probability the rate will stay the same.

Current Fed Funds Rate: 2.00%-2.25%

AFTER FOMC MEETING ON: CONSENSUS
Nov   8 2.00%-2.25%
Dec 19 2.25%-2.50%
Jan  30 2.25%-2.50%
 

Probability of change from current policy:

AFTER FOMC MEETING ON: CONSENSUS
Nov   8    1%
Dec 19   79%
Jan 30   24%
 
MARKET UPDATE
 
 
 

After a slow June and July, Housing Starts shot up 9.2% in August, to a 1.282 million annual rate. And single-family starts are up 5.7% for the first eight months of 2018 compared to the same period last year.

Existing Home Sales held steady in August, but that's a positive after four months of declines. Supply is finally turning around, as inventory rose year-over-year for the first time in 38 months!

Freddie Mac's chief economist observed, "Amidst this four-week climb in interest rates, the welcoming news is that purchase applications have risen on an annual basis for five consecutive weeks." Demand stays strong.

 
 
 
 
REVIEW OF LAST WEEK
 
 
 

BACK TO BREAKING RECORDS... Though the tech-y Nasdaq lagged, the Dow and the S&P 500 hit new heights, driven by improving economic data indicating strong economic growth.

"Trade tensions" sound scary in the media, but tariffs have been mild and investors see they've had little effect on the economy. One economist calculated tariffs may add 0.1% overall to wholesale prices.

The Philly Fed index nearly doubled in September, signaling growing optimism from East Coast manufacturers. Initial jobless claims fell to their lowest read since 1969 and the Leading Economic Index suggested solid growth ahead.

The week ended with the Dow UP 2.3%, to 26744; the S&P 500 UP 0.8%, to 2930; but the Nasdaq was down 0.3%, to 7987.

In bonds, longer-dated notes posted losses for the fourth week in a row. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond ended down .27, at $100.84. Consequently, the national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate drifted up for the fourth straight week. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... Despite increasing rates, mortgage applications rose last week, with the unadjusted Purchase Index up 9% from the week before, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

 
 
 
 
THIS WEEK'S FORECAST
 
 
 

NEW HOME SALES, GDP UP, PENDING HOME SALES OFF, INFLATION MILD, THE FED HIKES... August New Home Sales are forecast up, but the Pending Home Sales index for existing homes should slide. The GDP-Third Estimate is predicted to have the economy booming at 4.3% growth, while Core PCE Pricesshow inflation is still benign. The FOMC Rate Decision is 100% expected to be a hike, so the focus will be on the Fed's rate forecast, particularly for 2019.

NOTE: Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and higher loan rates.

 
 
 
 
FEDERAL RESERVE WATCH
 
 
 

Forecasting Federal Reserve policy changes in coming months... Literally everyone sees a quarter percent rate hike on Wednesday. Then no move is forecast for November, but a final one to end 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: 1.75%-2.00%

AFTER FOMC MEETING ON: CONSENSUS
Sep 26 2.00%-2.25%
Nov 8 2.00%-2.25%
Dec 19 2.25%-2.50%
 

Probability of change from current policy:

AFTER FOMC MEETING ON: CONSENSUS
Sep 26 100%
Nov 8     8%
Dec 19    81%

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