Home prices aren't the only thing on the rise. Economic activity in the services sector looks good.
Home price gains remain solid. CoreLogic, a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information, reported that home prices, including distressed sales, rose by 6.7 percent from October 2015 to October 2016. From September to October, prices rose 1.1 percent as the sector continues to graze in greener pastures. Looking ahead, prices are expected to rise 4.6 percent from October 2016 to October 2017.
Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in November for the 82nd consecutive month, according to the nation's purchasing and supply executives. The ISM Services Index came in at 57.2 in November, above the 55.6 expected and the 54.8 posted in October. This national non-manufacturing index is based on a survey of roughly 370 purchasing executives in industries including finance and insurance, real estate, and construction.
The strong ISM Services Index report and Stock rallies throughout the week weighed on Mortgage Bond prices. This in turn impacted home loan rates, which are tied to Mortgage Bonds.
Although home loan rates have crept up recently, they are still near historic lows, helping offset rising home prices.
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Forecast for the Week
The last Federal Open Market Committee meeting of 2016 and a packed economic calendar might make investors jittery.
Releases kick off on Wednesday with Retail Sales and the Fed's monetary policy statement.
Also on Wednesday, look for news on wholesale inflation via the Producer Price Index. The Consumer Price Index follows Thursday.
Thursday also brings regional manufacturing data via the Philadelphia Fed and Empire State Indexes.
Weekly Initial Jobless Claims will be released Thursday, as usual.
In the housing sector, look for the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index on Thursday and Housing Starts and Building Permits on Friday.
Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve. In contrast, strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond on which home loan rates are based.
When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving. When Bond prices are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.
To go one step further, a red "candle" means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green "candle" means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes are on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.
As you can see in the chart below, Mortgage Bonds have stabilized but have struggled to break above key resistance levels since falling in November.
Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday Dec 09, 2016)