While home construction data suffered storm damage in September, New Home Sales broke free and soared. Gross Domestic Product also flexed its muscle.
The Commerce Department reported that New Home Sales surged 18.9 percent in September from August to their highest level since October 2007. This was the largest monthly gain since January 1992! Sales came in at 667,000 units versus the 555,000 units expected, and they were up 17 percent when compared to September 2016. Currently, there is a five-month inventory of new homes for sale on the market, down from six months in August. A six-month supply is seen as a healthy balance between supply and demand.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by a solid 3.0 percent in the third quarter of 2017, according to the first of three readings released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This follows the strong showing in second quarter, when economic activity increased 3.1 percent. Consumer spending, which makes up nearly two-thirds of economic activity, increased 2.4 percent after increasing 3.3 percent the previous quarter. GDP is the best way to measure a country's overall economic health and includes the total value of finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific timeframe.
Finally, home loan rates remain in attractive territory despite recent Stock market rallies that pushed Mortgage Bond prices down.
If you or someone you know has questions about home financing or home loan rates please contact me. I'd be happy to help.
Forecast for the Week
After September job growth was stifled by hurricanes, the October Jobs Report is poised for a rebound.
Economic data kicks off on Monday with Personal Income, Personal Spending, and the inflation-reading Personal Consumption Expenditures.
Tuesday is fully loaded with the Employment Cost Index, S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index and Consumer Confidence.
Look for manufacturing news with Chicago PMI on Tuesday and the ISM Index on Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, the ADP National Employment Report and the Fed's Monetary Policy Statement will be released.
Weekly Initial Jobless Claims and Productivity numbers come out on Thursday.
The big headliner on Friday is the Jobs Report for October, which includes Non-farm Payrolls, Unemployment Rate, Average Work Week and Hourly Earnings. The ISM Services Index also will be released.
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 Bond prices slipped recently. Home loan rates remain in attractive territory.
Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday Oct 27, 2017)