Lots of new information to digest and more on its way. As I have said before, you must keep an eye on what can move the markets. Information can be spun to suit the needs or to create and support a particular position, it can also be used to clarify and counter opinions or interpretations of these facts.
Here is what I found interesting and some of the reports and data I want to take note of in the weeks to come. Yesterday the CPI report revealed that inflation is hotter than expected and rose to 9.1%. This will likely lead to the FED raising rates by 75 to 100bps at the July meeting the end of this month. This could go a long way in stabilizing the long-term bond market. The PPI report that comes out this morning, the unemployment data, the labor participation rates will help clarify the job market and the Retail sales report, industrial production and utilization reports will shed light on the economy and will be critical in talk about recession.
MBA shared data on mortgage applications and it is sort of glass half empty or glass half full. Purchase applications were down 18% year over year and refinance applications were down 80% over the last year. Now it must be said that mortgage loan volume was a record year so 18% or the purchase side isn’t as bad as it appears, and I think that still seeing 20% of last year’s refinance volume is a surprise to most people.
Perhaps the most surprising data comes from a report about housing that was shared by Barry Habib of MBS Highway, that homes selling above asking price are still 52% of sales; last year it was 53%. Homes selling above asking price as a percentage of that asking price was at 1.9% vs 2.2% last year. Accepted offers within two weeks of listing were at 48% vs 49% last year; and average days listing to contract remained the same at 18 days. So, despite higher prices, higher rates, and inflation, things are not that far off where they were.
I remain alert to the possible shifts in the markets and all markets are hyper local; but the national numbers always make the news, and you need to be aware of what is going on. As always, your questions and comments are welcome: [email protected]