Europe Influences U.S. Markets

Over the past week, mortgage rates were influenced mainly by events in Europe. The outcome of Sunday’s French election was bad for mortgage rates, while Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting was mildly positive. The U.S. economic data had little impact. Mortgage rates ended the week a little higher.

Testimonial Tuesday

My husband & I recently bought a newly constructed house in Sequim, & went to Peninsula Mortgage to arrange the financing. The expertise & the personal service by Craig made our financing a breeze, not a stress. I would recommend him to anyone, & will do so when the opportunity arises. – Rita and Warren Carrow, Sequim WA

Testimonial Tuesday!

My husband & I recently bought a newly constructed house in Sequim, & went to Peninsula Mortgage to arrange the financing. We were VERY pleased with this decision! This was the most pleasant experiences! Craig is not only very good at what he does, he was very responsive to emails or phone calls – always getting back to us in a timely manner. – Rita and Warren Carrow, Sequim WA

Lowest Levels of Year – THE NEWS STAND

A wide range of news was positive for mortgage rates this week, and it far outweighed the relatively minor unfavorable influences. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week lower, at the best levels of the year.

Comments from President Trump also were positive for mortgage rates this week. On Wednesday, Trump said that the U.S. dollar is “getting too strong” and that he likes “a low-interest rate policy.” Since Trump appoints the Fed Chair, his support for looser monetary policy caused mortgage rates to decline.

Testimonial Tuesday

“Working with Craig Stevenson at Peninsula Mortgage was fantastic! He was able to provide me with a great rate, exceptional service and I loved supporting a local mortgage company. I had a choice of going with a larger bank but I knew I didn’t need to look any further after meeting with Craig. -Penny M. McCollum, Sequim WA

Disappointing Job Gains – THE NEWS STAND

Friday’s key Employment report showed that the economy added just 98,000 jobs in March, well below the consensus forecast of 180,000. It appears that the weather had a larger than anticipated effect over the last two months. Incredibly warm weather likely boosted the results in February, while a severe storm seems to have slowed hiring in March.

A wide range of news was positive for mortgage rates this week. Hawkish comments from the Fed were the only significant unfavorable influence. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week lower, near the best levels of the year.

Consumers Remain Highly Confident – THE NEWS STAND

Encouraging news in the housing sector continued this week. In February, the Pending Home Sales index rose 5.5% from January to the second best level in a decade. There are two reports each month which measure sales of previously owned homes. The report on sales of existing homes measures closings during the month, while pending sales measure contracts signed, making the Pending Home Sales data a leading indicator of future closings.

Rates Improve Again – THE NEWS STAND

The housing sector data released this week revealed that home sales activity remained at very good levels. New homes sold in February rose to the best level in months. Sales of previously owned homes did slip from January’s strong pace, but according to the National Association of Realtors, this was due to a shortage of inventory in many regions.

Testimonial Tuesday

My husband and I recently purchased a home in Sequim, WA through Peninsula Mortgage. We were very impressed with Craig’s knowledge and all the staff at Peninsula Mortgage, and how simple they made it for us. The electronic data signing of papers made it extremely easy to follow and with Craig’s expert knowledge helped us through a smooth transaction. -The Jays, Alaska

Economic News

MBS prices and the bellwether 10 yr note improved Friday. Not on the data but on two other events; the Treasury will no longer be able to issue new debt as the debt ceiling has been hit. Treasury Sec Mnuchin saying Treasury will have enough money to pay its bills through October and although the debt ceiling will be increased eventually, until that happens no more debt will be issued. That obviously lessens supply and in turn should add some support for US interest rates.

Testimonial Tuesday

We worked together for a few weeks getting my credit repaired so that I would qualify for not just any loan program, but a good one with low rates – I was surprised at how quickly their credit repair process was! I never thought I’d have credit over 700 and they made that happen almost instantly. -Travis and Andrea Salad, Issaquah WA

Flocked and Happy About it!

We got “Flocked!” Peninsula Mortgage is happy to support the 2017 Sequim High School Senior Flamingo Flocking Fundraiser. This benefits the 2017 Graduates – Funds go to the Annual Safe & Sober Party. They have a great time and are safe (!). To support this worthy cause, please contact Karen Thayer @ 360-452-2030 or email her at bkthayer@olypen.com.

Testimonial Tuesday

Our association with Peninsula Mortgage was very positive. We felt that Craig was really trying to give us the best advice possible. My wife thought that the teapot she received was very special.

– Leslie and Ruth Skogman, Sequim WA

Rising Rate Hike Expectations – THE NEWS STAND

A shift in expectations toward a faster pace of tightening by the Fed was negative for mortgage rates this week. Stronger than expected economic data also was unfavorable. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week higher.

Testimonial Tuesday

Peninsula Mortgage has been extremely helpful and efficient at helping me obtain the financing I need. I will absolutely be giving them my business in the future, and I highly recommend anyone looking for a lender to do the same.

— JOSEPH K CHAVEZ, PORT ANGELES WA

 

Focus on Europe – THE NEWS STAND

Home sales begin the year on a strong note. In January sales of previously owned homes rose to the highest level since February 2007. Sales might have been even better if inventory levels had been higher. Total inventory of existing homes for sale remained near record low levels with just a 3.6-month supply.

It was another volatile week for mortgage markets. Uncertainty about the outcome of the elections in Europe had a positive influence on U.S. mortgage rates. The Fed minutes and the economic data had little net effect. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week lower.

Testimonial Tuesday

I have had the pleasure of dealing with Peninsula Mortgage in three separate real estate transactions. I must say, each time I have been highly impressed with the level of professionalism and the outstanding personal service.

– Joseph K Chavez, Port Angeles WA

Strong Data – THE NEWS STAND

Based on the economic news over the past week, it would not have been surprising to see a large increase in mortgage rates. With stronger than expected economic data nearly across the board, hawkish comments from the Fed, and a stock market rally, the first half of the week indeed was rough on rates. Once all the news was out, however, mortgage rates recovered their losses and ended the week with little change.

Testimonial Tuesday

It was great to work with Al. He was responsive to my needs making the whole process quite painless.
He was able to secure a rate lower than I was able to find on line. – Roger Olsen, Sequim WA

Sentiment Remains High – THE NEWS STAND

After a couple of weeks with relatively little net change, mortgage rates ended this week a little lower

On Thursday, President Trump said to expect an announcement about tax cuts in two to three weeks. Mortgage rates moved a little higher after the comment. There are a couple of reasons why tax cuts are viewed as negative for mortgage rates. The first is that tax cuts increase the wealth of the affected individuals or businesses. As they spend some of this money, it boosts economic activity, which in turn raises the outlook for future inflation. The second reason is that tax cuts increase the budget deficit, at least initially. This means that the government has to issue more Treasury bonds to fund the deficit. The added supply reduces the value of bonds, including MBS.

Testimonial Tuesday

We want to thank all the Professionals at Peninsula Mortgage, Sequim, for making our experience extremely informative, confident, and very much less intimidating. Thank you!

– Murl and Debra Dove, Sequim WA

 

Wage Growth Slows – THE NEWS STAND

Over the past week, two major economic reports contained mixed news and had offsetting effects on mortgage rates. Investors viewed Wednesday’s Fed meeting as favorable for bonds, however, and mortgage rates ended the week lower.

The earnings data in Friday’s Employment report offset some of the fears about future inflation. With strong wage growth seen in December, investor concerns about wage inflation were elevated heading into the Employment report.

Testimonial Tuesday

Many thanks to Al Kruebbe at Peninsula Mortgage for handling our recent VA home refinance. It was smooth and painless! Al handled all the paperwork with little work on our part. We knew what to expect and closed without surprises. We appreciate all his hard work and highly recommend using Peninsula Mortgage for all your mortgage needs. Thanks again for taking care of this veteran!

– Larry and Maria Stewart, Sequim WA

Offsetting Influences – THE NEWS STAND

It was a volatile week for mortgage rates. Influences included central bankers, comments from the Trump administration, and economic data. The net effect of these factors was very small, however, and mortgage rates ended the week with little change.

December results, new home sales in 2016 were up 12% from 2015. The new homes sales data contrasted with Tuesday’s report on existing home sales which remained near the best levels of the year. One reason for the difference is that the existing home sales data measures closings, while the new home sales data measures contracts signed. This means that the December figures for new homes sales likely were more affected by the higher mortgage rates seen since the election.

Fed Officials Surprise Investors – THE NEWS STAND

Housing data released this last week revealed that the housing market ended 2016 on a positive note. In December, housing starts rose 11% from November, well above the expected levels. For the year, housing starts were 5% higher than in 2015, making it the best year since 2007.

Comments from Fed officials and stronger than expected economic data were negative for mortgage rates this week. Renewed concerns about the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union offset a little of the increase, but mortgage rates ended the week higher.

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