April 2012

Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Week in Review for the Week Ending 04/20/2012

The trend in the financial markets recently has been high volatility. Last week was relatively calm. Mortgage backed securities moved in a narrow range, and mortgage rates hardly moved from the beginning of the week through the end. The reports released last week were mostly disappointing and gave more proof that the economy is not going to roar forward. At the same time, it doesnÂ’t look like we are going to slip back into a recession, just a period of slow growth, that is not enough to pull the economy out of the ditch. The weekly initial unemployment claims came in at 386,000, slightly higher than the previous average. Both housing starts and existing home sales were down, but the inventory of homes for sale were down too, and it seems that home prices are stabilizing. On the positive side, retail sales came in at .8% above the previous month,…

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Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Week in Review for the Week Ending 04/13/2012

In a lot of ways, the weather here in the Chicago area has mirrored the economy. After a short, mild Winter, Spring came early this year. Flowers are blooming and everything is green. It looks like Spring and feels like Spring, but for anyone familiar with weather in these parts, the fear is still there that this is too good to be true. In the back of our minds, we are all waiting for a frost or a late season snow storm. The view on the economy has been similar. After a brutal downturn, we see lots of signs of rebirth, but the feeling was that the optimism is a little too good to be true. The weather is holding, but recent signs show some frost in the economic world. Over the last few months, most of the economic reports have been coming in better than expected. More recently the…

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Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Week in Review for the Week Ending 04/06/2012

Its all about expectations. Last week was one of the most volatile weeks in the MBS (Mortgage Backed Securities) market, as traders whipsawed back and forth trying to divine the future of the economy. Mortgage rates spiked sharply higher on Tuesday after the meetings from the last Fed meeting were released. The minutes confirmed what we already knew, that there is a difference of opinion among Fed members as to how strong this recovery is, and that the consensus for now is that a new round of Quantitative Easing (pumping more money into the economy) is off the table for now. In a way we live in Bizarro World now. The stock market has been fueled by QE, and possibilities of another round have been a bigger driver of values than current earnings. The intent of QE is to buy more bonds and keep rates low, but the last time…

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Chicago Illinois Mortgage Rates Week in Review for the Week Ending 03/30/2012

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke helped put a brake on rising interest rates last week by talking about the jobs market and stating “we can’t be sure the recent pace of improvement can be sustained.” In other words, he expects rate will remain low for a long time. This helped ease pressure on mortgage rates which improved slightly for the week, before losing some of the gains on Friday afternoon. The economic data released last week was mixed. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index improved slightly from the previous month, which is an indication that consumers are more willing to spend. Weekly unemployment claims declined again, and the reading now is at its best level since the Spring of 2008. Durable goods orders came in lower than expectations, and the Case Schiller housing report showed prices still falling, even though more homes are being sold. This coming week a lot…

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