Daily views on lending, housing, tech, work.

Marketweek 12/08/03: Conforming Loan Limits Go From $322,700 to $333,700

Rates/commentary for the week of December 8, 2003. Friday’s weaker-than-expected Employment Report dampened hopes of a complete economic recovery, helping lower rates about 0.25% coming into today. Tuesday is the Fed’s last rate-setting meeting of 2003, and they are NOT expected to hike rates because there are no inflationary pressures on the economy. Friday’s release

WeeklyBasis 12/01/03: Rates Up on Strong Holiday Shopping

Rates/commentary for the week of December 1, 2003. Investors fled bonds and piled up on stocks to kick off this first trading week following Thanksgiving. Sinking bond prices pushed yields up, translating into a rate increase (since last week) of about 0.25%. Holiday shoppers didn’t disappoint over the weekend, and manufacturing data released this morning

WeeklyBasis 11/24/03: Rates Poised For Rise In 2004

Rates and commentary below are for the week of November 24, 2003. Last week was the lowest rate week since all-time record lows in June. This could change by the end of the Thanksgiving holiday. Despite being a shortened market week, it is heavy on economic releases. Revised 3rd quarter GDP, Consumer Confidence Index, October’s

WeeklyBasis 11/17/03: Best Rate Week Since June’s 40yr Lows

Rates and commentary below are as of November 17, 2003. Rates are down about 0.25% across the board since last week, as investors sold equities (because of terrorism worries and end-of-year tax positioning) and bought safer bonds (driving bond prices up and yields down). This has continued into Monday trading. This week’s main economic news

WeeklyBasis 11/10/03: Rates Lowest Since 1960s

Rates and commentary below are as of November 10, 2003. Rates on 15yr and 30yr fixed loans are up about 0.2% from last Monday, but ARM rates are holding near their lows. No major economic news scheduled for release until this Friday, so the bond market and rates should be relatively calm until then. The

WeeklyBasis 11/04/03: Fastest GDP Growth In 20 Years

Rates and commentary below are as of November 4, 2003. Rates are up about 0.125% overall from last week. Not bad considering that 3rd quarter GDP grew at its fastest pace in nearly 20 years. This lofty economic growth figure posted last Thursday presumably would have had a more negative affect on the bond market

Marketweek 10/27/03: Home Sales Set New Record

Rates and commentary below are as of October 27, 2003. This is a big economic week, starting today with good news for Realtors about home sales. Existing home sales were up 3.6% in September, setting a new monthly record. The second-to-last Fed meeting of 2003 is tomorrow, and they are expected to leave rates unchanged.

WeeklyBasis 10/20/03: Can Tax Cuts Support Economy?

Rates and commentary below are as of October 20, 2003. The Conference Board’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators was released today (the biggest economic news scheduled this week). Today’s release showed the economy cooled in September as mortgage rates rose and the tax cuts were spent. This follows huge growth months in July and August

WeeklyBasis 10/15/03: Rates Up on Weak Retail Sales

Rates and commentary below are as of October 15. Sorry for delay, I was out ill earlier this week. Rates on 30-yr and 15-yr loans are up about 0.25 from last week, but rates on ARMs are holding steady near record lows. Retail sales figures released this morning showed the first decline in five months,

WeeklyBasis 10/06/03: Rates Up On Jobs Data

Rates increased by about 20 basis points Friday on news that unemployment held at 6.1% (instead of the predicted increase to 6.2%). This indication that the job market could be stabilizing caused investors to sell bonds in favor of stocks, driving yields up. However, this was more of a trading phenomenon than a fundamental shift.