In This Issue
Last Week in Review: There was important labor and housing market news, and fear regarding the Fed tapering its Bond purchases led to volatility in the markets.
Forecast for the Week: This week’s calendar is packed with key reports on U.S. growth, manufacturing, inflation, housing and jobs data. Plus the Fed meets.
View: Never quite know what to say in your sales emails? Check out the great guide below.
Last Week in Review
“A step in the right direction.” Barbra Streisand obviously wasn’t singing about the housing market in her 1980’s song. But those lyrics were fitting with last week’s housing news. Read on for details.
There was good news on the foreclosure front as research firm CoreLogic reported that completed foreclosures in October declined by 30 percent from those completed in October 2012. In addition, the foreclosure inventory declined by 28 percent this year while the rate of serious delinquency is at its lowest level since November 2008. RealtyTrac also reported that foreclosure inventory fell by 15 percent from October to November. This is good news for the housing industry, but with almost 900,000 properties across the nation still in foreclosure a level four times the normal the housing recovery still has more to go.
In other news, Weekly Initial Jobless Claims surged in the latest week by 68,000 to 368,000, which is the highest level since early October. The previous week, Weekly Initial Jobless Claims dropped to 300,000, but that was most likely influenced by the Thanksgiving holiday, as filers could have waited until after the holiday to process their claims. Also of note, Retail Sales for November came in above expectations.
What does this mean for home loan rates? The labor and housing markets are key areas the Fed has been watching as it determines when to taper its Bond purchases. Remember that the Fed has been purchasing $85 billion in Bonds and Treasuries each month to stimulate the economy and housing market. One of the key topics the Fed will be deciding at its December 17-18 meeting is whether to taper its purchases before or after the new year. Fear regarding this decision has led to volatility in the markets in recent weeks, and this topic is sure to impact the markets and home loan rates in the coming weeks and months.
The bottom line is that home loan rates remain attractive compared to historical levels and now remains a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.
Forecast for the Week
This week’s packed economic calendar is filled with key reports each day.
Monday brings news on Productivity for the third quarter and the Empire State Manufacturing Index. The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index will be reported on Thursday.
Look for inflation news on Tuesday with the Consumer Price Index.
Also on Tuesday, the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index will be released. More housing news follows on Wednesday with Housing Starts and Building Permits. Existing Home Sales will be delivered Thursday.
As usual, Thursday brings Weekly Initial Jobless Claims and comes after last week’s big spike.
On Friday, the final reading on Gross Domestic Product for the third quarter will be announced.
In addition, the two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting begins on Tuesday and ends on Wednesday with the Fed’s monetary policy statement being delivered at 2:00 p.m. ET. All eyes will be watching to see if the Fed decides to begin tapering its Bond purchases.
Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond that home loan rates are based on.
When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving and when they 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 were 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, volatility has been rampant, as some positive economic reports have caused concern that the Fed will taper its Bond purchases sooner rather than later. I will be watching the news closely this week to see what happens after the Fed meeting.
Fannie Mae 4.0% Mortgage Bond (Friday Dec 13, 2013):
The Mortgage Market Guide View…
Getting It In Writing
5 Steps to the Perfect Sales Email
Not all email is created equal, and that’s the reason you wouldn’t send the same email to a new prospect as you would your old Uncle Ned. If you’ve got something to sell–an idea, a meeting, a product, or even yourself–and you want to do it by email, keep these five step-by-step instructions handy:
STEP 1: Research Roundup. The first step in writing the perfect sales email is to not write anything until you’re prepared. It only takes a few minutes to Google the background of your recipient and gather other facts or trigger events to provide context and legitimate reasons for making contact.
STEP 2: Subject Scrutiny. You won’t close a deal on your first email, so focus exclusively on getting a response. The subject line has one purpose and one purpose only: to get the recipient to read your email.
Be as direct as possible:
- Question about [personalized topic]
- Idea for [something important to them]
- Fred Jones said I should get in touch
- Janet, quick question for you
STEP 3: For Openers. Don’t start by introducing yourself, start with something you noticed about them (a blog post or news item), something you have in common (mutual membership), or someone you both know–your reason for writing:
- Janet, I noticed you…
- Bob, Fred Jones mentioned that…
- Mike, Congratulations on…
STEP 4: Connect the Dots. The main body of your email is where you should show your value. Remember, it’s all about response–so start a dialog by asking an insightful question. This highlights your value better than a long list of qualifications or product benefits.
STEP 5: Focused Farewell. In addition to “Sincerely” your salutation should be short, be in plain text with your contact info (no obtrusive logos), and include a link to one online profile of choice.
Feel free to pass these tips along to your team, clients, and colleagues.
Economic Calendar for the Week of December 16 – December 20
The material contained in this newsletter is provided by a third party to real estate, financial services and other professionals only for their use and the use of their clients. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness and as a result, there is no guarantee it is without errors.
As your mortgage professional, I am sending you the MMG WEEKLY because I am committed to keeping you updated on the economic events that impact interest rates and how they may affect you.