Morning Report: Home Prices Rise

Vital Statistics:


Last Change
S&P futures 3235 -5.1
Oil (WTI) 42.34 1.22
10 year government bond yield 0.59%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 3.02%


Stocks are flattish as earnings continue to come in. Bonds and MBS are up after the Trump Administration took steps to close the Chinese Consulate in Houston.


Mortgage Applications rose 4% last week as purchases rose 2% and refis rose 5%. “Mortgage applications increased last week despite mixed results from the various rates tracked in MBA’s survey. The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose slightly to 3.20 percent, but some creditworthy borrowers are being offered rates even below 3 percent. As a result, these low rates drove a 5 percent weekly gain in refinances and a robust 122 percent increase from a year ago,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “There continues to be strong homebuyer demand this summer, as home shoppers have returned to the market in many states. Purchase activity increased again last week and was up 19 percent compared to last year – the ninth straight week of year-over-year increases.”


Home prices fell 0.3% MOM, but are still up 4.9% YOY, according to the FHFA House Price Index. “U.S. house prices posted a small decrease in May compared to April but remained 4.9 percent higher than a year ago,” according to Dr. Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics at FHFA. “The May HPI results are based on contracts for sale signed in late March and throughout April, which was a period when many states announced stay-at-home orders. The number of transactions powering the FHFA HPI in May was down by just over 30 percent compared to a year ago, reflecting the early effects of COVID-19 shutdowns. Based on the rebound in mortgage applications for home purchases and pending home sales in May, we expect the number of transactions increased somewhat in June.”


The number of Americans considering a new home purchase has been relatively unaffected by COVID, at least according to numbers by the NAHB. I guess there is a push-pull effect going on. On one hand, COVID and the riots are pushing renters out of the cities, but on the other hand, economic uncertainty is making potential buyers more cautious.


Chris Waller and Judy Shelton were approved by the Senate Banking Committee to join the Federal Reserve Board. Judy Shelton has expressed support for the gold standard, and has questioned whether bank deposits should be insured. These thoughtcrimes make her toxic for Democrats. The two now go to the Senate for a full vote.


Note we will have the FOMC meeting next week, where further stimulus measures will be discussed. The credit tightening in the mortgage market will almost certainly be an issue, although I don’t know what the Fed can do about that since it is being driven by the CARES Act, not necessarily financial markets.

12 Responses

  1. I don’t kmow if this could affect any of you or your clients, but I pass it on nevertheless.


  2. Taibbi’s latest:

    “The Bureaucratic Backdrop of Recent Speech Controversies

    When universities “professionalized” education, they added a lot more staff, creating new bureaucracies that have now spread into the rest of institutional America

    Matt Taibbi
    Jul 21”

    Also, he’s been muting all of his crazy critics on Twitter who keep using the same cliched criticisms of his piece on cancel culture as an ironic piece of performance art. It’s hilarious.


  3. Like

    • From Mark’s link:

      “The new leftism holds that free speech is often a tool of oppression, an elitist principle wielded by white men whose speech counts for more than everybody else’s. Ezra Klein, the founder of Vox, recently echoed this argument, tweeting: “A lot of debates that sell themselves as being about free speech are actually about power.”

      I’m not sure any Soviet-era autocrat could have made the case against liberal democracy more succinctly than that.”

      I actually didn’t think that Matt Bai (a separate journalist from Matt Taibbi) had it in him to be so pithy.

      I also read a piece recently that reminded me that these are the same people who argued that the Charlie Hebdo writers had it coming for punching down.


      • THat argument … I can’t think of anything more racist.

        Well, you said some nasty things about those stupid [slur of your choice]. so, of course, they shot up your office building.


Be kind, show respect, and all will be right with the world.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: