The following is a guest blog from Jeffrey Heckman and Joanne Rotella with Shelter Mortgage Company and does not necessarily reflect the views of GeorgiaMoves.com
1. Metro Atlanta foreclosure notices were down 56% in January from the same month a year ago and are now down to the lowest level since June 2003, according to the AJC. Fewer foreclosures should support higher prices.
2. When it comes to rates, fewer things are more important than inflation. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) reports released last week both confirmed that inflation remains tame. Core CPI was just 1.7% higher than a year ago and well below the Fed’s target level of 2%, while Core PPI was even lower at 1.4% on an annual basis.
3. Did you know that the credit scores a buyer can purchase online are different than the credit scores a mortgage lender will pull? The scores online simply try to predict what the real scores will be and are normally higher than the actual scores. Because of this, it is always best for a serious buyer to have a mortgage professional pull a credit report so the real scores are known.
4. We don’t experience a lot of appraisal problems at Shelter. The main reason for this is that we use only the very best local appraisers. Most of our appraisers have been working for Shelter for over a decade and each only works areas they know very well. It is a difference maker!
5. December Retail Sales were up 4.1% over the same month a year ago. Because retail sales account for about 70% of economic activity, investors pay close attention to this data. This is a healthy, moderate pace that is right at the long-term average and is good news for the economy.
6. You’ll begin hearing a lot about Janet Yellen as she is set to take over as the head of the Federal Reserve next month. You might also begin hearing more about an economic report called JOLTS as it is apparently one of her favorites. It is a survey that measures Job Openings and Labor Turnover levels and recent JOLTS data showed that Job Openings unexpectedly rose to the highest level since March 2008 while the percentage of people quitting their jobs was nearly unchanged. Bad news for jobs is normally good news for rates.
Although last week’s economic data was slightly stronger than expected which would normally lead to higher rates, two recent developments are helping hold down rates in early 2014. The first is Jan 10th’s weak Employment Report and the second is the low inflation data we are experiencing at this time. As a result, 30 Year Fixed-Rates continue to hold steady at 4.5% Conforming and 4.25% FHA/VA.
The Economic Calendar will be very light this week. Existing Home Sales, Leading Indicators, and Jobless Claims will be released on Thursday. The mortgage markets will be closed today in observance of MLK Day.
For more information or to get pre-qualified for a mortgage, please contact Jeffrey Heckman with Shelter Mortgage Company at 404-277-6044 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Joanne Rotella at 404-290-4800 or Joanne.Rotella@gbmail.com