The MartiniFactor provides a glimpse of what happened last week in real estate and in the mortgage arena. In addition, it shares 3 things to keep on the radar for the week ahead.
last week (3/25/2022) & this week (4/1/2022)
New Home Sales and Pending Home Sales
If you just look at the headlines and don’t read the full story, it is understandable one could be scared about real estate. Last week reports were released that showed a decline in New Home Sales and Pending Home Sales too – OH MY! It is critical to know the major reason for the decline was not a deceleration of demand but low supply.
Let me get granular on Pending Home Sales, they fell 4.1% in February, which was weaker than expected and comparing February of 2021 to February 2022, Pending Home Sales were down 5.4%. Sure, one could say the decline was caused by higher mortgage rates, but I do not think so. The real story behind the decline is inventory.
The Fed and Raleigh Mortgage Rates
There was a lot of Fed chatter last week. Here is what one needs to know, the Fed has 2 tools on their belt to tighten the economy and they are: 1) increase their benchmark Fed Funds Rate and 2) reduce their balance sheet.
Over time, it is my opinion, the Fed raising the Fed Funds Rate will be a good thing for Raleigh mortgage rates because the Fed should be able to curb inflation and preserve fixed return on mortgage bonds. You see, mortgage rates live in the bond market and inflation is the nemesis to a bond. With inflation in check, Raleigh home loan rates will improve but from a historical perspective, Raleigh mortgage rates are still very low.
As a primer, the Fed purchased $2.9 trillion of mortgage bonds since March 2020. As the Fed plans to reduce it mortgage bond holdings in the coming months it could cause Raleigh mortgage rates to increase.
3 THINGS ON THE MARTINI MORTGAGE GROUP RADAR THIS WEEK
Major Economic Reports on the State of the Jobs Market
The closely-watched jobs report is scheduled for release this Friday (4/1/2022). In addition to looking at the unemployment rate and the number of jobs created in March, the market will closely examine the “average earnings” component of Friday’s jobs report. It’s widely expected that wages will have jumped by roughly 5.5% year-over-year. Meanwhile, the ADP employment report is due for release on Wednesday, and this is often interpreted as a sneak peek into Friday’s official numbers. Also, the JOLTS Job Openings report is due for release on Tuesday and is expected to show over 11 million job openings in the economy, the highest numbers on record.
PCE Inflation Reports
The Fed’s favorite measurement of inflation is the PCE inflation report and we’ll get two perspectives on that this week. On Wednesday, we’ll get the quarterly inflation numbers for Q4 2021, and on Thursday we’ll get the monthly inflation numbers for February. Both reports are expected to show up to 5.5% year-over-year annual consumer inflation.
The Fed’s Reaction
The Federal Reserve indicated in recent weeks it will be removing its pandemic-era stimulus programs and increasing interest rates more aggressively, starting with its monetary policy meeting in May. This caused bond prices to plummet across the entire global bond market with mortgage rates jumping by more than 1% since the beginning of the year according to the Freddie Mac weekly survey of mortgage rates. The volatility is likely to continue as the market continues to react.
The Martini Mortgage Group Bottom Line
Right now, real estate and the current mortgage rate environment remains an opportunity. The Martini Mortgage Group is here to talk about what you have just read and here to help you on the path to buying you home. Contact the Martini Mortgage Group by dialing (919) 238-4934.
Kevin Martini | NMLS 143962 | Certified Mortgage Advisor and Producing Branch Manager | Martini Mortgage Group at PCL Financial Group (powered by Celebrity Home Loans, LLC NMLS 227765) | 507 N Blount St Raleigh, NC 27604 | (919) 238-4934 | www.MartiniMortgageGroup.com | Kevin@MartiniMortgageGroup.com | nmlsconsumeraccess.org | Equal Housing Lender