Market News 8-24-18
The minutes released from the Fed’s meeting last month reflected a belief that the economy was growing and a rate hike will be appropriate “soon.” Economists anticipate the Fed will raise rates twice more this year. Markets have already priced in the increases, so mortgage rates likely won’t be affected. Although talks have resumed between the U.S. and China, the trade war continues to escalate. Tariffs are inflationary and could contribute to higher rates.
Existing home sales tumbled to a 2-1/2-year low in June, the 4th month of declines. Tight inventory and high prices have some buyers throwing in the towel. New home sales were also down. A 1.7% drop in July brought them to a 9-month low. However, reports indicate the inventory of new homes is increasing. Prices continue to rise, up 1.1% from the previous 3 months and up 6.5% from a year earlier. Price gains did slow from the first quarter though.
|Year-to-Date Rate Tracking|