Market News 12-13-19
Mortgage Market Update
The Fed kept policy rates unchanged at this week’s FOMC meeting and also signaled that rates are unlikely to change in 2020 with moderate economic growth. Consumer prices increased more than expected in November, mainly due to higher gas costs. Price increases drive inflation, which pressures mortgage rates higher. Stocks continue to hit record highs as a phase one trade deal with China seems to be moving closer to completion. If not postponed, more tariffs take effect Dec 15th.
Builders continue to move away from basements. A recent survey shows 60% of new single family homes in 2018 were built on slab foundations and 14% with a crawl space. Sustainable features are the latest trend to attract buyers. Favorites include low-flow toilets and showerheads; multipane windows; and electric charging stations. First-time buyers are on the rise, up from a year ago. FTBs comprised 39% of all single family home buyers and 55% of purchase mortgages in the 3rd quarter.