Mortgage Rates April 17, 2009 – Mortgage Week In Review

Seattle Mortgage Rates increased April 17, for a second day as MBS posted another day of losses.  Week over week rates are posted a 10bp improvement.  Although there was 3bp improvement lenders sill took advantage of the decline in MBS and increased Mortgage Rates.  Feel Free to contact Your Mortgage Planner William Doom to discus Home Financing. april17mbs

Overall rates remain low for the time being, thanks to the FEDs Subsidy Suppression program.  The FED continued its weekly protocol purchase of Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities Purchase Program.

Gross purchases from April 9 through April 15: $30,400 million
Net purchases from April 9 through April 15: $21,750 million

With respect to housing data, news is rarely positive or negative on a universal level. There’s always two perspectives to consider, after all.

  1. The home buyer’s perspective
  2. The home seller’s perspective

Usually, when data is beneficial to one group, it’s less beneficial to the other.  This is true for rising home prices, average days on market and so forth.

Today, the group that gets the most benefit from data is the home seller group.

Published Thursday, a government report showed that Housing Starts fell 11 percent nationwide in March and also fell short of analyst expectations.  A “Housing Start” is a new housing unit on which construction has started.

The press is calling this a stumbling block for the economy, but that’s not exactly true.

Fewer Housing Starts last month means that fewer new homes will come on the market later this year.  This is not necessarily bad news.  Especially if you’re planning to sell your home in the latter half of the year.  With fewer homes for sale, the supply-and-demand curve should shift in favor of home sellers.  This helps stabilize home prices at a time when they might otherwise be prone to fall.

If it’s true that stable housing markets are key in an economic recovery, then fewer Housing Starts is actually a push in the right direction.

But there’s more to the story (as always).

As footnoted in the Commerce Department’s report, a statistical disclaimer states that the Housing Starts data’s Margin of Error was so high that the report’s conclusion is just a guess.  Technically, the entire report is invalid anyway

So, the government won’t issue its final March 2009 Housing Starts data for months, but if the initial figures stick, home sellers may be in position to command higher sale prices later this year to the detriment of home buyers.  It’s basic economics.

And from a home seller’s perspective, that news is good.

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