Mortgage markets appeared to calm down somewhat last week, at least in comparison to the last few weeks. A fairly quiet week of economic news and little unexpected international drama kept volatility to a minimum.
Retail sales came in as expected and weekly jobless claims remain below the important 300,000 threshold.
With multiple signs that inflationary pressures are easing, and energy prices dropping, consumer moods are ticking upward. This could be very positive for the upcoming holiday season. If we see consumers opening their pocketbooks and spending more as the year ends, the final quarter of 2015 could end on a positive note, with a boost to 2016.
This week’s economic calendar is quite full. In addition to Industrial Production data, the PPI and CPI, we have data regarding housing, the LEI, and the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting.
Analysts will scour the minutes seeking clues as to why the Fed kept its dovish stance. Any strong hints that the Fed may change course at December’s meeting could push rates upward.
The latest data from RealtyTrac reveals that the housing market continues its slow trend toward historical norms. Only 4.3% of residential sales in the last quarter went to investor groups that purchase 10 or more homes per year. This is down from 5% and 5.3% in the previous two quarters. Cash transactions for single family homes also shrank from 36.9% to 33.9%. Interestingly, cash purchases are higher on both the high and low end of the market.
Click on the image to view the full size.