Archive for the ‘REAL ESTATE’ Category

Labor Day

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Labor Day is a United States Federal holyday observed on the first Monday in September. The holiday originated 1n 1882 as a Central Labor Union ( of New York City ) sought to create “a day off for the working man”. Congress made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894. All fifty states have made Labor Day a state holiday.

Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer.

Labor Day has been celebrated on the first Monday in September in the United States since the 1880s. The form for the celebration of Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday–a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strenght and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations,” followed by a festival for the workers and their families. This became the pattern for Labor Day celebrations. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civil significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of labor convention of 1909, the Sunday prededing Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

Today, Labor Day is often regarded as a day of rest and, compared to the May 1 Labour Day celebrations in most countries, paredes, speeches or political demonstrations are more low-key, although especially in election years, events held by labor organizations often feature political themes and appearances by candidates for office. Forms of celebration include picnics, barbecues, fireworks, water sports, and public art events. Families with school-age children take it as the last chance to travel before the end of the summer. Some teenagers and young adults view it as the last weekend for parties before returning to school.  

 

Tim Martin – Coldwell Banker Westport’s in-house Mortgage Loan Officer – Professional Biography

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Tim Martin, Senior Loan Officer, NE Moves Mortgage

Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System: License #16273
Connecticut Department of Banking: License #1801

Professional Biography:

Tim has a strong educational foundation including a Bachelor’s of Science degree and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance degree cum laude from Rutgers University, School of Business. On this foundation, he has built 10 years of originating and successfully closing over 2,500 residential mortgages nationwide totaling over $350,000,000. With transactions ranging from small rural housing to multimillion dollar estates and clients from all walks of life, Tim specializes in customizing financing to meet his client’s individual needs. His goal is to guide his clients through the ever changing process of obtaining a mortgage while making the experience as smooth and seamless as possible.

Areas of expertise include:

Property types: Single Family dwellings, Townhomes, Condominiums, Co-ops, Manufactured housing, Planned Unit Developments, Multi-Unit properties

Occupancy Types: Primary homes, Secondary/Vacation homes, Investment Properties

Products: Conventional, Jumbo, FHA, VA, CT Housing Finance Authority, First time buyer, Fixed, Adjustable, Interest Only, and many more

A message from Tim:

Choosing the right Loan Officer is an essential component in any successful real estate transaction. I look forward to understanding your needs and matching them with a product that is competitively priced and fully satisfies those needs. Please contact me at 203-917-2800 or via email at Tim.Martin@NEMoves.com to be preapproved, review our current product offerings and interest rates, or discuss any other mortgage needs.

Contact:

Phone: 203-917-2800

Email: tim.martin@nemoves.com

Web site: www.nemmortgage.com/timmartin

photo

Tips for Marketing Your House to Potential Buyers

Monday, April 13th, 2009
As you prepare to sell your home, you may want to devote some time to thinking about your buyers. With new homes listed everyday, homebuyers have plenty of options. However, if you market your house properly, prospective buyers won’t have any trouble finding your home. If you have already found an agent that understands your needs as a seller, you can utilize their knowledge and resources to make your home as attractive as possible. While you may choose to work very closely with your agent during the marketing process, here are a number of marketing tactics that you can try out on your own. 

One of the most important steps in marketing your home may be taking photographs. As many home buyers and real estate agents conduct their initial research online, a flattering collection of photos is helpful to include with your listing. Begin your photo shoot outside the home and try to snap pictures that highlight your home’s best features. As you want your home to be focus of all the photos, remove cars from the driveway and try to clear plants that block a view of your front door. Begin with photos of the entire property – cropping out the sidewalk and street – and move in to take close-up pictures of exterior features.

 

Inside the home, you should take at least one photograph of every room. Though you may choose not to display every room in your listing, you may find some great images where you least expect. As you prepare to photograph the interior of your home, you should open all of the blinds or curtains and turn on lights in each room. You may also want to remove certain items – such as personal photos and undesirables like garbage cans – before taking photos. In the kitchen and dining room, consider placing floral arrangements on the table to add a peaceful atmosphere to the space. As you move room to room, focus on the most interesting aspects of each room – be it a large closet in a guest bedroom or a fireplace in the living room. When you are finished, the photos you have taken should represent all the best elements of your home.

 

After you have placed your listing with photos, try to work with your agent to place adequate signage on the property. A useful sign should list the agent’s name and contact information and, if necessary, additional contact information for the nearest real estate office. If you reside on a quiet residential street, you may want to ask the neighbor residing on the corner of the nearest busy street if you can place a small, directional sign in their lawn. Lastly, one or more of the photos used in your listing should also be included on the fact sheet available outside your home. This takeaway brochure will typically list the details of your home – number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage and lot size – and can also be used during open houses as a reminder to prospective buyers.

 

Depending on how you want to market your home, there are a number of advertising options available to you and your agent. Many homeowners choose to list their properties in local newspapers, typically in special weekend real estate sections. You may also want to look at local real estate publications and check printing dates to see if your home is a good fit. However, even more than print advertisements, the internet features a world of opportunity for home sellers. There are numerous classified sites and databases that prospective homebuyers check daily, many of which offer free listings. You and your agent can also use the internet to publicize your open house and offer additional details that may not have been featured in your print ads.

 

After you have completed your first round of marketing, you and your agent may want to schedule an open house. Granting prospective buyers an opportunity to view your home in person is often one of the most important steps in selling a home. Prior to the open house, your agent can actively seek for prospective buyers. If an interested buyer or agent is unable to visit your open house, your agent can also arrange private tours to make sure all prospective buyers have a chance to see your home.

 

While there is certainly no guarantee that any specific marketing tactics will sell your home, utilizing some of the above mentioned tactics will help increase the odds of prospective buyers finding your home – and getting them to your front door is the first step in making the sale.

 

 

 

 

Positive impact on Home Value

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Understand first of all that there IS a difference between price and value. Price is the amount you are asking for the property. Value is buyer perceived, and this perception of value is influenced by many factors such as location, features, condition, comparison to other purchase option, etc. By attending to details that can have a positive impact on the value, sellers can significantly increase their chance of attracting qualified buyers willing to pay the asking price.

Some tips to achieve a positive impact on value are:

 

  • Perceived size impacts value, even more so than actual square footage. Open floor plans make a room feel bigger than larger spaces with smaller rooms. Showing property that is furniture free, or at reduced clutter, helps to make the space feel bigger.
  • Vacancy increases sale-ability. Property is easier to show and easier to sell, and quicker to take possession of when it is vacant at the time it is offered for sale. Evidence of problems to take possession of the property — such as encroachments, or tenants who wont allow buyer tours — negatively impact value. Vacancy also helps the buyer walk through the property imagining ownership. Cosmetics are important.
    • Fresh paint will always add more value than it costs.
    • Clean or new carpet/flooring adds more value than it costs.
    • Landscaping adds more value than it costs. At the very minimum, make the entrance area neat.
    • If you can, add some colorful flowers and new sod.
  • Take care of the obvious! The spot on the ceiling from the roof leak takes thousands of dollars from the perceived value and the offer price.
  • Condition affects value. Do a seller’s home inspection to identify and fix the problem BEFORE closing. No point holding up your check a few extra days; plus a failed buyer’s inspection could cost you the sale. Buyers will often bargain down your asking price to accomodate for property condition and repairs.
  • If you can, remodel/update the kitchen and master bathroom. These two areas have a big impact on home buying decisions.
  • Strategic renovations impact value and your bottom line. Don’t spend more money to renovate the place than you can recapture in value on the sales price.

 

Final score $ 8,000 for homebuyers

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Final score: $8,000 for homebuyers

First-time purchasers get a tax credit windfall if they buy before December.

A big plus is that the credit is refundable, meaning tax filers see a refund of the full $8,000 even if their total tax bill – the amount of witholding they paid during the year plus anything extra they had to pony up when they filed their returns – was less than that amount. But there has been a lot of confusion over this provision. Adam Billings of Knoxville, Tenn. wrote to CNNMoney.com asking:

I will qualify as a first-time home buyer, and I am currently set to get a small tax refund for 2008. Does that mean if I purchased now that I would get an extra $8,000 added on top of my current refund?”

The short answer? Yes, Billings would get back the $8,000 plus what he’d overpaid. The long answer? It depends. Here are three scenarios:

Scenario 1: Your final tax liability is normally $6,000. You’ve had taxes withheld from every paycheck and at the end of the year you’ve paid Uncle Sam $6,000. Since you’ve already paid him all you owe, you get the entire $8,000 tax credit as a refund check.

Scenario 2: Your final tax liability is $6,000, but you’ve overpaid by $1,000 through your payroll witholding. Normally you would get a $1,000 refund check. In this scenario, you get $9,000, the $8,000 credit plus the $1,000 you overpaid.

Scenario 3: Your final tax liability is $6,000, but you’ve underpaid through your payroll witholding by $1,000. Normally, you would have to write the IRS a $1,000 check. This time, the first $1,000 of the tax credit pays your bill, and you get the remaining $7,000 as a refund.

To qualify for the credit, the purchase must be made between Jan. 1, 2009 and Nov. 30, 2009. Buyers may not have owned a home for the past three years to qualify as “first time” buyer. They must also live in the house for at least three years, or they will be obligated to pay back the credit.

Additionally, there are income restrictions: To qualify, buyers must make less than $75,000 for singles or $150,000 for couples. (Higher-income buyers may receive a partial credit.)

Applying for the credit will be easy – or at least as easy as doing your income taxes. Just claim it on your return. No other forms or papers have to be filed. Taxpayers who have already completed their returns can file amended returns for 2008 to claim the credit.

Lukewarm reception

The housing industry is somewhat pleased with the result because the stimulus plan improves on the current $7,500 tax credit, which was passed in July and was more of a low-interest loan than an actual credit. But the industry was also disappointed that Congress did not go even further and adopt the Senate’s proposal of a $15,000 non-refundable credit for all homebuyers.

“[The Senate version] would have done a lot more to turn around the housing market,” said Bernard Markstein, an economist and director of forecasting for the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB). “We have a lot of reports of people who would be coming off the fence because of it.”

Even so, the $8,000 credit will bring an additional 300,000 new homebuyers into the market, according to estimates by Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.

The credit could also create a domino effect, he said, because each first-time homebuyer sale will lead to two more trade-up transactions down the line. “I think there are many homeowners who would be trading-up but they have had no buyers for their own homes,” Yun said.

Who won’t benefit, according to Mark Goldman, a real estate lecturer at San Diego State University, are those first-time homebuyers struggling to come up with down payments. The credit does not help get them over that hurdle – they still have to close the sale before claiming the bonus.

One state, Missouri, is trying to get around that problem by creating a short-term loan on the tax credit of up to $6,750. The state would loan borrowers the money so they could use it at closing as part of the downpayment. Then, when the buyers receive their tax credit from the IRS, they pay back the state. Other states may follow with similar programs, according to NAHB’s Dietz.

Many may look at the tax credit as a discount on the home price, according to Yun. A $100,000 purchase effectively becomes a $92,000 one. That can reassure buyers apprehensive about purchasing and then watching prices continue falling, he added.

And it provides a nice nest egg for the often-difficult early years of homeownership, when unexpected repairs and expenses often crop up. Recipients could also use the money to buy new stuff for their home – a lawnmower, a rug, a sofa – and, in that way, help stimulate the economy.

 

Frozen Pipes

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Frozen Pipes Mean Major Trouble

One of the worst disasters that can strike a home is a burst water pipe and the leading cause of it is a pipe that freezes during frigid winter weather. When water freezes, it expands and the pipe ruptures. And according to the American Red Cross, the problem is frequent in warmer areas of the country where buildings are not well insulated. Water from burst pipes ruins floors, walls, furniture and electronic equipment in over 250,000 homes every year. Here are some steps you can take to keep it from happening to you. Shut off water to outside faucets and drain the water remaining in the pipes. Insulate water lines that run through attics and crawl spaces. You can get the supplies you need at any home center. Make sure that there is heat in every part of the house where pipes are routed. If you plan to be away during the cold weather months, don’t try to save money by shutting off the heat. Reduce the thermostat to no lower than 55° F. And make sure you know where your main shut-off valve is and learn how to use it. If your home needs more protection for water damage, fire or other risks, call NRT Insurance Agency at 1-888-717-1776 or go to .  www.nrtinsurance.com

 

Market Comment

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Market Comment

Mortgage bond prices rose last week, which helped mortgage interest rates improve, but only slightly. We saw a huge rally following the Fed rate cut Tuesday. Unfortunately the gains were short-lived and most were erased the following day. Trading remained volatile throughout the remainder of the week. The White House stepped in to help the troubled auto industry Friday, which sent stocks higher that morning at the expense of mortgage and Treasury bonds. For the week, interest rates on government and conventional loans fell by about 1/8 to 1/4 of a discount point.

The Treasury auctions will set the tone for trading this week. Foreign demand for dollar denominated assets will be the focus. The bond market will close early Wednesday ahead of the Christmas holiday Thursday. Trading will resume Friday. This shortened trading week may lead to mortgage interest rate volatility.

LOOKING AHEAD

Economic
Indicator

Release
Date & Time

Consensus
Estimate


Analysis

2-year Treasury Note Auction

Monday, Dec. 22,
1:30 pm, et

None

Important. Notes will be auctioned. Strong demand may lead to lower mortgage rates.

Q3 GDP final revision

Tuesday, Dec. 23,
8:30 am, et

Down 0.5%

Important. The aggregate measure of US economic production. A larger decrease may lead to lower rates.

Existing Home Sales

Tuesday, Dec. 23,
10:00 am, et

Down 1.0%

Low importance. An indication of mortgage credit demand. A significant decrease may lead to lower rates.

U of Michigan Consumer Sentiment

Tuesday, Dec. 23,
10:00 am, et

None

Important. An indication of consumers’ willingness to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.

New Home Sales

Tuesday, Dec. 23,
10:00 am, et

Down 3.0%

Important. An indication of economic strength and credit demand. A decrease may lead to lower rates.

5-year Treasury Note Auction

Tuesday, Dec. 23,
1:30 pm, et

None

Important. Notes will be auctioned. Strong demand may lead to lower mortgage rates.

Durable Goods Orders

Wednesday, Dec. 24,
8:30 am, et

Down 3.1%

Important. An indication of the demand for “big ticket” items. Weakness may lead to lower rates.

Personal Income and Outlays

Wednesday, Dec. 24,
8:30 am, et

Income unchanged,
Outlays down 0.8%

Important. A measure of consumers’ ability to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.

Revised GDPThe Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is one the most important reports during any given quarter. GDP is a measure of US economic output and spending. The report is significant in that it provides investors, analysts, traders, and economists with a comprehensive report of the direction of the economy. In addition, it also influences the decisions of Federal Reserve policy makers, Congressional budget employees, and corporate financial planners.

 

 

GDP is the sum total of goods and services produced by the United States. The four major components of the GDP release are consumption, investment, government purchases, and net exports. The initial report is often based on incomplete data. Therefore, additional revisions are released over the following two months. There are often substantial differences between the initial release and the revisions. The mortgage-backed security market generally responds favorably to weaker GDP growth.

The revised third quarter gross domestic product data this week has the potential to move mortgage bond prices, especially amid the thin trading that is likely.

 

 

Jennifer L. Newsom

Vice President/Sr. Loan Officer

51-53 Kenosia Avenue

Danbury, CT 06813

Check out our on-line Application

www.NEMmortgage.com/jennifernewsom

NE Moves Mortgage, LLC

 

MARKET COMMENT

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Market Comment

Mortgage bond prices rose last week pushing mortgage interest rates lower. Mortgage bonds were initially helped by reports the Treasury would try to get rates lower. Unfortunately, a lot of the gains seen mid-week were erased Friday following mixed employment figures. Unemployment was not as bad as anticipated and average hourly earnings showed a surprise increase. The payrolls component was bond friendly but it wasn’t enough to overshadow the headline figure. For the week, interest rates on government and conventional loans fell by about 1/8 of a discount point.

The retail sales data Friday will be the most important release this week. Look for any additional moves by the Fed, the US Treasury, and legislative developments to also result in mortgage interest rate movements. This will be the last full week of data before the next Fed meeting.

LOOKING AHEAD

Economic
Indicator

Release
Date & Time

Consensus
Estimate


Analysis

Trade Data

Thursday, Dec. 11,
8:30 am, et

$54 billion deficit

Important. Affects the value of the dollar. A falling deficit may strengthen the dollar and lead to lower rates.

Producer Price Index

Friday, Dec. 12,
8:30 am, et

Down 1.8%,
Core up 0.2%

Important. An indication of inflationary pressures at the producer level. Weaker figures may lead to lower rates.

Retail Sales

Friday, Dec. 12,
8:30 am, et

Down 1.4%

Important. A measure of consumer demand. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.

U of Michigan Consumer Sentiment

Friday, Dec. 12,
10:00 am, et

58.0

Important. An indication of consumers’ willingness to spend. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.

4.5% Rates Possible?The news is abuzz about the Treasury lowering home loan rates to 4.5% to stem the foreclosure crisis but details have been lacking. The Treasury Department stated it is looking for additional ways to help the struggling housing industry and believes lower rates are needed.

 

 

This idea is similar to the November 26th announcement from the Federal Reserve where they indicated the intent to purchase up to $500 billion in mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. In addition they would buy another $100 billion in direct debt issued by those firms. The November news caused bond prices to spike higher and forced mortgage rates lower. Just like any commodity, whenever tremendous buying interest exists, prices rise. Mortgage rates fell almost 1/2% in rate following the announcement. However, the following week market forces continued and rates spiked a bit higher from the recent lows.

It is important to remember that there are no details to the Treasury plan as of yet. The Federal Government does not directly dictate home loan rates. Rates are determined by price movements of Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which compete for investor funds in the open market. The Treasury can buy mortgage bonds on the open market but remember that they are not the only entity buying and selling these instruments.

The Treasury is in a very tough position in trying to manipulate home loan rates. Creating a new Federal mortgage program could be very risky. How would rates be set, who would qualify, and can the funds be used for purchases and refinances are just some of the questions being asked. The other critical concern is implementing such a program without destroying the current mortgage securities market. Doing so could have the unintended consequence of causing additional economic turmoil.

Rates are not going to 4.5% with the wave of a wand by Hank Paulson or Ben Bernanke. As a matter of fact, the massive borrowing to fund the TARP program has a negative effect on rates. At this time, the announcement still leaves a lot of uncertainty. What we do know is that rates are at historic lows and house prices have moderated setting up a great scenario for people who need to refinance or are looking to buy a home. Waiting for rates to fall to 4.5% may leave people sorely disappointed.

 

 

Jennifer L. Newsom

Vice President/Sr. Loan Officer

51-53 Kenosia Avenue

Danbury, CT 06813

Check out our on-line Application

www.NEMmortgage.com/jennifernewsom

NE Moves Mortgage, LLC

 

860-916-8845 (c)

781-663-6736 (fax)

Returns for Home Rehabs

Friday, December 5th, 2008
2008 Cost vs. Value Report: Still Many Happy Returns for Home Rehabs

 

Remodeling magazine’s annual report shows that maintenance-related projects and moderately priced upgrades are providing stable paybacks, even in a slower market.

Despite home price drops in many cities, remodeling projects are holding their own as a way for owners to add value.

 

Many people are wondering where their money will be safest during these uncertain economic times. When home owners turn to you for your expert advice, counsel them that some things never change: Investing in their home still pays off.

 

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® statistics show that home prices have fallen by an average of 7 percent nationally in the past year. But the value of home owners’ investment in remodeling projects has declined only 3.86 percent on average between 2007 and 2008, according to Remodeling’s 2008–2009 Cost vs. Value Report.

 

Remodeling produces the Cost vs. Value Report each year in cooperation with REALTOR® magazine. REALTORS® responding to a survey in midsummer said home owners could expect to recoup a national average of 67.3 percent of their investment in 30 different home improvement projects. At the height of the housing boom in 2005, home owners could expect to recoup a national average of 86.7 percent on projects.

 

Remodeling remains hot in 10 cities, where, on at least some projects, home owners can recover 100 percent of their costs. In Charlotte, N.C., for example, decks, midrange kitchen remodels, vinyl siding, and window-replacement projects all would net more than they cost, in respondents’ estimation. High rates of recovery were seen in both strong real estate markets and weak ones. 

 

Many cities with the highest rates of recovery were smaller—Jackson, Miss., and Billings, Mont., for example—which may point to lower labor and materials costs that are easier to recoup. 

 

Seattle also made the list of cities with a cost recovery of more than 100 percent on decks and minor kitchen remodels. In fact, Pacific Coast cities recorded the best payback on remodeling by a wide margin, as they did in 2007. Although construction costs on the Pacific Coast are nearly 17 percent higher than national averages, the value of renovations at resale more than makes up for those higher prices. 

 

The result is an average cost-recouped percentage that’s 14.8 percent higher than in the rest of the country. The toughest place to get your money back: Midwestern cities such as Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee.

 

Top 10 Project Paybacks 

 

Once again, exterior remodeling projects lead the way for recovery on dollars spent in this year’s Cost vs. Value survey. When you compare the national averages, replacement projects that boost curb appeal—siding, windows, and decks—give you the greatest chance of recouping your money. Inside, only kitchen remodels can compare, at least on a national level.

 

1. Upscale fiber cement siding (86.7%)

2. Midrange wood deck (81.8%)

3. Midrange vinyl siding (80.7%)

4. Upscale foam-backed vinyl (80.4%)

5. Midrange minor kitchen remodel (79.5%) 

6. Upscale vinyl window replacement (79.2%)

7. Midrange wood window replacement (77.7%)

8. Midrange vinyl window replacement (77.2%)

9. Upscale wood window replacement (76.5%

10. Midrange major kitchen remodel (76.0%)

 

 

MARKET COMMENT

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Market Comment

Mortgage bond prices rose last week pushing mortgage interest rates lower. Trading remained volatile as trading was thin amid the shortened holiday trading sessions. Mortgage bonds rallied nicely following the announcement that the Treasury and the Federal Reserve will spend $800 billion to help the ailing credit markets (details in article below).

For the week, interest rates on government and conventional loans fell by about 1.625 discount points.

The employment report Friday will be the most important data this week. Look for any additional moves by the Fed, the US Treasury, and legislative developments to also result in mortgage interest rate movements.

LOOKING AHEAD

Economic
Indicator

Release
Date & Time

Consensus
Estimate


Analysis

Construction Spending

Monday, Dec. 1,
10:00 am, et

Down 0.9%

Low importance. An indication of economic strength. Weakness may lead to lower rates.

ISM Index

Monday, Dec. 1,
10:00 am, et


38.00

Important. A measure of manufacturer sentiment. Weakness may lead to lower mortgage rates.

ADP Employment

Wednesday, Dec. 3,
8:30 am, et


Jobs -173k

Important. A measure of employment. Weakness in payrolls may bring lower rates.

Revised Q3 Productivity

Wednesday, Dec. 3,
8:30 am, et


up 0.9%

Important. A measure of output per hour. Improvement may lead to lower mortgage rates.

Fed “Beige Book”

Wednesday, Dec. 3,
2:00 pm, et

None

Important. This Fed report details current economic conditions across the US. Signs of weakness may lead to lower rates.

Factory Orders

Thursday, Dec. 4,
10:00 am, et


Down 2.7%

Important. A measure of manufacturing sector strength. Weakness may lead to lower rates.

Employment

Friday, Dec. 5,
8:30 am, et

Jobs -300k
Unemp @ 6.8%

Very important. An increase in unemployment or a large decrease in payrolls may bring lower rates.

Consumer Credit

Friday, Dec. 5,
3:00 pm, et


2.7B

Low importance. A significantly larger than expected increase may lead to lower mortgage interest rates.

$800 Billion

The US Government finally took a needed step to stabilize home prices and help lower mortgage interest rates with the announcement of a new $800 billion spending plan. While rates on Treasury bonds had pushed historically low over the past few weeks, rates on mortgage bonds were way behind. The housing market remains in peril and the demand for mortgage bonds is not as strong as the demand for Treasuries. Fortunately, the Federal Reserve announced it would purchase $500 billion of mortgage-backed securities and another $100 billion of debt from Ginnie Mae, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. This spending is an effort to improve the credit markets so businesses and consumers can get loans. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said, “This lack of affordable consumer credit undermines consumer spending and, as a result, weakens our economy.” The Fed will also make $200 billion available to help with the consumer debt market. The initial reaction to the plan was very favorable for mortgage interest rates. The financial markets were relieved that something was done to address the housing industry.

Keep in mind that despite the recent improvements the housing sector still remains troubled. It will likely take more efforts to resolve the credit freeze. Expect more market volatility.