FOMC Meeting Minutes: Why Fed’s Rate Policy Reversed Course

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After raising the target range for the federal funds rate in 2018, the Fed's Federal Open Market Committee did not raise the Central Bank's key interest rate at its meeting of January 29 and 30. While Committee members did not raise the Fed's key rate, members were divided on the interest rate decision. FOMC Members Divided On Interest Rate Decision Minutes of January's FOMC meeting indicated that member viewpoints varied about how the Fed should deal with the Fed's target interest rate range. One group said that interest rate increases may be necessary if inflation increases above the Federal Reserve's…
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Case-Shiller: Home Prices Lower in November

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Home price growth continued to struggle in November, with Case-Shiller's 20-City Home Price Index moving from October's reading of 5.30 percent annual growth to 5.20 percent growth in November. This was the lowest reading since January 2015. Las Vegas, Nevada remained first in home price growth rate with a year-over-year home prices growth of 12 percent. Phoenix, Arizona's year-over-year home price growth rate was 8.10 percent and Seattle, Washington held third place with a year-over-year home price growth rate of 6.30 percent. Las Vegas' large year-over-year growth in home prices was attributed to the city's ongoing recovery from the recession…
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NAHB: Home Builder Confidence Grows After Lowest Level in 3 Years

Real Estate , ,
After two months of declining builder confidence, the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index gained two points in January with a reading of 58. Component readings of the HMI were also higher with builder confidence in current market conditions rose two points to an index reading of 63. Builder confidence in housing market conditions over the next six months rose three points to 64. The index for buyer traffic in new housing developments rose one point to 44. While index readings above 50 indicate positive market conditions, the index reading for buyer traffic is typically lower than 50.…
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FOMC Raises Key Rate, Forecasts 2 Rate Hikes in 2019

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During its post-meeting statement, the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve announced that its target range for the Fed's key interest rate would increase one quarter percent to 2.25 to 2.50 percent. While this rate hike was not expected by the Executive branch, it met analyst expectations. FOMC said in its customary post-meeting statement that members expect to make two interest rate hikes in 2019 as compared to three rate hikes in 2018 and the Committee's original forecast of three rate hikes in 2019. Given current economic conditions, the Fed forecasted only one rate hike for 2020. Hawks…
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How Will Interest Rates Affect the Market in 2019?

Real Estate , ,
Forbes and other reputable publications have predicted a continued rise in interest rates over 2019. The initial shock of the Fed's action caused a slowdown in real estate markets over the final part of 2018. As the shock wears off, experts are divided as to whether more expensive money will continue to translate into lower housing starts and occupancy rates for primary markets. Many experts believe that the rising 2018 interest rates have not yet baked themselves into the real estate market. They point to past instances of relatively high real estate hikes and the slower uptake into the property…
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What is the Multifamily Market in 2019 Looking Like?

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A growing supply of housing, volatility in the marketplace and risks in the development process all affected the multifamily market in 2018. In 2019, these three factors will continue to move the needle. The Housing Supply Markets like Boston, Seattle and Nashville are growing supply faster than demand. From 2015 to 2017, developers were building like crazy and landlords were enjoying rent increases of 5-7% year over year. They built too much, and the peak has showed itself. Only top markets like Atlanta and Charlotte can justify their cost of living increases. The rest will likely see slower growth and…
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Could Fed Interest Rate Hike Help Home Buyers?

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News of the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates appears to have caused unnecessary panic among people poised to purchase a first home or a larger one for a growing family. Headlines and news reports that talk about interest rates being at their highest since 2014 can be alarming. Announcements from the Fed that rates would increase four times in 2018 and again in 2019 seems downright scary. After all, isn't it logical that increased interest rates mean that monthly mortgage payment could be substantially higher? As it turns out, neither the click-bait headlines about dramatic rate increases or higher monthly premiums…
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NAHB: Builder Confidence in Housing Market Ticks Up in October

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Home builder confidence in national housing market conditions rose one index point for a reading of 68 in October. Readings over 50 indicate that most builders are confident about market conditions. Rolling three-month averages showed mixed results. The Northeastern region gained three points for an index reading of 57; the Midwestern region lost two index points with a reading of 57 and the Southern region posted a gain of one point with a reading of 70. The Western region held steady at 74. Readings for sub-categories of the Housing Market index showed a one-point gain to 74 for current market…
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U.S. Wage Increases Could Help Home Buyers

Mortgage , ,
The struggle to achieve the American homeownership dream often feels like it happens in a vacuum. Everyday people work hard, save money and polish up their credit to get a low mortgage rate. But there are powerful forces at work that are far beyond each person's control. And until recently, the gap between American wage growth and rising home prices was widening. According to data coming out of the U.S. Department of Labor, unemployment recently hit a 49-year low and wages are enjoying the greatest uptick in nearly a decade. That is good news for prospective home buyers. American Wages…
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Foreclosure Rates Expected To Dip Below 12-Year Low

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The record-setting pace of the U.S. economy continues to positively impact the housing market and home foreclosures now stand at an astonishing 12-year low. Coming off a GDP growth rate of 4.1 percent and a historic bull stock market run, everyday Americans appear to be benefiting from one of, if not the strongest economies in decades. According to data compiled by CoreLogic, mortgage delinquency rates continue to improve and are already at the lowest levels in 12 years. Building on last year's national trend, foreclosures and mortgages more than 30 days past due declined to 4.2 percent in May. Other…
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