August 2013

Found 15 blog entries for August 2013.

Rates Improve Slightly on Mixed Economic Data

Mortgage interest rates improved slightly this past week as economic data continued to be mixed.  Economic data stronger than expected included August Consumer Confidence, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, and the second look at Q2 GDP.  Q2 GDP increased by an annualized rate of 2.50% on expectations that it increased by 2.1%. 
Economic data weaker than expected included July Durable Goods Orders, July Pending Home Sales, July Personal Income, and July Personal Spending.  Markets continue to expect the Fed to begin tapering its monthly purchases of Treasuries and Mortgage Backed Securities in September. 

Also of note:  

  • The U.S. is considering taking military action against Syria
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So far, this week has been good for mortgage rates. The 30 year fixed, while bumping against 4.5% yesterday has solidified for the moment at 4.625%, down from the 4.75 - 4.875% of last week.  The 10 year bond, a indicator of mortgage rates, has fallen below 2.80% which has been one of its previous, upward resistance levels.  For the moment that is all good for mortgage rates.

So What's Happening?

Although there hasn't been a great deal of economic news, the news so far this week has been at consensus or weaker.  That's usually good for rates.  With rates trending down the end of last week, the stable to weak economic news continued to stabilize rates in the 4.625 - 4.875% range.  Then, we started hearing all the saber rattling about Syria and the

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Rates Up Slightly on Mixed Economic Data

Mortgage interest rates increased slightly this past week as economic data was mixed.  Economic data stronger than expected included August Existing Home Sales, the FHFA Home Price Index, and July Leading Economic Indicators.  Existing Homes Sales were up 6.5% on expectations that they would be up 2.4%.  Economic data weaker than expected included weekly jobless claims and August New Home Sales.  New Home Sales were down 13.4% on expectations that they would only be down 2.0%.  Also of note, the FOMC Minutes indicated that there was not a consensus as to when to begin tapering Treasury and MBS purchases although markets expect that the Fed will begin tapering in September.  In Germany, the Service Sector Index

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Sometimes, I'd prefer to be wrong about rates.  It does happen but unfortunately most of the time I seem to be wrong, it's for the worse instead of the better.  After the run-up in rates late last week, there was a slight glimmer of hope that given the stock and bond markets declining that we might see a correction in the bond market early this week.  Well we didn't see a correction, we saw a continuation of rising rates and then an ever so slight drop back.  Thirty year mortgage rates are up an eighth of a percent across the board and barely holding on to the increased rates.  Monday, rates moved even higher, settled back some yesterday and moved up again, after this afternoon's release of the Federal Open Market Committee minutes.  Mid-afternoon

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July’s real estate statistics for the Boulder area didn’t stray far from the path cut in June: sales remained flat compared with the previous month, prices increased and inventory continued to fall.

 The 491 single-family homes that sold in the Boulder-area market in July was a 16 percent increase compared with July 2012’s 422 sales, but relatively unchanged from the 485 homes that sold in June.

 The condominium/townhome market also saw a nearly 17 percent increase in sales in July compared with a year ago, with 174 units selling in July 2013 versus 149 in July 2012, but only one more unit sold in July compared with June.

 Ken Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor® Association, says the statistics show

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Rates Up as Fed Expected to Begin Tapering in September

Mortgage interest rates increased this past week as markets expect the Fed to begin tapering Treasury and Mortgage Bond purchases in September.  Economic data, though, was mixed.  Economic data stronger than expected included July Retail Sales, weekly jobless claims, the August NAHB Housing Market Index, Q2 Productivity, and Q2 Unit Labor Costs.  Weekly jobless claims fell to its lowest level since October of 2007 and the NAHB Housing Market Index reached its best level in 11 years.  Economic data weaker than expected included June Business Inventories, the August New York Empire State Manufacturing Index, July Industrial Production, July Capacity Utilization, the August Philadelphia Fed Business

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It’s already August and fall will soon draw near, followed by winter – though it wouldn’t be unusual for winter to make an early appearance. Be prepared for the next season or two by tackling these outside chores, courtesy of MSN Real Estate, this month:

No more haven for pests

Fire protection, air circulation, drainage, attractiveness and safety are enough reasons to keep the outside walls of a home clear and free of debris. But here’s another: piles and stacks of tools, lumber, ladders, yard waste and toys create a haven for pests such as spiders, rats, mice and wood-boring insects. Take some time to circle the exterior of the home and remove anything touching the siding. Donate, discard or store what’s been removed.

To prevent firewood from

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Apparently having a university offering a top-notch education isn’t the only attraction for Boulder.

According to Livability, people also love to live in Boulder, landing the community at the top of its Top 10 College Towns 2013 list.

“The best college towns appeal not just to potential students but to potential residents and businesses looking for strong economies and opportunities to grow,” reports Livability. “Sports teams, research facilities, historic buildings, and proximity to bars and restaurants create an attractive atmosphere to spend four (or five) years, but a university's off-campus impact can also shape a town's character and keep people there for a lifetime.”

But there’s so much to love about living in Boulder – rock climbing,

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If you live in Boulder, then you have a better chance of being happier and healthier than people living just about anywhere else in the U.S.

According to a Gallup index, Boulder ranks second in having the healthiest and happiest people in the nation, with Lincoln, Neb., beating it by only one-tenth of a point.

The index ranks well-being by averaging scores in life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors and access to basic necessities. 

Boulder improved three slots in this year’s index compared with the last. It ranked third in terms of healthy behavior, which measures lifestyle habits such as smoking, exercise frequency, diet, and consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Lincoln, Neb., jumped 20 spots

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Colorado is on track to exceed its expected job growth for the year after adding approximately 52,400 jobs between May 2012 and May 2013.

Economist Richard Wobbekind of the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business estimated at the end of 2012 that the state would experience a 1.8 percent job growth rate this year. But now he is saying the state could actually have a 2.5 percent job growth rate, based on current numbers.

While the construction, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality sectors are experiencing the most growth, every industry except natural resources and mining and information and financial activities is recording year-over-year employment growth, Wobbekind reports.

“The performance of the Colorado

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