30-Second Update: Economic Expansion & Stock Market All-Time High

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, this month marks the longest expansion of economic growth since 1854, stemming back to June of 2009, a record 121 months!  Gross Domestic Product has grown a cumulative 25% during this record setting run.  In addition, the unemployment rate dropped to 3.6% in May, the lowest level since 1969. 

Driving the economic expansion, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 27,000 for the first time ever on Thursday, July 11th.  The S&P 500 also notched a record close.   Fueling the stock market are investors choosing to put their money into stocks, amidst expectations that the Fed will cut interest rates later this month.  Art Hogan, Chief Market Strategist at National Securities said, “The Fed is on a one-way street heading to a cut. The market is clearly in ‘don’t-fight-the-Fed’ mode.”

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Home Prices Continue to Appreciate

CoreLogic has reported that single family homes across the nation have appreciated in price by 3.6% from May last year to May this year. They are also forecasting that there will be a 5.6% rate of appreciation by this time next year! 

Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic said, “Interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages fell by nearly one percentage point between November 2018 and this May. This has been a shot-in-the-arm for home sales.  Sales gained momentum in May and annual home price growth accelerated for the first time since March 2018.”

When using these forecasted numbers, at 5.6% appreciation, a $300,000 home will be worth $316,800 next year.  When combining this large amount of equity gained with historically low interest rates, you get a recipe for building wealth.  This is a great time to purchase or refinance your home.  Call an Advisors Mortgage expert today to review your numbers and to get expert advise to take advantage of this hot market.

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Source: CoreLogic

30-Second Update:  Pending Home Sales Rise/Mortgage Rates Hit 2 ½ Year Low

The Pending Home Sales Index, which is a forward-looking indicator based on home contract signings, increased 1.1% to 105.4 in May, up from April’s 104.3.  Pending home sales in the northeast rose 3.5% to a 92 reading.  The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said, “The lower-than-usual mortgage rates have led to the increase in pending sales for May.” 

Mortgage rates for the week ending June 27th, have tumbled to their lowest levels since late 2016.  Yun went on to say, “Lower rates create extremely attractive conditions for consumers.  Buyers, for good reason, are anxious to purchase and lock in at these rates.”  The key right now is matching supply and demand.  Homes are selling at a swift pace, and there is a need for home builders to ramp up construction to help assist in balancing the two. 

Now is a great time for first-time homebuyers, as well as current homeowners looking to downsize or move-up from their existing homes, to capitalize and lock-in on these very low rates.

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The Fed and Lower Rates

After the Fed’s meeting last week, we saw bond pricing improve which has pushed interest rates even lower.  The Fed has decided to keep the Fed Funds rate unchanged.  They also discussed no need to increase rates at this time, and even mentioned the idea of lowering it. 

The Fed has a dual mandate: keeping inflation near 2% and maintaining healthy job growth.  Because inflation is currently lower, actually at 1.5%, which was reported on May 31st in the PCE report, the Fed may open the appetite for lending money by decreasing the Fed Fund Rate.  Fred Bullard, St. Louis Fed President, actually voted against the national Fed decision and actually wanted a rate cut by a quarter percent, while the other members voted to keep the rate unchanged.  Bullard said, a rate cut “may be warranted soon”.   Analysts are also saying that even though there wasn’t a rate cut during this meeting, they are seeing the possibility of a rate cut as soon as the next meeting in July. 

With the current outlook of the economy and pending recession, rates are very attractive and moving lower.  This is a great time to start thinking about refinancing or purchasing a home.

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30-Second Update: Mortgage Applications Surge, Rates Near Lowest Level in Two Years!

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally-adjusted index, mortgage applications surged 26.8% in the week ending June 7th.  In addition, overall mortgage volume was 41% higher than this time a year ago.  Mortgage rates, which have dropped to their lowest level in nearly 2 years helped propel the surge in applications and volume.  Refinances, which are the most rate-sensitive, jumped a remarkable 47% week-to-week and 97% annually.  Mortgage applications to purchase a home, which usually react slower to drops in rates, increased 10%. 

Overall, the current lower interest rate environment is having a tremendous positive impact on the housing market.   Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater stated, “These low rates are good news for current homeowners.  With rates dipping this low, there are over $2 trillion worth of outstanding mortgages eligible to be refinanced, meaning the majority of what was originated in 2018 is now eligible.”

Whether you are in the market for a new home or getting ready to refinance, this is a great time to start the process and see what you qualify for.  Call Advisors Mortgage today to see how we can help.

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