This Week in Real Estate has the answer to the long anticipated question: will the Feds raise interest rates during their two-day September meeting? Below are a few of the highlights from the third week in September that influence our business:
* Fed Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged. Thursday, for the 55th consecutive meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged near 0.000 percent. The vote was 9-1 in favor of leaving the Fed Funds Rate near zero percent. Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker was the lone dissent, preferring a 25 basis point increase in the Fed Funds Rate target range. Janet Yellen, the Fed’s chairwoman, described the decision as a close call and said the central bank still expected to raise interest rates later this year. The Fed has kept its benchmark interest rate close to zero since late 2008. “The recovery from the Great Recession has advanced sufficiently far and domestic spending has been sufficiently robust that an argument can be made for a rise in interest rates at this time. But, heightened uncertainties abroad, including the Chinese economy’s weakness, had persuaded the bank to wait at least a few more weeks for fresh data that might “bolster confidence” in continued growth. Full Story… http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/18/business/economy/fed-leaves-interest-rates-unchanged.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0
* Builder Confidence at a Ten-Year High. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index increased one point in September to 62, the highest level in 10 years. Two of the three components increased: the present sales indicator rose one point to 67, and the traffic indicator increased two points to 47. Regional three-month moving averages were up on point in the Midwest (to 59), the South and West (to 64). FDIC data indicate that the volume of residential AD&C (acquisition, development and construction) loans outstanding expanded 4.7% during the second quarter of 2015, marking the ninth consecutive quarter of growth and up 16.4% on a year-over-year basis. Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/09/eye-on-the-economy-builder-confidence-at-a-ten-year-high/
* U.S Foreclosure Activity Decreases 6 Percent in August. RealtyTrac released its August 2015 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report Thursday, which shows foreclosure filings – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – in August, down 12 percent from the previous month and down 6 percent from a year ago. “Foreclosure starts in August continued to search for a new floor below even pre-recession levels, indicating the housing recovery of the past three years is built on a solid financing foundation,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. A total of 45,072 U.S. properties started the foreclosure process for the first time in August, down 1 percent from previous month and down 19 percent from a year ago to lowest level since November 2005. A total of 41,308 U.S. properties were scheduled for a future foreclosure auction in August, down 14 percent from the previous month and down 19 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since May 2006. Full Story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/foreclosure-trends/realtytrac-u-s-foreclosure-market-report-august-2015/
Have a productive week!