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Mortgage Market Guide: Housing Starts Drop Again
|In This Issue|
Last Week in Review: April Housing Starts and Building Permits didn’t signal much inventory relief for future homebuyers.
Forecast for the Week: Housing data and first quarter GDP are on deck.
View: Protect yourself from phishing scams on Google.
|Last Week in Review|
“Hello, Washington D.C. How ya doin’?” The Doors. New construction data disappointed homebuyers while news out of Washington dismayed investors.
Housing Starts fell 2.6 percent from March to April, the Commerce Department reported. This was the second straight month of declines and the lowest point since November 2016. Housing Starts were up just 0.7 percent over April 2016. Building Permits in April also were down 2.5 percent from March but up 5.7 percent from April 2016.
Recent political turmoil out of our nation’s capital caused home loan rates to edge lower while Mortgage Bond prices hit six-month highs midweek. In contrast, Stock markets posted the biggest one-day decline since September 2016. The main driver of the plunge in Stocks was the question of whether or not the Trump administration’s pro-growth agenda would be derailed.
The good news for homebuyers and those in the market for a refinance is that home loan rates remain attractive and near historic lows.
|Forecast for the Week|
Housing data and the second reading of first quarter Gross Domestic Product headline the week as folks gear up for the long holiday weekend.
Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve. In contrast, strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond on which home loan rates are based.
To go one step further, a red “candle” means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green “candle” means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes are on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.
As you can see in the chart below, Mortgage Bonds benefited recently as investors expressed dismay with Washington D.C. Home loan rates remain near historic lows.
Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday May 19, 2017)
|The Mortgage Market Guide View…|
On the Lookout for Online Phishing Scams? Google It.
Google is no stranger to cyberattacks that have targeted the technology giant and the millions of users of Google products and services.
The most recent phishing scam to target Google users this month focuses on file sharing via Google Docs. With this scam, users receive an email in their inbox asking them to open a Google Doc from one of their contacts. When users click on the file, the fake Google Doc seeks permission to access their accounts.
Phishing is a common tactic used to gain access to a user’s login credentials or other personal information. In most cases, users are asked to click on a link and then provide account details like username and password. These phishing emails can look like the real deal, complete with a Google logo. Unfortunately, once a user’s credentials are given to a scam artist, the hacker can access email accounts, social networks like Facebook or other platforms.
The most recent Google Docs phishing scam is one in a long line of scams that Google has posted on their website to inform consumers. Other recent phishing scams have told Gmail users that their email accounts will be suspended if not updated or that their email accounts have been compromised and need to be recovered.
Google has processes in place to help protect consumers, including browsing and attachment warnings and a commitment to never ask for personal information over email. It’s critical, though, for users to be diligent when opening emails, attachments and websites — especially those that ask for personal information.
Consumers should pay attention to warnings and alerts that pop up while browsing or accessing emails and attachments. Consumers should also verify email addresses and sender names are accurate and check that URLs match the description of the link.
Learn more about how to detect and report phishing scams targeting Google users, so you can protect yourself.
Sources: Google, USA TODAY
Economic Calendar for the Week of May 22 – May 26
Source: Click Me
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The Christian Penner Mortgage Team | Cell/Text: (561) 316-6800