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  • MBS RECAP: Best Week For Bonds in a Year Fri, 25 May 2018 21:22:29 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    When you pay the sort of price we paid last week (in terms of rates surging to 7-year highs), you expect to get something reasonably nice in return. This, then, is our recompense. In terms of ground covered, it was the best week we've had since April 2017. An unresolved question remains: would it have happened without Italian political drama? I know the answer. Yes , we still would have rallied, but no , we probably wouldn't have rallied at such a fast pace. Domestic bond markets and even German Bunds RESISTED the Italian implication last week and only really got with the program as things got more serious on Wednesday. The additional safe-haven buying was the last thing bond sellers wanted to see a few short days after pushing yields to long-term highs. It meant a big accumulation...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Hit Holiday Weekend at Recent Lows Fri, 25 May 2018 21:02:00 GMT

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates moved much lower this week with another strong move today. As we discussed yesterday, this is certainly at odds with the prevailing news coverage, which continues to focus on yesterday's Freddie Mac survey. Here's a link to yesterday's article, or you can take my word for it that Freddie's survey is now outdated. Or you could just forget all that and consider the following. At several huge, "household name" lenders, the upfront costs on a 30yr fixed quote of 4.75% are now the same as they were for 4.875% just a few days ago. That's a strong week by anyone's standards, and it brings today's rates in line with the lowest of the past several weeks. Whether or not the strength persists, remains to be seen . We'll be waiting at least until next Tuesday to get any clues as markets...(read more)

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  • Homebuyers Battle the Trifecta: Rates, Inventory, and Prices Fri, 25 May 2018 14:18:21 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    The May edition of Freddie Mac's monthly Outlook , produced by its Economic & Housing Research Group, is focused on the resiliency of the American homebuyer . It notes that, "Through the first five months of 2018, home shoppers have battled the trifecta of climbing home prices, higher mortgage rates and low supply ." One entry in the trifecta is interest rates, and Freddie Mac's economists see firming inflation continuing to put upward pressure on rates in general, including mortgage rates. They continued to climb during May, reaching 4.66 percent by the middle of the month. Rates, according to their forecast, will average 4.9 percent in the fourth quarter of this year and 5.4 percent by the same quarter in 2019. Higher mortgage rates have not yet slowed home purchase demand. Buyer resiliency...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: How did Such a Good Week Happen? Fri, 25 May 2018 13:33:53 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    If you'd just had your worst week in 7 years, it's always nice if the next could be markedly different. That's the case for bond markets this week, assuming nothing outrageous happens for the rest of the day. In fact, if markets closed right now, this week's gains would easily outpace last week's losses. Who can we thank? In a word: Italy. More than anything, it's been the downward spiral in Italian politics fueling a rally in safer-haven bonds (like Treasuries and German Bunds). Who cares about Italy? More people than you might think. Even though it's only one of 19 countries in the Eurozone, it's important for a few reasons. First off, it's the 3rd biggest economy in Europe, so the economic impacts of any Italian drama can't easily be brushed off. Just...(read more)

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  • Jumbo, Non-QM, ARM Lender and Investor Trends Fri, 25 May 2018 13:07:38 GMT

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    Did you know that the number of female chief executives of Fortune 500 companies this year declined by 25 percent (from 32 to 24)? Not good. One of the highlights for me of this week’s MBA Secondary Marketing Conference was the mPower lunch. Besides some great networking and meeting some new folks, the lunch featured author Joanne Lipman who spoke about unconscious biases that many have (if you want to test yours, visit this site ), strategies for improving your workplace, and closing the gender divide. Yes, there are differences between men and women, but companies are better off by constructively realizing them and using them to their advantage. (If you have questions about the mPower program, which is also having events at various conferences around the nation, please contact the MBA’s...(read more)

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  • Flipping; Turning into a Dangerous Game? Fri, 25 May 2018 12:10:12 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    CoreLogic says flipping is back. The term applies to the act of buying, renovating and/or repairing a house, then reselling it, all within a short timeframe. Investors who specialize in flipping are always out there, but when prices are rising, or appear about to, lots more people join in the game. Bin He, writing in CoreLogic's Insights blog, looked at the current levels of flipping, using as the criteria a house that is bought then sold in under 12 months. He found that 6.2 percent of home sales in the first quarter appeared to be flips . This matches the previous post-crash high in the first quarter of 2013. But, he points out, it was a different world back then. Prices were just beginning to rebound from their 2012 lows, the supply of homes was outstripping demand, and distressed sales...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Bonds Confirm Yesterday's Strength Thu, 24 May 2018 20:29:28 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Yesterday was an important one for anyone hoping NOT to see the bond market completely give up hope in the fight against higher rates. To be fair, the fundamental realities in place over the past few years have clearly pointed toward higher rates, but there's always some uncertainty regarding how quickly we move and which levels will end up being important. With a break beyond the weakest levels in 7 years, it was (and still is) fair to wonder if we were on the precipice of a more abrupt move. As of right now, that more abrupt move is clearly on hold . This week's strong round of Treasury auctions sends the message that there's even some sponsorship for the bond market beyond the "risk-off" motivations from European political drama. That said, if European political drama...(read more)

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  • Another Reminder Not to Trust Mortgage Rate Headlines Thu, 24 May 2018 19:14:00 GMT

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates moved lower again today, bringing them to the best levels in at least 2 weeks. This assertion is very much at odds with the prevailing mortgage rate headlines today. News stories abound with talk of sharp increases to fresh 7-year highs (google news search if you don't believe me), yet nothing could be more of a disservice to the demographic that typically looks for mortgage rate news (people who are in the market)! If you are indeed in the market or otherwise have a vested interest in day-to-day mortgage rate fluctuations, you need to understand that all those news stories are based on Freddie Mac's weekly rate survey, and that Freddie Mac is wrong . To be fair, it's not so much "wrong" as it is " late ." Unfortunately, Freddie's survey typically captures lenders' claimed rate...(read more)

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  • Existing Home Sales Reverse Course, Down 3% Thu, 24 May 2018 15:00:28 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Existing home sales put an end to two straight months of gains , retreating in April on both a monthly and annual basis. The National Association of Realtors® said the sales of single-family homes, townhouses, condos, and cooperative apartments dropped by 2.5 percent from March's estimate of 5.60 million to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million. That put sales at a 1.4 percent deficit when compared to April 2017. It was the second straight month that sales have lagged on an annual basis. Economists polled by Econoday were not looking for greatly improved numbers but results even missed that target . Estimates ranged from 5.48 million to 5.64 million. The consensus was for no change from the March 5.60 million number. Single-family home sales were down by 3.0 percent to a seasonally...(read more)

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  • Home Price Index Shows Signs of Losing Momentum Thu, 24 May 2018 14:29:47 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Home prices in the first quarter of 2018 were 1.7 percent higher than at the end of the fourth quarter of last year. The Federal Housing Finance Agency said its Housing Price Index (HPI) gained 6.9 percent when compared to the level at the end of March 2017. On a monthly basis prices were 0.1 percent higher than in February. The month over month rate of increase in March was significantly higher than the 0.6 percent gain from January to February, but the annual increase slowed compared to the previous month. The rate of appreciation from February 2017 to February 2018 was 7.2 percent. "Home prices continue to rise across the U.S. but there are signs of tapering ," said Dr. William Doerner, FHFA's Senior Economist. "Since housing markets began to rebound in 2012, house price appreciation has...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Green Shoots? Maybe. Opportunities? You Bet! Thu, 24 May 2018 13:35:51 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    One short week after hitting the worst levels in nearly 7 years there's suddenly a semblance of hope again for bonds. It was one thing to see last Friday's correction--which merely stopped the most abject bleeding--or the first 2 days of indecisive stability this week. It was another thing to see an unmistakably strong rally yesterday followed by even stronger levels today. The critical development over the past 48 hours for US bond markets has been the break below the 3.05% floor that had blocked progress since last Friday. If we wanted to be extra cautious about where we set our technical levels, we could use the previous 4-year ceiling of 3.04% and reserve judgment until bonds broke and closed below. With yields starting out the day well under 3.0%, it seems like there's not...(read more)

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  • Broker Products; Upcoming Events; Financial Services and Acquisitions Thu, 24 May 2018 13:18:07 GMT

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    The conference this week? I attended various presentations dealing with housing finance and the economy in general. Even in the face of rising rates, the outlook on the housing market is bullish for prices – but with continued inventory problems. Labor shortages and environmental provisions/local zoning are expected to continue to contribute to extended times to complete the construction of new homes. Now that we are a decade past the financial crisis, we are seeing increased non-agency mortgage lending, as reflected through securitizations, and it is expected that the non-QM market will continue its expansion but still small on a relative basis to QM. Demographic factors play a dominant role in the housing market as millennials embrace homeownership, just as we knew they would. Given...(read more)

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  • Tax Cut Gains Forecast to Fade Away in 2019 Thu, 24 May 2018 13:08:17 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Fannie Mae is backing down slightly on its economic forecast for the remainder of 2018. The first quarter GDP growth of 2.3 percent was the slowest in a year , down from 2.9 percent a year earlier. The company's economists, led by vice president and chief economists Doug Duncan, say they expect growth to pick up later in the year but the economic boost from last December's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and this February's Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, will fade next year and the labor market will tighten more than previously thought. The earlier full-year 2018 forecast remains at 2.7 percent, but the company is lowering its projections for 2019 by two-tenths to 2.3 percent. They see substantial downside risks to their forecast , especially the rising price of oil. Crude prices have risen by about...(read more)

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  • April Delinquencies Improve Despite Historic Pattern Thu, 24 May 2018 12:41:30 GMT

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Loan performance continued to improve in April, even though Black Knight says mortgage delinquencies have a historic pattern of increasing during that month. The overall delinquency rate declined 1.6 percent from March to a national rate of 3.67 percent. That rate is down by 10.17 percent from the previous April. Black Knight notes, in its "first look" at the month's loan performance data, that not only did April's improvement buck a trend that has affected the month's numbers 85 percent of the time, it also ended seven months of annual increases, behavior that started with last fall's hurricanes. Areas in Texas, Florida, and Georgia where Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit drove the improving numbers. However, over 90,000 mortgages on homes impacted by the storms are still seriously delinquent...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Nice Gains More About Europe Than Fed Wed, 23 May 2018 20:41:08 GMT

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Bonds surged to significantly stronger levels in the presence of the Fed Minutes today. Any time we see strong gains on a day with a Fed release, chances are the Fed is behind the move. Incidentally, that's NOT the case today (spoiler in the headline, I know). So how did Europe trump the Fed in terms of bond market impact? In short, this is all about Italian political drama. The two anti-Eurozone parties who are forming a coalition government in Italy are waiting for confirmation of their staffing choices from the Italian prime minister (yeah... things work differently over there). One of the picks had previously referred to the Eurozone as a noose around Italy's neck. It's not overboard to consider this political regime as potentially pushing Italy away from the Euro. That's...(read more)

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