Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Future of Housing Conference

Yesterday the Treasury Department held its "Future of Housing Conference" on Capitol Hill with the main theme focusing on some type of limited government assistance in the housing market, but a scaled back version.

Bill Gross, who oversees the world's largest bond fund called for a huge refinance program to slash home loan rates to current levels, which would boost consumer spending by $50 to 60 billion and could lift home prices by 5% to 10%.

Part of the plan he proposed was to have Fanny May and Freddy Mac lower interest rates on their borrowers that are in good standings to a 4% interest rate. This would be helpful to borrowers that can not refinance do to equity or other reasons.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Today"s Economic News

Japan said today that its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded much less than expected and has now slipped to third place behind China to become the world's 3rd largest economy. Economists said today that China could overtake the U.S. by 2027 to become the world's largest economy.

The New York State Manufacturing report for August was released today coming in at 7.1 and was slightly below the 7.5 that was expected. The employment measure within the report was positive rising to 14.3 from 7.9, while the new orders gauge decreased to 2.7 for the first decline since June 2009.

Mortgage Bonds rose on the news, keeping home loan rates at record lows. Stock markets are trading lower after falling the end of last week after the Fed said that economic growth is slowing.

China's holdings of US government debt dropped to the lowest level in at least a year, according to a report released today by the Treasury today. The holdings fell to $843.7 billion, down from $915.8 billion a year ago.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that it's Housing Market Index for June came in at 13, below the 14 expected and down from May's reading of 14.