federal reserve: The Fed Minutes Keep Mortgage Rates On Hold (For Now) - 01/05/11 09:14 AM
 
The Federal Reserve released its December 14 meeting minutes Tuesday afternoon. There wasn’t much there to disturb mortgage markets, thankfully.
The “Fed Minutes” is an official recap of the most recent meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. It’s published 8 times annually, 3 weeks after the FOMC adjourns.
The Fed Minutes is similar to the meeting minutes released after a corporate conference or condo association gathering in that they provide additional details about the conversation and debate that occurred between meeting attendees.
The Fed Minutes are a lengthy companion to the Federal Reserve’s brief, more well-known, post-meeting press release. But, whereas … (1 comments)

federal reserve: A Simple Explanation Of The Federal Reserve Statement (December 14, 2010 Edition) - 12/14/10 03:23 PM
 
Today, the Federal Open Market Committee voted 9-to-1 to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged within in its target range of 0.000-0.250 percent.
In its press release, the FOMC noted that since November’s meeting, the “economic recovery is continuing”, but at a pace deemed too slow to make a material impact on unemployment rates. It also said that household spending in increasing, but remains constrained by joblessness, tight credit and lower housing wealth.
In addition, the Fed used its press release to re-affirm its plan to keep the Fed Funds Rate near zero percent “for an extended period” while also … (0 comments)

federal reserve: September’s Case-Shiller Index Reflects A Slowing Housing Market - 12/02/10 07:29 AM

Standard & Poors released the September Case-Shiller Index Tuesday. The Case-Shiller Index is a home-value tracker. The report shows home prices down 0.7% from August and values fading, in general.
Case-Shiller representatives assessed the findings as “another weak report; weaker than last month”, citing deterioration in 18 of 20 tracked markets. Upward pricing momentum from the summer is slowing and values remain 30% off the market’s June 2006 peak. It could spell bad news for home sellers in Belfast this winter.
That said, the Case-Shiller Index is imperfect; its methodology flawed. The index is not meant for use by individual … (1 comments)

federal reserve: What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : November 15, 2010 - 11/15/10 11:54 AM
In a holiday-shortened trading week, mortgage markets tanked last week, casting doubt on whether the bond market’s 7-month bull run will continue. Fears of inflation caused conforming mortgage rates to rise in Maine.
Last week marked the first sizable mortgage rate increase over the course of 7 days since April.
The biggest reason why rates rose last week was because of concerns that the Federal Reserve’s latest round of stimulus will devalue the U.S. dollar.
The Fed pledged an additional $600 billion to the bond markets two weeks ago and, to meet this obligation, the group will have to, quite literally, … (1 comments)

federal reserve: Fed Survey : Mortgage Guidelines Tighten Further, Freeze Out Would-Be Refinancers - 11/10/10 10:12 AM

It’s getting tougher to get approved for a mortgage. Still.
In its quarterly survey of senior loan officers around the country, the Federal Reserve asked whether “prime” residential mortgage guidelines” have tightened in the prior 3 months.
A “prime” borrower typically carries a well-documented credit history with high credit scores, has a low debt-to-income ratio, and uses a traditional fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage.
For the period July-September 2010, 52 of 54 responding loan officers admitted to tightening their prime guidelines, or leaving them “basically unchanged”.
Just 4% of banks loosened their lending standards.
If you’ve applied for a home loan … (0 comments)

federal reserve: A Simple Explanation Of The Federal Reserve Statement (November 3, 2010 Edition) - 11/03/10 03:21 PM
Today, the Federal Open Market Committee voted 9-to-1 to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged within in its target range of 0.000-0.250 percent.
In its press release, the FOMC noted that, since September’s meeting, the pace of economic and job growth “continues to be slow”.  Housing starts are “depressed”, income growth is “modest” and commercial real estate investment is “weak”.
With respect to its prior economic stimuli, the Fed deemed the recovery “disappointingly slow”, while, at the same time, noting that growth will come.
The Fed also noted that inflation is running lower that what’s optimal, hinting at the potential for … (0 comments)

federal reserve: Mortgage Rate Lock Alert : Expect Rate Changes Wednesday Afternoon - 11/03/10 02:03 PM
The Federal Reserve ends a scheduled, 2-day meeting today. It’s the seventh of 8 scheduled Fed meetings in 2010, and the eighth overall this year.
The Fed held an unscheduled meeting May 9, 2010.
When today’s meeting adjourns, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke & Co. will publish a formal statement within which the Fed is expected to announce “no change” to the Fed Funds Rate. But that doesn’t mean that mortgage rates won’t change.
To the contrary, expect mortgage rates to move by a lot this afternoon. Here’s why.
The Fed’s mission is to preserve stability within banking and the economy and, … (0 comments)

federal reserve: What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : October 12, 2010 - 10/12/10 10:59 AM
 
Mortgage markets improved last week on mixed messages about the economy, and a growing belief that the government will move to stimulate the economy.
Conforming mortgage rates in Maine eased lower.
According to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage market survey, average mortgage rates nationwide fell to new all-time lows last week. On the other side of that point, however, is that the accompanying “points” for today’s low rates have climbed to their highest levels of 2010.
In other words, mortgage rates are down, but closing costs are up.
There were two main stories driving mortgage rates last week. The first was … (0 comments)

federal reserve: A Simple Explanation Of The Federal Reserve Statement (September 21, 2010 Edition) - 09/21/10 03:11 PM
 
Today, in its 7th meeting of the year, the Federal Open Market Committee voted 9-to-1 to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged. 
The Fed Funds Rate remains at a historical low, within a Fed's target range of 0.000-0.250 percent.
In its press release, the FOMC said that the pace of economic recovery "has slowed" in recent months. Household spending is increasing but remains restrained by high levels of unemployment, falling home values, and restrictive credit.
For the second straight month, the Federal Reserve showed less economic optimism as compared to the prior year's worth of FOMC statements dating back to … (0 comments)

federal reserve: The Federal Reserve Meets Today. Should You Lock Your Rate Before It Adjourns? - 09/21/10 09:00 AM
 
The Federal Open Market Committee adjourns from its 6th scheduled meeting of the year today, and 7th overall.
Upon adjournment, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will release a formal statement to the market. In it, the Fed is expected to announce "no change" to the Fed Funds Rate.
Currently, the Fed Funds Rate is within a target range of 0.000-0.250 percent.  It's been at this same level since December 2008.
Note that the Feds Funds Rate is not "a mortgage rate" -- nor is it a a consumer rate of any kind. The Fed Funds Rate is a rate that … (2 comments)

federal reserve: Bank Mortgage Lending Policies Appear To be Easing - 08/24/10 09:21 AM
The tightening in mortgage-lending policies that characterized the last 3 years appears to be slowing.
According to the Federal Reserve’s quarterly survey of senior bank loan officers, roughly 1 in 10 lenders added mortgage qualification hurdles between April and June. It’s a huge departure from just 2 years ago when the mortgage industry was facing its first wave of challenges. 
During that period, eight in 10 lenders added hurdles.
For mortgage applicants in Belfast , this quarter’s Fed survey results signals that mortgage lending may have reached its limits of restriction.
Since 2007, mortgage guidelines have become increasingly restrictive. There’s extra … (1 comments)

federal reserve: What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : August 16, 2010 - 08/16/10 09:02 AM
Mortgage markets worsened last week, putting a pause on the mortgage rate rally that dates to mid-April. Mortgage rates rose across Maine last week and home affordability suffered.
The Refi Boom remains in full effect, but rates are not as dazzling as they were a week ago.
It’s somewhat strange that mortgage rates rose last week given the heavy dose of negative-bending news.
The Federal Reserve noted that the economy “has slowed“ New unemployment claims rose to a 6-month high Retail sales — excluding auto sales — rose less than expected Mortgage rates often to fall on such news, but last … (0 comments)

federal reserve: A Simple Explanation Of The Federal Reserve Statement (August 10, 2010 Edition) - 08/10/10 08:11 PM
Today, in its first meeting in 6 weeks, the Federal Open Market Committee voted 9-to-1 to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged. 
The Fed Fund Rate remains at a historical low, within a prescribed target range of 0.000-0.250 percent.
In its press release, the FOMC said that, since June, the pace of economic recovery “has slowed”. Household spending is increasing but remains restrained because of high levels of unemployment, falling home values, and restrictive credit.
Today’s statement shows less economic optimism as compared to the prior year’s worth of FOMC statements dating back to June 2009. The Fed is looking for … (2 comments)

 
Shannon Odom, Shannon Odom (Northeast Bank)

Shannon Odom

Shannon Odom

Bangor, ME

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