The Federal Reserve issues the Beige Book, which is a snapshot or summary of business conditions in each of the Fed’s 12 regional bank districts, eight times a year. Since each district may contain different types of economic activity in various industries, each district lends its own unique feedback to the Beige Book.
The Fed released the latest Beige Book data on Wednesday, painting a mixed economic picture, showing slow growth with an economy activity that expanded slightly in September. More importantly, the data suggested the US has not slipped back into a recession as some have feared.
NAR Data Shows Decrease in Home Sales
The National Association of Realtors released data today showing that home sales dropped 3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.91 million homes. Economists say that keeping this number below 6 million is consistent with a healthy housing market. The data also showed that first-time buyers accounted for 32 percent of all sales and that homes at risk of foreclosure decreased to 30 percent of sales, from 31 percent in August.
Lead Economic Indicators Released
The Conference Board posted September’s Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) data this morning. The LEI rose 0.2%, which is a prediction of modest economic growth over the next several months. The market was expecting to see a 0.3% increase, so this release gave us weaker than forecast results.
Mortgage Rate Lock Update
The past few weeks have been a mix of volatility with an upward trend off of the all time lows reached just a few weeks ago. While rates have stabilized over the past day or so, we are still at near record lows. Since rates have much more potential upside then downside, now may be a great time to lock in your rate if you are on the sidelines. Not sure what loan is right for you or whether or not you should lock? We can help with a free consultation, so that you know with certainty what options you have and what makes the most sense for your goals and current financial situation.