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Market Forecast: FOMC Meets, Pending Home Sales, and Case-Shiller Index

Posted On January 30, 2017

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Mortgage rates experienced some volatility last week.  On Tuesday, Dr. Ben Carson’s nomination for the Secretary of the Department of Housing was approved by the Senate Committee.  On Wednesday morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened at 20,000. This week the Federal Open Market Committee meets on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Upcoming housing reports include pending home sales and the S&P Case-Shiller home price index. 

The FOMC is scheduled to meet Tuesday and Wednesday for the first time this year.  After the December meeting, Fed Chair Janet Yellen projected three interest rate hikes for 2017.  There will not be a press conference after this month’s meeting.  The FOMC typically does not raise rates after a meeting without a press conference. 

The pending home sales index is published by the National Association of Realtors.  A pending sale is defined as one in which the contract was signed but not yet closed.  This index is one of the leading indicator of existing home sales.  Last month, the index showed a 2.5% month-over-month decline for a reading of 107.3. 

The S&P Case-Shiller home price index tracks the value of residential real estate in 20 major metropolitan regions across the country, for a composite index of monthly changes.  Last month the index posted a 0.6% month-over-month gain and a 5.1% year-over-year gain.

Wednesday’s FOMC announcement will give economists a better idea of when to expect the first rate hike.  As policy reform continues in Washington, mortgage rates will reflect these changes.  

 

Sources: Business Insider, Bloomberg, MarketWatch, Mortgage News Daily