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  Provided to you Exclusively by Bruce Gordon
Bruce Gordon
Bruce Gordon
President
Integrity Lending
Mobile: 410-207-6365
Direct: 410-581-0055
Email: bruce.ilc@verizon.net
Website: www.integritylendingcorp.com
  Integrity Lending
For the Month of October 2017 --- Vol. 12, Issue 10
 
  IN THIS ISSUE...  
     
 

"I don't know where my home is." Nelly Furtado. New construction numbers slump for a second month in a row, but building permits may tell another tale. We'll hammer out this story and more, including:

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to friends, family or co-workers who may find it helpful.

 
 
  Home Construction Slumps  
     
 

Housing Starts, which measure when new residential construction breaks ground, fell for the second straight month in August, down 0.8 percent from July. Single-family starts, which make up the biggest share of the housing market, rose 1.6 percent. Multi-family dwellings fell 5.8 percent from July and are down 23 percent from August 2016. When compared to last August, however, Housing Starts rose 1.4 percent.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma impacted New Home Sales data reporting for August, driving it down 3.4 percent from July to an annual rate of 560,000 units. The Commerce Department noted that sale status data was collected for only 65 percent of cases in Texas and Florida counties affected by the hurricanes versus the normal response rate of 95 percent. New Home Sales were 1.2 percent lower than August 2016.

After rising in May, Existing Home Sales shrank for the third straight month due to the ongoing themes of high prices and low inventories, falling 1.7 percent from July to an annual rate of 5.35 million units in August. The annual measurement showed sales up a scant 0.2 percent over last year. The National Association of REALTORS® said gains seen in the Northeast and Midwest were outpaced by declines in the South and West.

Helping to alleviate housing shortage woes, more new construction appears to be on the horizon as Building Permits rose 5.7 percent from July, hitting their highest level since January.

Research firm CoreLogic reported that home prices rose 6.9 percent from August 2016 to August 2017, up from an annual gain of 6.7 percent in July. Looking ahead, prices are expected to rise 4.7 percent from August 2017 to August 2018.

Following the most recent Federal Reserve meeting in September, the Fed announced it will begin to unwind its massive $4.5 trillion balance sheet starting on the ninth business day of October and continuing every ninth business day of the month thereafter. The balance sheet is made up of Mortgage Backed Securities and Treasury Bonds. The plan is designed to cause little disruption to the market. Seeing that this has never been done before, it remains to be seen what happens to Mortgage Bond prices and the home loan rates tied to them over time.

Home loan rates remain near historic lows. Now is a great window of opportunity for those in the market to purchase or refinance a home.

If you have any questions about current loan products, or home purchase or refinancing opportunities, please reach out at any time.

 
 
  What to Watch: Personal Consumption Expenditures  
     
 

Signs of inflation can move Stock and Bond markets, impacting the home loan rates tied to Mortgage Backed Securities, a type of Bond. Here are important details to know.

What is the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) report? PCE measures price changes in goods and services consumed by individuals over a specific amount of time.

What's happened recently? Inflation continues to run well below the Federal Reserve's target of 2 percent. Core PCE, the Fed's favorite inflation gauge, was 1.3 percent on an annual basis in August, the lowest annual increase since November 2015. Month over month, Core PCE was up 0.1 percent from July to August, below the 0.2 percent expected. Core PCE excludes volatile food and energy readings.

What's the bottom line? Rising inflation reduces the value of fixed investments like Mortgage Bonds and can cause home loan rates to rise. This means that low inflation often comes hand in hand with low home loan rates. The reverse can also be true.

I'll continue to monitor economic reports closely, but if you have any immediate questions about home loan rates, please call or email today.

 
 
  Autumn Infestation Prevention  
     
 

With cooler weather approaching, the inside of a warm house is just as appealing to insects and other pests as it is to you and your family. A few quick home inspections and preventative measures can help you manage beetles, spiders, ants, roaches and more without harmful chemicals.

Check mesh screening for holes or tears around windowsills, doorjambs and chimneys, and the dryer damper where spiders and other insects can either enter or nest.

Inspect the roof for missing or torn shingles, which can be a sneaky entry point for many pests. Rain gutters should be cleared of decaying plant material that can house insects.

Add or repair old door sweeps at the bottom of outside entry doors where crawling insects can squeeze between the threshold and doorjamb. While you're down there, look for cracks where door and window casings meet the siding and repair with sealant.

Look underneath siding at the foundation using a handheld mirror. Mark any gaps with a piece of masking tape, and then make another sweep to close them with sealant.

Rake mulch and soil away from the foundation, basement window frames or close-to-ground siding. Turn mulch to help keep dampness down. Trim trees, vines and bushes that come into contact with the house, eliminating another pathway for bugs.

Dehumidify and remove webs in the basement. Maintain a 40 percent humidity level and sweep cobwebs as soon as they appear to keep spiders under control.

Rinse out trashcans and recycling bins every few weeks. Also rinse recyclable jars, soda cans and other food packaging before placing them in the bin. Old newspaper, cardboard and boxes are warm materials for burrowing bugs and rodents, so don't store them.

These simple inspections can help safeguard your home and keep major infestations at bay.

Source: The Family Handyman

 
 
  Q&A: Sponge Sanitation  
     
 

QUESTION: Is microwaving or dishwashing kitchen sponges the best way to get rid of bacteria?

ANSWER: Microwaving kitchen sponges or running them through a dishwasher cycle in order to kill bacteria and odor seems to make sense. However, a recent German university study found microwaving only killed around 60 percent of bacteria, and in some cases, both methods allowed other bacteria to proliferate.

The Good Housekeeping Institute also tested ways to sanitize kitchen sponges. According to their findings, soaking sponges weekly for at least five minutes in a mixture of 3/4 cup of bleach to one gallon of water was the most effective cleansing method. Used sponges should also be replaced every few weeks.

Source: Good Housekeeping

 
 

Equal Housing Lender