How the GOP Tax Bill Affects You (If You Own Real Estate)

12/23/2017 | Casey Fleming | Now that the ink is drying on the 2017 Tax Reform Act, you may be wondering if the GOP tax bill is going to affect you.  The answer is yes.  Since I write about real estate, and real estate financing in particular, I will cover aspects of the 2017 Tax...

Interest Rates and Inflation

10/16/17 | Casey Fleming | It’s been a while since I wrote about interest rates and inflation.  In the last six weeks rates have crept up about 0.250%.  Let’s talk about what happened. As you may recall, stocks and interest rates tend to move together most of the time.  This is because as stock prices...

Interest Rate Slide Continues

9/1/2017 | Casey Fleming  |  The last week of August brought us a continuation of the interest rate slide we’ve enjoyed this month, albeit with very small movement.  Last week I mentioned that this would be a busy week for economic reports.  The reports were mixed, as usual (see below) but a number of important...

Interest Rates Settle Down in August

I’ve written many times that interest rates jump up and settle down.  What I mean by that is that when news spooks the market investors and lenders immediately seek a higher yield to compensate for a sharp increase in perceived risk.  But when markets stabilize, competition invariably pushes interest rates down. August has given us...

Why Congress Can’t Sell Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

8/5/2017 | Casey Fleming | Politicians make a lot of hay talking about privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  These formerly private companies were taken over by the government under the Bush administration shortly after the financial crisis began. Depending on whom you believe, the purpose was either to put a halt to irresponsible lending...

Richard Cordray to Leave CFPB?

7/21/2017 | Casey Fleming | Will Richard Cordray leave his post as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?  (The CFPB)  The CFPB, the brainchild of Elizabeth Warren which was created via the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, was designed to be independent of political influence.  That independence has meant that it...

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady in Mid-July

7/15/2017 | Casey Fleming |  Last week I predicted that underlying conditions (think wholesale interest rates) would probably improve during the week just ended, but that economic reports and announcements by Fed members carried too much risk for mortgage rates to improve much in mid-July.  I noted that we would probably see lock opportunities on...

Mortgage Rates Rise for the 4th of July

7/3/2016 | Casey Fleming  Last week I wrote that due to the holiday this week it would be likely that rates would begin to rise by Friday.  As it turns out, Thursday was the big day.  Underlying interest rates edged up ever so slightly Tuesday and Wednesday, and then moved more noticeably on Thursday.  Mortgage...

After the Feds: Mortgage Rates Want to Go Down

6/23/2017 | Casey Fleming The dust has settled, so we have been looking for clues as to what investors think about the Fed’s move, and how that will affect mortgage rates.  What we can conclude is that either the move was a yawner (we knew that the Fed move was expected) or that investors simply...

Anticipation: Will the Feds Raise Interest Rates?

6/13/2017 | Casey Fleming Last week I wrote that we were almost certainly going to see the Feds raise short-term rates when they meet this week on Wednesday, June 14th. I predicted that mortgage rates would rise starting Thursday in anticipation of what the market would do in response to whatever action the Feds took. If...