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Mark Hemingway

Mortgage Market Update for December 21st

Friday, December 22, 2017 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC - Message

Economic growth remained solid in the third quarter of 2017, spurred on by robust business spending that was well above the weak levels experienced at the beginning of the year. The final read on third quarter Gross Domestic Product rose 3.2%, just above the 3.1% from second quarter. However, within the report it showed that consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of economic activity, rose 2.2%, down from 3.3% in the second quarter. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period. It is considered the broadest measure of economic activity.

Home price gains continue to make the headlines as low mortgage rates, a strong U.S. economy and low inventories of homes for sale continue to drive prices higher. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reports that its October Home Price Index (HPI) rose 0.5% from September. On an annual basis, prices jumped 6.6%. The FHFA monthly HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

With the Christmas holiday on Monday, many Americans will travel to their destinations between now and January 1. Motor club AAA says that more than 107.3 million Americans are predicted to travel between December 23 and January 1, which would be a new record and the ninth consecutive year of increased year-end travel. In addition, AAA says about 97.4 million people are expected to travel by car, 6.4 million people will take plane rides and 3.6 million others will travel by train, bus, rails and cruise ships. Just remember, if you travel via automobile, be sure to have an emergency kit that consists of a flashlight with extra batteries, jumper cables, first aid kits, water, nonperishable food items, matches, blankets and warning devices. Your car should also have an ice scraper and a small shovel in case you get stuck in snow.

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