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Joe Shamie

Week in Review 10/12/09

Monday, October 12, 2009 - Article by: Joe Shamie - First Choice Loan Services - Message

"LISTEN TO WHAT THE MAN SAID." And those aren't just the words from Paul McCartney's hit song of the same title...they're also words of advice for anyone who's considering buying a home or refinancing. Last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that as the economy heals, the Fed will be very vigilant to protect against inflation. While inflation is not a problem at will most certainly become a problem down the road. So why does this matter if you are considering purchasing or refinancing? Because inflation is the arch-enemy of Bonds and home loan rates, and just the knowledge of it coming has been causing both Bonds and home loan rates to worsen in recent days. Along with the fear of inflation, the Fed's purchasing program of Mortgage Backed Securities is already slowing down, with the end of their buying in sight - and the reduced demand for these Bonds is also driving home loan rates higher.

Bottom line: home loan rates are already on the rise, and we won't likely see these low historic levels again.

Interest rates are still very near historic lows - George Washington couldn't have gotten a better interest rate - and the opportunity these low rates present is huge for homebuyers or people looking to refinance. If we haven't talked recently about your own home loan situation - or if you have a friend, family member, neighbor or coworker who needs advice - please call or send me an email. There's no time to waste.

On the topic of inflation - Gold has been on a tear higher of late, reaching a record high of $1048 an ounce. Remember that Gold is seen as a "safe harbor" or hedge against a falling Dollar and inflation - as Gold is not likely to lose much value in periods of rising prices. Again, fears of future inflation are pervasive, particularly in light of the massive economic stimulus that has been injected into the US economy...and inflation will drive home loan rates higher. The latest spike in Gold is more likely attributable to the Dollar's recent decline, but both factors are somewhat at play.

Also last week, the Initial Jobless Claims Report came in better than expected. According to the report, 521,000 new applications for unemployment benefits were received. That number was lower than the 540,000 that were expected, and marked the fewest number of new claims since the first week in January. However, that good news must be tempered by a look at the big picture...the reality is that despite a better-than-expected number, more than half a million people per week are still applying for new unemployment benefits. That's a sign that the labor market is still very weak. In fact, just last week former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan also commented that he sees unemployment rising beyond 10%.

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