June 08, 2011
Tennessee Real Estate
"Is the glass half empty... or half full?" That question is one many people are debating when it comes to our economy - yes, the economy is still sluggish... but the slow recovery has helped home loan rates improve. So what developed last week...and what was the impact on home loan rates? Letís take a deeper look.
First, on the inflation front: 6.8%...that's the current year-over-year rate of Producer or Wholesale inflation. And that is hot - very hot! And while Producer or Wholesale inflation doesn't always get passed onto the consumer as evidenced by the relatively benign Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation readings, at some point one of two things must happen.
Businesses who are burdened with increased costs must pass the increase to the consumer by raising prices, thus boosting consumer inflation.
If businesses arenít in a position to raise prices because of weak consumer demand, they must absorb the increased costs...thereby lowering earnings and the ability to expand, thus furthering the present slow economic growth. The takeaway here: One of the Fed's goals for their second round of Quantitative Easing (QE2) was to create inflation and avoid deflation in the hopes of strengthening our economic recovery. It appears that they have been somewhat successful in this goal, as the risks for deflation have somewhat abated. But remember, inflation is the arch enemy of Bonds and home loan rates. If inflation continues to heat up, this could hinder further improvement in home loan rates.
Itís also important to note that inflation in China is also on the rise, and inflation abroad becomes inflation here in the US as we import so many items from China. China's buying of our debt has helped keep our home loan rates relatively low for a long time. Home loan rates would likely move higher if China not only slows buying, but were to start selling some of their near $900 Billion worth of U.S. government debt holdings.
And speaking of our debt, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are increasingly dismissive of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's warnings that Congress must raise the debt limit prior to August 2nd or risk economic "catastrophe." This will be an important development to watch in the weeks to come.
The bottom line is that, on the glass half full side of things, home loan rates still remain near some of the best levels weíve seen this year. If you have been thinking about purchasing or refinancing a home, call or email me to learn more about why now is a great time to benefit from todayís historically low rates. Or forward this newsletter on to someone you know who may benefit.