Repo Market? Rates increase Slightly, Strong Housing Reports

What is the ‘Repo’ market? – recently the Repo market has been in the news a lot as the Fed intervened in mid-September when funds dried up. Repo is short for repurchase. When banks are short on cash they borrow from other banks for a short period of time while they cash in US Treasury Bonds and then “repurchase” the debt + interest (whatever the Fed Funds rate is). In September the Fed stepped in as a cash lender and purchased lots of treasuries from banks. Banks were short cash for a variety of reasons including: strict governmental liquidity requirements and a plethora of Treasury Bonds being issued.

Rates – increased slightly as the 10 Year US Treasury maintained a narrow, horizontally inclined, trading pattern. If we see a convincing move above 1.8% we could easily see another increase in rates similar to the one in mid October.

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Appreciation – continues to look strong on single family homes with conforming loan amounts (< $484,350). Values are up 4.6% from last year nationwide with the strongest growth seen in the Mountain Region.

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Home Sales – in September were slower than August (which recorded a 17-month high) but are still up almost 4% from September of 2018. The Median home price of $272,000 is up nearly 6% year-over-year. Inventory has declined by 2.7% year-over-year. The housing market is still looking strong in the face of higher prices and lower inventory.

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