Podcasts – we released our first episode of Portland Real Estate Investing Podcast. We interviewed local realtor, investor, and registered nurse Ben Samson in his SE Portland ADU. He renovated his detached garage himself to be able to host a Short Term Rental in his back yard. The goal of this podcast is to help show the value of investing in Real Estate early, that you don’t need to be wealthy or established to invest, and to excite younger/new investors about Real Estate investing by sharing our mistakes and successes.

Mortgage Rates moved sideways last weeks as the price of Mortgage Backed Securities declined marginally. Over the weekend the Fed hinted that they would be doing a 0.75% rate hike instead of the expected 1.0% rate hike and MBS responded negatively to that. Mortgage rates are up approximately 2.6% from this time last year.

Housing – MBS Highway’s housing index which surveys 3,000 real estate professionals from across the country showed that buyer activity is still strong and 37% of sales are getting multiple offers.

Inflation – the Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures wholesale inflation and is the Fed’s favorite index, rose 1.1% in June which was hotter than expectations. Year over year the PPI is up 11.3% but if you strip out food and energy the core rate actually decreased from 8.3% to 8.2%. The consumer price index is down 0.1% to 5.9% year over year on the core rate.

Freight – the amount of money spent on freight in the US fell 4.9% in in May. The volume of shipments actually increased, but shipping rates are down nearly 10%. Year over year expenditures are still up 28% – down from 31% in April. These numbers are predicted to decline in the following months as the year over year and month over month comparisons will be tougher.

Jobs – the number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time increased by 9,000 to 244,000 after being relatively flat for the previous 5 weeks. The four-week moving average is now at the highest level since December. Initial Jobless claims can lead to higher unemployment rates and the index can be considered a “canary in the coal mine” for recessionary periods.

Loan Performance – in April 2.9% of loans were delinquent, down nearly 2% on a year over year basis. The percentage of homes in foreclosures is at 0.3% (remember that approximately 2/3s of homes are mortgaged) which has remained at multi-decade lows. Loans are performing well and are protected by record levels of equity.

Mortgage Applications – to purchase homes declined by 3.6% last week and are down 18% year over year. Refinances are down 80% year over year and make up approximately 31% of transactions.

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