Yo Yo Car Sales – when financing a used car consider using your bank or credit union instead of the dealer. If the dealer is ‘unable’ to sell your loan on the secondary market the contract allows them to repossess the car. At this point they might have already sold your trade-in. Some states have enacted legislation against this practice.
Mortgage Rates increased for the third consecutive week as the price of Mortgaged Backed Securities (MBS) continues to degrade. Rates are up approximately 2.625% from this time last year.
New Construction – housing starts declined by 4.5% in January to a 1.3M annualized pace. Starts are down 21% year over year. Single family starts are down 27% year over year on pace for 840K units. This means supply will continue to be tight over the next couple of years.
Inflation – the Producer Price Index report showed that producer inflation increased 0.7% in January. It is up 6% year over year which is down from the previous report of 6.5%. The core rate, which strips out food and energy, is up 5.4% year over year which is a moderation from last month’s 5.8% reading. This peaked last march at 9.7%. The Consumer Pirce Index increased by 0.5% in January and is up 6.4% year over year, a slight improvement of 0.1% from last month’s reading.
Freight – the Cass Freight Index showed that both shipping and expenditure declined 3.2% last month. This is a deflationary indicator that points to supply chains returning to normal capacity.
Mortgage Applications to purchase homes fell 6% last week and are down 43% year over year. Refinances declined by 13% last week and are down 76% from this time last year.