Green. Gold. Sold.

Market Tip of the Week from Nick Russo!
August 23, 2013

Yesterday Fed’s Fisher said the U.S. economy is strong enough to begin reducing the pace of QE. This morning, James Bullard and Dennis Lockhart said that tapering of QE III is data dependent and there should be no rush to begin to ease back on stimulus in September. The headlines pushed Mortgage Bonds into positive territory. This is good news for rates but with rates currently at a 2 year High it is important to consider the long term risk of rates continuing to climb. Yesterday Nasdaq shut down because of computer related issues for over 2 hours. This does not build confidence in Traders. With the bond market improving my current recommendation for existing clients is to float and allow the rates to improve. Have a great weekend.

Builder Confidence in the 55+ Housing Market Shows Significant Improvement in Second Quarter
August 14, 2013

RISMEDIA, Monday, August 12, 2013— Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market for single-family homes showed strong continued improvement in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the same period a year ago, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) latest 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. The index increased 24 points to a level of 53, which is the highest second-quarter number since the inception of the index in 2008 and the seventh consecutive quarter of year over year improvements. “Builders and developers for the 55+ housing sector are feeling optimistic as they are seeing more consumers return to the marketplace,” says Robert Karen, chairman of NAHB’s 50+ Housing Council and managing member of the Symphony Development Group. “With existing home prices rising, consumers are able to sell their current homes and make the move toward either purchasing a home or renting an apartment that is designed to more specifically suit their lifestyle.” There are separate 55+ HMIs for two segments of the 55+ housing market: single-family homes and multifamily condominiums. Each 55+ HMI measures builder sentiment based on a survey that asks if current sales, prospective buyer traffic and anticipated six-month sales for that market are good, fair or poor (high, average or low for traffic). An index number below 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as poor than good. All of the components of the 55+ single-family HMI showed major growth from a year ago: present sales climbed 24 points to 54, expected sales for the next six months increased 25 points to 60 and traffic of prospective buyers rose 26 points to 48. The 55+ multifamily condo HMI posted a substantial gain of 24 points to 43, which is the highest second-quarter reading since the inception of the index. All 55+ multifamily condo HMI components increased compared to a year ago as present sales rose 26 points to 44, expected sales for the next six months climbed 26 points to 46 and traffic of prospective buyers rose 19 points to 38. The 55+ multifamily rental indices also showed strong gains in the second quarter as present production increased 19 points to 50, expected future production rose 20 points to 52, current demand for existing units climbed 20 points to 62 and future demand increased 21 points to 63. “The 55+ HMI for single-family homes almost doubled from a year ago,” says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Sentiment in other segments of the 55+ market housing was strong as well. This is consistent with the increase in builder confidence we’ve seen in other NAHB surveys recently. At this point, the main challenge for builders in many parts of the country is finding enough buildable lots in desirable locations and workers with the necessary skill set to respond to the increased demand.” For more information, visit

Looking for a great 55+ Community in Hampton Roads? Look no further than Monarch Walk in Chesapeake!

Monarch Walk - Chesapeake
Monarch Walk - Chesapeake

Applications for New Home Sales Increase in July 2013
August 12, 2013

RISMEDIA, Monday, August 12, 2013— MBA’s Builder Application Survey data for July 2013 shows that mortgage applications for new home purchases increased by 14 percent relative to the previous month. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns. By product type, conventional loans composed 66.5 percent of loan applications, FHA loans composed 17.7 percent, RHS/USDA loans composed 1.3 percent and VA loans composed 14.5 percent. The average loan size of new homes increased from $283,111 in June to $288,382 in July. Utilizing information from the BAS, as well as assumptions regarding market coverage and other factors, MBA estimates that sales of new single-family homes were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000 in July 2013. On an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimates that there were 43,000 new home sales in July 2013. MBA’s Builder Application Survey tracks application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of home builders across the country. Utilizing this data, as well as data from other sources, MBA is able to provide an early estimate of new home sales volumes at the national, state, and metro level. This data also provides information regarding the types of loans used by new home buyers. Official new home sales estimates are conducted by the Census Bureau on a monthly basis. In that data, new home sales are recorded at contract signing, which is typically coincident with the mortgage application. For more information, visit