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Economic News Week: August 6, 2012
SWBC Mortgage
Wednesday, August 8, 2012 • Posted August 10, 2012

The DOW rose sharply on Friday just after the government reported a big jump in hiring in July, even though the U.S. Unemployment rate rose slightly to 8.3%. For the week, the DOW was up 20.51 points as it closed at 13096.17. U.S. service companies, which employ 90 percent of Americans, grew at a slightly faster pace in July. The ISM (Institute Supply Management) reported last Friday that its index of nonmanufacturing activity picked up last month with a reading of 52.6 percent which was an improvement from June’s reading of 52.1. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. As the U.S. employment rate rose to 8.3%, the U.S. economy did generate jobs last month-and at the fastest pace since February, a sign that it is resilient enough to pull out of a midyear slump and grow modestly as the rest of the world slows down. The 163,000 jobs employers added in July ended three months of weak hiring, which caused Wall Street to jump in the positive way it did. After the jobs numbers came out, you can bet the Fed will not take any new action, as it said last week, but will keep benchmark short-term interest rates at a record low-near zero until at least 2014.

Real Estate, Mortgage Industry, and Other Economic News

Home sales increased and prices rose across Texas, a report by the Texas Association of Realtors said recently. The median price of a Texas home rose to 7.5 percent to reach $161,400 in April, May, and June. According to the quarterly report, sales also rose 13 percent better than this time last year in 2011. “There were fairly universal increases in all of the markets,” said James Gaines, research economist with the Texas A&M Real Estate Center. San Antonio home sales were up 4% and Austin’s sales were up an impressive 21 percent. Mr. Gaines projects that the San Antonio market will see sales return to the same volume of 2008, with around 19,500 homes sold this year.

The average U.S. rate on the 30 year fixed rate index rose to 3.55 percent. I think that those who have not taken advantage of refinancing have the misconstrued idea that it is a hard process. There is some truth to that, but the following is a short list that you will need to begin the loan process whether you are buying or refinancing: 1. If you are buying, find a Local Realtor as a buyer’s agent. 2. Then find a Local Mortgage Loan Officer. 3. If you are refinancing, repeat number 2. I realize this is not the information you expected in this article,which I have provided in the past. However, the importance I am emphasizing is that you need only find a “Local” Realtor and/or Loan Officer. They will provide you with the guidance you need. The Realtor’s job is to help you find the home of your dreams and walk you through the purchase process. The Loan Officer’s job is to walk you through the loan process while explaining, in detail, all of your options and what you will need to provide in order to obtain loan financing. Of course, there is paperwork involved, but my intentions here are for you to know that there is someone here to help you with the largest purchase you will most likely make in your lifetime. Key word: LOCAL.

FYI…Don’t forget about the Blanco County Fair and Rodeo coming up August 18th and 19th. The Gillespie County Fair is the following weekend, August 24th-26th. In Boerne, the Kendall County Fair is Labor Day weekend. Loads of summer fun abound still in the Texas Hill Country.

(This article is for informational purposes only. Do not use it as financial advice. For questions/comments contact Tony Stevenson at 1.800.460.6990 or email: tstevenson@swbc.com)

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