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Economic News Week: September 3, 2012
SWBC Mortgage
Wednesday, September 5, 2012 • Posted September 7, 2012

The Dow ended the week at 13090.84 only after calming words from fed Chief Ben Bernanke said he and his Fed buddies were ready to buy more bonds if needed in order to keep the U.S. economy from faltering again. I do not see any major stock weakness on the horizon. The positive news of the markets does keep flowing in, especially after we saw that factory orders to U.S. companies rose 2.8 percent in July last week, reflecting a surge in demand for autos and commercial aircraft. Reports that the U.S. economy rose only 1.7 percent in the April-June quarter was better than expected. A group of retailers, ranging from Target to department store chain Macy’s, reported last Thursday that August sales rose 6 percent—the industries best performance since March—according to a trade group’s survey. The government released numbers showing Americans spent in July at the fastest pace in five monthes-0.4 percent. The Commerce department reported that personal income grew 0.3 percent, matching gains from May and June. Jobless claims remained flat for the week for Americans seeking first time claims. Finally, this may be a “day late and a dollar short”, but the President gave Shell the go ahead last week to launch drilling in Artic waters immediately.

Real Estate, Mortgage Industry, and Other Economic News

San Antonio sales tax growth from January through June averaged 11.1 percent, a historic high for year-to-year growth. Travis Tullos , an economist with Texas Perspectives Inc., prepared the report. Texas remains the strongest economy in the U.S. among large states, especially now with the Eagle Ford Shale and all it entails. Not only is oil and gas boosting area employment, it also has a spill over impact on incomes and spending among suppliers and other industries, Mr. Tullos said recently. School districts have been searching for bus drivers as some have left for higher paying jobs in South Texas’ oil and gas fields.

U.S. home prices rose in June from the same month last year, the first year-over-year increase since the summer of 2010, according to a report in the S.A. Express News. The article continued to state that the increase is the latest evidence of a developing recovery in the housing market. One economist-Jonathon Basile with Credit Suisse- said rising home prices should improve sales in coming months. “News of rising home prices should start convincing prospective home sellers that it’s not just a buyer’s market,” he said. Freddie Mac reported last week that Mortgage rates dipped slightly. The 30-year fixed rate dropped to 3.59 percent, down from 3.66 percent the week before. This is the first decline in the last few weeks as rates remain at historic low levels such as this, topped with home prices on the rise-makes for an improving housing market.

I have said this before, if you are looking to buy a home, please find a Local Realtor and Mortgage Loan Officer to help guide you with the process. With the ever-changing Real Estate laws, Mortgage loan programs, and processes, etc., it just makes sense to find someone “local” who can offer you a “consultative approach” for the home-buying process. When interviewing for Realtors and Loan Officers, ask questions such as, “How much experience do you have?” And ask, “How long have you worked for your current Employer?”. Be sure and ask for references as well. Beware of folks who refer you ‘outside’ the area you are buying for a Realtor and/or Mortgage Loan Officer. Then ask that person as to why they would refer you to someone outside your buying area? What’s in it for them? With all of the Real Estate and Mortgage fraud in the past, the last thing you want is to deal with someone you don’t trust or even know. Wherever you are buying your home, wouldn’t you rather deal with a person who is from the area and knows the area? Believe me- it makes for a smoother process. It’s almost like the Pace Picante Hot Sauce commercial a few years back when the cowboys sitting around the campfire got angry and exclaimed (after finding out the hot sauce was not from Texas), “New York City!” Now find a Local Realtor and Mortgage Loan Officer. Good luck house hunting!

(This article is for informational purposes only. Do not use it as financial advice. Information for this article include , but not limited to, The Wall Street Journal, S.A. Express News, Boerne Hill Country Weekly. For questions/comments contact Tony Stevenson at 1.800.460.6990 or email: tstevenson@swbc.com)

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