AgentIndustry News

Greenspan smiles on housing

But next week's payroll, production reports likely to dump on economy

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Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages continued to hover near 5.5 percent for the lowest-fee packages. This week's economic data were overshadowed by the mega-reports due on Monday from the purchasing managers' association and next Friday's news of February payrolls. There may have been a predictive glimmer in the Conference Board's confirmation that consumer confidence fell hard in February, as confidence is heavily influenced by job market conditions. If that pattern holds, then February will have been another thin month for payrolls. Alan Greenspan had a big week. On Monday he told the world that the "...household sector seems to be in good shape..." and suggested that compared to adjustable-rate loans, "...the traditional fixed-rate mortgage may be an expensive method of financing a home..." Tuesday: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks have grown their balance sheets in an irresponsible way, and now pose "systemic risk." On Wednesday he said the best way to repa...