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The Ritter Team Blog

Phoenix AZ Market Update

Phoenix AZ Market Update

Ricky Khamis
Branch Manager
AmeriFirst Financial, Inc.
1550 E McKellips Rd, Ste 117
Mesa, AZ 85203
NMLS #: 173141
  In This Issue...    
Last Week in Review: A lackluster September Jobs Report helped Mortgage Bonds and home loan rates remain near historic bests.

Forecast for the Week: Investors will dissect the Fed's September meeting minutes in this light economic report week.

View: Don't be tethered to a phone contract. Pay for the phone instead.
  Last Week in Review    
Phoenix AZ Market Update
  "It's raining. It's pouring." The weather across much of the country wasn't the only soggy news in recent days, as September's Jobs Report was an unexpected stinker.

A disappointing 142,000 new jobs were created in September, well below the 205,000 expected. The numbers for July and August also were revised sharply lower, indicating this summer's performance was worse than originally thought.

Average hourly earnings were down from the previous month, while the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) also fell to 62.4 percent, the lowest since October 1977. This was due to 350,000 Americans dropping out of the labor force the month before. The LFPR measures the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one, and it should be moving higher in a recovery.

Analysts credit slowing global economies for the negative undercurrent here at home. U.S. factories are being hit especially hard, eliminating 9,000 jobs in September and 18,000 in August, according to the Labor Department.

If there is a bright side to the report, it's that the Unemployment Rate held steady at 5.1 percent. Also the U6 number, which includes anyone who wants a full-time job but can't find one, fell to 10 percent, the lowest since June 2008. The disappointing report did help Mortgage Bonds improve, which in turn benefitted home loan rates.

In housing news, home prices continued to rise in July. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed a 5 percent annual gain, which was in line with expectations. The index has risen at a rate of 4 percent or higher since September 2012. Overall, home prices continue to appreciate at normal levels.

The Federal Reserve will need to see strong, sustainable growth in the labor market and elsewhere before any decision is made to raise its benchmark Fed Funds Rate, which is the rate banks use when lending money to each other overnight. Many analysts believe an increase is off the table now until spring.

The key takeaway is that home loan rates remain near historic lows. If you have any questions at all about rates, the mortgage market or housing, please let me know.
  Phoenix AZ Market Update  
  Forecast for the Week    
Phoenix AZ Market Update
Economic reports are few this week, but investors will be looking to dissect the release of the Fed's September meeting minutes.
  • On Monday, look for the ISM Services Index, which is a survey of purchasing executives in several industries.
  • The usual weekly Initial Jobless Claims will be released Thursday.
  • Thursday also brings the September Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes.
Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve. In contrast, strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond on which home loan rates are based.

When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving—and when they are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.

To go one step further—a red "candle" means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green "candle" means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes are on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.

As you can see in the chart below, slow global growth, the recent decline in Stock markets and a weak September Jobs Report have pushed Mortgage Bond prices near 2015 highs. This, in turn, has kept home loan rates near historic lows.
Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday Oct 02, 2015)
Japanese Candlestick Chart
  The Mortgage Market Guide View...    
Phoenix AZ Market Update
New Smartphone Math: Pay for Your Phone, Save on Your Plan
Don't hesitate to ditch your contract, especially when it means keeping money in your pocket.
By Kaitlin Pitsker,

In recent years, wireless carriers have vied for smartphone market share by offering flexibility: no-contract, lower-price service plans for customers willing to pay full price for a phone. Now, with nearly every cell phone user a smartphone user, providers are applying that model to all their plans, eliminating the hefty subsidies that longtime customers relied on to knock hundreds off the price of a phone. "The market was based on subsidies for such a long time that the U.S. consumer might think the price of the latest iPhone is $200," says Brad Akyuz, a director at NPD Group, a market research company. You may no longer be tethered to a two-year contract, but you'll pay the retail price for your new smartphone, either up front or in monthly installments.

T-Mobile led the charge in the spring of 2013, when it discontinued two-year contracts. The other three major U.S. carriers—AT&T, Sprint and Verizon—responded with similar, voluntary programs. But in August, Sprint announced that it was eliminating long-term contracts, and Verizon said it would eliminate long-term contracts for all new customers. (AT&T recently stopped offering contracts for sales made at third-party stores.)

How the new plans work. Will the imminent death of the two-year contract and subsidies cost you more or save you money in the long run? That will largely depend on how often you upgrade your device and how much data you use (most no-contract plans include unlimited calling and texting).

You'll be able to upgrade immediately or end service with your current carrier by paying off the remaining balance on the phone. If you forgo another upgrade, you can continue using your current phone and start seeing the benefits of the lower cost of service. The savings should be about $15 to $25 a month, says Logan Abbott, president of, a Web site that compares phone plans. So if you continue using a paid-off phone for even one more year, you'll save $180 to $300.

Let's say you're ready to upgrade to an iPhone 6. With both Sprint's and Verizon's new plans, you'll pay $27 a month for two years for the 16-gigabyte model, which retails for $650. Sprint charges $20 a month for 1GB of data (and as much as $100 for 10GB), plus a $15 to $25 monthly fee per smartphone to access the service. Verizon's data plans start at $30 a month for 1GB of data (and run as high as $80 for 12GB), plus a $20-per-month line access fee. That's a price break compared with the older contract option: roughly $200 for the phone up front, plus $90 a month, including $50 for service (calls, texts and data) and typically a $25 or $40 access fee.

What you should do now. Whether or not your contract has expired, talk to your mobile carrier about your options. For example, if you are an existing Verizon customer whose contract is up, you may either opt for a no-contract plan or renew your two-year contract and upgrade your device with a subsidy. (If you switch to a no-contract plan before your contract is up, you'll pay an extra $20 a month per line until the contract would have expired.) Bottom line: It's a good time to re-shop your service, says Akyuz. "Some plans are really appealing," he says. "And you gain the freedom to go with another carrier if you see a better deal in a year or so."
Reprinted with permission. All Contents ©2015 The Kiplinger Washington

Economic Calendar for the Week of October 05 - October 09
Economic Report
Mon. October 05
ISM Services Index
Thu. October 08
Jobless Claims (Initial)
Thu. October 08
FOMC Minutes
The material contained in this newsletter has been prepared by an independent third-party provider. The content is provided for use by real estate, financial services and other professionals only and is not intended for consumer distribution. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, there is no guarantee it is without errors.
As your mortgage professional, I am sending you the MMG WEEKLY because I am committed to keeping you updated on the economic events that impact interest rates and how they may affect you.
Mortgage Market Guide, LLC is the copyright owner or licensee of the content and/or information in this email, unless otherwise indicated. Mortgage Market Guide, LLC does not grant to you a license to any content, features or materials in this email. You may not distribute, download, or save a copy of any of the content or screens except as otherwise provided in our Terms and Conditions of Membership, for any purpose.

AmeriFirst Financial, Inc., 1550 E. McKellips Road, Suite 117, Mesa, AZ  85203 (NMLS # 145368). 1-877-276-1974. Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved. This is not an offer to enter into an agreement.  Not all customers will qualify.  Information, rates, and programs are subject to change without prior notice. All products are subject to credit and property approval. Not all products are available in all states or for all loan amounts. Other restrictions and limitations apply. AZ: Arizona Mortgage Banker License No. BK0013635; CA: Licensed by The Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act; CO: Regulated by the Division of Real Estate; WA: Washington Consumer Loan Company License No. CL-145368. AmeriFirst Financial, Inc. is an independent mortgage lender and is not affiliated with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).


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