Both mortgage rates and applications jump

This morning the benchmark 30-year mortgage jumped eleven basis points and came in at 4.15%.  Likewise, mortgage applications also increased almost five percent from week over week reporting.  As the economy continues to pick up steam consumers can expect to see rates increase accordingly as they are cyclical in nature and move based on a variety of economic factors.

Also, it is noted consumer confidence has improved.  Combined with the heralded tax cut and the recent announcement of companies providing bonuses to employees, the result is more household cash to work with.  Some analyst caution the giddiness being reported about the bonuses and cuts.  Just this morning Home Depot joined the list of companies who will provide bonuses to eligible staff to the tune of up to $1,000.  For most, the additional cash might seem like a great windfall but in the larger picture higher interest rates or higher cost of goods will reduce perceived savings.

Short term gain, long-term loss

Could the tax cuts touted by Donald Trump be another one of his “slight of hand” hustles?   Throwing a bone to average people, while he and his elite group escape with the real riches?

Let, take a look.  As an example, assuming a mortgage of $200,000, prior to the tax cuts rates where around 3.90%.  Compared with today’s mortgage survey release of 4.15%, the difference is 25 basis points here is the bottom-line.


3.90% principal and interest  = $943

4.15% principal and interest = $972

The difference is a motley $29 per month which seems nominal.  However annually it is $348 and factoring seven years (which is the average time consumers keep their mortgage) the result is $2,436.  So, while the bonuses are great in today’s dollars, it is more than wiped out based on higher cost.


Short term gain, long-term loss

There is a long-standing political debate on what effect the tax cut has for the “average” family that typically lives paycheck?  No doubt in the capital society which we live in it is great to receive extra money such as bonuses or tax cuts, however the issue for many is sustainability or how long it will last?


The jump is interest rates is one sign attributed to the increase in mortgage applications.  On one hand consumers may have extra money but on the other hand those who are in the market for a refinance or new mortgage realize any delay in making an application or locking in a rate may subject themselves to higher movement or additional cost to their budget.

The mortgage rates which are reflected are from the Freddie Mac weekly rate survey.  The mortgage application data is from the Mortgage Bankers Association from the “Mortgage Application Weekly Survey.”

Rate recap

January 25, 2018

30-Yr FRM 15-Yr FRM 5/1-Yr ARM
Average Rates 4.15% 3.62% 3.52%
Fees & Points 0.5 0.5 0.4
Margin N/A N/A 2.75

Mortgage rates climb above 4%

For the first time in eight months mortgage rates have climbed above the 4% threshold.  The news was expected as financial markets continue to post positive numbers including improved business and consumer confidence.

Lenders who fund mortgage applications typically offer rates in a range based on various factors.  Today’s report is from Freddie Mac’s primary market rate survey.  It is the industry standard used to gauge rates and the data is compiled from a sample of lenders who sell their closed mortgage loans on the secondary market.  This week’s rate is 4.04% and is based on the benchmark thirty-year mortgage.


While mortgage rates inched higher they stil make home ownership affordable.  At the same time consumers realize timing is everything and as overall economic conditions improve, increases may be the result.


Current snapshot of rates

January 18, 2018

30-Yr FRM 15-Yr FRM 5/1-Yr ARM
Average Rates 4.04% 3.49% 3.46%
Fees & Points 0.6 0.5 0.3
Margin N/A N/A 2.74

source:  Freddie Mac Rate Survey

2018 Kingdom Day Parade – a few images

[Los Angeles, CA]   Known as a great city in a huge desert people can count on Los Angeles to offer dry weather.  Such was the case as the nation commemorated Rev., Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday on Monday, January 15th.

Organizers of the Kingdom Day Parade delivered another great event which was well received by the community.  In addition to the hundreds of thousands who lined MLK boulevard to see the event live, over 3 million watched on local channel 7 affiliate, KABC-TV.


Here are a few images from the successful parade.





The next big event honoring Dr. King will be the 50th Commemoration of his assassination

Los Angeles prepares to lead the way celebrating Dr. King

In just a few days the nation will be honoring the birthday of Rev., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.    On Monday, January 15th in what would have been the 89th birthday of Dr. King, Los Angeles will once again be a leading city as it showcases its 33rd Kingdom Parade.  Actually, starting in 1981 in San Diego, the parade was morphed into the Kingdom Day Parade in 1985.  In addition to the hundreds of thousands who will be lining MLK Blvd., nearly 3 million are expected to watch the parade as KABC-TV will once again broadcast the parade live starting at 11:00am.


2018 is a special year when Dr. King’s name is mentioned, as it marks the 50th commemoration of his assassination and many are planning to be in Memphis on April 4th to pay their respect.

(c) fredyt123 photo – all rights reserved


To recognize the significance of the Kingdom Day Parade, Senator Kamala Harris will be the Grand Marshall.  Her selection has been met with enthusiasm as many view her as a dynamic politic figure worthy of honoring Dr. King.

United States Senator Kamala Harris – 2018 Kingdom Day Parade Grand Marshall

More information


Trump administration comes up short on first jobs report of 2018

The Trump administration woke up this morning knowing many eyes and ears would be focused on Michael Wolff’s scathing new book “Fire and Fury.”  In the past several days regardless of how they have attempted to dismiss it as full of crap, fake news or otherwise unreliable, their strategy has backfired as even with the bitter cold in the east coast, the public is snatching up the book in record numbers.

Customer at book store in D.C. Photo credit ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)


Many supporters of Donald Trump and his administration cry foul that the media refuses to focus on all of the great things they are accomplishing.  The problem with that narrative is perhaps more focus would be given on accomplishments and positive news if Trump and his administration didn’t have so many self-inflicted issues which become newsworthy, thus journalist and reporters have an ethical obligation to report that, as well of other issues of the presidency!


The book Fire and Fury is just one example that is blocking great news such as the soaring stock market.  The other may be the January jobs report which was released this morning by the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).   Unfortunately, the 148,000 jobs reported in December fell 42,000 short of projections.  While the news is not alarming or worthy of concern, it does present an awkward sign for a person such as Trump who likes to boast of his success


The reduction in numbers have been attributed to the decline of jobs in the retail sector.


“A little bit of a disappointment when you only get 2,000 jobs out of the government and get retail at the absolute busiest time of the year losing 20,000 jobs. It just goes to show the true struggle that traditional brick and mortar is having now,” said JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.


Just today while discussing President Trump, nationally acclaimed journalist David Gregory reported on CNN, “He is his own worst enemy.”

One more critical point and indicative of Donald Trump’s communication style is this afternoon on his way to Camp David but taking time to have an impromptu chat with the media belted out, “the jobs report released this morning is good.”  A perflexing comment when you compare January 2016 data while President Obama was in office as the numbers were 151,000 but better than the 148,000!

“Never apologize, never back down, never admit you were wrong, use every means possible toward achieving your ends,” Donald Trump as private citizen

Read the full BLS report HERE