The Housing Market Update and the 2019 Beige Book Release

sept 2019 graph beige book

Mortgage-backed securities lost just -5 basis points (BPS) from last Friday’s close which caused fixed mortgage rates to remain at their best (lowest) levels of 2019 for the sixth week in a row.

Overview: We had a solid round of domestic economic data with very strong ISM Services and a rock-solid jobs report on Friday. The Fed left the door open for a rate decrease in September but appears to be in the 1/4 point camp rather than the 1/2 point camp. Their commentary was actually fairly positive on our economy.

The Federal Reserve Beige Book.

This Beige Book is a report prepared by the United States Federal Reserve Board eight times a year. The report is a summary or a commentary on current economic conditions. The most recent release was on September 4th.

Beige Book Takeaways:

  • The Federal Reserve described the economic activity as “continuing to expand at a modest pace overall” with output generally stable and certainly not in need of urgent FED intervention.
  • Concerns regarding tariffs and trade policy uncertainty continued
  • Home sales remained constrained in the majority of districts due primarily to low inventory levels, and new home construction activity remained flat
  • Districts continued to report strong upward pressure on pay for entry-level and low-skill workers, as well as for technology, construction, and some professional services positions
  • On net, districts indicated modest price increases since the last report