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Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report: December 31, 2007

Road_coyoteHappy New Year Los Angeles!

Pay close attention to what Bob Ashby says here:

Mortgage bonds have been rallying since Bhutto was killed yesterday, all due to uncertainty about who will take control of the nuclear power there.  As is typical with uncertainty, there is a "flight to quality" which means bonds, including mortgage backed securities, benefit even when the fundamentals are lacking.

Is it madness?  Not really, just temporary insanity.


Roadrunner35 Thursday, I changed my recommendation to float all loans for this reason:

Expect a flight to safety (READ: Treasuries) from riskier assets. Mortgage bonds should benefit from this flight to safety trend during the Pakistan situation.  This could very well improve mortgage rates in the near term.   Be prepared to act quickly as this volatile situation changes.

What's wrong here? Most of my readers know that Robert Ashby and I are almost always reading from the same sheet of music.  Who's right?

Both of us are.  I said to "be prepared to act quickly" which means you need to keep checking back.  As quickly as rates improves, they will reverse course and start rising again.  It could happen tomorrow (Dec. 31) or on Wednesday (Jan 2) or soon thereafter. The anarchy in Pakistan is driving the lower mortgage rates.  When that's seems stable, it's time to lock.

Keep checking back.

Historian 4 Hire

Charlieportrait NELA locals will recognize Charles J. Fisher as a tireless advocate for historical preservation.  Charlie is a multiple-times past president of the Highland Park Heritage Trust. He was integral in establishing the Highland Park Historic Preservation Overlay Zone, participates in the Alliance of Historic Preservation Overlay Zones, and currently serves on the Highland Park HPOZ Board.

If you own an older home, you may have heard of the property tax relief via the Mills Act for owners of homes declared Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monuments.

Did you know that Charlie runs a small business called Historian 4 Hire that will assist you in obtaining the Historic Cultural Monument declaration, and in completing the Mills Act application?

OK.... So, this is a plug for Charlie's Historian 4 Hire business.  But, if you do need assistance in navigating the whole declaration/application process, you'll find Charlie is the best!

Old L.A. (Highland Park) Farmer's Market Report 12/17/07

Hello Highland Park!

Unfortunately, the Old L.A. (Highland Park) Farmers Market was rained out last week, so nothing to report. I'm very glad that we all got some much needed rain and started to build up the snow pack in the mountains. The farmers will need the water to irrigate their crops so they can continue to bring fresh, nutritious and beautiful produce to market for all of us.

Today is Christmas Eve. I wish all of you and your families a happy holiday and bright, fun, healthy new year!!

I'll resume market reports in January when the market is back and I'll need to cook some healthy meals full of fresh fruits and vegetables to battle the aftermath of the holiday indulgences.

See you soon,

Los Angeles Mortgage Rates Report: December 21, 2007

I've been telling my Los Angeles readers to lock their mortgage rates, at application, since November 14, 2007.  I don't want to repeat what I've been saying; you can read all of the background here.

I'll take a little break from my usual analysis and rely on some of the great mortgage bloggers to help me out.  Consider this collection of advice:

Robert Ashby in Florida:

You see, the Fed's favorite gauge on inflation is the PCE report.  You may have already known the Fed's "comfort zone" is between 1 and 2%. The last report, although with in the "comfort zone", ticked up from 1.8% to 1.9%.  It went virtually unnoticed since it was in the acceptable range and other economic data was relatively friendly for a Fed rate cut, which they ultimately did.

This morning, the most recent PCE data was released and guess what.  My warnings came to fruition.  The numbers released this morning showed year over year inflation at 2.2% (0.3% higher than the last report) and that should be making the Fed "uncomfortable" now.

Dan Green in Cincinnati:

I am predicting that rates will increase over the next 30 days, but that doesn't mean you should necessarily follow my advice when choosing whether to lock a rate, or float it.  My advice may not be appropriate for your individual situation.

From the survey:

"Mortgage rates came down last month on recession fears. They'll move up this month on inflation fears."

Markets were caught leaning the wrong way on inflation and the adjustments may be painful.

Rhonda Porter in Seattle:

And today is not over.   We could very well have other price changes.   If you're looking at refinancing your ARM into a fixed rate, it's time to get off the fence. Waiting could prove to be an expensive decision.   Especially considering we have 30 year fixed rates under 6%, underwriting guidelines are in a tightening phase, credit score pricing for prime a-paper loans are going into effect with more lenders every day and products continue to be discontinued.

I'm not alone.  There's a whole bunch of risk out there by floating mortgage rates.  Lock your loan at application.  Get a written lock confirmation from the loan originator with a specific rate lock expiration date.

NELA Flickr Groups

There are several Northeast Los Angeles groups on   If you love taking photos of the local community, you might want to consider joining Flickr and sharing your photos, too.

Highland Park:

Highland Park, Eagle Rock and Pasadena:

Mt. Washington:

Glassell Park:

The Arroyo Seco:

Los Angeles River:

El Sereno:

Greater L.A. area:


MetroBlogging L.A.:

Los Angeles Grafitti:

Los Angeles Street Art:

A Los Angeles Christmas: Live From The Jersey Shore

From my home state, by the patron saint of Jersey Shore music, Bruce Springsteen.   The Boss made Santa Claus is Comin' to Town famous but no self-respecting Jersey Boy would pick that over Merry Christmas, Baby