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Insights from LendingTree's Chief Economist

Retail sales data released Monday morning was very robust. With consumer spending representing two-thirds of the U.S. economy, it bodes well for second quarter GDP data to be released next week. A reading over 4% is quite likely, which would be the strongest growth since 2014. The sustainability of this rate of growth is in question though, as the quarter saw boosts from the tax cut and fiscal stimulus, which are not expected to be as impactful going forward. The second half of the year could also see impacts of the trade war intensify and weigh on growth.

Other data this week will focus on the homebuilding market. Housing starts should continue an upward trend of about 20% over a year ago. However, the rate of new construction is well below a pace that would ease the inventory challenge in the combined homebuying market for both new and existing homes.

Low inventories pushing prices higher is the theme of this year’s housing market. Supply problems are particularly acute for lower priced homes. Sales for homes under $100,000 were down 18% Y/Y in May and those between $100,000 and $250,000 were down 7% Y/Y. Rising rates have yet to temper demand, which is supported by a robust labor market, thus buyers should do all they can to position themselves competitively. Getting financing in place ahead of the house hunt is crucial, and we strongly advise buyers compare multiple loan offers first.

LendingTree Mortgage Savings Tracker

There are many reasons why consumers spend so little time shopping for mortgages, however, at LendingTree we believe one is that the mortgage industry has not done a great job of informing consumers on the amount of savings available and the ease with which savings can be accessed.

That is why we introduced the LendingTree Mortgage Savings Tracker. Built on top of our proprietary Mortgage Rate Competition Index, the Mortgage Savings Tracker brings a new transparency to mortgage shopping by highlighting the significant savings that are available to potential borrowers for both purchase mortgages and refinancing. For more details on the index, follow the link below.

Mortgage Rate Competition Index

Monthly Mortgage Offer Reports

Released each month, The LendingTree Mortgage Offers Report contains data from actual loan terms offered to borrowers on by lenders. Stay up to date with the most recent LendingTree Mortgage Offers Reports below:

June 2018 Report
May 2018 Report
April 2018 Report
March 2018 Report
February 2018 Report
January 2018 Report
December 2017 Report
November 2017 Report
October 2017 Report

Mortgage rates by state

Mortgage rates can vary a lot between lenders on any given day. So, if you only get one mortgage quote, you won’t have any idea if there’s a better deal out there. That’s why the best way to get a mortgage rate it to request quotes from multiple lenders and compare interest rates, loan terms and closing costs. It puts you on in charge and keeps the banks competing to get you the best rate possible. Remember, even .1 percent can amount to thousands of dollars over the course of a loan. Make sure you shop around!

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