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      Compass Contemplations for Wednesday


      Good morning,


      And a very happy VALENTINE'S DAY to you! 


      DID YOU KNOW? J.P. Morgan Chase moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called 'JPM Coin,' the digital 'cryptocurrency' token created by engineers at the bank to instantly settle payments between clients. (CNBC)


      DID YOU KNOW? Signs that the Federal Reserve may be done with its yearslong campaign to raise interest rates are sending ripples through fixed-income markets, holding down interest rates for a wide swath of borrowers. Low Treasury yields are a boon for stocks because they hold down borrowing costs for companies and push some yield-seeking investors out of government bonds and into other types of assets. They also could provide a lift to the housing market. (WSJ)


      DID YOU KNOW?  Airbus will cease production of its monster-sized A-380.....maybe planes are not that dis-similar to houses where jumbo-sized is also waning in demand? (WSJ)


      DID YOU KNOW? Housing investments make up as much as 18% of the U.S. growth rate, so why is housing not faring as well as the robust US economy? Here are some reasons:

      1. Student Debt: Home buyers 36 years old and younger comprised some 34% of the market in 2016 (NAR). Millennials are the largest customer base for mortgages, but student debt continues to weigh heavily on their personal finances with 46% having a median student loan balance of $25,000. According to a survey, 49% of home buyers said that student debt prohibited them from obtaining a loan.

      2. Housing shortages: There aren’t enough houses on the market. In 2017, there were 1.25 million new homes in the country, yet the U.S. requires 1.62 million houses each year. The 370,000 shortfall puts intense upward pressure on home prices. Because of the surge in prices, home purchase sentiment has fallen - a 12% decrease in Fannie Mae’s sentiment index - home buyers aren’t as keen on purchasing a home, opting to rent instead. 

      3.  Low Interest rate addiction: home buyers enjoyed super-low-interest rates for almost 10 years. New mortgages and refinancing was more affordable. Now financing has become more expensive, and home buyers are highly attuned to the increase in their payment amounts. Add in rising operating costs due to higher inflation and higher real estate taxes..... (Marketwatch)   


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