Video Game May Help Sales


Pokemon Go, has teenagers and adults jumping off of the couch and into the real world with fresh air and vitamin D.  And savvy real estate agents smell “opportunity”.

Real estate agents are starting to play the game of using the game.

An ad on Zillow for a home in Redmond, Washington, details a long list of upgrades, including a new roof, new hardwood floors, a tankless water heater and, at the bottom of the list, a “Pokemon Go” gym less than five minutes away. Another in Tacoma, Washington, goes into more detail: “3 Pokemon Go Gyms, and 5 Pokestops. Confirmed Squirrtle sighting in the backyard, and there may or may not be a Charzard lvl 7 in the neighbors shed. Must see to appreciate!”

Using “Pokemon Go” to drive higher foot traffic to any form of real estate seems like a no-brainer, but when it comes to residential real estate, foot traffic hasn’t exactly been the problem this year. Still, you never want to pass on any marketing gimmick.

Real estate agent Jay Glazer hoped a redesigned roof deck might help draw potential buyers to the open house at his $1.5 million listing but, just in case, he added this to the ad:

“I’m fairly certain there is a PIKACHU at this open house, don’t miss it.”

Of the dozen or so people who showed up, only one knew exactly what “Pokemon Go” was, but Glazer said it was still worth adding the app as something of an appetizer to the ad.

“I think at the end of the day the goal is to get as many people through the door and interested in the apartment, and ultimately, if there’s a ‘Pokemon’ obsessed person out there who also likes this home, then we want them here, and this is the best way to attract them,” said Glazer, 32, a “Pokemon Go” player himself.

What Happened to Rates Last Week?


Mortgage backed securities (FNMA 3.00 MBS) lost -52 basis points (BPS) from last Friday’s close which caused fixed mortgage rates to move higher from the prior week.

After three straight weeks of gains in MBS (lower mortgage rates), it looks as if MBS prices have “topped out” and reversed course.  This was primarily due to a reduction in the uncertainty in the market place over the Brexit as Great Brittan installed a new Prime Minister months ahead of when the market was expecting.  This calmed markets (to a degree).

Bank of England: Surprised the market by standing pat.  The markets widely believed that there would be a 25 to 50 basis point cut along with some more QE.  But that didn’t happen.  There was only one voting member that wanted to cut by 25 basis points.  The BofE does have another meeting in three weeks and may elect to cut at that time but now the market is pricing in only a 25 basis point cut instead of the 50 basis point cut.

In other Bexit news,Theresa May was officially installed as the new Prime Minister last week.

Domestic Flavor:
Retail Sales: The June Headline number beat estimates but its tainted. It came in at 0.6% vs est of 0.2%, BUT May was revised lower from 0.5% to 0.2%….thus the larger gain in June.  But when you strip out Autos, we actually do get some solid traction as it jumped 0.7% vs est of 0.4%.

Inflation?:  The June Consumer Price Index on a MOM (month-over-month)basis was inline with estimates for Core and missed by one tick for the Headline reading.  But on the Core YOY, (which is more closely watched by the Fed), moved upward to 2.3%.

Industrial Production: Was a very solid report as we once again see strength in the manufacturing sector as this report moved from negative readings in May to +0.6% in June which beat market forecasts of 0.2%.

Treasury auctions: We had 10 year note that was regarded as a weak auction even though the yield that we had to pay was at a 4 year low.  But demand was off and primary dealers had to step in and buy the bulk of the offering.  Our 30 year bond saw very strong demand and a low yield, which is a perfect combination.

What to Watch Out For This Week:


The above are the major economic reports that will hit the market this week. They each have the ability to affect the pricing of Mortgage Backed Securities and therefore, interest rates for Government and Conventional mortgages. I will be watching these reports closely for you and let you know if there are any big surprises.

It is virtually impossible for you to keep track of what is going on with the economy and other events that can impact the housing and mortgage markets.  Just leave it to me, I monitor the live trading of Mortgage Backed Securities which are the only thing government and conventional mortgage rates are based upon.

Brought to you by:

Taff Weinstein


Office: 832-794-2136
Cell: 832-794-2136

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3409 Morrison St
Houston, TX 77009
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