What is your great work?

Today I felt the need to send an inspirational quote about work. This resonated with me, as I love what I do in helping people experience their dreams coming true – purchasing a place to call home.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

– Steve Jobs

I hope you found your great work!

Onto the market update…

In a nice turnaround, home builders are once again very bullish on the housing market. In the latest data, which is released by The National Association of Home Builders from their member survey, the index jumped four points all the way back up to 68. The strength in the index is optimism of future sales along with continuing growth of current sales. Traffic continues to be lower than builders would like, however the only component that seems to be missing is first time buyers. Existing home owners and previous owners make up the bulk of the traffic and purchases of new construction.

Mortgage Rates and Applications:

Mortgage rates remained essentially flat for the week ending October 13th, however applications for purchases and refinances increased. Purchase application rose a seasonally adjusted 4.0 percent. Refinances went up by 3.0 percent. Purchase applications continue to make up more than 50% of all loan activity, and remain higher from the same time last year by 9.0 percent.

Housing Starts:

The latest news for new housing is mixed. Permits for single-family construction rose 2.4 percent to an annualized rate of 819,000. Permit activity for this market segment is up 9.3 percent from the same time last year. Single family activity is the major component in which the strength of housing is judged. This is translating into more available inventory which will likely continue to support housing growth in the coming months.

The weakness in the latest report is permits for multi-family units. Here we see that permits have declined by 16.1 percent to a rate of 396,000. This is a whopping 24.0 percent below activity at the same time last year.

Industrial Production:

Industrial production was essentially flat for the month of September. With only a .3 percent growth, this continues to create uncertainty for the Fed in deciding what action to take on interest rates in the coming months.

One of the things that creates questions about this latest report is that the private reports by Empire State and ISM show significant manufacturing growth.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Wednesday October 25th – MBA Mortgage Applications, FHFA HPI, New Home Sales
  • Thursday October 26th – First Time Jobless Claims, Pending Home Sales
  • Friday October 27th – GDP

As your mortgage and real estate professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate trends. I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can.  Please feel free to reach me at 661-618-1789.

 

How I get past the sadness…and your market update

I’ve been struggling the last few weeks, trying to take in all the tragedies that have hit our country in the last few months. Between the hurricanes, earthquakes, the horror in Las Vegas and now the devastating fires in Anaheim and Northern California, it’s too much to take in.

My heart goes out to all those affected by this and I pray for their healing, courage and strength.

When I find myself feeling overwhelmed by the sadness and loss, I shift my focus to the heroism and hope that I also see during these times. It warms my heart to know that we are people of love, compassion and strength and during these difficult times, we help each other. Strangers help strangers, we lift each other up (quite literally as witnessed in Vegas) and we give.

We give money, prayers, hugs, love, time, energy and whatever we can to help those hurting. This is what I focus on- the love and compassion that is the true spirit of our country. I hope this is your focus as well.

Onto the market update…

The Stock Market and the Fed:

Employment is very strong, and investors continue to ride the wave of growing stock values. The stock market did lose some momentum this week as many investors have taken their recent profits out of the market. Additionally, President Trump’s proposed changes to the tax code has many investors evaluating how they believe these proposed changes will impact corporate profits. As important in the evaluation, are investors beliefs on which proposed changes are likely to get passed.

Mortgage Rates and Applications:

After two recent weeks of application growth, purchase applications for the week ending October 6th came in flat. There is strength in the application data in that compared to the same time last year, purchase applications are higher by 7.0 percent. Refinancing is down to 49 percent of loan applications.

FOMC Minutes

 Based upon the latest reading of the FOMC minutes, it appears that the Fed is still struggling with what action to take relating to interest rates. As some of the members believe strongly in bumping rates up in December, there are other members who feel adamant that inflation is not yet high enough to support a rate increase. In evaluating the Fed minutes, one thing that is clear is many board members appear to be stymied by the fact that inflation continues to remain so low. The feeling from the members is that with the labor market essentially being at full employment, inflation pressures should have increased.

 The Latest on Inflation

A week after the Fed meeting and their focus being on the lack of inflation, reports for the Producer Price Index and the Consumer Price Index were released. Coming off the analysis from the Fed that inflation is too low, prices on the wholesale level jumped by 0.4 percent for the month of September. This increase was more than experts predicted. Caution that has to be applied to this increase in that some of it is related to the recent storm damage in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

Inflation on the retail level increased by 0.5 percent in September. This, just like the wholesale data, was higher than anticipated. Storm damage is part of the reason, however underlying fundamentals may be pointing to an overall upward trend in inflation. This latest report increases the likelihood of the Fed increasing rates in December.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Tuesday October 17th – Industrial Production, Housing Market Index
  • Wednesday October 18th – MBA Mortgage Applications, Housing Starts
  • Thursday October 19th – First Time Jobless Claims
  • Friday October 20th – Existing Home Sales

As your mortgage and real estate professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate trends. I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can.  Please feel free to reach me at 661-618-1789.

 

Idina Menzel…and your market update!

A few weekends ago, I went to Paso Robles for some wine tasting and to see Idina Menzel in concert. Many don’t know her by name, but know her work…she sang “Let it go” from Frozen, and was the lead in “Wicked” and “Rent.” You may also remember her as the person whose name was botched by John Travolta in one of the award shows! 🙂

The venue was small, and amazing. The concert was at the Vina Robles winery Amphitheatre, where every seat is awesome.

Not only was her voice amazing, but she is such a down to earth and genuine person. She spoke about her personal struggles, being broken at times, and her life as a single mom. I loved her sincerity and openness. It made me like her more as an artist!

At the end of the concert, she brought kids to the stage to sing “Let it go.” It was adorable to see, and hear, these kids belt out the song with every ounce of energy they had.

We all have our stories, struggles, and brokenness, regardless of fame and fortune. Let’s remember this when someone is less than nice to us or cuts us off on the roads.

 Onto the market update…

The stock market just keeps heading higher. Another day – another record high for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Every day this week through Thursday, the Dow set a new market record. Even with the increase in the chance that the Fed will raise interest rates, based upon the latest consumer inflation data, investors continue to remain optimistic about the strength of the economy.

If you have been reading my newsletter for more than a few months, you have seen me write about how “if we hear something enough times, we become numb to it”. This fact has shown up once again with our relationship, or lack of one, with North Korea. With the likelihood of yet another missile test coming soon, along with the latest threat from Pyongyang to destroy the United States, investors do not seem to be phased. Despite these threats, unlike before where the market would panic, investors seem to be treating it now as business as usual.

Mortgage Rates and Applications: The same as the week before, last week’s further decline in mortgage rates has sparked both purchase and refinance applications. With the most significant movement in this data we have seen in months, applications for purchases soared a seasonally adjusted 11.0 percent for the week ending September 8th. Refinances jumped 9.0 percent for the week as well.

Refinance activity continues to represent and increasing portion of mortgage financing. Where only a few weeks ago refi’s accounted for 42 percent of loan applications, as of last week, the number is now up to 51 percent, which is the highest level since January. Overall purchase mortgage activity is 7.0 percent higher than the same time last year and mortgage rates are at their lowest level since the Presidential election in November 2016. It is an incredible time to purchase a home and it seems as if more and more people are beginning to recognize this as purchase activity continues to increase.

First Time Jobless Claims

In a surprise reading, the latest first time jobless data came in opposite of what almost every analyst predicted. With the expectation that claims would once again increase due to more people filing because of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, claims actually declined by 14,000 for the week ending September 9th. Claims are expected to temporarily rise next week due to the damage from Hurricane Irma, as those numbers are not factored into this week’s data. However, the increase is expected to be short lived as damage from the storm was far less than anticipated.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday September 18th – Housing Market Index
  • Tuesday September 19th – Housing Starts
  • Wednesday September 20th – MBA Mortgage Applications, FOMC Meeting Announcement
  • Thursday September 21st – First Time Jobless Claims, FHFA House Price Index

As your mortgage and real estate professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate trends. I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can.  Please feel free to reach me at 661-618-1789.

 

My prayers for Texas…and your market update

Watching the devastation that has occurred in Texas is heart wrenching, to say the least.  There is so little that can be said that has not already been written or voiced.  It is a crisis beyond belief, and it is my hope that as many people as possible will find a way to contribute to help those in need.  There are many legitimate ways to contribute (stay away from scams) to assist in the long road to recovery.

My heartfelt prayers go out to everyone affected by this.

Onto the market update…

The Stock Markets:  It seems that investors around the world do not have much concern about geopolitical events derailing the current market rallies in many of the world’s major economies.  Even in the U.S., where the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, and the impact it is having on oil production, has done little to reverse investor enthusiasm towards future economic growth.

S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index:  The latest data on home price appreciation in June shows a virtually flat market.  Between last week’s FHFA price data, and now the latest Case-Shiller report, home prices are up only 0.1 percent.  Overall, prices are higher by 5.7 percent from the same time last year.

Despite the continued lack of inventory that exists nationwide, home prices have stabilized which can be a catalyst for a few positive things to occur in housing.

Time will tell, but it is possible that homeowners now seeing the run-up in prices slowing, may elect to start placing their homes on the market.  This could bode well for a very strong Fall market as the pent-up demand for housing would likely rapidly absorb any new inventory that appears. Additionally, the stabilizing of prices keeps home affordability in check potentially increasing the number of buyers who can qualify to purchase bolstering housing strength.

Consumer Confidence: The latest reading from the Conference Board’s measurement of consumer confidence shows that August has many people believing in the strength of the economy.  The reading of 122.9 is the highest the index has been since March, and the second highest dating all the way back to December of 2000.  Consumer confidence has the potential to also translate positively into growth in the housing market in the coming months.

Mortgage Rates and Applications:  Surprisingly, despite falling mortgage rates, it does not seem to be translating into an increase in purchase or refinance activity according to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.  The latest data for the week ending August 25th shows a decline of 3.0 percent and 2.0 percent in purchase and refi applications respectively.  Even with the seasonal adjustments made for the end of the summer, applications are down.  The bright spot in the report is that applications for purchases remain 4.0 percent higher than the same time last year.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday September 4th – US Holiday: Labor Day – All Markets Closed
  • Tuesday September 5th – Factory Orders
  • Wednesday September 6th – MBA Mortgage Applications & ISM Non-Mfg Index
  • Thursday September 7th – First Time Jobless Claims & EIA Petroleum Status
  • Friday September 8th – Wholesale Trade & Consumer Credit

 

As your mortgage and real estate professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate trends.  I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can.  Please feel free to reach me at 661-618-1789.

 

What do you do for fun?

What do you do for fun? I’m not talking about vacations or weekends away, just simple everyday fun. What do your weekends typically look like?

Are they filled with errands and ‘catch up’ stuff or do you make sure you schedule in time to relax?

I’ve been guilty of getting my ‘to do’ list done or work on the weekends. I’m trying to find that balance of simple pleasures and relaxing more. Although I go to the gym to help with balance, I don’t find that ‘fun.’

I need your help with ideas! Please share!!

P. S. Be sure to check out my recent Podcasts here!

Onto the market update…

After three consecutive monthly declines, the pending home sales index turned around and jumped by a much stronger than anticipated 1.5 percent in the month of June. The housing market struggled through the Spring season, but the latest data shows promise for the existing home sales data coming in later this month. With mortgage rates continuing to remain low, this holds promise that the second-half of the year can end up being a much stronger housing market than normal. Mortgage Bankers Association Loan Application Weekly Data

With mortgage rates remaining steady for the week, applications for purchases and refinances declined slightly. The seasonally adjusted move in activity was purchase applications that went down by 2.0 percent whereas refi’s dropped by 4.0 percent. Overall the purchase index is up by 9.0 percent from the same time last year. Purchase applications represent 55.5 percent of loan activity according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Construction Spending

Surprisingly, the June construction spending report declined 1.3 percent. This is a reversal from the prior month’s revised increase of 0.3 percent. It appears that spending in this sector moved in a similar fashion to the latest data in personal income and outlays released on Tuesday morning.

Single-family residential construction spending increased 0.3 percent. Multi-family headed in the opposite direction with a decline of 0.2 percent. When looking at the latest data, it is always important to note that the bulk of the weight is placed on the single-family sector as that is a much closer measure to how the housing market is performing. Year on year growth for single-family construction spending is up 9.0 percent. Multi-family spending is higher by only 0.6 percent.

First Time Jobless Claims, Factory Orders, Manufacturing

Even with the seasonal retooling in the automotive industry, first time jobless claims remain extremely low at only 240,000 for the week ending July 29th. Typically for this time of year, a jump in claims is seen with auto-manufacturers laying off workers while they retool their assembly plants for the change in car model year.

Factory orders jumped 3.0 percent for June. Higher than expected aircraft orders played a major role in the increase. Manufacturing continues to show great strength with a reading of 56.3.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday August 7th – Labor Market Conditions Index
  • Tuesday August 2nd – Job Openings and Labor Turnover Report (JOLTS)
  • Wednesday August 3rd – MBA Mortgage Applications
  • Thursday August 4th – First Time Jobless Claims, Producer Price Index
  • Friday August 5th – Consumer Price Index

As your mortgage and real estate professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate trends. I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can.  Please feel free to reach me at 661-618-1789.

 

Money Rules 101: The importance of writing in a journal

Listen in as Patti Handy, Mortgage Advisor and Life Coach, Alex Urbina, discuss the power of writing in a journal, especially after a divorce.

Surf’s up!

Surf’s up!

Surf’s up! At least that’s what my son, his girlfriend and my niece did. I gave them all surfing lessons as a gift and they had a blast! All three got up, which was exciting for all of us, including the mom’s sitting on the beach watching. Here’s a pic.

Always find time in your busy day to schedule in fun! Life is too short!

On another note, I’ve had the opportunity to interview some wonderful professionals, who also happen to be friends, for my podcasts! It’s been a ton of fun and a wonderful learning experience. This week’s interview is with Mike McGrath, CFP, discussing starting over after divorce. Be sure to share! Check it out here.

Onto the market update…

Home builders continue to be less excited about the future of housing than earlier this year.  The housing market index declined to a lower than expected level of 64 in July.  Although still very high, this is the lowest level since November of last year.

The less than highly optimistic sentiment is evenly divided among the 3 components that make up the index.  Future sales still lead the index at a level of 73 followed by present sales at 70.  Traffic is where the concern is coming from.  The traffic level of 48 is below the breakeven number of 50, and is the second month in a row below this benchmark.

Mortgage Bankers Association Loan Application Weekly Data

Application direction reversed course after accounting for the prior week’s July 4th holiday adjustment. For the week ending July 14th, applications for home purchases increased 1.0 percent.  Refinances jumped 13.0 percent erasing the prior week’s decline of the same amount.

Purchase applications are up 7.0 percent from the same time last year.  Refinances represent 44.7 percent of mortgage activity, which is up 2.6 percent from the prior week.  There continues to be talk that the fall may be a stronger housing market than normal due to the abnormally slow Spring market due to limited inventory.

Housing Starts

This data has been moving up and down over the last few months.  This trend continued with a positive report for the month of June.  Housing starts and permits were both higher.  Expectations were for the pace of annualized starts to come in at 1.200 million.  The actual report delivered 1.215 M, plus the prior month was revised higher by 300,000.  Translating all this to percentages, housing starts increased 8.3 percent and permits jumped 7.4 percent.

Starts for single-family homes rose 6.3 percent while multi-family jumped 13.3 percent.  Surprisingly, the Northeast led the country followed by the Midwest.  The West was up slightly and the South was down significantly.

The housing market will get the rest of the data it needs to better indicate the future of housing next week.  With three major housing reports, investors will be paying close attention.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday July 24th – Existing Home Sales
  • Tuesday July 15th – FHFA House Price Index, S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI
  • Wednesday July 26th – MBA Mortgage Applications, New Home Sales, FOMC Announcement
  • Thursday July 27th – First Time Jobless Claims, Durable Goods Orders
  • Friday July 28th – GDP

 

As your mortgage and real estate professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate trends.  I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can.  Please feel free to reach me at 661-618-1789.

 

Stop listening to the negative noise!

I absolutely love working with first time home-buyers. I think the most rewarding part is watching them realize a dream come true. I love coaching them through the process, which removes much of the fear and unknown.

There is so much “news” about how difficult it is to get a loan and unless you have 20% down payment you can’t qualify. NOT TRUE!!! We have all types of loans, with different down payment options.

Don’t listen to the negative noise. Call me so we can review your personal situation!

Happy Weekend!

Onto the market update…

There are no surprises in the latest comments from Janet Yellen’s testimony on Wednesday. The Fed continues to have the intention to begin tapering the Fed balance sheet and also instituting a number of rates hikes over the next few years. Yellen repeated that inflation is being held down for a number of unusual factors. Cell phones, drugs and gasoline prices are remaining abnormally low and upward pressure to increase prices has been met with consumer backlash. Additionally, inflationary pressure has not responded to the strong employment environment. It appears that consumers, despite how well the job market may be, are continuing to remain frugal in their shopping choices. The internet has made it very easy to comparison shop and purchase from the lowest retailers. Mortgage Bankers Association Loan Application Weekly Data

In a complete reversal of fortune, mortgage applications for both purchases and refinances turned negative for the week ending July 7th. Purchase applications declined a seasonally adjusted 3.0 percent. Refinances plummeted 13.0 percent to the lowest point since January 2017.

The concerning part about this recent data is that the adjustment for loan activity was based upon the 4th of July Holiday. When that holiday adjustment factor is removed, purchase applications declined a whopping 22.0 percent from the prior week. Loan applications are higher from the same time last year by only 3.0 percent.

JOLTS Report (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) & First Time Jobless Claims

It appears that employers are finally starting to catch up on their hiring. The most recent JOLTS report shows that job openings declined by 5.0 percent in May, and hiring increased by 8.3 percent. The current pace of hiring is a new record and the current opening is the second lowest level this year.

Initial first time jobless claims continue to remain at or near historic lows. The latest claim number of 247,000 remains far below the benchmark amount of 300,000.

Producer Price Index

Inflation on the wholesale level continues to remain extremely low. The month of June only showed an increase of 0.1 percent. This once again creates a challenge for the Fed to raise interest rates.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday July 17th – Empire State Manufacturing Survey
  • Tuesday July 18th – Housing Market Index
  • Wednesday July 19th – MBA Mortgage Applications, Housing Starts
  • Thursday July 20th – First Time Jobless Claims, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index

As your mortgage and real estate professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate trends. I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can.  Please feel free to reach me at 661-618-1789.

 

Do you know anyone “starting over?”

After going through a divorce many years ago, I realized there weren’t many tools for those “starting over.” In the midst of an emotionally chaotic time, I found some peace knowing I knew how to handle my finances.

Many people, especially women, aren’t that lucky. I want to change this.

As a result, I am starting a podcast series, for those starting over. Whether it’s a divorce, death of a spouse, bankruptcy or foreclosure, these life changing events are life altering.

I’m super excited about bringing you some great resources- I’ll be interviewing a CPA, Financial Planner, Estate Planning Attorney, Divorce Attorney, Money Manager, Life Coach, Personal Trainer and more. Of course, I’ll be discussing the home buying/loan process as well, for those wanting to purchase a home.

My hope is to inspire and empower those starting over and give them tools to help with finances, fitness, emotional healing, asset protection and more. I’ll also be sharing a bit of my story along the way.

Check out my podcasts here, but make sure to check back often and share with anyone starting over! I’ll be adding interviews on a regular basis!

 Onto the market update…

Why should the Fed be any different than the rest of the United States Government?

 Everyone already knows that Congress could not be more divided. Well…the Fed appears to be divided as well. The latest FOMC Minutes show that many policy makers want the Fed to start unwinding the Fed’s balance sheet that has grown to enormous proportions ever since the great recession. However, there are some policy makers that are steadfast in wanting to hold off until later in the year to begin this process.

The labor market continues to remain red hot with more jobs available than qualified applicants to fill them. The challenge that exists to the Fed is that inflation continues to remain ultra-low and making changes to economic policy could cause unintended consequences of hurting the economy.

Given that there continue to be a number of mixed economic reports, as of late, it seems that many analysts are shying away from predicting when the Fed will make the next rate hike or begin to unwind the bloated balance sheet.

Mortgage Bankers Association Loan Application Weekly Data

Purchase applications finally turned higher for the week ending June 30th. According to the MBA applications for purchase loans rose 3.0 percent from the prior week. This reverses the previous decline of 4.0 percent from the week before. Refinance applications were virtually unchanged. Purchase applications remain 6.0 percent higher than the same time last year.

Manufacturing

ISM’s manufacturing index indicates the fire in the sector has returned. The latest report for June is at a level of 57.8. This is higher than experts were predicting and shows that demand for production is strong. This is the strongest report since August of 2014.

Non-Manufacturing

ISM’s non-manufacturing index, which reports on services, construction, mining, forestry, fishing, and hunting, also showed a strong gain in June. The index jumped from 56.9 to 57.4 and demonstrates that these areas of the economy continue to maintain solid growth as well with no signs of slowing.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday July 10th – Labor Market Conditions Index
  • Tuesday July 11th – JOLTS Report
  • Wednesday July 12th – MBA Mortgage Applications
  • Thursday July 13th – First Time Jobless Claims, Producer Price Index
  • Friday July 14th – Consumer Price Index, Retail Sales, Industrial Production

As your mortgage and real estate professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate trends. I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can.  Please feel free to reach me at 661-618-1789.