I love this!

Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking to a group of young adults, going through a program with the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department. You may remember I did a workshop with the Sheriff department last year, which was also amazing.

Again, this group of young individuals were engaged, motivated to learn and asked a ton of great questions. We discussed mindset, goal setting, understanding their ‘why’, and of course, money smarts!

Many are planning on becoming firefighters or sheriffs! It was an inspiring conversation for all of us!

On another note, if you happen to purchase my book, Money Rules 101, would you do me a HUGE favor and leave an Amazon review? I would greatly appreciate it. Go here to review.

Onto the market update…

With very limited economic data to trade on this week, investors took their focus to Capitol Hill and seemed to be paying attention to President Trump and what is happening with Congress.  The President has been trying to work with Congress on a replacement for Obamacare.  If you have been listening to the news, it is obvious that his negotiations have not been going well.

Investors are now beginning to question whether the President will be able to get passage of tax reform, which would be a boost to business overall.  With this concern, investors have been pulling money out of stocks in recent days driving the DOW down this week by almost 300 points.

Outside of Presidential happenings, the majority of the news this week was related to housing.  Surprisingly, the FHFA house price index came in unchanged for the month of January.  Given the extreme shortage of available homes for sale, the lack of appreciation surprised many analyst’s. Home prices remain higher by 5.7 percent from the same time last year.  With the Spring buying season about to start, it is expected that home prices will jump, unless many more sellers enter the market increasing available inventory.  This latest report is the weakest month-to-month showing in more than 4 years and the weakest year-on-year rate in 2-1/2 years.

The East South Central was the hardest hit area in which home prices declined 2.0 percent.  Prices in this region are still up by 3.5 percent from last year, however expectations were that there would be much more of a positive difference between this year and last year.  The Pacific market was the winner with a 0.6 percent monthly gain.

Even existing home sales came in with softer readings than expected.  Sales are down 3.7 percent in February to a 5.480 million annualized rate.  Single family homes showed weakness with a 3.0 percent decline.  Condo sales represented the biggest decline with a drop of 9.2 percent.  Single family sales remain higher by 5.7 percent from the same time last year.

Overall, existing home sales are up a strong 5.4 percent from last year.  Prices are up 7.7 percent from the same time last year as well.  Home supply has been improving but continues to remain very low.  Many areas of the country are experiencing bidding wars taking place for the homes that are placed for sale.  Even in the Northeast, where typically home prices have been the slowest to rise, sellers are now experiencing multiple bid situations on their homes.

To place a bow on this less than stellar housing report, applications for purchase and refinance mortgages both declined last week according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.  Purchase apps dropped 2.0 percent and refinances declined by 3.0 percent.  Applications are still up slightly from the same time last year and no specific circumstances can be attributed to last week’s decline in activity.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Tuesday March 28th – S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI, Consumer Confidence
  • Wednesday March 29th – MBA Applications, Pending Home Sales
  • Thursday March 30th – First Time Jobless Claims
  • Friday March 31st – Consumer Sentiment

 

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.