My rant on social media…and your market update

As much as I enjoy social media, I’m beginning to wonder about Facebook. Not Facebook itself necessarily, I’m referring to the constant negative information and comments. If it isn’t politics, it’s about the latest murder, accidents or wrongdoing.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have my head in the sand with regards to world events, I just need a break from it. I stopped watching the evening news a long time ago for this reason. It just became so depressing!

I prefer to read uplifting stories, such as people doing great things in the world or about the newest medical miracle. There are a lot of wonderful things happening all around us and I feel if we focus on what is right in this world, rather than what is wrong, we may just have a happier planet.

Just my two cents…

Onto the market update…

There was a significant amount of housing data to digest this week. The beginning of the week brought us the release of the housing market index. This index, which measures overall confidence of home builders, remained unchanged for a third straight month at 58, for the month of April. This reading continues to signal solid confidence amongst home builders. Adding to the positive sentiment of the report was the expectations for sales- the next six months remains strong. The West is leading the way for builder confidence, which reinforces just how important this region of the country is for the new home sector. The South, which is the largest housing region, remained strong as well. The Northeast, which is the smallest sector, trails the rest of the country by a significant margin. Although builder confidence is high, housing starts fell a sharp 8.8 percent in March. The surprise for this report is we are now in the spring housing season and typically starts would be increasing. Permits for new construction also came in below expectations. Economists do not seem to have a consensus as to the reason for the drop. We will have to wait and see next month’s report, to determine if there is a negative trend developing.

The weakness in housing starts is split pretty much evenly between single-family and multi-family sectors. The bright side to the report is the year-on-year rates for starts are up 14.2 percent and permits are 4.6 percent ahead. Existing home sales jumped 5.1 percent to a 5.330 million annualized rate for the month of March. February’s revised numbers showed a decline of 7.3 percent. Overall sales are just a meager 1.5 percent higher than the same time last year. The good news is that when you look at the first quarter as a whole, existing home sales are up 4.8 percent. March’s gain in sales was spearheaded by single family homes, which is the most important measured component. Single family sales rose 5.5 percent. Year-on-year, single-family homes are up 2.6 percent. Existing condominium sales are up only 1.8 percent for the month; however they are down compared to the same time last year by 6.6 percent.

Home prices seem to be somewhat flat in many parts of the country. The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that home prices rose just 0.4 percent in February. This is the softest gain in home prices since August of last year. Year-on-year home prices are up 5.6 percent. Next week week’s potential market moving reports are:

Monday April 25th – New Home Sales

  • Tuesday April 26th – Durable Goods Orders and S&P Case-Shiller House Price Index
  • Wednesday April 27th – MBA Applications, Pending Home Sales, FOMC Announcement
  • Thursday April 28th – First Time Jobless Claims and 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.