Gratitude

Gratitude.

It’s one of my favorite words.

When I focus on my blessings, and that which I am truly grateful for, I feel a physical change within me. Even amid the madness of our world lately, I always have many things to be grateful for.

In my new book, I discuss the importance of gratitude, in fact, referring to a “gratitude adjustment” as a necessary habit for some.

Today, I want to express how grateful I am for sharing this journey with you. I am grateful for working with and for you. I am grateful for your friendship and support. I’m grateful you are reading my newsletter!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me into your home, one way or another.

May you be blessed with a wonderful Thanksgiving next week, surrounded by those you love!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Onto the market update…

After the initial market jubilation in belief that President Elect Trump might actually be good for the economy and markets, things have settled down.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average is basically poised to finish the week in about the same place it started.

Helping matters is that it appears that Mr. Trump has toned down much of his rhetoric and inflammatory comments, which is giving investors reason to believe that he will not make rash decisions on economic policy.  Time will tell as to exactly what will happen.  For now, investors are paying close attention to his staff appointments.

Mortgage rates have shot up .50 percent since the election in response to bond yields rising rapidly.  The mortgage industry is feeling it in that applications for purchases and refinances have been declining.  Refinance applications dropped 11.0% for the week of November 11th.  Purchase apps declined 6.0%.

Already there is much chatter that housing affordability is being directly impacted due to the higher rates increasing the cost of homeownership.  Higher rates mean higher monthly housing payments.  The one thing to keep in mind is that home prices will move towards a point where there is balance to meet demand.  For example, sellers may find that they might have to lower the price of their home slightly to offset the interest rate increase to keep buyers interest.

We have been in a market in which mortgage rates have been artificially low for an extended time.  The talk of rising rates has been around for more than five years.  It is just that now it has finally become reality.  Anyone who has been around long enough in the housing market knows that regardless of interest rates, homes will be purchased and sold.  There will always be back and forth movement related to rates, home prices and housing demand.

On a positive note for housing, starts of new construction surged 25.5 percent in October to an annualized rate of 1.323 million. This is the highest number since August of 2007.  The monthly jump in percentage is the strongest since 1982.  The best part of the report is that single family construction jumped 10.7 percent which follows September’s increase of 8.4 percent.

Inflation, excluding volatile food and energy prices, remains very low on both the wholesale and retail levels.  Rising inflation is starting to become more of a concern related to Donald Trump’s plans for spending and economic stimulus, however, for now it is speculation.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

  • Monday November 21st – Chicago Fed National Activity Index
  • Tuesday November 22nd – Existing Home Sales
  • Wednesday November 23rd – MBA Applications, Jobless Claims, FHFA HPI, New Home Sales, FOMC Minutes, Consumer Sentiment
  • Thursday November 24th – Thanksgiving Giving: Markets Closed
  • Friday November 25th – International Trade in Goods

 

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.

 

Your brain is NOT designed to make you happy!

I’ve always admired Tony Robbins, so when I see one of his videos come across my Facebook feed, I will normally take a few minutes and watch it.

There have been several I’ve enjoyed, but I saw one this week that I found especially interesting…he states, “your brain is NOT designed to make you happy, it’s there to help you survive-happiness is your job.” He went on to say that “if you follow the trail of your stresses, it will take you to your deepest fears- we play in that space of what we desire most and what we fear most. The brain is always looking for what’s wrong, to survive.”

“We miss the beauty of this life by our suffering and we need to start focusing on this moment- we are more than our mind.”

It’s hard to put this into everyday action, but I feel the awareness of this is a great place to start.

Here’s to everyday happiness and gratitude!

Onto the market update…

It seems that most of the economic news that might have impacted the markets this week took a back seat to the comments made by three Federal Reserve Board members. It seems that there is an increased likelihood of a rate increase in June based on their latest comments. The word of a possible increase in June seemed to catch the market by surprise and within minutes of the comments the stock market went from positive to negative.

Investors have been banking on the belief that there may be only one rate increase remaining for the entire year, and that it wouldn’t occur until the fall. The latest minutes released by the Fed from their last meeting indicate that board members feel the economy is continuing to grow at a stable and healthy pace.

Although an improving economy would normally create a lift to the markets as the belief that business growth will continue, it seems that many investors do not like the thought of the virtually interest free money the government has been lending into the economy will come to an end. Main Street and Wall Street for the most part do not seem to be in sync with the Fed’s view on economic growth. Many believe that the economy is slowing far more than the Fed is willing to recognize and that rate increases could easily stagnate economic growth.

The housing market index, which measures builder optimism, remains solid and steady at a reading of 58 for May. This is the fourth straight reading for the index at 58. Anything over 50 is considered positive. Home sales are cruising along at a very strong score of 65 for the last 6 months and present sale scored a 63.

The West leads the country in builder optimism with a score of 67 which is important for the continuance of new construction. The South is second with a score of 60 even though it is the largest region of the country. The Midwest follows at 59 with the Northeast well below every other region with a score of 36. The limited available land for building is the reason the Northeast always tends to lag behind.

Housing starts and permits picked up in April which continues to point to a steadily growing real estate market. The pace for growth is not overwhelming, but with so many other areas of the economy becoming stagnant, housing continues to be a point of strength. Housing starts rose 6.6 percent to a 1.172 million annualized rate. Permits rose 3.6 percent in April to a 1.116 million rate. Although the year-on-year rate for both permits and starts are slightly lower than the same time last year, the weakness is coming mostly from the multi-family sector. Single family starts are up 3.3 from April of last year and permits are up 8.4 percent.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Tuesday May 24th – New Home Sales
  • Wednesday May 25th – EIA Petroleum Report and MBA Mortgage Applications
  • Thursday May 26th – First Time Jobless Claims, Pending Home Sales & Durable Goods Orders
  • Friday May 27th – GDP and 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.