The Home Buying Coach!

In an effort to help first time homebuyers understand the overwhelming process of buying a home, I will be creating videos that coach and educate! “The Home Buying Coach” is a hat I will be wearing to serve the needs of this group.

I see time and time again, many come into the process of buying a home and really have no idea what to expect or what the process looks like. Why should they? It’s totally new to them!

I’m here to help take the overwhelm away with my video series. Watch this 1 minute introduction and stay tuned for more upcoming videos! Please be sure to share, like and follow on youtube to stay updated!

Onto the market update…

The best news of the week is that if you have any investments in the stock market, you have likely seen a significant recovery of the money you have lost in the last couple of months. For the last two weeks, the stock market has been moving higher and most of the losses from earlier in the month have been recovered. Panic over the glut of oil has seemed to subside for the time being and oil prices have stabilized.

Home prices continued to rise with December showing an increase of 0.8 percent, according to the Case-Shiller’s 20-city index. This extends the strong monthly gains that have been happening since last year. The only slight concern is the year-on-year rate increase has slowed and is currently at 5.7 percent, versus the previous report of 6.0 percent.

In another strong housing report for the week, existing home sales rose 0.4 percent for January. December also had a strong increase and the momentum has kept going and is showing no signs of slowing. Even stronger data in the report is that from the same time last year, sales growth in this sector of the market is up 11.0 percent. In an indication of housing strength, the single family sector of the market rose 1.0 percent.

When it comes to selling prices, the story is slightly different. It appears that some discounting may be taking place in that the median home price fell 4.2 percent to $213,800. Home prices continue to be higher than the same time last year by 8.2 percent. Supply of homes available for sale, which has been very close to historic lows and holding back sales, seems to be rising. Supply, which had been sitting at 3.4 months, rose up to 4.0 months. This is still below the January numbers of 4.5 months, however the market is moving in the right direction.

Reinforcing strong home price growth is the report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The FHFA reported that home-price appreciation increased 0.4 percent. Although this number is at the low end of the range predicted by analysts, it continues to show solid gains. Home prices remain 5.7 percent higher than the same time last year.

The only housing report to show weakness for this week was the report on new home sales. In an unexpected downturn, new home sales declined 9.2 percent in January to a lower-than-expected annualized rate of 494,000. The housing report is still respectable given that December’s numbers were not revised and that report showed a solid gain of 544,000.

The major potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday February 29th – Pending Home Sales
  • Tuesday March 1st – ISM Manufacturing Index & Construction Spending
  • Wednesday March 2nd – MBA Applications
  • Thursday March 3rd – First Time Jobless Claims
  • Friday March 4th – National Employment Situation

 

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.

 

Home sellers are smiling!

It’s been an interesting week, one of much reflection. I attended my ex father-in-law’s funeral yesterday. Funerals always seems to be a reminder of how precious life, and the people in your life, are. We seem to move at a fast pace these days, with so many demands put upon us. As crazy as times can be, slow down and take care of you. (I’m speaking to myself here as well!)

On a brighter note, we have continued good news in the housing market. Spring has sprung, and so has house values!

Onto the market update…

The housing market index, to almost everyone’s surprise, turned lower for the second straight month.  The issue seems to be more about builders having difficulty locating available lots to build and a lack of credit for new home construction than buyer demand.  The positive side to the report is that although present conditions seem challenging for builders, sales traffic seems to be quite robust and shows no signs of slowing down.

Housing starts made a partial comeback in February; however what many consider important for the future is that housing permits made a significant gain. Housing starts in February rebounded 0.8 percent, after they had dropped 7.3 percent in January.  The report also reinforces that the market is in a much better place than a year ago, as housing starts are up a whopping 27.7 percent from the same time last year.  Housing permits continue on an upward trend increasing by 4.6 percent.

The final piece to the housing reports for the week came on Thursday with the existing home sales report.  An unexpected rise in existing home sales inventory occurred in February with a reported increase from 4.3 months up to 4.7.  Additionally exiting homes sales also improved rising .8 percent with January being revised upward to .8 percent as well.

Low supply of available homes for sale had been holding down sales but that appears to be changing as higher prices are bringing more homes into the market. Although the media has not been talking a whole lot about rising house prices, it appears that homeowners are beginning to do their own research and are finding that their homes are worth more than they initially thought.  The West Coast appears to have the greatest shortage of available inventory of existing homes for sale.

Outside of housing reports for the week, the Federal Open Market Committee dominated mid-week headlines.  The FOMC announced to no one’s surprise that they are leaving interest rates unchanged.  To go along with the no change rate policy the FOMC reiterated their desire to keep interest rates low for mortgages by keeping their bond and mortgage backed securities purchase program in place.

Mortgage rates continue to remain low but the expected news from the FOMC had only a slight impact in lowering mortgage rates.  Overall, mortgage rates continue to remain higher than their historic lows and it does not appear that they will return to set any new records.  In fact, many experts state that because the economy, and especially the real estate market are improving, if it were not for the Fed’s bond buying program, mortgage rates would probably be at least 1/2 to 1 percent higher.

A few more housing reports on tap for next week:

 

  • Tuesday March 26th      – Durable Goods Orders and New Home Sales
  • Wednesday March 27th      – MBA Applications and Pending home Sales
  • Thursday March 28th      – First Time Jobless Claims and GDP
  • Friday March 29th      – Good Friday…U.S. Banks and Equity Markets are Closed

 

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