Insomnia is not my friend…

Insomnia is not my friend. I can’t imagine it’s your friend either.

Last night, it came on with a vengeance. Maybe it was the chocolate truffles I put down at a wonderful event at the Piru Mansion last night. (That place is beautiful!!)

I hit the pillow and fell asleep fast, but then I awoke, as I normally do, a few hours later. But this time, I stayed awake…for hours. I heard my grandfather clock strike 1:00, then 2:00, then 3:00. Last I remember it was 3:45 and I thought to myself, “I know friends who are getting up at this hour to workout”- I was not a happy camper.

So, miss cranky pants is sleepy today. Be nice to me.

Onto the market update…

When it comes to describing the housing market, more and more reports are coming in using words and phrases like “soft”, “softening”, and “less than spectacular”. However, when interviewing real estate and mortgage professionals around the country, they are using words and phrases like “fantastic”, “booming”, “not enough hours in the day”. I have been trying to figure out where the gap between the analyst comments and the professionals in the trenches is coming from. The only conclusion is the analysts are out of touch as to what is really good for the future of real estate and what is really happening.

On Monday of this week the data on new homes sales for the month of March was released. This was the first housing report for the week in which the phrase “less than spectacular” was used. What is interesting is that even though many recent economic reports point to a slowing economy, the new home sales sector has been posting moderate and respectable numbers. This is an example of someone taking what could have been a relatively positive headline, and for no reason, toning it down to appear more negative. The reality is that new home sales have remained stable for a few months and despite the slowing in the overall economy, the demand for new homes remains healthy.

The same dynamic occurred with Wednesday’s pending homes sales report. Pending sales rose 1.4 percent in March. February sales increased by 3.4 percent. Both month’s show increases in sales, yet most of the commentary was negative. The bottom line is when you have housing data improving while most other sectors of the economy are contracting, there is no need for negativity in describing the housing market. In fact, the 1.4 percent increase was higher than expected.

The third housing report for the week was the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. The phrase “far from spectacular” was used. The data showed home prices in the 20 major cities was up 0.7 percent from January to February. That is an annualize rate of 8.4 percent. A rate of close to 10 percent in annualized appreciation actually points to a healthy stable market. When home prices are leaping by double digits on an annualized basis, this points to potential trouble in the future.

When home prices rise rapidly, home affordability disappears quickly. This in turn can shift the market into negative territory very quickly, especially if wages are not rising, which happens to be the case now. The fact that home prices are not skyrocketing is healthy for the housing market because it provides more buyers the means to afford a home.

As a professional in the real estate market, I find it frustrating when people will unjustly use negative headlines to sell newspapers. The housing market is doing well and continues to have stability and growth. Those are the words consumers should be hearing about the housing market.

Next week week’s potential market moving reports are:

Monday May 2nd – ISM Manufacturing Index & Construction Spending

  • Wednesday May 4th – MBA Applications & ADP Employment Report
  • Thursday May 5th – First Time Jobless Claims
  • Friday May 6th – 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.