Here’s a fun idea for this weekend!

If you love books the way I do, come down to the Los Angeles Times Book Festival at USC this weekend! I’ll be there on Saturday from 10-1:00 and most of the day on Sunday. It’s a family friendly event and it’s free! I’ll be in booth 167. I would love to see your friendly face!

On another exciting note, I’m working on a new Podcast series. I’ll be hosting a show, with various guest speakers. We’ll be touching on many topics, including money smarts, mortgage questions, getting your financial house in order, personal development, and so much more. The hope is to inspire, empower and educate!

I’ll be sending out more details soon.

Have a great weekend and come join the fun at the book festival!

Onto the market update…

With not much economic data to trade on, investors have been using speculation to fuel their investment decisions this week. From concerns regarding healthcare to tax reform, investors are making guesses as to what legislation will be passed in the coming months and year to base today’s investment decisions. The Dow has been trading from positive to negative, back to positive territory throughout the week. However, the index has remained within a 200 point range, up and down.

In the housing sector, builders continue to remain optimistic on the future of new construction sales. Buyer traffic has been significant in recent months and shows no sign of slowing anytime soon. The traffic component of the index came in above 50 for the 4th time in the last 5 months. Future and current sales continue to remain very strong. The West Coast continues to stay out front as far as new construction. The Northeast, to no one’s surprise, came in last out of the 4 regions. The South and Midwest remain strong as well, however at a pace slightly behind the West.

In contrast to builder optimism on the housing market, the number of new starts on single family homes was down 6.8 percent. This is the weakest level since November. The greatest strength came from the multi-family side. The good news in the overall report is that both sectors are up nearly 10.0 percent from the same time last year.

To offset the less than stellar housing starts data, permits for new construction are up 3.6 percent. Once again, multi-family home permits are leading the way. What is hard to figure out is the difference between the positive builder sentiments displayed in the housing market index versus the disappointing data on housing starts. In the coming months, we should expect to see them come more in-line with each other and reflect similar trends.

The Mortgage Bankers Association of America reported that applications for home purchases declined 3.0 percent for the week ending April 14th. Despite mortgage rates moving down towards 2017 lows, it seems that buyer activity has slowed. The most likely culprit for this is the national lack of available inventory. What used to be an issue primarily in the Northwest, has spread to many areas of the country. Even the East Coast, which has not seen a shortage of inventory since prior the market meltdown, is experiencing a significant shortage of available homes for sale.

Refinance applications for the same week were up by 0.2 percent. It will require rates to go lower by about 50 basis points in order to rekindle another refinance boom.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

  • Monday April 24th – Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey
  • Tuesday April 25th – FHFA House Price Index, S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI, New Home Sales, Consumer Confidence
  • Wednesday April 26th – MBA Applications
  • Thursday April 27th – First Time Jobless Claims, Durable Goods Orders, Pending Home Sales
  • Friday April 28th – GDP, 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.

 

Book news…and your market update!

I’m excited to share that I finished my book! It’s the expanded/updated/sequel to “How to Ditch Your Allowance and be Richer Than Your Parents.” I had the opportunity to speak with a few publishers and agents and I received a great response.

I’m still working on the title, but the book is ready to submit! This book will be geared for parents and their teens and is filled with a ton of great, invaluable information. I’m super excited about sharing this with the world and inspiring and empowering our next generation.

My plan is to reach out to radio shows and local TV news stations to be a guest speaker. Have any contacts you can introduce me to?  🙂

I’ll keep you posted! I may even have some pre-sale opportunities.

Happy weekend! Stay dry and safe.

Onto the market update…

Throughout the week, the stock market has remained within a narrow trading range of 100 points, up or down. The flood of housing reports this week did little to impact the indices. Many investors believe the Fed will move rates higher. There are however others, a smaller segment, that believe that the increase will not happen until either December or January.

The Federal Housing and Finance Agency reported that home prices appear to be surging for single family residences. For the month of August, prices jumped 0.7 percent which was the high end of analyst’s expectations. This increase follows July’s jump of 0.5 percent. From the same time last year, the FHFA index is higher by 6.4 percent. The spread between prices this year and last year is also increasing, as the difference was 5.9 percent in July.

In contrast to the FHFA report, the Case-Shiller Home Price Index reported that prices increased only 0.2 percent in August. This index measures single family home prices on re-sales in 20 major metropolitan cities. Prices compared to the same time last year remain higher by 5.1 percent. This is slightly less than where the year started at a 5.6 percent spread.

The West continues to lead the way in home price appreciation with an increase of 1.0 percent for San Francisco and a 0.8 percent rise in Seattle. If you compare home prices to a year ago, Portland Oregon is out in front with an increase of 11.8 percent, and once again Seattle at 11.4 percent. On the opposite end of the spectrum, New York and Cleveland showed only 1.8 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.

New homes sales jumped 3.1 percent for September. This proved to be a very solid gain after the prior two months were revised downward from 609,000 to 575,000 in August and 659,000 to 629,000 in July.

New home prices are up for the month by 6.7 percent. Limited inventory continues to keep upward pressure on prices. Currently available inventory is rated at 4.8 months, which is a decline of 0.1 percent from the prior month. Sales compared to the same time last year are up 1.9 months.

Finally, pending home sales have increased. The index for the month of September was up 1.5 percent. This is a healthy reversal from the prior month’s 2.5 percent decline.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

• Monday October 31st – Personal Income and Outlays
• Tuesday November 1st – ISM Manufacturing Index
• Wednesday November 2nd – MBA Applications, ADP Employment Report, FOMC Announcement
• Thursday November 3rd – First Time Jobless Claims & Factory Orders
• Friday November 4th – National Employment Report

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.

My new physical and mental push!

If you’ve been a reader for awhile, you’ve read about my experience with taking Zumba classes. I love the workout, the music, the dance and the instructor-all was wonderful.

But, I recently heard about a new class called “Pound”- it combines drum sticks (learning to play the drums is on my bucket list) and a full body workout. After watching a sample video of the class, I was hooked. And, even more exciting, I found a Pound class here in Santa Clarita Valley!

I gotta say, it’s a blast. I could barely walk out of the first class, but what a rush! Working out needs to be fun for me to stay consistent, and this class is the epitome of fun! Not to mention the faces my sister and I make at each other in the midst of the physical and mental push.

If you live in SCV and want details, let me know!

Onto the market update…

Through Thursday the stock market seemed to have been enjoying a great rally. With fears of the U.K. leaving the European Union easing, markets around the world stabilized and have even been rallying. However, as of this morning, everything changed. The experts were wrong – the U.K. is going to leave the European Union.

As of early this morning stock markets around the world are tanking. Money is flying out of stocks and into bonds. The Yield on the 10 year bond is down to 1.46% as of early morning trading. Bottom line…buckle up and stay tuned as the markets are in for a crazy ride while investors and governments around the world sort through the what the impact of the vote to exit will ultimately be.

The housing market continues to show strength, although the numbers are not earth shattering. Existing home sales rose 1.8 percent in May, which is the strongest pace of growth since February 2007. The increase is only modest from prior months, but it continues to point to an improving housing market. Compared to the same time last year, existing homes sales are up by a narrow 4.5 percent.

Home prices are up, but only modestly at 4.7 percent for the year. Lack of inventory continues to be the culprit for slow growth in the housing sector. Supply of homes is very low at only 4.7 months. The South is up 6.5 percent from the same time last year at a rate of 2.280 million. The Northeast, which is the smallest region, is up 11.6 percent for a 770,000 annualized rate. The West, usually a strong region, appears to be lagging behind the country being down 1.7 percent from a year ago.

New homes sales data is always volatile due to the small sampling used to acquire report data. Despite the volatility, it appears that new home sales are continuing to trend higher. Although new home sales fell a larger than expected 6.0 percent in May, the number is misleading. The annualized sales rate of 551,000. is the second best of the housing recovery cycle.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s report on home prices was weaker than anticipated, but still shows home price appreciation. Prices according to the FHFA reflect an increase much smaller than expected- 0.2 percent for the month of April. Prices compared to the same time last year are up by 5.9 percent.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

Monday June 27th – International Trade in Goods

  • Tuesday June 28th – GDP & Case-Shiller Home Price Index
  • Wednesday June 29th – MBA Mortgage Applications and Pending Home Sales
  • Thursday June 30th – First Time Jobless Claims and New Home Sales
  • Friday July 1st – ISM Manufacturing Index & Construction Spending

 

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.