A cool speaking opportunity…and your market update!

Yesterday I had the coolest experience.

I was invited to speak to a group of young adults (18-24 year olds) that are part of a mentorship program with the Los Angeles Sheriff Department. These individuals come from all walks of life.

LASD brings in guest speakers to touch on various topics, including financial literacy and life skills- that’s where I came in.

What a great group of kids- all hungry for knowledge, with a desire to make a difference! They asked a ton of great questions, were engaging and just a joy to be with! I think I left there happier than they did! A great time was had by all!

If only this type of knowledge could be taught in our school system… I will continue to push. 🙂

Happy weekend!

Onto the market update…

What a difference a week makes. With not much news to trade on last week, this week’s news provided many traders the opportunity to ride the investment and stock rollercoaster. The stock market, through the first 3 days of trading for the week, was up just over 200 points. Thursday the gains were virtually all given back with the Dow’s 195pt loss.

Banking stocks led the way for the market decline. The problems exist on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Here at home, Wells Fargo continues to get ripped apart for their practice of opening fraudulent accounts. With each passing day, more investigations into their actions are being launched and the lawsuits are starting to pile up. On the other side of the pond, the solvency of Deutsche Bank is becoming more and more troubling by the day. Combined, these two large entities represent the potential for a major impact to global finances.

New home sales for August came in higher than expected at an annualized rate of 609,000. Although this number is higher than forecast, it represents a decline of 7.6 percent from July. The positive part of the report is that July was revised upward to show a gain of 13.8 percent from June.

According to the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, the price of homes remained virtually unchanged for the month of July. This shows stabilization in the market as the prior 3 month’s reports showed declines. Home prices compared to the same time last year remain 5.0 percent higher. The Pacific Northwest continues to be the strongest real estate market in the country, as demand for housing remains very high while inventory is extremely limited.

Heading into the fall and winter months, concerns for housing are growing. Existing home sales have not been able to gain ground and Thursday’s pending home sales report indicates that future sales are likely to be weak. The latest report on pending sales showed a decline of 2.4 percent for the month of August. 3 of the 4 regions showed declines. Surprisingly, the Northeast was the only positive region with an increase of 1.3 percent. In fact, this region is the only one posting a gain from the same time last year. Limited inventory seems to be the culprit as mortgage rates remain very low and the labor department continues to show strength.

The Mortgage Bankers Association of American reported that applications for home purchases rose a meager 1.0 percent for the week of September 23rd. Refinance applications declined by 2.0 percent. When comparing current purchase application volume to the same time last year, the volume is up 10.0 percent.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday October 3rd – ISM Manufacturing Index and Construction Spending
  • Wednesday October 5th – MBA Mortgage Applications, Factory Orders, and ADP Report
  • Thursday October 6th – First Time Jobless Claims
  • Friday October 7th – 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.

 

Exciting book news…and your market update

I’m excited to share some news with you…well, it’s exciting if you have teens or college bound kids. 🙂

I am working on a 2nd edition of my book, “How to Ditch Your Allowance and be Richer Than Your Parents!” Financial Literacy for Teens is lacking in our schools and I’m hoping to change this.

My first book has done well on Amazon and my website, but I want to reach more youth organizations, banks, credit unions, financial services firms, schools and anyone else who has an interest in educating our youth. If you have an interest in this, please contact me!

Stay tuned for more updates!

Happy Weekend!

Onto the market update…

With little news to trade on this week, the stock market has been remaining in a narrow range. Next week the markets are likely to continue not to have large swings, as significant economic data doesn’t really get reported until the third week of September.

There continues to be much speculation on what the Fed intends to do regarding interest rates. Many of the Fed board members have indicated that they would like to see interest rates start to rise, however there continues to be mixed information as to how the economy is really doing. If the Fed does make a decision to increase interest rates, the rate hike will be very small.

The Mortgage Bankers Association of America reported minimal increases in both purchase and refinance applications. Despite mortgage rates remaining at historic lows, applications for both only increased by 1 percent. Some experts speculate that the reason for the minimal increase is due to the return of the school year, as well as the general public getting back into the swing of work after end of summer vacations.

One of the new measurements that the Fed pays attention to is called the Labor Market Conditions Index. This index is an experimental indicator by the Federal Reserve to track labor market activity. This is just one of many pieces of data that the Fed uses in making interest rate decisions. Most recently, the index has slept into negative territory which means the labor market may be beginning to contract.

Last week, the Labor Department reported only 151,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls. Analysts were expecting 175,000. The prior month payrolls increased 275,000, so this significant decline is just another factor the Fed has to weigh in making their decision on interest rates at the next FOMC meeting.

First Time jobless claims remained low at 259,000. For well over a month, claims have been remaining in a narrow range. Claim numbers below 300,000 are considered strong for the labor market. Since first time jobless claims remain low, but new hiring remains low as well, the question is are more people leaving the workforce.

The final labor market report for the week, known as the JOLTS report, tracks job openings and offer rates on hiring and people quitting. The latest report shows job openings remain very high at 5.871 million. The challenge for employers is that it appears that workers continue to remain reluctant to change jobs.

Gas prices continue to remain low as petroleum inventories are still 11.7 percent higher than the same time last year. The price for a barrel of oil remains in the mid 40’s.

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.

 

Millennials and the market…

I recently came across this inspirational quote that seemed so fitting…

“I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process”- Vincent Van Gogh.

It’s been a nutty week, but love what I do. My mind will come back- I hope. 🙂

Happy weekend!

 

Onto the market update…

The stock market for the first time in many weeks is on the down side. Through the first four days of trading this week, the market is lower by 231 points. Despite investors being a little skittish, there are many positive signs in the economy.

The release of the latest FOMC minutes showed that there continues to be much debate amongst board members as to whether a rate increase should occur sooner than later. Two of the 17 participants wanted a hike right away. Job strength along with the stabilizing of inflation was their argument for the immediate rate increase.

Many other board members held a different view of the economy. Quite a few of them voiced concerns about inflation reversing course. Despite not all of the members having the same view, the group agreed that a gradual approach to economic policy must remain in place. Some members are pushing for a rate increase in April, where others are not quite as committed to the adjustment occurring so soon.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, mortgage applications for purchases declined by 2.0 percent while refinances increased by 7.0 percent. Rates have declined slightly, which typically will stimulate refinance activity.

The March job creation index rose all the way up to plus 32, which matches the highest level of its eight-year history. In February, the index was at 29 and has been sitting at that level since May of last year. Further proof the labor market continues to improve and remain healthy.

Although the housing market continues to remain strong, one of the most noticeable factors of the market is the absence of Millennials. There are a number of thoughts as to why this is happening. Some believe they just don’t place the same value on homeownership as their parents did.

Another view is that Millennials are not convinced that real estate is a viable investment for the future because of the instability of the market. Some Millennials when asked even said that they simply cannot afford or qualify to purchase a home because of student debt.

Regardless of the reasons, it is clear that Millennials are not in a rush to join the housing market in droves at the present time. Nonetheless, housing demand remains strong and home prices are rising even without significant Millennial participation.

Next week week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Wednesday April 13th – MBA Applications, EIA Petroleum Status, Retail Sales & PPI
  • Thursday April 7th – First Time Jobless Claims and Consumer Price Index
  • Friday April 8th – Industrial Production 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.