Exciting Announcement!

I have some exciting news to share! You might have seen my posts on social media, but in case you didn’t, I’ll be hosting my own radio show on KHTS Radio, called Starting Over with Patti Handy, beginning Wednesday, March 14th at 12:00-1:00 p.m., PST!!

Wonderful guest speakers and I will help those starting over in life navigate finances, health, fitness, emotions, legal issues and so much more! Be sure to tune in!! We’ll be Facebook live as well.

Stay tuned for updates and for now, mark your calendars!

Onto the market update…

Coming off the President’s Day Holiday on Monday, the stock market is showing stability. Although there can be movement up and down a couple of hundred points within a single trading session, this seems to be the new normal. Market volatility creates opportunities for investors to make or lose significant money within hours, and it’s this pattern of trading that is becoming more common.

Existing Home Sales:

Even though the supply of homes increased 4.1 percent from December to January, it failed to result in an increase in existing home sales. The latest report showed sales unexpectedly decreased 3.2 percent in January. The annualized rate of 5.380 million was the lowest pace dating all the way back to January of 1999. The January report shows that existing home sales are down 4.8 percent from the same time last year. Inventory is down a whopping 9.5 percent from last year at a level of 3.4 months. This is only slightly higher than the 19 year low of 3.2 months set in December.

Mortgage Applications

It is clear now that rising mortgage rates is impacting loan activity. For the week ending February 16th, The Mortgage Bankers Association of America reported that applications for purchases are down 6.0 percent, and refinances are off by 7.0 percent.  For years, applications for refinancing represented more than 50 percent of all loan activity.  The latest report has refinances only representing 44.4 percent of loan applications in process.

Employment:

Despite some weakening economic data in recent weeks, one area that remains very strong is the labor market. First time jobless claims remain near historic lows, at 222,000 in the week of February 17th.  This is a decline from the prior week of 7,000.  These latest figures are just shy of the 45-year low that was hit only two weeks ago.  Compared to the same time last month, claims are down 13,500.  Further strength in the labor market is evidenced by the data on continuing claims, which are down significantly, as well as the 4-week moving average.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

  • Monday February 26th – New Home Sales
  • Tuesday February 27th – Durable Goods Orders, Case-Shiller HPI, FHFA HPI
  • Wednesday February 28th – MBA Applications, GDP
  • Thursday March 1st – First Time Jobless Claims, Construction Spending
  • Friday March 2nd – 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.

 

My recurring dream…and your market update!

Last night I had a dream, a recurring dream, that my purse was stolen. It’s a fear of mine and I know why. When I was young, about 12 or so, my family was at the beach. My mom buried her purse in the towels, but it was stolen. Her wedding ring was tucked into her wallet, so she wouldn’t lose it at the beach.

We searched for hours, looked in every dumpster and asked everyone in sight. It was traumatic for everyone.

She was beyond devastated, and to this day, will occasionally mention her wedding ring.

When I awoke to realize this was only a dream, I could feel my tense body relax. I only wish my mom’s experience was a dream too.

Onto the market update…

As expected, on Wednesday the Federal Open Market Committee announced that they are leaving interest rates where they are for now. In what is a rare occurrence, all 9 members voted to leave rates where they are. It has been a very long time since all the board members could be in agreement on monetary policy. The stock market had muted reaction to the Fed announcement.

The big question on investors’ minds these days is… “Is the bull run for stocks coming to an end?”

After week after week of new stock market records, the first half of the week saw the market tank by over 500 points in two days. The two main drivers for this change of fortune was some concern about future economic growth, and the bigger factor of JP Morgan Chase, Amazon, and Berkshire Hathaway getting into the healthcare business to reduce medical costs. This had almost every stock related to healthcare in some fashion take a nose dive.

Pending Home Sales and Overall Housing:

The tight supply of homes available for sale continues to restrict significant growth of pending home sales. December showed an expected increase of 0.5 percent, which although not a significant movement, does point to sales improvement in the coming months.

The South is the strongest region for property resales. Pending sales in this area increased 2.6 percent in December, and is higher from the same time last year by 4.0 percent. Sales in the West increased 1.5 percent, however unlike the South, sales compared to last year are down by 3.1 percent.

Until more sellers place their homes on the market, significant growth in this sector is unlikely. There continues to be very high demand for housing, however, with the recent increase in mortgage rates, home affordability has declined slightly. If interest rates continue to rise, it is likely we will see a decline in the number of buyers out searching for home for a brief period of time. Once people accept the new reality of slightly higher mortgage rates (which are still very low by historical standards) the buyers that took a pause on purchasing, will likely return.

The most recent Core-Logic housing data shows that prices continue to rise. The latest data is for November 2017. Home prices rose 0.7 percent from the prior month, and were higher by 6.4 percent from the same time last year. The next step is to see how higher rates might impact values.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday February 5th – ISM Non-Manufacturing Index
  • Tuesday February 6th – JOLTS Report
  • Wednesday February 7th – MBA Applications, EIA Petroleum Status Report
  • Thursday February 8th – First Time Jobless Claims

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.

Today’s market update!

The stock market continues to soar to the stars. Another week, and more record highs. The driving force behind the Dow’s rocket ship climb is the expectation of tremendous growth in corporate earnings. The economy as a whole is doing extremely well. We are essentially at full employment in the United States. There are numerous strong economic data reports that have been coming out. Inflation remains low while interest rates are also low. Major corporations are showing strong profits.

In addition to this, the corporate taxes are dropping from 39% to 21%. This sets the stage for huge corporate profits and business growth. As much as there has been much criticism regarding the change in tax policy, more and more companies are announcing that they are giving some of the tax reduction windfall back to their employees. Albeit in most cases, what is being paid out to employees is not significant in comparison to the savings the companies will receive, it is still more money going to consumers that will bolster the economy further.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Report:

Despite the fact that the number of job openings has declined slightly from the highs of July, there is still clearly a labor shortage. New hiring continues to remain strong at or near the all-time high that was set in October at 5.592 million.

Workers and employers however are remaining risk adverse. The number of people leaving their current jobs declined by 0.9 percent in November. Even though there are plenty of job openings, it appears that workers seem to be more comfortable and secure remaining where they are versus seeking higher pay.

Mortgage Application Activity:

Despite mortgage rates rising in the first week of the year, home loan activity for both purchases and refinances continues to point to a strong housing market. For the week ending January 5th, applications for refinancing unexpectedly jumped by 11.00 percent. For the same period mortgage apps for purchasing increased by 5.0 percent. Refinance applications still represent approximately 52 percent of mortgage loan activity.

 Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday January 15th – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Tuesday January 16th – Empire State Manufacturing Survey
  • Wednesday January 17th – MBA Mortgage Applications, Housing Market Index
  • Thursday January 18th – First Time Jobless Claims, Housing Starts
  • Friday January 19th – 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.

 

Amongst the devastation…

As with all of you, my heart breaks for the devastation we have witnessed with the fires in Southern California. If you personally haven’t been affected, I’m sure you know someone who has.

In the midst of the heartache and loss, we are witnessing communities and strangers coming together to help each other. Countless pictures and videos show how neighbors are stepping in to help, even if it’s just to hug someone staring at their destroyed home.

Surreal, tragic and devastating- let the healing begin and outpouring of love and giving continue.

If you have personally been affected by the fires and in need of supplies, clothes or anything, please reach out to me personally.

Onto the market update…

The stock market continues to rally with the continued forward movement on tax reform. Although, it has been determined by many experts, that the tax savings for most Americans will not be significant, the potential benefit to the economy will be corporate expansion that comes from business tax savings.

With an improved corporate climate, the stock market should continue to rise, putting more and more money into people’s retirement accounts. The big question is…will the corporate growth and economic stimulus be enough to offset the increased debt the country will incur under this tax plan? (Most experts believe it will not, which essentially means that we are trading one economic problem for another)

Mortgage Application Activity:

In a nice surprise, mortgage activity for the week ending December 1st jumped for both purchases and refinancing. Even though mortgage rates were little changed, purchase applications rose 2.0 percent and refinances leaped higher by 9.0 percent. More than likely the impending rate increase by the Fed next week is playing a role in the increased refinance activity. Many consumers appear to be trying to get locked into a rate before the Fed takes action at the FOMC meeting. Even though mortgage rates don’t necessarily move in lock-step with the Fed rate adjustments, consumers seem to be trying to play it safe.

Employment:

First time jobless claims continue to remain extremely low despite the expected increase in claims coming from Puerto Rico. The latest tally of 236,000 first time claims keeps unemployment concerns way down as the latest numbers continue to remain at or near historic lows.

The latest data on national employment is that unemployment remain the same at 4.1 percent. Essentially this number represents full employment in the eyes of the government and business. In fact, may businesses continue to talk about their frustrations in trying to find qualified candidates to fill open positions. More than likely as the labor shortage continues, income growth will likely rise in 2018.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday December 11th – Job Openings and Labor Turnover Report (JOLTS)
  • Tuesday December 12th – FOMC Meeting Begins, Producer Price Index
  • Wednesday December 13th – FOMC Announcement, MBA Applications, CPI
  • Thursday December 14th – First Time Jobless Claims, Retail Sales
  • Friday December 15th – Industrial Production

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.

 

What is your great work?

Today I felt the need to send an inspirational quote about work. This resonated with me, as I love what I do in helping people experience their dreams coming true – purchasing a place to call home.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

– Steve Jobs

I hope you found your great work!

Onto the market update…

In a nice turnaround, home builders are once again very bullish on the housing market. In the latest data, which is released by The National Association of Home Builders from their member survey, the index jumped four points all the way back up to 68. The strength in the index is optimism of future sales along with continuing growth of current sales. Traffic continues to be lower than builders would like, however the only component that seems to be missing is first time buyers. Existing home owners and previous owners make up the bulk of the traffic and purchases of new construction.

Mortgage Rates and Applications:

Mortgage rates remained essentially flat for the week ending October 13th, however applications for purchases and refinances increased. Purchase application rose a seasonally adjusted 4.0 percent. Refinances went up by 3.0 percent. Purchase applications continue to make up more than 50% of all loan activity, and remain higher from the same time last year by 9.0 percent.

Housing Starts:

The latest news for new housing is mixed. Permits for single-family construction rose 2.4 percent to an annualized rate of 819,000. Permit activity for this market segment is up 9.3 percent from the same time last year. Single family activity is the major component in which the strength of housing is judged. This is translating into more available inventory which will likely continue to support housing growth in the coming months.

The weakness in the latest report is permits for multi-family units. Here we see that permits have declined by 16.1 percent to a rate of 396,000. This is a whopping 24.0 percent below activity at the same time last year.

Industrial Production:

Industrial production was essentially flat for the month of September. With only a .3 percent growth, this continues to create uncertainty for the Fed in deciding what action to take on interest rates in the coming months.

One of the things that creates questions about this latest report is that the private reports by Empire State and ISM show significant manufacturing growth.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Wednesday October 25th – MBA Mortgage Applications, FHFA HPI, New Home Sales
  • Thursday October 26th – First Time Jobless Claims, Pending Home Sales
  • Friday October 27th – GDP

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.

 

What do you do for fun?

What do you do for fun? I’m not talking about vacations or weekends away, just simple everyday fun. What do your weekends typically look like?

Are they filled with errands and ‘catch up’ stuff or do you make sure you schedule in time to relax?

I’ve been guilty of getting my ‘to do’ list done or work on the weekends. I’m trying to find that balance of simple pleasures and relaxing more. Although I go to the gym to help with balance, I don’t find that ‘fun.’

I need your help with ideas! Please share!!

P. S. Be sure to check out my recent Podcasts here!

Onto the market update…

After three consecutive monthly declines, the pending home sales index turned around and jumped by a much stronger than anticipated 1.5 percent in the month of June. The housing market struggled through the Spring season, but the latest data shows promise for the existing home sales data coming in later this month. With mortgage rates continuing to remain low, this holds promise that the second-half of the year can end up being a much stronger housing market than normal. Mortgage Bankers Association Loan Application Weekly Data

With mortgage rates remaining steady for the week, applications for purchases and refinances declined slightly. The seasonally adjusted move in activity was purchase applications that went down by 2.0 percent whereas refi’s dropped by 4.0 percent. Overall the purchase index is up by 9.0 percent from the same time last year. Purchase applications represent 55.5 percent of loan activity according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Construction Spending

Surprisingly, the June construction spending report declined 1.3 percent. This is a reversal from the prior month’s revised increase of 0.3 percent. It appears that spending in this sector moved in a similar fashion to the latest data in personal income and outlays released on Tuesday morning.

Single-family residential construction spending increased 0.3 percent. Multi-family headed in the opposite direction with a decline of 0.2 percent. When looking at the latest data, it is always important to note that the bulk of the weight is placed on the single-family sector as that is a much closer measure to how the housing market is performing. Year on year growth for single-family construction spending is up 9.0 percent. Multi-family spending is higher by only 0.6 percent.

First Time Jobless Claims, Factory Orders, Manufacturing

Even with the seasonal retooling in the automotive industry, first time jobless claims remain extremely low at only 240,000 for the week ending July 29th. Typically for this time of year, a jump in claims is seen with auto-manufacturers laying off workers while they retool their assembly plants for the change in car model year.

Factory orders jumped 3.0 percent for June. Higher than expected aircraft orders played a major role in the increase. Manufacturing continues to show great strength with a reading of 56.3.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday August 7th – Labor Market Conditions Index
  • Tuesday August 2nd – Job Openings and Labor Turnover Report (JOLTS)
  • Wednesday August 3rd – MBA Mortgage Applications
  • Thursday August 4th – First Time Jobless Claims, Producer Price Index
  • Friday August 5th – Consumer Price Index

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.

 

Did you mark your calendars? Next Thursday, May 11th, is my book signing at the American Family Funding offices! The first 50 guests will receive a free copy of my book, so be sure and come early! The fun is from 5:00-7:00 pm. I would love to see you and give you a free copy!

On another note, I was recently interviewed by The Signal, our local newspaper. Here’s a link to the online version. Enjoy the read. ?

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Enjoy your weekend and stay safe!

Onto the market update…

Another week, and once again uneventful events happening on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded within 100 points plus or minus almost the entire week. The biggest news for the week was the ability for Congress to pass the spending bill and avoid a government shutdown. Other than this agreement, it is clearer with each passing day that Democrats and Republicans could not be further apart on everything else in running this country.

The awaited release of the FOMC Announcement from their meeting this week arrived with little more than a thud on Wednesday. The Fed continues to remain upbeat regarding growth in the economy, however they do acknowledge that some of the fundamentals in the economy are showing slight signs of weakness. There was nothing in the Fed’s report that gave investors reason to feel they may be changing course on the anticipated rate increases likely to happen later in the year.

One of the areas that has showed signs of slowing is manufacturing. The latest index for the Institute For Supply Manufacturing (ISM Mfg Index) declined for the first time after 7 straight months of beating expectations. Not only did it fall short, it was hit much harder than anyone expected. However, although the index did not meet expectations for April, the report standing on its own is quite solid with a reading of 54.8. Any reading above 50 is considered very strong.

April’s ISM Non-Manufacturing Index showed significant acceleration. New orders outside of manufacturing jumped 4.3 points all the way up to 63.2. This is the highest level in almost 12 years. Not only does this report reflect strong orders currently, there is a significant growth in backorders which means that this sector should remain solid for the coming months.

With mortgage rates not moving much in either direction, applications for refinances declined by 5.0 percent for the week ending April 28th. The home purchase market continues to remain red hot as indicated by the MBA’s report of an increase last week of 4.0 percent in purchase loan applications.

Many areas of the country continue to report that bidding wars are taking place on many homes coming on the market for sale. This is leading to frustration by some prospective buyers. Some are making a decision to step out of the market for a while to let things settle down. The frustration of not being able to get an accepted offer on a property is taking its toll on some of them. The good news is that reports from real estate professionals indicate that in many areas, more homes are starting to come on the market. It appears that homeowners are wanting to take advantage of the hot market. The demand is still much higher than inventory so don’t expect the bidding wars to end anytime soon.

Next week is going to be quiet as far as economic reports that may impact the market.

 

  • Monday May 8th – Labor Market Index
  • Tuesday May 9th – JOLTS Report
  • Wednesday May 10th – MBA Mortgage Applications Data
  • Thursday May 11th – First time Jobless Claims, Producer Price Index
  • Friday May 12th – Retail Sales, Consumer Price Index

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.

 

http://pattihandy.com/clients/812

Home and Garden show this weekend!

If you live anywhere near the Santa Clarita Valley, come to the Home and Garden Show this weekend! It’s tons of fun, with food trucks, everything for your home and garden, and I’ll be there! It’s at Central Park with lots of parking and it’s free! If you need directions, let me know.

I’ll be at booth 203 with our American Family Funding team. I’m working the booth on Saturday from 2:00-4:00 and Sunday from 10:00-12:00. Please come by and say hi, I’d love to see you!!

Don’t forget about my book signing event on May 11th at the American Family Funding offices. A complimentary book will be given to the first 50 guests, so be sure and come early!! 5:00-7:00 PM, with wine and treats being served!

Onto the market update…

Housing data dominated the market data being released.  Tuesday launched the housing news with the Federal Housing Finance Agency report on home prices.  For the month of February, home prices increased 0.8 percent.  This was double the amount the majority of analyst’s predicted.  Adding to the positive news was January’s numbers- revised from being flat, to showing an increase of 0.2 percent.  Overall, home prices are up 6.4 percent from the same time last year.

Following the FHFA report, S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI showed an increase in home prices by 0.7 percent for the 20 major cities measured.  This stronger than expected report reflects a 5.9 increase from last year, and the best spread in 2-1/2 years.

What is impressive about this latest report is some of the weakest cities in the past have shown significant improvement.  The Midwest, notably Ohio and Michigan, which have been struggling to move higher, showed price growth of 0.9 percent in Cleveland, and 0.8 percent in Detroit.

When it comes to year-on-year appreciation, nothing is beating the Pacific Northwest.  For well over a year, Seattle and Portland have been leading the country in price appreciation.  Seattle home prices are currently up by 12.1 percent from the same time last year.  Portland, Oregon is higher by 9.6 percent.

Overall home prices across the country are averaging a year-on-year increase of 5.9 percent.  Although this number is respectable, it is hard for people to be super excited about it.  The interesting dynamic about this increase is it is occurring in a low interest rate environment.  Typically, when rates are low, home appreciation can be stagnant.

Pending home sales were the only negative in this week’s housing data.  This sector showed a decline of 0.8 percent.  The only reason for the decline is the lack of available inventory.  Demand remains strong.

Rounding out this week’s housing reports was the data on new home sales.  From February’s sales of 592,000, March showed a nice increase up to 621,000.  Permits for new construction are also higher.  What is very encouraging in the latest report is the increase in new home sales did not come at the expense of reduced prices.

Prices for new homes rose a very strong 7.5 percent.  Sales are up a whopping 15.6 percent from a year ago.  More homes came on the market, however with the increase in demand, overall supply declined down to 5.2 months from 5.4 months.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday May 1st – Construction Spending, PMI Manufacturing Index
  • Tuesday May 2nd – FOMC Meeting Begins
  • Wednesday May 3rd – FOMC Announcement, MBA Applications, ADP Employment Report
  • Thursday May 4th – First time Jobless Claims, Factory Orders
  • Friday May 5th – 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.

 

Spring and hope…

I love this time of year. My roses and other flowers are flourishing, which makes the garden look and smell wonderful. Spring always seems like a time of new beginnings for me. I hope it does the same for you.

Whether you celebrate Easter or Passover, I wish you and your family a blessed weekend!

One side note- mark your calendar! American Family Funding is hosting a book signing event for my latest book, Money Rules 101, on Thursday, May 11th. The first 50 guests receive a complimentary copy, signed by yours truly! 🙂 More details to follow.

Onto the market update…

Trump euphoria certainly appears to have ended in the minds and hearts of investors. The stock market finished the week down once again by a total of 223 points. Markets are closed today, Friday, in observance of Good Friday.

The challenges to the market is that with each passing week, it appears that President Trump will continue to have major headwinds working against him in passing tax reform along with his other economic stimulus ideas touted during his run on the campaign trail. Although, almost every President runs into challenges implementing the ideas and changes from their campaign, investors had very high hopes that the new administration would be able to facilitate changes rapidly that would have an immediate impact on corporate profitability.

Mortgage rates have been steadily declining and have returned to the lowest point for 2017. Although refinances have yet to show signs of resurgence, purchase application increased last week by 3.0 percent according to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.

In the labor markets, first time jobless claims continue to remain extremely low. The latest report for the week ending April 8th shows claims all the way down to 234,000. This was below most analysts’ expectations and continues to float at all-time historical lows. Continuing claims also remain very low. Overall the labor markets are considered to be at “full employment”.

If you have been listening to the Fed for a number of years, they have been focused on getting inflation to the range of about 2.0 percent per year. Once again, it seems like consumers are making it almost impossible for this to occur. Although in the last few months we have seen inflation tick upward on both the wholesale and retail levels, the latest reports may have thrown a monkey wrench into the likelihood that the trend will continue.

The latest PPI for the month of March showed that prices on the wholesale level declined by 0.1 percent. Experts were expecting the latest results to either be flat or show a slight increase. Pricing on the consumer level declined by a shocking 0.3 percent, while analysts were looking for prices to rise by 0.2 percent. Even when the volatile food and energy prices are removed from the CPI, prices still declined 0.1 percent. It is too early to tell, but the lack of price growth may have an impact on the Fed’s decision to put forth another interest rate increase anytime soon.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday April 17th – Housing Market Index
  • Tuesday April 18th – Housing Starts, Industrial Production
  • Wednesday April 19th – MBA Applications
  • Thursday April 20th – First Time Jobless Claims, Leading Indicators
  • Friday April 21st – Existing Home Sales

 

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.

 

Radio interview…and your Mortgage Market update!

A little over a week ago, I was invited to an interview on our local radio station, KHTS 1220. It was a short segment, but we had fun chatting about the launch of my newest book, Money Rules 101. I shared a few tips for parents in the little time we had, with so much more to cover! You can check out the video by scrolling to the post below!

Stay dry and safe on these slick roads!

Onto the market update…

The stock market just keeps going up. Investors once again are optimistic that President Trump’s policies will bolster the business climate. Deregulation is the likely key to economic growth and investors are counting on major changes to much of the legislation that was enacted under the previous administration. There is concern that the market is becoming severely over valued in that stock prices have rocketed to new records without a single change to any rules or regulations as-of-yet. The market increase is all on speculation and it is creating concern that the ride might abruptly end.

The Mortgage Bankers Association of America reported that seasonally adjust applications for home purchases declined 2.0 percent. However, the unadjusted number reflects an increase of 1.0 percent. Housing purchases overall remain strong and there seems to be no sign of buyer demand waning despite interest rates being higher by almost ¾% from last summer. Refinances are currently at the lowest level since June of 2009.

Housing starts for January declined by 2.6 percent. The silver-lining in the reports is that the 1.246 million rate was well above most analyst’s expectations. Single-family starts increased by a rate of 823,000 which reflects a 1.9 percent increase in this sector. Year-on-year housing starts are up a significant 6.2 percent for single-family units and a whopping 19.8 percent for multi-family homes.

Permits for new housing construction jumped 4.6 percent in January to an annualized rate of 1.285 million. This report also significantly beat most analyst’s predictions. Single-family permits surprisingly declined by 2.7 percent, however they are still higher than the same time last year by 11.1 percent.

Since the last Fed announcement regarding interest rate policy, there is much talk about just how many rate increases there will be in 2017. Listening to various experts on TV, radio and even in print, you will hear predictions of rate hikes of anywhere from one to as high as four. No matter the number, one thing is very likely, mortgage rates and overall cost of borrowing for consumers will very likely end the year higher than where they are now.

Bolstering the argument for rates hikes is the latest producer price index data. January’s PPI report showed an increase of 0.6 percent, far exceeding market expectations. One of the areas of focus for the Fed in their decision to raise interest rates is how much inflation is taking place. For years, the Fed has wanted to see price growth as a catalyst for rate increases. It may appear that this is beginning to occur. This is only one report, but the increase of prices on the wholesale level was significant.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday February 20th – Presidents Day: Markets Closed
  • Tuesday February 21st – PMI Manufacturing Index
  • Wednesday February 22nd – MBA Applications, FOMC Minutes, and Existing Home Sales
  • Thursday February 23rd – First Time Jobless Claims, FHFA House Price Index
  • Friday February 24th – New home Sales 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.