Is your work, great work?

I’m headed out the door soon for a business meeting in Ventura, so my note will be short and sweet. In fact, by the time you read this, I’ll probably be cruising on the 126. And yes, I may stop and enjoy the ocean view for a bit.

I thought since it’s Friday, I’d leave you with a great quote about work:

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

Have you found it yet? I hope so!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Onto the market update…

It seems that the presidential election is in the driver’s seat in the minds of investors. Many experts were expecting the Fed to raise interest rates at this week’s Fed meeting. Despite the Fed decision to leave rates where they are, the markets reacted with little more than a yawn. The stock indexes remained little changed since the announcement.

What seems to be driving the market is speculation on who our next president will be. The country is very clearly divided on who will be best to serve as President, and who will be the right person for economic growth. (At this point I am so disgusted with the negative campaigning it will be a relief just for it to be over next week)

In previous Fed meetings, the language often used would give insight into the Fed’s plan for rate adjustments. This past meeting, there appears to be very little in the way of wording that gives any indication on when the Fed will take action to raise rates. The Fed continues to express concern about international influences that can negatively impact the U.S. economy, as well as on-going mixed economic data from housing to manufacturing here in the United States.

ADP’s employment report points to less growth in the labor markets for the month of October. On Friday, the labor department will release their numbers, and they too are expected to show weakness. You may recall that last month’s report came in weaker than expected and many analysts feel that there may be a slowing in the growth of the labor force.

First time jobless claims continue to remain very low which leads many to believe that we are not far from what is considered full employment. This being the case, has experts believing that the ability for the labor force to continue to grow at a healthy pace is limited because of the lack of people available in the talent pool.

As mortgage rates continue to creep higher, loan volume inches lower. The Mortgage Bankers Association of American reported that for the week ending October 28th, applications for purchases and refinances both declined by 0.4 percent and 2.0 percent respectively. Purchase applications, however continue to be higher by 9.0 percent from the same time last year.

Furthering the Fed’s concern about a slowing economy, construction spending declined 0.4 percent for the month of September. The bright side of the report is that residential construction rose by 0.5 percent and remains just under 1.0 percent higher than from the same time last year.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

Monday November 7th – Labor Market Conditions Index

  • Tuesday November 8th – Job Opening and Labor Turnover Report
  • Wednesday November 9th – MBA Applications
  • Thursday November 10th – First Time Jobless Claims
  • Friday November 11th – 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.

Wedding bells…and your market update!

Wedding bells…and your market update!

It’s a proud auntie moment…my niece is getting married next Saturday and I couldn’t be happier!! It’s hard to believe, as I feel she was just a little one not so long ago. Her fiancé is wonderful and they make the perfect pair. Here’s a picture of the adorable couple! I love them to pieces!!

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Happy weekend!

Onto the market update…

If you ever needed a week that is set up for potential market volatility, next week is it. With the FOMC announcement on interest rates on Wednesday, combined with four important housing market indicators being released on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, the makings for a crazy week is all set.

Experts continue to remain mixed on what the Fed is going to do with interest rates. The irony of the speculation from a mortgage lending perspective is that the last time the Fed raised rates, mortgage rates declined. Although that was likely an anomaly, there is always the possibility it can occur again if investors believe that a Fed increase will hurt the economy. That would send bond prices tumbling, and in effect, mortgage rates would decline. Odds are it won’t happen like that, but the possibility always exists. Of course, you understand that my commentary here is just speculation, the same as everyone else’s.

With mortgage rates continuing to remain near historic lows, combined with the return to normal life in regard to end of summer vacations and kids getting back to school, mortgage application activity jumped. The overall mortgage application index rose 4.2 percent. Applications for purchases jumped 9.0 percent and refinances increased by 2.0 percent. The mortgage activity from last week lifted the year-on-year gain of applications back up to 8 percent. It was virtually flat from the same time last year prior to the last report.

What used to be a major influence on the markets, the EIA Petroleum report seems to have lost its influence on investors. Oil prices have remained low and the volatility that we had seen in recent months appears to have subsided. Going to the pump continues to be a nice treat with gas prices remaining low.

Wall Street and the stock markets have had some significant movement up and down related to speculation on what the Fed is going to do next week. Many analysts and investors remain split on what they think the Fed will do. No matter what, even if the Fed moves rates up, it will only be by a very small amount. Corporations have been riding the wave of borrowing money at virtually no cost, which does wonders for corporate profits. Investors, of course, want the gravy train to keep going and raising interest rates can have a negative impact on profits and therefore impact stock prices.

Another factor which can have an impact on the Fed decision on raising rates, is the latest producer price information. Prices on the wholesale level continue to indicate that inflation is virtually non-existent. One of the goals of the Fed is for inflation to normalize at a rate of around 2.0 percent. Since the Great Recession, inflation on both the wholesale and retail levels have been far below the Fed goal.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday September 19th – Housing Market Index
  • Tuesday September 20th – Housing Starts and FOMC Meeting Begins
  • Wednesday September 21st – MBA Mortgage Applications, FOMC Announcement and Forecast
  • Thursday September 22nd – Jobless Claims, FHFA Home Price Index, Existing Home Sales
  • Friday September 23td – PMI Manufacturing Index and Inflation Expectations

 

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 rant on social media…and your market update

As much as I enjoy social media, I’m beginning to wonder about Facebook. Not Facebook itself necessarily, I’m referring to the constant negative information and comments. If it isn’t politics, it’s about the latest murder, accidents or wrongdoing.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have my head in the sand with regards to world events, I just need a break from it. I stopped watching the evening news a long time ago for this reason. It just became so depressing!

I prefer to read uplifting stories, such as people doing great things in the world or about the newest medical miracle. There are a lot of wonderful things happening all around us and I feel if we focus on what is right in this world, rather than what is wrong, we may just have a happier planet.

Just my two cents…

Onto the market update…

There was a significant amount of housing data to digest this week. The beginning of the week brought us the release of the housing market index. This index, which measures overall confidence of home builders, remained unchanged for a third straight month at 58, for the month of April. This reading continues to signal solid confidence amongst home builders. Adding to the positive sentiment of the report was the expectations for sales- the next six months remains strong. The West is leading the way for builder confidence, which reinforces just how important this region of the country is for the new home sector. The South, which is the largest housing region, remained strong as well. The Northeast, which is the smallest sector, trails the rest of the country by a significant margin. Although builder confidence is high, housing starts fell a sharp 8.8 percent in March. The surprise for this report is we are now in the spring housing season and typically starts would be increasing. Permits for new construction also came in below expectations. Economists do not seem to have a consensus as to the reason for the drop. We will have to wait and see next month’s report, to determine if there is a negative trend developing.

The weakness in housing starts is split pretty much evenly between single-family and multi-family sectors. The bright side to the report is the year-on-year rates for starts are up 14.2 percent and permits are 4.6 percent ahead. Existing home sales jumped 5.1 percent to a 5.330 million annualized rate for the month of March. February’s revised numbers showed a decline of 7.3 percent. Overall sales are just a meager 1.5 percent higher than the same time last year. The good news is that when you look at the first quarter as a whole, existing home sales are up 4.8 percent. March’s gain in sales was spearheaded by single family homes, which is the most important measured component. Single family sales rose 5.5 percent. Year-on-year, single-family homes are up 2.6 percent. Existing condominium sales are up only 1.8 percent for the month; however they are down compared to the same time last year by 6.6 percent.

Home prices seem to be somewhat flat in many parts of the country. The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that home prices rose just 0.4 percent in February. This is the softest gain in home prices since August of last year. Year-on-year home prices are up 5.6 percent. Next week week’s potential market moving reports are:

Monday April 25th – New Home Sales

  • Tuesday April 26th – Durable Goods Orders and S&P Case-Shiller House Price Index
  • Wednesday April 27th – MBA Applications, Pending Home Sales, FOMC Announcement
  • Thursday April 28th – First Time Jobless Claims and 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.