Thank you!

I want to extend a heartfelt thank you for those that came to my book signing last night! It meant a lot to me to have you here, and I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to stop by. I hope you enjoy the book and find it inspiring and helpful. Again, thank you!

I also want to extend a very Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mom’s! I hope you are pampered and loved every day of the year, but especially on this special day!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Onto the market update…

A week with few surprises on the economic front had some investors making the decision to cash out their profits from the recent stock market rally. With the Dow Jones Industrial Average poised to finish the week down around 200 points, it seems that the major driver of the decline was more profit taking than anything else.

The only data related on housing this week was the Mortgage Bankers Association report on mortgage loan applications. Purchase apps for the week ending May 5th increased 2.0 percent. This follows last week’s increase of 4.0 percent. Home purchase activity continues to remain extremely high in almost every major market in the country. The shortage of home inventory is what appears to be the only thing holding back the purchase numbers from soaring as demand for housing remains at a post-recession high. Applications for refinances also increased by 2.0 percent. Overall, refi activity is approximately 40 percent behind the same time last year.

The report on Job Openings and Labor Turnover (JOLTS) shows there are plenty of help-wanted signs to be seen, however there appears to be a limited number of qualified applicants to fill these open positions. With unemployment at one of the lowest points in history, it is becoming harder and harder for employers to attract the right talent. More employees are changing companies than in recent past as confidence in the economy continues to slowly improve. However, with unemployment so low, the cost to employers to attract qualified talent is increasing.

First time jobless claims remain at historical lows with the latest report showing only 236,000 claims were filed last week. 300,000 is considered the benchmark number as to where concerns around the job market might appear. The low numbers of claims validates the JOLTS report as to why employers are struggling to find the right talent to fill their open positions.

While March was an unusually weak month for inflation, April appears to be showing the exact opposite. The Producer Price Index rose a higher than expected 0.5 percent. Analysts were expecting only a 0.3 percent increase in wholesale prices. When you exclude the volatile food and energy sectors, prices rose 0.4 percent which places wholesale inflation on an annual rate of just under 5.0 percent. The likelihood of this number remaining at this level is extremely low, however it is important to note that this is one of the highest readings on wholesale price increases since 2007. A factor in the price growth is related to the recent Fed increase in interest rates.

Finally, consumer confidence readings are beginning to move back from their highs. The consumer comfort index remains very strong at a reading of 49.7, however this is a decline of 1.2 points from the previous month. Confidence continues to point to strength in employment.
Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday May 15th – Housing Market Index
  • Tuesday May 16th – Housing Starts, Industrial Production
  • Wednesday May 17th – MBA Applications
  • Thursday May 18th – First Time Jobless Claims, Leading Economic Indicators
  • Friday May 19th – St. Louis Fed Reserve Bank President Speaks

 

As your trusted 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.

 

Gratitude

Gratitude.

It’s one of my favorite words.

When I focus on my blessings, and that which I am truly grateful for, I feel a physical change within me. Even amid the madness of our world lately, I always have many things to be grateful for.

In my new book, I discuss the importance of gratitude, in fact, referring to a “gratitude adjustment” as a necessary habit for some.

Today, I want to express how grateful I am for sharing this journey with you. I am grateful for working with and for you. I am grateful for your friendship and support. I’m grateful you are reading my newsletter!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me into your home, one way or another.

May you be blessed with a wonderful Thanksgiving next week, surrounded by those you love!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Onto the market update…

After the initial market jubilation in belief that President Elect Trump might actually be good for the economy and markets, things have settled down.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average is basically poised to finish the week in about the same place it started.

Helping matters is that it appears that Mr. Trump has toned down much of his rhetoric and inflammatory comments, which is giving investors reason to believe that he will not make rash decisions on economic policy.  Time will tell as to exactly what will happen.  For now, investors are paying close attention to his staff appointments.

Mortgage rates have shot up .50 percent since the election in response to bond yields rising rapidly.  The mortgage industry is feeling it in that applications for purchases and refinances have been declining.  Refinance applications dropped 11.0% for the week of November 11th.  Purchase apps declined 6.0%.

Already there is much chatter that housing affordability is being directly impacted due to the higher rates increasing the cost of homeownership.  Higher rates mean higher monthly housing payments.  The one thing to keep in mind is that home prices will move towards a point where there is balance to meet demand.  For example, sellers may find that they might have to lower the price of their home slightly to offset the interest rate increase to keep buyers interest.

We have been in a market in which mortgage rates have been artificially low for an extended time.  The talk of rising rates has been around for more than five years.  It is just that now it has finally become reality.  Anyone who has been around long enough in the housing market knows that regardless of interest rates, homes will be purchased and sold.  There will always be back and forth movement related to rates, home prices and housing demand.

On a positive note for housing, starts of new construction surged 25.5 percent in October to an annualized rate of 1.323 million. This is the highest number since August of 2007.  The monthly jump in percentage is the strongest since 1982.  The best part of the report is that single family construction jumped 10.7 percent which follows September’s increase of 8.4 percent.

Inflation, excluding volatile food and energy prices, remains very low on both the wholesale and retail levels.  Rising inflation is starting to become more of a concern related to Donald Trump’s plans for spending and economic stimulus, however, for now it is speculation.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

  • Monday November 21st – Chicago Fed National Activity Index
  • Tuesday November 22nd – Existing Home Sales
  • Wednesday November 23rd – MBA Applications, Jobless Claims, FHFA HPI, New Home Sales, FOMC Minutes, Consumer Sentiment
  • Thursday November 24th – Thanksgiving Giving: Markets Closed
  • Friday November 25th – International Trade in Goods

 

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.