Traveling the world without leaving Disneyland!

Last week I went to Disneyland, as part of my “staycation.” Although I have season passes, every trip is a blast. I guess that’s the kid in me.

My all-time favorite ride at California Adventure is the “Soaring” ride, where you soar over different parts of the world, while safely sitting in your seat. I wish that ride would be much longer, as I want to experience more and more! Have you been on that ride? If not, you must go!

It reminds me of how vast this world is- how complex, yet how simple. The breathtaking views and countless places to visit make me hungry for more. I’m not particularly fond of flying, but I think I need to push past this discomfort and see more of our beautiful earth!

Happy Father’s Day to all you Dad’s! I hope you have a wonderful day, surrounded by those you love!

Onto the market update…

I remember a time that the stock market would go wild in the days leading up to a Fed announcement about interest rates. This week at the FOMC meeting, the Fed raised interest rates by ¼ percent.  The announcement came out on Wednesday afternoon at 3:15PM, and investors reacted with little more than a yawn.  The stock market ticked up about 80 points in the last 45 minutes of the trading day.  By historical standards over the last 2 years, this movement in the market was equivalent to virtually no reaction.  The interest rate increase by the Fed was expected by investors.  The Fed has indicated that based upon current economic conditions and growth patterns, one additional rate increase is anticipated before the end of 2017.

For the first half of 2017, the housing market has been very active. Recent surveys of real estate and mortgage professionals around the country have indicated that in many parts of the country, the typical summer slow-down might be taking hold.  The housing market remains quite active, however activity has seemed to tail off slightly in many areas.

Builder sentiment reflects the recent slight slowdown in activity. The latest housing market index, which measures builder optimism, showed a slight drop from 69 to 67.  Overall, the index remains very strong so by no means is this slight drop indicative of future problems for housing.  In fact, the housing market index for future sales rose to an unusually high level of 76.

There have been more and more articles in recent weeks in which housing experts are discussing the possibility of an abnormally active Fall market. It appears that homeowners are recognizing the growth in their home equity that has taken place in the last 24 months.  Some homeowners are beginning to believe that it might be time to “take the money and run”.

In many markets around the country, more homes have come up for sale in the last 30 days. This has not necessarily translated into more inventory as homes are still selling as fast as they are listed because of all the pent-up demand.  An increase in home listing in the month of June is NOT a common occurrence.  Typically, new listings tend to decline in the summer months as schools let out and more families take their summer vacations.

Mortgage rates decline, and refinance applications tick up. For the week ending June 9th, applications for refinancing jumped 9.0 percent according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.  Purchase applications declined by a seasonally adjusted 3.0 percent.  The Memorial Day Holiday likely played a role in the slight drop for the week.

Next week there are very few reports that might influence investor decisions. Expect the stock market to remain relatively flat unless some geopolitical events impact the United States.  Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

  • Wednesday June 21st – MBA Mortgage Applications, Existing Home Sales
  • Thursday June 22nd – First Time Jobless Claims, FHFA House Price Index
  • Friday June 23rd – New 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.

 

 

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.

 

Here’s what is moving…

I can’t seem to get my head around the fact that we are 9 days away from Christmas. Honestly, how does that happen?

It seems the older I get, the faster time flies. It should be the other way around, don’t you think? As we age, time should move slowly, just like we do as we get older. 🙂

Speaking of moving, if you’re thinking of buying a new home, we should talk. Rates are moving, so we should strategize a game plan together. Whether rates move slowly or not is yet to be seen. I personally, don’t expect them to move rapidly. Unlike the holidays approaching…

Happy weekend and happy shopping!

Onto the market update…

As expected, the Fed raised interest rates by .25% at their FOMC meeting this week. What was not expected was the projection of three rates increases in 2017. Investors were expecting to hear that only two increases would be forthcoming. On this news, the bond market took a beating and yields rose rapidly. The threat of inflation works against bond values, which simply put, means mortgage rates rose higher on the Fed announcement.

To keep things in perspective, it is important to understand that the Fed is only projecting the increases. As we have experienced for many years, the Fed will change their forecasts based upon economic data, so the increases are not guaranteed.

The stock market has been hovering very close to the 20,000 mark for the entire week. The “Trump” factor, as it is now being called, is keeping consumer optimism at the highest level since the recession. The belief that Trump’s plans for reduction in regulation, which is blamed for stifling economic growth, will bolster the economy and labor markets significantly in the next couple of years. There is no guarantee on the results of his economic policies, but the perception for strong economic growth remains high.

The increase in mortgage rates is taking its toll on loan applications according to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. The latest report for the week ending December 9th is that purchase applications declined 3.0 percent and refinances dropped 4.0 percent. Although some of the decline can be attributed to rising rates, we also must take note that we are heading into the final stretch of the holiday season. It is common for housing activity to slow at this time of year.

On a positive note, many experts are predicting that the housing market will increase significantly in 2017. With the projected improvement in economic conditions, the labor market should continue to expand, and personal incomes are expected to rise more than they have in years. Inflation, which is likely to increase in the coming year, leads to increased wage growth. This will most likely lead to more consumers jumping into the housing market. Even though interest rates may continue to increase, when there is positive consumer sentiment, more money tends to go into housing.

Further bolstering the sentiment that people are feeling better about the direction of the economy, producer prices rose by 0.4 percent for November. Despite that energy prices declined slightly, other areas of the economy are showing improvement which is a clear sign of positive sentiment by consumers. The Fed has wanted inflation to increase and it seems that it is beginning to occur, actually faster than anticipated. Unemployment continues to remain at very low levels.

Leading into the holiday weekend, the Bond Market will close at 2:00PM next Friday.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Thursday December 22nd – First Time Jobless Claims & FHFA House Price Index
  • Friday December 23rd – New 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.

 

What happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas!

What happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas!

Last week I escaped to Vegas with my sisters and their husband’s for a few days. I’m not the gambling type, but we had a blast! The sisters went off shopping, while the boys went off beer tasting.

It so happened the NFR (National Finals Rodeo) was in town, so the cute cowboys were everywhere. 🙂

On Saturday night, we celebrated my sister’s birthday at Giada’s restaurant. To say the food and experience was absolutely amazing would be an understatement. Our booth overlooked the strip, perfectly positioned to watch the water show at Bellagio every 30 minutes.

There wasn’t one single item that wasn’t absolutely delicious! We were told that Giada tends to pop in unexpectedly, but unfortunately she didn’t that evening. Boo.

We ate and laughed for over 3 hours. What a memorable and magical night!!

Here’s a picture of us as Giada’s and us girls in the Paris hotel.

 giadas

vegas

 

Always make amazing memories!

Onto the market update…

The pace of rates rising has slowed, but they are continuing higher. Investors are pulling money from bonds and putting them into stocks as they believe that President Elect Trump’s policies will be great for business. Good news for business means great news for stocks, 401K’s, IRA’s, etc… Along with all of this belief about growth, comes the need for investors to remove money from bonds which lose value with in an increase in inflation, which will likely occur with economic expansion.

The Fed begins their December meeting this coming Tuesday. Based upon every survey of investors, analysts, and anyone else who watches the markets, it appears to be a forgone conclusion that rates will be raised. Recent economic data and labor market reports show strength in the economy and therefore the Fed will likely feel comfortable lifting interest rates. The anticipated increase is only .25%. Anything more than that would likely have a negative impact in the economy.

In great news for the housing market, existing home sales have reached the highest point since the meltdown of 2008. The latest data shows:

Applications for home purchases increased slightly, while refinance applications head down. As expected with the recent increase in home loan rates, the benefits for homeowners to refinance is virtually eliminated, unless they are looking to pull equity from their home. However, the jump in rates has lit a fire under buyers. The Mortgage Bankers Association of American reported that applications for home purchase loans jumped 0.4 percent while refinances declined 1.0 percent for the week of December 2nd.

Last week the Labor Department reported that employment conditions continue to improve. The latest numbers for November were an increase in non-farm payrolls by 178,000. This was 8,000 more than the average anticipated increase. Shockingly, the unemployment rate dropped .3 percent down to 4.6 percent. At this point, the economy is considered essentially fully employed. There will always be a segment of the population that is not working, however those reasons are typically not economy related.

Following up from last week’s monthly employment report, first time jobless claims for the week ending December 2nd reinforce that’s the labor market is likely to remain strong for quite some time. The latest claims were reported at 258,000 which is well below the 300k benchmark.

Finally, there have been many headlines related to the agreement with OPEC to cut oil production in an attempt to raise prices. Oil producing nations have been struggling financially because of low oil prices and they are now trying to increase them by agreeing to slow production and eliminate the world’s surplus. Prices are now over $50 a barrel, however it is likely they will not increase much more.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Tuesday December 13th – FOMC Meeting Begins
  • Wednesday December 14th – MBA Applications, FOMC Announcement and Forecasts
  • Thursday December 15th – First Time Jobless Claims and Consumer Price Index
  • Friday December 16th – Housing Starts

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

Your Mortgage Market update!

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those facing Hurricane Matthew. Being a California born and raised girl, I’ve never experienced a hurricane, and hopefully never will!

If you read my newsletter two weeks ago, I shared the story of my niece getting married. They honeymooned in Jamaica and got out just before the storm hit! They arrived safely home Wednesday night, which I am grateful for.

If you are on social media, there was a lot of talk about the heightened earthquake possibility this last week. I have to admit, it freaked me out a bit. Be safe and prepared!

Happy weekend!

Onto the market update…

The first four trading days of the week, although containing some volatility, seemed to end Thursday about the same place the week started on Monday morning.

At 8:30AM on Friday the Labor Department announced that September’s employment numbers showed that 156,000 jobs were added. The latest numbers are within analyst’s expectations, although on the low end. Pre-market trading indicates that the market may go into negative territory as investors might feel that this latest report is strong enough for the Fed to raise rates at the next FOMC meeting.

We have been down this road for well over a year and the reality is that as much as investors speculate on the reaction of the Fed to a report like this, no one really knows, not even the Fed decision makers at this point.

In a side note, on Wednesday the ADP Employment Report predicted a growth of 154,000. This is the closest ADP has come to the Labor Department report in many years, if ever.

With rates returning to lowest point since July, refinance activity once again jumped up 5.0 percent for the week of September 30th. Purchase activity might be slowing as applications for purchases remained virtually flat from the prior week, however they are down 14 percent from the same time last year. This is data that the Fed will likely be paying attention to as well at the next FOMC meeting.

Factory Orders increased 0.2 percent for the month of August, however when you remove the core capital goods orders (nondefense ex-aircraft), orders jumped 0.9 percent. This follows substantial increases in the two prior months of 0.8 percent and 0.5 percent.

In another sign of potential housing weakness, the only area of construction spending showing strength is the multi-family sector. Overall spending declined 0.7 percent in August. Spending on construction for single family homes declined 0.9 percent whereas multi-family increased by 2.4 percent.

After August’s decline in manufacturing, September bounced back with an increase of 2 points which brings the reading up to 51.5. A reading above of 50 is positive for the report. New orders jumped by 6 points up to 55.1, which is a very strong monthly increase.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday October 10th – Labor Market Conditions Index
  • Wednesday October 12th – MBA Mortgage Applications & JOLTS Report
  • Thursday October 13th – First Time Jobless Claims
  • Friday October 14th – Producer Price Index, Retail 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.

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.

 

Here’s where I’m off to!

Here’s where I’m off to!

It’s off to my happy place this weekend! Actually, I’m only going for one day, but I’ll take it. It’s the beach, of course! We Southern California folk are so blessed to be, for the most part, about an hour from the ocean.

I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t love the sound of crashing waves, the smell of salt in the air and the sensation of calm when sitting on the sand.

Here’s a pic from my parents balcony-I’ll be perched here most of the day. If not here, I’ll be on the sand. 🙂

IMG_1083

Have a wonderful and safe, long weekend. Be careful on the roads! As I tell my son, it’s all about being a defensive driver!

Onto the market update…

S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index:  It seems that positive home data is beginning to slip.  According to Case-Shiller home prices in the 20 major cities measured for the month of June, slipped by 0.1 percent.  This is the 3rd straight month of declining prices.  Compared to the same time last year, prices remain higher by 5.1 percent.  Although still in positive territory, the distance between prices today versus a year ago is also slipping.  The highest breath between this year and last year was 5.7 percent back in January.

The Pacific Northwest continues to be the main area of the country where declining housing trends are non-existent.  Prices in Portland, Oregon are 12.6 percent higher than last year and Seattle remains in double digits with a 11.0 percent spread.  California continues to remain higher with the difference between last year and this year sitting in the mid-single digits.

Pending Home Sales:  The good news is that pending home sales jumped higher in July by 1.3 percent.  The not so good news is that the jump occurred from the prior month’s revision from a positive 0.2 percent down to a negative 0.8 percent.  This is one of the largest revisions we have seen and has many cautious about July’s increase, in that it may be revised next month into negative territory, the same as what occurred for June.

Pending sales are up 1.4 percent from the same time last year.  Although this does not show this sector of the market growing, it does bode well for a positive existing home sales report to be released later in the month.

Mortgage Rates and Applications:  Mortgage rates continue to remain within striking distance of record lows.  In a nice trend reversal, applications for purchases and refinances are both up for the week of August 26th.  Purchase applications rose 1.0 percent and refinance apps jumped 4.0 percent.  The prior week’s report showed declines of 0.3 percent and 3.0 percent respectively.  Overall mortgage applications are up 5.0 percent from the same time last year according to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.

Construction Spending:  After the Census Bureau back in November revised 10 years of data lower due to a calculation error, many analysts are calling into question the overall accuracy of this index moving forward.  The data continues to be looked at, however many experts are not willing to accept this data as a real trend indicator for the housing market.  The latest data shows that from June to July spending remained unchanged.  Compared to the same time last year construction spending is up 1.5 percent.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday September 5th – US Holiday: Labor Day – All Markets Closed
  • Tuesday September 6th – Labor Market Conditions & ISM Non-Mfg Index
  • Wednesday September 7th – MBA Mortgage Applications & JOLTS Report
  • Thursday September 8th – First Time Jobless Claims & EIA Petroleum Status

 

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.