Stop listening to the negative noise!

I absolutely love working with first time home-buyers. I think the most rewarding part is watching them realize a dream come true. I love coaching them through the process, which removes much of the fear and unknown.

There is so much “news” about how difficult it is to get a loan and unless you have 20% down payment you can’t qualify. NOT TRUE!!! We have all types of loans, with different down payment options.

Don’t listen to the negative noise. Call me so we can review your personal situation!

Happy Weekend!

Onto the market update…

There are no surprises in the latest comments from Janet Yellen’s testimony on Wednesday. The Fed continues to have the intention to begin tapering the Fed balance sheet and also instituting a number of rates hikes over the next few years. Yellen repeated that inflation is being held down for a number of unusual factors. Cell phones, drugs and gasoline prices are remaining abnormally low and upward pressure to increase prices has been met with consumer backlash. Additionally, inflationary pressure has not responded to the strong employment environment. It appears that consumers, despite how well the job market may be, are continuing to remain frugal in their shopping choices. The internet has made it very easy to comparison shop and purchase from the lowest retailers. Mortgage Bankers Association Loan Application Weekly Data

In a complete reversal of fortune, mortgage applications for both purchases and refinances turned negative for the week ending July 7th. Purchase applications declined a seasonally adjusted 3.0 percent. Refinances plummeted 13.0 percent to the lowest point since January 2017.

The concerning part about this recent data is that the adjustment for loan activity was based upon the 4th of July Holiday. When that holiday adjustment factor is removed, purchase applications declined a whopping 22.0 percent from the prior week. Loan applications are higher from the same time last year by only 3.0 percent.

JOLTS Report (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey) & First Time Jobless Claims

It appears that employers are finally starting to catch up on their hiring. The most recent JOLTS report shows that job openings declined by 5.0 percent in May, and hiring increased by 8.3 percent. The current pace of hiring is a new record and the current opening is the second lowest level this year.

Initial first time jobless claims continue to remain at or near historic lows. The latest claim number of 247,000 remains far below the benchmark amount of 300,000.

Producer Price Index

Inflation on the wholesale level continues to remain extremely low. The month of June only showed an increase of 0.1 percent. This once again creates a challenge for the Fed to raise interest rates.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday July 17th – Empire State Manufacturing Survey
  • Tuesday July 18th – Housing Market Index
  • Wednesday July 19th – MBA Mortgage Applications, Housing Starts
  • Thursday July 20th – First Time Jobless Claims, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort 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.

 

Do you know anyone “starting over?”

After going through a divorce many years ago, I realized there weren’t many tools for those “starting over.” In the midst of an emotionally chaotic time, I found some peace knowing I knew how to handle my finances.

Many people, especially women, aren’t that lucky. I want to change this.

As a result, I am starting a podcast series, for those starting over. Whether it’s a divorce, death of a spouse, bankruptcy or foreclosure, these life changing events are life altering.

I’m super excited about bringing you some great resources- I’ll be interviewing a CPA, Financial Planner, Estate Planning Attorney, Divorce Attorney, Money Manager, Life Coach, Personal Trainer and more. Of course, I’ll be discussing the home buying/loan process as well, for those wanting to purchase a home.

My hope is to inspire and empower those starting over and give them tools to help with finances, fitness, emotional healing, asset protection and more. I’ll also be sharing a bit of my story along the way.

Check out my podcasts here, but make sure to check back often and share with anyone starting over! I’ll be adding interviews on a regular basis!

 Onto the market update…

Why should the Fed be any different than the rest of the United States Government?

 Everyone already knows that Congress could not be more divided. Well…the Fed appears to be divided as well. The latest FOMC Minutes show that many policy makers want the Fed to start unwinding the Fed’s balance sheet that has grown to enormous proportions ever since the great recession. However, there are some policy makers that are steadfast in wanting to hold off until later in the year to begin this process.

The labor market continues to remain red hot with more jobs available than qualified applicants to fill them. The challenge that exists to the Fed is that inflation continues to remain ultra-low and making changes to economic policy could cause unintended consequences of hurting the economy.

Given that there continue to be a number of mixed economic reports, as of late, it seems that many analysts are shying away from predicting when the Fed will make the next rate hike or begin to unwind the bloated balance sheet.

Mortgage Bankers Association Loan Application Weekly Data

Purchase applications finally turned higher for the week ending June 30th. According to the MBA applications for purchase loans rose 3.0 percent from the prior week. This reverses the previous decline of 4.0 percent from the week before. Refinance applications were virtually unchanged. Purchase applications remain 6.0 percent higher than the same time last year.

Manufacturing

ISM’s manufacturing index indicates the fire in the sector has returned. The latest report for June is at a level of 57.8. This is higher than experts were predicting and shows that demand for production is strong. This is the strongest report since August of 2014.

Non-Manufacturing

ISM’s non-manufacturing index, which reports on services, construction, mining, forestry, fishing, and hunting, also showed a strong gain in June. The index jumped from 56.9 to 57.4 and demonstrates that these areas of the economy continue to maintain solid growth as well with no signs of slowing.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday July 10th – Labor Market Conditions Index
  • Tuesday July 11th – JOLTS Report
  • Wednesday July 12th – MBA Mortgage Applications
  • Thursday July 13th – First Time Jobless Claims, Producer Price Index
  • Friday July 14th – Consumer Price Index, Retail Sales, 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.

Happy 4th!

Happy long weekend!! Are you one of the lucky ones taking Monday off too? Nothing like a 4-day weekend to decompress and recharge the batteries!

I’ll be heading to the beach tomorrow for some family time and to escape this heat! The rest of the weekend will be low key for me, which is a welcome change!

I hope you have an absolutely wonderful weekend and allow yourself to rest and recharge. Stay safe on the roads! Happy Independence Day!!

Please feel free to call me if you have any loan questions or to get pre-approved!

 Onto the market update…

In recent weeks, I have been mentioning how the Summer and Fall housing markets are being predicted, by some experts, to be far above average. We should hope they are correct on account that the early Spring market was a rather large disappointment.

The latest Case-Shiller’s home price index increased by a rather small 0.3 percent in April. In February, home prices were up by 6.0 percent from the same time in the prior year. However, for the month of March, the year-on-year rate slipped back down to 5.7 percent. This is the first reversal in year-on-year spread in a very long time,

To the surprise of many, San Francisco home prices dropped 0.6 percent in the month. Boston was down by 0.7 percent and Cleveland declined by 1.0 percent. Not surprising, is Seattle leading the country with a year-on-year spread up by 12.9 percent.

Mortgage Bankers Association Loan Application Weekly Data

For the week ending June 23rd, purchase applications for home mortgages dropped by a seasonally adjusted 4 percent. The unadjusted level is actually 8 percent higher than the level in the same week a year ago. Refinancing plummeted 9 percent from the prior week, with the refinance share of mortgage activity declining to 45.6 percent of all originations.

Pending Home Sales

May was the 3rd month in a row of decline with a jaw dropping 0.8 percent. This is in direct contrast to expert predictions of a 0.5 percent gain. The weakness in the housing market is spread evenly throughout regions across the country. The West, usually the strongest market, declined by 1.3 percent, which was the largest decline recorded for the month. Although the data on final home sales does not always move in lock-step with the pending home sales data, this most recent report could prove troubling for future final sales data.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday July 3rd – ISM Mfg Index, Construction Spending
  • Tuesday July 4th – Independence Day Celebration – All Markets Closed
  • Wednesday July 5th – MBA Mortgage Applications, Factory Orders, FOMC Minutes
  • Thursday July 6th – First Time Jobless Claims, ADP Employment Report
  • Friday July 7th – National Employment Situation

As your mortgage and real estate professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate trends. I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can.  Please feel free to reach me at 661-618-1789.

 

The way I up my game…

I recently hired a Personal Trainer to up my game in the gym. I was hesitant, as I’ve been working out since college and actually got certified myself as a trainer back in the 80’s. I figured I knew it all.

Boy, was I wrong. She is kicking my &%^*. She has me doing routines that reach the muscle in a way I wasn’t doing on my own. And, no cheating with her! What’s up with that? 🙂

Last week, after our workout, my arms were shaking so badly I could hardly wash my hair! I loved it, as I knew we took my body to failure…or really success.

No matter where we are in life, we can always use the help of a coach or trainer to help us “up our game.” We all have room to grow and learn, and I personally love this journey of a deeper self-discovery. I hope it makes me a better parent, mortgage advisor, writer, friend, sister and daughter.

Sometimes it hurts, in this case physically for me, and sometimes it hurts emotionally. But, in the end, the work we do on ourselves makes the world a better place.

I recently heard Oprah make a profound statement that truly resonated with me. So much so, I wrote it down and look at it daily. She said, “your legacy is every life you touch.”

Let that sink in for a minute…

Onto the market update…

After recent reports on housing that have been less than stellar, this week’s reports show that the tide may be turning. From home prices, to existing sales, to loan applications for purchases, things seem to be improving.

May’s existing homes sales report showed a very solid increase of 1.1 percent. This is a complete turnaround from the prior month’s decline of 2.5 percent. Single-family sales increased by 1.0 percent to an annual rate of 4.980 million. Condo sales also increased by 1.6 percent to a 640,000 rate. Another positive in the housing report is the significant increase in supply. With prices moving higher, more homes are coming into the market.

As I mentioned last week, homeowners are finally recognizing the increase in their home value creating the desire to cash out by selling. Inventory increased from 1.960 million from 1.920 million in April and 1.800 million in March. Sales have been increasing each month as well, which reinforces the fact that there is a ton of pent up demand.

The West remains super-hot with sales up by 3.4 percent for the month of May. They are also higher by 3.4 percent from the same time last year. The South had the second strongest increase by percentage with a rise of 2.2 percent for the month. The region is higher than the same time last year by 4.5 percent. The Northeast, which had been lagging, is showing life for the first time in a long time with sales up 6.8 percent. The Midwest continues to struggle with being the only negative sales market with a decline of 5.9 percent. Although the year started out strong, but then mostly slowed during the Spring selling season, life seems to be returning to the housing market now. As mentioned a few weeks ago, there are some experts talking about the late summer and fall real estate market being far stronger than normal.

Home prices also jumped according the Federal Housing Finance Agency. April home prices rose 0.7 percent. March was also revised upward to reflect a 0.7 percent increase. The year-on-year rate is up 4 tenths to 6.8 percent which is the best showing in 3 years. The Mountain region continues to be the strongest market with home prices being 8.9 percent higher than the same time last year. The South is the second strongest market for home values rising with an increase of 8.0 percent. The Pacific, which has always seemed to be leading the way, dropped into 3rd place with a still very respectable increase of 7.5 percent. Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

  • Monday June 26th – Durable Goods Orders
  • Tuesday June 27th – Case-Shiller HPI, Consumer Confidence
  • Wednesday June 28th – MBA Mortgage Applications, Pending Home Sales
  • Thursday June 29th – First Time Jobless Claims, GDP
  • Friday June 30th – Personal Income and Outlays

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.

 

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.