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.

 

Your market update!

Interest Rates: As expected, the Fed did not move interest rates higher at their meeting this week. Despite the fact that the June employment report was quite strong, there were still lingering effects from May’s dismal employment numbers. It is seen in the Fed minutes the words “strengthened” to describe the labor market and “growing strongly” in respect to household spending. The report is somewhat optimistic about the economy given that job growth and consumer spending remain strong. This may be enough for the Fed to raise interest rates in September. On the flip side, some policy makers are speaking in a tone we have heard for a long time, in which they are saying rates will remain low for some time.

Mortgage Rates: The combination of interest rates rising slightly has once again shown how sensitive borrowers are to rate movements. Refinance volume, which is the most responsive to rate changes, declined 15.0 percent for the week ending July 22nd. Purchase applications moved lower by 3.0 percent, which may also be tied into the normal housing slowdown which often begins to occur moving into late summer.

S&P Case-Shiller Home Value Index: Home prices are softening which appears to be having a positive impact on sales. According to the Case-Shiller Index home prices declined 0.1 percent for the month of May. Analysts were expecting an increase ranging from 0.3 percent all the way up to 1.3 percent.

Additionally, there was a significant revision to April’s numbers. After originally being reported as a gain of 0.5 percent, the report was revised downward showing a decline of prices by 0.2 percent. Prices compared to the same time last year are up 5.2 percent. New Home Sales: This housing sector continues to show strength as sales continued to increase in June. The latest report shows new homes are selling at an annualized pace of 592,000. This is higher than the previous month’s upward revision from 551K up to 572K.

The increase in sales did not occur at the expense of prices. Median home prices increased to $306,700, which reflects a 6.2 percent rise. Overall, new home prices are higher by 6.1 percent from the same time last year.

Pending Home Sales: This sector of the housing market unfortunately has been the weakest area as of late. Pending sales increased only 0.2 percent for the month of June. Sales compared to the same time last year are up only 1.0 percent.

First Time Jobless Claims: Claims for the week ending July 23rd moved up slightly from 252K to 266K. Overall the pace of claims remains healthy and there appears to be stability in the job markets. Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

Monday August 1st – ISM Manufacturing Index and Construction Spending

  • Tuesday August 2nd – Personal Income and Outlays
  • Wednesday August 3rd – MBA Mortgage Applications and ADP Employment Report
  • Thursday August 4th – First Time Jobless Claims and Factory Orders
  • Friday August 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.

Long weekends…and your market update!

As much as I enjoy what I do for a living, I love my long weekends!!

Funny how just one more day off can make such a difference. 🙂

I’m planning on spending one of these days at my happy place- the beach. Somehow, everything just seems okay in the world when I’m there.

I hope you have a wonderful July 4th weekend! Stay safe on the roads!!

Onto the market update…

At first the sky was falling because of Brexit. The stock markets around the world tanked with fear of how this historic event can possibly cause a worldwide recession. For the last three trading days, the world markets have been rallying restoring much of the paper financial loss occurred since the Brexit announcement. The reversal in the markets is ONLY because now investors feel that Brexit may not cause that much harm to the economy.

My point with all this is that NOTHING has changed. Since the announcement, all there has been is Brexit discussion. Prior to the vote and announcement, all that took place was Brexit discussion. There has not been one single logistical event or change put in place related to Brexit, and yet the markets, (meaning investors) have gone from one extreme to another. Nothing could be clearer in displaying how emotion can be a much greater driver of the markets than logic.

In the housing market, the latest news on home prices comes from the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Home price appreciation continues to rise, however it is showing signs of moderating. In the 20-city adjusted index, home prices rose 0.5 percent for the month of April. This is an annualized growth rate of 5.4 percent. Earlier in the year home prices were running about 6.0 percent above the same time last year.

Seventeen of the 20 cities measured by the index showed gains. Surprising, was that both San Francisco and San Diego declined, which has been a very rare occurrence. Overall, the West continues to lead the country with home price appreciation. In the Pacific Northwest home prices compared to the same time last year are way up.

In Portland, Oregon home prices are up 12.2 percent followed by Seattle which has risen 10.6 percent. In third place for appreciation is Denver, Colorado. The two weakest markets for price appreciation are Washington DC and New York, which rose a meager 1.8 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.

Early summer data is pointing to the market slowing for pending home sales. The index unexpectedly declined 3.7 percent for the month of May. This decline essentially wipes out April’s revised gain of 3.9 percent. Even compared to the same time last year, the index is down 0.2 percent. A boost to future home sales may come from the plummeting interest rates. Since the announcement of Brexit and the market panic, mortgage rates have been improving. Refinances are exploding through the roof again and there is a chance that purchasers may jump into the market to take advantage of the amazingly low rates.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday July 4th Holiday – All Markets Closed
  • Tuesday July 5th – Factory Orders
  • Wednesday July 6th – MBA Mortgage Applications and FOMC Minutes
  • Thursday July 7th – ADP Employment Report and First Time Jobless Claims
  • Friday July 8th – 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.

 

Insomnia is not my friend…

Insomnia is not my friend. I can’t imagine it’s your friend either.

Last night, it came on with a vengeance. Maybe it was the chocolate truffles I put down at a wonderful event at the Piru Mansion last night. (That place is beautiful!!)

I hit the pillow and fell asleep fast, but then I awoke, as I normally do, a few hours later. But this time, I stayed awake…for hours. I heard my grandfather clock strike 1:00, then 2:00, then 3:00. Last I remember it was 3:45 and I thought to myself, “I know friends who are getting up at this hour to workout”- I was not a happy camper.

So, miss cranky pants is sleepy today. Be nice to me.

Onto the market update…

When it comes to describing the housing market, more and more reports are coming in using words and phrases like “soft”, “softening”, and “less than spectacular”. However, when interviewing real estate and mortgage professionals around the country, they are using words and phrases like “fantastic”, “booming”, “not enough hours in the day”. I have been trying to figure out where the gap between the analyst comments and the professionals in the trenches is coming from. The only conclusion is the analysts are out of touch as to what is really good for the future of real estate and what is really happening.

On Monday of this week the data on new homes sales for the month of March was released. This was the first housing report for the week in which the phrase “less than spectacular” was used. What is interesting is that even though many recent economic reports point to a slowing economy, the new home sales sector has been posting moderate and respectable numbers. This is an example of someone taking what could have been a relatively positive headline, and for no reason, toning it down to appear more negative. The reality is that new home sales have remained stable for a few months and despite the slowing in the overall economy, the demand for new homes remains healthy.

The same dynamic occurred with Wednesday’s pending homes sales report. Pending sales rose 1.4 percent in March. February sales increased by 3.4 percent. Both month’s show increases in sales, yet most of the commentary was negative. The bottom line is when you have housing data improving while most other sectors of the economy are contracting, there is no need for negativity in describing the housing market. In fact, the 1.4 percent increase was higher than expected.

The third housing report for the week was the Case-Shiller Home Price Index. The phrase “far from spectacular” was used. The data showed home prices in the 20 major cities was up 0.7 percent from January to February. That is an annualize rate of 8.4 percent. A rate of close to 10 percent in annualized appreciation actually points to a healthy stable market. When home prices are leaping by double digits on an annualized basis, this points to potential trouble in the future.

When home prices rise rapidly, home affordability disappears quickly. This in turn can shift the market into negative territory very quickly, especially if wages are not rising, which happens to be the case now. The fact that home prices are not skyrocketing is healthy for the housing market because it provides more buyers the means to afford a home.

As a professional in the real estate market, I find it frustrating when people will unjustly use negative headlines to sell newspapers. The housing market is doing well and continues to have stability and growth. Those are the words consumers should be hearing about the housing market.

Next week week’s potential market moving reports are:

Monday May 2nd – ISM Manufacturing Index & Construction Spending

  • Wednesday May 4th – MBA Applications & ADP Employment Report
  • Thursday May 5th – First Time Jobless Claims
  • Friday May 6th – 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.