What do you do for fun?

What do you do for fun? I’m not talking about vacations or weekends away, just simple everyday fun. What do your weekends typically look like?

Are they filled with errands and ‘catch up’ stuff or do you make sure you schedule in time to relax?

I’ve been guilty of getting my ‘to do’ list done or work on the weekends. I’m trying to find that balance of simple pleasures and relaxing more. Although I go to the gym to help with balance, I don’t find that ‘fun.’

I need your help with ideas! Please share!!

P. S. Be sure to check out my recent Podcasts here!

Onto the market update…

After three consecutive monthly declines, the pending home sales index turned around and jumped by a much stronger than anticipated 1.5 percent in the month of June. The housing market struggled through the Spring season, but the latest data shows promise for the existing home sales data coming in later this month. With mortgage rates continuing to remain low, this holds promise that the second-half of the year can end up being a much stronger housing market than normal. Mortgage Bankers Association Loan Application Weekly Data

With mortgage rates remaining steady for the week, applications for purchases and refinances declined slightly. The seasonally adjusted move in activity was purchase applications that went down by 2.0 percent whereas refi’s dropped by 4.0 percent. Overall the purchase index is up by 9.0 percent from the same time last year. Purchase applications represent 55.5 percent of loan activity according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Construction Spending

Surprisingly, the June construction spending report declined 1.3 percent. This is a reversal from the prior month’s revised increase of 0.3 percent. It appears that spending in this sector moved in a similar fashion to the latest data in personal income and outlays released on Tuesday morning.

Single-family residential construction spending increased 0.3 percent. Multi-family headed in the opposite direction with a decline of 0.2 percent. When looking at the latest data, it is always important to note that the bulk of the weight is placed on the single-family sector as that is a much closer measure to how the housing market is performing. Year on year growth for single-family construction spending is up 9.0 percent. Multi-family spending is higher by only 0.6 percent.

First Time Jobless Claims, Factory Orders, Manufacturing

Even with the seasonal retooling in the automotive industry, first time jobless claims remain extremely low at only 240,000 for the week ending July 29th. Typically for this time of year, a jump in claims is seen with auto-manufacturers laying off workers while they retool their assembly plants for the change in car model year.

Factory orders jumped 3.0 percent for June. Higher than expected aircraft orders played a major role in the increase. Manufacturing continues to show great strength with a reading of 56.3.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday August 7th – Labor Market Conditions Index
  • Tuesday August 2nd – Job Openings and Labor Turnover Report (JOLTS)
  • Wednesday August 3rd – MBA Mortgage Applications
  • Thursday August 4th – First Time Jobless Claims, Producer Price Index
  • Friday August 5th – Consumer Price 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.

 

Money Rules 101: The importance of writing in a journal

Listen in as Patti Handy, Mortgage Advisor and Life Coach, Alex Urbina, discuss the power of writing in a journal, especially after a divorce.

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.

 

 

Thank you!

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

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

Have a wonderful weekend!

Onto the market update…

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Did you mark your calendars? Next Thursday, May 11th, is my book signing at the American Family Funding offices! The first 50 guests will receive a free copy of my book, so be sure and come early! The fun is from 5:00-7:00 pm. I would love to see you and give you a free copy!

On another note, I was recently interviewed by The Signal, our local newspaper. Here’s a link to the online version. Enjoy the read. 😊

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Enjoy your weekend and stay safe!

Onto the market update…

Another week, and once again uneventful events happening on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded within 100 points plus or minus almost the entire week. The biggest news for the week was the ability for Congress to pass the spending bill and avoid a government shutdown. Other than this agreement, it is clearer with each passing day that Democrats and Republicans could not be further apart on everything else in running this country.

The awaited release of the FOMC Announcement from their meeting this week arrived with little more than a thud on Wednesday. The Fed continues to remain upbeat regarding growth in the economy, however they do acknowledge that some of the fundamentals in the economy are showing slight signs of weakness. There was nothing in the Fed’s report that gave investors reason to feel they may be changing course on the anticipated rate increases likely to happen later in the year.

One of the areas that has showed signs of slowing is manufacturing. The latest index for the Institute For Supply Manufacturing (ISM Mfg Index) declined for the first time after 7 straight months of beating expectations. Not only did it fall short, it was hit much harder than anyone expected. However, although the index did not meet expectations for April, the report standing on its own is quite solid with a reading of 54.8. Any reading above 50 is considered very strong.

April’s ISM Non-Manufacturing Index showed significant acceleration. New orders outside of manufacturing jumped 4.3 points all the way up to 63.2. This is the highest level in almost 12 years. Not only does this report reflect strong orders currently, there is a significant growth in backorders which means that this sector should remain solid for the coming months.

With mortgage rates not moving much in either direction, applications for refinances declined by 5.0 percent for the week ending April 28th. The home purchase market continues to remain red hot as indicated by the MBA’s report of an increase last week of 4.0 percent in purchase loan applications.

Many areas of the country continue to report that bidding wars are taking place on many homes coming on the market for sale. This is leading to frustration by some prospective buyers. Some are making a decision to step out of the market for a while to let things settle down. The frustration of not being able to get an accepted offer on a property is taking its toll on some of them. The good news is that reports from real estate professionals indicate that in many areas, more homes are starting to come on the market. It appears that homeowners are wanting to take advantage of the hot market. The demand is still much higher than inventory so don’t expect the bidding wars to end anytime soon.

Next week is going to be quiet as far as economic reports that may impact the market.

 

  • Monday May 8th – Labor Market Index
  • Tuesday May 9th – JOLTS Report
  • Wednesday May 10th – MBA Mortgage Applications Data
  • Thursday May 11th – First time Jobless Claims, Producer Price Index
  • Friday May 12th – Retail Sales, Consumer Price 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.

 

http://pattihandy.com/clients/812

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.