My thoughts on the world events…

I’ve sat here staring at this page for some time now, trying to put into words my thoughts and feelings about what is happening in our world lately.

So much evil, so much destruction, so much sadness.

We can’t live in fear, yet the events that continue to ripple through our world takes me to my knees. It has to stop, but how? I’m not going to start a political rant, nor am I going to discuss gun control. This serves no purpose.

But, here’s what I will discuss…what I have control over. I have control over my behavior, my thoughts, my feelings, my actions. Each and every day I try my best to be my best. I try to improve the lives of others in my personal and work life. I try to keep my emotions in check, especially when I hear of these horrific events. (Otherwise, I would be a puddle of mush.)

I will continue to pray for the answer, the healing, and the well-being of this world.

Here’s what I won’t do- let the actions of a few, cowardly, sick individuals take over my heart and mind. I truly believe the world is filled with good, caring and compassionate people. They (we) are the majority and we need to stay focused on this.

Please understand, I am not suggesting we ignore these tragic events. Quite the contrary, I am suggesting we try even harder to inspire, support and help heal those around us. This is what I can control and this helps me heal.

I wish you peace, strength and healing in your walk of life.

Onto the market update…

The Market:

Investors appear to have moved on from Brexit and are feeling more confident. The stock market is up almost 300 points for the week and there seems to be little chatter on the newswires about Brexit. Ever since the European countries committed to doing whatever is necessary to stabilize the markets during Great Britain’s exit, markets around the world have remained calmer.

Mortgage Rates:

With last week’s continuing decline in mortgage rates, refinance applications jumped 11.0 percent according to the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. Purchase applications remained unchanged, possibly indicating that home sales are flattening. Reasons for the lack of movement may be due to the typical summer slowdown as well as the lack of available inventory in many parts of the country.

Labor Market:

June’s impressive employment report showing an increase in payrolls of 287,000. This seems to be striking a nice balance for investors between returning optimistic to the job market, and not being strong enough for the Fed to take action on interest rates. The markets tend to love status quo.

First Time Jobless Claims:

Claims for the week ending July 9th showed no change. 254,000 has been the number for the last two reports and this remains well below the 300K level which typically sets the “concern” alarm for investors.

EIA Petroleum Report:

It appears that production of oil is once again rising. Price of a barrel of oil has dropped down to about $45 and oil reserves have increased. Although consumption has remained high, it is clear because OPEC has not achieved agreement on production and most countries are delivering as much oil to the market as possible.

Inflation:

Prices on the wholesale level have been increasing at a rate of 0.5%. This pace is moving closer to what is considered a healthy indicator of economic stability and growth. Although not quite where we need to be, the recent increase in prices on the wholesale and retail level are positive.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday July 18th – Housing Market Index
  • Tuesday July 19th – Housing Starts
  • Wednesday July 20th – MBA Mortgage Applications
  • Thursday July 21st – First Time Jobless Claims, Existing Home Sales, and FHFA HPI
  • Friday July 22nd – PMI Manufacturing 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.

 

On this Memorial Day weekend…

As we enter this Memorial Day weekend, and always, I want to give thanks to those who serve our country. Not just those that leave their homes and families, but to those families left behind.

The sacrifice in which all family members make is monumental and truly appreciated. Thank you!

On a lighter note, if you haven’t heard about my new App, please check it out here! It allows you to shop homes, do calculations, follow your loan status, upload documents by taking a picture, and more- all from your phone! It’s very cool. Please download and share!

Onto the market update…

The housing market is rocking!!! The three major housing reports released this week don’t just show the housing market improving, they are indicating the market is hotter than most experts ever expected, or even realized.

Starting the week on Tuesday, the New Home Sales Report came in at an annualized number of 619,000. This is the highest rate of sales since January 2008 and it blows past all of the numbers since the start of the housing recovery. This represents a 16.6 percent surge from the prior month. This is the largest gain in this report dating back all the way to January 1992. To add to strength of new home sales, February’s numbers came in at a strong 545,000, which represents the second highest reading since the recession. From the same time last year, sales are up 23.8 percent.

To add more strength to the report, prices for new homes jumped 7.8 percent to a median price of $321,000. Compared to the same time last year, prices are 9.7 percent higher. The only negative to the report is related to supply. As expected, with the increase in demand, supply for new homes dropped sharply to 4.7 months down from 5.5 months.

Following the lead of new home sales, pending homes sales also jumped at a much higher than expected 5.1 percent for the month of April. This is the third straight gain for this index and points to continued acceleration for final sales of existing homes. The West was the big surprise of the report with sales jumping 11.4 percent. Recently, this area of the country has been lagging. The second strongest market was the South with an increase of 5.1 percent.

After being flat for quite some time, home-price appreciation seems to be on the upswing. Following the report on new homes sales, the Federal Housing Finance Agency price report indicated prices are rising once again.

In March the FHFA index rose a more than expected 0.7 percent. This is the best reading since September of 2015. Compared to the same time last year, home prices are up 6.1 percent which represents the strongest reading since October of last year.

As is not uncommon, the Pacific and Mountain regions are leading the way for home price increases compared to last year. These regions are up in the high single digits whereas New England and the Mid-Atlantic are up only in the low single digits.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday May 30th – Memorial Day – All Markets Closed
  • Tuesday May 31st – Case-Shiller Home Price Index
  • Wednesday June 1st – MBA Mortgage Applications, Construction Spending & ISM Man. Index
  • Thursday June 2nd – First Time Jobless Claims
  • Friday June 3rd – 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 Home Buying Coach!

In an effort to help first time homebuyers understand the overwhelming process of buying a home, I will be creating videos that coach and educate! “The Home Buying Coach” is a hat I will be wearing to serve the needs of this group.

I see time and time again, many come into the process of buying a home and really have no idea what to expect or what the process looks like. Why should they? It’s totally new to them!

I’m here to help take the overwhelm away with my video series. Watch this 1 minute introduction and stay tuned for more upcoming videos! Please be sure to share, like and follow on youtube to stay updated!

Onto the market update…

The best news of the week is that if you have any investments in the stock market, you have likely seen a significant recovery of the money you have lost in the last couple of months. For the last two weeks, the stock market has been moving higher and most of the losses from earlier in the month have been recovered. Panic over the glut of oil has seemed to subside for the time being and oil prices have stabilized.

Home prices continued to rise with December showing an increase of 0.8 percent, according to the Case-Shiller’s 20-city index. This extends the strong monthly gains that have been happening since last year. The only slight concern is the year-on-year rate increase has slowed and is currently at 5.7 percent, versus the previous report of 6.0 percent.

In another strong housing report for the week, existing home sales rose 0.4 percent for January. December also had a strong increase and the momentum has kept going and is showing no signs of slowing. Even stronger data in the report is that from the same time last year, sales growth in this sector of the market is up 11.0 percent. In an indication of housing strength, the single family sector of the market rose 1.0 percent.

When it comes to selling prices, the story is slightly different. It appears that some discounting may be taking place in that the median home price fell 4.2 percent to $213,800. Home prices continue to be higher than the same time last year by 8.2 percent. Supply of homes available for sale, which has been very close to historic lows and holding back sales, seems to be rising. Supply, which had been sitting at 3.4 months, rose up to 4.0 months. This is still below the January numbers of 4.5 months, however the market is moving in the right direction.

Reinforcing strong home price growth is the report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The FHFA reported that home-price appreciation increased 0.4 percent. Although this number is at the low end of the range predicted by analysts, it continues to show solid gains. Home prices remain 5.7 percent higher than the same time last year.

The only housing report to show weakness for this week was the report on new home sales. In an unexpected downturn, new home sales declined 9.2 percent in January to a lower-than-expected annualized rate of 494,000. The housing report is still respectable given that December’s numbers were not revised and that report showed a solid gain of 544,000.

The major potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday February 29th – Pending Home Sales
  • Tuesday March 1st – ISM Manufacturing Index & Construction Spending
  • Wednesday March 2nd – MBA Applications
  • Thursday March 3rd – First Time Jobless Claims
  • Friday March 4th – 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.

 

Home sellers are smiling!

It’s been an interesting week, one of much reflection. I attended my ex father-in-law’s funeral yesterday. Funerals always seems to be a reminder of how precious life, and the people in your life, are. We seem to move at a fast pace these days, with so many demands put upon us. As crazy as times can be, slow down and take care of you. (I’m speaking to myself here as well!)

On a brighter note, we have continued good news in the housing market. Spring has sprung, and so has house values!

Onto the market update…

The housing market index, to almost everyone’s surprise, turned lower for the second straight month.  The issue seems to be more about builders having difficulty locating available lots to build and a lack of credit for new home construction than buyer demand.  The positive side to the report is that although present conditions seem challenging for builders, sales traffic seems to be quite robust and shows no signs of slowing down.

Housing starts made a partial comeback in February; however what many consider important for the future is that housing permits made a significant gain. Housing starts in February rebounded 0.8 percent, after they had dropped 7.3 percent in January.  The report also reinforces that the market is in a much better place than a year ago, as housing starts are up a whopping 27.7 percent from the same time last year.  Housing permits continue on an upward trend increasing by 4.6 percent.

The final piece to the housing reports for the week came on Thursday with the existing home sales report.  An unexpected rise in existing home sales inventory occurred in February with a reported increase from 4.3 months up to 4.7.  Additionally exiting homes sales also improved rising .8 percent with January being revised upward to .8 percent as well.

Low supply of available homes for sale had been holding down sales but that appears to be changing as higher prices are bringing more homes into the market. Although the media has not been talking a whole lot about rising house prices, it appears that homeowners are beginning to do their own research and are finding that their homes are worth more than they initially thought.  The West Coast appears to have the greatest shortage of available inventory of existing homes for sale.

Outside of housing reports for the week, the Federal Open Market Committee dominated mid-week headlines.  The FOMC announced to no one’s surprise that they are leaving interest rates unchanged.  To go along with the no change rate policy the FOMC reiterated their desire to keep interest rates low for mortgages by keeping their bond and mortgage backed securities purchase program in place.

Mortgage rates continue to remain low but the expected news from the FOMC had only a slight impact in lowering mortgage rates.  Overall, mortgage rates continue to remain higher than their historic lows and it does not appear that they will return to set any new records.  In fact, many experts state that because the economy, and especially the real estate market are improving, if it were not for the Fed’s bond buying program, mortgage rates would probably be at least 1/2 to 1 percent higher.

A few more housing reports on tap for next week:

 

  • Tuesday March 26th      – Durable Goods Orders and New Home Sales
  • Wednesday March 27th      – MBA Applications and Pending home Sales
  • Thursday March 28th      – First Time Jobless Claims and GDP
  • Friday March 29th      – Good Friday…U.S. Banks and Equity Markets are Closed

 

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