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.

 

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.

My new physical and mental push!

If you’ve been a reader for awhile, you’ve read about my experience with taking Zumba classes. I love the workout, the music, the dance and the instructor-all was wonderful.

But, I recently heard about a new class called “Pound”- it combines drum sticks (learning to play the drums is on my bucket list) and a full body workout. After watching a sample video of the class, I was hooked. And, even more exciting, I found a Pound class here in Santa Clarita Valley!

I gotta say, it’s a blast. I could barely walk out of the first class, but what a rush! Working out needs to be fun for me to stay consistent, and this class is the epitome of fun! Not to mention the faces my sister and I make at each other in the midst of the physical and mental push.

If you live in SCV and want details, let me know!

Onto the market update…

Through Thursday the stock market seemed to have been enjoying a great rally. With fears of the U.K. leaving the European Union easing, markets around the world stabilized and have even been rallying. However, as of this morning, everything changed. The experts were wrong – the U.K. is going to leave the European Union.

As of early this morning stock markets around the world are tanking. Money is flying out of stocks and into bonds. The Yield on the 10 year bond is down to 1.46% as of early morning trading. Bottom line…buckle up and stay tuned as the markets are in for a crazy ride while investors and governments around the world sort through the what the impact of the vote to exit will ultimately be.

The housing market continues to show strength, although the numbers are not earth shattering. Existing home sales rose 1.8 percent in May, which is the strongest pace of growth since February 2007. The increase is only modest from prior months, but it continues to point to an improving housing market. Compared to the same time last year, existing homes sales are up by a narrow 4.5 percent.

Home prices are up, but only modestly at 4.7 percent for the year. Lack of inventory continues to be the culprit for slow growth in the housing sector. Supply of homes is very low at only 4.7 months. The South is up 6.5 percent from the same time last year at a rate of 2.280 million. The Northeast, which is the smallest region, is up 11.6 percent for a 770,000 annualized rate. The West, usually a strong region, appears to be lagging behind the country being down 1.7 percent from a year ago.

New homes sales data is always volatile due to the small sampling used to acquire report data. Despite the volatility, it appears that new home sales are continuing to trend higher. Although new home sales fell a larger than expected 6.0 percent in May, the number is misleading. The annualized sales rate of 551,000. is the second best of the housing recovery cycle.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s report on home prices was weaker than anticipated, but still shows home price appreciation. Prices according to the FHFA reflect an increase much smaller than expected- 0.2 percent for the month of April. Prices compared to the same time last year are up by 5.9 percent.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

Monday June 27th – International Trade in Goods

  • Tuesday June 28th – GDP & Case-Shiller Home Price Index
  • Wednesday June 29th – MBA Mortgage Applications and Pending Home Sales
  • Thursday June 30th – First Time Jobless Claims and New Home Sales
  • Friday July 1st – ISM Manufacturing Index & Construction Spending

 

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.