Amongst the devastation…

As with all of you, my heart breaks for the devastation we have witnessed with the fires in Southern California. If you personally haven’t been affected, I’m sure you know someone who has.

In the midst of the heartache and loss, we are witnessing communities and strangers coming together to help each other. Countless pictures and videos show how neighbors are stepping in to help, even if it’s just to hug someone staring at their destroyed home.

Surreal, tragic and devastating- let the healing begin and outpouring of love and giving continue.

If you have personally been affected by the fires and in need of supplies, clothes or anything, please reach out to me personally.

Onto the market update…

The stock market continues to rally with the continued forward movement on tax reform. Although, it has been determined by many experts, that the tax savings for most Americans will not be significant, the potential benefit to the economy will be corporate expansion that comes from business tax savings.

With an improved corporate climate, the stock market should continue to rise, putting more and more money into people’s retirement accounts. The big question is…will the corporate growth and economic stimulus be enough to offset the increased debt the country will incur under this tax plan? (Most experts believe it will not, which essentially means that we are trading one economic problem for another)

Mortgage Application Activity:

In a nice surprise, mortgage activity for the week ending December 1st jumped for both purchases and refinancing. Even though mortgage rates were little changed, purchase applications rose 2.0 percent and refinances leaped higher by 9.0 percent. More than likely the impending rate increase by the Fed next week is playing a role in the increased refinance activity. Many consumers appear to be trying to get locked into a rate before the Fed takes action at the FOMC meeting. Even though mortgage rates don’t necessarily move in lock-step with the Fed rate adjustments, consumers seem to be trying to play it safe.

Employment:

First time jobless claims continue to remain extremely low despite the expected increase in claims coming from Puerto Rico. The latest tally of 236,000 first time claims keeps unemployment concerns way down as the latest numbers continue to remain at or near historic lows.

The latest data on national employment is that unemployment remain the same at 4.1 percent. Essentially this number represents full employment in the eyes of the government and business. In fact, may businesses continue to talk about their frustrations in trying to find qualified candidates to fill open positions. More than likely as the labor shortage continues, income growth will likely rise in 2018.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday December 11th – Job Openings and Labor Turnover Report (JOLTS)
  • Tuesday December 12th – FOMC Meeting Begins, Producer Price Index
  • Wednesday December 13th – FOMC Announcement, MBA Applications, CPI
  • Thursday December 14th – First Time Jobless Claims, Retail Sales
  • Friday December 15th – 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.

 

Giving Thanks!

Happy almost Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your friendship and continued support this year. I am truly blessed and grateful for being surrounded by such amazing people in my life!

As we begin the New Year, I hope the visions and dreams you hold dear to your heart become your reality.

Embrace every simple, yet special moment in your day!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Onto the market update…

In what has seemed like forever that elected officials have talked about revamping the outdated and often considered absurd tax code, change may finally be coming. On Thursday, House Republicans passed their version of the tax code revisions. By no means does this represent that the tax code will change, however it is a big first step, and a milestone in the road to change. There are many more steps to the tax code being changed, which had eluded Congress for decades. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared almost 200 points on this news. The other major indices were up significantly as well.

Housing Market Index:

Home builders are reporting that they are seeing an increase in activity. In fact, builders are saying that this is the best market since March. Current and future sales are coming in at a very strong level of 77. Traffic to home building sites is also up by 2 points for the best reading since May. It is uncommon for this time of year to see significant increases in activity, so this is welcome news for the housing market.

Mortgage Rates and Applications:

Purchase applications rose 0.4 percent for the week ending November 10th. Refinance applications, despite mortgage rates remaining relatively flat, rose 6.0 percent for the week. What is exciting in the latest report is that purchase applications are 17.0 percent higher than the same time last year. The strong year-on-year gain of purchase applications points to future strength in underlying home sales.

Inflation:

On the wholesale level, pressure for price increases showed signs of life for the month of October. The Producer Price Index rose by a larger than expected 0.4 percent.  Even when you remove volatile food and energy prices, wholesale inflation remained at 0.4 percent.

On the retail end, unfortunately the story was not the same. Consumer prices for October were up slightly by 0.1 percent.  The year-on-year rate was actually down by 2 tenths of a percent.  The core rate of inflation was up only 0.2 percent when food and energy prices were removed from the calculation.

 Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Monday November 20th – Leading Indicators
  • Tuesday November 21st – Existing Home Sales
  • Wednesday November 22nd – MBA Mortgage Applications, Jobless Claims
  • Thursday November 23rd – Markets Closed
  • Friday November 24th – NYSE Closes at 1:00PM

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 World Series…and your market update

I’m not typically one to watch all baseball games, but I did get caught up in the World Series! Sorry to see our Dodgers lose, but they did put up a great fight! Although, in game 7, it seems they lost their mojo.

With all the devastation in Houston the last few months, I’m happy their team could bring them some joy, so if we had to lose to someone, I’m glad it was to the Astros.

Here’s to next year and all of its possibilities…to the Dodgers and to you!

 Onto the market update…

The likelihood of a December Fed rate increase is very probably based upon the latest Fed announcement. On Wednesday, the Fed stated they have upgraded the status of the economy from “rising moderately” to “rising at a solid rate”. The Fed indicated that the labor market continues to strengthen, and that even though inflation remains stubbornly low, there are many positive economic factors that make a December rate increase likely to occur.

Case-Shiller Home Price Index:

Home prices continue to rise steadily. The most recent data shows home prices rising 0.5 percent for the month of August in the 20-city adjusted index. Home prices compared to the same time last year are higher by 5.9 percent. This is the largest year-on-year growth spread we have seen in the last 3 years.

Construction Spending:

Spending on the construction of residential homes, although basically unchanged for September, is now 9.6 percent higher than the same time last year. Spending on new single-family and multi-family homes increased in the month by 0.2 and 6.0 percent respectively. Interestingly is that spending on home improvements declined 0.6 percent. This is likely to change in that many mortgage and banking professionals have indicated that they have seen more homeowners making inquiries on obtaining Home Equity Lines of Credit.

Mortgage Rates and Applications:

Purchase applications fell by a seasonally adjusted 1.0 percent for the week ending October 27th. This is the second week of application declines, in what could be a possible reaction to the uptick in mortgage rates. Refinancing applications declined by 5.0 percent. Refi’s are always far more sensitive to slight movements in mortgage rates. Purchase applications represent 51.3 percent of all loan activity.

First Time Jobless Claims:

 Claims remain very near historic lows – down to 229,000. The devastation in Puerto Rico was expected to increase the overall number, however other areas of the country are countering the increase with an improved labor market and lower claims.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

 

  • Tuesday November 7th – Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS)
  • Wednesday November 8th – MBA Mortgage Applications
  • Thursday November 9th – First Time Jobless Claims
  • Friday November 10th – 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.