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.