Thoughts to Ponder . . .
- If you’re always busy busy busy, you can’t enjoy enjoy enjoy your life.
- Ironing boards are surfboards that quit before achieving their dream. Don’t be an ironing board.
- If we ever travel far in the universe to another planet with intelligent life, let’s just make patterns in their crops and leave.
- My mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves completely!
- Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the world together.
And Now on to The Market Update . . .
With very limited economic data to trade on this week, investors took their focus to Capitol Hill and seemed to be paying attention to President Trump and what is happening with Congress.
- The President has been trying to work with Congress on a replacement for Obamacare.
- If you have been listening and paying attention to the news, it is obvious that his negotiations have not been going well.
Investors are now beginning to question whether the President will be able to get passage of tax reform which would be a boost to business overall.
- With this concern, investors have been pulling money out of stocks in recent days driving the DOW down this week by almost 300 points.
Outside of Presidential happenings, the majority of the news this week was related to housing.
- Surprisingly, the FHFA house price index came in unchanged for the month of January.
- Given the extreme shortage of available homes for sale, the lack of appreciation surprised many analysts.
- Home prices remain higher by 5.7 percent from the same time last year.
- With the Spring buying season about to start, it is expected that home prices will jump unless many more sellers enter the market increasing available inventory.
- This latest report is the weakest month-to-month showing in more than 4 years and the weakest year-on-year rate in 2-1/2 years.
The East South Central was the hardest hit area in which home prices declined 2.0 percent.
- Prices in this region are still up by 3.5 percent from last year, however expectations were that there would be much more of a positive difference between this year and last year.
- The Pacific market was the winner with a 0.6 percent monthly gain.
Even existing home sales came in with softer readings than expected.
- Sales are down 3.7 percent in February to a 5.480 million annualized rate.
- Single-family homes showed weakness with a 3.0 percent decline.
- Condo sales represented the biggest decline with a drop of 9.2 percent.
- Single-family sales remain higher by 5.7 percent from the same time last year.
Overall, existing home sales are up a strong 5.4 percent from last year.
- Prices are up 7.7 percent from the same time last year as well.
- Home supply has been improving but continues to remain very low.
- Many areas of the country are experiencing bidding wars taking place for the homes that are placed for sale.
- Even in the Northeast, where typically home prices have been the slowest to rise, sellers are now experiencing multiple bid situations on their homes.
To place a bow on this less than stellar housing report, applications for purchase and refinance mortgages both declined last week according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
- Purchase apps dropped 2.0 percent and refinances declined by 3.0 percent.
- Applications are still up slightly from the same time last year and no specific circumstances can be attributed to last week’s decline in activity.
This week’s potential market moving reports are:
- Tuesday March 28th – S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI, Consumer Confidence
- Wednesday March 29th – MBA Applications, Pending Home Sales
- Thursday March 30th – First Time Jobless Claims
- Friday March 31st – Consumer Sentiment