Thoughts to Ponder . . .
- Always be yourself, unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn.
- Karate is a form of martial arts in which people who have had years and years of training can, using only their hands and feet, make some of the worst movies in the history of the world.
- I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate plants.
- The difference between running and walking is a lot more apparent when you have to go to the bathroom.
- I did a push-up today. Well actually I fell down, but I had to use my arms to get back up, so close enough.
And Now on to The Market Update . . .
Housing data dominated the market data being released.
- Tuesday launched the housing news with the Federal Housing Finance Agency report on home prices.
- For the month of February, home prices increased 0.8 percent.
- This was double the amount the majority of analysts predicted.
- Adding to the positive news, January’s numbers were revised from being flat, to showing an increase of 0.2 percent.
- Overall, home prices are up 6.4 percent from the same time last year.
Following the FHFA report, S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI showed an increase in home prices by 0.7 percent for the 20 major cities measured.
- This stronger than expected report reflects a 5.9 increase from last year, and the best spread in 2-1/2 years.
What is impressive about this latest report is that some of the weakest cities in the past have shown significant improvement.
- The Midwest, notably Ohio and Michigan, which have been struggling to move higher, showed price growth of 0.9 percent in Cleveland, and 0.8 percent in Detroit.
When it comes to year-on-year appreciation, nothing is beating the Pacific Northwest.
- For well over a year, Seattle and Portland have been leading the country in price appreciation.
- Seattle home prices are currently up by 12.1 percent from the same time last year.
- Portland Oregon is higher by 9.6 percent.
Overall home prices across the country are averaging a year-on-year increase of 5.9 percent.
- Although this number is respectable, it is hard for people to be super excited about it.
- The interesting dynamic about this increase is that it is occurring in a low interest rate environment.
- Typically, when rates are low, home appreciation can be stagnant.
Pending home sales were the only negative in this week’s housing data.
- This sector showed a decline of 0.8 percent.
- The only reason for the decline is the lack of available inventory.
- Demand remains strong.
Rounding out this week’s housing reports was the data on new home sales.
- From February’s sales of 592,000, March showed a nice increase up to 621,000.
- Permits for new construction are also higher.
- What is very encouraging in the latest report is that the increase in new home sales did not come at the expense of reduced prices.
Prices for new homes rose a very strong 7.5 percent.
- Sales are up a whopping 15.6 percent from a year ago.
- More homes came on the market, however with the increase in demand, overall supply declined down to 5.2 months from 5.4 months.
This week’s potential market moving reports are:
- Monday May 1st – Construction Spending, PMI Manufacturing Index
- Tuesday May 2nd – FOMC Meeting Begins
- Wednesday May 3rd – FOMC Announcement, MBA Applications, ADP Employment Report
- Thursday May 4th – First time Jobless Claims, Factory Orders
- Friday May 5th – Employment Situation