Monday, July 31, 2017

Ready, Set, Rec! - August

Recreation Manager Reggie Hubbard gets you up-to-date on what's happening in recreation in Vacaville in August!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Decline in Existing Home Sales and Refinances; Still Up from Last Year

Existing Home Sales

The recent decline in pending home sales, translated into a decline in existing home sales. The latest data showed a drop of 1.8 percent for the month of June. Compared to the same time last year, existing sales are up 0.7 percent.

On the flip-side, home prices are up a sharp 6.5 percent from a year ago. The latest median home price is $263,800. The supply of homes continues to remain a big challenge in many markets throughout the country. Supply dropped 0.5 percent in June which places the national average at 4.3 months. The most notable concern relating to home availability is that supply is 7.1 percent lower than the same time last year.

Mortgage Bankers Association Loan Application Weekly Data

After last week’s large jump in refinances, it seems that the little upward movement in rates has quelled the brief refi excitement. The latest numbers reported from the Mortgage Bankers Association is that refinances only increased 3.0 percent for the week ending July 21st. Purchase applications declined a minimal 2.0 percent for the same week. The good news in the latest report is that purchase applications are 8.0 percent higher than the same time last year.

FHFA House Price Index

The FHFA Index, which measures the prices of single-family homes was up 0.4 percent in May, which is the softest increase since January. However, home prices are up for this index by 6.9 percent from the same time last year. This is the biggest year-on-year spread in 3 ½ years.

S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller House Price Index

The question people are starting to ask is “is home price appreciation slowing?”

Although the existing home sales report showed a strong increase in home prices, the latest Case-Shiller data points to more modest price growth. For the 20 major cities in which the data is based, home prices only increased 0.1 percent for the month of May. Expectations were that home prices would be up by 0.3 percent according to the Econoday estimates. Overall home prices are higher by 5.7 percent from last year in the Case-Shiller data.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

· Monday July 31st - Pending Home Sales
· Tuesday August 1st – PMI Manufacturing Index, Construction Spending, ISM Mfg Index
· Wednesday August 2nd - MBA Mortgage Applications, ADP Employment Report
· Thursday August 3rd - First Time Jobless Claims, Factory Orders
· Friday August 4th – National Employment Report

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 (707) 455-7070.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Although Still High, Housing Market Index Decline

Housing Market Index

Home builders continue to be less excited about the future of housing than earlier this year. The housing market index declined to a lower than expected level of 64 in July. Although still very high, this is the lowest level since November of last year.

The less than highly optimistic sentiment is evenly divided among the 3 components that make up the index. Future sales still lead the index at a level of 73 followed by present sales at 70. Traffic is where the concern is coming from. The traffic level of 48 is below the breakeven number of 50, and is the second month in a row below this benchmark.

Mortgage Bankers Association Loan Application Weekly Data

Application direction reversed course after accounting for the prior week’s July 4th holiday adjustment. For the week ending July 14th, applications for home purchases increased 1.0 percent. Refinances, jumped 13.0 percent erasing the prior week’s decline of the same amount.

Purchase applications are up 7.0 percent from the same time last year. Refinances represent 44.7 percent of mortgage activity, which is up 2.6 percent from the prior week. There continues to be talk that the fall may be a stronger housing market than normal due to the abnormally slow Spring market due to limited inventory.

Housing Starts

This data has been moving up and down over the last few months. This trend continued with a positive report for the month of June. Housing starts and permits were both higher. Expectations were for the pace of annualized starts to come in at 1.200 million. The actual report delivered 1.215 M, plus the prior month was revised higher by 300,000. Translating all this to percentages, housing starts increased 8.3 percent and permits jumped 7.4 percent.

Starts for single-family homes rose 6.3 percent while multi-family jumped 13.3 percent. Surprisingly is that the Northeast led the country followed by the Midwest. The West was up slightly and the South was down significantly.

The housing market will get the rest of the data it needs to better indicate the future of housing next week. With three major housing reports, investors will be paying close attention.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

· Monday July 24th – Existing Home Sales
· Tuesday July 15th – FHFA House Price Index, S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI
· Wednesday July 26th - MBA Mortgage Applications, New Home Sales, FOMC Announcement
· Thursday July 27th - First Time Jobless Claims, Durable Goods Orders
· Friday July 28th - GDP

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 (707) 455-7070.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Keep Your Home Safe While You're on Vacation | Consumer Reports

The FBI says that 90% of home burglaries can be prevented. Thinking ahead before you go on vacation can help stop burglars from targeting your home while you're away. Use these tips from Consumer Reports experts.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Nurture Your Green Thumb: Indoor Edition - Adulting 101: Century 21

Put an end to killing plants.

Because owning a home is only the beginning. Century 21 presents everything you need to know to master Adulting

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Get Pre-Approved Before Buying Your Next Home

Prior to looking for a home, the first step you should take in the home buying process is to complete a mortgage pre-approval with a knowledgeable and trustworthy lender. Be sure to provide honest and accurate information to your lender. This will help the loan officer find the best mortgage options for you and ensure the fastest and smoothest loan approval process. The following suggestions will help expedite the loan process.

• Read All Documents - Make sure you thoroughly read all the loan documents. Ask your loan officer to explain anything that you do not understand. Never sign blank or incomplete documents.

• Be Truthful - Truthfully disclosure all your income sources and debts. Do not fabricate or alter any documents.

• Explain Your Employment History - Thoroughly explain and document any part-time employment or gaps in your employment history.

• Source and Document Your Funds - All gifts must be fully documented with a paper trail. Do not accept cash as a gift from a relative for the down payment. Only seasoned funds are acceptable as gifts.

• Credit Issues - Thoroughly explain and document all past credit problems.

• Educate - Ask your loan officers to explain the terms of the loan, including any prepayment penalties, variable rate features, and any stipulations on how to eliminate private mortgage insurance.

Once your pre-approval has been issued by the lender, be sure to ask your loan officer to review with you all the loan programs your pre-approval includes. If you are a first time home buyer, you may qualify for down payment assistance, a zero down mortgage, or a special interest rate. While looking for a new house, you may find a property that needs a renovation loan or a condominium that can only be financed with a particular loan type. If you are looking a newer house, a construction or draw loan may be the best mortgage type for you. Be sure you thoroughly understand all your financing options before finding the house of your dreams. During the house-hunting process, keep an open line of communication with your loan officer and discuss financing options and inform your lender of any major financial changes that happen between the date your mortgage pre-approval was issued and the loan closing. If any changes occur to your financial situation, such as: a new job, new loans, or large gift that you intend to use towards the down payment, be sure to inform your loan officer so he is aware of these changes.

Keeping your lender updated will eliminate delays and the surprise of a possible mortgage denial. Having a mortgage denied due to changes in your financial picture, especially after telling your friends and family you bought a house can be embarrassing and heartbreaking. Be sure to talk to your lender, so you have a thorough understanding of the mortgage requirements and programs available to you.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Are You Fluent in HR Paperwork? - Adulting 101: Century 21

Because owning a home is only the beginning. Century 21 presents everything you need to know to master Adulting

Monday, July 10, 2017

Why Should the Fed be Any Different than the Rest of the United States Government?

FOMC Minutes

Why should the Fed be any different than the rest of the United States Government?

Everyone already knows that Congress could not be more divided. Well…the Fed appears to be divided as well. The latest FOMC Minutes show that many policy makers want the Fed to start unwinding the Fed’s balance sheet that has grown to enormous proportions ever since the great recession. However, there are some policy makers that are steadfast in wanting to hold off until later in the year to begin this process.

The labor market continues to remain red hot with more jobs available than qualified applicants to fill them. The challenge that exists to the Fed is that inflation continues to remain ultra-low and making changes to economic policy could cause unintended consequences of hurting the economy.

Given that there continue to be a number of mixed economic reports, as of late, it seems that many analysts are shying away from predicting when the Fed will make the next rate hike or begin to unwind the bloated balance sheet.

Mortgage Bankers Association Loan Application Weekly Data

Purchase applications finally turned higher for the week ending June 30th. According to the MBA applications for purchase loans rose 3.0 percent from the prior week. This reverses the previous decline of 4.0 percent from the week before. Refinance applications were virtually unchanged. Purchase applications remain 6.0 percent higher than the same time last year.


ISM’s manufacturing index indicates the fire in the sector has returned. The latest report for June is at a level of 57.8. This is higher than experts were predicting and shows that demand for production is strong. This is the strongest report since August of 2014.


ISM’s non-manufacturing index, which reports on services, construction, mining, forestry, fishing, and hunting, also showed a strong gain in June. The index jumped from 56.9 to 57.4 and demonstrates that these areas of the economy continue to maintain solid growth as well with no signs of slowing.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

· Monday July 10th – Labor Market Conditions Index
· Tuesday July 11th – JOLTS Report
· Wednesday July 12th - MBA Mortgage Applications
· Thursday July 13th - First Time Jobless Claims, Producer Price Index
· Friday July 14th – Consumer Price Index, Retail Sales, 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 (707) 455-7070.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July!

Enjoy this Independence Day with parades, fireworks, music and dance. 

Have a fun filled 4th of July!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Early Spring Market Disappointing - Hopeful for a Better Summer and Fall

Case-Shiller's Home Price Index

In recent weeks, I have been mentioning how the Summer and Fall housing markets are being predicted, by some experts, to be far above average. We should hope they are correct on account that the early Spring market was a rather large disappointment.

The latest Case-Shiller's home price index increased by a rather small 0.3 percent in April. In February home prices were up by 6.0 percent from the same time in the prior year. However, for the month of March, the year-on-year rate slipped back down to 5.7 percent. This is the first reversal in year-on-year spread in a very long time,

To the surprise of many, San Francisco home prices dropped 0.6 percent in the month. Boston was down by 0.7 percent and Cleveland declined by 1.0 percent. Not surprising is Seattle leading the country with a year-on-year spread up by 12.9 percent.

Mortgage Bankers Association Loan Application Weekly Data

For the week ending June 23rd, purchase applications for home mortgages dropped by a seasonally adjusted 4 percent. The unadjusted level is actually 8 percent higher than the level in the same week a year ago. Refinancing plummeted 9 percent from the prior week, with the refinance share of mortgage activity declining to 45.6 percent of all originations. (Many readers have asked me what “seasonally adjusted” data means?)

Because seasons can impact sales from one extreme to another, making seasonal adjustments to data demonstrates a more consistent approach to viewing data. Seasonal spikes, (for example more running shoes will be sold in the summer than winter) can make it harder to see trends in a market segment versus removing the seasonality levels from the data therefore making it easier to compare from year to year.

Pending Home Sales

Even Pending homes sales for the month. May was the 3rd month in a row of decline with a jaw dropping 0.8 percent. This is in direct contrast to expert predictions of a 0.5 percent gain. The weakness in the housing market is spread evenly throughout regions across the country. The West, usually the strongest market, declined by 1.3 percent, which was the largest decline recorded for the month. Although the data on final home sales does not always move in lock-step with the pending home sales data, this most recent report could prove troubling for future final sales data.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

· Monday July 3rd – ISM Mfg Index, Construction Spending
· Tuesday July 4th – Independence Day Celebration – All Markets Closed
· Wednesday July 5th - MBA Mortgage Applications, Factory Orders, FOMC Minutes
· Thursday July 6th - First Time Jobless Claims, ADP Employment Report
· Friday July 7th – National Employment Situation

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 (707) 455-7070.