It’s in times like these, with rates moving consistently higher, it makes publishing this weekly newsletter difficult because I wish I had some fantastically good news to share with you. BUT, I actually do have some good news and some real talk too.
First, we saw some slight improvement in rates last week, which has been reported as the best week for rates in almost 2 years. It’s all relative for sure, but we did see the pace of rate increases let up slightly. We also saw a slight improvement in the rate of consumer inflation increasing. That combined with Fed Chairman Powell’s remarks on the Fed’s commitment to monetary policy to curb inflation helped mortgage rates improve slightly.
So, speaking of rates, as inflation slows we may begin to see more of these weeks of volatility where rates improve temporarily. This is why, if you’re at all considering purchasing or refinancing, please bring me in on your plans and I can be keeping an eye for great rate opportunities for you when they arise. Call or text me at 818.307.6072 and let’s talk about your options.
Speaking of options, the housing market remains strong and full of homebuyers, despite rising rates. However, as I’ve mentioned before, we are seeing demand weakening ever so slightly and home price increases slowing a little as well. I know many home buyers and real estate brokers that will be so excited to see our housing market become more balanced between buyers and sellers. Hold on friends, it looks like that’s the direction we’re moving!
As for what I’m watching this week…
The latest numbers for Retail Sales came out. In March they came in very near expectations, rising 0.5 percent. Though excluding sales at gasoline stations, which were highly inflated due to March’s jump in fuel prices, sales managed only a 0.2 percent gain. April expectations were for a strong 0.8 percent gain overall and came in slightly higher at 0.9 percent. And surprisingly, when gas and auto sales were taken out, sales rose a robust 1.0 percent!
Housing starts and permits – a leading indicator of home sales – despite the jump in mortgage rates, have both been holding firm, at respective annual rates of 1.793 million and 1.873 million in March. But April’s expectations are for sharp slowing, to 1.765 and 1.815 million.
Existing Home Sales in April are expected to decrease to a 5.650 million annualized rate versus 5.770 million in March. Sales have missed expectations the past two reports.