It’s probably not a surprise to you, but mortgage rates continued to increase this past week clocking the fastest three-month rise since May of 1994, according to Freddie Mac’s latest survey of average mortgage rates. The survey also reported – and I will corroborate – that purchase activity is softening, which, if you’ve been on the sidelines waiting for the housing market to ease up, is good news!
We see the housing market locally showing signs that it is beginning to ease up on the frenzy, ever so slightly. And yes, rates have gone up, but homeownership is still a great investment and of course, you’re always welcome to refinance and bring your rate down when they improve. So, if you’ve been sitting on the fence, let’s talk and come up with a plan to help you with your purchase.
And if you already own a home, I want to encourage you to reach out to your insurance agent and have your home insurance coverage reviewed. I am finding many people are not properly insured due to the increased building cost and supply shortages. You need to confirm that you have “Replacement Cost Coverage” so that in the event your home was destroyed, you’d receive enough insurance money to rebuild.
You may pay a little higher in premiums, but ask any wildfire victims and they’ll tell you, it’s well worth it! If you need a referral for an insurance agent, please let me know, I’m happy to help you out.
As for what I’m watching in markets this week…
We have two very important inflation measures coming out. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) – came out this week and the numbers generally matched expectations. Fortunately, the rate was not as bad as feared; some analysts latched onto a lower than expected 0.3 percent monthly rise in core CPI for March as a sign that underlying inflation might be fading. Fed Governor Lael Brainard noted the latest core CPI figure was lower than expected and called it “very welcome.”
We’ll also get a look at wholesale prices this week as well. Producer prices are expected to increase 1.1 percent overall in March and 0.5 percent when excluding food and energy. These would compare with increases of 0.8 and 0.7 percent in February. Annual rates for March are expected at 10.6 and 8.4 percent.
March retail sales are expected to rise 0.6 percent in March, the first month of the Ukraine crisis, due in large part to higher vehicle sales and increased gas prices. Excluding vehicle and gas sales, retail sales are anticipated to fall 0.1 percent.
Of course, I’ll be watching it all and update you again next week.
P.S. Did you hear we opened a branch in Colorado?!! As you may know, Colorado is where I was born and raised so my roots here are deep and we are so excited to now be able to offer full-service home financing in my home state as well as California! So, please spread the word to your friends and family! If there are any contacts you have in Colorado that you think I should know, please send them my way. You can reach me by calling/texting 818.307.6072, or replying to this email. I look forward to serving you in Colorado!