This Time of Year in Housing Market

As mortgage rates remain elevated to start the year, we’re seeing buyers step back to the sidelines to wait and see what this year will bring for the housing market and mortgage rates. This is typically a slower time of year for housing sales and mortgage applications, so it’s not that surprising, however, this year the data shows mortgage applications have sunk even further.

That being said, the most recent survey on home buyer sentiment showed an increase in optimism for the second straight month in a row as home affordability has eased a bit. This index tracks homebuying conditions, mortgage rate outlook, and job security, according to Fannie Mae. The percentage of respondents that believe it’s a good time to buy rose by 8 percent!

If you’d like to explore your purchase options this year so you can beat the typical spring rush, let’s talk! You can text/call me at 818.307.6072 or simply reply to this email and we can discuss a plan that feels right for you.

On Friday the monthly jobs report revealed that our labor market continues to roll along adding more jobs than expected and marking 2 full years (24 months) of consecutive job growth. Additionally, the number of unemployed Americans continues to fall and hourly wages continue to increase. December’s unemployment rate was the lowest since 1969!

As for what I’m watching this week…

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak and considering all the scuttle around what the Fed should or should not be doing to try and curb inflation, his appearance and everything he says will be closely watched by traders and analysts.

Then on Thursday, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation at the consumer level comes out. The good news is, core prices, up 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent in the last two reports, have been coming in much lower than expected. December’s consensus is up 0.3 percent. Overall prices are expected to come in unchanged after December’s 0.1 percent increase, which was also much lower than expected. Annual rates are expected to continue to ease, to 5.7 percent for the core and 6.6 percent overall.

Keep in mind that if inflation continues to ease, rates typically follow suit at some point.

We end the week on Friday with a look at Consumer Sentiment. As we know, consumer activity makes up two-thirds of our country’s economic activity so watching consumer trends can give us an idea of where the economy is headed. As for this week’s report on sentiment, it is expected at 60.0 in the first reading for January, slightly higher than the 59.7 reading in December.