Stocks are falling, mortgage rates fell… what else happened you ask? And how much you ask? Good thing Syd Leibovitch has some answers for you!

Stocks continue to fall in 2016 – Stocks tumbled for a second week due to falling oil prices, the strong dollar and weakness overseas.  Oil dropped to under under $30 a barrel, a level not seen 2003.  This caused energy sector stocks to drop significantly further.  The dollar rose against all other currencies. It is at the highest level in nearly 20 years against many currencies. This also spooked investors as a strong dollar makes U.S. goods more expensive abroad.  China’s Shanghai Index is down 20% and our markets have dropped about 10% so far in 2016. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Friday at 15,988.08, down sharply from 16,346.45 last week. TheS&P 500 closed the week at 1,880.30, down from 1,922.03 last week. The NASDAQ closed Friday at 4,488.82 also sharply down from 4,643.63 last week.

Bond yields continue to fall – As fear sets in investors have pulled money from stocks and purchased U.S. treasury bonds.  This happens when investors feel that a very low return is better than losing money if stocks drop further. Bond yields are approaching the lowest levels which have been reached from time to time over the past few years. The 10 year U.S. Treasury bond yield closed Friday at 2.03%, down from 2.13% last week.  The 30 year U.S. Treasury bond yield closed Friday at 2.81%, also down from 2.91% last week.

Mortgage rates fall this week – The 30 year fixed rates below loan amounts of 419,000 fell to 3.75%. 30 year rates for loans above 419,000 are just around 4%. The 15 year fixed was around 3.10%. The 5 year was around 3%.

California posts strong sales and price increases in 2015 – The California Association of Realtors reported that their preliminary figures indicate that there were 407,060 resale single family homes sold in 2015. That marks a6.5% increase from 382,720 resales in 2014. There were 9.6% more December sales than November.  November had unusually low closing figures which were attributed to delays caused by implementation of new disclosure requirements. Condominium and townhouse sales were up 25.1% from November and were 10.2% higher than last December.  The statewide median price of a home was $489,310, which was up 2.6% from November and 8% higher than one year ago! The median price is the price in which half the homes sell for more and half sell for less. The unsold inventory index fell in December to a 2.7 month supply of homes, a historically low figure. A normal market had a 6-7 month supply. Such a low supply of inventory could cause prices to spike!

Have a great weekend!

Syd


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