Inventory is low. Mortgage rates are stable.  Learn all you need to know with Syd Leibovitch’s weekly market update for all things financial.

Stocks sell off on Friday –  First quarter corporate profits, which experts felt would be down, were better than expected as they began to be reported, which had stocks flat most of the week. Unfortunately, on Friday some disappointing results came out from several big companies, which included American Express. There was also fear that Greece could default on its debt and abandon the Euro when it was revealed that negotiations with Greek’s lenders were going nowhere. This rattled the market. At one point Friday, the Dow was down 357 points before closing down 279.47 for the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 17,826.30, down from 18,057.65 last Friday. The S&P 500 closed at 2,081.18, also below last week’s close of 2,102.96. The NASDAQ closed at 4,931.82, down from last week’s 4,995.98.

Treasury Bond yields drop from last week – The 10 year Treasury bond closed the week at 1.86%, down from 1.96% last week. The 30 year treasury yield ended the week at 2.51%, down slightly from last week’s 2.59%.

Mortgage Rates remain stable for forth straight week –  The 30 year fixed rates are around 3.75% for loans up to $417,000 and at or just above 4% for loans over $417,000.  15 year fixed loans are about 3% for loans up to $417,000 and about 3.25% for higher loan amounts. The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey which comes out early in the week reported that the 30 year fixed mortgage rate average for the week was 3.67%. It was 3.66% last week. The 15 year fixed was 2.94%. It was 2.93% last week. The 5 year ARM was 2.88% and the 1 year ARM was 2.46%.

Jobless rate in California falls to lowest level in seven years – California Employers added 39,800 jobs in March. The state’s unemployment rate fell to 6.5% which is the lowest level in seven years. The February the state’s unemployment rate was 6.7% and last March the unemployment rate was 7.9%.

The number existing home sales increases in March – The California Association of Realtors reported that the number of existing homes sold in California increased 6.3% in March from February and were 7.3% higher than last March. In Los Angeles County the number of sales were up 33.8% in March from a disappointing February and up 7.6% from last March. Ventura County numbers were even better with the number of homes sold in March up 42% from February and 23.5% from last March! Orange County home sales were up 45.7% from February and 13.8% from March 2014.

Home prices increase in March – The California Association of Realtors reported that the median price paid for an existing home in California in March was $468,850, up 9.2% from February’s median price of $428,970, and up 7.2% year over year from $437,100 in March 2014. Los Angeles County’s median price paid for an existing home was $425,860, up 1.6% from February’s $419,260, and up 7.6% from $395,660 last March. Ventura County’s median price was $596,890, up 4.9% from $568,840 in February and up 6.7% from $559,320 in March 2014. Orange County’s median price was $696,060, up 2.3% from $680,290 in February and up 3% from last March’s median of $675,540.  The C.A.R. figures are derived from sales reported to multiple listing services throughout the state. The median price is the point at which half the homes sell for more and half for less. Most homes in our markets are well over the median price level,  but the median price is the only statistical method used in price reporting by The C.A.R. and other data reporting providers.

Fewer homes on the market in March – The California Association of Realtors’ Unsold Inventory Index showed that the number of homes on the market dropped from a 5 month supply in February to a 3.8 month supply in March. Los Angeles County had a 3.9 month supply in March, down from a 5.2 month supply in February. Ventura County had a 4.5 month supply in March and a 5.8 month supply in February. Orange County had a 3.7 month supply in March, down from a 5.1 month supply in February. A six to seven month supply is considered a normal market.

Have a great weekend!

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