Wondering what’s been going on this past week? Jobs have been added, stock indexes are record breaking, and sales are strong… but if you don’t believe me, here’s Rodeo Realty President Syd Leibovitch’s weekly breakdown.

Jobs – US economy adds 321,000 non farm jobs in November. The Highest single month of job gains since January 2012. The national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.8% from October as more workers entered the workforce. The unemployment rate was 7.2% one year ago. Year to date the economy has 2.6 million jobs which is the highest rate since 1999. There are still 9 million people unemployed which is down significantly from a record high of 15 million in 2009, yet still at a historically high level. Hourly wages were up 2.21% from one year ago at $24.66 per hour. Although not enough wages are up slightly above the inflation rate of just under 2%.
Among the jobs added the following sectors had the largest gains: Retail sales added 50,000 jobs. Healthcare added 29,000 jobs, up 261,000 year to date. Food services added 27,000 jobs, up 321,000 year to date. Construction added 20,000 jobs, up 213,000 year to date. Transportation added 17,000 jobs, up 143,000 year to date. Financial services added 20,000 jobs, up 114,000 year to date. Manufacturing added 28,000 jobs, up 171,000 year to date.
Another record breaking week for US stock indexes   – The US stock markets posted their seventh straight week of gains with new highs. Job gains and Falling oil prices fueled another great week for investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 17,958.79, above last weeks close of 17,828.24,  The S&P 500 closed Friday at 2075.37, above last Friday’s close of 2057.56. The Nasdaq closed at 4780.76, below last weeks close of  4791.63.

Treasury Bond Rates –  The 10 year treasury bond closed the week at 2.31%, up from 2.18% last week. The 30 year treasury yield was 2.97%, up from 2.89% last week.

Mortgage Rates –  The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30 year fixed mortgage rate average for the week was 3.89% down from 3.97% last week. The 15 year fixed was  3.10%, down from 3.17% last week. The 5 year ARM was 2.94% and the 1 year ARM was 2.41%. These rates are the weekly average compiled and published in the middle of the week. Unfortunately, rates rose late in the week. The 30 year rate is close to 4% while the 15 year fixed is in the 3.3% range today.

November and December are usually months in which sales slow down. That’s not the case so far this year. Our sales have actually increased! For example, I was at the Sunset Strip office meeting where Peter Schwartz, the branch manager, announced that the office posted 12 sales during Thanksgiving week! I spoke to some of the escrow officers yesterday who reported that openings were strong. This is a great sign. Sales have been running 14% below the 28 year monthly average over the past year. Maybe we will see that trend reverse in 2015. If you think the Real Estate Market was good this year wait until next year! It’s going to be significantly better!

Have a great weekend!


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