Discussing NAR endorsing Carson as HUD Secretary, retails sales increasing, signs of an improving economy and much more…
The year 2016 saw many real estate related articles published with the intent of informing readers about various issues in the real estate area. Some articles while trying to be informative may miss the mark and instead up trying to sell something rather than inform. Many other articles though succeed in informing readers so that they have the latest and greatest knowledge needed to help them with their real estate.
Truly a great collection of some of the best of the best (including yours truly).
The 1.2 million members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) offer our support for Dr. Ben Carson as the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). NAR urges the Senate Banking Committee to approve his nomination and move it quickly to the floor of the Senate. His innate understanding of the key role that housing plays in the health of individuals and communities will be a great asset at HUD.
I was NOT asked BUT I do hope Carson does a good job.
I think with Trump’s background in real estate, he could have found someone with more experience.
From the Census Bureau:
Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for December 2016, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $469.1 billion, an increase of 0.6 percent (±0.5 percent) from the previous month, and 4.1 percent (±0.9 percent) above December 2015. Total sales for the 12 months of 2016 were up 3.3 percent (±0.6 percent) from 2015.
Since our economy depends so much on people buying crap, the YoY increase in sales is positive indicator. I had been waiting for a sign that this Christmas was better than last year.
From Philly Fed President Hawker:
Inflation, GDP growth, and the labor market are “displaying considerable strength” and indicate a robust American economy. Inflation is on course to meet our target sometime this year or next and GDP continued to grow in the third quarter at an even faster pace than in Q2. If the economy continues to perform well in 2017, three modest rate hikes would be appropriate in 2017.
Employment is also showing signs of full health. All in all, things are looking good. The labor market is strong and we’re creating jobs at a good pace. There is a persistently strong demand for labor, but a gap exists between the skills employers are seeking and candidates’ job training. Something I’ve heard over and over again from businesses of all sizes is that they have the jobs; they just can’t find the people. There seems to be a skills void that can’t be filled by the existing workforce.
Despite overall positive trends in employment, the labor force participation rate is declining among a key demographic: prime-aged males, 18–54 years old. The consequences for this group’s lack of participation are severe, both for them and the economy. Around one-third of nonparticipants live below the federal poverty line. For the rest of us, a lower participation rate all-around means lower productivity, which means lower growth.
Legislative action is required to move the needle on economic issues like labor force participation and workforce development. The kinds of policies that will deliver that growth — employment programs, development, taxation, and trade policy — are up to elected officials at the local, state, and national levels.
Sounds positive in some ways. But the issues of labor force participation and workforce development needing elected officials to help is asking so much.
With the Republicans pretty much running the show, it is going to be interesting to see if any policy changes help the average American…
Did the global elite’s devotion to borderless capitalism sow the seeds of a populist backlash?
In its four decades of existence, the WEF has nurtured a broad consensus in favor of globalization and open markets. At its core is the notion that capital, goods, and people should be able to move freely across borders, a principle that can deliver huge benefits to those with education and money but seems terrifying to those without either. For the 3,000 people who will convene in the small Swiss town from Jan. 17 to 20, the 2017 event could be a moment of reckoning. At speakers’ podiums, coffee bars, and the ubiquitous late-night parties, they’ll be asking themselves whether Davos has become, at best, the world’s most expensive intellectual feedback loop—and, at worst, part of the problem.
Since the recession, the boom has benefited the upper-income earners and done little for those in the middle or on less. That’s the backlash. The Davos vision of the world has not delivered a broad-based economic recovery. That the world is entering an era of populism that could tear apart long-established global bonds is beyond question.
To me, the answer is yes. Often, I think inflated egos prevent some people from remembering the painful lessons of human history.
“Make America Great Again,” the slogan of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s successful election campaign, has been etched in the national consciousness. But it is hard to know what to make of those vague words.
We don’t have a clear definition of “great,” for example, or of the historical moment when, presumably, America was truly great. From an economic standpoint, we can’t be talking about national wealth, because the country is wealthier than it has ever been: Real per capita household net worth has reached a record high, as Federal Reserve Board data shows.
As with many things in life, it is the intangibles that truly matter.
Would you rather have a huge house or a modest home that is filled with love and happiness?
Remember the best things in life are not things!
But there is no doubt that owning a home is a good financial investment:
So should you think about buying a home?
Well here are some reasons you should think about buying a home:
Home Prices Keep Going Up
If you have read this blog for any length of time, you have seen the many reports about rising U.S. home prices. Or maybe you read this blog and see the steady constant increases in home prices in the Anderson SC area.
One of the recent national reports I shared was CoreLogic’s Home Price Index, If you remember, they said that that home prices have appreciated by 6.3% over the last 12 months. They also predict that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.2% over the next year.
The bad news is that the bottom in home prices happened long ago. The good news is that you can still buy a home while mortgage rates are low and BEFORE home prices increase any more!
Mortgage Rates Are Low… For Now
Most experts have been predicting that mortgage rates would increase for several years. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are all saying that mortgage rates will increase:
We have seen mortgage rates increase lately and the Fed is giving us hints they are going to raise their benchmark rate.
Just keep in the back of your head that ANY increase in mortgage rates will increase YOUR monthly mortgage payment. If you wait, you could wind up paying more!
Whether You Rent or Own, You Are Paying a Mortgage
As a recent paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:
Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.
No matter what someone owns the home you live in. So someone is building wealth…
Either you or your landlord!
The Time Is Right to Buy a Home
The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by 2 things:
- The Home’s Price
- The Current Mortgage Rate
Folks, it looks like both home prices AND mortgage rates are increasing!
But what if home prices and mortgage rates were NOT increasing?
Would you still think that buying a home makes sense for you? Remember what I said about the intangible stuff before?
No matter why you want to buy a home, maybe now is the time to buy.
Buying now could mean paying less PLUS you get to enjoy the intangible benefits of home ownership sooner rather than later!