3rd QUARTERLY UPDATE
Where did it go? I don’t know about you, but I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this recently… “I can’t believe it is October and fall… where has the year gone? It seems that the older we get, the days/weeks/years seem to go faster than the previous ones… The long HOT summer days appear to be finally coming to an end, only to be replaced by the forecast of the El Nino rains. I hope you and your home are ready for the rains.
The rate hike didn’t happen…but will soon perhaps. Economists were predicting in early summer that we would see the Federal Reserve hike interest rates by fall— that did not happen. Now, they are predicting the Fed Reserve will do it before the New Year — as they stated last week, the U.S. economy was strong enough to weather a rate hike before the end of the year. What followed was that the market moved higher and Europe followed. Raising short-term interest rates is being considered because of the improvement in the labor market conditions…including unemployment rate of 5.1%. According to the UCLA Anderson Forecast, which was delivered the other day, all of this portends to a further stabilizing of the housing market….. UCLA predicts that the U.S. is in its fourth-longest expansion since 1948. The report goes onto to say the expansion seems destined to continue for at least a couple more years and probably more due to other key factors: jobs, housing and cars. On the housing front…. UCLA predicted that housing starts are poised to approach the long-term average (from 1959 to 2014) of just under 1.5 million units in 2016. The housing forecast calls for starts of 1.14 million units this year, and 1.42 million and 1.44 million units in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
While all of this looks good on paper…sales have leveled off on the Westside through the first eight months of the year, although there is a robust number of buyers out there…prices remain ahead of 2014 for the most part and sales volume is about even with the year before. Look for a complete update in our October 15 edition of The SchifferLine.
If I can assist you or any of your family or friends with any of their real estate needs, please do not hesitate to give me a call.