The bond market exhibited a surprising level of calm this week despite a wealth of economic data. Of particular significance were Thursday’s releases, including key indicators such as Personal Income, Personal Spending, and the Personal Consumption Expenditures Index (PCE) – the latter being the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation. The focus on inflation was underscored by Core PCE, which aligned closely with expectations, registering a Year-over-Year decline to 2.8% from the previous month’s 2.9%. Over a six-month period, the PCE inflation rate is even lower. Notably, this morning’s manufacturing data revealed a performance weaker than anticipated.
Despite signs of a resilient economy, there are indications of potential slowing as the Federal Reserve continues to make strides in aligning inflation with its target rate.
It’s true! Mike and I have relocated back to Massachusetts. We’ve purchased an adorable antique-style, farm house complete with an old dairy barn, a barn converted to a 3-bay garage (with car charger) and stalls for animals, an old tobacco, and our own pond.
We’re looking forward to showing it off as we upgrade and renovate to return this ol’ gal back to her shining glory. Are you up for a visit? Let us know!
Now, on to the real estate!
The spring real estate market is ALREADY in full swing, and folks are realizing that there isn’t going to be an across-the-board crash. They’re also realizing that the interest rates are what they are and it might be best to find the right house at the right price NOW and refinance later.
As a result, I’ve been getting lots of questions on the best way to enter the market to effectively start a home search. Below are the 2 most important things that I suggest if someone wants to enter the real estate market.
Establish a working relationship with the right REALTOR® – that would be me. Working with the right agent is more important than you may think. Look for someone who’s professional, reliable, committed to your goal, and knowledgeable in your area of interest. Remember that your agent is representing you so choosing someone with integrity, experience, and resources is important. You want someone who is going to be able to represent your best interests and can negotiate on your behalf – that means that they need to know you and your goals, and you have to be able to trust them.
Remember that there is a difference in most states between a client and a customer. The main difference centers around clients being entitled to receive advice/representation and ministerial acts whereas customers are only entitled to ministerial acts and NOT advice. One becomes a client by entering into an “agency relationship” by signing a Buyer Broker Agreement which outlines the responsibilities and rights of each party in a real estate transaction representation.
Financing Options – Get pre-qualified or pre-approved as soon as possible AND this is something that I can guide you through.
Things are still moving quickly so you want to be prepared to make an offer as quickly as possible. Also, sellers and seller agents often require that potential buyers be pre-approved or pre-qualified to schedule a showing. Getting pre-approved will let you know how much you can afford, the type of mortgage that might be best for your individual situation and will let sellers know that you are serious about buying a home.
My standard practice is to ask clients to investigate 3 financing options/financial institutions to give them the best overview of which scenarios may be the best for them. I am happy to provide introductions to our preferred mortgage vendors. Your loan officer(s) will go over best financial practices including what to do and what NOT to do, documents that you will need to provide, the timeline/process, and more.
Feel free to reach out with any questions!
Finally, let’s talk recipe!
I posted this recipe last year and I’m re-posting it now. It’s easy, yummy, and is the perfect start to Spring for me. Enjoy!
February’s trend toward higher rates continued this week, as the notes from the January FOMC meeting and comments from Fed officials made clear that rate cuts aren’t imminent. The minutes from the January meeting showed that many participants felt that there was greater risk in easing too soon versus waiting for a few more months of inflation data. Comments this week from Federal Reserve officials also suggested that a few more months of economic data is needed to confirm that cuts are appropriate. The economy is proving to be resilient, and the recent strong economic data is reducing the urgency in cutting rates. A rate cut at the March meeting was already priced out of the market, and now cuts in May are also seen as unlikely. The current consensus view in the market is for 4 cuts in 2024, starting with the June meeting.
While it is important for homebuyers to stay informed of the upcoming rate expectations, it is advised that they don’t delay a purchase in expectation of a future rate drop. In fact, it could be advantageous to buy now. Read this Market Update from September to find out why.
AUTHOR: MOVEMENT STAFF The Market Update is a weekly commentary compiled by a group of Movement Mortgage capital markets analysts with decades of combined expertise in the financial field. Movement’s staff helps take complicated economic topics and turn them into a useful, easy to understand analysis to help you make the best decisions for your financial future.
Given all the false information, it’s important to be factually informed about commissions and options. I can help with that.
“NAR does not set commissions. It never has, and it never will.” Great to see The National Association of REALTORS® [TAG] CEO Nykia Wright set the record straight on NAR and how commissions work in real estate. Learn more on how NAR promotes homeownership through efficient, transparent, and accessible marketplaces at https://www.nar.realtor/competition-in-real-estate
Atlanta REALTORS® Association (ARA), the largest association of its kind in Georgia, released its August 2023 Market Brief on residential housing statistics for 11 area counties in metropolitan Atlanta. The Market Brief, compiled by First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS), provides the only regionally-focused synopsis of monthly sales and home prices for single-family residential properties.
The Atlanta REALTORS® Market Brief is designed to offer an overview of the Atlanta residential market by providing a synopsis of sales and home prices, and covers 11 counties: Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Paulding, and Rockdale. The numbers in the reports are updated each month to reflect any additional recordings from the previous month. Each month, the numbers reported for the previous month are updated to reflect additional recordings.
Demand: August residential sales were at 5,088, a decrease of 15.0% from the previous year.
Price: Average and median sales prices continue to outpace 2022’s figures, with positive gains. The median sales price in August was $425,000, an increase of 4.7% from last August. The average sales price was $515,000, up 6.7% from the previous year.
Supply: Atlanta area housing inventory totaled 10,607 units in August, a decrease of 16.5% from August 2022. New listings totaled 6,896, down 15.2% from August 2022 and up 0.4% from the previous month. The month’s supply over a 12-month period increased to 2.3 months.