Stock markets lower for the week - After several weeks of steady gains, stocks declined moderately from all-time highs this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 28,989.73, down 1.2% from 29,348.10 last week. It’s up 1.6% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 3,295.47, down 1.0% from 3,329.62 last week. It’s up 2.0% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 9,314.91, down 0.8% from 9,388.94 last week. It’s up 3.8% year to date.
U.S. treasury bond yields lower week – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.70%, down from 1.84% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.14%, down from 2.29% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates often follow bond yields.
Mortgage rates - The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey released on January 23, 2020 reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.60%, down slightly from 3.65% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.04%, almost unchanged from 3.06% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.28%, down from 3.39% last week.
California existing home prices surged in December - The California Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales totaled 398,880 in December on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, up 7.4% from December 2018. The median price paid for a home in December was $614,090, up 10.3% from December 2018. That marked the largest year over year price increase since May 2014, and the first double digit year over year price increase in 5 1/2 years. Inventory levels continued to drop. There was just a 2.5 month supply of homes listed for sale in December, down from a 3.5 month supply one year ago. Inventory levels dropped 26.5% from one year ago, and December marked the lowest inventory level in 7 years. On a regional basis, in Los Angeles County the median price increased 9.0% year over year. In Orange County the median price increased 7%. In Ventura County the median price increases 2.7%.
U.S. Existing home sales surged in December - The National Association of Realtors reported that the number of existing homes sales surged 10.8% in December, from the number of homes sold nationwide in December 2018. The median price increased 7.8% year over year in December. That marked the 94th straight month of year over year price increases. There was a 3 month supply of homes for sale, down from a 3.7 month supply last December.