U.S. consumer confidence rose in May. The Conference Board reported that its index of consumer attitudes rose to 83 in May from 81.7 in April. This was the second highest level seen since 2008. However the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell more than analysts were expecting ending at 81.9 in May from 84.9 in April. Economists had expected 82.8.
The Commerce Department reported that U.S. consumer spending fell in April by a seasonally adjusted -0.1% from March, below the 0.1% growth expected by economists. March’s growth was revised up by 1% from the 0.9% previously reported. Personal income rose 0.3% in April, down from a 0.5% growth rate in March and wage growth slowed to 0.2%. Many are predicting wider economic gains in the second quarter.
The 10 year Treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.48%. It was 2.54% last Friday, 2.67% at the end of last month, and 2.13% a year ago.
The Freddie Mac Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that the 30-year-fixed rate hit another new low for the year, falling to 4.12% from 4.14% last week. The 15-year-fixed fell to 3.21% from last week’s 3.25%. The 30-year-fixed rate was 4.33% at the end of last month and the 15-year-fixed was at 3.39%. A year ago the 30-year fixed was at 3.81% and the 15-year was at 2.98%. Rates on loans over $417,000 are running around 4.5% for 30 year fixed and 3.5% for 15 year terms. These are the lowest rates of the year and the lowest since last May! I really think rates are going up. I would lock in now!!
It was another strong week for the stock market. The Dow closed at 16,717.17 up 0.67% from last week’s close of 16,606.27. It was up 0.82% from last month’s close of 16,580.84. The Nasdaq also had another strong week, closing at 4,242.62 up 1.36% from last week’s close of 4,185.81. It was up 1.04% from last month’s close of 4,198.99. The S&P 500 ended the week by closing above the record-setting 1,900 mark for the second week in a row, closing at 1,923.57, up 1.21% from last week’s 1,900.53. It was up 2.1%from last month’s close of 1,883.95.
Realtor.com® released its monthly trend report which showed that the national median list price rose to $207,500, 6.5% higher than the previous year and 3.8% higher than the previous month. The median age of inventory was 86 days, 6.2% higher than the year before. The amount of inventory was up 14.2% compared with April 2013 and up 8.6% from March 2014, according to realtor.com® data. For the Los Angeles-Long Beach MSA, the median price was $472,000, up 8.5% from one year ago and up 2.6% from the previous month. The number of listings on the market was 22,652, up 38.2% from one year ago and up 7.5% from the previous month. The median age of inventory was 61 days, up 29.8% from the one year ago and up 3.4% from the previous month. Once again these are national figures. It hardly seems necessary to talk about medium prices in our market. Never the less we are seeing large price gains in our area!
According to the Southland Regional Association of Realtors®, the median price of a home in the San Fernando Valley rose 13% year over year in April to $519,000. This was only a 0.8% increase over March’s median. Sales rose strongly, up 32% from March but down -2.5% from one year ago. The number of properties on the market, rose 43% year over year to 1,599. However this is only a little more than a two-month supply meaning that housing inventory is very, very low.
The National Association of Realtors® saw its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rise 0.4% to 97.8 last month. The index is -9.2% below the level it was a year ago. The index in the West declined -2.9% in April to 88.4 and is -15.0% below April 2013.
The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index for March showed that home prices in 20 U.S. cities increased 12.4% from March 2013. Los Angeles alone saw a year-over-year change of 16.9% and a rise of 1.2% between February and March. The S&P/Case Shiller report also included quarterly figures showing that prices for all of the U.S. rose 10.3% in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2013 and rose 0.2% over the fourth quarter of 2013.
Redfin released a report showing that sales of the priciest 1% of homes have risen 21.1% so far this year, after a gain of 35.7% in 2013. In Los Angeles the 1% starts at $3.65 million and 43.9% of buyers in this market are all cash buyers. The top three most expensive neighborhoods were Beverly Glen ($11,856,000), Holmby Hills ($9,910,000) and Malibu Road ($9,513,000). Westlake Village was the most expensive neighborhood in Ventura with an average of $2,548,000 for a home in the 1%.