Stock markets finished slightly lower this week - The Federal Reserve dropped the Federal Funds Rate one quarter of a percent this week. This followed a 1/4% drop at its last meeting in July. The rate is now at 1.75%-2%. Oil prices spiked following an attack on Saudi oil fields. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 26,935.07, down 1% from 27,219.52 last week. It’s up 15.5% year to date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,992.07, down 0.5% from 3,007.39 last week. It is up 19.4% year to date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 8,117.67, down 0.7% from 8,176.71 last week. The NASDAQ is up 22.3% year to date.
U.S. treasury bond yields lower for the week
- The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 1.74%, down from 1.90% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 2.17%, down from 2.37% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates often follow bond yields.
Mortgage rates higher this week - The September 19, 2019 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.73%, up from 3.56% last week. The 15-year fixed was 3.21%, up from 3.06% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.49%, up from 3.36% last week.
August California existing home sales report - The California Association of Realtors reported that existing single-family homes sales totaled 406,100 in August on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. That represented a year over year increase of 1.6% from last August. The number of homes sold year to date is down 4.1% from the first 8 months of 2018. The statewide median price was $617,410, up 3.6% from last August. The unsold inventory index stood at a 3.2-month supply of homes for sale, down from a 3.3 month supply last August. Year over year results on a regional basis were as follows: In Los Angeles County the median price was $627,690, up 3.3% from last August. The number of sales was down 1.5% from last August. In Orange County the median price was $810,000, down 3.4% from August 2018. The number of sales increased 2.1% from August 2018. In Ventura County the median price was $661,900, up 0.3% from last August. The number of sales increased 1.4% from last August.