Cute dog with party glasses at home. St. Patrick s Day celebration

The takeover of Silicon Valley Bank by Federal Regulators last week has ushered in new economic uncertainty to the forecast that has spooked investors and cast doubts about what the Federal Reserve will do at its upcoming meeting, with markets anticipating a less aggressive posture amidst a potentially softer economic backdrop. This uncertainty about broader exposure has fueled a rally in the bond market as investors flee to safety, which has already begun to lower yields and mortgage rates have started to follow suit after being above 7% in recent weeks. Still, labor market data suggests that the economy is still running hotter than the Fed would like it to, and the upcoming inflation report will play a large role in whatever action they decide to take later this month. 


Inventory shrinks as pace of new listings drops more than half: Although sales activity has slowed in recent months, the pace of homes being listed for sale continues to slow as well and the dearth of new inventory and supply continues to get tighter. In fact, the number of new listings being added to the MLS each week has been falling by double-digits this whole year and total active inventory has begun to follow suit. Even though buyer demand has softened in the face of rising rates, the market is still seeing enough homes close or enter escrow each week that the net effect relative is that available inventory is shrinking. Although this will prevent a rapid recovery in sales activity, even as the bond markets rally and rates dip back below 7% again, it will help prevent more price declines.


California mortgage delinquencies remain low: Despite a modest uptick in the 4th quarter, mortgage delinquencies remain very low in the Golden State. California finished the year with just 2.5% of mortgages behind on their payments. That was up from 2.2% in the third quarter, but remains well-below the historical average of 4.2% between 1972 and 2000. In addition, California now has the 3rd lowest delinquency rate of any state in the nation, which, taken together with homeowner equity that remains near an all-time high level and most homeowners locked into the lowest rate mortgages of all time, should prevent a flood of inventory from hitting the market and precipitating much larger price declines. In fact, recent market data shows that the recent reduction in rates during January and February helped the market to level off in terms of sales and competitiveness. 


Mortgage applications inch up despite raising rates: Mortgage interest rates climbed for the 5th consecutive week as the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage nears 7% — the highest level since November of last year. Despite this, mortgage applications inched up according to the latest weekly mortgage applications survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Mortgage applications increased 7.4% after two weeks of declines to very low levels, including a holiday week. However, compared to a year ago, purchase applications were still down 42 percent and refinance activity was down 76 percent. The recent increase in rates has pushed borrowers to either rush to lock in rates or wait on the sidelines for rates to come back down.  


If you would like to discuss today's market and whether now is a good time for you to buy or sell, give me a call at (562) 900-9430.


Hope everyone has a great St. Patrick's Day!


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4 Beds | 4 Baths | 3,516 SqFt | $2,695,000


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4 Beds | 2 Baths | 1,627 SqFt | $850,000


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3 Beds | 2 Baths | 1,031 SqFt | $500,000


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32,924 SqFt of Residential Land | $650,000


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