Do you know anyone who does not have a mobile phone? Not only are they everywhere but recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (presented by Statista) continues to show an ever-increasing majority of American households have ditched the traditional landline phone and only have a mobile.
“If the trend continues at the current pace, and there’s little reason to believe it won’t, landline phones could soon become an endangered species, much like the VCR and other technological relics before it.”
“People are feeling more confident about the economy and now feel financially secure enough to make a cross-country move to a metro where their money will go further,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “Homeownership may be out of reach for current residents of San Francisco or New York, but there are plenty of affordable homes and lower taxes in places like Phoenix, Atlanta and Austin. As more workers move to these places, there is a chicken and egg phenomenon where more companies open offices, which attracts even more workers.”
“Gas prices are getting cheaper for the majority of motorists…” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson.
“Consumer spending remains strong, helped by solid job and income growth. Families continue to prioritize spending their disposable incomes on travel, and near-record numbers of them are looking forward to doing just that for Memorial Day.” Said Paula Twidale, vice president, AAA Travel.
The National Association of Realtors is reporting that existing home sales were down 0.4% in April, with two of the four major U.S. regions seeing a slight dip in sales, while the West saw growth and the Midwest statistically had no changes. The median existing-home price for all housing types in April was $267,300, up 3.6% from April, 2018 and marks the 86th straight month of year-over-year gains. Total housing inventory at the end of April was 1.83 million (up 1.7% from one year ago). There is a 4.2-month inventory at the current sales pace. Properties remained on the market for an average of 24 days in April (down from 26 one year ago). Fifty-three percent of homes sold in April were on the market for less than a month.
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said he is not overly concerned about the 0.4% dip in sales and expects moderate growth very soon. “First, we are seeing historically low mortgage rates combined with a pent-up demand to buy, so buyers will look to take advantage of these conditions,” he said. “Also, job creation is improving, causing wage growth to align with home price growth, which helps affordability and will help spur more home sales.”
According to recent data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey (NDS), the overall delinquency rate for all types of loans rose to 4.42%, after previously being at an 18-year low. Breaking it down, the delinquency rate for conventional loans increased 27 basis points to 3.46%, the FHA delinquency rate increased 28 basis points to 8.93%, and the VA delinquency rate increased by 66 basis points to 4.37%. The overall delinquency rate rose to 4.42 percent, after previously being at an 18-year low.
A recent report by Bloomberg says that Puerto Rico wants to shift $400 million of its federal aid toward Opportunity Zone projects. According to the report, PR’s Governor, Ricardo Rossello, is currently seeking federal approval to create a fund to invest community development block grant funds into such projects. In addition, the governor signed a bill earlier this month to create a regulatory framework for opportunity zone investments in Puerto Rico. Indeed…
“The opportunity zone program was created as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to bring development dollars to areas of need, and nearly the entire island of Puerto Rico qualified.”
According to the latest National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI), lower home prices, declining mortgage rates and solid income gains contributed to a rise in housing affordability in Q1 of 2019. The report says that 61.4% of new and existing homes sold between the first of January to end of March were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $75,500. This figure is up nearly 5% from Q4, 2018. In addition, during the first quarter the national median home price dropped $2,500 from the previous quarter while average mortgage rates fell by 25 basis points.
“Housing affordability is going to remain a challenge throughout 2019, as builders continue to face rising construction and development costs.”
The U.S. government is reporting that privately‐owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,235,000. This figure is 5.7% above March’s revised estimate but is 2.5% lower than April, 2018. Single‐family housing starts in April were at a rate of 854k, which is 6.2% higher than March. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 359k. Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,296,000. This figure is 0.6% higher than March’s revised rate but is 5% below the April’s number. Single‐family authorizations in April were at a rate of 782k, which was 4.2% below March. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 467k in April.
We’ve all experienced them….they know no social bounds….we all hate them……and they seemingly pop up out of nowhere with no logical explanation and then disappear almost as quickly as they arrived….we’re talking about “Phantom Traffic Jams.” Brilliantly, the folks over at thezebra.com say these phantom jams are a “disruption in the flow of traffic caused by no apparent reason” and they attempt to explain their causes. Well, yes indeed…and Memorial Day is right around the corner…..Happy Friday!!!