Incline Village at Lake Tahoe, Nevada Real Estate and Community News

April 17, 2018

NORTH LAKE TAHOE REAL ESTATE FOR 2018 STARTS STRONG, AND EXPECTED TO KEEP ON

Lake Tahoe's real estate market is starting strong this year, a fact that real estate representatives around the lake attribute to continued economic improvement and limited improvement.

Lakewide there's been a 68 percent rise in homes sold for over $1 million, and the median home price has increased 25 percent to $665,000, according to a quarterly report. The numbers compare all MLS home sales from Jan. 1 through March 31 to the same timeframe of 2017.

"I think Tahoe has seen a jump in million dollar homes across the board. I think this next quarter will follow the same trend," said the Incline Village Board of Realtors. "There will be an increase in purchases, the same as the national trend, which is a 3-4 percent increase. Tahoe's market isn't a whole lot different from any other market. We're all seeing an uptick."

In North Lake Tahoe/Truckee, with houses under $500,000, only 11 homes are on the market as of today, which is hardly a surprise in a market where 60 percent of the local workforce does not live in the area. Interest rates continue to be favorable, but the national economic situation is always somewhat uncertain and volatile.

 

"The real estate market in North Lake Tahoe/Truckee is painfully under-supplied, something we haven't seen since pre-recession," said Lil Shaller, president of the Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors. "There are approximately 10 times as many buyers on an annual basis than we currently have homes to sell. We do anticipate more inventory coming on the market as the winter season draws to a close, but the long-term projections are mixed. However, since our market is primarily vacation homes, affluent buyers look to our area to provide escapes to the magic of the mountains, year-round."

The median price of a home in Truckee dropped 1 percent to $705,000. Homes sold for more than $1 million were up 70 percent while homes sold for under a million were down 5 percent. There was a 188 percent leap in the sale of Truckee condos priced over $500,000, while those sold for less than that were down 33 percent.

"The amazing thing about North Lake Tahoe is that one third of all the sales for single family homes that took place in the first quarter were luxury homes. That's not something we see very often," said Dave Westall, president of North Lake Tahoe Real Estate. "We are also seeing minimal inventory in the lower price points which is making that segment of the market difficult for sales. We're seeing a pretty strong market regardless this first quarter. I think the snow got people to say, 'Hey we really want to be in Tahoe.'"

The Incline Village/Crystal Bay real estate market currently has relatively low inventory with 159 active listings for the area — a number that is typically over 200. The average sold price of a home is $1.2 million. Incline Village saw the biggest jump in the sale of million-dollar homes with a 121 percent increase, while the East Shore was the only area to see a jump in homes sold for under a million with 83 percent. Incline also experienced a 29 percent increase in the median home price while the East Shore was the only area to see a dip of in median price to $830,000, an 11 percent decrease.

"Sometimes in Tahoe's market, there will be a couple big sales, upwards of $10 million, that can skew the data and change the outlook of the market, but that's not anything out of the ordinary. As for Incline Village, a lot of people are moving to Nevada instead of California for the price point."

The sale of condos priced over $500,000 was up 37 percent around the lake, while those priced under that were down 11 percent. The median price of condos were up 15 percent, to $430,000.

The current median listing price in South Lake Tahoe is $572,000, and median days on the market are 72, which is lower than past months. There are currently 258 current active listing in the region.

"Our economy in general is getting better, and so people want to buy their second homes in Lake Tahoe"

"Real Estate prime is in spring and summer, and for Tahoe, this is even more true. Now that the snow is melted, we're gonna see the market continue to pick up. I hope we keep that local home price lower, and that the $500,000 and under stay there, for people who really want to live here."

Posted in Market Updates
April 16, 2018

REAL ESTATE AND MORTGAGE RATES - LAST WEEK IN REVIEW AND FORECAST FOR THIS WEEK

>> Market Update

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... Fannie Mae's latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index reports more people say now is a good time to buy--and more also say now is a good time to sell. Happy Spring!

Pew Research Center reports the number of multigenerational households hit an all-time high in 2016. Homes with two or more adult generations grew to 20% of the population--64 million people--according to Census Bureau data.

It's terrific to see the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) award a record $28 billion to help nine states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands recover from last year's disasters.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... When prospects give you their contacts, get back to them as soon as you can. Studies show response time is the biggest factor determining whether a contact becomes a workable lead or a missed opportunity.

>> Review of Last Week

ROLLER COASTER UP... After two years of calm growth, the stock market went volatile in 2018. The S&P 500 has moved up or down more than 1% six weeks in a row. Last week the ol' Wall Street roller coaster climbed back up.

Trade war worries eased as Chinese President Xi Jinping said he plans to "significantly" cut tariffs on imported automobiles, reduce duties on other goods and improve foreign firms' intellectual property rights. Welcome to The Art of the Deal, Mr. Xi.

The Mideast got tense, but nothing happened by market close on Friday. Analysts say Q1 corporate earnings will be solid and inflation is trending up, so economic strength should keep the Fed on track for two more rate hikes this year.

The week ended with the Dow UP 1.8%, to 24360; the S&P 500 UP 2.0%, to 2656; and the Nasdaq UP 2.8%, to 7107.

Bonds were held down by surging stocks and rate hike concerns. The 30YR FNMA 4.0%, bond we watch ended the week down .32, at $102.27. National average 30-year fixed mortgage rates held steady in Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... More than a million cars were flooded in last year's hurricanes. When buying a used vehicle, be sure to have it checked for water damage.

>> This Week's Forecast

RETAIL SALES HEAD UP, SO DOES HOME BUILDING... Analysts expect healthy Retail Sales growth again in March. Likewise, home building should come in with higher Housing Starts and Building Permits. We'll also check the Beige Book's take on economic conditions in each Fed District.

Posted in Real Estate News
April 9, 2018

REAL ESTATE AND MORTGAGE RATES - LAST WEEK IN REVIEW AND FORECAST FOR THIS WEEK

>> Market Update

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... Black Knight reports tappable equity hit $5.4 trillion in February, 10% higher than its 2005 all-time high. This is the amount a homeowner can borrow against before reaching an 80% loan-to-value ratio.

First mortgage balances climbed to $8.8 billion, close to their pre-recession peak. But the report's economist noted, "the market...is in a much healthier place than in 2008, with low interest rates and normalized home prices."

The corporate strategy head for the Ellie Mae mortgage platform says, "Millennials are now officially the largest group of homebuyers...they represent 45% of total closed purchase loans in February."

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... A marketing piece should drive to a single point. Gear the message to the one action you want the reader or viewer to take--forget about accomplishing a bunch of other goals.

>> Review of Last Week

TRADE DEFICIT... Investors on Wall Street live with risk, so they prefer certainty everywhere else. There isn't much certainty with global trade, as the U.S. seeks better deals from China and others, so trade worries helped drive a weekly deficit in the major stock indexes.

Rising interest rates are also a worry, though the Fed is hiking thanks to the strengthening economy. First quarter corporate earnings growth should be the strongest in seven years, while the ISM manufacturing and services indexes showed solid expansion.

The March jobs report delivered a less-than-expected 103,000 new Nonfarm Payrolls, but Hourly Earnings jumped 0.3%, to a 2.7% annual gain, and the first three months of 2018 saw a very healthy average of 201,000 jobs created. Good stuff.

The week ended with the Dow down 0.7%, to 23933; the S&P 500 down 1.4%, to 2604; and the Nasdaq down 2.1%, to 6915.

Bonds finished on a stronger note as stocks suffered aggressive selling. The 30YR FNMA 4.0%, bond we watch ended the week UP .04, at $102.59. Now two weeks in a row, national average 30-year fixed mortgage rates fell in Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... Freddie Mac reports that as Millennials and Generation Z age, "they will add around 20 million households to the U.S. economy, driving housing demand over the next decade."

>> This Week's Forecast

INFLATION GROWS SLOWLY; WE LISTEN IN ON THE FED'S LAST MEET... The key read will be on inflation, and the consensus expects the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to show slow price growth in March. Analysts will scrutinize FOMC Minutes from the Fed's last meet to glean how many more rate hikes we'll see this year.

Posted in Real Estate News
April 8, 2018

MARKET CONFIDENCE REMAINS HIGH IN 2018

Market Confidence Remains High in First Quarter 2018

 

Despite challenging inventory, a nominal increase in interest rates and a slow start to winter, market confidence continued to flourish region-wide in 2018.

The trends can vary dramatically from one community to another, therefore, Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty compiles quarterly micro market data from Reno, Truckee and Lake Tahoe's four different multiple listing services and breaks it all down by neighborhood to help you better understand values, market trends, identify opportunities and make informed real estate decisions.

CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO REVIEW DATA BY NEIGHBORHOOD

EAST SHORE | INCLINE VILLAGE | NORTH & WEST SHORE | RENO | SOUTH LAKE | TRUCKEE

If your community of interest is not listed or you’re unsure what the data means for your situation, please don't hesitate to contact me. Data is current as of April 5, 2018. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Need a current home valuation for your 2018 financial planning or want see what your home might be worth in today's active market? I'm happy to assist.

CONTACT ME

Posted in Market Updates
April 3, 2018

REAL ESTATE AND MORTGAGE RATES - LAST WEEK IN REVIEW AND FORECAST FOR THIS WEEK

>> Market Update

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... The spring buying season started off nicely, as Pending Home Sales reversed course and went up 3.1% in February. This measure of contracts on existing homes indicates more closed sales ahead.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) chief economist noted, "the expanding economy and healthy job market are generating sizable homebuyer demand." But supply is tight and prices are up in many markets.

Those higher prices have given homeowners record amounts of home equity, according to Freddie Mac's Outlook. And that may help supply, as the NAR HOME Survey found that more homeowners believe now is a good time to sell!

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... The vendors you work with can be great sources of referrals. Cultivate those relationships, and don't forget to send business their way too.

>> Review of Last Week

LET'S TRY THE OTHER DIRECTION... After two down weeks, the three major market indexes ended UP strongly for the week. The volatility stems from investors' up and down reactions to the latest news on global trade, the Fed and tech firms.

But stock prices over the long term are driven by growth in the economy and corporate earnings, and many analysts say those look positive. Final Q4 GDP came in at 2.9%, pegging economic growth near 3% for the third month running.

Personal Income rose for the second month in a row and Initial Unemployment Claims fell to their lowest level since 1973. No wonder University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment remains at its highest level in 14 years.

The week ended with the Dow UP 2.7%, to 24143; the S&P 500 UP 2.1%, to 2642; and the Nasdaq UP 1.0%, to 7063.

For bonds, the week also ended with solid gains, as the safe haven play continued. The 30YR FNMA 4.0%, bond we watch ended the week UP .19, at $102.55. When bond prices rise, yields and rates fall, and national average 30-year fixed mortgage rates dipped in Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... A new study reveals Millennials are the most rent burdened generation, spending about 45% of income and paying close to $100,000 on rent before they reach 30.

>> This Week's Forecast

BUZZING FACTORIES, MORE JOBS, HIGHER WAGES... The ISM Index should stay well above the growth threshold of 50, indicating U.S. factories kept humming in March. The jobs market is getting healthier too. Analysts see new Nonfarm Payrolls just below 200,000, and wages up 0.2% by the Hourly Earnings measure.

>> The Week's Economic Indicator Calendar

Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and rising loan rates.

Posted in Real Estate News
March 26, 2018

REAL ESTATE AND MORTGAGE RATES - LAST WEEK IN REVIEW AND FORECAST FOR THIS WEEK

>> Market Update

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... After heading down two months in a row, Existing Home Sales flew back up in February, increasing 3.3%, to a 5.54 million annual rate. Demand remains strong: 46% of homes sold in less than a month.

New Home Sales were flat in February, off just 0.6%, to a 618,000 annual rate. They're still up 0.5% from a year ago, and there's plenty of room for growth: new homes are only 10% of sales, versus 15% before the downturn.

Zillow reports the median monthly rent bumped to $1,445 in February, gaining at the fastest rate in nearly two years. Expect more renters to become buyers.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... Try to be all things to all people and you wind up motivating no one. Target an audience and tell them how you meet their special wants and needs. Go niche and get rich.

>> Review of Last Week

TRIPLE PLAY... The major stock indexes tumbled, as three big items came into play: 50 million Facebook users had their data mined without their consent, the Fed raised the Funds Rate a quarter point, and the President allowed for tariffs on Chinese goods.

The Facebook scandal incited cries for greater data regulation, which could hurt social media company profits. But the rate hike was expected, and came with the good news that the economic outlook has strengthened.

Trade war worries escalated, even though initial salvos were relatively weak--tariffs on $60 billion of Chinese imports, answered by up to $3 billion in duties on U.S. imports over there. Some say this is just The Art of the Deal, but investors hate not knowing the outcome.

The week ended with the Dow down 5.7%, to 23533; the S&P 500 down 6.0%, to 2588; and the Nasdaq down 6.5%, to 6993.

Tanking stocks did not send lots more investors into bonds, though Treasuries finished the week mostly higher. The 30YR FNMA 4.0%, bond we watch ended the week unchanged, at $102.36. After falling the prior week, national average 30-year fixed mortgage rates held steady in Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... First American reports, "given today's strong economy, our housing market is well positioned to adopt to rising mortgage rates." If mortgage rates doubled overnight, their computer model posits "a mere 5% decrease" in sales.

>> This Week's Forecast

UP GO PENDING HOME SALES, GDP, CONSUMER SPENDING, INFLATION, MANUFACTURING... The experts say Pending Home Sales should show a February turnaround, foretelling a gain in existing home sales a few months out. They also expect GDP economic growth, Personal Spending and Core PCE Prices (inflation) to head up, as well as the Chicago PMI gauge of Midwest manufacturing

Posted in Real Estate News
March 20, 2018

REAL ESTATE AND MORTGAGE RATES - LAST WEEK IN REVIEW AND FORECAST FOR THIS WEEK

>> Market Update

QUOTATION OF THE WEEK..."Ask five economists and you'll get five different answers--six if one went to Harvard." --Edgar Fiedler, American economist

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... After a spectacular January, Housing Starts took a break in February, dipping 7.0%, to a 1.236 million annual rate, all due to multi-families. Starts are still close to a post-recession high, single-family starts up 2.9% for the month and 2.9% for the year.

Building Permits also fell for the month, but gained for the year, 4.6% for single-families, 10.6% for multi-families. So the future looks bright, with the National Association of Home Builders sentiment index historically high, though it slipped slightly for the month.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that in 2017, 34% of all home purchases were made by Millennials, giving that generation the highest share of home buyers five years in a row. They're also the most likely group to purchase through an agent.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... To stand out as an expert, really dig into what you need to know. If you just scan the headlines, you'll only get what everyone else does--an incomplete story, missing important details. Take the time to digest all the info you can.

>> Review of Last Week

UP FINISH TO A DOWN WEEK... A volatile week on Wall Street ended with the three major indexes down, although Friday's economic data sent stock prices back up. Trade war worries and personnel changes at Secretary of State and chief economic adviser to the president drove the sell off.

Good economic reports included Industrial Production rising at its fastest pace in four months, while University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment shot up to a 14-year high, its 102 reading well above the long-term average of 86.

Small business optimism is at its second highest lever ever, and the CEO Confidence survey hit 63, well into positive territory above 50. Even a dip in Retail Sales was positive, showing the economy isn't so hot that the Fed will need more than three planned rate hikes this year.

The week ended with the Dow down 1.5%, to 24947; the S&P 500 down 1.2%, to 2752; and the Nasdaq down 1.0%, to 7482.

For the most part, it was prices down, yields up in the bond market, hinting rates may rise. The 30YR FNMA 4.0%, bond we watch ended the week down .02, at $102.36. But national average 30-year fixed mortgage rates actually fell for the first time in 2018 in Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... J.D. Power reports that 2017 was the first year purchase and refinance customers cited online/website as the most frequent method of submitting a mortgage application.

>> This Week's Forecast

NEW AND EXISTING HOME SALES GROW, THE FED TAKES A HIKE... Analysts say we'll see Existing Home Sales inch toward the 5.5 Million annual rate, and New Home Sales back over 600,000 per year. Almost everyone expects the Fed to take a quarter percent hike in their FOMC Rate Decision.

>> The Week's Economic Indicator Calendar

Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and rising loan rates.

Posted in Real Estate News
March 12, 2018

REAL ESTATE AND MORTGAGE RATES - LAST WEEK IN REVIEW AND FORECAST FOR THIS WEEK

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... CoreLogic reports January home prices gained 6.6% annually, noting: "Entry-level homes have been in particularly short supply, leading to more rapid home-price growth compared with more expensive homes."

Yet Trulia says affordability has grown. They found that today, the median household can afford a home that's 1.5 times more expensive than the median home price, while in 1980, that household could only afford a home that was about 75% of the median price.

The difference lies with today's historically low mortgage rates. Trulia reports that at today's income levels, mortgage rates would have to reach 9.4% before the median home price became unaffordable nationally.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... Trust your gut. Your instincts usually let you know when something is a good, or a bad, idea. To access your instincts, simply sit quietly and listen to yourself.

>> Review of Last Week

TARIFFS, SCHMARIFFS... Tariff and trade war worries evaporated after investors were blind-sided by a blockbuster February jobs number--313,000 new Nonfarm Payrolls. The blue-chip Dow shot back up over 25,000 and the tech-y Nasdaq catapulted to a new record high.

That unexpectedly large jobs total was reported as "a reflection of the strongest labor market in two decades." Party poopers pooh-poohed the 0.1% gain in hourly wages, but those are still up 2.6% for the year, and that's not counting bonus and commission income.

Thursday, the President signed a proclamation for tariffs on steel and aluminum. But he exempted Canada and Mexico and left open possible exemptions for other countries willing to renegotiate current deals. Investors liked that, though not as much as Friday's jobs report.

The week ended with the Dow UP 3.3%, to 25336; the S&P 500 UP 3.5%, to 2787; and the Nasdaq UP 4.2%, to 7561.

In the bond market, Treasuries finished modestly lower, but the 30YR FNMA 4.0%, bond we watch ended the week unchanged, at $102.38. In Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, national average 30-year fixed mortgage rates edged up for the ninth week in a row. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... The New York Fed reports mortgage debt increased by $139 billion the last quarter, but still remains 4.4% below its peak level. So, more recovery to come.

>> This Week's Forecast

HOME BUILDING, INFLATION SLOW, RETAIL SALES, MANUFACTURING GROW... February Housing Starts are forecast off a tad, just under the 1.3 million mark. Analysts predict inflation has slowed, gauged by the February Consumer Price Index (CPI). But Retail Sales are expected to show growth, along with manufacturing, according to the Philadelphia Fed Index and other key factory measures.

>> The Week's Economic Indicator Calendar

Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and rising loan rates.

Posted in Real Estate News
March 5, 2018

REAL ESTATE AND MORTGAGE RATES - LAST WEEK IN REVIEW AND FORECAST FOR THIS WEEK

>> Market Update

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales, an index of contracts signed on existing homes, fell 4.7% in January. Low inventory was the culprit, but the NAR's chief economist sees hope, as starts near the "historical annual average of 1.5 million."

Housing reports tend to be volatile month-to-month, so the NAR is sticking to its forecast of 5.5 million existing home sales this year, virtually identical to 2017's 5.51 million.

New Home Sales took a 7.8% January tumble, to a 593,000 yearly rate. But, hey, last year these sales hit their highest total in a decade. One property economist offered: "With inventory levels at nine-year highs, and demand supported by rising household incomes, new home sales are set for a decent 2018."

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... Technology levels the playing field, so it's vital to focus on your unique brand--that's the quality of the client experience you provide, the emotional connection you make with clients and what they tell others about you.

>> Review of Last Week

DOUBLE WHAMMY... After moving ahead the two prior weeks, stocks went lower last week, as investors got the double whammy of Fed Chair Jerome Powell's Congressional testimony, and the President's trade tariffs, 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum. Both point to the possibility of more rate hikes.

Powell testified that his economic projections have improved, making investors fear there might be four rate hikes this year. And though tariffs likely won't give us the trade wars and economic hits others bemoan, they could hike inflation--and interest rates. Please note: the tariffs aren't yet set in stone!

At least consumers are sanguine about rates. January's University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment reported consumers show little concern about growing interest rates, as the Index shot up to its second highest level in 14 years.

The week ended with the Dow down 3.0%, to 24538; the S&P 500 down 2.0%, to 2691; and the Nasdaq down 1.1%, to 7258.

Bonds proved volatile, with advances following declines and vice versa. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond we watch lost .09, to $102.38. Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey had national average 30-year fixed mortgage rates up, now eight weeks in a row. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... The share of buyers willing to make an offer on a home sight unseen is growing. An online real estate database reports 35% of recent buyers made an offer without first visiting the home.

>> This Week's Forecast

SERVICES SECTOR GROWS, ALONG WITH JOBS... It's good to see the February ISM Services index is still up there. A read above 50 indicates growth, and we're staying well north of that threshold. The services sector of the economy provides the bulk of our jobs, so it makes sense that new Nonfarm Payrolls are forecast at more than 200,000, while the Unemployment Rate ticks down again.

>> The Week's Economic Indicator Calendar

Weaker than expected economic data tends to send bond prices up and interest rates down, while positive data points to lower bond prices and rising loan rates.

Posted in Real Estate News
Feb. 26, 2018

REAL ESTATE AND MORTGAGE RATES - LAST WEEK IN REVIEW AND FORECAST FOR THIS WEEK

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... Following their December decline, Existing Home Salesdipped again in January by 3.2%, to a 5.38 million annual rate. Though volatile month to month, home sales in 2017 racked up their best year since 2006 and are expected to maintain that upward trend.

An IRS bulletin explains interest on home equity loans may still be deductible. The loan must be used to "buy, build or substantially improve" a home. And to deduct interest, all loans on the home cannot exceed a $750,000 limit ($350,000 if married filing separately).

As with all tax matters, always consult a tax professional before making any tax-related decision.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK... Spend a half hour to an hour each day prospecting on the phone. Book the time on your schedule--and just do it. Why? People who consistently prospect earn more. Simple as that.

>> Review of Last Week

FED FOLLIES... A crazy week on Wall Street, thanks to the Fed. Stocks went south on Wednesday after the Fed's Minutes from its last meeting revealed most members see stronger growth in the economy and inflation. This could necessitate more rate hikes, which investors don't much like.

But Friday, the Fed's semi-annual monetary policy report also noted broad improvement in the economy and increasing inflation, but did not suggest that rising prices dictated more aggressive rate hikes. Happy with that, the market rallied to another weekly gain.

GDP averaged 2.9% the last three quarters (after averaging 2.1% since 2010), unemployment is at a 17-year low, and wages, consumer confidence and business investment are rising. A few rate hikes (which, remember, are starting from a very low level) may be a small price to pay for this progress.

The week ended with the Dow UP 0.4%, to 25310; the S&P 500 UP 0.6%, to 2747; and the Nasdaq UP 1.4%, to 7337.

Bond prices suffered from the inflation worries, but recovered a bit on Friday. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond we watch ended unchanged, at $102.47. National average 30-year fixed mortgage rates in Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey edged up. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?... Zillow reports the U.S. housing market has completely recovered its $9 trillion of value lost in the downturn. The average U.S. home is now worth $55,200 more than when prices hit bottom.

Posted in Real Estate News