Economic Up Date 9/26/2020

Economic update for the week ending September 26, 2020 

Stocks were down for a seventh straight week - The Dow and S&P closed  lower again this week. Major contributors to the drop in stocks this week were: New Coronavirus cases increased both in the U.S. and Europe. Hopes of a new round of stimulus once thought to be done deal has faded. It is feared that no stimulus package will be approved before the election. Trade tensions with China appear to be escalating. First time unemployment claims increased unexpectedly last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 27,173.96, down 1.7% from 27,657.42 last week. It’s down 4.8% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 3,298.96, down 0.6% from 3,319.47 last week. It’s up 2.1% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 10,913.56, up 1.1% from 10,893.28 last week. It’s up 21.6% year-to-date.

U.S. Treasury bond yields The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 0.66%, down slightly from 0.70% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 1.40% down from 1.45% last week.

Mortgage rates – The September 24, 2020, Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 2.90%, unchanged from 2.87% last week. The 15-year fixed was 2.40%, unchanged from 2.37% last week. The 5-year ARM was 2.90%, down from 2.96% last week.

U.S. existing-home sales and prices soared in August -  The National Association of Realtors reported that U.S. existing-home sales hit  6 million in August on a seasonally adjusted yearly basis. The number of homes sold in August was 10.5% higher than August 2019. That marked the highest number of homes sold in a month since December 2006. Prices also surged. Nationally the median price paid for a home jumped 11.4% from one year ago. 


The Essential Guide to L.A.’s Post-Pandemic Real Estate Roller Coaster

L.A. real estate in the post-pandemic era is about 
to undergo massive changes as millions work from home, hipster hoods falter amid retail meltdown, and the city’s newest hot spot might be monopolized by the richest man on Earth. Will massive home equity growth come to a crashing halt? Or will the residential market reset to its pre-pandemic self this summer? With millions sheltering in place, here’s what’s hitting home. CLICK   for article. #lamag


Economic Update

Economic update for the week ending August 15, 2020

Stock markets were up again this week - Stocks rallied again this week despite congress’ failure to pass another stimulus package. Fortunately, investors feel a package containing approximately $2 trillion in stimulus will pass. The main sticking point in the bill is the approximate $1 trillion of the Democrat’s $3 trillion bill that will be given to state and city governments to offset budget deficits caused by loss of tax revenue due to the pandemic. Republicans don’t want to use federal money to bail out state and local governments. It’s also widely felt that many state and local governments would return to more strict business closures and stay-at-home orders if not for financial concerns. Retail sales in July reached pre-pandemic levels, as did housing sales. The number of first time unemployment claims dropped below 1 million last week for the first time since March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 27,931.02, up 1.8% from 27,433.48 last week. It’s down 2.1% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 3,372.85, up 0.6%  from 3,351.26 last week. It’s up 4.4% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 11,017.12, up 0.1% from 11,010.94 last week. It’s up 22.8% year-to-date.

U.S. Treasury bond yields The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 0.71, up from 0.57% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 1.45%, up  from 1.28%  last week.

Mortgage rates – The August 13, 2020 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 2.96%, up from 2.88% last week. The 15-year fixed was 2.48%, up from 2.44% last week. The 5-year ARM was 2.90% unchanged  from 2.90% last week.

California homes were more affordable in the second quarter of 2020 - The California Association of Realtors announced that 33% of California households could afford to purchase a median priced single family home in the second quarter of 2020, up from 30% in the second quarter of 2019. The income needed to purchase a $610,850 median priced home was $115,200. That qualified for a payment of $2,880 which included principal, tax, and insurance on a 3.43%  30-year fixed loan with 20% down. 44% of California households were able to qualify for a median priced condominium or townhouse. The income needed to qualify for a payment of $2,280 was $90,000. That payment included principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and homeowner’s fees.
Official home sales numbers for July will be released next week, but preliminary numbers were quite strong. It appears that the number of sales will be about 6% higher this July than last July, and the median price will show a staggering increase of nearly 10% from one year ago. The official numbers will be included in next week’s report.

The Ultra Rich Are Still Buying $50-Million Dollar Homes

Ira Meltzer is the busiest he’s been in 35 years. As the managing director of residential financing firm One Million Dollar Plus, he specializes in securing massive home loans for celebrities. Over the next month, he’s set to close more than $90 million in financing.  Apparently, the ultra-rich are still buying homes. Although sales on the lower end of the market have all but seized up, the pandemic (and the new showing restrictions that have resulted from it) has done little to slow L.A.’s luxury market.

In 2019, L.A. County recorded 85 residential sales of $5 million or more in March. For more information CLICK


Property In Los Angeles CanBe Shown Again

L.A. real estate agents can get off their Zoom calls, and go back to showing properties.

Mayor Eric Garcetti released a revised “Safer at Home” order Monday that states, “housing units and real property may be shown” by appointment if there are no more than two visitors at a time.Home showings of renter-occupied units are only allowed if the property owner obtains the tenant’s written consent.The revised city law does not lift the ban on open houses, and it is not known if L.A. County will follow in the city’s footsteps. A message left Wednesday with the County Board of Supervisors was not immediately returned.But the measure lifts the shackles for many agents who miss doing what they do best: pitching a physical property to a potential buyer.  For more information CLICK #realdeal


Coronavirus In LA: Your No-Panic Guid To Daily Life & The New (A Changing) Rules

Life in L.A. — and really, most of the country at this point — has been fundamentally changed. We don’t know yet what the new normal is going to be, and we don’t know when. Some local officials are eyeing mid-May to start rolling back restrictions, but a lot would have to happen first.

Life in L.A. — and really, most of the country at this point — has been fundamentally changed. We don’t know yet what the new normal is going to be, and we don’t know when. Some local officials are eyeing mid-May to start rolling back restrictions, but a lot would have to happen first.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan for relaxing the stay-at-home order hinges on six key metrics with phases on phases. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti has a plan with five key marks to hit.
On April 27, Garcetti told us this: “My sense is probably in the next two to six weeks we’ll see some baby steps forward.”
Garcetti, who was talking to our newsroom’s public affairs show AirTalk, which airs on 89.3 KPCC, added ”it’s not really about a date, or how few cases you have — it’s about the infrastructure you have to handle opening up.”
So here’s where we are:
Californians are still under orders to stay home unless working essential jobs or seeking essential servicesBusinesses are closed, a staggering number of people are out of work, and if you’re not sure what day it is, we can relate.
The U.S. still has the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world, with local numbers contining to rise.And we are still publishing and updating this guide. For weeks now we’ve been doing what we can to help combat fear, anxiety and frustration by:

  • Bringing you the most recent and accurate information
  • Explaining what’s happened/happening in clear language (but let us know if we’re falling short)
  • Continuing to update this comprehensive guide as new information becomes available (it’s now basically impossible to count how many updates we have made.)  For more information CLICK
  • #lalist

You can now visit a breakup-themed bar in Los Angeles for an anti-Valentine’s Day celebration

Looking for something a bit different?  The pop-up is running from January 31 through February 16. I headed to the West Hollywood area around 8 p.m. on a Friday night for an evening at the bar. I decided to go to the bar alone to get a truly “single” experience. Although I’m currently in a relationship, I have gone through a breakup before (right before Valentine’s Day, actually) and have also helped friends through their heartbreak. I wanted to see if the anti-Valentine’s Day cocktail bar would be a good place to try and mend a broken heart. CLICK



Los Angeles’ biggest home sales of 2019 hit the $150-million mark

It was a year of one-upmanship for Los Angeles’ high-end housing market. Trophy estates in prized Westside pockets twice shattered the county (and state) price record, while markets such as Hollywood Hills West showed that big things may be in store in 2020 after recording their highest sales in about a decade.

Of the top single-family home sales, more than 30 surpassed the $20-million mark in 2019, according to Property Shark. Among those were six sales north of $70 million and three sales of $100 million or more. Here’s a closer look at L.A. County’s biggest sales of the year. CLICK #LATIMES

5 Reasons You Need To Visit West Hollywood

If you find yourself on the West Coast often, you’ve probably checked off most of the top tourist spots in LA. On repeat trips, don’t rehash old itineraries, instead, get super local by discovering new neighborhoods. These are the top reasons why you need to visit West Hollywood.

Also known as WeHo, a stop in West Hollywood should feature in your next California vacation plans for celebrity spotting, great dining and the opportunity to try out all the latest wellness trends. This small city of just 37,000 residents is where rock ’n’ roll’s elite come to party and this is why you should join them. CLICK for article. #forbes

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The best hotels in Palm Springs

If you’re going to book a stay in Palm Springs, do it at one of these luscious hotels

Hotels and Palm Springs go together like mountain views and citrus trees. Hotels are so ingrained in the culture and history of Coachella Valley cities that staying in one is part of the desert experience.

For nearly a century now, they’ve hosted health-seekers, Hollywood stars, industry giants, and Southern California vacationers. Many of the earliest properties in the area have been refreshed to meet today’s fascination with the Palm Springs area, and the historic midcentury modern properties are wearing their updates especially well. For a list CLICK #curbedla


How to sell your house fast

If you need to sell your house fast, you probably don’t have a whole lot of time to research the current real estate market and ponder how it’ll affect your home sale. You just want sales guidance from a real estate agent (here’s how to find a real estate agent in your area) or other pro that will help you find a buyer as fast as possible.

Well, here’s the good news: It is possible for you, as a seller, to offload your home quickly. The experts say selling comes down to a few key to-do’s that you should take care of before your property hits the market.  For more information CLICK


Are baby boomers ruining the housing market for everybody else?

If you follow the real estate pages, you have probably seen stories claiming that baby boomers are creating havoc in the housing markets — pushing up prices, staying in their homes too long and overtaxing rental markets. Some stories even predict that boomers will cause regional market crashes in coming decades.

But are the actions of baby boomers really so problematic? And are the homeownership decisions of aging boomers key to understanding the future of home-price dynamics? #LATIMES for more information  CLICK

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Mortgage Rates Remain Stable to Start 2020

The new decade has kicked off with a fairly stable interest-rate environment for home loans.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.72% during the week ending Jan. 2, down two basis points from the previous week, Freddie Mac, reported Thursday.

Similarly, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell three basis points to an average of 3.16%, according to Freddie Mac. The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage, meanwhile, increased one basis point to an average of 3.46%. CLICK for article.

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