Economic update for the week of November 11, 2023

November 11, 2023

California third quarter housing affordability – The California Association of Realtors released their housing affordability index. It included that single-family detached-home affordability dropped to 15% in the third quarter of 2023, down from 16% in the second quarter and down from 18% one year ago. An income of $221,200 was needed to qualify for the monthly payment of $5,530 to purchase a $843,600 median priced home. Affordability for a condo or townhome dropped to 23% in the third quarter. An income of $170,400 was needed to qualify for the $4,200 payment to purchase a $650,000 median-price condo or townhome.

Stock markets posted another week of gains. Although there was not much economic news this week, stocks continued their November bounce after a tough October. The only day that markets did not advance was on Thursday after Fed Chairman Powell stated at a press conference that the Fed remained open to further rate increases. Investors felt that Fed comments after last week’s meeting meant that the Fed may be holding rates where they are, the highest levels in 22 years, to give them time to cool the economy. Stocks bounced back again on Friday. The latest consumer confidence report was released this week. It showed consumer confidence had slipped. That would be good news on the inflation front, as lower consumer confidence could slow consumer spending. Oil prices also continued to drop, which is also good news when looking at inflation. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 34,283.10, up 0.7% from 34,061.32 last week. It is up 3.4% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 4,415.24, up 1.8% from 4,338.34 last week. It is up 15% year-to-date. The Nasdaq closed the week at 13,798.11, up 2.4% from 13,478.28 last week. It is up 31.8% year-to-date.

U.S. Treasury bond yields – The 10-year treasury bond closed the week yielding 4.61%, up slightly from 4.57% last week. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the week at 4.73%, down slightly from 4.77% last week. We watch bond yields because mortgage rates follow bond yields.

Mortgage rates – The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that mortgage rates for the most popular loan products as of November 9, 2023, were as follows: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 7.50%, down from 7.76% last week. The 15-year fixed was 6.81%, down from 7.03% last week. Rates dropped all week. Next week’s rates should be closer to 7.5% on a 30-year fixed if the mortgage market remains where it was on Friday.

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