Friday, December 16, 2016

FRIDAY - staying cozy

Seaholm Condo, Austin Texas

- Fed Raises Rates for First Time in 2016
- Interest Rate Hike No Surprise and Will Be Easily Digested, Real Estate Pros Say
- First-Time Homebuyers Face Worsening Starter-Home Shortage
- Smile! San Jose, Nation's Largest City Without Fluoride, Finally Gets the Natural Mineral
- Home Truths: How the presidential election is affecting the Bay Area housing market
- 12 Key Decorating Tips to Make Any Room Better

Enjoy!


Fed Raises Rates for First Time in 2016 - The Federal Reserve showed increasing optimism about the U.S. economy and signaled interest rates would rise at a faster pace than previously projected, as it unanimously approved its second rate increase in a decade. At the central bank’s last policy meeting of the year on Wednesday, officials said they would nudge up the federal-funds target rate by a quarter percentage point, to between 0.50 percent and 0.75 percent. The brightening economic outlook also prompted a shift in rate forecasts, with Fed officials now expecting to raise rates next year by another 0.75 percentage point, likely in three quarter-point moves.


Interest Rate Hike No Surprise and Will Be Easily Digested, Real Estate Pros Say - Yellen said the “modest” increase was “appropriate,” considering where the economy stands now, and that, “we continue to expect that the evolution of the economy will warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate over time.” Median projections are for the federal funds rate to increase to 1.4 percent by the end of 2017, 2.1 percent by the end of 2018, and 2.9 percent by the end of 2019, Yellen said. However, she characterized the economic outlook as “highly uncertain,” and said that assessments would be adjusted “in response to changes to the economic outlook and associated risks.” At 4.6 percent, unemployment is at its lowest level since 2007, Yellen noted during the press conference. The Fed projects inflation will rise to 2.1 percent in 2017 and stay around the 2.0 percent mark through 2018 and 2019.


First-Time Homebuyers Face Worsening Starter-Home Shortage - Trulia released its findings from the Trulia Inventory and Price Watch, which showed that the number of homes for the average first-time homebuyer saw its steepest year-over-year drop in three years, falling 12.1 percent since 2015. Moreover, these buyers will need to pay 1.9 percent more of their income on average to buy a starter-home in their local market.


Smile! San Jose, Nation's Largest City Without Fluoride, Finally Gets the Natural Mineral - On Monday, 230,000 people in East San Jose, Almaden Valley and Santa Teresa who are customers of San Jose Water Company will begin receiving fluoridated water. By 2020, after the water district has finished upgrading its two other water treatment plants, another 520,000 people will receive fluoride, including residents of West San Jose, Cupertino, Saratoga and other parts of Los Gatos, the Mercury News reported.


Home Truths: How the presidential election is affecting the Bay Area housing market - One of the more tangible results of the election on the housing market has been the spike in mortgage rates.

“Immediately following the election there’s been a significant increase in mortgage rates, almost a full one percent,” said Faramarz Moeen-Ziai, senior vice president of national retail sales at Commerce Bank. “The rates were hovering around 3.5% and are now up around 4.25%. And the reason for this is that as the stock market has hit record highs, the money entering the stock market is leaving the bond market, so rates go up.”

What does that mean for buyers in California, where the affordability index has been decreasing since the first quarter of 2013? Let’s say someone was going to buy a home for $800,000, with a 20% down payment. Before the election, a $640,000 loan would have translated to a monthly mortgage payment of about $2,900. Post-election, that amount shot up by an extra $250. In order to keep the mortgage payment at $2,900, the buyer would have had to reduce his or her loan amount to $580,000.


12 Key Decorating Tips to Make Any Room Better - Get a great result even without an experienced touch by following these basic design guidelines. Some of my favorites:

Contemporary Living Room

Modern Farmhouse

WIMBLEDON HOUSE

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