The Rise of 2017
As the books closed on 2016, many economic indicators were on the rise. Some signal good news for those in the market to buy a home.
Housing Starts Surge
For regions struggling with limited housing inventory, Housing Starts may provide some hope. December Housing Starts surged 11.3 percent from November, the Commerce Department reported. The welcome news follows a disappointing pullback in November and a nine-year high in October. For all of 2016, average monthly Housing Starts were the best since 2007. Building Permits, which signal future construction, fell just short of expectations in December.
On another positive note, Existing Home Sales ended 2016 as the best year in a decade.
Limited housing inventory continued to push home prices up in 2016. CoreLogic, a provider of consumer, financial and property information, reported that home prices, including distressed sales, rose 7.1 percent from November 2015 to November 2016. The recent rise in home loan rates and the expectation of higher rates in 2017 could slow home price gains this year, CoreLogic reported.
Inflation Ticks Up
Consumer inflation was up 2.1 percent from December 2015 to December 2016, as reported in the Consumer Price Index. This 12-month increase marks the fastest pace of inflationary growth since the period ending June 2014.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported wholesale inflation also ticked up in December. The Producer Price Index climbed 1.6 percent from December 2015 to December 2016, which was the largest 12-month gain since 2014.
Rising inflation is worrisome for homebuyers because it reduces the value of fixed investments like Mortgage Bonds and hurts the home loan rates tied to them.
Home Loan Rates Still Attractive
Home loan rates were able to improve slightly in the first part of January, following the post-election volatility in Stock and Bond markets at the end of 2016. However, positive economic news, rising inflation and transitions under the new Trump administration may provide some headwinds for Mortgage Bonds and home loan rates in 2017. For now, home loan rates remain historically attractive.
If you have any questions about home loan rates or loan products, please don't hesitate to contact one of our Loan Originators.
With the Super Bowl fast approaching, regardless of which team you’re rooting for, I think all fans can agree on one thing – the food!
A Super Bowl party staple is Buffalo Chicken Dip, and this quick and easy recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
- 12-16 oz. of cream cheese (softened)
- 1 rotisserie chicken – shredded
- 1/3 cup of Buffalo Wing Sauce (more if you want it spicier)
- ½ cup of blue cheese or ranch dressing
- ½ cup of mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup of cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
While your oven is heating, begin shredding the chicken into a bowl. Once you’re finished, add the cream cheese, hot sauce, blue cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Mix everything together (you can use a hand mixer to help), then transfer to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Add the cheddar cheese to the top.
Cover your pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes (or until the cheese on top is thoroughly melted).
Serve hot with your favorite kind of chips or bread!
To make it extra special, you could also serve in a football shaped bread bowl:
In the Community
Volunteer as a Family this Holiday Season
It’s that time of year again where the world is colder but hearts seem to be warmer as people are preparing for the holidays. It’s a time to come together with family and friends and share food and laughter, but why not share those times while also helping others? This year, try to find a way to work together and give back to the community and those in need.
Donate: Pick a charity to donate to as a family so everyone feels more involved, and then set donation goals to add motivation. Have your kids go through their old clothes, toys, and other things that never get used and have them choose things to donate. Take them shopping to buy presents to donate to Toys for Tots, or have them designate a piggy bank for money to be donated.
Create: Get the kids together and have them make cards to those in your community who deserve a little extra love this season. Make an afternoon of it and invite your children’s friends to join in. Craft thank you cards to bring to the local fire department, police station, or to any local volunteers seen out in the cold or at the front door of various shelters. Deliver homemade cards to nursing homes or to a homeless shelter or hospital. If you plan far enough ahead you can even send some overseas to our troops who deserve a little holiday cheer.
Go Out: Many charities and organizations throw benefit events that the whole family can participate in. Concerts, dinners, mini festivals, and races are usually sponsored either by a charitable organization, or by a company intending to use the money for charity. Go out as a family and spend a little time and money having fun and supporting a good cause.
Get Your Hands Dirty: If you have older kids, look into Habitat for Humanity. The charity takes volunteers as young as 16 (18 to use power tools) to help build affordable housing for low-income families. They have people available to teach you, so don’t worry about not being overly construction-savvy. If you have younger kids, try looking into local trash pick-up or adopt a highway projects and spend an afternoon cleaning up your community.
Puppy Love: Don’t forget about all the fluffy little guys who also deserve your help this season. If you don’t have the lifestyle to foster a pet of your own, look into helping out at an animal shelter this season as many of them will be in need of temporary help. Also look and see if any of the shelters in your area are in need of food, toys, or other pet supplies items that you could provide. Take the whole family when you drop off the donations and briefly visit all the four-legged friends who will benefit from your kindness.
Make Breakfast. Many people chose to have a light breakfast or skip the meal all together in order to prepare themselves for the feast yet to come, but indulging yourself in a fun, festive, and delicious breakfast could really brighten your day from the start. Enjoy some pancakes, waffles, or cinnamon rolls as the family gets ready to watch the parade, or treat yourself to some morning pumpkin pie.
Display Your Gratitude. Decorations are an important part of any holiday, and what could make a better decoration than the lovely thoughts and thanks of your loved ones? Find a fun way to display what everyone is thankful for. Write your blessings on paper leaves and use them to make a wreath. Then you can bring this decoration back out each year and add to it so it becomes a beautiful piece of family artwork. If you don’t feel like turning your thanks into a presentation, you can have everyone write them in a notebook that you keep safe from year to year.
Get Everyone Involved. Making and serving dinner doesn’t have to be a one person job. Find little ways so everyone can help. Small children are generally quite willing, so find easy jobs for them like mixing up the potatoes or setting the table. Have older kids help with serving - maybe put them in charge of serving dessert, or ask them to help with the clean-up. The work is more fun (and goes faster) when everyone pitches in.
Take a Walk Outside. Let your body digest and enjoy the autumn air with a family walk right after dinner. If the weather is nice and your tummies are full, it might be nice to take in the season and enjoy a family walk in the great outdoors.
End the Day as a Family. Whether you chose to watch a movie or play a game, the best way to end Turkey Day is all together. Choose something you’ll all enjoy doing and sit together for an hour or two. If you want, you can switch up your last activity of the day every year, or the game you play or the movie you chose to watch can become its own tradition that comes back to warm your hearts each and every year.
Are You Haunted By Bad Credit?
You could save thousands of dollars by refinancing your mortgage!
Higher credit scores translate into lower interest rates! If you have successfully made your mortgage payments on time and in full, your credit score may have improved significantly since you first took out your mortgage. Refinancing could save you thousands of dollars by securing a lower interest rate based on an improved score. Call McGlone Mortgage Group today to see if refinancing is in your bag of treats!