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:
The holidays are here at Homestead Funding! We are prepared for the most wonderful time of the year with decorations that are both merry and bright. With elves, snowmen, menorahs, and even that mean old Mr. Grinch hanging around, we’re ready to bring smiles to everyone this holiday season. Stop by and take a peek and maybe ask about how Homestead can help you finance your home this holiday season!
This holiday season, Homestead Funding would like to take time to say how grateful we are for the wonderful people in our lives. Thank you to all our clients and referral partners. Without you, we wouldn't be here today! And thank you to our employees. You make Homestead the amazing company we are today.
Click here for a special holiday message.
In the Community
Homestead Funding is taking part in the U.S Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program for a second year! Our corporate office is a drop-off site where you can come and donate new, unwrapped toys to be given to children in need. We are hoping to bring smiles to as many children as we can this holiday season, so we need your help. Stop by our office anytime during business hours with a toy for a less fortunate child and look for the box displaying jolly Old Saint Nick in our lobby. Let’s work together to make this a happy holiday for boys and girls all over the Capital Region!
Toys for Tots was founded by Major Bill Hendricks of the United States Marine Corps Reserves in Los Angeles, California in 1947 when his wife wanted to donate a Raggedy Ann doll to a poor child but couldn’t find an organization that would do such. Major Hendricks then gathered a group of local Marine reserves and together they collected around 5,000 toys. Due to their success, Toys for Tots was launched as a national campaign the following year. In that year, Walt Disney designed the now famous red train logo and created the first national Toys for Tots poster. It wasn’t until 1996, however, that the Commander, Marine Forces Reserve allowed for select Marine Corps League Detachments and local community groups to conduct toy collections so that areas without a Marine Reserve center could still participate, thus finally bringing the charity to all 50 states.
Every year since its founding, Toys for Tots has continued to grow and gain recognition through the federal government and various celebrity endorsements and is now promoted on many televised holiday specials and at large public events. The charity also continues to be recognized as one of the greatest charity organizations in America by the Philanthropy 400. No matter what troubles our nation has faced, there has always been kindness and love to bring joy to everyone during the holidays.