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Good Morning!

There can be some confusion in the minds of the average consumer about interest rates, especially as it relates to the Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, meetings. About every six weeks, the FOMC meets to discuss the current state of the economy with an eye toward the future. One important task is to monitor and adjust the cost of funds. In general, the “Fed” tries to keep inflation in check and in theory raise or lower the cost of funds. They do so by adjusting the Federal Funds rate and this is the rate that gets so much press each time the FOMC meets.

The Federal Funds rate is the rate banks can charge one another for short term lending. Short term as in overnight. Why does a bank need to borrow money on such a short notice? Banks are required to keep a certain amount of liquid capital, in other words “cash,” at the end of each business day. These funds are essentially demand funds. When a consumer wants to withdraw some cash either at the bank or at any automated teller, there needs to be cash available to meet those withdrawal requests. If the bank sees their reserves to meet these requests do not meet the reserve requirements, banks seek out a short term loan from another depository institution to meet the reserve requirements. This is what the Fed adjusts, the overnight lending rate. But the Fed doesn’t directly impact the everyday 30 year conforming fixed rate mortgage.

When lenders set their rates each day, they refer to a specific mortgage bond. For example, with a 30 year fixed conforming loan underwritten to Fannie Mae standards, the lender will review the current yield on the FNMA 30-yr 3.0 mortgage bond. Just like any bond, with the price of the bond goes up, the yield will fall. And when the price goes down, the yield will rise. Investors buy bonds, all types of bonds, as a safe place to park cash. When the economy appears to falter, investors can get a little skittish and pull some funds from the stock market and transfer those funds into bonds, including mortgage bonds. If on the other hand the economy is healthy and improving, the opposite will occur.

When the Fed makes an announcement at the end of their two-day meetings, investors are anxious to hear if the Fed raised, lowered or kept rates the same. If the Fed announces they decided to raise the cost of funds by 0.25%, it can tell investors the FOMC decided the economy is doing rather well but to hold of any potential inflation, it will raise the cost of funds that banks will pay for short term lending. It’s not a direct affect on mortgage rates, but definitely an indirect one.

Have an awesome week!

THIS WEEK'S HOT HOME LISTING!

825 SAND AVE

Price: $550,000    Beds: 3    Baths: 2    Sq Ft: 2344

Grand very well-maintained home! Light filled vaulted open layout w/ large windows & skylights. Living rm w/ gas fireplace opens to dining area. Office/bonus rm w/ exterior entrance & Shoji sliding dr/rm divider. Massive kitchen w/ cook island, pant...View this property >>

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2018 A Turning Point For First-Time Home Buyers?

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

What will the 2018 Real Estate market be like for the many thousands of buyers out there trying to find the perfect house?  The following article from "Realtor.com" will give you some insight into what lies ahead for 2018 homebuyers!

Aspiring home buyers have long known about the maddening lack of homes on the market. And despite the strong economy that's propelling more and more people into the home-buying market, the lack of inventory is crimping existing home sales.

Sales of homes that have previously been lived in hit 5.57 million in December, according to the most recent National Association of Realtors® report. That's down 3.6% from November to December, but up 1.1% from December 2017.

(Realtor.com® looked only at the seasonally adjusted numbers in the report. These have been smoothed out over 12 months to account for seasonal fluctuations.)

However, 2017 as a whole was a record year, boasting the most existing homes sold since the boom year of 2006, more than a decade ago. Sales were up 1.1% over 2016—and would have been more if there had been more properties for sale.

“The inventory of homes on the market is at its lowest level in [at least] two decades," says realtor.com® Senior Economist Joseph Kirchner. “It’s a problem because it means people are not finding homes on the market that meet their needs. So they’re just not buying.”

The lack of supply has also been steadily pushing up prices. The median price tag on an existing home was $246,800. The cost went up an almost unnoticeable 0.16% from November, but was up 5.8% from December 2017.

"The pool of interested buyers at the end of the year significantly outweighed what was available for sale," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement.

The median cost of an oh-so-in-demand single-family home was $248,100 in December—down just $100 from November. Year over year, prices were up 5.8%. Sales of the standalone homes, often found in suburbs, were down 2.6% from November, but increased 1% over December 2017.

Condos and co-ops were a little cheaper at $236,500 in December. Prices were down 1.2% from November, but up 6.4% year over year. Meanwhile, sales were down 11.6% from the previous month, but up 1.7% over the previous year.

However, prices were still significantly less (about 35.9% to be exact) than the median cost of a newly built abode at $334,900 in November, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Despite the overwhelming demand for affordably priced abodes, only about 10.9% of the sales in December were $100,000 or under. About 42% were in the $100,000 to $250,000 range, while another 34% cost between $250,00 and $500,000. An additional 13.1% of sales were more than $500,000.

The cheapest existing homes were in the Midwest, where the median price was $191,400 in December. That's up 7.8% from a year ago.

The region was followed by the South, at $221,200, where prices rose 5.8% over the previous year, and the Northeast, at $261,400, where prices jumped 3%. The most expensive region by far was the West, where the median home price was $367,400—and prices were up 7.3% from last year.

“Rising wages and the expanding economy should lay the foundation for 2018 being the turning point towards an uptick in sales to first-time buyers,”

NAR's Yun said in a statement. “However, if inventory conditions fail to improve, higher mortgage rates and prices will further eat into affordability and prevent many renters from becoming homeowners.”

 

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEK'S HOT HOME LISTING!

Image Unavailable
Price: $595,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 2000
Horse property only 5 mins from town! Nearly 6 level acres, backs up to canal & great for trail riding along Amazon. Wonderfully updated home with 2-car garage. 1 bedroom guest house w/ carport has income producing potential. 2 barns w/ 11 stalls, i...



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The New U.S. Tax Code and Its Affect On You

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

There are many questions about the new tax plan currenty beeing looked at by the Senate.  How will it affect all of us?  There is much debate ahead and mostly likely many changes ahead before a bill is passed. The following is an article from "Realtor.com"  that goes over what is currently being discussed.

After months of internal debate among Republicans, the House Ways and Means Committee released the details of its plan to overhaul the U.S. tax code for businesses and individuals. The highlights include lower rates for many individual households but not the highest earners; fewer individual tax brackets; a larger standard deduction for households who don’t itemize their tax bills; trimmed-back deductions for state and local taxes; eventual repeal of the estate tax; and much lower rates for corporate profits and profits for individuals on unincorporated business income. Here is a look at all of the details.

New tax brackets and rates

Tax treatment for the wealthy is among the hottest issues. The House Republican tax plan will preserve a top individual tax rate of 39.6%. Republicans last year had been discussing a top rate of 33%, and then moved to 35% earlier this year.

The retention of the 39.6% individual tax rate marks a shift in the way Republicans think about tax policy. For years, they had focused on driving down that top tax rate. President Trump says he is instead focused on middle-income cuts and large changes to the business tax code, which he argues will boost growth and hiring.

Effect on deductions and credits

The plan aims to increase the standard deduction, while adjusting several other deduction and credits.

House Republicans had planned to release the bill Wednesday but delayed it until Thursday to finish technical work on the legislation and address thorny issues such as how to treat deductions for state and local taxes. Party leaders want to repeal the deduction, but that has sparked a rebellion from lawmakers in high-tax states like New York and New Jersey and set off a scramble for compromise, centered on keeping the deduction for property taxes.

Standard Deduction

• Current law for 2017: $12,700 (married); $9,350 (head of household); $6,350 (single)

• Proposed for 2018: $24,400 (married); $18,300 (head of household); $12,200 (single)

Personal Exemption

• Current law for 2017: $4,050

• Proposed: Repealed Child Tax Credit

• Current law: $1,000

• Proposed: $1,600 plus $300 each for the taxpayer, a spouse and any non-child dependents

State and Local Taxes

• Current law: Itemized deduction

• Proposed: Deduction capped at $10,000 for property tax only

Charitable Donations

• Current law: Itemized deduction

• Proposed: Unchanged

Mortgage Interest Deduction

• Current law: Itemized deduction on loans up to $1 million

• Proposed: Itemized deduction for loans up to $500,000 on new home purchases

Alternative Minimum Tax

• Current law: Parallel tax that disallows personal exemptions and state deductions• Proposed: Repealed

Retirement Accounts

• Current law: 401(k) plans allow pretax deferral of up to $18,000

• Proposed: Minor changes


Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEK'S HOT HOME LISTING!

Image Unavailable
927 S. 58th Street
Price: $299,900 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 1522
Beautiful brand new home from builder Gary Konold. One level home features CORETec floors, granite counters, vaulted/high ceilings, gas fireplace & Great Room. Dining area w/ slider, kitchen w/ SS appliances, recessed lighting & peninsula with eatin...


AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!! 

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Photo of Galand Haas Team  Real Estate
Galand Haas Team
Keller Williams Realty Eugene and Springfield
2644 Suzanne Way
Eugene OR 97408
Direct: (541) 349-2620
Fax: 541-687-6411

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