Housing Market Growth for 2017 forecast, Interest rate hikes possibility, Holiday factoids

December 20, 2016

CoreLogic reported its forecast of the housing market this week revealing that it sees both housing and economic growth in 2017. On the mortgage interest rate front, CoreLogic sees rates just over 4% in 2017, nearly 0.5% higher than in 2016. On home prices, CoreLogic predicts prices will continue to rise seeing a 5% increase, a slower pace than in 2016. Lastly, with rates on the rise, refinancing origination’s will decline from 2016, but will be offset by higher purchase-money volume.

A stronger dollar is weighing on Bond prices today as visions of interest rate hikes dance in the heads of U.S. currency investors. Last week the Fed said in its dot-plot forecast that the benchmark short-term Fed Funds Rate could rise three times in 2017. The U.S. dollar index is trading at a 14-year high. When the Federal Reserve increases the Federal Funds Rate, it normally reduces inflationary pressure and works to appreciate the dollar. Also weighing on Bonds is Fed Chair Yellen’s bullish remarks yesterday on the U.S. job market where she said, “You are entering the strongest job market in nearly a decade. The job prospects and career opportunities for new graduates at this time are very good.”

On the lighter side, here are some facts from the holidays from the Chicago Tribune: The traditional Christmas plant we call a poinsettia was known by the Aztecs as cuetlaxochitl. Its current name came from the first U.S. envoy to Mexico, Joel R. Poinsett, who noticed the plant being used for holiday celebrations and sent a few north to the United States in the 1820s. Hanukkah, based on the Jewish calendar, is a wandering holiday and starts at sunset on December 24 this year. Kwanzaa, which is observed December 26 through January 1, is a nonreligious holiday that celebrates African-American culture. And “Festivus for the rest of us,” was ushered in by Frank Costanza, George’s father in the hit comedy series “Seinfeld.”