Blanco County News
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Economic News Week: November 5, 2012
SWBC Mortgage
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 • Posted November 8, 2012

The DOW dropped last Friday , but was still able to maintain above 13000. It closed at 13093.16 for the week. Corporate earnings reports still playing a huge part of the drop as well as a selloff of stocks. Even though Hurricane Sandy was a tremendous tragedy and far having reaching effects on the current economic picture-watch how MBS’ (mortgage backed securities) perform this week. From the looks of things-mortgage rates may go down further. The Fed is also investing in MBS’s as well-which is what they have promised. I am curious to see how the elections will affect the Stock market on Wednesday-after the results-or whenever we get results.

The latest U.S. jobs report is showing growth despite the small increase to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent the month before-this is mainly due to the fact that more folks are re-entering the job market. The nation’s employers added 171,000 positions in October. Hiring was broad-based, with just about every industry adding jobs except for government jobs. None of this makes for a game changer in the presidential election one report stated. A bit of good news is that U.S. companies boosted their orders for manufactured goods by the largest amount in 18 months in September, 4.8 percent-which is very good economic news. This tells me that hiring will continue as well. Leave it up to the consumer to paint a better picture as Consumer Confidence surged to its highest level in nearly five years too-according to the Conference Board. Plus, Retail Sales increased 5 percent from a year ago this time according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. With all of the positive economic numbers out there I am surprised that the “naysayers” are still “naysaying”-if that makes any sense. Gas prices at the pump are expected to continue to fall for the rest of the year which in turn will provide a little extra Christmas cash in everyone’s pocket. Or even better, help put a turkey on the table for Thanksgiving. An annual survey found that last year’s feast for ten people cost about $49.20. a 13 percent increase from 2010. The American Farm Bureau Federation will release this year’s average price of a classic Thanksgiving dinner on Friday.

Real Estate, Mortgage Industry, and Other Economic News

The S.A. Express News reported that home building in San Antonio continues to climb, as the sector posted an increase in home starts for the fifth consecutive quarter. “We have already hit bottom, but now we’re working our way into a real supply-demand recovery,” said Jack Inselmann, V.P of Metro Study. The other side of the coin is residential lot availability for the area. Are they enough lots for sale? When new homes are being built, more folks are working. And you know the rest of the story, but I will repeat it: When folks are working, they spend money. And in Texas folks realize that our State is the best place to spend it-on homes, small businesses, investments, etc.

When Texas Legislators convene next session, funding state education should be a priority. Not school vouchers, but real funding for public schools in my opinion. Bottom line is we need more teachers. I have no problem with private schools. However, I feel tax dollars should be spent on public education-not private education. Let those who can afford it do so. Keep government interference out of it. The only way our state will continue the path of productive growth is by educating our youth of tomorrow. Any economist worth his/her salt will vouch for that. Let teachers teach! Let parents-parent!

Has it become a seller's market in Texas? (from Texas Association of Realtors website Nov 1, 2012)

The Texas housing market posted a 14% increase in sales volume with roughly 6% increases in both median and average sales price, according to the 2012-Q3 edition of the Texas Quarterly Housing Report. Here are some highlights from the report:

Median sales prices for properties was $161,500, which is 6.46% more than third quarter 2011.

Average sales price had a similar increase, up 5.74% from the same quarter last year, to $208,515.

The latest statewide inventory figure indicates Texas overall has shifted to a seller's market, and data show this is also true in many local real estate markets.

Mortgage rates may go down a little from their slight increases during the past week. The average 30 year fixed rate index was about 3.60% with 1 origination fee and/or discount points last week. I have seen an uptick in purchase money sales contract from my Realtor friends-including those in the Texas Hill Country. Realtors phones are ringing and more showings are the result. Of course, we all know that Texas fared the so called “economic storm” better than most states. Which is why we continue to see folks wanting to move here for-jobs and just good ole’ plain Texas hospitality.

(This article is for informational purposes only. Do not use it as financial advice. Information for this article gathered from, but not limited to, The Wall Street Journal, San Antonio Express News, Boerne Hill Country Weekly, S.A. Business Journal, and Texas A&M Real Estate Center. For questions/comments contact Tony Stevenson at 1.800.460.6990 or email: tstevenson@swbc.com.)

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