RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Housing Set to Expand in 2016

December 17, 2015 2:00 am

Economic headwinds will be offset in the coming year by a tightening labor market and a renewed decline in gasoline prices, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group—a heartening forecast that could bode well for the housing market. The ESR Group expects the economy to grow 2.4 percent in 2016.

“After a year of modest improvement, we continue to believe economic growth will close out 2015 at 2.2 percent before gaining momentum early in 2016,” says Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “Although consumers have been more cautious in recent months, preferring to save rather than spend, we believe they will pick up their spending pace next year amid solid job gains and resulting growth in incomes. The unsustainable third-quarter inventory investment will likely subtract significantly from economic growth in the current quarter as that stockpile unwinds, but the inventory correction should wrap up early in the year. The trade deficit also continues to weigh on growth, driven by a strong dollar and lackluster overseas growth, but recent housing data support our view that residential investment will help fill the void.

“Home sales will likely remain subdued in the near term, but private residential construction spending started the fourth quarter on a strong note and housing demand is looking up as we head into next year,” continues Duncan. “The rebound in purchase applications suggests that sales will gain momentum in the first quarter after retreating slightly in the current quarter. For all of 2016, total home sales are projected to rise 3.9 percent. We believe that further easing of mortgage lending standards will combine with a positive household formation outlook to help the housing sector expand.”

Source: Fannie Mae

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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A Simple Year-End Money Checklist

December 16, 2015 2:00 am

To ring in the New Year with a measure of fiscal confidence, it’s a good idea to review where you stand at year’s end and resolve to do whatever it takes to improve your financial status by the end of next year. Consumer finance consultant Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of the Charles Schwab Foundation, suggests taking these five steps before you ring out this year:

Review your spending patterns – With credit card statements in front of you, take a good, hard look at your expense patterns over the course of the year. Too many dinners out? Too much impulse spending? Resolve to do a better job of reining in expenses next year.

Know your net worth – Add up what you own (home, car, savings, investments, etc.) and subtract what you owe (mortgage, loans, etc.) Use the number as a personal framework for making financial decisions going forward.

Rethink credit card usage – If your credit cards are causing you to spend too freely, or spend more than you would without them, put them in the very back of your wallet and resolve to cut back on your use of them.

Create an emergency fund – If you haven’t already, start building a fund that will cover 3-6 months’ worth of essential living expenses in the event you lose your job or cannot work. Try paying into that fund first each month, before you pay your other bills.

Be sure you’re on track for retirement – Re-commit to making retirement savings a priority in your financial plan. Do the math, or check with a financial planner, so you know how much you should be putting away in your IRA, 401(k) or other business retirement plan each month, and make adjustments as needed.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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