QUOTATION OF THE WEEK
“The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age.” –Lucille Ball, American comedian, actress and producer

INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE
The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) rose in January to a new all-time high. More people say that now is a good time to buy and a good time to sell, home prices should rise and mortgage rates fall, and job loss isn’t a concern.

Supporting this, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) latest Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey reports 72% of respondents think now is a good time to buy and 71% think now is a good time to sell, “good news for possible inventory gains heading into 2018.”

The NAR’s chief economist feels, “housing demand in 2018 will be fueled by more Millennials finally deciding to marry and have kids, and the expectations that solid job growth and the strengthening economy will push incomes higher.” Pretty good, that.

BUSINESS TIP OF THE WEEK
Business coaches advise that to get more done, you should design your day. Write down a schedule of what you’ll do and when you’ll do it. Then stick to it.

Review of Last Week
ROLLER COASTER DOWN… If you like wild rides, you would have loved the one investors took last week. The Dow fell steeply (1,000 points) on two different days, then climbed back up Tuesday and Friday, though not enough to keep the major indexes positive for the year.

We heard lots of yak that the stock drop was caused by fears of higher inflation and more short-term rate hikes from the Fed. OK. But those concerns come from the expectation of stronger economic growth, which ultimately is good for stocks.

Many experts called this a “correction” after stocks shot up 7.5% the first four weeks of 2018 following last year’s 19.4% surge. They say there’s little concern for housing or the economy, with more Americans working than ever, the highest inflation-adjusted wages and near historically low interest rates.

The week ended with the Dow down 5.2%, to 24191; the S&P 500 also down 5.2%, to 2620; and the Nasdaq down 5.1%, to 6874.
Bonds were kept in check by concerns over more federal spending. The 30YR FNMA 4.0% bond we watch fell .28, to $102.55. National average 30-year fixed mortgage rates hit their highest level since December 2016 in Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, but “initial readings indicate housing markets are sustaining their momentum so far.” Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.

DID YOU KNOW?
A recent poll says 9 out of 10 lenders expect to lend more in 2018 than in 2017. The Mortgage Bankers Association forecasts $1.18 trillion in purchase mortgages this year.

This Week’s Forecast
HOME BUILDING AND INFLATION UP, RETAIL AND MANUFACTURING GROW… Returning to a feast of economic data, we should see a tasty Housing Starts number, up for January. Not so tasty is the predicted move up for inflation measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). But Retail Sales, along with Philadelphia Fed Index manufacturing, are expected to keep cooking, just at a slightly slower pace