|Last Week in Review: The labor sector continues to improve, while home price gains are stabilizing at more normal levels.Forecast for the Week: Look for key reports on inflation, manufacturing and retail sales.|
View: Navigate tax time with ease thanks to the overview below.
Last Week in Review
|Take this job and love it. That’s exactly what more people are doing these days, as job growth in 2014 was the strongest in fifteen years and our economy continues to improve. The December Jobs Report showed that 252,000 jobs were created, a touch above expectations. In addition, upward revisions to October and November added another 50,000-plus jobs to what was originally reported for those months. Employers added 2.95 million new jobs in 2014, with an average of 246,000 per month, above the 194,000 per month average in 2013.|
Another positive in the report is that the Unemployment Rate came in at 5.6 percent. The head scratcher was a -0.2 percent hourly earnings figure. Hourly earnings are not growing and that is keeping inflation persistently low. One positive about low inflation is that it should benefit Bonds for the foreseeable future, as high or growing inflation can cause fixed assets like Bonds to worsen. Since home loan rates are tied to Mortgage Bonds, low inflation should also help keep home loan rates low for now.
In housing news, CoreLogic reported that its Home Price Index, including distressed sales, rose by 5.5 percent annually in November. After a near 12 percent annual increase back in January 2014, prices have been decelerating, but have stabilized to a more normal 5 to 6 percent growth rate for the last four months.
The bottom line is that home loan rates remain near historic lows, and now is a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.
Forecast for the Week
|The Mortgage Market Guide View…|
|Time to Think About TaxesTax time is here. Do you have your 2014 documents in order? Use this overview to get started. As always, consult with your tax professional for the best advice for your individual circumstances.|
Look Back to Plan Ahead
Pull Together Documentation
Plan for 2015
If you deduct mileage expenses, keep a small notebook and pen in your glove compartment or center console. Commit to keeping track of every business-related mile traveled, along with the date and purpose of travel. You can also use the notes section of your smart phone to keep track of this information. Tally your mileage at the end of each month rather than waiting until the end of the year. This will assist you in substantiating expense and deduction claims going forward.
On a final note, store all tax-related records in a secure location for at least five years in case the IRS asks for further information.
Feel free to share this friendly reminder about tax time with your colleagues, friends and business associates.
Economic Calendar for the Week of January 12 – January 16