Groundhog Day 2018-Will Phil See His Shadow?

Groundhog Day is celebrated on Feb. 2 — when people all over the country focus on a small furry animal and whether it will predict an early spring or another six weeks of cold winter weather.
If PUNXSUTAWNEY Phil comes out of its burrow at sunrise and sees its shadow, winter will be around for 6 weeks longer. However, if the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow, spring weather is on its way!
If meteorologists are right, spring is on its way and may be covered in a dusting of snow this year. Since Pennsylvania’s first official celebration of Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney on 1886, the little guy has only seen his shadow 18 times.
Groundhog Day celebrations span centuries, with the earliest mentions of the unique holiday in the United States in the 1700s when German settlers arrived in Pennsylvania and brought the tradition of Candlemas Day. Those who celebrated Candlemas, an early Christian holiday where candles were blessed and distributed, decided that clear skies on the holiday meant a longer winter.
Initially, Germans used a hedgehog to predict when winter would end, but the animal was quickly replaced by the groundhog in Pennsylvania due to its bustling population and likeness to the European hedgehog.

Millennials, Meet Baby Boomers. Want To Swap?

Millennials, meet Baby Boomers.
Lucky for Millennials, their foray into home ownership coincides with the retirement of their parents’ generation, Baby Boomers.
Three-out-of-four individuals over the age of 65 are homeowners in California as of 2016, according to the U.S. Census. Most of these retirees will want to remain homeowners in retirement, minus the upkeep required by their suburban estates. Some will move out of state to low-cost areas like Arizona, Nevada and even Florida. Others will make the savvy decision to forego their suburban dwellings for low-maintenance condos closer to city centers and services — condos previously inhabited by Millennials, before they went looking for more space in the suburbs.
In some sense, retirees will simply swap housing with Millennials in what will be the Great Convergence. This demographic-fueled wave of home sales is expected to peak around 2020-2021.
Every part of the state is different. Continue to check my blog as I keep close track of housing data and forecast trends in the Bay Area.

Big News from Europe-Outlook Good for Rates & Pricing

Early action in Europe from the European Central Bank was good for bonds, which makes it good for pricing. The big news comes from Europe, as the ECB (European Central Bank) opted to keep its stimulus settings unchanged for now, and even left the door open for increasing bond purchases. There was concern heading into this meeting that the ECB might formally signal its intent to taper back the economic stimulus, which would have been bad for pricing. Instead, the ECB statement made it clear that it was ready to increase the program in size or duration if the outlook becomes less favorable.  Fed Deputy Chairman Stanley Fischer has come out and said he will step down in October, adding to uncertainty about leadership at the central bank as the end of Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s term approaches.  Not sure yet how this will affect the outlook of a Fed rate increase this year, but it will have no effect on the September’s Fed meeting.  So, the mid-to-longer term outlook remains good for rates and pricing, as it has for quite a while now.

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