Janet, as in Janet Yellen of the Federal Reserve (see confused lady pictured above for reference). Stockholders, homebuyers, and finance nerds everywhere are biting their nails and on the edge of their seat as they brace for the Fed's next policy meeting on March 15-16th. This is when the Fed will decide whether to hike short-term interest rates again after raising rates in December off zero for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis.
Many were hoping for an oil production cut to serve as a catalyst for higher stock prices, but that idea has been nixed for the time being. The confidence that rate hikes will be put on hold also helped the stock market rebound since the recent mid-Feb low.
To keep the country in suspense, the Fed said on Tuesday night that they "simply do not know" if they will hike rates or not. Investors want the economic data (on GDP, personal income and spending) to show evidence of a perfect middle ground - that a recession isn't looming, and at the same time, that the economy isn't heating too much either. Until then, the market continues to be at the mercy of oil prices and Janet.
Especially in the Bay Area. But you already knew that. Redfin found that since 2001, the average amount of time homeowners stayed in their current residence more than doubled from 4 to 10 years, creating less opportunity for first-time home buyers. Low rates and improving economic conditions boosted demand in 2015, but also caused homeowners to refinance under historically favorable terms and to invest in improvements rather than move.
Here are some Bay Area highlights of Redfin's findings:
To help remedy the housing shortage, a rush of proposals for new Oakland towers have been submitted. It will potentially add over 3,000 residential units to downtown, becoming one of the largest building booms in the city's history. The projects would transform lowrise buildings and parking lots into a fancy glass, steel and concrete skyline.
When asked about her hopes and dreams for Oakland, Mayor Libby Schaaf said, "I like tall buildings, especially near transit." In other words, she supports denser housing downtown and hopes to see 17,000 units of new housing built in Oakland within the next 8 years.
See map below for the downtown highrise pipeline:
All things real estate.