With a hint at what may be in store for shoppers this holiday season, Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said markdowns are likely as falling sales have left the department store with excessive inventory. The opening of the retail earnings seasons began with Macy’s, which dragged shares of almost every retailer sharply lower last Wednesday. “Markdowns” being the key word for me here just says that shoppers will likely benefit by paying lower prices this holiday season. Which to me is a good thing. Paying lower for gasoline per gallon this season as well has added shopping dollars to consumer’s pockets. Again, our economy is consumer based. The more we spend on products and services, the better in my opinion.
“Home sales up 4.5% from Oct. 2014” was a headline in last week’s S.A. Express News. The article continued to state that even though the San Antonio housing market is in its autumn lull, total sales and median price continue their year-over-year climb, according to data released by the San Antonio Board of Realtors. In October, 2,252 homes were sold in the San Antonio area—a 4.5% bump from the previous year. The median sale price of homes settled at $187,20— a 6.4% increase as compared to last year at the same time.
Average long-term mortgage rates last week rose sharply for a second straight week. Freddie Mac said the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage jumped to 3.98 percent from 3.87 percent a week earlier. It was the highest level for the 30-year rate since July. Even though rates have risen the past couple of weeks, it is still a very good time to take advantage of the “still” low rate environment in my opinion. I can remember, back in the early 90’s when I paid 9.5% for my first mortgage—and I thought that was good back then. I am not predicting where rates will go after the first of the year but, even if rates went to 5.0%, this mortgage rate still buys more home as compared to the 90’s.
Good news! Blue Bell Ice Cream returns December 14th to the San Antonio market. On Friday, the company announced on Instagram that it will begin phase three of its return to the market, returning its ice cream to a large part of Texas and central and southern Alabama. To complete phase three, Blue Bell is also bringing back 215 employees who were put on paid furlough earlier this year. I would ask the “man in the red suite” for a gallon of Blue Bell Vanilla Bean ice cream for my stocking this year but, that would be kind of messy my wife pointed out.
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