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There’s an article in today’s Tribune about the local housing market. One problem with this article is that it reports median house prices for a particular month (December in this case) and compares it to last December. Since the number of sales is so low right now, the median home price fluctuates a lot from month-to-month, depending on how many high-end sales there has been. It also reports that the city of SLO had a 9.3% increase in home sales which makes it seem like SLO is doing better than most areas. But, if you look at the Months of Inventory on the http://www.slowatch.com/ site, you’ll see SLO was doing better in the Summer/Fall but now has caught up with most the rest of the area in regards to months of inventory. I calculate median home prices on a quarterly basis (will be updating 4th quarters tonite) to try to get a better view by using more data but that number even fluctuates a lot.

Another item mentioned in this article is that the number of Realtors contributed to the housing slump starting in 2005. Huh?? I don’t understand how that can be a factor. It would seem like more Realtors would be better to generate sales volume as new Realtors would be pressuring friends and family to buy or sell once they got their license.

The article states that the average number of transactions a Realtor in California handles in a year is now under 4. I took a look at the number of total Sold transactions for the Central Coast for 2007 and multiplied it by 2 (2 sides of every sold tranaction- buyer and seller). The total was 8,350.

Using 2,800 Realtors on the Central Coast (doesn’t count agents with a license and not a Realtor) calculates to 2.99 transactions per Realtor. I don’t know if that is what is meant by “average” Realtor in the article.

The reality is around 20% of Realtors do 80% of the business (haven’t verfied if this figure is close but I’ll assume it for this calculation). If you take the Total Transactions for 2007 and redo the calculations you find that 80% of Realtors on the Central Coast had 0.59 transactions in 2007 (which is less than even one transaction).

Yes, there’s a lot or Realtors on the Central Coast and the slowdown in the number of transacations means that the majority of Realtors had one or no transactions in 2007.

With the slowdown in the market, we’re going to see fewer Realtors making real estate a full time career.

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile

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CNN Money.com has some “Best of” and Worst of” Lists for 2007 real estate. Slide #4 is Least Affordable Markets and San Luis Obispo comes in #5 on the list.

Top 5 unaffordable markets (all cities)
City Median income Median price % affordable homes
Napa, CA $75,800 $585,000 3.3%
Los Angeles, CA $61,700 $515,000 3.7%
Salinas, CA $63,400 $520,000 4.2%
Santa Ana, CA $78,700 $585,000 4.8%
San Luis Obispo, CA $64,200 $500,000 5.7%
Source: Wells Fargo and the National Association of Home Builders
Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile

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Since the phone company has eliminated dialing “POPCORN” to get the current time, you can use the Internet to update your computer to the correct time.

If you’re running Windows XP Home, here’s how you do it.

1) Click on the time clock at the bottom right of your screen. It should bring up the following screen.

You’ll see a tab called “Internet Time”. Click on it and you’ll get the next screen.

Where it says Server, type in
time-b.nist.gov
and then click on “Update Now”.

You should see a message that the clock is now syncrhonized. If you get an error, try typing in
time-a.nist.gov as the server.

Hit “Apply” and you’re done!

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile

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With 3 days to go in the month we’re sitting at 263 Pending Sales. Last December we had 310 Pendings for the month and in December 2005 we had 398 Pendings.

The positive news is that December is always the slowest month so January WILL pick up.

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile

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Does email marketing cause more harm than good??

More and more REALTORS are saying that they include email marketing as part of their listing service. As a home seller, it may sound like a good way of getting exposure for your home with other Realtors. But, this can backfire on you.

The problem is that Realtors are now getting LOTS of unsolicited emails advertising listings. Not only listings on the Central Coast, but in other states too. Another problem is that the majority of these email advertisements are really bad. They don’t give any more information than what’s on the MLS system and they are more like an advertisement for the Listing Agent. Realtors don’t want to get ads promoting other Realtors.

This topic has been discussed on Realtor message boards and most agree it’s out-of-control as Realtors everywhere are getting flooded with listing advertisements. A few companies have popped up that do the spam mailings for Realtors.

The question is if a Listing Agent is shooting themselves in the foot by doing email marketing. While it may not cost money to do email marketing, it may be costing their reputation amongst other Realtors. I don’t think being labled as a “spammer” motivates other agents to want to show their listings. Since most homes are sold by other agents through the MLS system, a listing agent must be sensitive to doing things that will end up hurting their ability to sell a home. Actually, when home sellers interview Realtors to sell their home they should try to find out what the reputation is for the agent amongst other Realtors. That is more important than most of the checklist items Realtors say they do.

I personally don’t think that email marketing is worth the risk and see very little benefit these days.

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile

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I hope you all had a GREAT holiday and ready for the New Year!! I just got back from the Bay Area where my folks and most of my wife’s family lives. We had a great time seeing everyone and got to go to the fondue restaurant that I previously blogged about (yum yum).

I received a message tonite from a person in Salinas who found a “to good to be true” ad on Craigs List from Home Access USA. Luckily, she thought something didn’t sound right and decided to do a bit of homework before she gave them her credit card number and found my previous blog entry about Home Access USA. I Googled “HomeAccess USA” and my blog post showed up on the first page! It’s motivating to know that my Blog helped someone from getting scammed during the holidays.

I try to provide information to educate my blog readers. If you find my blog useful, you can help me by linking to it in any other message board/blog you participate in or other websites you may have. By putting a link to http://www.slocountyhomes.com/ or
www.slocountyhomes.com/real_estate_weblog.htm, this will help my blog come up in other searches. If you can put text in for a link, please use “San Luis Obispo Real Estate Blog”. I’d appreciate any help you can give me to spread the word about my Blog.

THANK YOU!

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile

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Another housing report, this time from the California Association of REALTORS

C.A.R. reports sales decrease 36.2 percent, median home price falls 11.9 percent
LOS ANGELES (Dec. 21) – Home sales decreased 36.2 percent in November in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home fell 11.9 percent, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today.

More info here

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile