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Need a lot of Bedrooms?

Following is the number of 4+ bedroom homes sold in 2016 (by city):

Paso Robles – 243 homes sold with 4+ bedrooms
San Luis Obispo – 135
Arroyo Grande – 94
Atascadero – 85
Nipomo – 69
Templeton – 48
Pismo Beach – 27
Morro Bay – 26
Los Osos – 23
Cambria -22
Grover Beach – 13
Oceano – 8
Cayucos – 2
Avila Beach – 1

4+ bedroom home sales were 25.8% of the total number of home sales for SLO County in 2016.

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

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Upcoming Changes with Central Coast Realtors

For many years, there has been a Central Coast Regional MLS made up by 7 individual Association of Realtors. What this did was to provide a way for local Realtor to see every listing on the Central Coast and provided a “cooperative” agreement where Agents could bring Buyers to homes anywhere on the Central Coast.

This all changes in a few months.

The Central Coast Regional MLS goes away on March 31st, 2017. The Santa Maria Association has decided to start a new MLS (North Santa Barbara County Regional MLS) while the Realtor Associations in SLO County are all joining the California Regional MLS (CRMLS).  One impact this will cause on Home Sellers is the amount of exposure their listing will have with local real estate agents and how many agents can bring Buyers to their home.

Currently (pre-3/31/17), Central Coast Realtors can expose their Sellers home listing to ALL local agents.  When the CCRMLS goes away, Realtors will have the choice of belonging to the new North Santa Barbara MLS, the California Regional MLS, or both.  If a Seller chooses an Agent that does not belong to both MLSs, their listing will receive less exposure.

For example, if a Santa Maria home seller lists their home with an Agent that only belongs to the North Santa Barbara County MLS, the Sellers home will NOT be exposed to over 2,000 Realtors in SLO County, nor will their home listing appear on SLO County Realtors home search sites. A Realtor in Nipomo that is only a member of a SLO County Realtor Association will not see the Santa Maria listings, nor have an agreement in place that if they did bring a Buyer to a Santa Maria home listing, they will be paid any commission.

If you are listing a home after 3/31/17 and want maximum exposure for your listing, make sure you hire an agent that belongs to BOTH the North Santa Barbara County MLS and the California Regional MLS.

Because it will cost Brokerages and Agents to join multiple MLSs, the result is that there will be two levels of Realtors on the Central Coast; ones that provide exposure to all Agents and others that provide limited exposure. Which type of Realtor/Brokerage do you want to market and sell your home?


Before 3/31/17

Listing Exposure in MLS and on Home Search Sites 2674 Agents


After 3/31/17 (CCRMLS goes away)

Santa Maria/North Santa Barbara MLS SLO County MLS Santa Maria + SLO County MLS
Listing Exposure in MLS and on Home Search Sites 670 Agents 2004 Agents 2674 Agents

(Note: # of Agents was determined by a roster search in the CCRMLS as of 1/10/17)

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

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Loan Underwriting

Once your loan has been officially pre approved, all of the client paperwork gets submitted to the underwriter at the bank to review before getting final approval. The underwriter makes sure all necessary paperwork and forms are in order to prevent any issues or delay in the loan funding. If there is any missing paperwork or problems with the documentation provided, the items will be added as “conditions” to the loan.

Underwriting can occur the same day, or take up to 30 days. This depends a lot on the loan program, the bank, and how many conditions on the loan need to be addressed. The underwriter usually takes 24-48 hours to review conditions.

Unfortunately, current lending conditions require borrowers to be more meticulous in getting approval for the loan. From Central Coast Lending Owner/Broker Jason Grote:

“Underwriting has become an auditing role where underwriters are forced to over verify each detail leave no stone unturned.I suggest that all borrowers be prepared to document all income in triplicate.  For example, it’s not enough that we see your social security deposit into your bank account, and on your tax returns, we still need to see the award letter, and the 1099’s. “

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VA Loans Have Lowest Interest Rates for the 30th Straight Month

For 30 months straight VA mortgage rates are the lowest out of all programs (conventional, FHA, etc.). Applicants with military backgrounds qualify for a VA loan which can be used for either a purchase or refinance. If you’re a military borrower you currently have access to interest rates that are below what’s available to other US citizens. As a member of the military you have access to the VA Loan Guaranty Program, a program meant to make homeownership affordable for military members. According to Ellie Mae, VA mortgage rates routinely beat market rates by more than a quarter of a percentage point. In additions VA mortgages get approved more easily than other loan types. Other benefits of VA loans include: 100% financing, no down payment or mortgage insurance requirements. VA loans are also assumable, which means that a VA home can be sold with its VA financing attached making the home extremely attractive to buyers as they can get the same interest rate no matter what the current market rates are.

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Central Coast Lending Market Update

Mortgage Applications

Despite the sharply higher mortgage rates, purchase applications for home mortgages rose 3.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in the week of December 16th.  This puts the purchase index 1 percent above the level in the same week a year ago. Refinancing also rose 3.0 percent from the prior week. Interest rates on the 30-year fixed rate conforming mortgages climbed 13 basis points from the week prior to 4.41 percent to the highest level since May 2014.

Existing Home Sales

Sales rose a surprise 0.7 percent to a 5.610 annualized rate which is a cycle high, this is well ahead of October’s 5.570 million which is the second highest of the cycle. Resale of single family homes slipped 0.4 percent in the month but the 4.950 million rate is the cycle’s second highest, next only to October’s 4.970 million. Condo resales were the strength of the November report, up 10.0 percent to a 660,000 rate. Year on year rates have barely been in the plus column this year. Total resales were up 15.4 percent in November with single family resales up 16.2 percent and condos up 10.0 percent. Supply is very thing in the market right now which is resulting in driving up prices. Supply fell a steep 8.0 percent in the month to 1.850 million which is down 9.3 percent on a yearly basis. The median price rose 0.3 percent higher in the month to $234,900 for a yearly gain of 6.8 percent. Aside from the rising prices, rising mortgage rates are another factor that will limit the affordability of resales.


The third quarter lived up to its early expectations, rising with each new revision to an inflation adjusted 3.5 percent annualized rate for the best showing in two years. The consumer was the driving force in the quarter, spending at a 3.0 percent rate (up from 2.7 percent in the prior estimate) on top of the second quarter’s very strong 4.3 percent rate. Exports, benefiting from agriculture, were another positive as was nonresidential fixed investment which got an upgrade in the latest estimate to show a plus 1.4 percent annualized rate. Inventories also added to the quarter, but less so than prior estimates predicted, which is a positive for fourth quarter production and employment. The GDP price index is unrevised at 1.4 percent. The fourth quarter, held down by a reversal for exports and perhaps by less strength in consumer spending, isn’t as strong at the third quarter proved to be.

Jobless Claims

In a negative sign for the December employment report, initial jobless claims rose 21,000 in the week of December 17th to a much higher than expected level of 275,000. The week of December 17th is also the sample week of the monthly employment report and a comparison with the November sample week that shows a sizable 42,000 gain. A comparison of 4 week averages at 263,750 in the latest week shows a 10,750 gain. Continuing claims rose 15,000 in lagging data for the week of December 10th to 2.036 million with the four week average down slightly to 2.037 million. The unemployment rate for insured workers remains unchanged at 1.5 percent.

FHFA House Price Index

The FHFA house price index rose a softer than expected 0.4 percent in November, 1 tenth shy of economists forecast but following strong gains of 0.6 percent and 0.7 percent in the two prior months. And despite the weakness, the yearly gain is at plus 6.2 percent, marking the third straight month the rate is over 6 percent. Home price appreciation has been less than sensational this year but has been steady and remains much higher than income growth. Low supply in the new and resale markets hints at perhaps a stronger appreciation next year.

Personal Income and Outlays

Though November may have been a cycle high for confidence it actually proved to be a weak month for the consumer. Personal income was unchanged in November as the wages and salaries component dipped into the negative column at minus 0.1 percent. Consumer spending rose 0.2 percent and reflected specific weakness in vehi9cles. Not helped by the weakness in income, the consumer had to dip into savings during the month where the rate fell 2 tenths to 5.5 percent. Price date is flat, unchanged for both the PCE and PCE core (less food & energy) with the yearly rate at 1.4 percent for the PCE and at 1.6 percent for the core. The yearly rate for the core fell 2 tenths to 1.6 percent, this does not point to accelerating inflation pressures. Two months into the fourth quarter, consumer spending is running at a plus 2.0 percent annualized pace, well down from the 3.0 percent rate of the third quarter.

New Home Sales

New home sales jumped 5.2 percent in November to a 592,000 annualized rate that is the second strongest of the recovery. But this report is very volatile on a monthly basis which points to the need to look at the three month average that at 575,000 has shown little change since the summer. Lack of supply, at 5.1 months at the November sales rate, which is very thin, is holding down sales but isn’t giving much lift to prices where the median is at 305,400, up 0.9 percent on the month but down 3.7 percent on a yearly basis. But, the year on year sales rate has been very strong, reflecting an upshift in trend that started in July when sales hit the cycle peak of 622,000. New home sales are up 16.5 percent compared to November last year in what contrasts sharply with the decline in prices.

Consumer Sentiment

Consumer sentiment ends December at 98.2, up 2 tenths from mid-month for a new cycle high. The index began to take off in November following the presidential election as a record percentage of respondents, at 18 percent, “spontaneously mentions” the expected favorable impact of new economic policies .The prior record for this measure was 9 percent back in 1981 following Reagan’s victory in the presidential election. Gains are strong for both the current conditions and the expectations components, the former hinting at stronger monthly readings for consumer spending and the latter pointing to rising confidence in the jobs outlook. Despite confidence in the labor market there doesn’t seem to be much hope for wage gains. Inflation expectations are at record lows at 2.2 percent for the year ahead outlook, down 2 tenths from November and at 2.3 percent for the five year outlook, down 3 tenths. The jump in confidence during November didn’t translate into stronger consumer spending though high spirits would certainly see ma positive for the holiday shopping season.

Written by Central Coast Lending - Go to Central Coast Lending's Website/Profile
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FOMC Raises Rates, As Expected

As most were expecting, the Federal Reserve raised its target rate up 0.25 percent to a range of 0.50 to 0.75 percent. The assessments of the economy are roughly the same as the November meeting, with jobs gains described as “solid”, household spending called “moderate” and business investments still “soft”. Inflation is also described as mostly soft, though the inflation compensation got an upgrade; the inflation compensation is the yield difference between inflation-protected securities and regular securities. The committee still sees the economy as expanding at a moderate pace and sees near term risks as roughly balanced. The vote to raise rates was unanimous, 10 to 0. The FOMC forecasted up to three rate hikes for the next year, up from the two predicted in September. Inflation forecasts are unchanged but the unemployment rate forecast has been lowered.

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New Listing! 3 Bedroom 3 Bath in Santa Maria

Options galore in this nicely maintained home near Joe Nightingale Elementary School. Versatile plan could accommodate home business; extended family living arrangements; day care?? Updated kitchen and baths. All appliances included! Three bedrooms, including extra large master with sitting area and additional private entrance. New vinyl dual pane windows. New interior paint and carpet. Low maintenance and drought friendly front yard. New vinyl fencing in rear yard with fruit trees. Conveniently located in the Orcutt school district with easy 101 Fwy access, and walkable to shopping and restaurants.
Gina Gluyas 805.310.7208

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