Real Estate is Local

The following 2 charts really show that every local real estate market is different. While Santa Maria has seen a much lower number of new REO listings throughout 2009, SLO County’s new REO listings have not really declined in 2009. I don’t know why there were such a big number of REO listings in SLO County in October 2008. I did a check to see where we are at this month and we’re not going to have that jump in October 2009 unless a BUNCH of new REO listings come on the market in the next couple days.

(click chart to enlarge)

Real Estate Market Article


“In California, there is strong evidence that foreclosures are beginning to migrate from the subprime inland areas to the more exclusive coastal region.

According to MDA DataQuick, third-quarter notices of default in Santa Barbara were up 25 percent from 2008; in San Luis Obispo, they rose 46 percent; in Marin County, they were up 66 percent.

Defaults in hard-hit Sacramento, by contrast, were up only 10 percent. In Merced County in the Central Valley, an epicenter of the bust, they actually fell.”

Read the entire article here

Million Dollar Home Sales

(click on the graphs to enlarge them)

With the low number of sales for million dollar+ properties it sure doesn’t take much to make the bar graphs look like things are picking up lately.

I’ve included 2 more graphs below for the Million Dollar Residential Market. The first shows the inventory has decreased recently which is good news since there are so few sales per month. The second graph tracks the Days on Market.

REO Listings Up, Short Sale Listings Down

I ran some numbers tonite to see how many new foreclosure listings there were each month over the last year or so. I’ll make a graph of the data but what I found was that new REO listings have increased over the past few months in SLO County (63 in August to 77 in September) but the number of Short Sale listings has declined (44 in August to 33 in September).

In Santa Maria, new REO listings in September were a bit lower than the previous months but new Short Sale listings dropped (from 44 in August to 33 in September).

Light, Bright and Airy Home Staging Tips

Happy Tuesday! I am back for my semi-monthly staging update. Today I want to share some “what not to do” things that I have seen too much of recently!

If you plan on selling in the next 5 years:

  • Don’t over remodel your home!
  • Don’t make your house fancier than every other house on your block!
  • If you are already upside down in your home equity, don’t start remodeling- unless you plan on staying for a VERY long time.
  • If you are going to remodel, seek the advice of several seasoned professionals before you start, so that you can get some sound advice and don’t just take the advice of salesmen and relatives!
  • Don’t take on more than you are certain that you can handle as a do-it-yourself project. (don’t get me wrong- you can save tons of money doing it yourself, but you can waste a lot of money doing it wrong too)!
  • Don’t over personalize your remodeling or landscaping choices- many things don’t get nearly the value gain compared to what they cost.

If you are staging to sell or remodeling to stay -try to make smart choices with broad appeal, so that they don’t need to be redone in 3 years.

Happy Staging! – Shannon D’Acquisto Home Staging

Rate Update and Commercial Real Estate

Mortgage rates ended the week slightly higher as housing market data released last week reflected overall improvement in the sector. Existing Home Sales jumped 9.2% in September from the month prior to the highest level since July 2007. Inventories of unsold existing homes dropped to a 7.8-month supply, marking the lowest inventory levels in over two years. September Housing Starts and Building Permits both came in below expectations, which removes pressure on future inventory levels. Much of the housing activity has been a result of low mortgage rates and first time homebuyer tax credits, and the future for both is uncertain. The Fed is scaling back its purchase of mortgage-backed securities and law makers are debating the extension and possible expansion of the tax credits. Currently, the 30 Year Fixed sits at 4.750% (4.929% APR) and the 15 Year Fixed is at 4.250% (4.557% APR). This week ahead is busy with economic data, including Gross Domestic Product, New Home Sales and Consumer Confidence.

As we move past the worst of the residential real estate mess, conversations are increasing about the commercial real estate cloud that is looming on the horizon. According to last week’s Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report (a survey of economic conditions across the US), the weakest sector of the economy was commercial real estate, with conditions described as either weak or deteriorating across all 12 Districts.

High vacancy rates were noted as a key concern especially for landlords who were not offering concessions. Some estimates suggest 30% of offices and storefronts in California are currently available for rent or sale. In the Silicon Valley, an area spanning from Palo Alto to San Jose to Fremont, 19.1% of office space was vacant at the end of the third quarter, reported by commercial real estate firm Grubb & Ellis. The average effective rents, which includes concessions such as periods of free rent and substantial tenant improvement allowances, have declined 36%. The sub-lease market is also helping to drive down rents with down-sized businesses offering commercial space for as little as 35% to 40% of 2005 lease rates, much like the effect bank-owned properties are having on residential real estate markets.

For businesses that wanted to purchase or build space, an inability to obtain credit was often cited as a problem. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, non-residential construction costs have declined by almost 8% over the past 12 months, and the average price of a development site has plunged by nearly 60% since 2007. But the problem remains, banks hold approximately 45% of all commercial loans, and are putting more money into reserves, leaving less money for new commercial lending.

So, where does this all end? With commercial loans portfolios continuing to deteriorate, and commercial real estate values down about 35% from their peak in October 2007, and lack of available credit… starting to sound familiar?

Central Coast Lending, Inc.
(805) 771-9870

11 for 11

Our Premier listing at 645 Sandydale went Pending Sale earlier in the week so we’re 11 for 11 on getting our Premier listings an accepted offer within 30 days of being on the market. This listing was only on the market a few days!

We have another Premier listing coming up in Arroyo Grande in the next week. It has two homes on a level 2.2 acres. Main home is 2200 sq feet and the second home is 1200 sq feet. Stay tuned!

Music and Food!

My wife and I just got back from seeing the Bangles and Heart at the Greek Theater in LA. It was perfect weather (Friday night) and while we started the drive after my wife was done teaching (3:00) on a Friday afternoon, we didn’t hit any traffic nightmares and got there on time!

The grainy photo above of Susanna Hoffs isn’t that great but we did have a good time.

I used Priceline for a room and got the Beverly Hilton for $100. I’ve had a lot of success with Priceline BUT have found one big negative with them. The parking fee is not added into the room price. So when you bid $100 and get a room, the parking fee isn’t included. For the Beverly Hilton, it was an outrageous cost of $29 to self-park for the 12 hours we were there. I’ve had the same thing happen in Seattle and the Bay Area too. I previously called Priceline on this and their position is that parking is an incidental fee like long distance phone calls and not part of the room charge. Priceline is a hit or miss on the parking charge but once they accept your bid, you’re stuck with that hotel. So…just be aware of this if you use Priceline bidding service in areas where there is a parking charge (like downtown areas of bigger cities).

On the way back today, we stopped at a Lazy Dog Cafe in Thousand Oaks for lunch. Mmmmmm….yummy. Wish there was something like this on the Central Coast.