Rate Update

The first Fed meeting of the year yielded no change to the fed funds rate, and was almost identical to the statement released the past several months. The Fed acknowledged stronger economic data, but continued to reference that housing remains depressed, inflation is low, and unemployment is elevated. The economic data this week focused on the housing sector. The S&P/Case Shiller 20-City Home Price Index dropped 0.5% in November from the month prior, the fourth straight monthly decline. Year-over-year, home values fell 1.6%, the biggest 12-month decrease since December 2009. Another home price index, the Federal Housing Finance Agency index, shows home prices were down 4.3% for the year. New Home Sales climbed 18% in December, the biggest gain since 1992, and was led by a record 72% jump in the West. Purchases climbed in three of four US regions last month. Sales in the Northeast decreased 5%. For all of 2010, sales fell 14% nationally from the prior year to the lowest level going back to 1963. Pending Home Sales climbed 2%, more than forecast, after a 3.1% gain the prior month. We also saw Durable Goods Orders fall 2.5%, depressed by volatility in demand for commercial aircraft, and Initial Jobless Claims increased by 51,000 to 454,000 in the week ended January 22. Currently, the 30 Year Fixed is 4.500% (4.661% APR) and the 15 Year Fixed is 3.750% (3.995% APR). Later this week we will see employment reports including ADP Private Payrolls, Initial Jobless Claims, Non-farm Payrolls and the Unemployment Rate.

Best of MLS Caravan – South County

(This “Best of MLS Caravan” submitted by one of our South County Realtors. Every week, there is a MLS Caravan in each area so agent’s can tour listings that recently went on the market)

It’s unanimous!  The “Best of Caravan” from the homes we previewed on the week’s caravan of new listings is a home in the Arroyo Grande Mesa area.  Asking $998,000, this home has 3 bedrooms and 4 baths on almost 3 acres.  The sweeping views of the ocean and gorgeous terrain can be seen from most rooms in the house.  The architectural details and craftsman touches of the residence are full of character and really create a feeling that this is a lovely home, not just a house.  Additionally, the workshop/wine cellar/garage is a dream for anyone who would enjoy their own space to hang out and tinker with their projects.  Mature trees on the property surround you as you enter the courtyard with the built-in fireplace and creates the sense of this truly being a home of substance and style.  A special, “one of a kind” home, yet its features and size would be an appropriate fit for many buyers’ needs.

Contact us if you’d like more info about this home.

Parks and Schools Added to MLS Map Search “A”

We blogged about an enhancement to our MLS Map Search “B” yesterday and MLS Search “A” was feeling left out so we enhanced it as well!

To make it easier for you to get to the area where you may be wanting to keep an eye on, we’ve added Parks and Schools to the cities on Map Search “A” menu. So, if you were wanting to check out the neighborhood by San Luis Obispo High School, for example, you now can choose it from the menu and this is what’s displayed:


Once you display an area on a map, you can easily move the map around just by dragging it.  Saves you from having to start from a city-wide view and clicking multiple zooms and moves to get where you want as with MLS Map Searches on other real estate websites.

Also, if you were wondering what the blue outline is on some of the home icons that are displayed on the map (MLS Map Search A), these indicate New Listings.

Rate Update

Mortgage rates continue to be choppy but ended the week unchanged. Housing Starts were down 4.3% and Building Permits were up 16.7%. Home Builder Confidence was unchanged for the third straight month in January. Existing Home Sales jumped 12% in December to a 5.28 million annual rate. Regardless, housing is slow, and continues to grapple with the “shadow inventory” of foreclosures. The National Association of Home Builders noted that the difficulty in obtaining financing and accurate appraisals continues to plague the industry. Currently, the 30 Year Fixed is 4.500% (4.661% APR) and the 15 Year Fixed is 3.750% (3.995% APR). This week is very busy with the State of the Union Address, the Fed meeting with the statement to be released on Wednesday, Q4 Gross Domestic Product, $99 billion of short-term Treasury auctions. We also have more housing data with Case-Shiller Home Price Index, New Home Sales and Pending Home Sales.

Santa Maria Bridge to be (Finally) Widened to 6 Lanes

Work is expected to start this summer to widen the bridge that connects Santa Maria to SLO County on 101 from 4 to 6 lanes. This is one of the most dangerous stretches of road on the Central Coast, IMO. When you travel North, the on-ramp from Broadway Ave merges right before the bridge and if some jerk won’t let you merge into the lane, you’re screwed as the merge lane ends and there’s nothing ahead but the concrete bridge railing. I would hope that by widening it to 6 lanes, CalTrans will also make the merge safer too.

Days On Market (DOM) Defined

There are two acronyms associated with how long a property has been on the market that our local MLS uses; DOM and CDOM. Up until a few years ago, there was only one (DOM). But what was happening was that some agents would cancel a listing and then enter it again as a new listing in order to reset the Days on Market. I don’t think that it’s a surprise that a property may get more attention if it was on the market for 5 days vs. 170 days.

So what the MLS did was create CDOM, which stands for Cumulative Days On Market. What CDOM does is add the days a property has been on the market across multiple MLS listings. So, if an agent cancels a listing and then reenters it, CDOM will take the DOM of the first listing and add it to the DOM for the second listing.

It also doesn’t matter if a Seller changes Listing Agents or Brokerages. It will still add the DOM from the first listing (from Broker A) and the second listings (from Broker B). All it looks at is the property address.

For the DOM (and CDOM) to be reset to Zero, a property has to be off the market for 61 consecutive days.