Rate Update

Continued troubles in Egypt and the Middle East have once again triggered the “flight to safety” trade in the bond market, helping move mortgage rates slightly lower last week. In fact, on Friday, stocks improved, the dollar rallied and Treasuries improved – events that do not normally occur all in the same day. For the week, mortgage-backed securities (MBS) prices improved nearly one point!

Economic data last week was focused on the housing market, and the results were generally mixed.  The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index was down 4.1% versus one year ago. 18 of the 20 cities surveyed were down compared to December 2009. Home prices increased in San Diego and Washington DC, up 1.7% and 4.1% respectively. Existing Home Sales were up 2.7% in January. Foreclosures and short sales, which typically occur below market value, accounted for 37% of the transactions. As a result, the median home price fell 3.7% from a year ago to $158,800, the lowest since April 2002. New Home Sales dropped 12.6% last month to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 284,000. Data outside of the housing sector continues to show significant improvement with Initial Jobless Claims dropping by 22,000, Durable Goods increasing 2.7% in January and Consumer Confidence increasing in February to the highest level in three years. The sentiment survey showed that for the first time in six years, households this month said they had heard more optimistic than pessimistic news on the economy.

Currently, the 30 Year Fixed is 4.625% (4.755% APR) and the 15 Year Fixed is 3.750% (3.976% APR). There is a lot of economic news to digest this week with Pending Home Sales, Construction Spending, manufacturing data, and the Fed Beige Book. On Friday, we’ll see the latest employment reports, with Non-Farm Payrolls expected to be up 180,000 and the Unemployment Rate expected to move to 9.1%.

VIP Client Section Coming Soon

We’re getting our VIP Client Section ready to launch!  This section will have lots of additional tools for our clients to use so they can make a Smart Financial Decision regarding their real estate transaction. Some of the tools that will be available include a 15-minute HOTSHEET REPORT which will display New Listings, Solds, Pendings, Contingents, Cancellations, Withdrawns, and Expireds.  The Hotsheet will update from the MLS every 15 MINUTES too vs. once a day with most other listing updates on other sites.  The only way to receive more updated information is to be a Realtor with direct access to the MLS system. But…our hotsheet will be quicker to access and read than the hotsheet on the MLS system so I say it’s BETTER than what’s offered Realtors through the MLS!  We built this Hotsheet ourselves so you won’t find this offered from ANY OTHER Realtor or Brokerage.  Other tools in our VIP Section will provide the ability to search pre-foreclosures (Notice of Defaults, Auctions) and  pre-foreclosure reports by city, an IPAD/IPhone MLS-IDX listings search application,  additional statistics dashboards, and more.

We also have a tool developed to allow our Clients to look-up the commission being offered the Buyers Agent for a particular property. I wrote a blog post awhile ago about why I would want to know the commission being offered on a particular home if I was a Buyer. The tool is currently being evaluated by the legal folks at the Realtor Association. I don’t think any other Realtor has looked to offer such a tool before and want to make sure that the legal folks give their blessing.

We hope to launch the VIP Client Section within the week.  There are  MLS rules on what we need to do in order to allow access to some of these tools, so we need to finish that piece before we launch.  Stay tuned!!

Below is a screen shot from our upcoming HotSheet.  It will display the last 7 days for each listing type (Solds, Pendings, etc.) like the current New Listing and Price Change reports do. The HotSheet will also display new listings but the difference between this hotsheet and the existing New Listing report is that the HotSheet will update every 15 minutes vs. once-a-day for the current New Listings report. You can also sort the report by whatever column you wish by clicking the column header.


Giants Fever at SLO Farmers Market

If you missed the excitement at the SLO Farmer’s Market tonite, you are one of the few who did. The line to take a photo in front of the SF Giants World Series Trophy went on and on…past the Mission, even went around the corner on Palm St.  It was taking over 2 hours to make it up to the trophy and I doubt all in line got the photo opportunity before they had to reopen the street.  I got there a few minutes past 6 and the line was already around Palm Street but didn’t wait it out. I did get about four feet from the trophy and got to feel some of the energy, so I’m happy.

SLO resident, Giants broadcaster, and former Giants pitcher Mike Krukow was also there, taking photos with the fans and signing autographs.  Nice touch!

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