The 8 second rule in real estate – “This is how long it takes a buyer to make a decision about purchasing your home”, says Barbara Corcaran, real estate mogul and investor on TV’s successful reality show, “Shark Tank”. If you’re a seller it’s important to price your house right – that may require three independent assessments by qualified realtors, provide great online pictures, and be prepared with a Home Inspection Report. Remember, buyers research homes in price ranges using the top real estate websites. Plus buyers want as much information about the home as possible before they schedule a tour. For more tips on selling and buying, please contact The Keith Byrd Team at www.slocountyhomes.com.
We are pleased to announce that we have reprogrammed our site to deal with an unannounced change the local MLS did on the data which broke REO and Short Sale searches. You can now search on REO and Short Sale searches on SloCountyHomes.com and receive ACCURATE results!
I checked over two dozen other real estate sites offering Central Coast home searches and NONE of them had complete and/or accurate searches, but none of them are telling their visitors this fact. Spread the word to anyone you know that is searching for homes on the Central Coast that SloCountyHomes.com is the site they want to be searching on to get the most complete and most accurate information.
Interest rates generally trended up last week, although we will again reiterate that bargain rates are easily found just above the lowest levels. Overall, stocks had another good week, prompting analysts to continue with the “market rally… is it empty?” speculation. What news has effected the market? Let’s take a look.
- The Dow ended the week at 13,275.20, which is over 50 points above last Friday’s close. It was a busy week for economic data, and the reports came back mixed.
- July retail sales – rose 0.8 percent after June’s dive. A welcome show of strength.
- July producer price index (PPI) – the measure of inflation rose 0.3 percent from June, and 0.5 percent year-over-year, which is the lowest percentage since October 2009.
- July business inventory/sales – inventory rose 0.1 percent and sales dropped 1.1 percent. The inventory/sales ratio rose to 1.29, highest in 2.5 years, an unwanted number and likely sign that the GDP growth will remain sluggish.
- July consumer price index (cost of living metric and the most followed indicator of inflation) – stayed flat month-over-month and is up 1.7 percent year-over-year. Decline in airfare, vehicle, and transportation prices caused the monthly decline.
- July industrial production – rose 0.6 percent
- The four-week average for weekly jobless claims – fell over 5,000 to 363,750, the lowest since March earlier this year, which was the lowest of the recovery.
Real Estate statistics:
- Mortgage applications fell last week for both purchase (-2.0 percent) and refinance (-5.0 percent)
- July housing starts declined slightly, but building permits, a better measure of long-term stability, grew 6.8 percent from the previous month.
- Shadow inventory – not so much a problem? The Wall Street Journal Developments blog wrote about the so-called “shadow inventory” of homes in foreclosure or at high risk of entering foreclosure (three months delinquent by some measures) and why this “problem” has been overstated in the media.
So the news is mixed. The market will move upon news of the European Debt situation (will Germany consent to “bail out” debt-strapped countries by ceding control and funding to the European Central Bank?). We sense that the market is in a general lull before the “fiscal cliff” storm, but we don’t see ourselves headed towards another recession (provided our politicians get their act together).
The housing market has been a bright spot, and we will have another test soon, as foreclosure activity is beginning to ramp up again. Will demand be enough to snap up newly foreclosed properties and avoid another price drop? We suspect it will be, but only time will tell.
This week I’m sharing one of my favorite haunts. A visit or bike ride through the historic Village of Arroyo Grande is a delightful treat! Don’t miss a cup of coffee at Andreini’s Cafe, discover wonderful shopping and restaurants, jam on your favorite instrument at Lightning Joe’s Guitar Heaven. While you’re there, buy a mug or t-shirt that says, ‘93420, Nice Place, Normal People.’ Filled with history dating back to the late 1800’s – early 1900’s, the Village is complete with a swinging bridge. Stroll the streets, visit the wine bar, select fresh produce at the weekly Farmer’s Market, or simply enjoy a sundae at Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab.
If you go to Toronto, you can hang over the CN Tower like these folks are doing. I think I’ll just stick with watching the video.
This is a rare opportunity in Los Osos! This charming two bedroom, two bath home, with an office, is located just two blocks from the Bay. It is one of the few homes in Los Osos to have a double lot landscaped and fenced in. Enjoy partial views of the Bay and Morro Rock from the second level. The kitchen has been updated with bamboo floors, travertine counters, light fixtures, and a reverse osmosis system. The bathrooms have also been updated with travertine, vanities, and light fixtures. The cozy living room has carpet accented with bamboo flooring. Relax in the spacious front patio area in the evening lit by Malibu lights. There are fruit trees, raised planter beds, and an abundant area for gardening and more. The owner has installed an automatic sprinkler system for planted areas. There is a new, large, built-in storage shed in the backyard for your tools and so much more. How many homes boast an outdoor shower for the family dog or to clean up the sand after surfing? This one does! Click for more info
Paso Robles has a fun and free workshop opportunity they call ‘Lawns to Food’ on Saturdays. These workshops are put on by local expert gardeners who have a wealth of knowledge on how to make the best of your garden. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Demonstration Garden, it is located in Centennial Park on Nickerson Drive. The workshops are from 10 am to noon. For the schedule of workshops offered go to http://pasoroblesdemogarden.org.
We have written here about the historical relationship between the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yield and the 30-year fixed mortgage rate – a 1.5 percent spread between the two. Regular readers of our posts will know that interest rates have lagged behind the yield for months now. With concern about Europe and the U.S. economy moving investors to the “safe haven” of US Treasuries, the price for 10 year-bond has increased (due to more demand) and the yield (moving inverse to price) has dropped off the table.
Last Friday, the yield for the 10-year closed at 1.659 percent after the stock market built a four-day rally. During moments in the last several weeks, however, the yield dropped below 1.500 percent. With interest rates like these, you would expect to see rates fall to 3.000 percent for the 30-year fixed. However, while we have seen some downward pressure (the 3.250 percent 30-year fixed is now available), we have not seen the 30-year fixed drop as we might have expected in the past.
Tim Manni at HSH, a leader in Mortgage and Real Estate news, published his take on the matter, “There is much less of a lockstep relationship between the two instruments than at other times over the last 10 to 20 years. Furthermore, with the Federal Reserve manipulating the market, there is no longer a true expression available, regardless.”
The most important event to consider for the future movement of interest rates is the so-called “fiscal cliff” at the end of the year, which is when about $500 billion in tax cuts and spending boosts are set to expire and we will rely on our elected officials to sort out the mess and avoid another recession. Do you all recall what happened last time the government faced a fiscal dilemma? The debate about whether to increase the debt limit caused markets to take daily triple-digit swings. If this debate goes down to the wire (and it will), investors will flood to the U.S. Treasuries to protect agains the unstable stock market.
Will this translate to lower interest rates? Historical speaking, the evidence would suggest that interest rates would fall even lower. However, this situation would be without historical precedent, so we don’t want to make any sweeping statements.
The Central Coast has no shortage of special educational events, festivals, fairs, and farmers’s markets. This weekend is no exception and offers two events worth attending: The Olive Festival in Paso Robles and the Tomato Extravaganza in San Luis Obispo. Since I’m constantly driving between Paso and SLO, I might just make it to both. Of course, I can have the best of both communities by attending the Cooking demo with Chef Joe Thomas of Thomas Hill Organics from 10-11AM at the Tomato Extravaganza!
1. Paso Robles 9th Annual Olive Festival: Saturday in the Downtown Park from 10AM-5PM
2. Tomato Extravaganza, SLO Master Gardeners: Saturday at the Garden of the Seven Sisters from 10AM-2PM