This custom 5bd/4ba, 3645 sq ft home has the WOW factor you have been looking for…from its beautiful wood iron entry doors, to the Spanish style arches and Hickory floors throughout this beautiful home! The gourmet kitch features custom cabinetry w/ matching refrigerator, center island, dbl dishwashers, dbl ovens & Viking warmer drawer. Enjoy the great room w/ its large open floor plan, wood burning and/or gas fireplace. The master suite couldn’t be more comforting w/ a gas fireplace, lrg open bathroom, custom vanity, walk-in closet w/built in organizer, soaking tub + enclosed shower w/ glass doors & travertine tile. All 5 of the bdrms have recently installed carpet & ample closet space w/ built-in storage. Enjoy the amazing views from every room or step through one of the many glass sliding doors to the patio for outdoor entertaining. The custom pergola is overlooking the pool and manicured backyard. Patio is stubbed for gas BBQ. 2bd/2ba Mfg home/rental prop + 1500 sqft shop.
The Federal Open Market Committee recently released the minutes from their latest meeting, along with a statement implying that a rate hike is now on the table at every meeting. They inferred that the probability of a rate hike will depend on how strong employment growth remains and whether inflation starts to show some pressure. The meeting minutes tended to highlight the current economic positives, such as favorable consumer spending, low interest rates, and rising household income. Consumer confidence was also included as a positive factor, but with the recent drop in the consumer sentiment index, that may no longer be the case. For now, the Fed seems to be continuing with its “wait-and-see” policy.
Housing starts increased by 20.2% in April to a higher-than-expected annual rate of 1.135 million, and permits also surpassed expectations with a 10.1% increase to 1.143 million. Both housing starts components displayed positive movement in April, with a 16.7% rise in single-family starts to 0.733 million, and a 27.2% rise in multi-family starts to 0.402 million.
Existing home sales did not follow the same suit, with a drop of 3.3% in April to a 5.04 million annual rate. Nevertheless, year-over-year sales of existing homes are still up 6.1%. A positive within the existing homes report is the rise in supply in the market. There were a total of 2.21 million used homes on the market in April, up from 2.01 million in March. Also a positive factor, the median price rose by 4.1% (8.9% year-on-year) to $219,400.
Jobless claims continue to remain at notably low levels, although initial claims did rise by 10,000 to 274,000 in the May 16 week. This increase followed 3 straight weeks in the low-to-mid 260,000 range, which is the lowest trend for initial claims since 2000. The 4-week average is down for the 4th straight week with a 5,500 drop to 266,500, more than 20,000 below the month-ago comparison. Continuing claims data, which lags a week, displayed a drop of 12,000 in the week of May 9 to a 2.211 million level. The 4-week average for continuing claims also decreased, down 29,000 to 2.230 million, adding to the list of positive employment readings, which are some of the best in 15 years.
Mortgage rates displayed slight increases over the past week. The 30-year Jumbo showed the largest increase within the conventional loan programs, going from a 4.250% (4.284% APR) rate to 4.375% (4.399%) for an increase of 115 basis points. Apart from the 30-year High Balance, which saw no change, the lowest conventional increase was in the 30-year Conventional program, which saw a rise of only 5 basis points since May 14.
Government mortgage rates also displayed small increases, with the exception of the 30-year FHA, which remains unchanged for the 12th consecutive week. The remaining government loan programs (FHA 203k, Manufactured FHA, VA, USDA) seem to have returned to close to the same rate levels as those presented approximately two weeks prior.
Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey released on May 21 reported that national mortgage rates are little changed since the last reading. The 15-year conventional averaged 3.05%, slightly down from last week’s rate of 3.07%. The 30-year conventional averaged 3.84%, up only 1 basis point from last week’s 3.85% rate, and decently lower than the year-ago rate of 4.14%.
Consider contacting the Mortgage Experts for your home purchase or refinance! Give us a call at 805.543.LOAN to discuss your mortgage options and to get a free rate quote.
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for March was recently released, and it reported that the number of job openings fell by 2.9% to 4.994 million in the month, coming in below the consensus estimates. The hiring rate for March held steady at 3.6%, while the quits rate rose by 1-tenth to 2.0%. Judging by their apparent willingness to quit jobs, workers seem to be fairly confident in the labor market.
Current jobless claims are also signaling healthy conditions in the labor market. Initial claims for the week of May 9 fell by 1,000 to 264,000, below the consensus estimate of 276,000. This is the 3rd consecutive week that initial claims are in the low 260,000 range, one of the best runs on record. The 4-week average is also down, with a steep decline of 7,750 to a 271,750 level – the lowest level for this average since April 22, 2000 when it was 266,750. This movement continues to point to strength for the May employment report.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index reported a slight decrease from 43.7 to 43.5 in the week of May 10, which is still considered a strong level.
Consumers may be comfortable but it still is not translating to strength for consumer spending. Retail sales were unchanged in April, below expectations for a 0.2 percent gain. The surprising part of the report is the weakness in some of the core readings including department stores which fell a very steep 2.2 percent and electronics & appliances which fell 0.4 percent for a 7th straight decline. Both furniture and food & beverages also show declines. April really was a soft month for the economy, not offering much punch at all following the depressed first quarter.
This week will bring reports on the housing sector, including the housing market index, housing starts, and existing home sales, as well as the release of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes and the latest reading of the Consumer Price Index, the primary gauge for inflation.
Central Coast Real Estate 2015: First Quarter Update
The San Luis Obispo County real estate market is going strong to begin 2015, up slightly from 2014’s numbers. The SLO County median home price for the first three months of 2015 came in at $500,000 vs. $485,000 for the first three months of 2014, a slight increase of approximately 3%.
So far this year, the most affordable city here in the Central Coast is Santa Margarita, around 12% cheaper than Oceano, which came in as the 2nd most affordable city.
Mortgage News & Rates
Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey released on May 14 reported increases for both the 15-year and 30-year fixed loan programs. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged a rate of 3.07%, up from the previous week’s average of 3.02%. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged a rate of 3.85%, up from the 3.80% average the previous week. This is the third week straight that national mortgage rates have increased. Although rates are nearing 2015 highs, the 30-year fixed rate is still lower than the same time last year, which came in at an average of 4.20%.
As rates edge higher, the demand for both purchase and refinance mortgage applications seem to be declining. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, purchase application volume fell by 0.2% and refinance applications fell steeply by 6.0% in the week of May 8.
Local mortgage rates decreased over the past week, some returning to close to the same levels seen two week prior. The largest decrease was within the Jumbo program, which dropped by nearly 1/8-point to 3.875% (3.915% APR), followed closely by the FHA Manufactured. All other decreases ranged between 2 and 22 basis points down. The 30-year FHA has remained stagnant once again at 3.250% (4.825% APR) for the 11th straight week. The only increase was seen in the 15-year fixed program, which jumped 139 basis points, going from 3.125% (3.195% APR) on May 6, to 3.250% (3.344% APR) on May 13.
Privacy abounds on this beautiful custom estate! Open & flowing floor plan, Gourmet kitchen w/long breakfast bar, upgraded stainless steel appliances, inlay decorative tile back splash, river stone Corian-style counter tops and a huge walk-in pantry! Built-in entertainment center in living room w/surround sound speakers and room for a large screen TV. Cozy fireplaces in both living room & family room. Several custom wood encased windows throughout this bright & cheerful home captures 360 degrees of gorgeous views. You’ll never miss another sunrise or sunset. Radiant heating with multi-station thermostats, extra tall and wide wood casing doors. Textured walls & ceilings throughout with 13 foot ceilings in kitchen and family room and 9 foot ceilings in bedrooms. Large ensuite with spacious walk-in closet and organizers. Sensibly-sized built-in outdoor pool with automatic cover. Solar heating, fruit trees,Various agriculture possibilities await you. Water well on premises, 4 car gar.
The April employment report was released on Friday, and the numbers were mixed. Employers added 223,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported, and the unemployment rate edged down slightly to 5.4% in April from 5.5% in March. The construction sector saw an impressive 45,000 rise in payroll jobs, which may point to acceleration for construction and new housing within the next couple of months. Another impressive sector was professional business services, which added 62,000 jobs in the month of April. Workers in both government and non-government industries reported greater hiring activity last month.
April job creation was a turnaround from the disappointing performance in March, initially reported as a modest 126,000 gain and then revised down on Friday to just 85,000. There were also quite a few layoffs in April. The Challenger Job-Cut Report showed that the number of layoff announcements for the month came in at 61,582, up significantly from 36,594 in March, and from 40,298 in April of last year. The highest percentage of layoffs came from the energy sector, totaling 19,745 for the month.
Jobless claims for the week ending May 2 came in lower than expected at 265,000, up slightly from 262,000 the previous week, but sizably lower than the 296,000 reading in the April 18 week—the sample week for the April employment report. The 4-week average for initial claims dropped 4,250 to 279,500, a 15-year low.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index fell 1 point in the May 3 week to 43.7. Americans’ optimism toward the economy is at a 3-month low, and the buying climate is at a 6-week low. The weakest economic outlook is mainly among people making less than $15,000 a year, where sentiment is the lowest in more than 4 years. Although the Fed stated that consumer confidence “remains high” in the most recent FOMC announcement, this report is nearing the weakest readings in a year.
SLO County Real Estate
The spring home-buying season is heating up in San Luis Obispo County! The local housing market showed strong year-over-year gains across all metrics in March. According to CoreLogic, the total number of homes sold in March increased 23.3 percent from 296 units to 365 units. New home sales increased 14.6 percent. The overall median home price increased 4.5 percent from $465,000 to $485,750.
Local mortgage rates have displayed moderate increases once again. Within the conventional loan programs, the largest increase was seen in the 30-year fixed conventional program, which went from 3.750% (3.794% APR) on April 29 to 3.875% (3.928% APR) on May 6, a bump of more than 1/8 of a percent-point. This takes the 30-year fixed program back to levels not seen since the March 10 week of this year, which presented a rate of 3.875% (3.915% APR). The only drop within the conventional loan programs was seen in the 15-year fixed, which decreased by 1/8 of a percent-point, returning to the 3.125% (3.195% APR) rate from the April 22 week.
Within the government loan programs, all loan programs saw increases ranging from 14 to 166 basis points, with the exception of the 30-year FHA program, which remains unchanged for the 10th consecutive week.
Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey released on May 7 reported increases for both the 15-year and 30-year fixed loan programs. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged a rate of 3.02%, up from the previous week’s average of 2.94%. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged a rate of 3.80%, up from the 3.68% average the previous week. Although this is nearing 2015 highs for rates, the 30-year fixed rate is still significantly lower than the same time last year, which came in at an average of 4.21%.
While rates remain below year-ago levels, consider contacting the Mortgage Experts for your home purchase or refinance! Give us a call at 805.543.LOAN to discuss your mortgage options and to get a free rate quote.
Exquisite California Mediterranean luxury home in rural, ranch style setting just 15 minutes to downtown San Luis Obispo. Built with impeccable attention to detail, sparing no expense on a majestic 8.85 acre lot with expansive views and privacy while still conveniently located just outside of Santa Margarita. This 3 bedroom plus den home with 4 bathrooms and approx. 3710sf is an entertainer’s dream with an open kitchen, dining and living area all looking to serene outdoor living space and the coup de grace infinity edge pool with fountains and in-pool umbrellas and lounge chairs. Ranch living is not complete without a barn and this property boasts the most spectacular barn imaginable.2800 square feet of workshop area with 400 amp service remains comfortable in the toughest weather with its R36 roof. Additionally the barn offers 2 separate 900 square foot areas perfect for office, guest quarters, music studio or general man cave retreat.
The Federal Reserve released their Federal Open Market Committee meeting report on Wednesday, stating that economic growth has “slowed” since the committee last met in March. After the April meeting most of the specific assessments were downgraded. Labor conditions were formerly described as “improving,” but now they are “moderating,” and household spending moved from “rising moderately” to “declining” this month. The Fed continues describe housing as “slow,” and inflation is still running “below target.” The Fed described consumer confidence as strong, confirmed by the final April consumer sentiment index of 95.9. This number is unchanged from the mid-April report, and is up from the final March level of 93.0.
Despite the Fed’s description of a slow housing market, pending home sales for March increased for the third consecutive month, up 1.1% from February. Hopefully this pickup in the existing home market will point to improvement in the new home market as well.
The Home Price Index released by S&P Case-Shiller reported an increase of 0.9% for February, surpassing expectations, and demonstrating the best performance since late in 2013. The year-over-year index also showed improvement, up 0.5% from January, and is the best showing since last summer.
March construction spending dropped by 0.6% after market expectations were for a 0.4% increase. Both residential and public building declined. Private residential spending for March dropped 1.6%, with regressions in both the single-family and multi-family home markets. Public construction was down for a third consecutive month to its lowest level since February 2014.
Jobless claims displayed a notable decrease over the last few weeks. Initial claims in the April 25 week dropped by 34,000 to 262,000—the lowest level since April 2000. The 4-week average for initial claims decreased by 1,250 to 283,750, just below month-ago levels, which points to improvement for the upcoming April employment report.
Mortgage Rates for the majority of loan programs saw increases over the past week. Conventional loan programs all had increases near 1/8-points. Within the government loan programs, the FHA 203k and the Manufactured FHA programs both presented higher rates. The 30-year fixed FHA, VA, and USDA programs all remained unchanged over the past week, and the FHA has stayed at the same rate of 3.250% (4.825% APR) for nine weeks straight. Despite displaying slightly higher numbers, mortgage rates are still lower than a year ago. For example, the current average rate for a 30-year fixed conventional loan is 3.750% (3.794% APR), compared to 4.125% (4.224% APR) the same time last year.
Based on data from Freddie Mac’s weekly rate survey, national mortgage rates have increased very minimally. The 30-year fixed bumped up to 3.68% on average, and the 15-year fixed increased by 2 basis points to 2.94%. Visit our Mortgage Rate Update page for more weekly rate information.
Rates are still at low levels, so now is a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance! Give us a call at 805.543.LOAN to discuss your mortgage options.