New Listing! 8823 Arcade, Atascadero

8823 Arcade, Atascadero

Welcome home. This single-level, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home has everything you’re looking for. Open floor plan, hardwood floors, newer dual pane windows and an updated kitchen with stainless appliances. The level, landscaped yard has beautiful mature shade trees, a covered patio, an entertaining deck and plenty of open space to play. All this close to the convenience of downtown shopping, Movie Theater, eateries, and more.

CCL Market Update: New & Existing Home Sales, Jobless Claims, Consumer Sentiment, Mortgage Rates

Existing home sales for the month of August slowed slightly following fruitful numbers in July. Existing sales came in at a 5.31 million annual rate for August, which is lower than expected, and the lowest reading since April. Year-year sales growth is also down, at 6.2% for the lowest since February. The year-on-year median price showed slight improvement with a 4.7% rise to $228,700, but is still at its lowest since August 2014. The dip in sales relieves some pressure from the home supply, but there is still a significant lack of homes on the market.

On the flip side, new home sales numbers were higher than expected in August, with a 552,000 annual rate, the highest rate since February 2008. The median price for the month came in at $292,700 for a 0.5% monthly gain and a 0.3% year-on-year gain. Year-on-year sales growth for new homes was an impressive 22% for the month of August.

Jobless claims continue their streak near record lows in the week of September 19, where there were 267,000 initial claims reported for a slightly decreased 4-week average of 271,750. Continuing claims for the week of September 12, the sample week for monthly employment reports, dropped by nearly 25,000 since the August sample week. The 4-week average for continuing claims is down nearly 15,000 from the previous week to 2.252 million.

The final consumer sentiment reading for September is 87.2, which is up slightly from the mid-month reading of 85.7, but is the weakest reading since last October. The expectations component, which tracks the jobs outlook, did improve by 1.2 points from mid-month to a 78.2 level, but is the lowest since September 2014. The current conditions component, which tracks ongoing strength in the jobs market, rose 0.9% to 101.2 in September, is also on the lower end, and the lowest since last October. Inflation expectations remain unchanged from August at 2.8% for the 1-year outlook, and at 2.7% for the 5-year outlook. Despite the soft numbers in the September consumer confidence report, it is suggested that the worst effects of the recent market turmoil may have passed, and the markets should begin to stabilize from here on out.

Keep an eye out for updates on employment numbers, payroll data, and construction spending in the coming week.

Mortgage Rates

Rates have dropped once again over the past week, following the Fed’s announcement that they will not be issuing a Federal funds rate hike at this time. All loan programs displayed rate decreases, most by 10 or more basis points. The largest decrease was seen in the 30-year USDA program, which went from 3.625% (4.346% APR) on September 16 to 3.375% (4.106% APR) on September 22, an drop of 24 basis points! Similar to most of the other loan programs, the 30-year Fixed Conventional mortgage rates dropped 1/8 percentage points (12.5 basis points) to 3.875% (3.915% APR), after creeping into the 4.000% range in the previous week. It continues to be below the year-ago rate of 4.125%.

And with the drop in rates comes a rise in mortgage applications! According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, purchase applications rose 9% and refinance applications rose 18% in the week of September 18, which points to an upcoming boost for housing sales, and shows that borrowers seem to be reacting more closely to FOMC activity.

According to Sean Becketti, chief economist for Freddie Mac, the Fed’s decision to defer a rate hike was influenced by global growth concerns and lackluster inflation. He goes on to say,

“In response, Treasury yields fell about 9 basis points over the week, with some larger day-to-day swings along the way… Mortgage rates have remained below 4 percent for 9 consecutive weeks and have remained range-bound between 3.8 and 4.1 percent since May. These low mortgage rates have supported strong home sales, and 2015 is on pace to have the highest home sales total since 2007.”

As mortgage rates remain below 4.000%, now is a great time to contact the Mortgage Experts for your home purchase or refinance! With our 21-Day Processing method, you can make a stronger purchase offer, reduce stress, and save money! Give us a call at 805.543.LOAN to discuss your mortgage options and to get a free rate quote.

New Listing! 932 Fairway Vista Dr, Santa Maria

Santa Maria Country Club Estate perfectly situated on the golf course. This well-known and famous home features everything you would want in a resort like home! Perfect for extended family or entertaining, this 8800+ sq ft home features 8 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms & 7 garage spaces, along with an in-ground/indoor pool, sauna & hot tub. Beautiful mosaic tiled ceilings and waterfall along with formal living & dining rooms, wet bar, library & outside entertaining patios. One side of the estate features a his/her bathroom in the owner’s suite & 3 walk in closets, along with 3 additional bedrooms. The other side features a nice great room with stone fireplace, along with roomy bedrooms and baths. The pool separates the living areas and allows for ample privacy & enjoyment. Priced well under replacement value! $1,350.000

New Listing! 2223 Laguna Del Campo, Templeton

Spanish Lakes home with horse facilities! Rare find. This spacious home has 4 bedroom plus an office with separate entrance overlooking the pool. Open floor plan, great for entertaining. Plenty of storage, an abundance of built in cabinetry. Split floor plan with the master suite on the opposite wing from the guest bedrooms and office. 18X75ft pool. Spa. Huge kitchen with double French doors out to covered patio, pool and spa. Horse facilities include tack room with hay storage and door to covered stall for feeding. Arena 6in sand, vinyl fencing. Great opportunity to live close to town in Beautiful Spanish Lakes gated community, with your horses!$985,000

New Listing! 1180 Ash #D, Arroyo Grande $459,000


Great Arroyo Grande location. Close to conveniences and the Soto Sports and Dog park. Built in 2006, this home is clean and updated with granite counters, stainless appliances, and new dual pane Milgard windows. All three bedrooms and the two full bathrooms are upstairs. The downstairs living space is open and inviting with a private yard that wraps around the property. The garage is the only shared wall with the home next door. Best of all, there is no HOA.

CCL Market Update: Housing Market, Jobless Claims, Federal Open Market Committee Meeting, Mortgage Rates

Housing market data for September continues to make builders more and more optimistic. The housing market index rose 1 point in the month to 62, from 61 in August, keeping readings at or near 10-year highs. Traffic, which is general the weakest component of the index, increased by 2 points to 47, suggesting that high rental prices may be pushing potential first-time buyers into the market. The other components of the report also displayed strong numbers, with the current sales index up 1 point to 67, and future sales down 2 points to a still-strong 68. A smaller supply of new homes, low interest rates, and improving traffic are all important factors that are positively affecting the housing market.

Total housing starts for August came in lower than expected, falling 3.0% to a 1.126 annual pace. When broken down, single-family home starts also fell 3.0% in the month, following the 10.9% surge in single-family starts in July. The number of permits pulled ahead, up 3.5% in August to a higher-than-expected 1.170 million. Permits for single-family homes rose 2.8% to 699,000, the highest since 2008. This improvement is yet another positive for housing, which is proving to be a stronghold for the 2015 economy.

Jobless claims continue to be at record lows, with initial claims for the week of September 12 falling 11,000 to 264,000, one of the lowest readings of the last 40 years. The September 12 week is the sample week used for the monthly employment report, and is 13,000 lower than the August sample week, which points to improvement in the labor market and further strength for the September employment report. The 4-week average came in at 272,500, abd is about even with the month-ago comparison. Continuing claims from the week of September 5 also decreased, down 26,000 to 2.237 million, and the 4-week average dropped 5,000 to 2.256 million.

The Federal Open Market Committee meeting for September recently took place, and voted not to change policy, and therefore not to implement a rise in rates at this time. In the meeting announcement, improvement in the labor market is described as “solid” with inflation expected to remain near recent lows before gradually moving to 2%. Fed chair, Janet Yellen stressed that inflation is still “quite low” and is “way below target” due in part to weakness of foreign economies, which seem to be “restraining” economic activity. Now 13 of 17 committee members see the eventual rate hike coming by the end of the year, down from 15 of 17 members in the previous meeting. This tells that it is still very likely that there will be a rate hike this year, but it just isn’t here yet. Yellen did confirm that the October meeting will be “live,” and that if a rate hike is approved, the Fed will announce an unscheduled press conference.

Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates for most loan programs displayed slight increases over the past week. All mortgage rate increases were right around 10 basis points or less, the largest being a 0.113% rise in 30-year USDA rates and the smallest a 0.007% increase in 30-year manufactured conventional rates. The 15-year conventional and 30-year high balance loan programs both displayed no rate movement within the week. 30-year fixed conventional rates rose 10.2 basis points back up to the 4.000% mark (4.040% APR), and is still about 1/8 percentage points lower than the year-ago rate of 4.250% (4.264% APR). Although there was upward movement for many of the rate programs, it was very slight across the board.

Sean Becketti, chief economist for Freddie Mack, commented on the slow-moving rates, focusing on how a future rise in rates will impact average Americans:

“Inflation fell shy of expectations in August, up 0.2 percent over the past year, but core consumer prices increased 1.8 percent year-over-year. Low mortgage rates help to support housing markets, which continue to bring good news. The National Association of Home Builders’ HMI came in above expectations at 62, which is a ten year high.”

“Even if the Fed decides to raise short-term interest rates, we don’t expect a significant impact on the housing market. We’re still on track for the best year of home sales since 2007. And in contrast to two years ago, when mortgage rates spiked in response to the Taper Talk, the economy is in much better shape and markets have been expecting the Fed to act for months. While our outlook incorporates a moderate increase in mortgage rates over the next 18 months, rates are likely to remain low by historical standards and should not be a determining factor for most Americans looking to purchase a home.”

“Freddie Mac is keenly aware though that any rate increase will have a larger impact on low-to-moderate income families looking to finance a home purchase. We introduced our low down payment program, Home Possible Advantage, specifically to address the challenges faced by these households.”

As mortgage rates remain relatively low, consider taking action on your home purchase or refinance. Call the Mortgage Experts at 805.543.LOAN for your personalized consultation and rate quote today!