Housing Market Update

Mortgage Applications

As interest rates continue to rise, purchase applications for home mortgages fell 6.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in the week of February 16th. The unadjusted year on year gain in the Purchase Index at 3.0 percent, this is down 1 percentage point from the week prior. Applications for refinancing, typically more sensitive to changes in mortgage rates, fell 7.0 percent from the week prior, with the refinancing share of mortgage activity declining to only 44.4 percent, the lowest level since July of 2017.

Existing Home Sales

An uptick in supply combined with lower prices failed to boost existing home sales in January, which spell an unexpected 3.2 percent versus December’s downward revised December rate of 5.380 million, well below expectations of a 5.650 million rate, this is the lowest its been since January of 1999. Year on year home resales were down 4.8 percent for the largest decline since August 2014. The lack of supply continues to affect sales volumes, supply in January’s market increased 4.1 percent from December’s level 1.520 million homes. While this is down 9.5 percent from January last year, inventory rose from December’s 3.2 months, a 19 year low to 3.4 months, still extremely low. Because of these new lows in existing housing inventory the lack of choice remains a serious problem in the resale market. Prices have softened considerably in January, which will not attract many new homes onto the market in the future. The median selling price fell by a sharp 2.4 percent to $240,50 or a yearly increase of 5.8 percent. Sales were down compared to December in all four regions of the country. The soft news in this report may cast some doubt on the housing strength seen in last week’s report on permits which surged to the best level of the expansion.



New Listing! 3 Bedroom, 4 Bath Entertainers Delight

Views! Views! Views! This beautiful hilltop property is perfect for the Central Coast outdoor lifestyle with panoramic vistas and privacy. Extensively renovated, the open plan living w/fireplace, dining and kitchen opens to an enclosed private backyard with patio, pool and hot tub. Entertainers will approve of the chef’s kitchen, designed with impressive island, prep sink, Dacor cooktop, two dishwashers, two ovens, wine fridge, ice maker, breakfast bar, walk in pantry, pull out storage drawers. Elegant Brazilian pine flooring, with stone in strategic places and carpeting in bedrooms. The master retreat spoils with luxurious en suite, walk-in closet, romantic fireplace and view deck. Two guest bedrooms have been combined into one spacious main floor bedroom. Lovely office with garden views could serve many functions. Two car garage with storage loft is attached to the main home. Guest quarters are separate with kitchen, bar, ¾ bath, fabulous view balcony, another 2-car garage and wine cellar. Grounds of nearly five acres with one half acre of producing grape vines; olive grove; rose garden; fruit trees – avocado, orange, lemon, apples, plums; green house; veggie garden; garden shed or small studio; enclosed chicken condo; fenced child’s play yard with tree house that is currently occupied by two adorable pet goats. A must see!
Nancy Heins 805.458.3583

New Listing! 111+- Parcel in the Williamson Act, Templeton

This is a beautiful 111+- parcel in the Williamson act with a cozy, neat and clean manufactured home. Currently used as grazing land and family orchard with pomegranates and olives. “Top of the world” 360 views building site for your dream home, and plenty of AG land for planting. Very private spots to enjoy nature in the rolling hills of Templeton. Don’t forget, Templeton School district as well. Great water well with two storage tanks = 9000 gal storage. Currently is off the grid for power and internet, this unique spot has been a retreat for escapees of the wild world of urban living. Don’t miss the large barn which could be storage, toys, or growing facility. See link to photos and video. Call soon to see this beautiful spot in the North San Luis Obispo County wine country.
Marty Diffley 805.440.2078

New Listing! Great Starter Home in Los Osos

One block from Monarch Elementary, this Los Osos home is a great starter, investment or a little coastal get away! Enjoy a nice open floor plan with big picture window and spacious living and dining room. This 2 bedroom, 1 bath has indoor laundry and attached over-sized single car garage. Generous front and back yard provide the space needed to create some private ambiance with even a “tiny peak” of the bay. Originally built in 1981, owner has not been able to do much maintenance or updating. Price reflects current condition providing opportunity for a buyer to get into the market and give this home their personal touch.
Gail Riley 805.776.3072

New Listing! 3 Bedroom 2 Bath in Serra Meadows

Custom upgraded Serra Meadows home! High-end, natural stone Quartzite counter tops and custom tile back splash in kitchen. Built-in surround sound speakers in living room and smart house wiring throughout. Custom plantation shutters make for lots of natural light and privacy. Wood fireplace mantel surround for gas fire in living room. Full landscaped backyard with patio and irrigated lawn and drip system for trees. Back patio is plumbed with gas for gas line BBQ. Separate detached shed in backyard for more storage along with oversized detached garaged with alley access.
Bruce Freeberg 805.748.0161

New Listing! 3 Bedroom 2 Bath, Priced to Sell!

Here is your opportunity to own a three bedroom condominium within walking distance of the Atascadero downtown district. Located close to schools, 101 access and the beautiful historic city hall and park you will find this charming home to exceed your expectations. Inside this spacious home is an open living room/kitchen floor plan. The large kitchen offers ample counter and storage space and opens to the dining area and patio. The living room is light and bright and completed by a fireplace. There is a guest bath and laundry area on the main level. Upstairs opens to three bedrooms. The master bedroom is over-sized and completed by the master bath and it’s own private patio. A finished two car garage and driveway offer ample parking. The backyard is fully fenced, private and has a storage shed. This home has it all and is offered in a price range that is hard to find.
Kim Croft 805.689.2654

CCL Market Update:

Mortgage Applications

With the rising interest rates, currently at a four-year high, purchase applications for home mortgages fell by a seasonally adjusted 6.0 percent in the week of February 9trh. Unadjusted, the year on year gain in the volume of purchase applications fell 4.0 percentage points to 4.0 percent. Applications for refinancing fell as well but their decline wasn’t as dramatic decreasing by just 2.0 percent in the week. This puts the refinancing share of mortgage applications up 0.1 percentage points to 46.5 percent.

Consumer Price Index

Consumer prices for January increased a stronger than expected 0.5 percent. The core, excluding food and energy, is also up 0.3 percent hitting economists’ high end of estimates. Despite this strength, neither of these measurements were able to increase on a yearly basis; as thee overall index was at 2.1 percent and the core was at 1.8 percent. Transportation led in the month, increasing a sharp 1.8 percent with all components up in what looks like beginning of the year increases in price. Medical care which had been flat in recent months rose 0.4 percent. Apparel, a weak sector in the price index report, has been sinking at a fast pace, but suddenly jumped 1.7 percent in January. Gasoline prices were up 5.7 percent in the January report, resulting in a 3.0 percent rise for energy. Food prices were somewhat flat rising only 0.2 percent. Housing, the largest component of this report rose only 0.2 percent though the owners‘ equivalent rent sub-component of the sector rose 0.3 percent for a second straight month. Consumer prices are showing some emerging life with early acceleration in the year that could perhaps be tied to the emergence of the underlying wage pressures.

Business Inventories

Business inventories came in as expected in December, up 0.4 percent with November unrevised and also at 0.4 percent and with October unrevised as well at no change. December’s increase was centered among manufacturers where inventories rose 0.5 percent and also wholesalers at 0.4 percent. Retailers held down the total as they were up 0.2percent for the fourth straight softy reading. The build in inventories slowed in the fourth quarter of last year according to these numbers.

Jobless Claims

Claims remain near historic lows consistent with the strong demand for labor. Initial claims came in at 230,000 for the week of February 10th with the four-week average at 228,500. These levels are approximately 15,000 lower than they were last month at this time. This month on month increase points to strength in the February employment report. Continuing claims, in lagging data for the week of February 3rd rose 15,000 to a still very low level of 1.942 million. The four-week average is down 6,000 to 1.941 million and the unemployment rate remains at 1.4 percent.


There are visible but still limited signs of pressure in January’s producer price report where total prices hit the high end of expectations for a 0.4 percent monthly gain. The two core readings, one excluding food and energy and the other also excluding services, also increased, up 0.4 percent which is at the high end of expectations. Energy was up a very sharp 3.4 percent in the month. Services also improved bouncing back from December’s minus 0.1 percent, up 0.3 percent in January. Year on year rates are still flat despite increases in the report, they are flat at 2.7 percent overall and 2.2 percent excluding food and energy in the month.

Housing Market Index

Home builder confidence continues to be extremely upbeat at an expected 72 in February. Traffic remains the highlight in this report at a steady 54 which is very strong for this reading and suggests first time buyers are entering the market. Assessments of current and future sales remain unusually strong as well at 79 and 78 respectively. The supply of homes continues to lag behind the high demand.

Housing Starts

Housing finished last year on the uptrend and is continuing to follow this trend in the new year as housing remains very strong. Housing starts surged in January to the second highest rate of the expansion at 1.326 million annualized vs. an upward revised 1.209 million in December. This strength in housing is centered in multi units, which had been lagging, the single-family component also includes a strong monthly rise. Permits, in confirmation of optimism for the demand of housing, have been outperforming starts and this report is no different. Permits surged in January to a rate of 1.396 million from 1.300 million; for the best showing of the expansion. Multi-units are catching up though, as they rose very sharply in the month to one of the highest readings of the expansion and offset a small decline in single-family units, which, despite their decrease, still remain near their expansion highs.

Import and Export Prices

Import prices surges to a much higher than expected 1.0 percent in January. This gain is not tied entirely to the upswing in energy as prices rose an unusually strong 0.5 percent. A jump of 0.5 percent in the imported vehicle sector, is an unusually high increase and a key detail of the report along with the higher prices for imported foods and beverages. The export side shows similar strength, up 0.8 percent overall. Capital goods were up 0.5 percent in the month and consumer and vehicle export prices up 0.3 percent which our outsized gains for these readings. Year on year rates are back near their best readings of the expansion, at 3.6 percent for imports and 3.4 percent for exports. Import prices are the special focus of this report as expected gains in this sector, tied to last year’s yearlong decline in the dollar, will act inflate the economy.

Consumer Sentiment

The consumer sentiment index jumped sharply top 99.9 in the preliminary report for February. Besides October of last year this is the highest score in 14 years. Strength includes current conditions at 115.1 and could be an early indication of a rebound for February consumer spending. Expectations are at 90.2 and pointing to confidence in the income outlook. Showing no life are inflation expectations unchanged at 2.7 percent for the year ahead outlook and 2.5 percent for the five-year outlook.

New Listing! 2 Bdrm, 2 Ba. Rice Ranch Home

Beautiful 2 Bedroom 2 Bathroom plus Den at Trilogy at Rice Ranch, located on California’s spectacular Central Coast. With an abundance of upgrades and options this home will satisfy your buyers looking for top quality. Spacious Kitchen has ample storage, walk-pantry and island that opens to living room. Large laundry room with counter space, sink and office area. Beautiful stone tile flooring in all areas other than bedrooms which have carpet . Private back yard includes large covered patio area. The community also offers park, extensive walking, hiking and biking trails as well as dog park. Solar City lease has been paid off so there will be no lease or electricity payments for new owner.
Shea Hutchinson 805.260.6322

New Listing! Beautifully Maintained Los Osos Home

Beautifully maintained home in Los Osos with open, expansive interior spaces. Cathedral ceiling in living/family room adds to wide open feeling. Two woodburning fireplaces, one with a handcrafted mantel and both with gas starters, complement the living and dining areas. Stove, microwave, and dishwasher are new as is the flooring and carpeting. French doors open from master bedroom onto a large patio area as do french doors from the living/family room. Parking is abundant right on the property. The driveway is reinforced with steel fibers and double base concrete. It is triple wide and deep with plenty of additional room to park a large RV. With brick accentuating the front of the home as well as lovely landscaping, the curb appeal is awesome. Located just one block from the Elfin Forest. Professional photos to follow.
Pat Crowe 805.550.1264 Lic#00820238

New Listing! 4 Bedroom Oceanview Home

Enjoy breathtaking, unblockable, panoramic ocean views from Morro rock to Cayucos Pier and beyond from this recently remodeled four bedroom, three bath, 2800 square foot home! Just blocks from the beach and downtown Cayucos make for easy and convenient access to nearby dining, shopping and beachcombing. Relax with your favorite beverage while watching the sunset from your newly renovated deck completely replaced in June 2017. Plumbing, electrical and lighting throughout the home is brand new, all appliances included with the home were installed in 2016 along with all ducting, air conditioning and heating. Soaking tub and large walk-in shower in master bathroom with a bonus room off the master bedroom. Lots of storage throughout this amazing home. Plenty of outside parking for up to six cars.
Kelly Vandenheuvel 805.471.1046 Lic#01472453