CCL Market Update: Jobs, Retail Sales, Mortgage Rates, and a Comparison of Coastal CA Real Estate

The jobs report shows an increase in job openings for the end of 2014, which went from 4.847 million in in November to 5.028 million in December. Similarly, the number of hires in December totaled 5.148 million, up from 5.054 million in November, and the highest number of hires since November 2007. The rise in job openings and hires portrays a slowly improving job market in the U.S.
Retail sales in January fell more than expected, down 0.8%, after declining 0.9% in December. Analysts had previously predicted a fall of only 0.5%. Retail sales are continuing to be impacted by lower gas prices, as well as consumer hesitation to put higher discretionary income into spending.
Consumer sentiment in the U.S. declined in February for the first time in 7 months. According to the University of Michigan, the final sentiment reading for January was 98.1, the highest in nearly 11 years, but that number decreased to 93.6 in February. One explanation for the curbed consumer optimism is the fact that gas prices began to rise this month from a 6-year low. The concern about job losses among energy workers may have also impacted consumer sentiment.

Coastal Real Estate

Have you ever wondered how real estate on the Central Coast compares to other coastal areas in California? We have compared the 2014 real estate data for the North Coast, the Bay Area, the Central Coast, and the South Coast.



The Bay Area contains the four most expensive coastal counties, making it the most expensive region by an average of $353,000. The Central Coast ranks #3 out of 4 for the highest median home price, putting it comfortably in the middle of the spectrum.
Within each region, home values can differ drastically from city to city. Below we have chosen three coastal cities from each region and compared their median home values.


When comparing the cities of the Central Coast to the other three regions, home values appear to be moderate—not the highest, not the lowest.
Click HERE to read the complete article!

Mortgage Rates

This week brought a bump up in rates for some of the loan programs, while others remained unchanged. Despite the slight rise, rates continue at low levels.
The programs whose rates increased rose 1/8-points; the 30-year fixed rose from 3.625% (3.663% APR) to 3.750 (3.788% APR), and the FHA 203k, high balance, manufactured conventional, and manufactured FHA programs followed a similar suit. We saw little to no movement this week from the 15-year fixed, FHA, VA and USDA loan programs, and the 30-year jumbo displayed a slight decrease compared to the previous week.
Give us a call at 805.543.LOAN to receive your personalized rate quote!

New Winery on Vineyard……for a good Central Coast day outside!

Wine tasting is fun but I hesitate to squander our beautiful Central Coast days inside. Happy to report that my recent oh-so-pleasant Sunday happened at Brecon Estate Winery.  Our hosts Damian from Wales and Amanda from Australia make excellent wine plus they are impressively both ‘cavers’ and park rangers in their home countries.  Absolutely loved their chic indoor/outdoor tasting area! “Aussies love to drink outside” Amanda reminds, so the setting is perfect Central Coast. We will definitely go back for the wine but also the lively conversation and soothing views of our ancient oaks and vines.breconbrecon 2


Calling all ‘Boomerang Buyers’

If you were one of the more than 4.7 million homeowners since 2007 that experienced a short sale or foreclosure and are currently in the market to buy, you are what’s now called a ‘Boomerang Buyer’. Your financial ability to qualify for a mortgage may be more attainable than you anticipate; the average recovery time is 3 years. Values are on the rise but interest rates are still low so you will likely qualify for a mortgage that is less than your former terms. ‘Boomerang Buyers’ are projected to

make up 10% of home sales this year.

Be in touch, I’d love to connect you with a great local lender that can help you determine if it’s the right time for you to revisit real estate.




Forget ‘Shadow Inventory’, it’s all about ‘Pocket Listings’

What is a “Pocket Listing”? Technically, it is a signed listing agreement between a seller and broker that is not marketed on the MLS. The seller signs an exclusion form to keep it off the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for a period of time or indefinitely. There are a number of reasons that a seller would opt to limit the marketing of the property. They may have a need for heightened privacy, they could be working on a few repairs, or they might just not want to test the market without having a revolving door of agents and buyers through their home.

Regardless of their reason, it does limit a seller’s exposure. Most sellers want to reach the most buyers possible to increase their opportunity to bring in highest and best offers from qualified buyers. When a listing is held privately, the listing is limited to the exposure of that agents direct sphere of clients and associates. However, they may advertise on venues other than the MLS like craigslist in an attempt to attract the buyer themselves. Though the majority of listings that never hit the MLS are double-ended, most brokers that hold pocket listings will cooperate with other agents. This practice is more common in today’s market as the inventory is extremely low.





Feng Shui your Front Door

My Door-Keeper, Olive

A recent email from National Association of Realtors highlighted a blog about front door colors. The article referred the the door as the necktie of the home. It can be subtle, or make a huge statement. The question being, what does your door color say about you? At the end of the blog the author defined several colors like Blue, Green, Black, but not the most common – white. Intrigued, I “asked the google”. I soon learned that there is a lot of information on the psychology of color as it relates to the front door of your home. What I found most interesting was that many articles I came across related color to the overall feng shui of the home. Furthermore, color alone was not the key, the doors directional orientation and material are critical to ensuring balance and harmony in the home.

  • North facing should be wood and painted Blue, Black or White
  • Northeast facing should be wood and painted Orange, Purple, or Yellow
  • East facing should be wood and painted Green, Blue, or Turquoise
  • South facing should be wood and painted Red, Pink, or Purple
  • West facing doors can be made of metal or any other material than wood and painted Pink, Apricot, or Orange
  • Northwest facing doors can be made of any material and painted Gold, Silver, Yellow, or White

My door faces west, it’s made of wood, and in need of a fresh coat of green paint. I broke all the Yin and Yang guidelines but my door-keeper, Olive, and I still feel quite at peace.

From the perspective of an agent who opens a lot of doors to potential buyers, I find the following four points more important than color:

1. Keep your doorway well lit with a defined path leading to it.

2. Remove any obstructions that may be a trip hazard or distraction like kids toys, old broken pots, dead plants, etc.

3. Keep your door in good repair. Give it a power wash or a fresh coat of paint.

4. Be sure it’s in good working order. This means that the locks engage, the handles are functional and not loose, and that the door swings open and closed with ease.



Up to $100,000 Principal Relief for Stressed California Homeowners

Federally funded  program, Keep your Home California, is granting a limited number of underwater homeowners  a principal reduction of up to $100,000 on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans.

Who Qualifies?

  • Owner occupants. This means it must be your primary residence.
  • Low to Moderate income households
  • Owe more than the home is worth and be delinquent on payments due to significant hardship.
  • The balance on the first mortgage cannot exceed $729,750.  Other rules apply, but there is no asset limitation.  The maximum reduction is $100,000 per homeowner
  • If the homeowner sells or refi’s for a profit within 5 years, the proceeds must be used to repay the loan. After 5 years, no repayment is required.

**For more information on the Keep Your Home programs, visit

What’s your Style?

Realtor magazine has compiled one of the best architecture references that I’ve come accross. It covers both residental styles and individual structural elements. As you likely know, San Luis Obispo-and the County at large-has an ecclectic range of architectrual appeal. Diversity is seen not only block to block or street to street, but more commonly, house to house!

Here’s the Link: Achitecture Guide

Enjoy clicking on each home icon for definitions of the style and era along with further details and history. You may find that your home’s style is a combination of two or more.

In my experience working with buyers, the homes with the most architectural consistency, regardless of the style, have the most appeal.


The 8 Second Rule in Real Estate!

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

“The Bottom Has Been Set!”

After returning from Sacramento earlier this month to attend the (CAR) California Association of Realtors business meetings, there has been a lingering trend that has emerged throughout not only San Luis Obispo County and the Central Coast, but seemingly the vast majority of the state. “The Bottom Has Been Set” was the primary theme of the presentation given by Mr. Joel Singer, the CEO and Executive Vice President of CAR, one of the largest state trade organizations in America.

The combination of record low interest rates, increasing affordability, growing consumer confidence, and the declining inventory of homes for sale have been the primary drivers of the current shift in the real estate market we are experiencing today. Entry level buyers are now facing more competition that ever for the shrinking supply of the available homes. Sellers in most market segments that price their homes aggressively are receiving multiple offers in the first week. In some extreme instances buyers are up against as many as 40 other offers for a single home.

Based on the fundamental economic model of price determination of goods in the market, if demand remains constant while the supply decreases, this will lead to a higher equilibrium price. The inverse being true when there exists a glutton or oversupply of goods without sufficient demand, ultimately bringing the equilibrium price down. That being said, if the current climate in the Real Estate market continues we will see upward pressure being put on prices resulting in the much needed steps to recovery and ultimately see legitimate appreciation in values.

If you are looking to buy or sell in this market it is in your best interests to hire an active, professional Realtor to enure your ultimate success. Call us today and experience the difference!

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