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.
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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.
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Fall is Open Studios time every October throughout San Luis Obispo County. For the visual arts lovers, it is a chance to seek out the work of artists from Paso to Nipomo and along the Coast, North to Cambria. Artists open their homes or studios and most are on site to display and discuss their work. All mediums of painting seem to be represented plus metal work, pottery, jewelry, woodworking/turning, sculpture, glasswork, weaving/wearable art…..you name it……….even surfboard art! This FREE event is open to all again this coming weekend 10/18 and 10/19 from 10 am to 5 pm. For more information and a full schedule go to www.artsobispo.org/open-studios.
This is a beautiful time of year here on the Central Coast. Wineries are spoiling us and booking great local musicians for casual as well as large events. Sculpterra Winery, for instance, has music every Sunday. Stillwaters Winery has music in their 100 year old olive grove once a month. Castoro Cellars hosts it’s annual ‘Beaverstock’ this coming weekend. Good music, beautiful scenery and a little vino……..what better way to spend a restorative day off!
Red Soles Winery on Oakdale off of 46 West has been doing more than just making great wine. They have done some pretty fun things with their beautiful new still, affectionately named ‘Patience My Dear’. They started with a wonderful brandy (made from grapes) concoction called California Hooch. This led to the creation of the yummy Limoncello which is infused with Meyers Lemons for 40 days and – of course – 40 nights. These clever and fun loving Red Soles folks have even created some cocktails from their brews so stop by and be entertained! PS – the wines are fab also! www.redsoleswinery.com
I think that often a taste of wine isn’t really my objective when I visit a new winery. I simply love the beauty and setting of a well thought out winery and our little county has plenty of them to sample . There is a special, pampered feeling I get when I take a part of my day just to sit and sip and converse with friends. It’s a splurge, I admit but each new found winery has it’s own personality, views and garden……ah yes, the gardens! Restored and pampered is what I feel……ok, maybe the wine helps but what better way to take in the beauty of our natural setting.
Only three cities in San Luis Obispo county have seen a decrease in median home price since 2013. Those cities are Avila Beach, Nipomo, and Templeton.
Avila Beach has had no foreclosures or short sales in 2014. The median home price has decreased from $889,000 in 2013 to $810,000 in 2014.
The total number of sales in the first 6 months of 2014 was 9, 2013 only had 6 sales in the same time period. Stick Built homes in Avila Beach are selling in fewer days than in 2013. The average days on market in 2013 was 115, and that has dropped to only 71 days in 2014.
Nipomo’s decrease in median home price is very minor at .6%. When comparing the median home prices during only the first 6 months, not the entire 2013 year in Nipomo, the median home price of non-foreclosures has actually increased from $490,000 to $497,000. That might indicate that the next few months will see Nipomo’s median home price increase!
Templeton’s decrease in median home price is also very small, at 1.6%. There have been more sold more homes in the first 6 months of 2014 than in the first 6 months of 2013. Of the 54 Stick Built homes sold so far this year, only 2 have been foreclosures, and only 1 was a short sale.
Nothing better for those soft and special North County summer evenings than great music. Local talent can be found Wednesday evenings in Templeton Park, Fridays in Paso Park and Saturdays Atascadero is the place….all free! The Mid State Fair has a fabulous line up this year, as does Vina Robles Amphitheater if you are in the mood for bigger named groups. Wineries put together some great daytime, early evening entertainment. Most event details can be found at www.slohomepage.com/calendar/events or listed on individual websites. But spoil yourself and get out for some fabulous summer entertainment!!!
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.
Love having more outdoor dining choices for our great summer evenings! Owners of Pappy McGregor’s just opened a new ‘Baja style’ Mexican food at the corner of 13th and Pine. They are focusing on fresh fish and vegetables much like you would see in Cabo or San Diego. That bar looks like it will be quite a lively place as well…..Tequila flights with over 85 to sample! I am going to try the ceviche but I bet my son’s is better! http://www.fishgaucho.com/