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Most recent articles

Check Your Velo

We’ve had it so good for so long, we’re bound to have some bouncing around. Our cheerleaders want to make it black and white = sales down, prices up:

California pending home sales stumble for fifth straight month in May

LOS ANGELES (June 28) – Even with a strong performance in May closed escrow sales, California pending home sales fell for the fifth consecutive month, suggesting the state’s housing market may underperform over the next few months, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

Along with the decline in pending sales, REALTORS® are more cautious due to their growing concern over supply and affordability issues, C.A.R.’s May Market Pulse Survey** found. REALTORS® also saw fewer floor calls, and less open house traffic than in April.

Pending home sales data:

• Based on signed contracts, year-over-year statewide pending home sales fell for the fifth straight month in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* declining 3.9 percent from 123.0 in May 2016 to 118.1 in May 2017. On a monthly basis, California pending home sales increased 3.9 percent from the April index of 113.7.

• Despite a bounce back in May closed escrow sales, the downward trend in pending sales suggests the housing market may underperform over the next few months. With interest rates expected to rise in the second half of the year, the sales momentum could slow further or even shift in the third and fourth quarters.

• The Southern California Region reversed a three-month decline and posted a 1.3 percent improvement in pending sales from the previous year, aided largely by healthy gains in Orange and Riverside counties, which marked increases of 12.5 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively. Pending sales in San Diego, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties declined from last May, but those counties had drops of less than 5 percent.

• The Central Valley also posted a slight gain in May, increasing 2.1 percent. With many counties in the region falling behind last year, pending sales in the region as a whole would have declined year over year if not for solid sales in Fresno, which increased a robust 28.6 percent from last May. Kern County saw pending sales slip by 2.9 percent from May 2016.

• On the flip side of the coin, the San Francisco Bay Area experienced a decline in pending sales in May, falling 5.5 percent on an annual basis. Pending sales in San Francisco County declined the most at 10.8 percent, and San Mateo and Santa Clara counties posted pending sales decreases of 0.7 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively as inventories remained extremely low and median prices exceeded $1 million.

• In C.A.R.’s newest market indicator of future price appreciation, Market Velocity – home sales relative to the number of new listings coming on line each month to replenish that sold inventory – continued its upward momentum in May, suggesting that home prices should grow further in the upcoming months. Solid demand motivated by low interest rates, coupled with tight supply, put upward pressure on prices in the last few months as the home buying season remained competitive. The statewide median price should remain near its recent high until late summer or early fall. Market Velocity is strongly correlated with increases/decreases in price growth with a roughly three- to six-month lag time.

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Sales and Price Check | 0 comments

Zbully

From the seattletimes.com – hat tip SM:

LINK

Excerpts:

Zillow is dealing with a PR fiasco and a potential legal fight for going after a small, popular blog that makes fun of McMansions.

Kate Wagner — who spotlights large, ugly-looking houses on McMansionHell.com — received a cease-and-desist letter from the Seattle company this week, telling her to stop using Zillow photos on her site. She often makes memes out of Zillow home listing photos, pointing out features of home exteriors and rooms that are not exactly likely to win architecture awards.

Wagner said Tuesday she received emails from about 200 lawyers, and has retained the Electronic Frontier Foundation to represent her, pro bono. They plan to respond to Zillow soon.Outside Zillow’s headquarters in downtown Seattle on Tuesday morning, someone plastered the walls with many colorful signs reading “MCMANSION HELL FOREVER.”

“First of all, I was petrified,” said Wagner, a 23-year-old master’s student in Baltimore, who is working on a thesis on architectural acoustics. Zillow’s letter said Wagner ran afoul of Zillow’s terms of use and may violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and state laws. “It’s pretty terrifying when someone issues you a letter saying you’re a criminal and you’re going to jail.”

Zillow was clearly taken aback by the PR backlash to the saga, which has been making the rounds on national and local news sites for the last 24 hours.

Zillow’s top public affairs person, vice president Katie Curnutte, sent Wagner an email Tuesday morning that struck a much friendlier tone. She started by acknowledging Zillow has received several questions from journalists about the initial letter from Zillow’s legal team.

The company is already in the middle of a legal battle on another photo copyright issue and may owe millions of dollars in damages to a real estate photography firm.

Zillow spokeswoman Emily Heffter said that if other sites start publishing photos from Zillow, it could become harder for Zillow to obtain listings from realtors, which provide them under an agreement that only Zillow can use them.

“If we were to back off this, and everyone started taking photos off our site and using them, we’d have a lot of trouble getting photos for our site,” Heffter said. “When you make a deal with someone, you have to hold up your end of it.”

“It’s nothing personal,” she added.

Save

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Zillow | 3 comments

Lockbox Security

With the big cyber-attack today, let’s touch on a local security issue that is hard to believe.  It didn’t happen to me, but to a listing agent I know.

It involves the new mobile app for our MLS, which is touted as a more convenient way for agents to access the lockbox when showing the home at their scheduled time.

The mobile app allows a realtor to obtain an entry-code for any lockbox on the system – whether the agent owns the lockbox or not, which is a big change.

The breach of security happened when a buyer’s-agent obtained an entry-code to a lockbox on an active listing – but she wasn’t at the house, and didn’t have an appointment.

She gave the code to her buyers, who let themselves in when the sellers weren’t home – and the house was owner-occupied!

Then she did the same thing a second time, giving the potential buyers the code to enter the home on their own – when she is not physically on site and has not made an appointment.

The sellers came home while the buyers were in the house – it wasn’t pretty!

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor, Realtor Training, Realtors Talking Shop | 13 comments

Trendy Tuesday

The most effective home improvement ever invented was new paint.

The right color can sell the house – choose your paint color with care!

To help search for the right colors for you, use the Visualizer here:

https://www.sherwin-williams.com/visualizer#/active

This video has good tips in less than 4 minutes:

Here are dozens of short videos on color:

https://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/inspiration/inspiration-videos

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Trendy Tuesday | 1 comment

San Diego Case-Shiller Index, April

Four strong months in a row – at this pace, our local Case-Shiller Index will rise about 10%-12% this year!  This is the non-seasonally-adjusted index below. The seasonally-adjusted was slightly higher at 237.79.

David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said the April increase in prices shows demand for homes is rising but the supply of homes has hardly kept up.

“The question is not if home prices can climb without any limit; they can’t,” Blitzer said in a statement. “Rather, will home price gains gently slow or will they crash and take the economy down with them? For the moment, conditions appear favorable for avoiding a crash.”

San Diego Non-Seasonally-Adjusted CSI changes:

Month
CSI-SD
M-o-M chg
Y-o-Y chg
December
203.45
-0.3%
+5.0%
January ’15
204.67
+0.6%
+5.0%
February
205.94
+0.6%
+4.6%
March
208.52
+1.2%
+4.6%
April
209.78
+0.6%
+4.5%
May
211.57
+0.9%
+4.8%
June
212.09
+0.3%
+4.6%
July
214.58
+1.1%
+5.4%
August
215.34
+0.3%
+5.9%
September
216.48
+0.6%
+6.6%
October
215.62
-0.3%
+6.2%
November
216.35
+0.3%
+6.0%
December
217.67
+0.7%
+7.2%
January ’16
218.79
+0.4%
+6.9%
February
219.00
+0.1%
+6.4%
March
221.34
+1.0%
+6.2%
April
222.99
+0.8%
+6.3%
May
225.10
+0.9%
+6.4%
June
226.10
+0.3%
+6.4%
July
227.53
+0.6%
+6.0%
August
227.86
+0.1%
+5.8%
September
227.98
+0.1%
+5.3%
October
228.34
+0.2%
+5.9%
November
228.89
+0.2%
+5.8%
December
229.41
+0.2%
+5.4%
January ’17
231.21
+0.8%
+5.7%
February
233.31
+0.9%
+6.5%
March
235.61
+1.0%
+6.4%
April
237.59
+0.9%
+6.6%

The highest reading of the San Diego NSA CSI was 250.34 in November, 2005.

The most-recent low point was 144.43 in April, 2009.

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Same-House Sales | 2 comments