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The blog post linked below points out the percentages of total realtor listings on Zillow.  The Z Group didn’t take too kindly to such exposure, and they issued a cease-and-desist order, so I’m not sure how long this link will be working:

Zillow and the San Diego MLS do not have an agreement to automatically upload the realtor listings, so those seen on Zillow are manually-uploaded, or by private agreement.  The blog post shows that Zillow has about 90% of the San Diego realtor listings, but the same chart has four cities that show over 100% of the realtor listings.

How can Zillow have more than 100% of the listings shown on

The authors suggest that it could be due to quality issues, but let’s face it, it more likely due to sandbagging – realtors putting listings on Zillow to find their own buyers to double-end the deal, but not sharing them on the MLS.

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Listing Agent Practices, Thinking of Selling?, Why You Should List With Jim | 1 comment

Now You Step Up


Now that he is has left the Fed and has written his book, Bernanke says more individuals should have gone to prison:

With publication of his memoir, The Courage to Act, on Tuesday by W.W. Norton & Co., Bernanke has some thoughts about what went right and what went wrong. For one thing, he says that more corporate executives should have gone to jail for their misdeeds. The Justice Department and other law-enforcement agencies focused on indicting or threatening to indict financial firms, he notes, “but it would have been my preference to have more investigation of individual action, since obviously everything what went wrong or was illegal was done by some individual, not by an abstract firm.”

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in Ethics, Jim's Take on the Market, No-Foreclosure as Banking Policy | 0 comments

Latest Real Estate Scam

A sophisticated scam by fraudsters hacking into realtor accounts:

There’s a consumer alert about an apparent scam targeting families in Rhode Island after a local couple lost $13,000.

Experts say this scheme is very sophisticated, and anyone who’s in the market for a new home needs to be on alert.

It’s a simple idea: pose as a real estate agent online and target home buyers. But in reality, it is anything but simple.

“The goal is to hack into the real estate agent’s email account,” said Connor Dowd, a broker with Keller Williams Realty of Newport. “Once they’re in, they try to learn about any real estate transactions that are currently going.”

News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Posted by on Oct 5, 2015 in Fraud, Jim's Take on the Market, Scams | 0 comments

HELOCs Are Back


Equity is back, so it’s no surprise that homeowners want to tap into it. And little by little, the lenders are happy to oblige:

WASHINGTON — Americans are tapping into their home equity at a pace not seen since the housing bubble aftermath nearly a decade ago, but here’s a key question: Is all this borrowing getting a little too frothy?

Are we headed back to the bad old days when some owners hocked their houses to the hilt to finance autos, vacations and other consumer expenditures?

New data provided by national credit bureau Equifax reveal that between January and June, lenders extended more than 657,000 new home equity lines of credit, popularly known as HELOCs, with a total credit limit of nearly $70 billion.

The number of new lines was up nearly 15 percent over comparable year-earlier levels and was the highest since 2008. The total dollar limit on the lines was 24 percent above the year before and the highest in seven years.

Not all these HELOCs are going to owners with great credit ratings: Through the first half of the year, 9,600 credit lines, with total dollar limits of $338 million, went to borrowers with subprime credit scores, defined as an Equifax Risk Score below 620. That’s a 30-percent increase over the previous year.

New home equity installment loans also are surging. In the first six months of the year, more than 354,000 home equity loans were originated, 23 percent above the same period in 2014.

The total dollar amount of these loans exceeded $12 billion, which is close to a 20 percent increase year-over-year. More than 38,000 new home equity loans went to borrowers with subprime credit scores, 30 percent higher than the year earlier.

Meanwhile, cash-out refinancings are making a comeback, according to new information from giant investor Freddie Mac. During the second quarter of this year, 34 percent of all refinancings resulted in owners adding to their mortgage principal balances and pocketing the extra cash, $11.4 billion worth.

That’s the highest quarterly rate for cash-outs since 2009 and is 35 percent higher than a year earlier.

So what’s going on here? Is there cause for alarm?

Read full article here:

Posted by on Oct 4, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Mortgage News | 1 comment

San Diego #1


I love Dr. Housing Bubble, one of the best real estate doomer blogs ever, and still going strong.  He did plug San Diego as the best housing market in the West, according to the latest month-over-month Case-Shiller data, but the comments erode quickly:

Posted by on Oct 3, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Sales and Price Check, Same-House Sales | 0 comments