Goo Goo Dolls

From wiki – an excerpt:

Rzeznik was approached to write a song for the City of Angels soundtrack, and the end product was “Iris“. This song propelled the band to stardom, as it stayed on top of Billboard Hot 100 Airplay charts for a record-breaking 18 weeks and spent 4 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Songs chart. Later that year, it was nominated for three Grammys.

According to several interviews with Rzeznik, he was experiencing serious bouts of writer’s block when he was approached, and was on the verge of quitting the band days before he wrote the song.

Yun – The Anti-Cheerleader Now

Yunnie and the National Association of Realtors still haven’t released any math or formulas on how they came up with their conclusions, and it appears he is just shooting from the hip.  There is no factual evidence that points to the tax reform causing lower prices and sales – it is theoretical only.

He is the lead voice for the realtor body – and we deserve better.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says “Another month of modest increases in contract activity is evidence that the housing market has a small trace of momentum at the start of 2018. Jobs are plentiful, wages are finally climbing and the prospect of higher mortgage rates are perhaps encouraging more aspiring buyers to begin their search now.”

Added Yun, “Sadly, these positive indicators may not lead to a stronger sales pace. Buyers throughout the country continue to be hamstrung by record low supply levels that are pushing up prices – especially at the lower end of the market.”

NAR says home prices increased over 2017 by 5.8 percent, the sixth year in which the increase exceeded 5.0 percent, blaming an uninterrupted supply and demand imbalances throughout the country for the rapid growth. While tight inventories are still expected to put upward pressure on prices in most areas this year, Yun says price growth will probably shrink, and some states could even experience a decline, because of the negative effect the changes to the mortgage interest deduction and state and local deductions under the new tax law.

“In the short term, the larger paychecks most households will see from the tax cuts may give prospective buyers the ability to save for a larger down payment this year, and the healthy labor economy and job market will continue to boost demand,” said Yun. “However, there’s no doubt the nation’s most expensive markets with high property taxes are going to be adversely impacted by the tax law.”

Added Yun, “Just how severe is still uncertain, but with homeownership now less incentivized in the tax code, sellers in the upper end of the market may have to adjust their price expectations if they want to trade down or move to less expensive areas. This could in turn lead to both a decrease in sales and home values.”

Yun does anticipate a slight increase (0.5 percent) in existing sales this year (5.54 million), on top of the 1.1 percent increase last year.  Single-family housing starts are forecast to jump 13.3 percent to 961,000, which will push new home sales up 15.3 percent to 701,000 (608,000 in 2016).

Pending sales were mixed on a regional basis, with the worst performance in the Northeast where the PHSI fell 5.1 percent to 93.9 in December, and is now 2.7 percent below a year ago. Contract signings in the Midwest were also down, but by a more modest 0.3 percent, dipping to 105.0, but remaining 0.3 percent higher than December 2016.

The other two regions saw contract signings increase; by 2.6 percent in the South to 126.9, and 1.5 percent in the West to 101.7.  The Midwest finished the year 4.0 percent above the previous December.

Link to Article

Kayla’s Trendy Tuesday

How NOT to Decorate Your Master Bedroom

There are some buyers that have a hard time imagining what the house would look like with their furniture and personal touches in it – so if it looks slightly off when showing, those buyers could be running for the door. Here’s what you should NOT have your master bedroom looking like when selling.

This article came from Realtor.com but I completely agree with all these points.

Link to Article

Article below, with Kayla’s thoughts in italics:

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Palm Springs Auction

One of Palm Springs’ most unique properties owned by one of the city’s most recognized celebrity residents is heading for the auction block.

The home of Suzanne Somers and her husband Alan Hamel will be auctioned off on Wednesday by Concierge Auctions, which sells some of the more luxurious and elite properties across the globe.

The home, originally listed at $27.5 million about 8 years ago, is now on the market for $14.5 million, but it is being auctioned “without reserve” which means there is no minimum price and sells to the highest bidder.

 “Alan and I have lived in this magical estate for over 40 years,” said Somers in a prepared statement Monday via her publicist.

The actress, author and entertainer, who gained fame as Chrissy Snow in the 1970s sitcom “Three’s Company,” published her latest memoir “Two’s Company: A Fifty-Year Romance With Lessons Learned In Love, Life & Business,”  in November.

Link to article

Inheritances Driving Luxury Market

It’s easy to spoil them….and nearly impossible to un-spoil them!

Hat tip to daytrip for sending this in:

A new generation of affluent homebuyers powered by a surge in inherited wealth is driving the luxury-home market, demanding larger spaces and fancier finishes, according to a report heralding “the rise of the new aristocracy.”

Prospective homebuyers under 50 account for most of those shopping for homes priced at $1 million or more, according to the report. Nearly a quarter of high-net-worth consumers between 25 and 49 said they would look for at least 20,000 square feet when they made their next home purchase; it was just 6 percent for respondents 50 or older. The report is based on a survey of more than 500 consumers with at least $1 million in investable assets, conducted last month on behalf of Luxury Portfolio International, a network of real estate brokerages.

Other home features deemed “essential” by a large share of these new aristocrats include hot tubs, at 45 percent; commercial-grade kitchen appliances, at 52 percent; and multiple-view security cameras, at 54 percent. Proximity to good restaurants was the most important community amenity in the survey results — followed by proximity to family.

Three of five respondents under 50 said they expect to inherit at least $1 million, with an average inheritance of $3.8 million. Thanks to a tax provision passed under George W. Bush, a lot of that wealth is available sooner to today’s heirs. More than 171,000 families gave gifts of at least $1 million between 2011 and 2014, according to the report, a giant leap from about 7,600 families who made $1 million gifts between 2007 and 2010. Another boost will come from the new tax law, which cuts taxes on the rich, and a booming stock market that is translating into demand for luxury homes.

Link to article

San Diego Case-Shiller Index, November

Last month, the initial reading of the San Diego Case-Shiller Index was flat, and now they adjusted it to a minor difference (-0.01%) from the previous month.  Today’s reading (for November) dropped even more (though the seasonally-adjusted rose +0.03%):

San Diego Non-Seasonally-Adjusted CSI changes:

January ’17
231.21
+0.8%
+5.7%
February
233.31
+0.9%
+6.5%
March
235.61
+1.0%
+6.4%
April
237.48
+0.8%
+6.6%
May
239.84
+1.0%
+6.5%
June
241.96
+0.9%
+7.0%
Jul
243.48
+0.6%
+7.1%
Aug
245.55
+0.9%
+7.8%
Sept
246.61
+0.5%
+8.2%
Oct
246.60
+0.0%
+8.1%
Nov
245.82
-0.3%
+7.4%

The highest reading of the San Diego NSA CSI was 250.34 in November, 2005. It doesn’t look like we will match that in 2017.

In spite of the blip, David Blitzer includes San Diego in his happy talk, and also mentions that demand is not the primary factor in rising home prices, which makes you think he’s never been out looking at open houses on the weekend – at least not around San Diego:

“Home prices continue to rise three times faster than the rate of inflation,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index year-over-year increases have been 5% or more for 16 months; the 20-City index has climbed at this pace for 28 months.

Given slow population and income growth since the financial crisis, demand is not the primary factor in rising home prices. Construction costs, as measured by National Income and Product Accounts, recovered after the financial crisis, increasing between 2% and 4% annually, but do not explain all of the home price gains.

From 2010 to the latest month of data, the construction of single family homes slowed, with single family home starts averaging 632,000 annually. This is less than the annual rate during the 2007-2009 financial crisis of 698,000, which is far less than the long-term average of slightly more than one million annually from 1959 to 2000 and 1.5 million during the 2001-2006 boom years. Without more supply, home prices may continue to substantially outpace inflation.”

“Looking across the 20 cities covered here, those that enjoyed the fastest price increases before the 2007-2009 financial crisis are again among those cities experiencing the largest gains. San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami and Las Vegas, price leaders in the boom before the crisis, are again seeing strong price gains. They have been joined by three cities where prices were above average during the financial crisis and continue to rise rapidly – Dallas, Portland OR, and Seattle.”

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