Inventory Watch

The total-pendings count had a great week (above) and ended up +13 over the previous week (13 more new pendings than closings). The weekly trend looks good too – is it sustainable?

April Weekly New Pendings

April 6: 21

April 13: 17

April 20: 29

April 27: 40

If we can procure 30-40 new pendings per week in May and get into June, we should survive!



Here is a relatively-neutral look at the unaffordability problem in America’s bigger cities, and implementing the idea of upzoning to fix it. Backyard accessory homes could really help out here:

California Showings Update

Showings have steadily improved – here are the percentages off the 2020 weekly average:

April 13: -60.4%

April 19: -41.1%

April 25: -21.7%

It looks like they re-adjust their graph based on the new weekly average.

The top graph shows that on March 28th (the last day of agents being considered non-essential), showings were off about 70% from the weekly 2020 average. Today’s graph only shows the bottom to be at -49% (on April 6th & 12th). So the improvement has actually been better than today’s graph portrays.

Did anyone expect that?

Buyers want to get a jump on the market – plus realtors have to eat.

Effect From Last Outbreak

The succulents are getting attention during the break!

Excerpted from the latimes.com:

Data released Thursday from real estate company Zillow show the number of deals entering escrow has fallen off a cliff since mid-March. But so too has the number of owners who are listing their house or condo for sale.

Because the market isn’t being flooded yet with listings, lower demand is being met with lower supply, and prices are holding relatively steady.

Jeff Tucker, an economist at Zillow, summed it up as such: “Like a canoe being carried by two people who drop both ends simultaneously, the market slowdown may not tip clearly in favor of buyers or sellers.”

Research from Zillow indicates a similar situation played out in Hong Kong in 2003 during the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. Home prices didn’t fall much, while the number of transactions plunged as people kept their distance from one another to save lives. The market, along with the economy, then bounced back once the epidemic was over.

SARS lasted several months in Hong Kong and killed 774 people worldwide. In the United States alone, almost 50,000 have lost their lives to COVID-19 so far. And social distancing edicts, or surges in the death count from relaxing measures, could roil the economy for many months to come.

Link to Article

Today’s Mortgage-Rate Environment

The thoughts of Fannie/Freddie were on my list of indicators, and it’s good to see them touting lower rates in the future. But 3% rates are either here now (if you pay points) or should be here shortly at no points.

The opinion from MDN:

Let’s get caveats out of the way upfront.  No conversation about mortgage rates would be complete without a reminder that some lenders are very far removed from the averages.  Moreover, even a lender is offering rates that are in line with today’s average, that may have been a completely different story at various points in the past.  With that out of the way, yes, the average lender is now offering the lowest rates in several weeks for top tier, conventional 30yr fixed scenarios.

Speaking of top tier, how about some more caveats? As soon as we start adding risk factors to the mix, rates (or upfront loan costs) rise abruptly.  In many cases, lenders aren’t even offering certain combinations of factors anymore.  For instance, if you were hoping to get a cash-out loan, that’s quickly become much more expensive and in some cases impossible (at certain lenders).  Similar story with lower FICO scores and investment properties.

The increased costs and decreased credit availability will continue to be an issue for the mortgage market.  It will likely get worse before it gets better and we’ll need to see the breadth of the forbearance issue before having any hints of a shift in those trends.

But for the average “top tier” borrower, things aren’t too bad.  You’d have to go back to at least April 9th to see lower rates.  Most lenders are now in the low 3% range.  FHA/VA rates are still frustratingly high for many lenders.  ARMs aren’t even a consideration.  15yr fixed rates (which had been much higher than normal relative to 30yr rates) are finally starting to come back down for many lenders, but remain inexplicably elevated for others.

All of the above is a byproduct of the magical process of the world coming to terms with coronavirus.  As far as the mortgage market is concerned, massive joblessness creates massive amounts of missed payments.  Mortgage investors have quickly adjusted what they’re willing to buy and how much they’re willing to pay until they see the extent to which the missed payments cripple the industry.  While tightening credit is frustrating for many consumers, it’s a natural law of the lending environment when joblessness ramps up, and joblessness has never ramped up so quickly.  Lenders are doing what they need to do to avoid a collapse of the industry.  People with jobs, but who also don’t have perfect credit files are unfortunately paying the price.

House That Won the Draft

He paid $4,455,000, which is enough to get you oceanfront around here.


Kliff Kingsbury’s “war room” probably puts most others to shame.

During the 2020 NFL Draft, fans got live looks at the draft rooms for various coaches and team personnel throughout the league. The ESPN broadcast showed that of Bengals coach Zac Taylor, whose team had the first overall pick.

But the Cardinals’ team Twitter account showed off Kingsbury’s home war room, which appeared to be in his living room.

Kingsbury, 40, sat in his Paradise Valley home with a nice view of Camelback Mountain in the background. He was laid back, his feet on the coffee table as he was fixated on the television, relaxed as Arizona held the No. 8 selection.


Last night Capt. Ryan took the Zodiac out to look for dolphins, and together with friend Patrick Coyne filmed this amazing interaction with a pod of dolphins as they lit up the night.

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