Friday, September 24, 2010

Some good news that may begin countering last week's unexpected downer: In figures released yesterday (9-23-10) the National Assn of Realtors (NAR) announced that the values of homes in August rose nationally over 7% from the prior month. The previous month had shown a major downturn nationally, one that was quite unexpected and very troubling to those who had begun to feel that the worst was over. Assuming that July was really an aberration, then August's figures should be of some comfort to all of you, particularly if you're contemplating selling in the coming months.
Locally, September has historically been the kickoff of a very UP period for homes sales here in Marin. The market, second only to the spring, would steam along usually until mid-November, and then go into somewhat of a hibernation through the holidays. So, if you're really thinking about putting your home on the market, now could be just the right time! Don't wait--give us a call! We'd be happy to help you make the correct decision for your particular situation.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mixed Signals:
This week things seem to be mixed in the markets. In info just released Thursday, 9-16, home sales and median price in Marin dropped, while the rest of the SF Bay area rose in price &, in some cases, in numbers sold for the month of August (compared to a year ago). What does this mean for Marin? Well, buyers are taking a time out, so to speak, while considering their decisions in the market. Interest rates continue at all time lows, getting more so each week. Nationally, an increasing number of people in the latest survey said they think we've hit bottom and are now about to start a slow climb in the value of homes--78% of those polled, in fact. One thing for sure--with rates this low, you can't help but get a good deal. For sellers the chances are still favorable as these facts may move more folks to make the decision to buy this year.

Friday, September 10, 2010

More Upward Indications:
Well, while they admittedly are not skyrockets, we are still seeing evidence of some strengthening in the housing market. Each week some analyst or firm that follows the housing market announces an increase in pricing or the numbers of homes sold, no matter how slight that increase may be.
This week it's the turn of Zillow. While Zillow has some limitations in the accuracy of its pricing sue to the fact that it bases its figures on nearby comps, and this accuracy can be very heavily impacted by whether or not the nearby comps are the same style, design and/or age of the subject home (read, tract or not), the fact remains that even in their methodology prices are trending up. As I said at the top of the article, we're not seeing skyrocket increases like those of a few years ago, but still, up is UP!
More next week.

Need help with your home? Thinking now's a good time to buy? Give us a call. We're ready to help no matter what the subject is.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Sales and Interest Rates: More Good News!:
Well, in the past few days more good information has come out. While it is true, that the economy still needs to show a stronger recovery than it has to date, the following is definitely good news for homeowners and those who would like to be.
First, the monthly National Association of Realtors pending sales index showed a sharp rise in the month of July. Up 5.2%, this is the reversal of a downward trend that had persisted since the end of the housing tax credit program expired earlier this year. Will it continue, and how strong will this upward surge be? Only time will tell, but the fact that it has happened is a good sign as, unlike the early spring, there is nothing artificial such as the credit pushing it along. What is probably helping it this time is the record low interest rates.

Speaking of which, as I have noted in the recent past, just when you think the rates cannot possibly go any lower, they DO! For week ending September 2, rates for 30 year fixed loans are averaging 4.32%, down four basis points from a week earlier. If that's not low enough for you, 15 year fixed loans dropped from last week's 3.86% to another new low of 3.83%!

According to Freddie Mac, adjustables also headed in the same direction. Five year ARM's are now averaging 3.54% and one year ARM's are at an unbelievable 3.50%! Like I said here last week, How Low Can You Go?!
What do you do with these facts? If you're a buyer, call your Realtor and find a house--FAST! If you're a seller, what could be better than having a slew of buyers wanting to buy and having access to cheap financing like this? Call your Realtor and get that house on the market--NOW! By the way, in order to get maximum amounts in your buyers' offers, make sure it's all prepped and ready to go. Your Realtor can help you in this way, from minor decluttering to helping you get the home staged.
Good Luck!