Are Things Getting Better?:
There seems to be a number of signals going off in different directions about the state of the economy in general, and the state of the housing market in particular. Bottom line: no-one seems to be certain which is the actual direction that the markets are actually pointed to.
Employment figures this week got a couple of good reports in terms of numbers of new jobs created and continuing jobs figures. But just today, at the start of the business day, new unemployment applications increased unexpectedly to put the national jobless rate at 9.8%. (Marin's is substantially lower, and that is usually the case.)
Interest rates have continuously rambled along at or near all time low levels. This week, however, rates jumped to over 4.4% for 30 year fixed rate loans. Is this the start of increases or just a week's aberration? Either way, current rates are still incredibly low and a very good reason to get into the market for a home.
On another front, is the housing market picking up or remaining in the doldrums? You can find a number of analysts saying that it's still got a long way to go to recover. Case Shiller, in fact, just released its latest monthly report showing a drop in sales nationally, with the area having the latest reduction being the SF Bay area with over a 10% reduction. Trend or seasonal adjustment? We'll have to wait and see. Yet, figures just released yesterday showed the highest number of homes for sale under contract in over two years--definitely a good sign. One thing for sure--it is very much a case of house by house and area by area.
In my humble opinion, the market is definitely improving, slowly, but it will take at least until the 3d or 4th quarter of 2011 to show a marked increase.
Meanwhile, if you have questions about the local market or your home in particular, please give us a call: (415/ 380-2133 for Peter and (415) 531-4091 for Jane. We'd be happy to help.