Archives for March 2013

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Kurt Galitski’s Life In Costa Mesa

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Assemblyman- Allan Mansoor Open House Tonight

The Open House at my Costa Mesa District Office is  tonight.In addition to collecting food for the Second Harvest Food, we’re collecting baby items for the OC Children and Families Commission’s Essentials for Young Lives program. Suggested donations include baby wipes, diapers, baby food, baby shampoo and any other items that are essential to young lives.

What Assemblyman Allan Mansoor’s Open House & Food Drive
When Wednesday, March 27, 2013
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where Assemblyman Allan Mansoor’s District Office
1503 South Coast Drive, Suite 205
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Map

If you have any questions, please call (714) 668-2100 or send email to David.Taylor@asm.ca.gov.

I hope to see you tonight.

Paid for by Allan Mansoor for Assembly 2014 | FPPC ID: 1353987

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Today’s Links

Kurt Galitski’s Life In Costa Mesa

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Orange County Homes Sales and Inventory Report

Source: OC Register

Kurt Real Estate

The number of homes for sale in Orange County last week fell to their second-lowest level in numbers dating back nearly nine years. As of March 14th, 3,183 Orange County homes were listed for sale in the Realtor-run Multiple Listing Service, or MLS. The only time in the period that listings were lower was on Jan. 3, when there were 22 fewer homes for sale. A year earlier, Orange County had 7,000 homes for sale. The average in figures dating back to June 2004 is 10,000 listings.

Although the inventory “sits at an unprecedentedly low level,” the local housing market shed 54 homes in the preceding two weeks and 89 in the previous month. The inventory is off to such an anemic start because the number of short sales and foreclosures coming on the market thus far this year has plummeted compared to 2012.

Orange County had just 226 distressed property listings – foreclosures and homes selling “short” of the amount needed to pay off the mortgage. That’s the lowest number in the past nine years, accounting for 7.1 percent of all listings. A year ago, the county had nearly 2,200 distressed listings, or 30.4 percent of the market. The market shed about a third of its distressed listings in the past month. The current market time needed to sell all the inventory at the current sales pace – also fell to a nine-year low: 1.11 months, or 33 days. The average is four months and 13 days.

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Costa Mesa Real Estate Week In Review

In This Issue

 Last Week in Review: Retail sales and inflation news hit the wires.
Forecast for the Week: Look for important housing and manufacturing reports in the middle of the week. Plus, the Fed meets!
View: Time is money, so make your calendar work for you. Check out the simple tips below.
Last Week in Review
“And now… the rest of the story.” Paul Harvey. With his famous line, Paul Harvey pointed out for years that there’s more to every story–and often those hidden details influence what happened. Read on to learn the big stories from last week, and the important details to note.
There was good news last week as retail sales increased 1.1% in February, up from 0.2% in January. This marked the biggest gain in the retail sales number in five months. In addition, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) reported that its small-business confidence index inched higher in February.
However, it is important to note that the NFIB’s confidence index is still historically low and is below the lowest trough of the 1991-92 and 2001-02 recessions. The NFIB cited slow sales as the main problem.
Inflation was another key story to note from last week. The Producer Price Index met expectations, showing that inflation at the wholesale level remains tame. However, the Consumer Price Index rose by 0.7% in February, coming in above the 0.5% expected. This was also a spike higher from the recent negative and flat numbers. However, inflation continues to remain within the Fed’s target range.
What does all of this mean for home loan rates? Good economic reports like the Retail Sales Report means investors are continuing to move money out of Bonds and into riskier assets like Stocks, to try to take advantage of gains. However, the Fed continues purchasing $85 billion in Bonds every month as part of their Bond purchase program known as Quantitative Easing. And the uncertainty in Europe continues, meaning some investors will likely continue their safe haven trade into our Bond Market. Overall, this should help keep Mortgage Bonds–and therefore home loan rates, which are tied to Mortgage Bonds–near record best levels.
The bottom line is home loan rates remain near historic lows, meaning now is a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.
Forecast for the Week
The middle of the week is chock full of key reports, and all eyes will be on the Fed meeting.
  • Important housing news will be released this week, beginning on Tuesday with Housing Starts and Building Permits. Existing Home Sales will also be reported on Thursday.
  • Weekly Initial Jobless Claims will be released on Thursday. Last week’s claims came in at 332,000, lower than estimates, but will this continue?
  • Also on Thursday, the Philadelphia Fed Index will be released. Last week, the Empire State Manufacturing Index for March came in better than expected, so the markets will be watching to see if the March reading of the Philadelphia Fed Index will follow suit.

In addition, the Federal Reserve will meet for its two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, with the monetary policy statement released on Wednesday. The statement will be dissected for any hints on the current purchase programs of Mortgage Backed and Treasury Securities. If there is any further talk of halting the programs this year, it could lead to lower Bond prices and a push higher in home loan rates.
Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond that home loan rates are based on.
When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving — and when they are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.
To go one step further — a red “candle” means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green “candle” means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes were on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.
As you can see in the chart below, Bonds were able to remain above a key support level, while home loan rates remain near record lows. I’ll be watching closely to see what happens this week.

Chart: Fannie Mae 3.0% Mortgage Bond (Friday Mar 15, 2013)
Japanese Candlestick Chart
The Mortgage Market Guide View…
Make the Most of Your Calendar
It’s been said that time is money, and time is indeed a precious commodity. Here are some great tips for using the recurring event function in your calendar so that you can make time work for you.
Daily Social Media Activity. The best time to post on Facebook and Twitter is right around lunchtime on weekdays. That doesn’t mean you have to write the posts at the same time every day. Create a calendar reminder in the morning when your head is clear and write your posts, then just use the scheduling feature for proper timing (on Facebook it’s the little clock icon next to the “Post” button, on Twitter you can use TweetDeck, or to handle both at once try HootSuite.)
Daily/Weekly Staff Meetings. If you aren’t meeting with your staff on a regular basis you’re missing vital gaps in your service or losing out on critical opportunities to grow your business. Brief, scheduled communications are the answer!
Weekly/Monthly Networking. If you haven’t been to a networking event in a while then schedule a few. In fact, make these functions a recurring event in your calendar. That way, people get used to seeing your face on a regular basis–just showing up is often the only icebreaker you need.
Thank You Notes. Schedule a recurring time every week in your calendar to write thank you notes to clients or referral partners you’ve worked with recently. Even taking fifteen minutes to write two or three letters a week can make a big difference over time.
Annual Events. Hosting an appreciation party or annual reviews for your clients, referral partners or colleagues is a great way to deepen your connection with them.
Start using these simple tips today and be sure to pass them along to your referral partners and colleagues.

Economic Calendar for the Week of March 18 – March 22

The material contained in this newsletter is provided by a third party to real estate, financial services and other professionals only for their use and the use of their clients. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness and as a result, there is no guarantee it is without errors.
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