market (35)


While it may seem as if it is hard to determine what is happening in the downtown San Jose condo real estate market, there are some majors metrics that are quantifiable that can help you see where the market is going. These markers include:


  1.      Sales to list price ratio
  2.      Days on Market
  3.      Months of inventory
  4.      Number of active listings vs number of pending listings.


We can learn something from each of these metrics.


  1.      Sales to list price ratio: When the San Jose condo market is appreciating, the sales price will be higher than the list price. In Jan of 2017 the sales price of Downtown San Jose condos is 101% of the list price. This is obviously very healthy, but in Feb 2015 the sales price on average was 105% of the list price which was a much hotter market.
  2. San Jose Condo market
  3.      Days on market is a very good way to look at how the market is doing. The stronger the market the shorter the days on market. In Feb 2016 the average days on market was 15 and it increased to 28 in Jan 2017. Things are obviously slowing, but the San Jose condo market has not tanked.
  4. San Jose condo market
  5.      Months of inventory: Months of inventory tells you how long it would take to sell all the homes currently on the market at the current pace of sales. When months of inventory goes up it means the market is slowing, most of time.  The months of inventory in downtown San Jose has been less than 2 all through 2016 and into Jan 2017. It has gone up to 7 months in Feb., but there have only been 2 days so we can not count that yet.
  6. San Jose condo market
  7.      Number of active listings vs number of pending listings: this one is my favorite. You look at the number of active sales and compare to pending sales. When inventory is low and sales are brisk there will be more pending sales than active sales. When there are 4 or more times as many pending sales as listings it is a really hot market. When there are more active listings than pending sales it is a buyer’s market, or trending that way. There are currently 21 active listings and 32 pending  sales of downtown San Jose condos.


So how is the market of downtown San Jose condos?


Looking at all the metrics I would say it is good, but slower than in the first part of 2017.


If you have any questions about buying or selling a condo in downtown San Jose please feel free to call me.

Marcy Moyer

Keller Williams Realty

Specializing in Probate and Trust Sales


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The Stock Market Surges to 20K And The Masses Applaud Their Own Doom

Make no mistake folks, the stock market surge is based on credit and at some point, that credit is going to default. The scary part is, we all know this, we all know our country is borrowing to pay debt, our citizens aren’t saving, it’s not a secret and yet, we are applauding this credit driven stock market boom, to our own demise.

I heard it once said…or read it somewhere which is more likely…, “we can’t avoid the final collapse of this boom from credit expansion. The only choice we have is should the bust happen sooner because we voluntarily stop borrowing or later as the currency system collapses on its own”

Essentially, the problem is, our debt is growing faster than our GDP. Folks, it’s just not possible to grow the debt faster than what we make. Guys, it’s simple math…it’s going to stop.

As I read about this some more, it was put this way to me…… “So let’s run the math experiment as ask what will happen if the Fed is successful and total credit grows for the next 30 years at exactly the same rate it did over the prior 30. That’s all. Nothing fancy, simply the same rate of growth that everybody got accustomed to while they were figuring out ‘how the world works.’ What happens to the current $57 trillion in TCMD as it advances by 8% per year for 30 years? It mushrooms into a silly number: $573 trillion. That is, an 8% growth paradigm gives us a tenfold increase in total credit in just thirty years:” Chris Martenson with

To drive this home….the GDP of the ENTIRE GLOBE was only 85 Trillion in 2012. It’s going to crash….it has to and when it does, the dollars in our pockets will be worthless…literally not even worth the paper they are printed on. So….when you see all these people cheering and raising the roof over the stock market, don’t forget, it’s got to bust at some point and maybe sooner than later considering we are now over the 90% debt to GDP threshold.

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After the election I started watching Bloomberg TV instead of the news/opinion channels I had been watching.  I guess I just got tired of all the yelling, in addition to the fact that I felt the need to try and get some clarity on what might happen to the economy, and more specifically the Silicon Valley housing market.


Besides the much needed civility I found on Bloomberg, I quickly came away with the understanding that no matter who the different reporters and commentators said they thought would be winners and losers in a new political environment, there was one thing everyone agreed on. Interest rates are going up. PERIOD, end of story. Janet Yellen was going to raise interest rates anyway, due to the favorable economic environment. But added to what would have happened, regardless of the election outcome, everyone agrees that we appear to be headed for an inflationary period.


I am old enough to have purchased my first home when interest rates were 19% and the most valuable homes were those that had assumable mortgages as 13% or less. Hopefully we are not going back to those days.


But we are going from interest rates in low 3% to now over 4% and presumably still rising. So what does this mean to the Silicon Valley housing market?


Common wisdom is that as interest rates go up housing prices go down since the ability for a borrower to pay also goes down. We have seen this in the past, but the decrease in price is not always proportional to the increase in rate.


Take this example.


A Million dollar loan: 30 year fixed


At 4.150%:  $4861 a month


At 5%:  $5368


At 6%:  $5996


At 7%:  $6653


The difference for each jump of 1% in interest translates into about a 10% increase in monthly payment.


For a conforming loan of $400,000 30 year fixed


At 4%:  1910

At 5%:  2147


At 6%:  2398


At 7%:  2661


Again, the difference for each 1% in increased interest rates equates to about a 10% increase in monthly payment.


So, in order to make waiting a money saver, If interest rates go up 1% pt. housing prices must go down over 10%. At a 2% pt hike housing prices must go down over 20%, and at a 3 pt climb they must go down over 30%.


Do we expect this to happen in the Silicon Valley housing market in the near future?


No one can say for sure, but let’s look back at housing rate drops during the big crash of 2008-2010/2011 in some different neighborhoods.


These are average prices for all residential real estate. Some segments fell more than others, but on average I looked at what the mean sale was for single family homes, town homes and condos in four locations: Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, 94087 (Sunnyvale west of El Camino), and Willow Glen.


Palo Alto


High before crash:  $1.3 million


Low after crash       $1.2 million



East Palo Alto


High before crash:   $628,000


Low after crash:       $295,000





High before crash:    $779,000


Low after crash:        $717,000



Willow Glen


High Before crash:     $793,000


Low after crash:         $637,000




What so these numbers tell me about the Silicon Valley housing market, and by extension you?


If you are planning on buying in one of the areas where prices held up fairly well during the crash, then waiting for prices to drop as interest rates rise may not be to your advantage.


If you are planning on buying in a location that did not hold up well during the crash then an increase in interest rates may get you some savings in the long run or maybe bigger, better property.


My only concern would be that places like East Palo Alto that suffered so badly during the crash may not drop as much with higher interest rates since the location is so convenient to Facebook and Google. That may put enough pressure on these east of 101 neighborhoods to keep the prices supported more than they were in the crash.


I believe the same may be true in San Jose as companies like Google and Apple move south where there is more available space. In neighborhoods like Alum Rock or South San Jose where there is a lot of investor activity it may be better to wait until prices fall.


If you have any questions about buying or selling a home in the Silicon Valley please feel free to contact me.


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Nashville's housing market is due for a correction. Ask any local agent and they will tell you, we have never seen times like this before. My point is, our local market is completely and utterly operating outside of its balanced, healthy parameters. The only time in our history that we saw markets like this, was back in 2006 / 2007. The local housing market correction will be preceded by a national market correction which I do believe will happen towards the end of 2016....if not sooner. So, what's happening?

 All of the measures used to prevent the total collapse of our economy in 2007 during the bubble burst, has done nothing more than further weakened our economic foundation. Sure, you may think I am sounding a bit like the sky is falling but, I have to tell you, I really do believe the Nashville housing market is overly blotted by speculation, lack of inventory, cheap money and greed.

As a homeowner or a potential buyer you need to be aware of this pending correction but, prepare for it as well.

#1: The stock market wipe out: Margin Debt - This measures the amount of money being borrowed to invest. What this reveals is that banks and wall street firms are leveraging their money at record levels. The last time we were this high, was in 2007. Essentially the stock market is going up because people are gambling with debt….not cash. They are borrowing money on credit to invest in the stock market.

#2: Participation Rate: This simply measures the volume of the stock market. Right now we are selling at extremely high evaluations but, astonishing low volumes. So, in other words, even though the stock market is selling at all time highs, very few people are actually investing. The biggest factor for this is because of stock buybacks. Essentially companies are borrowing money to buy their stocks back to increase their share prices even though their profit margins are falling. To make their business look healthier than it really is, they borrow cheap money, to buy their stocks back on debt and increase their share prices. For many companies on the stock market, their high share price has NOTHING to do with them increasing sales or making profit but, how much stocks they can buy back. VERY DANGEROUS.

#3: Price to earnings ratio: The measure of the stock of a company vs. how long it takes to actually a return on the investment. The Shiller PE Ratio is historically 16, right now it’s 27. The last time we saw this was in 2007.

NOTE: if the stock market drops 70%.....that will put us back to our 2009 levels. That will collapse real estate world-wide. Let me explain.

#4: Home Equity Slaughter: On average, prices are up about $40,000 per home. Some areas, are up much greater….100k+. The problem is, homeownership rate is at its lowest level since 1965, nationwide.  So…how is real estate so strong? Over 10 million people lost homes in 2007. This was s huge buying opportunity for private equity funds. In other words, big investment companies swooped in and bought  billions of undervalued / distressed nonperforming assets to drive up prices. We saw Fannie sell HUGE portfolios, worth BILLIONS, to these funds, like Blackstone or “NBS’s” aka Non-Bank Servicers, like OCWEN. They were tasked by this administration to “Save people from foreclosure” or “Preserve homeownership” and that’s exactly what they did but, by doing so, we created a nightmare of a situation where a select few companies own so much real estate, if they flood the market, they can collapse the housing market in a city, over night. Now, you would think that would never happen but, let me just leave you with one, spine chilling thought.

Mortgage rates are at historical lows. In fact, the prime rate can’t get any lower….it’s virtually zero. It’s a fair and valid argument to say, fast, easy, cheap money is causing buyers to come out of the wood work and that’s why housing is booming. With that being said, what happens when those interest rates go up to 6-8%, which is historically what we consider a balanced healthy market? You see, many, many people are getting 30 year fixed rate mortgages and because the money is so cheap, they can buy a bigger, more expensive home because their money goes further. When interest rates go up, that same money becomes more expensive and buyers who could once afford a 200k home, now can only buys a 150K home… such, this will account for nearly a 20-40% loss in home values.

Let me put it this way, the fact is, interest rates rise, buyers evaporate. The fewer buyers in the market, home prices have only one direction to go. When those prices start falling, all those private equity firms will begin off loading properties at unbelievable rates to cut their losses.  Don’t think it can happen…..well, HUD is already doing it, RIGHT NOW! That’s right folks, HUD has announced it’s MM3.7 winners and will be releasing hundreds, of foreclosed properties into the markets that are “booming” so they themselves can recoup their losses while the getting is good. Once it gets out that HUD is about to start driving down prices in “over heated” markets… these equity firms start off loading as well. When this occurs, combined by the drop in the stock market this year…..2007 will look like a cake walk. We may be talking 2nd Great Depression.

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The Power of a Comparative Market Analysis When Selling Your Home

Most of the general public has access to various price lists when trying to sell an object. Online automobile databases offer average prices for used cars, auction sites can list recent sale of various electronics and even boats have a value listing guide. However, when selling a home it is better to get a comparative market analysis (CMA) from a local real estate agent or Realtor®. Here are some of the ways a CMA can help you.

photo credit: nikcname via photopin cc

Price Trends

The most obvious benefit is the ability to see current price trends. The CMA report will list out homes that have sold in the past 12 months in your immediate area. By organizing the transactions by date it is possible to see if home prices are on the rise or falling.

Value Placed on Square Footage

Since the homes will be listed with the square footage of each home sold, potential sellers can find out how much their home is worth based on the usable square feet in the property. In addition, if any of the sold properties had a basement or attic that was finished then sellers can also determine how the market values additional square footage. While it is common for basements to have a slightly lower price per square foot some areas may place it higher than others due to demand.

Value of Accessory Items

Most people usually feel that particular features of their home will bring more value to their home than the market will warrant. For example, expensive hardwood floors, custom paint finishes and high end bathroom fixtures may be quite expensive when purchased but their overall impact on the price of a home is not as high. Instead, things that improve usable square footage, more lighting or outdoor items like pools and decks will do more to bring up the price of a home.

Expected Time of Sale

A comparative market analysis will also show when a home was listed for sale and when an offer was made on the property. This gives prospective sellers a realistic expectation for how long it will take before receiving an offer and how long it takes for the home to actually sell once the offer is accepted.

Avoiding Unrealistic Prices

Along with homes that have sold your real estate agent can also provide a list of homes that either withdrew from the market or the listing simply expired. If the home did not sell within a time period that multiple other properties sold then there are a couple of explanations. Obviously, the most common issue is the price was too high for that particular market. Another common problem is the presence of a major repair issue with the home that the seller is unwilling to fix prior to sale. Having this information should help you do a better job of picking a price for your home.

Getting a detailed CMA report from your real estate agent will provide you with the best source of realistic information to help you decide if your can sell your home for your anticipated price and if it might sell in the amount of time you had hoped for.

Original Blog Post: What's a CMA? Comparative Market Analysis

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Just a heads up for everyone, Mark to Market has stopped paying for work that you have completed. I have BPO's that date back to July. That is over 150 days. I have tried to contact them, and the only person I have been able to contact has been rude, and they canceled my access to the web site. Made it sound like I was a bad person . Don't do work for M2M BECAUSE THEY DO NOT PAY!!!!

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Future is Certain, REO to Rent to Become Stable Market Segment

A recent article by Amilda Dymi published on 9/12/2013 @ 2:24pm ET titled “The Single-Family REO Asset Class is Here to Stay” brings up a very interesting set of questions for the REO industry.

Amilda’s article sources are Jade Rahmani of Keefe Bruyette & Woods believes foreclosure to rent properties are growing and perhaps are already considered a growing segment of the REO market which will be with us for the long haul.

Jade reports that the next 12-24 months will see growth in this market so, as a REO agent, I stop and ask myself, what does that mean to my REO listing inventory? Well, I can safely assume we will see more of the same. More specifically, we will see more and more REO agent portfolios shrink and in many cases, become non-existent. This will further weed out the REO agent specialization and further teaches agents that keeping their ear to the pulse of the industry and being able to change focus will remain paramount to the success of high producing agents.

Before 2007, agents were all a buzz with certifications, designations, training courses, etc.. to sale new homes, stage homes, learn about new home green features, etc… After 2007, agents started seeing classes, certifications, designations, training courses for REO and foreclosures. In 2009, we saw a huge emphasis on foreclosure prevention, avoid foreclosure, modify, refinance, etc… 2012’ish, we saw the huge push for short sales and all kinds of seminars, certifications, designations, training courses, seminars, etc… were on every corner. Now, with this whole REO-Rent segment, guess what we are seeing, all kinds of courses, certifications, designations, seminars on how to be a REO Property Manager.

The big push of this “new” type of segment is due to positive cash flow. The truth of the matter is, unemployment is forecasted be high for the foreseeable future and with high unemployment, comes high distressed homeowners. These homeowners will be forced into the rental market, one way or another and if they can stay in the home and just rent it….at least the asset is performing and in most cases, the bank can still get a positive cash flow, even if it’s considerably less if the occupant was paying their mortgage. In other words, it’s not going anywhere, anytime soon and per the article, it’s going to grow like gang busters the next 12-24 months.

So, what do we REO Agents do? We endure, as we always have. The only thing now is, we need to ensure we are diversifying our own business to ensure we continue to endure. We all know NAR has done little to nothing to address our REO woes and therefore, it’s on us to ensure our business survives and if God willing, thrives and the name of that game is diversification.

Yeah, that means we are likely going to be jumping on and off the “education” wagon for all kinds of new certifications, designations, etc… but, we also should be looking closely at our revenue streams and ensuring that REO…in all it’s forms….isn’t the sole majority of our income. Truth be told, in this political climate, it’s just too risky.

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How to Pick Profitable Rental Properties

(Investment Properties: Part 4 of 5)

From looking at various homes to actually making a profit, investing in rental properties takes many steps. A person that is new to the process may feel a bit overwhelmed. In order to reduce risk and increase your chances of making positive cash flow with real estate, here are some tips on picking a home.

Good School Zone

A good school zone will always attract families. Many families will be able to purchase homes in the area but some will have to rent a while in order to get their finances in order. These are the types of people who will stay in a home for 2 or 3 years and be potential good tenants. Focus on schools that have high standardized test scores and achieve well in the areas of math and science.

Avoid High Crime Areas

This may seem obvious, but it needs to be pointed out. Homes in areas that are subject to more than average rates of crime will be tough to rent out. Furthermore, the crime rate will drop the rental rate. This can cause a breakeven or even net loss on the monthly cash flow.

Demographic of Neighborhood

Each neighborhood will have its own miniature set of demographics. A community next to a college or university will likely be made up of homes rented almost exclusively to students. An older neighborhood with higher priced homes will likely have couples that are middle aged and higher. Study the neighborhood carefully to make sure there is an available market of tenants that fit the demographic.

Employment Opportunities

Another factor that can heavily influence the profitability of a rental property is the number of available jobs in the nearby area. A new factory, expanding hospital or growing university are places that will add on more people and need them for full time work. Many times people will obtain a job first and then start looking for nearby homes to rent. Sometimes these people can be short term renters but it is possible to find someone that locks in a home for 2 or 3 years.

Check for Vacancies and Homes for Sale

For a new subdivision that is under construction it is common to see multiple signs indicating new homes for sale. However, for an established neighborhood, a high number of for sale signs is a kiss of death. This typically indicates that the area is on the decline. An even worse condition is the presence of several vacant homes. These are homes that have been abandoned for various reasons. Steer clear of these areas in your own best interest.

Be on the Lookout for Problems from Mother Nature

Some areas are more prone to natural problems than others. Issues like flooding, mud slides and tornadoes seem to be attracted to certain areas. The insurance for properties in these areas can be quite high and chip away at the monthly cash flow for the property.

Finding a good property based on these guidelines does not automatically mean that your home will be a cash cow. However, it should increase your chance for success in a very lucrative type of investment.

Investment/Rental Properties (5 Part Series)

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Is The Real Estate Market Really Rebounding?

I have been asked by both my own clients, members of REOPro and the Mather Network, as well as my vendor partners about my thoughts on the real estate market rebound.

My first reply is always to remind people that real estate is directed correlated to unemployment and therefore, as long as unemployment is high, we will NOT have a rebound in real estate.

Normally, I get a lecture about how local real estate prices are on the rise and inventories are down so, isn't that proof enough that we are in a rebounding real estate market?

Sure, real estate markets, like any market, is a servant to the law of supply and demand and yes, when supply is down and demand stays the same, prices go up. Yes, that is happening so, if that is all you measure a rebound against, sure we are rebounding. The problem is, it's foolish to not ask why. Why is supply low?

With a continually high unemployment rate, shouldn't we be seeing the same amount of foreclosures? Sure we should but, why aren't we? I checked with my own local Sheriff's department to see how many foreclosures they did in 2013 so far. I was told, "We have done more foreclosures in 2013 than we have any time before." So, where is all the inventory....why do we have a inventory shortage. In fact, how is that possible when unemployment is at 2008 levels, the height of the housing crisis and when the Sheriff's department is reporting record evictions?

These are all important questions and really need to be answered because, from what I can tell, it appears housing is going through another bubble of sorts. Obviously something is artificially holding inventory off the market to manipulate the law of supply and demand but, for what purpose, what end game?

So, I had to look and see who are the largest holders of default property, HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FDIC, VA, and Bank of America. Well, what do we know about these companies / quasi government entities......all controlled by the Federal government. I had an insider over at Freddie tell me that they have all of these different programs now....namely, deed-in-lease, to keep homeowners in homes and therefore, avoid the foreclosure all together. She went further to tell me that even though they are avoiding the foreclosure, it has no...ABSOUTELY NO, reflection on the ability or inability of the previous homeowners, now renters capacity to pay a mortgage or any of the actual debt due on the mortgage.

She was just speculating but, she went on to tell me that in her opinion, it's likely that 85% or more of those in the deed-in-lease program and others like that, are just buying time because they will never be able to buy the home back, pay off any of the debt or be able to go out and purchase another home any time soon. She and I agreed, it was just a way to keep property off the market even though, without any intervention, it would have been on the market months, if not years ago.

Why would this be happening, why would the government want to artificially inflate prices by keeping property off the market?

1. Raise Property Values: It's not even a question amongst the minds of those in the know, the government wants to inflate prices. The reason is because they are losing so much money through Fannie and Freddie because of foreclosures and short sales that, it's just simply best for them to hold the property, decrease inventories, manipulate the law of supply and demand, raise prices and trickle the REO holdings back on the market so that they can sell for more than the debt owed.

2. Elections Have Consequences: Whichever political party can go out to voters and say that they are responsible for housing prices being on the rise, they will get least that it the thought.

All in all, the housing rebound isn't real, it's artificial for a variety of reasons, not just the two I gave above. The truth of the matter is, many feel this heavy handed control by the government of housing markets is absolutely necessary to prevent the further collapse of the US economy. Others see it as a prolonging of the inevitable and a violations of the free markets. Either way, with increasing debt, increasing unfair manipulations of the market, higher taxes, higher cost of living and higher energy and commodity prices, housing will begin becoming more and more volatile. I believe the days of housing being a safe investment are over. So many outside factors are now playing in the market, regardless if they are suppose to be there or not, it's just not as simple as it was just 10 years ago. Buyers are going to have to be much smarter before the purchase and understand that a minimum of 20% down and staying in the home for a minimum of 5 years might be the only way to get your money back, let alone make any money.

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Real Estate has had quite a roller coaster ride this past decade in Las Vegas.

The latest info for the ups and downs of the market indicates that the market will be ticking upward.

The inventory in Jan. has gone down 10% to a 7 day supply or 3300 SFR's.

This low has not been seen since the historical lows of 2004 which lead to a 50% increase in prices

across the board that took place 2005; That, plus very poor lending practices, lead to the bubble and crash of 2008.

Las Vegas is poised to have another increase in home values this summer.

How will 2013 price increase be different from 2005?

Today buyers are coming into Las Vegas with cash, 60%+ of the deals that are currently closing are with cash buyers.

We are again seeing multiple bidding battles between buyers. If  Las Vegas does not replenish its inventory like what

traditionally happens in Jan. & Feb. then the low supply and high demand will correct the market prices. The big

question is will we have another bubble if the market goes up 30-40%? I surmise that the answer is no. This is based

on the type and the financial strength of todays buyers. For the most part the investors are running cash positive rental

investiments that most of them have paid cash for. This is staunchly different from the 2005 investors who borrowed

most of their funds, had high mortgages and were upside down on their rental. In those cases the investor bailed

on their investment.


Overall prognosis - this is a good time to step up and buy something (if you can).


Phil Scheinman

Realty One


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A quick summary:

2012 finished strong ending up 8.8% over 2011 when measuring by average Price Per Sq. Ft. and 11.7 % when measuring by average sale price. There are reports of 15% so I want to clarify that my reports are based on the following:

Residential Single Family Residences under 1 acre in Bend

I exclude the following from the report: Townhomes, Condos, all manufactured homes, lot size over an acre.

Number of sales is up by 17.5% and home size is on the rise again. See table 1

Average sale price as a percentage of original list price remains strong at 95%.

Sale price as a percentage of current list price remains strong at 98.3%. Table 2

There are 7 charts total and 2 tables. Each designed to give a unique perspective of our market. Charts 3 6 and 7 show the most drastic change in my mind but I’ll let you judge them for yourself.,ORTrends.html

Unless something drastic happens which seems to be increasingly possible these days and if current inventory trends continue, expect 2013 to be another strong year for Real Estate in Bend as the rest of the story continues to be the shrinking supply of inventory… Speaking of which, we’ll take a look at inventory trends next report.

Below is a quick summary. Certainly take a look at the charts to see the trends and historical data to put it all into context.

FYI: last report all trends were up except for number of sales 3rd quarter over 2nd quarter

View charts and tables attached to see more detailed reports

Price/sq ft

4th Quarter 2012 over 4th Quarter 2011: UP                  

4th Quarter 2012 over 3rd Quarter 2012  Even                  

2012 YTD over 2011.                                    UP

Home Size

4th Quarter 2012 over 4th Quarter 2011:  UP

4th Quarter 2012 over 3rd Quarter 2012:  UP

Number of Sales

4th Quarter 2012 over 4th Quarter 2011:    UP           

4th Quarter 2012 over 3rd Quarter 2012:   Down              

Many sources quote Median sale price and/or average sale price. View the tables to see how these values can paint a different picture of the market.

View charts and tables to see other market measures:,ORTrends.html

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photo credit: QuidnuncQuixot via photopin cc

Home Prices in Madison Show Improvement

Lots of good news about the Wisconsin real estate market has come out over the past two months.  Home prices are beginning to improve, homes are selling a bit quicker and foreclosures are down.  All of this points to improvement in the real estate market.  Listed below are some facts about prices in Madison based on various parameters.

Overall, home prices have been growing steadly since April of 2012.  The following chart, provided by Trulia, shows the average sales price across all types of homes

Home Prices in Madison picture 1

Although home prices have not returned to the average of $196,000 like it was last year, it is getting close. When comparing home prices at different tiers, Madison is staying ahead of the rest of the state in all three tiers.  The following charts are from Zillow.  This first chart points out two facts.  First, the average price for a home in Wisconsin in the upper tier is around $232,000.  However, for Madison the price is approximately $295,000.  This points to the continued growth in the Madison area.  Secondly, while the average price in this tier only increased 0.2% for the state of Wisconsin, in Madison the price improved by 1.6% 

Home Prices in Madison picture 2

For the middle tier pricing, the average price in Wisconsin is $142,000 compared to $187,000 in Madison.  This tier has also seen an increase from the last quarter, although not as strong as the higher tier.

Home Prices in Madison picture 3

Although the bottom tier in Madison has not shown as strong a price increase as the rest of the state, it is still moving up, which is a good indication.

Home Prices in Madison picture 4

When looking at homes based on size, there is even better news all around.  Homes at every size in Madison have shown increase in value over the past few months, as evidenced by this chart from Trulia.

No. Bedrooms

May - Jul '12

3 months prior

1 year prior

5 years prior

1 bedroom





2 bedrooms





3 bedrooms





4 bedrooms





All properties





Based on these figures, the average price across all home sizes has increased an average of 4.5% in the past three months.


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List-to-sold ratios dove into negative territory in December. December List-to-sold ratios tend to be the lowest of the year anyway but this is the first time since starting this project in 2007 we have witnessed a monthly average in negative territory.

    Admittedly one month out of over sixty is but a blip on the radar screen. Even so it is a pretty big drop along a very long downward trend.  

Chart 1 shows the long downward trend over several years and the dive to negative territory very well. Chart 2 depicts the gradual downward shift from year to year that has been occurring since 2009.

        In years past, we typically see list to sold ratios begin an upward trend in January, leading to inventory build in spring however, the long-term trend is down so unless something drastic happens, expect inventory in the next month or two to either increase as it does seasonally but at a much lower pace or maybe, just maybe it will continue its downward slide.

    Upward pressure on sale prices has a pretty strong hold for the time being. Speaking of sale prices, I’ll have final results for 2012 complete in about a week.

See list to Sold Charts inventory charts and price trend charts:,ORTrends.html

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We typically expect MLS inventory in the 4th to quarter begin dropping but boy howdy, inventory levels really dropped this year! We are at the lowest level since starting this project in 2009 and on a long-term downward trajectory in all three segments of sale type.

To see a graphic illustration of this trend view the charts and tables:,ORTrends.html

Reminder: the charts and tables do not include bare land, multi-family homes, time shares or mobile homes without land.

Bank Owned (REO) inventory remains but a fraction of total inventory in Bend and Redmond. Total REO inventory is down approx. 85% below peak levels.

Future availability of this segment remains uncertain as government intervention and the developing reluctance of lenders/servicers to foreclose in the first place or release for sale their current inventory has slowed the flow of these properties to the market.

The continuing saga of the fate and actual size of this “shadow inventory” I believe will continue to be shrouded in uncertainty for quite some time. What we do know, is most homes for sale in this segment sell quickly.

Short sale inventory continues the long-term slide as well. Total Short Sale inventory is also down approx. 85% below peak levels.

The Mortgage Debt Relief Forgiveness Act expires in just a few weeks and may have slowed down this segment. Most “experts” believe the act will be extended and retroactive if extended after the deadline.

Of potentially equal importance I believe, in my face to face experience with most distressed home-owners they have no intention of short selling or even letting go of their homes in any way. What happens with the distressed homeowner segment whether it is short selling, foreclosure, loan re-modification or some other form of settlement will be pivotal to future market direction.   

“Non-Distressed”/“Traditional” Inventory is roughly half of what it was at peak levels since starting this project in 2009. The downward trend is less pronounced than short sales and REO but a significant downward trend nonetheless. An overwhelming percentage of this segment experiences long marketing times, expirations and terminations as most list prices continue to be misaligned with what current market conditions will bear.

Looking forward, we are right in the middle of the seasonal low inventory period and typically expect tighter supplies in the coming months. The list-to-sold ratios however, indicate future MLS inventory will fall below seasonal levels of the past 3 yrs.,ORTrends.html

We are also near the typical end of year jump in expirations which will put a big, typically short-term dent in inventory if this is a typical year. Whatever that is these days!

Final Thoughts

Our market has definitely strengthened. Some might argue it is an artificial development while others will argue it is a sign of recovery. What can be said for certain is we have experienced a long-term and significant trend of declining inventory accompanied by price firming and appreciation in many areas throughout Bend, Redmond and Central Oregon.

Supply is tight and appears this will be the case at least in the near-term.

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!

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Long written off by many, Detroit is becoming an interesting city to watch from an urban revitalization perspective. At the core of these developments is the emergence of a startup ecosystem where (for the most part) one did not previously exist. While still early, the progress made in this area over the last several years has been impressive and is having an impact on the region. As an outsider looking in with experience in other entrepreneurial hubs, I wanted to share thoughts on conditions and trends coming together that may help elevate this into a more viable and sustainable model for the city going forward.

I grew up in the Detroit area in the 1970s and 80s. While officially in the suburbs, our house was only two blocks from the city border, bringing the city a bit more upfront in our personal lives. During high school and college, I also worked at the old Tiger Stadium, which afforded the opportunity to experience the city even further.

It was a tough time for Detroit, coming off the riots from the late 1960s and the accompanying exodus of hundreds of thousands of residents. Those challenges continued well after I had left, with the downsizing of the automotive industry, a shrinking tax base, and too much mismanagement and corruption at a local government level.

After graduating from college, I left the area for a programming job in another state. While I continue to spend time in Ann Arbor, I’ve spent little in downtown Detroit over the last 25 years. Still, with family and friends in southeastern Michigan, I have watched it from afar with interest over the years. More recently I’ve been intrigued to 

watch the rise of the startup community in the region. To be honest, I did not give it a lot of real hope considering the multitude of challenges facing the city.

Sometimes when you’re down, the only way is up. But the story goes much beyond that here. Despite the potential for municipal bankruptcy currently hanging over the city, there are good things happening in Motown. The recent TechCrunch profile of Dan Gilbert does a great job outlining some of them. The region is taking steps and riding some key trends that are starting to effect change. From an outsider’s perspective with some familiarity with the region, here are some of the key ones that are driving (at least for me) a more optimistic view of the city’s trajectory:


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List to Sold Ratios Continue to Improve

Made some changes to the charts to make it easier to see trends as well as changes in variation; change is definitely apparent.

List to sold ratios continue their long-term decline. Down in 2012 from 2011; down the last 3 months as we near the fourth quarter a time when, since 2007 (except 2009) they drop even further.  2012 has already seen the lowest list to sold ratios since the beginning of this project in 2007. If the 4th quarter trend repeats expect even lower ratios and consequently lower inventory levels in the months to come in central Oregon.

Getting back on my variation soap box again, variation has drastically decreased as well, meaning our little Real Estate process here in Central Oregon is getting closer and closer to some semblance of predictability, at least for now anyway J

I completed the July Sales data but didn’t report it. If you have time, wander over to the website and check it out. July sales were pretty impressive.  I don’t usually get real excited about monthly reporting because they can be so see-saw; instead we have strong looking upward trend.

The table shows a strong 3rd quarter for appreciation so far in average, median and price/ sq ft price measures.

For a more comprehensive understanding of our market see additional charts and tables covering inventory, sale and list prices etc.:,ORTrends.html

Also now on:

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May 2012 Could Signal a Turn Around for Housing Market

There is some hope for the real estate market. According to a report published by the Commerce Department the number of homes purchased in May of 2012 was the highest number in over two years. The number of purchases increased from April to May by 7.6%. That number is the best increase since April of 2010 when the tax credit for purchasing a home was still in effect.

Rising-Rents-599e30.jpg?width=347Areas of Highest Growth

The places that saw the largest increases were the South and Northeast. The number of homes purchased in the South grew by 12.7% while the growth in the Northeast was 36.7%

Although the total number of sales across the country seems to be off pace from the 700,000 transactions favored by economists, the market is showing other signs of improvement.

Strong Signals from the Market

First and foremost, builders have begun to increase production. More construction is always a positive sign, no matter how small the increase. Second, interest rates for mortgages are still at historically low levels making it easy to afford a home. Third, and this is important too, is the stabilization of home values. Most regions around the country have noticed home values finally holding steady. All of these factors have lead to people buying up existing homes, paving the way to build more properties.

More than Just Statistics

The main reason why economists and financial analysts pay so much attention to new construction comes from their overall economic impact. Building a new home normally produces about three new year-long jobs. It also leads to an increase in taxable revenue by an average of $90,000. Although new homes are only 20% of the entire housing market, the numbers above show how constructions helps the economy thrive.

Supply is Down

At the end of May it was reported that a total of 145,000 new homes were on the market throughout the entire country. Based on current sales numbers the market should go through the existing inventory of new homes in about 4.5 months. Economic experts feel that a 6 month supply of new homes keeps the economy healthy. With a lower than average supply it is possible that home prices could go up simply because demand will be higher.

Prices Already Higher

Speaking in general averages, the price of a home bought in May of 2012 was down ever so slightly from the average price in April. However, when looking at sales from one year ago shows that average prices have gone up by 5.6%.

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There are approx 2,169  Las Vegas Foreclosures for sale in the Las Vegas area per the local MLS.

This is for homes without contracts on them.

Foreclosure sales pending and homes with contracts on them are at .... 2,594

401 Foreclosure sales have sold so far this month.

This year approx. 15,400 foreclosures have sold in the Las Vegas area.

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There are approx 5,056  Las Vegas Short Sales for sale in the Las Vegas area per the local MLS.

This is for homes without contracts on them.

Short Sale pendings and homes with contracts on them are at .... 7,089

248 short sales have sold so far this month.

This year approx 7,900 short sales have sold in the Las Vegas area

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Buying a Wisconsin Short Sale


Tips for Buying Your First Mc Farland Wisconsin Short Sale

A short sale is a fairly simple procedure, at least in theory. A homeowner sells their home for a price below the current mortgage balance. The bank agrees to take this lesser amount as payment in full of the mortgage in order to avoid the heavy cost of a foreclosure. Here are some tips for buying your first short sale.


Short Sale prices are determined by the Market

Banks determine which offers to accept by reviewing the current market conditions. They will look at the prices of homes that have recently sold in the nearby area. This information will provide the lender with solid data for the average price of a home in that vicinity. How low will they go? This depends on how quickly they would like to sell the home. If they determine that they would prefer to sell the home now, and not proceed to foreclosure, they may agree to sell the home at below market value.

Ask your Realtor® for their Price Opinion

Before you submit a low-ball offer to the seller, ask your Realtor® for their price opinion. This is a good way for a prospective buyer to find an appropriate price range for an offer. Your agent can look at recently sold comparable homes and give an opinion on what they feel the home should sell for. This is similar to a Comparative Market Analysis, or CMA.

Multiple Mortgages Can Cause Problems

When a home has a 1st mortgage and 2nd mortgage that are held by separate lenders then a short sale could take a very long time, if it gets approved at all. Unfortunately, this type of scenario is out of the hands of the real estate agent and the seller. Whether or not the two lenders agree to the short sale offer is totally up to them.

Approved Prices are Usually Processed Faster

If a lender has already determined a price that they will accept, this can speed up the process. Usually, this is an indication that the seller has been in contact with the bank to discuss the possibility of selling the home. If an offer within that price range is submitted to the bank, the short sale is far more likely to be approved quickly.

Prepare for the Bank to say No

While short sales can help buyers get a home at a discounted price, the process can stretch out over time. The sale can get turned down by the bank for a number of reasons. This is why people looking to buy a short sale should be prepared to move on to a different property in the event that the bank denies the short sale. Keep an eye open at available homes during the short sale process. If the bank does say no, you will then have a list of potential houses that may also be an option.

While a short sale transaction may span a few months, it is a good way to buy a home at a friendly price. Talking to an experienced Realtor® about the available short sales in your area could put you in line to get a good home at a great price.

Buying a Short Sale - Original Post

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