Recent News

Week of July 12th- This New Credit Score Could Help More Home Buyers Get Mortgages

July 12, 2020
With the U.S. mired in a recession and unemployment at its highest level since the Great Depression, many lenders have turned off the credit spigot for all but the most qualified borrowers. So despite record-low mortgage interest rates, many would-be home buyers have been left frustrated.
A new credit index released by Fair Isaac Corp. this week could change that, potentially making it easier for borrowers to score a ...   read more

Week of July 5th-These people bought homes without ever stepping inside

July 5, 2020

The first time Chad Lail set foot inside his new home was after he bought it.
Lail, a professional WWE wrestler known as Jaxson Ryker, wanted to move with his wife and daughter from Orlando to be closer to family in Mooresville, North Carolina. But because of his production schedule, and the Covid-19 pandemic, he and his wife handled the entire purchase -- from finding an agent to ...   read more

Week of June 28th-Navigating mortgage rate locks in this competitive summer homebuying market

June 28, 2020
Though borrowers have the chance to lock in a mortgage rate at historical lows this summer, low inventory and increased competition could make finding a home even more difficult. That might leave some buyers wondering about the best time to lock in a mortgage rate.
“Market timing is always difficult,” says Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist. “Consumers should instead ...   read more

Week of June 21st- Full impact of coronavirus pandemic hits California housing market in May, C.A.R. reports

June 21, 2020
California home sales fell to the lowest level since the Great Recession as the housing market suffered the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic in May and remained below 300,000 for the second straight month, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today. 
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate ...   read more

Week of June 14th-When does refinancing into a 15-year mortgage make sense?

June 14, 2020
With the pandemic still prevalent and interest rates near all-time lows, now is a great time to think about a refinance. It may also be an opportune time to consider shortening your mortgage’s term in the process.
Many homeowners choose to refinance from a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to a fresh 30-year equivalent. While this can lower your monthly payment, it can add extra years to the total amount of time you’ll ...   read more

Week of June 7th-Home office space tops buyer’s wish list

June 7, 2020
The sudden and unexpected shift to remote work for many Americans has put a premium on walls, doors and extra space as millions search for a quiet and comfortable place to work.
A new survey from Zillow found a majority are making do without a dedicated home office for now, and many say they’ll consider a move to a home with more space if working remotely becomes a long-term reality.
A third of respondents ...   read more

Week of May 31st-How Might the World of Work Change? It Depends on How You Look at It.

May 31, 2020

How Might the World of Work Change? It Depends on How You Look at It.
“Over the last week, we have now regained about 60-65% of prior year comparable U.S. store sales while reopening under modified operations and with reduced hours.”
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson
When it comes to communicating difficult information, it’s all about the framing. And the quote above is a ...   read more

Week of May 24th-What Home Buyers and Sellers Can Expect in 2020, as Pandemic Revises Forecast

May 24, 2020
COVID-19 has really dramatically changed the way the housing market is going to perform this year," says Chief Economist Danielle Hale. "We started off with the potential for the best year in more than a decade for sales. But we're going to see ups and downs as the market grapples with an unsteady economy. This will affect buyers and sellers across the board."
Sales of existing homes are expected ...   read more

Week of May 17th- Fannie, Freddie Announce Mortgage Deferral Program For Homeowners Impacted By COVID-19

May 17, 2020
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced additional relief options for homeowners struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
According to announcements from the two companies this afternoon, homeowners in forbearance can now request payment deferrals as early as July 1. This allows any missed payments to be made up at the end of the loan’s term, without any penalty or added interest.
The companies previously ...   read more

Week of May 10th- Happy Mother's Day!!!

May 10, 2020
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Week of May 3rd- CoStar Projects $148 Billion in CMBS Loan Defaults Over Two Years

May 3, 2020

CoStar Projects $148 Billion in CMBS Loan Defaults Over Two Years
The coronavirus crisis is undeniably causing pain for many commercial property owners and lenders. However, for risk-taking investors, this could be a long-awaited opportunity to go bargain hunting.
Over the next two years, the market could expect to see 13,000 loans totaling $148 billion held in commercial mortgage-backed securities default, according ...   read more

Week of April 26th- Commercial CV-19 Impacts

April 26, 2020

U.S. Retail Figures | CBRE just released its Q1 2020 report. COVID-19 did not impact retail real estate fundamentals in Q1 as it was too early to register. However, this is anticipated to look very different in Q2 2020/H1 2020 as the effects of store closures, nonpayment of rents, and drop in leasing velocity weakens the market. There was already an overall impact to retail sales in Q1 driven by decline in March ...   read more

Week of April 19th- CV-19 Impacts

April 19, 2020
Evidence of the economic consequences of Coronavirus began to roll in in earnest this week. The U.S. economy continues to experience unprecedented increases in joblessness and our first hard evidence on consumer spending, which has accounted for virtually all U.S. economic growth in recent years, provides some insights into the depth and scope of the impacts we can expect for the first and second quarters of 2020.
Jobless ...   read more

Week of April 12th-CV-19 Market Impacts

April 12, 2020

Update on Coronavirus Market Impacts:
April 8, 2020
The Coronavirus has worsened this past week with both new cases and the number of deaths continuing to rise, and some of the economic data is beginning to catch up to the reality that has been playing out over the past few weeks. Critical economic indicators showed ongoing deterioration with new records for unemployment and economy in general and noticeable effects ...   read more

Week of April 5th-City of Santa Cruz COVID-19 Resources

April 5, 2020

If you have questions or concerns about impacts to your business please contact the City's Business Liaison Rebecca Unitt at
The County of Santa Cruz has extended the Shelter in Place order to May 3, 2020. The new order can be viewed here and we encourage all businesses to review page 5 of the order for more detailed clarification ...   read more

Week of March 29th-New COVID 19 Updates

March 29, 2020

Federal Reserve Makes Significant Move to Backstop Credit Markets: Earlier this week, the Federal Reserve went well beyond the level of intervention seen during the 2008 financial crisis. Not only have they dropped their benchmark interest rate to near zero, they also announced plans to provide liquidity to several key markets including the MBS market (for both residential and commercial MBS), money market ...   read more

Week of March 22nd- Everchanging Update on Coronavirus Market Impacts

March 22, 2020
Update on Coronavirus Market Impacts
The number of confirmed COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) cases continues to rise rapidly and the social and economic impacts are becoming more evident and more pronounced. Given the recent hit to financial markets, the decline in consumer spending, and the rise in new unemployment insurance claims, the California Association of REALTORS® has revised its forecast lower for ...   read more

Week of March 15th- Update on Coronavirus Market Impacts

March 15, 2020

C.A.R. Likely to Revise 2020 Forecast Downward, But Not Dramatically: The situation remains fluid, and conditions could deteriorate beyond what is currently envisioned depending on the severity and duration of the outbreak, but if current economic forecasts of modest declines in GDP growth are realized, the effects of lower rates should help to offset the effects of a slower economy and increased economic ...   read more

Week of Mar. 8th- Coronavirus Impacts on California’s Housing Market

March 8, 2020
The rapid growth of COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) cases continues to create turbulence in the global economy and in domestic financial markets. However, C.A.R. is not revising its current 2020 housing market forecast, but will continue to monitor the market for negative macroeconomic impacts on the demand for housing as well as the supply chain impacts that could adversely affect the cost of new home construction ...   read more

Week of March 1st- 5 Sweet Tax Deductions When Selling a Home: Did You Take Them All?

March 1, 2020
Here are some deductions home sellers can take when selling their home.

Selling costs - legal fees, escrow fees, advertising costs and real estate agent commissions
Home improvements and repairs - painting or repairing the roof or water heater.
Property taxes – sellers can deduct the amount paid in property taxes this year up to $10,000.
Mortgage interest – sellers can ...   read more

Week of Feb 23rd-Mortgage rates have sunk in 2020: What borrowers need to do now

February 23, 2020
Mortgage rates have sunk to near record lows in early 2020, as a series of interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve and recent jitters in the bond market have made borrowing more attractive. Our expert has some timely advice on what this means for homeowners and would-be borrowers.
Bankrate’s data show that the current average 30-year mortgage has fallen to around 3.7 percent, so it seems like an ideal time ...   read more

Week of Feb. 16th- Is co-living the new Craigslist?

February 16, 2020
  • Since the Great Recession, and despite a decade-long economic recovery, more young adults are still living with their parents than on their own.
  • What began as a niche real estate trend, co-living, where people reside together and share communal spaces, is going increasingly mainstream as an alternative to mom and dad.

Read more.

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Week of Feb 9th-California bill to dramatically increase home building fails for the third year in a row

February 9, 2020
After more than two years of debate, five major revisions and two tense days of counting votes, a high-profile legislative effort to dramatically increase home building across California is officially dead.
Senate Bill 50 was an effort to undo California’s decades-long reliance on single-family housing and suburban sprawl stretching inland by spurring a development boom near transit and job centers. But arguments ...   read more

Week of Feb. 2nd- Homes with spruced-up outsides sell at premium

February 2, 2020
Inner beauty is something we all strive for. But when it comes to selling homes, that may not be enough.
Keeping lawns freshly cut and outdoor spaces in tip-top shape could result in greater rewards for sellers. A new analysis of Google Street View and data from nearly 90,000 home sales found that, on average, a property with strong curb appeal sells at a 7 percent premium to a comparable home in the same neighborhood ...   read more

Week of Jan. 26th-You’re Never Too Old to Apply for a Mortgage

January 26, 2020

Federal law, under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, forbids discrimination in the mortgage market on the basis of age. Nonetheless, loan officers say older borrowers often don’t realize they can get loans with terms that will expire on their 110th, 120th or nearly 130th birthdays.

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Week of Jan. 12th- Higher loan limits for 2020 are now in effect

January 12, 2020
With the calendar now officially flipped to 2020, Fannie MaeFreddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration are now backing larger mortgages than they were just a few days ago.
That’s because the 2020 loan limits for each of those agencies are now in effect. And each of the agencies’ loan limits are higher for 2020 than they were in 2019.
The agencies’ ...   read more

Week of Jan. 5th-Americans Are Taking Cash Out of Their Homes---And It Is Costing Them

January 5, 2020
Many Americans who need cash are taking it out of their homes. The trade-off: higher interest rates.
Over the past two years, a big chunk of homeowners took on higher interest rates when they refinanced to tap their home equity. These cash-out refinancings, as they are known, free up money homeowners can use to pay down credit-card debt, renovate or invest in a new property.
Nearly 60% of cash-out refinancings in 2018 ...   read more

Week of Dec. 29th- Happy New Year from SBR!!!

December 29, 2019
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Week of Dec. 15th-Zip Codes Covered by Mandatory One Year Moratorium on Non-Renewals

December 15, 2019
Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a mandatory one-year moratorium on insurance companies non-renewing policyholders--helping at least 800,000 homes in wildfire disaster areas in Northern and Southern California. The commissioner's action is the result of Senate Bill 824—authored in 2018 by Lara while serving as state senator—in order to give temporary relief from non-renewals to residents living ...   read more

Week of Dec. 8th-Winter Is the Best Time to Buy A Home

December 8, 2019
According to the analysis, buyers willing to close on a home purchase the day after Christmas realize the biggest discounts below full market value of any day in the year. This analysis of more than 23 million single family home and condo sales over the past six years is evidence of the continuation of a hot sellers’ market (see full methodology below).
“Closing on a home purchase the day after Christmas ...   read more

Week of Dec. 2nd- Redfin’s 2020 Housing Market Predictions: More buyers + fewer homes = more bidding wars

December 1, 2019
We predict the housing market will be more competitive in 2020 as the cooldown that began in the second half of 2018 comes to an end. Charleston and Charlotte will lead the nation in home-price gains, thanks to homebuyers moving in from expensive cities. Hispanic Americans will experience the biggest gains in home equity wealth. Climate change will become a much bigger factor for homebuyers and sellers. Read ...   read more

Week of Nov. 24th-Millennials Still Want Single-Family Homes, Even if it Means a Long Commute

November 24, 2019
While some data suggests that housing density is starting to prevail in certain cities, the vast majority of Americans still want a single-family home with a yard, even if it means sacrificing proximity to work. 
Since the middle of the 20th century, one common image of the American Dream has been a suburban detached single-family home with a lush lawn and a picket fence. But in many major U.S. cities, ...   read more

Week of Nov. 17th-Mortgage Meltdown Unlikely Despite Hike in Risky Loans

November 17, 2019
Housing analysts are hoping it’s not a case of déjà vu. Unconventional mortgage lending is on the rise, in 2018 reaching its highest level since the financial crisis of 2008. These mortgages include subprime loans, financing offered to borrowers with blemished credits.
While these more risky loans are on the rise, some economists shrug off the notion that the economy is headed for another mortgage ...   read more

Week of Nov. 10th- Why $4.5 Billion From Big Tech Won’t End California Housing Crisis

November 10, 2019
A mile from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino lies the sun-faded carcass of the Vallco Shopping Mall. At the moment it consists of empty, buff-colored buildings, acres of black asphalt and a pile of rubble where the parking garage used to be.
About a year ago, a developer submitted a proposal to build 2,400 apartments on the site, half of them subsidized to put rents below the market rate. The city approved the ...   read more

Week of Nov. 3rd-California's Wildfires Put Tens of Thousands of Homes at Risk Amid a Housing Shortage

November 3, 2019
It's wildfire season again in California, and with blazes burning across the state and thousands of homes at risk, the governor has declared a state of emergency. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to evacuate, and if a significant number of them can't go back, the state's housing shortage will likely make a bad situation even worse.
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency late ...   read more

Week of Oct. 27th-Climate Change Isn’t Affecting Owners’ Preferences

October 27, 2019
There’s a disconnect between widespread climate change fears and the actions homeowners are taking to mitigate their property risks, a new study finds. Eighty-one percent of more than 500 consumers recently surveyed say they are worried about climate change, and many are concerned about the impact of changing weather patters on their homes, according to ValuePenguin, a firm that offers consumer financial products.
But ...   read more

Week of October 20th-Empty Garages: The Answer to California’s Housing Shortage?

October 20, 2019
"Steps from USC campus, a modern, newly built detached studio apartment. Full kitchen w/ brand-new gas stove, dishwasher. Washer/dryer, full bath, a/c, bedroom nook, ready-to-go entertainment hookups. Scandinavian design appeal. Walking distance to L.A. Metro. $1,400/month.”
A dream Los Angeles rental listing? At 20 percent below market, in a neighborhood where the alternative is a 70-year-old building with ...   read more

Week of October 13th-California Tightens Up on Rent Control

October 13, 2019

Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law this week a measure that would cap rents throughout the state, a move that the real estate industry has warned could have dire long-term consequences.

The law limits annual rent increases that landlords can enact on tenants in the state to 5% after inflation. The new limit will take effect in January.  Read the law

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Week of Oct. 6th-Americans are growing concerned by the growing threats of an economic slowdown

October 6, 2019
Americans are growing concerned by the growing threats of an economic slowdown, but that doesn’t seem to be affecting housing. Recent housing reports are showing that lower mortgage rates are buoying buyer demand into the fall months.
“Despite fears of an economic slowdown, the housing market continues to be a bright spot in the economy,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “While ...   read more

Week of Sept. 29th- Here’s how California’s rent control law would work

September 29, 2019
Within the next few weeks, the governor is expected to enact rent control in California by signing Assembly Bill 1482.
That means the state would begin to regulate how much your rent can increase every year, limiting it to 5 percent, plus the local rate of inflation. Once signed, the measure would take effect January 1 and expire in 2030 (unless lawmakers vote to extend it).
“AB 1482 puts teeth in tenant protections ...   read more

Week of Sept. 22nd- It’s getting harder to be a home flipper

September 22, 2019
It’s getting harder to be a home flipper. As easy as it might seem on reality television shows, the math is now trickier, thanks to a housing market loaded with roadblocks. Home prices are high, supply of homes for sale is low and the cost of renovation materials is rising.
Investors flipped 59,876 single-family homes and condominiums in the second quarter of this year, down just over 5% compared with the same ...   read more

Week of Sept. 15th-Millennials, priced out of homes locally, shop for investment properties online

September 15, 2019
Roofstock, which has overseen more than $1.6 billion in transactions since it was founded in 2015, allows Pickens and other users to choose rental properties with varying degrees of expected returns, based on numerous risk factors, including location and tenant history. (Each listing contains extensive photos and inspection records.) Pickens picked up his first buy, a duplex in Memphis worth $129,000, a year ago, putting ...   read more

Week of Sept. 8th-Home Prices Now Rising Faster in Car-Dependent Neighborhoods Than in Walkable Places as Buyers Chase Affordability

September 8, 2019
Home-sale prices in walkable neighborhoods across the country increased 2.3 percent year over year to a median $343,900 in July, compared to 4.3 percent annual growth to a median $312,100 for homes in car-dependent areas. 
That’s according to data from Walk Score®, a Redfin company that rates the walkability of neighborhoods, cities and addresses. A place is deemed “walkable” if some or ...   read more

Week of Aug. 25th- Fannie Mae Predicts Two Additional 2019 Rate Cuts, Here's Why

August 25, 2019

Fannie Mae used a fair number of trade-offs in while coming up with its revised outlook for the real gross domestic product (GDP) this year.  The company's economists, headed by Chief Economist Doug Duncan, upgraded its full year forecast from 2.1 percent to 2.2 percent while at the same time painting a darker picture for the second half of the year. Read more.

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Week of Aug. 18th-Half of homebuyers with kids base purchase on school district

August 18, 2019
Purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions a person can make during their lifetime. After all, where you live determines many factors about your life, including where you work, worship or even send your children to school.
As back to school season approaches, a recent report from the National Association of Realtors highlights the different purchasing and selling habits of Americans, revealing ...   read more

Week of Aug. 11th- U.S Mortgage Rates Tumble as Trade War Angst Bites

August 11, 2019
Mortgage rates tumbled by 15 basis points in the week ending 8th August. 30-year fixed rates slid to 3.60% following a hold at 3.75% in the week ending 1st August.
The 15 basis point fall left 30-year rates back at their lowest level since late 2016 according to figures released by Freddie Mac.
Compared to this time last year, 30-year fixed rates were down by 100 basis points.
More significantly, 30-year ...   read more

Week of Aug. 4th-Fed's first rate cut in more than 10 years

August 4, 2019
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday lowered its benchmark federal funds rate by a quarter percentage points to around 2.25% from about 2.5%. The last rate decrease was way back in 2008 — the end of a swift sequence of cuts that had lowered the rate from 5.25% in September 2007 to a lower limit of 0%. Those rate cuts were part of the Fed's aggressive response to an unprecedented global financial crisis that ...   read more

Week of July 28th-Bad news for Gavin Newsom’s housing goals: New home permits are down in California

July 28, 2019
California communities are approving residential building permits at a slower rate than they did last year, a sign Gov. Gavin Newsom faces an even bigger hurdle to reach his housing goals than when he took office in January.
In the first five months of 2019, cities and counties issued permits for an average of 111,000 residential building units per year, according to data released Friday by the California Department ...   read more

Week of July 21st-Mortgage Rates Remain Stable

July 21, 2019
 Freddie Mac(OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that after declining for most of the year, mortgage rates remained mostly unchanged this week.
Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “While rates have moderated, we’re still at nearly three-year lows, which is good news for buyers looking to purchase a home before ...   read more

Week of July 14th-Millennials Will Reshape The New Home Market

July 14, 2019
In surveys taken ten years ago, Millennials used to say that they would never want to live in the suburbs, and they initially showed little interest in getting married and starting families. Following the housing crash, millions of them moved in with their parents, further slowing household formations. 
Generational Breakdown 2019
Generation Y used to be a small part of ...   read more

Week of July 7th-Americans are Building Fewer Pools

July 7, 2019
A backyard barbecue with friends, family and a swimming pool is a quintessential July 4th celebration. And it’s something Americans may take for granted.
 That’s because residential pool construction activity sank this year and demand for the amenity is far from pre-recession levels. U.S. pool repair and construction activity dipped 4.6% this year, according to property data provider BuildFax.  Read ...   read more

Week of June 30th-Freddie Mac Announces CHOICERenovation; The Latest Solution for Financing Home Improvements

June 30, 2019
Freddie Mac (OTCQB:FMCC) today announced its CHOICERenovationSM loan offering, which provides homebuyers a flexible choice to purchase a home and finance the cost of renovations with a single-close mortgage, saving them both time and money.
The CHOICERenovation mortgage is designed to help address the nation’s aging housing supply, support the need for affordable housing, and offer renovation, ...   read more

Week of June 23rd- Lower interest rates perk up May home sales as median price reaches another high

June 23, 2019
California’s median home price edged higher to another peak for the second straight month as lower interest rates helped bolster home sales in May, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®(C.A.R.) said today. 
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 406,960 units in May, according to information collected by C.A.R. ...   read more

Week of June 16th-How to boost your credit score before you buy a house

June 16, 2019

Since you’re new to credit, you may not realize that you don’t have just one credit score. You have many. The two major types are FICO and VantageScore. The latest versions of each (FICO 9 and VantageScore 3.0 and 4.0), ignore paid collections. In addition, FICO 9 and VantageScore 4.0 count unpaid medical collections less heavily against you than other unpaid debts.
But mortgage lenders typically ...   read more

Week of June 9th-Mortgage Rates Drop

June 9, 2019
Freddie Mac(OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate dropped below four percent for the first time since January 2018.
Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “While economic data points to continued strength, financial sentiment is weakening with the spread between the 10-year and the ...   read more

Week of June 2nd-Legal weed can raise the roof on home prices

June 2, 2019

The societal ramifications of state-legalized marijuana — a $10.4-billion industry — are being hashed out, study by study. And home values are one of the effects under scrutiny.
The link between real estate prices and weed might not be readily apparent, until one considers the en vogue vibe of licensed retail pot shops. Some are so slickly upscale-minimalist they sell branded yoga mats and Obama ...   read more

Week of May 26th-Recession Is Two Years Away ... Maybe, CBRE's Top Economist Says

May 26, 2019
Spencer Levy, chairman of CBRE’s Americas Research and senior economic adviser, told a crowd that a recession is two years away.
Then again, Levy jokingly noted to CBRE’s annual lunch at the International Council of Shopping Centers in Las Vegas that he had predicted two years ago that a recession would happen in two years. He wasn’t alone in that prediction and obviously it didn’t happen. So ...   read more

Week of May 19th-Americans are flocking to these 6 California cities where business is booming and salaries are rising-Santa Cruz #3

May 19, 2019
Though wages remain largely stagnant for many American workers, there are several cities around the U.S. where incomes are on the rise.
Personal finance website GOBankingRates analyzed 347 American citieswith populations of 500,000 or under, looking for places experiencing a combination of economic prosperity, population growth and rising incomes. To rank the top “boomtowns,” or cities that ...   read more

Week of May 12th- Happy Mother's Day!!

May 12, 2019
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Week of May 5th-Latest Housing Forecast Paints a Rosier Picture

May 5, 2019
Economists are sounding more upbeat toward the housing market this year.® has revised its 2019 housing forecast, reflecting optimism for a much stronger market. Lower mortgage rates are mostly behind the shifts in attitude.® economists are projecting mortgage rates to average 4.5 percent by the end of the year—nearly a percentage point lower than they originally forecasted. The lower ...   read more

Week of April 28th-Report: Do Homeowners Fare Better Than Renters?

April 28, 2019
Affordability is a much more pertinent issue for renters than homeowners, according to new research from CoreLogic, a real estate data firm. Since 2005, the monthly cost to rent a single-family home has risen significantly, while the monthly principal-and-interest mortgage payments of homeowners dropped slightly.
CoreLogic’s national rent index jumped 36 percent in December 2018 compared to December 2005. On the ...   read more

Week of April 21st-McNellis: Retail’s Existential Threat is Private Equity

April 21, 2019
Since I first wrote about private equity’s looting and ultimate devastation of Mervyn’s (“On Private Equity and Real Estate” September 2012), retailer after retailer has been similarly gutted. Payless Shoes, Toys ‘R’ Us, PetSmart, Gymboree, Sears, Mattress Firm and Radio Shack — all companies owned by private equity — have since filed Chapter 11. In fact, Debtwire, a financial ...   read more

Week of April 14th-Cities can’t criminalize homelessness, federal court affirms

April 14, 2019
An Idaho lawsuit concerning how cities across the West enforce laws about sleeping in public—potentially changing how they treat their homeless populations—is now established as precedent. Barring a decision by the Supreme Court to address the case of Martin v. City of Boise, cities will not be able to arrest or punish people for sleeping on public property unless they provide adequate and relatively ...   read more

Week of April 7th-Gen Xers’ Adult Children Influence Their Buying Decisions, Younger Millennials Become Buying Force

April 7, 2019
One in six Gen Xers purchased a multi-generational home, overtaking younger boomers as the generation most likely to do so; with 52 percent of those Gen X buyers indicating that they did so because their adult children have either moved back or never left home.
This is according to the National Association of Realtors®' 2019 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which evaluates the generational ...   read more

Week of March 31st- You are here Home News and Commentary Daily News Freddie Mac: Not So Upbeat About Economy, But Bullish on Housing

March 31, 2019
Lower mortgage rates are making for a rosy spring selling season, even if the economy is starting to show some sluggishness, economists note in Freddie Mac’s March forecast.
“The real estate market is thawing in response to the sustained decline in mortgage rates and rebound in consumer confidence—two of the most important drivers of home sales,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. ...   read more

Week of March 24th-Fed Signals Rate Hikes May Be Over For 2019

March 24, 2019
The Federal Reserve is signaling that it may be done hiking interest rates this year, amid signs of economic slowing.
The Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee on Wednesday left its target rate unchanged at 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent. More than half the committee's members signaled they don't expect any additional rate increases this year. That's a sharp change from December when the Fed was anticipating ...   read more

Week of March 17th-

March 17, 2019
While job growth and the California economy remain strong, weakness is apparent in the state's housing market and it is likely to cool further going into 2020, according to the latest UCLA Anderson Forecast, released Wednesday.
"The housing markets are softening in California, and it's not just the tony neighborhoods of San Francisco, Silicon Valley and West LA," said Jerry Nickelsburg, an adjunct professor at UCLA and ...   read more

Week of March 10th-Thousands of New Millionaires Are About to Eat San Francisco Alive

March 10, 2019
Big wealth doesn’t come in monthly paychecks. It comes when a start-up goes public, transforming hypothetical money into extremely real money. This year — with Uber, Lyft, Slack, Postmates, Pinterest and Airbnb all hoping to enter the public markets — there’s going to be a lot of it in the Bay Area.
Estimates of Uber’s value on the market have been as high as $120 billion. Airbnb ...   read more

Week of March 3rd-‘Bank of Mom and Dad’ Could Rank High as Mortgage Lender

March 3, 2019
Parents are increasingly helping their adult children buy their first home. In fact, a new study suggests that if families were considered a financial institution, the “Bank of Mom and Dad” would be the seventh largest mortgage lender in the country.
Parents and grandparents supported the nationwide purchase of $317 billion worth of property—1.2 million homes—last year, according to a newly released ...   read more

Week of February 24th-California, your new home prices are about to spike

February 24, 2019
In 2018, the California Energy Commission unanimously voted for the mandatory implementation of solar panels on virtually every newly built home in California.
This regulation has ensured that California will be the first state in the country to fully harness the sun’s power by 2020.
And although many have praised the landmark decision, some fear it will put ...   read more

Week of Feb. 17th- Stretching the Boundaries

February 17, 2019
As thousands in search of cheaper housing descend on far-flung cities such as Stockton, Lathrop, Tracy and Merced to the east, they’re changing the northern part of the vast Central Valley from a region with a distinct identity to a vast suburb of the Bay Area, whose economic and cultural life is inextricably linked to the vibrant locus some 60 to 120 miles west.
That transformation offers Bay Area workers the ...   read more

Week of Feb. 10th- The reason rich people are now the fastest-growing segment of renters

February 10, 2019
Even the rich gotta rent.
The affluent are increasingly renting, according to multiple studies. Indeed, renters earning $150,000 or more per year were the fastest-growing group of renters, according to a recent study by apartment listing site, which analyzed pricing and demographic data from the U.S. Census, real estate listing sites Redfin and PropertyShark, and apartment real estate ...   read more

Week of Feb. 3rd- California homeowners face higher insurance costs after fires

February 3, 2019
California's new insurance commissioner, Ricardo Lara, delivered bad news earlier this week to Golden State homeowners about wildfire insurance losses and policy premiums. Lara said estimated insurance costs for the 2018 wildfires, which devastated towns such as Paradise and Redding and caused massive destruction in Malibu, had risen by $2.3 billion to $11.4 billion -- a 25 percent increase and a record for the state.
Total ...   read more

Week of Jan. 27th-Fire turns Chico, California, into a boomtown, but at what cost?

January 27, 2019
The tent city in the Walmart parking lot is gone. Most of the emergency shelters around town have closed. Target finally has been able to refill shelves fast enough to keep up with spiraling demand. A kind of normalcy has fallen on Chico.
But the Sacramento Valley city that became the No. 1 refuge for survivors of November’s Camp Fire is still adapting to a new normal of traffic jams, overflowing hotels, crowded ...   read more

Week of Jan. 20th-It’s a big deal: Newsom’s housing budget, explained

January 20, 2019
No wonder Gov. Gavin Newsom dropped those hints earlier this week about an upcoming “Marshall Plan” for affordable housing.
Sure, he’d made ambitious campaign promises to combat California’s housing crisis: leading the effort to build 3.5 million units over the next seven years (an unprecedented rate), jacking up state subsidies for housing reserved for lower-income Californians, and easing regulations ...   read more

Week of Jan. 13th-CoreLogic Loan Performance Insights Find Delinquency Rates in October Dropped to the Lowest Level in at Least 18 Years

January 13, 2019
CoreLogic® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, today released its monthly Loan Performance Insights Report. The report shows that, nationally, 4.1 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure) in October 2018, representing a 1 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency ...   read more

Week of Jan. 6th- Mortgage Rates End the Year Lower

January 6, 2019
Freddie Mac(OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that mortgage rates continued their downward trend to end the week and the year lower.
Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “Rates continued their two-month slide and are currently hovering around the same level as the early summer, which was before the deterioration in ...   read more

Week of Dec. 30th-Credit Score Boost? Cellphone, Utility Payments Soon to Get Factored In

December 30, 2018
Millions of consumers may soon see a boost to their credit scores, which could help when applying for a mortgage. One of the largest credit-reporting firms in the U.S., Experian PLC, announced it will give consumers the option to have their cellphone and utility payments factored into their credit scores early next year. About 46 million consumers who have limited credit data could instantly see an increase to their ...   read more

Week of Dec. 16th-Home Personal Finance Real Estate America’s wavering housing market all depends on what Fed does next

December 16, 2018
As 2018 winds to a close, the housing market has shown signs of a slowdown. Wages are rising, according to the most recent figures released Friday, which economists say may give the Federal Reserve more impetus to raise interest rates later this month.
Throughout this year, observers have begun to speculate that the country’s housing market may have hit its peak. Meanwhile, millions of Americans continue ...   read more

Week of Dec. 9th-2019 Real Estate Forecast: What Home Buyers, Sellers And Investors Can Expect

December 9, 2018
There’s no doubt about it: the 2018 housing market has seen its ups and downs.
The year started with sky-high home prices, historically low mortgage rates and a definitive upper hand for sellers. In recent months though, home price growth has faltered, rates have risen to their highest point in nearly eight years, and favor has started to shift from seller to buyer.
Will these trends continue? Will housing experience ...   read more

Week of Dec. 2nd-Buyers can get a little more house with a Fannie, Freddie loan next year

December 2, 2018
Thanks to a 6.9 percent increase in average home values nationwide, the so-called conforming loan limit on mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will rise next year by the same percent, to $484,350 in most of the country and to $726,525 in high-cost areas including seven Bay Area counties.
Loans that exceed the Fannie-Freddie limits are called jumbos. Historically, they cost a bit more than conforming loans, ...   read more

Week of Nov. 25th-How Wildfires Are Making Some California Homes Uninsurable

November 25, 2018
California’s wildfires keep growing bigger, more frequent and more destructive. Of the 20 worst wildfires in state history, four were just last year, giving rise to a record $12.6 billion of insurance claims.
It hasn’t gotten any better this year. The Mendocino Complex Fire in August was the biggest in state history, and the Camp Fire that wiped out the town of Paradise is the deadliest. It had destroyed ...   read more

Week of Nov. 18th-Fire-weary California homeowners face long road to recovery, rebuilding

November 18, 2018

Californians who lost a home to the state’s wildfires could face a nightmarish recovery as they try to rebuild.

It’s always a challenge to recuperate after any disaster, but California residents face a unique problem. Experts say the seemingly endless series of devastating wildfires in recent years has increased costs and limited the available pool of workers needed to rebuild.  Read more

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Week of Nov. 11th-Happy Veteran's Day

November 11, 2018
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Week of Nov. 4th-California down payment percentage remains highest

November 4, 2018
When it came to offering the highest average own payments, California, Hawaii and Delaware reigned over all.
California’s down payment percentage was 21.44%, averaging $97,809. The average loan offer amount was $454,146.
Hawaii’s down payment percentage was 21.32%, averaging $69,923. The average loan offer amount was $328,046.
Delaware’s down payment percentage was 21.29%, averaging ...   read more

Week of Oct. 28th-Mortgage rates rise as housing market cracks appear

October 28, 2018
Rates for home loans ticked up, and may be starting to take a toll on buyer demand, according to data out this week.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.86% in the Oct. 25 week, up one basis point, mortgage finance provider Freddie Mac said Thursday. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.29%, up from 4.26%. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 4.14%, up four basis points.  
Fixed-ra...   read more

Week of Oct. 21st-To Create the Offices of Tomorrow, This Design Director Scrapped the Cubicle

October 21, 2018
To catch a glimpse of the workplace of the future, Ware Malcomb Interior Architecture & Design Director Heather Groff suggests looking at the headquarters she worked on for cosmetics and perfume maker L'Oréal. The 66,000-square-foot office in Clark, New Jersey, which the company dubbed "The Hub," banishes a staple of traditional office life: the cubicle.
Because its workforce is entirely mobile, L'Oréal ...   read more

Week of Oct. 14th- Could stock market volatility cause house prices to fall?

October 14, 2018
Amid the stock market’s volatility on Wednesday, experts will once again look for the bubble that might burst into the next recession. But housing experts say that real estate is unlikely to be the culprit this time around.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.15%  plunged 831.83 points, or 3.2%, to 25,598.74; the S&P 500 SPX, +1.42%  index fell 94.66 ...   read more

Week of October 7th- Redfin: Number of homes selling above list price drops

October 7, 2018
In the four weeks ending on September 23, homes that sold above asking price dipped below 2016 levels, according to the latest data from Redfin.
According to the company, 22.9% of homes sold for more than asking price, declining from 25.5% of homes the same time last year. Notably, the share of homes that sold above asking price has been steadily decreasing from June, when it was at 29%.
“With ...   read more

Week of Sept. 30th-At last, more choices for Bay Area home buyers

September 30, 2018
If it seems like more “For Sale” signs are popping up in your neighborhood, you’re not imagining things.
In most parts of the Bay Area, more people put their homes on the market in August than they did last August, and this month is on pace to be the biggest September for new listings in many years. Combine that with a small slowdown in the pace of sales, and buyers are finding a little more to choose ...   read more

Week of Sept. 23rd-Here's how some people misuse their home equity loans

September 23, 2018
You shouldn't use your house to help pay your monthly bills, but nearly 1 in 6 American homeowners thinks that's just fine.
Those were the findings from a recent survey by Earlier this month, the personal finance website took an online poll of 719 homeowners, asking them about using their home equity — the market value of your abode minus the outstanding loan you have on your dwelling.
Though ...   read more

Week of Sept. 16th-Buyers Say Garages, Updated Kitchens Aren’t as Important as Schools

September 16, 2018
The home’s garage, large backyard, and updated kitchen may not be as important to home shoppers as the school district, according to a new survey released by® of more than 1,000 people who closed on a home in 2018. Seventy-eight percent of buyers surveyed say they’re willing to give up home features to get their school district of choice, and home shoppers are willing to give up their ...   read more

Week of Sept. 9th-UC Berkeley professor blames rent control for California’s housing shortage

September 9, 2018
Kenneth Rosen, a UC Berkeley economist and real estate consultant, published a paper Wednesday titled The Case For Preserving Costa Hawkins, in hopes of swaying voters against Proposition 10.
Proposition 10, which will go before voters in November, would repeal the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Act, a state law that severely curtails rent control in California cities. For example, under Costa-Hawkins, ...   read more

Week of Sept. 2nd-SF residential projects languish as rising costs force developers to cash out

September 2, 2018
Just 3 miles separate 2675 Folsom St., a vacant former restaurant equipment warehouse in the Mission District, and 160 Folsom St., a former parking lot near the Transbay Transit Center where a condo tower is under construction.
But in the current economic landscape of the San Francisco’s housing development, the two properties are a world apart.
While the next crop of luxury condo towers like 160 Folsom, which ...   read more

Week of August 26th-Why Prop 5 restores fairness to tax system

August 26, 2018
Seniors in California who want to downsize from their three- or four-bedroom home, now that their children are gone, find themselves facing a costly and daunting dilemma. If they sell, they would lose the property tax protections they’ve enjoyed under Proposition 13.
Instead of paying what experts are calling a steep “moving penalty” in the form of a sharp property tax increase, these people stay in ...   read more

Week of Aug. 19th-Housing tipping back to a buyer's market as sellers cut prices

August 19, 2018
After several years of rich home price gains, the market appears to have found a limit to what people can afford. Sellers are finally responding by lowering prices more often.
Approximately 14 percent of all listings in June saw a price cut, that's up from a recent low of 11.7 percent at the end of 2016, according to a new report from Zillow. In addition, home price growth is slowing in nearly half of the 35 largest ...   read more

Week of Aug. 12th- Freddie Mac to lower financing costs for landlords who cap rent rises

August 12, 2018
Freddie Mac, the country’s largest backer of apartment loans, is rolling out a new program that will offer lower-cost financing to owners who agree to cap rent increases for the life of their loans.
The initiative acts similar to rent control—which has been gaining traction in many parts of the country—by keeping units in private hands and controlling the rate of rent increases. But it comes with less ...   read more

Week of Aug. 6th-Millennials create new trend: Couples who don't want to rush to marry, but still want to buy a house

August 5, 2018
Marriage and homeownership have long gone hand in hand. If you're a husband or a wife, your likelihood of owning property swells by nearly 20 percentage points, according to the Urban Institute.
But millennials, born between 1981 and 1997, are less likely to get married than their parents and grandparents, and when they do, it's often later in life.
In 1960, the average age women and men first married was in ...   read more

Week of July 29th-Prices Up, Sales Down

July 29, 2018
“California’s housing market underperformed again, despite an increase in active listings for the third straight month,” said C.A.R. President Steve White. “The lackluster spring homebuying season could be a sign of waning buyer interest as endlessly rising home prices and buyer fatigue adversely affected pent-up demand.”
For the second straight month, the statewide median home price ...   read more

Week of July 22nd- Housing Starts Fall 12.3 Percent As Tariffs Draw Increased Concern

July 22, 2018
Total housing starts fell 12.3 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million units, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department.
The June reading of 1.17 million is the number of housing units builders would begin if they kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts fell 9.1 percent ...   read more

Week of July 8th-It may take centuries to reach housing goals in Bay Area

July 8, 2018
At its current level of housing construction, it would take the East Bay city of Concord until 2984 — almost the next millennium — to reach its 2040 housing goals, according to a new map from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).
Oakland residents would have to wait until 2295 before enough housing is built for its projected 2040 population. San Jose and San Francisco residents have it better ...   read more

Week of July 1st-Study: San Diego Housing Demand Will ‘Perpetually Outpace Supply'

July 1, 2018
A study of housing conditions in the San Diego region predicts a “perpetual” imbalance between supply and demand that will cause companies to lose talented employees.
The most significant finding from the study by London Moeder Advisors is that the region has built little more than 20,000 of an estimated 86,000 new units needed between 2012 and 2020.
“There will be a continuation of high housing prices ...   read more

Week of June 24th-Flooding could claim thousands of Bay Area homes, say climate scientists

June 24, 2018
Although the phrase “my home is underwater” is never good news, in the near future it may take on even more dire ramifications for coastal communities, including those in the larger Bay Area.
On Tuesday the Union of Concerned Scientists [UCS]—a non-profit science advocacy group that lobbies for policy to circumvent potential environmental disasters—released a 28-page study reviewing ...   read more

Week of June 17th- In Memoriam of Claude McCombs

June 17, 2018

Longtime Sherman and Boone client and investment partner, Claude McCombs passed away on June 10th at the young age of 94.  Condolences go out to his family.  Read his obituary here.

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Week of June 10th-Baby bust: Bay Area housing prices go up, births go down

June 10, 2018
“Raising a child is a really expensive proposition,” said Zillow economist Sarah Mikhitarian, “and in these markets where home prices have grown really, really quickly … it’s making it really difficult to afford housing, and that could be delaying having children.”
Nationally, on average, every 10 percentage point increase in home values was associated with a 1.5 percentage point ...   read more

Week of June 3rd- Run-up in home prices is 'not sustainable': Realtors' chief economist

June 3, 2018
Home values have been rising for six straight years, and the gains have been accelerating for the past two years. Unlike the last housing boom, the gains are not driven by fast and easy mortgage money, but instead by solid buyer demand and very low supply. Still, like the last housing boom, some are starting to warn these price gains cannot continue.
"The continuing run-up in home ...   read more

Week of May 27th-Happy Memorial Day!!!

May 27, 2018
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Week of May 20th-The wrong remedy-Faced with a housing crisis, California could further restrict supply

May 20, 2018
“THE rent is too damn high,” read the signs brandished by tenant advocates at rallies held in late April in Oakland (median monthly rent: $2,950), Los Angeles (median monthly rent: $2,700), and Sacramento (median monthly rent: $1,895). The activists gathered, along with local politicians, to announce that they had collected the signatures necessary to include a proposal on California’s November ballot ...   read more

Week of May 13th-California solar mandate could add $10,500 to cost of a house

May 13, 2018
The California Energy Commission on Wednesday is expected to mandate solar arrays on almost all new single-family houses built after Jan. 1, 2020, as part of the state’s fight against global warming. The rule also would apply to new multifamily buildings up to three stories tall.
The proposal, years in the making, would provide an immense boost to the state’s solar industry, which lost jobs in ...   read more

Week of May 6th- Southern California housing ranked with ‘minimal’ risk of a bubble

May 6, 2018
Housing bubble coming? According to one mortgage insurance company’s latest reports, there’s only a slim chance Southern California home prices will fall in the next two years.
Arch MI gauged the economic foundations of home values in 100 major metropolitan areas to determine local housing markets with “minimal” risk. Locally, Arch MI found solid performance among regional businesses and limited ...   read more

Week of April 29th-Who are today’s homebuyers?

April 29, 2018
New demographics have emerged as the leaders in the home buying market in 2018, according to a new report from Veritas Urbis Economics.
Veritas Urbis offers real estate and urban economic consulting services for developers, homebuilders, local government, and others, and was founded by economist Ralph McLaughlin, formerly the chief economist for Trulia. The company says it provides ...   read more

Week of April 22nd-Major California housing bill dies in first committee hearing

April 22, 2018
A sweeping bill that would have given the state unprecedented power over local development failed in its first committee hearing, crushing the hopes of those who saw it as the key to making housing in the state more affordable.
At a lively and crowded hearing Tuesday, the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee blocked Senate Bill 827, a bill to force cities to allow apartments and condominiums of roughly four to ...   read more

Week of April 15th-Debt-to-Income Ratios Rising Among Buyers

April 15, 2018
About one in five conventional mortgage loans issued this winter went to borrowers who spent more than 45 percent of their monthly incomes on their mortgage payment and other debts. This is the highest proportion since the housing crisis, according to CoreLogic, a real estate data firm. Further, that is nearly triple the proportion of such loans issued in 2016 and the first half of 2017. 
Real estate professionals ...   read more

Week of April 8th-Big investment firms have stopped gobbling up California homes

April 8, 2018
Astronomical prices are forcing a rising share of California families to postpone buying a house. As a result, the state’s record-low home ownership rate has been a boon to one growing segment of California’s housing market: single-family home rentals.
Between 2005 and 2015, the number of owner-occupied homes in California shrunk by nearly 64,000 units, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. ...   read more

Week of April 1st-California measure could spur more seniors to sell homes, easing the state's housing crunch

April 1, 2018
A proposed ballot initiative in California could encourage older homeowners with larger homes to downsize and move to other counties, freeing homes for younger families and potentially easing the state's chronic housing shortage.
The real estate industry is leading the charge to qualify the measure for the Nov. 6 election ballot and has already raised about $6.7 million for the effort. Monday is the deadline for proponents ...   read more

Week of March 25th-‘Adulting’ Barriers Hold Back Housing

March 25, 2018
“Adulting” is getting harder for younger generations, which is stymieing the housing market from reaching its full potential, according to Freddie Mac’s latest March Insight report. The report compares young adults to previous generations and the impact to household growth.  
“For today’s young adults, ‘adulting’ is hard because the economic environment ...   read more

Week of March 18th-Here's how much it costs a 4-person family to live in the 15 largest US cities

March 18, 2018
The cost of raising a family looks very different depending on where you are. It will cost you about $58,906 a year to raise a four-person family in Brownsville, Texas, for example, but if you move to San Francisco, California, that expense more that doubles, to $148,439.
That's according to the Economic Policy Institute's newly updated family budget calculator. The calculator shows the income a family ...   read more

Week of March 11th-Trulia says housing actually growing more affordable

March 11, 2018
Trulia’s new study shows while it may be tempting to think previous generations had it easier, housing is actually more affordable now than it was 40 years ago.
The company constructed an affordability score, comparing the highest price the median household could afford with median actual home prices in each year. A household’s highest affordable price is its maximum buying power, with a 20% mortgage down ...   read more

Week of March 4th-More browsers, fewer home buyers in hot Bay Area real estate market

March 4, 2018
The New Year brought lots of home shoppers, but not so many home buyers.
Bay Area residents continued to show strong interest in home ownership in January, despite rising mortgage rates and home prices, according to a study by real estate brokerage Redfin. Demand hit record levels across the country for the typically slow winter month.
“This is the highest level we’ve seen to lead off the year,” ...   read more

Week of Feb. 25th-Airbnb Income Counts Toward Refinancing

February 25, 2018
With the backing of Fannie Mae, home-sharing giant Airbnb has announced a new partnership with select lenders, including Quicken Loans, Citizens Bank, and Better Mortgage, that will allow homeowners to report rental earnings as part of their income when applying to refinance a mortgage. Owners who rent rooms on Airbnb had been facing delays, higher interest rates, and loan limitations when refinancing.
“This ...   read more

Week of Feb. 18th- Shopping for a home? It will take a lot longer than you think because home prices are overheating

February 18, 2018
Homes today are selling in about 40 days on average, almost two weeks faster than a year ago. But it is taking a lot longer for shoppers to find a home to buy.
Two-thirds of buyers are shopping for more than three months before signing a deal, according to a new survey from the National Association of Home Builders. Why so long? They can't find a home they can afford.
Forty-two percent of buyers surveyed said prices ...   read more

Week of Feb. 11th-Will Bitcoin Revolutionize How Real Estate Is Bought and Sold?

February 11, 2018
The past few months have been a crazy roller-coaster ride for bitcoin—and the folks who have the cryptocurrency. The value of the mysterious, paradigm-shifting bitcoin shot up nineteenfold from January to December of last year. It started 2017 at a valuation of $1,000 per unit, and ended it around $19,000. And then it all came crashing down, falling below $6,000 ...   read more

Week of Feb. 4th-‘Extreme’ rent control could be coming to California soon

February 4, 2018
A costly and potentially bruising campaign is taking shape over rent control in California, with deep-pocketed Los Angeles activist Michael Weinstein bankrolling a proposed November ballot initiative to repeal a state law that sets tight limits on the type of housing covered under local rent control laws.
“Nobody’s fighting for the tenant,” said Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, who ...   read more

Week of Jan. 28th-Tax Bill Will Have Winners, Losers Fannie Says

January 28, 2018
Fannie Mae's Economic and Strategic Research Group (ESR) focused on the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed late last year, in its January Economic Developments report.  Like most other economists, Fannie Mae's are upgrading their growth forecasts based on the impact of the bill. Between October 2017 and this month, the average forecast for 2018 real gross domestic product, some based on speculation about what the ...   read more

Week of Jan. 21st-Proposal to expand rent control in California fails to advance

January 21, 2018
State legislation that would have expanded rent control in California failed Thursday after a lengthy and heated debate that brought landlord and tenant groups from across the state to the Capitol.
At issue was a bill that would have repealed a nearly quarter-century-old law that prohibits cities and counties from implementing most new rent control policies. The measure died after four members of the Assembly Housing ...   read more

Week of Jan. 14th-San Jose is the nation’s hottest housing market…

January 14, 2018
A new report from Zillow projects that the San Jose metropolitan area will be the hottest housing market in the nation in 2018, with home values rising dramatically: another 8.9 percent on a year-over-year basis. The San Francisco metropolitan area, which includes the East Bay, will be the fifth hottest market with a 3.8 percent increase in home values, according to Zillow’s new report.
“Over the past five ...   read more

Week of Jan. 7th-Rent control, property taxes and taller apartment buildings: California considers major housing bills in 2018

January 7, 2018
The state’s housing crisis is back on the agenda as California lawmakers return to work after a months-long recess.
Proposals floated in the first week of the year would bring major changes to laws governing property taxes, rent control and local zoning rules. Senate Democrats have also proposed a work-around for the recent GOP tax overhaul, which set a $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions. A ...   read more

Week of Dec. 31st-Three California housing issues to watch in 2018

December 31, 2017
Rising rents and home prices forced California’s housing crisis to the front of Gov. Jerry Brown’s and lawmakers’ agenda in 2017.
Legislators passed the most comprehensive package of housing bills in recent memory designed to increase spending on low-income development and encourage more construction in general.
But the bills, according to independent analyses, won’t do much to make housing cheaper ...   read more

Week of Dec. 17th-Republican tax plan poised to benefit landlords

December 17, 2017
While regular homeowners may be worrying that the Republican tax plan will raise their monthly costs, investors in single-family rental homes see the proposal as a potential boon to business. 
In fact, just the prospect of the plan, which is still being negotiated on Capitol Hill, has more small investors rushing in.
Unlike owner-occupants, investors in single-family homes can write off all the expenses of owning ...   read more

Week of Dec. 10th- Home prices nearly doubled in this surprising California city

December 10, 2017
As home prices skyrocket across the state, there’s one California city where they’ve shot up more than anywhere else in the U.S. — nearly doubling in the past five years.  No, it’s not San Francisco, San Jose or Oakland. It’s not even in the Bay Area.
It’s Stockton, the Central Valley community twice dubbed America’s “most miserable” city by Forbes Magazine ...   read more

Week of Dec. 3rd-Fannie, Freddie to up loan limits by $43,500 in most of Bay Area next year

December 3, 2017
Borrowers will be able to take out a substantially bigger home loan backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac next year, thanks to a 6.8 percent increase in home prices nationwide.
The two government agencies will raise the maximum-size loan they can guarantee on a single-family home or condo by 6.8 percent next year — to $453,100 from $424,100 in most parts of the country, and to $679,650 from $636,150 in ...   read more

Week of Nov. 26th- How a return to multigenerational living is shifting the housing market

November 26, 2017
Donna Butts remembers one of the moments that sold her on the idea that there was a sustained rise in the number of multigenerational households. As executive director of Generations United, a nonprofit that promotes intergenerational living, she was called to do an interview on the topic for a Louisiana radio station a few years ago. The host seemed wedded to stereotypes: He’d never want his mother-in-law to move ...   read more

Week of Nov. 19th-Millennials Pay More for Features and Less for Brands

November 19, 2017

A survey of more than 20,000 new home shoppers shows that millennials care more about features than brands—especially if those features involve technology that makes life easier or more fun. A is willing to pay for tech features that make life simpler, and have to be convinced that paying extra for a brand is worth it.  Read more

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Week of Nov. 12th-Emerging Trends in Real Estate

November 12, 2017
All frequent flyers know that the most critical times in air travel are takeoff and landing. Real estate has been soaring as of late, and thankfully so. This year’s discussions in Emerging Trends in Real Estate® focus on managing the descent safely, keeping in mind the lessons of past bumpy touchdowns. Fortunately, a sudden drop in altitude does not seem to be in the offing. Instead, our survey respondents, ...   read more

Week of Nov. 5th- In Memoriam Robert "Bob" Pavlovich

November 5, 2017

It is with great sadness we announce, former SBR agent and friend, Bob Pavlovich has passed away.  You can read about Bob's amazing life here.


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Week of Oct. 29th California Republicans face backlash for vote that could lead to ending property, state tax deduction

October 29, 2017
Now, as Congress debates a tax reform plan, the state’s GOP representatives are again sticking together to move the proposal forward, even as other Republicans from around the country break ranks because it eliminates popular deductions for the state taxes and local taxes that Americans pay.
The Republicans insist that tax reform will be good for the country as a whole — and most taxpayers individually, ...   read more

Week of Oct. 22nd-Millennials’ New Weapon in Bidding Wars: A Parent’s Home Equity

October 22, 2017

Call it the mortgage merry-go-round: Parents refinance their home to fund the full cost of their son or daughter’s desired home. This allows the child to compete as a desirable all-cash buyer in an area where bidding wars are common. Then, when the purchase closes, the child refinances the new home and pays the parents back.  Read more

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Week of Oct. 15th-Homebuyers rush to riskier mortgages as home prices heat up

October 15, 2017
Home prices are heating up yet again, and that is sending more potential buyers looking for ways to afford a monthly mortgage payment.
The number of adjustable-rate mortgage originations jumped just over 40 percent from the first quarter of this year to the second, according to analysis by Inside Mortgage Finance. ARMs offer lower interest rates than fixed-rate loans, and today's ARMs usually have a fixed period of at ...   read more

Week of Oct. 8th-Dying shopping malls can make room for new condos and apartments, helping ease the housing crisis

October 8, 2017
Real estate experts say, the demise of retail centers provides one of the best chances to add needed housing in California’s urban regions, where a shortage has left nearly 30% of renters in the state paying more than half their income on housing.
“It’s a huge opportunity — probably one of the biggest,” said Adam Artunian, a vice president with John Burns Real Estate Consulting in Irvine.
The ...   read more

Week of Oct. 1st-Here’s why California’s historic housing legislation won’t bring down costs anytime soon

October 1, 2017
California lawmakers this year took historic action to address what one housing economist says is the state’s most serious problem: unaffordability.
“Over the past 30 years, we’ve made it very difficult to build new housing and wages have not kept pace with the rising cost of house prices or rents, to the point it has grown into a crisis. It’s the single biggest problem California faces,” ...   read more

Week of Sept 24th-Physical retail to dominate holiday shopping again this year, survey shows

September 24, 2017
The holiday shopping season will be a busy one for physical retailers: More than nine out of ten holiday shoppers (91 percent) plan to use physical stores for gift buying, and that goes up to 96 percent if those shoppers using physical retailers’ websites are added in, according to a report released this week by ICSC Research. Most holiday spending (69 percent) will take place at retailers with a physical presence, ...   read more

Week of Sept. 17th- Equifax data breach could lead to years of grief for home buyers

September 17, 2017
The catastrophic theft of 143 million consumers’ personal data from national credit bureau Equifax could cause financial grief for years for home buyers and mortgage applicants. The odds are that some of your sensitive information was stolen — possibly your address, Social Security number, driver’s license and credit card numbers — and could now be up for grabs to the highest bidders on a Dark ...   read more

Week of Sept. 10th-West Coast Home Sellers Cashing In the Most on Record Home Values

September 10, 2017
Holding onto your home for a long period of time over the last decade meant a serious return on investment, especially in some of the nation's hottest housing markets. According to a new Zillow® analysisi, Oakland, Calif. and Portland, Ore. top the list of cities where home sellers saw the greatest return.
In Oakland, the typical seller in 2016 sold their home for an average of $590,000 after ...   read more

Week of Sept. 3rd-Here are the top 10 metros where Millennials are moving

September 3, 2017
10. St. Paul, Minnesota – 4,144
Moved in: 32,424
Moved out: 28,280
9. Denver, Colorado – 4,221
Moved in: 64,976
Moved out: 60,755
8. Fort Collins, Colorado – 4,315
Moved in: 24,847
Moved out: 20,532
7. San Francisco, California – 4,833
Moved in: 62,399
Moved out: 57,566
6. Spring Valley, Nevada – 5,347
Moved in: 13,546
Moved out: ...   read more

Week of Aug. 27th-Homeowners Prefer Outdoor Space

August 27, 2017

Outdoor living is becoming just as important as the indoors. According to a consumer survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Taylor Morrison (NYSE: TMHC), a leading national homebuilder and developer, recent and prospective homebuyers are craving green space. More than half (56 percent) of homebuyers surveyed would be willing to sacrifice a larger house to obtain a bigger yard. Continue reading
Fifty-s...   read more

Week of Aug. 20th-Nonprofit launches "Savings Calculator" for homeowners considering solar panels

August 20, 2017
Homeowners in San Diego County have a new tool when considering the costs and benefits of installing rooftop solar panels.
The local nonprofit Center for Sustainable Energy launched a web page this week that allows residents to see how much they could save on their electrical bills based on a number of factors.
The web-based “Solar Savings Calculator” is intended to inform consumers who are considering ...   read more

Week of Aug. 13th-The ‘forever’ home: Why more people in Southern California aren’t selling their homes

August 13, 2017
Southern Californians selling their homes this past spring had owned them for an average of 9.4 years, according to Attom Data Solutions, an Irvine-based housing research firm. By comparison, the average ownership tenure in the spring of 2008 was 4.6 years, or half as long.
Reasons are varied. They include changing demographics, possible tax consequences, rising mortgage rates and difficulty finding the next home, ...   read more

Week of Aug. 6th-JPMorgan points to low risk of a US housing correction

August 6, 2017
New research from JPMorgan examining historic data found that the risk of a dramatic decline in prices is low, despite current fears of a correction in the U.S. and Canada.
Using data from 14 developed countries dating back to 1950, JPMorgan's research found that sharp price corrections have been relatively uncommon, even following large price increases.
"The data show that sustained increases in real house prices have ...   read more

Week of July 30th- Over-storing America

July 30, 2017
As it happens, Shakespeare was writing about retail in America today when he penned those memorable lines in 1599. Our woes stem not from the internet, but from our building permits. Forbes notes that, “Since 1995, the number of shopping centers in the U.S. has grown by more than 23 percent and the total gross leasable area by almost 30 percent, while the population has grown by less than 14 percent.”  Read ...   read more

Week of July 23rd-The Cost of a Hot Economy in California: A Severe Housing Crisis

July 23, 2017
A full-fledged housing crisis has gripped California, marked by a severe lack of affordable homes and apartments for middle-class families. The median cost of a home here is now a staggering $500,000, twice the national cost. Homelessness is surging across the state.
In Los Angeles, booming with construction and signs of prosperity, some people have given up on finding a place and have moved into vans with makeshift ...   read more

Week of July 16th-Higher interest rates send mortgage applications tanking, down 7.4%

July 16, 2017
Mortgage rates just saw their biggest jump since the presidential election, and that took a heavy toll on demand for home loans.
Total mortgage application volume fell 7.4 percent last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted report. Volume was 36 percent lower than a year ago.
"Rates continued to increase last week given increasing evidence that the Fed and other ...   read more

Week of July 9th-Two major lending changes mean it's suddenly easier to get a mortgage

July 9, 2017

The nation's three major credit rating agencies, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, will drop tax liens and civil judgments from some consumers' profiles if the information isn't complete.
Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are allowing borrowers to have higher levels of debt and still qualify for a home loan.
These changes come at a time when lenders are competing for a shrinking market of ...   read more

Week of July 2nd- How to know when to refinance

July 2, 2017
Is now the right time to refinance? If you’re a homeowner, it’s a question you’re bound to ask yourself at some point during the life of your mortgage.
The short answer is … It depends on your specific situation and goals.
There are a few reasons to refinance your mortgage– maybe interest rates have dropped since you took our your initial loan and you want to take advantage of the lower ...   read more

Week of June 25th-California Senate promises billions for affordable housing

June 25, 2017
Lawmakers in Sacramento are eyeing two prospective laws by Bay Area reps, one that would pour billions into affordable housing but also demand that cities start buckling down to build more—or else the state will do it for them.
SB 35, San Francisco senator Scott Wiener’s proposal that would hold city government’s feet to the coals to meet state housing requirements, passed on a 25-12 vote, with ...   read more

Week of June 18th- America's Hottest Real Estate Markets in May 2017

June 18, 2017
Temperatures are rising as spring winds down, but there will be no lazy lolling on the beach for would-be home buyers this summer, judging by the state of home buying in the U.S. in May. Driven by an ever-scarcer supply of available homes, prices for residential real estate reached new heights in May—and homes were scooped swiftly off the market by a lucky few among the hordes of wannabe buyers.  Santa ...   read more

Week of June 11th-Hello, good buy: Texas' commercial property a key target for foreign investors

June 11, 2017
Florida and Texas were the top markets on foreign real estate investors' shopping lists in 2016.
The National Association of Realtors said 20 percent of its commercial real estate members closed a sale last year involving foreign buyers.
Florida, Texas and California were the most popular markets for offshore buyers acquiring small properties for either investment or use, the Realtors found in their annual commercial ...   read more

Week of June 4th- Millennials are saving for financial freedom -- not retirement

June 4, 2017
Millennials often get a bad rap when it comes to financial responsibility. But it turns out those stereotypes may be off base. Millennials are saving more money than any other generation, according to a new study by Bank of America and Merrill Edge. But it’s what they’re saving for that really sets them apart from older generations.
Saving for financial freedom is the No. 1 priority for millennials — ...   read more

Week of May 28th-6 Home Insurance Myths That'll Cost You Big-Time

May 28, 2017
When you’re plunking down a big bundle of cash for a house, you need to protect it from all that could go wrong—and that means you'd better buy home insurance. Pronto. Without it, your biggest investment could fall prey to floods, theft, and all other sorts of natural disasters. That explains why most mortgage lenders require borrowers to purchase home ...   read more

Week of May 21st- Real Estate’s New Normal: Homeowners Staying Put

May 20, 2017

Homeowners are moving less, creating a drag on the economy, fewer commissions for real estate brokers and a brutally competitive market for first-time home shoppers who cannot find much for sale and are likely to be disappointed during real estate’s spring selling season. Enjoy the NY Times article.

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Week of May 14th- Alternative Mortgage Lenders Are Changing Home Buying

May 14, 2017
If you’re looking for a mortgage, there’s one less reason to walk into a bank these days. Alternative mortgage lenders — non-bank companies without customer deposits — are transforming the mortgage industry. Their goal: to offer mortgage rate transparency and help you complete the home loan process quickly, efficiently and mostly (if not completely) online.
The biggest banks, once major players ...   read more

Week of May 7th- This is what homeowners did with their savings on variable mortgage rates

May 7, 2017
Getting an adjustable-rate mortgage can save homeowners money — but whether they actual put those funds to good use is another question.
Homeowners whose mortgage payments dropped when their adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) reset to a lower rate increased their spending, according to a report released this week from the JPMorgan Chase Institute. On average, these borrowers’ credit card spending went up 15% ...   read more

Week of April 30th-The biggest regrets people have after buying a home

April 30, 2017
Spring is here, which means some people are gearing up to make what could be the largest purchase of their lifetime: a home.
In many parts of the country, would-be buyers are finding that there aren’t enough homes on the market. That could lead them to move more quickly than they would like to increase their chances of getting the home they like, says Tim Manni, a mortgage expert for NerdWallet, a personal-finance ...   read more

Week of April 23rd-Homeowner Value Estimates Continue to Outpace Appraisals by a Widening Spread

April 23, 2017
Home values continued to rise in March, but not at the pace homeowners estimated across much of the country. On average appraisals were 1.77 percent lower than what homeowners expected, according to the Quicken Loans Home Price Perception Index (HPPI). This marks the fourth consecutive month the gap between homeowner estimates and appraiser opinions of value widened.
Home values continued the upward movement of the last ...   read more

Week of April 16th-Consumer Survey Identifies Home Shoppers' Preferences in 2017

April 16, 2017

 Ranch-style homes, large backyards and updated kitchens top shoppers' wish lists this spring, according to®'s home buyer survey. More than half of home seekers are looking for a three-bedroom home, while 75 percent of shoppers are considering a two-bathroom home.  Read More

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April 9, 2017
You can deduct private mortgage insurance paid during the 2016 tax year, but this will likely be the last time.
Homebuyers unable to make a down payment of at least 20 percent of their home's purchase price are required to buy the insurance, also known as PMI. It protects your lender in case you default on your loan.
PMI premiums have been deductible since 2007, but the tax break has expired. For future tax years, Congress ...   read more


April 2, 2017

Affordability is beginning to take its toll going into the home-buying season, according to the March Outlook from Freddie Mac.

Home prices continue to rise, increasing 76% from 2000 to 2016 while per capita income increased 72% during that same time period. Read more

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Week of March 26th- How to Prepare Your Budget for Buying Your First Home

March 26, 2017
With the beginning of spring and more interest-rate hikes coming up, a lot of people are wondering if it's time to make the jump from renter to homeowner. Of course, making such a move involves much more than browsing real estate listings and cobbling together enough for a down payment.
One of the most important things a first-time homebuyer can do is prepare their budget for this big financial ...   read more

Week of March 19th- Developers mix uses to revive urban trophies

March 19, 2017
Developers across the country are investing in urban properties by adding new uses to existing landmarks. Chicago’s Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower, is getting a $500 million makeover that will open the ground floor to tourists. This revamp is to include some 300,000 square feet of new retail, dining and entertainment space at the base of the tower, a 30,000-square-foot outdoor deck and a glassed-in atrium. ...   read more


March 12, 2017

As spring selling progresses, here are the latest industry trends builders should know about in finance, operations, marketing, design, and products.  Read about them.

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Week of March 5th- The mortgage market is now dominated by non-bank lenders

March 5, 2017
Most borrowers, whether they are purchasing property or refinancing their home, focus on their mortgage rate and loan terms rather than the type of lender they choose.
Yet the landscape of the lending market has shifted dramatically over the past few years from domination by big banks to a market where more loans are made by non-banks — financial institutions that only make loans and do not offer deposit accounts ...   read more

Week of February 26th- Freddie Mac: Market uncertainty disorients mortgage rates

February 26, 2017
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased slightly to 4.16% for the week ending February 23, 2017. This is up from last week’s 4.15% and from last year’s 3.62%.
The 15-year FRM also increased slightly to 3.37%, up from last week’s 3.35% and from last year’s 2.93%.
However, the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage decreased slightly to 3.16%, down from last week’s ...   read more

Week of Feb. 19th- Home Appraisal Value Lags Owner Estimates by a Wider Spread for Second Consecutive Month

February 19, 2017
For the second consecutive month, the gap between homeowner estimates and appraiser opinions has widened. Quicken Loans’ National Home Price Perception Index (HPPI) showed the average appraisal value was 1.47 percent below what owners expected in January. This two-month drop in the HPPI comes on the heels of a six month stretch where opinions between homeowner and appraiser were steadily moving closer to equilibrium.Appraisal ...   read more

Week of Feb 12th-Remodel or replace? Top 10 ROI opportunities in popular home improvement projects

February 12, 2017
The 2017 Cost vs. Value report by Remodeling magazine documents the national and regional costs and ROI (return on investment) for 29 popular home improvement projects.Overall, these 29 improvements paid back 64.3 cents on the dollar in resale value. What that says to the homeowner is that spending money to sell a home requires research.The goal of improvements from a seller’s standpoint is to attract buyers and ...   read more

Week of Feb. 5th- Looking For A Flip-Worthy House? Must-Haves For Every Room

February 5, 2017
While location is key in almost any real estate transaction, that’s not all you should consider when purchasing a property you intend to “flip.” You need to examine the home room by room, looking for potential ways to make it marketable. “Flipping real estate is all about minimizing risk,” says Robin Mathis, a settlement attorney in Fairfax, VA, who flips homes with her husband, Mike Irvin. ...   read more

Week of Jan. 29th-The Decorating Trends to Look for in 2017

January 29, 2017
When it comes to home décor, 2016 was the year of everything from woven wall hangings to Scandinavian-inspired interiors. And as the year winds down, soon enough your thoughts will most likely wander to a home refresh. So it’s worth exploring the top decorating trends that will likely be on repeat in homes across the country—and possibly in your own abode.
We checked in with three interior designers—Martyn ...   read more

Week of Jan 22nd- The Hottest Neighborhoods of 2017

January 22, 2017

According the Redfin, two of the top three hottest neighborhoods for 2017 are in the Bay Area.    Read the story

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Week of Jan. 15th-Foreclosure activity hits 10-year low

January 16, 2017
Foreclosure activity dropped significantly in 2016 to its lowest point in 10 years, according to the 2016 U.S. Foreclosure Market report from ATTOM Data Solutions, a fused property database.  Foreclosure filings, including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, occurred at 933,045 properties in 2016, down 14% from 2015’s 717,522 properties. This marked the lowest level of filings ...   read more


January 8, 2017
In so many ways 2016 was an unprecedented, volatile and, for some, excruciating 12 months. And the housing market was not immune to the year’s whims. At the start experts anticipated a pick up in building activity, instead builders are still not producing enough homes. Meanwhile, home prices appreciated beyond expectations and mortgage rates toyed with record lows before crossing 4% for the first time in two years. ...   read more

Week of Jan 1- Happy New Year

January 2, 2017
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Dec 18th- No Surprise as Fed Raises Key Interest Rate, but Hike Still Sends Shiver Through REIT Sector

December 18, 2016
While commercial real estate analysts and investors have anticipated an increase in the Federal Reserve's key short-term interest rate for several months, baked-in expectations failed to prevent a sell off of stocks in REITs and the broader market when Fed Chairman Janet Yellen finally announced a rate hike on Wednesday.
The central bank's Federal Open Market Committee not only announced only its first increase ...   read more

Week of Dec. 11th- 'Celebrity' real estate ties can be shaky — or even unreal

December 11, 2016
What’s in a name?
In Los Angeles real estate, a lot. A property’s connection to an A-list celebrity or renowned architect can add glamour, intrigue — and a price premium.
Name-dropping such ties is a common practice, but estates can be mistakenly attributed to notables, and the “Marilyn Monroe once slept here” syndrome has perhaps become frayed from overuse.
Agents Joyce Rey and Jade Mills ...   read more

Week of Dec. 4th-

December 3, 2016
Forget a tale of two cities: Extreme housing market fragmentation is now creating different experiences for home buyers and sellers in a wide range of locations and segments.
Nationally, home prices are expected to keep rising, albeit more slowly— 3.5% in 2017, vs. 4.5% in 2016, per Moody’s Analytics projections. But even more so than in recent years, your position is now going to hinge on what and where ...   read more

Week of Nov. 27th-Hot or not? The housing market has people holding their breath

November 27, 2016
U.S. home sales were slowing even before Donald Trump emerged as the next president of the United States. Now in the wake of Trump’s surprise victory, mortgage rates are rising fast. Lenders are concerned that Trump will aggressively cut taxes and boost infrastructure spending, which would drive up the cost of managing the U.S. debt, increase inflation and give the Federal Reserve cause to raise the key rate ...   read more

Week of Nov. 20th-Making California housing affordable again will require new laws, more avenues to build

November 20, 2016
How can California increase the number of homes that people can afford?
By giving more money to cities that build sufficient affordable housing, some said at a housing summit last week in Los Angeles. Or cutting off funding to those that don’t.
Or by allowing developers to bypass the local process in cities and counties with insufficient affordable housing. Allowing single-family homeowners to build and rent out ...   read more

Week of Nov. 13th-Housing is now unaffordable in many rural parts of California too

November 13, 2016
People fleeing big coastal cities like L.A. and San Francisco in search of more affordable housing inland could be in for sticker shock.
A new report released Tuesday reveals that inland, rural parts of California are increasingly unaffordable too.
"That came as a big surprise because historically we have thought of the housing problem as being a focus in larger cities, but we found every city has this problem," ...   read more

Week of Nov. 6th-Look out housing, Millennials are about to take over

November 6, 2016
Millennials haven’t taken over the housing market yet, but it’s only a matter of time before they do.
Many Millennials have not moved into homeownership due to a number of factors, including a preference for urban living and a high student debt burden.
However, now first First American created a chart that shows Millennials have a higher percentage of people with a college ...   read more

Week of Oct. 30th-FHA Improves Condo Rules, However, More is Needed

October 30, 2016
FHA Improves Condo Rules, However, More is Needed, C.A.R. Says

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will lower its owner occupancy requirements on certain condominium developments from 50 percent to 35 percent, provided the project meets certain conditions, effective immediately.
“C.A.R. has been working with HUD for many ...   read more

Week of Oct. 23rd-A surprisingly high number of first-timers now buying homes

October 23, 2016
For years, the U.S. housing market looked bleak for young couples hoping to buy their first homes but struggling with high student debt, low pay and meager down-payment savings.But a new survey by the real estate firm Zillow suggests that first-time buyers may be entering the market in greater numbers than industry watchers had assumed.Over the past year, the survey found, nearly half of home sales have gone to first-timers. ...   read more

Week of Oct. 16th-That swanky new rental apartment could finally be yours

October 16, 2016
For the last four years the skies of major U.S. metropolitan housing markets have been littered with cranes.
As the homeownership rate fell following the recession, the towers rose — the vast majority boasting luxury rentals, complemented by high-end amenities like rooftop dog parks, fitness centers, private movie theaters and party rooms.
Now all that construction has largely come on line, and sky-high rent growth ...   read more


October 9, 2016
Such a combination of qualities makes California the ideal place for parents to raise their children. But it’s not all moonlight and roses throughout the state — some cities are more family-friendly than others. WalletHub’s analysts therefore compared 240 Golden State cities to determine which among them is most conducive to family life. In making such a comparison, we examined each city across 21 key ...   read more

Week of Oct. 3rd-These large metros are seeing the fastest growth

October 2, 2016
The U.S. economy may be stuck in low gear, but there are plenty of cities across the country that are booming.
Still, many smaller cities are getting left behind, according to the latest government data released Tuesday.
The numbers show that economies of most major American metro areas have fully recovered, but many smaller cities are still struggling to shake off the lingering impact of the Great Recession.
Of the ...   read more

Week of Sept. 25th-Techies Priced Out of Palo Alto as Studios List for $1.3 Million

September 25, 2016
While runaway real estate costs in Silicon Valley have long since priced out most middle-class homebuyers, even high earners are becoming unable to afford Palo Alto, the suburb at the heart of the technology-rich region. Robust job growth combined with limited new housing supply are pitting well-off newcomers against wealthy residents who have benefited from a doubling of home values in the past decade alone.
Critics ...   read more

Week of Sept. 18th-Home Appraisals Continue to Fall Below Owner Perceptions Nationally

September 18, 2016
Quicken Loans, the nation’s second largest retail mortgage lender, today announced appraisals across the country were an average of 1.56 percent lower than what refinancing homeowners expected in August, according the company’s national Home Price Perception Index (HPPI).
The Quicken Loans Home Value Index (HVI), which measures home value changes exclusively through appraisals, moved higher yet in August. ...   read more

Week of 9/11-9 Home-Buying Myths You Need to Stop Believing Immediately

September 11, 2016
So you think you’re finally ready to make the jump from renter to homeowner? Awesome! In this exciting but admittedly scary time, you might be inclined to turn to friends and family for advice—especially if they own homes.
But beware, dear home buyer of the future: Those close to you might not be the experts you think they are. You could be heeding bad (albeit well-intentioned) ...   read more

Week of Sept. 4th- This Month’s 20 Hottest Nationwide Housing Markets

September 4, 2016

Santa Cruz lands at #17 on the Nation's hottest housing markets for the month of August.  The list

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Week of August 28th-In recovering housing market, the starter home remains elusive

August 28, 2016
Low interest rates and an improving job market have created a wave of prospective first-time home buyers, but they're being stymied by a dearth of available starter homes.
Nationwide, the inventory of homes costing $250,000 or less fell more than 12 percent between June 2015 and June 2016, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The shortage stems from higher labor, land and building permit costs that have ...   read more

Week of August 21st- Bye-Bye, Empty Nests: Multigenerational Living Is on the Rise

August 21, 2016
The economy may have largely recovered from the depths of the downturn, but there’s a record number of grown children living with their folks. And with soaring housing prices, aging parents, and the changing ethnic makeup of the nation, the trend of multigenerational living looks like it’s just getting started.
About 19% of all Americans, roughly 60.6 million people, lived in multigenerational ...   read more

Week of August 14th- Jumbo Mortgages Bigger Piece Of The Housing Pie

August 14, 2016
Home prices are approaching, and in some markets exceeding, the peaks hit during the run-up to the Great Recession. And that means ever more of the mortgages that buyers need are jumbo mortgages — typically for $417,000 or more. As jumbo loans become a bigger piece of banks’ lending business, some borrowers lower on the income ladder could lose out.
In the post-recession market, jumbo mortgages are more desirable ...   read more

Week of August 7th-Restaurant Recession Looming? Debate Begins...

August 7, 2016
The restaurant industry is heading for a downturn, according to one industry analyst interviewed Tuesday for Stifel Analyst Paul Westra's prediction, however, leaves out the pizza sector. The dire second-quarter results from 15 of 16 major food service chains is the basis for Westra's argument. He pointed out that they have shown either a dip in sales or slowed growth from the  previous ...   read more

Week of July 31st-These 6 Charts Tell You Everything You Need to Know About the Real Estate Market

July 31, 2016
In the first quarter of 2016, residential investment accounted for roughly half of the 1.1% increase in real GDP. Historically, this is on the high side, but when you count spending on housing services as well as spending on various kinds of housing construction, the home construction industry can account for as much as one fifth of overall output in the U.S. economy. That’s why housing has traditionally powered ...   read more

Week of July 24th- 10 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

July 24, 2016

Key Takeaways

  • It's better to have two credit cards if you are a definite credit card spender.
  • Maintain a good mix of good and bad loan, AKA a healthy credit mix.
  • Close your unwanted savings bank accounts.

Read about the remaining ways.

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Week of July 17th- Can Local Governments Impede Housing Markets?

July 17, 2016
Federal and local government agencies have added significant building costs that did not exist as recently as 15 years ago, which has had an adverse effect on many housing markets, according to a recent survey of more than 100 builders by John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC).
The survey found that in many instances, the government added these extra costs in order to protect the environment and improve ...   read more

Week of July 10th-Foreign Interest in U.S. Homes Cools

July 10, 2016
Miami condo developers, California realtors and others in the housing industry have hoped recent turmoil in the global economy would boost foreign interest in U.S. real estate. New figures suggest the opposite is likely.
Purchases of U.S. residential real estate by foreigners who aren’t residents of the United States fell by $10 billion in the year ending March to $44 billion, the lowest level since ...   read more

Week of July 3rd- Retiring Baby Boomers May Shift Suburban Debate on Taxes, Social Services

July 3, 2016
Baby Boomers rule the ‘burbs. The generation born between 1946 and 1964 grew up in suburban homes, raised their families in suburban neighborhoods, and soon, plans to retire in the same communities in large numbers. By 2035, the number of people aged 65 and over is projected to explode from 48 million to 77 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
These shifting suburban demographics portend a major upheaval ...   read more

Week of June 26th-Brexit Could Drive Mortgages to 'Historic Lows'

June 26, 2016
The United Kingdom's less-than-amicable departure from the European Union sent ripples throughout the global economy Friday. Stocks plummeted as French, Dutch, Italian and Danish politicians called for their own national referendums, and British Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to step down.
But the Brexit vote also appears to have had a somewhat surprising consequence – it has at least temporarily ...   read more

Week of June 19th- Happy Father's Day!!!

June 19, 2016
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Week of June 12th-Baby Boomers in Position to Control Market’s Direction

June 12, 2016
Baby boomers and other homeowners over the age of 55, which number about 67 million, control about two-thirds of the nation’s aggregate home equity, which computes to about $8 trillion.
These numbers put this group in a position to greatly influence where the housing market will go in the next decade, according to Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti in a blog post on Wednesday.
“Whether they decide ...   read more

Week of June 5th-Home-buying season kicks off slowly as thin housing supply constrains California home sales in April

June 5, 2016

While sales remained above the 400,000 benchmark level, California existing home sales fell from the previous year in April as tight housing inventory continues to impede the housing market, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today. April marked the second worst start to a spring home-buying season since the housing recovery began in 2009.  Read the report.

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Week of May 22nd-Foreclosure Starts Lowest Since 2000

May 22, 2016
The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties remained unchanged from the previous quarter at a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.77 percent of all loans outstanding at the end of the first quarter of 2016. This was the lowest level since the third quarter of 2006. The delinquency rate was 77 basis points lower than one year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) National ...   read more

Week of May 15th-Commercial Market is on Edge?

May 15, 2016
Opinion: Market is on Edge - The Registry
Commercial real estate has experienced a dizzying price boom since the Financial Crisis. It goes in cycles. Rising rents and soaring property prices along with cheap credit drive up construction, which takes years from planning to completion, and suddenly all this capacity is coming on the market just as demand begins to sag…. That’s when the cycle turns south.
On ...   read more

Week of May 8th-Student debt is actually not holding back the housing market, says economist

May 8, 2016
The more recent Fed study combined credit reports with data on college attendance from the National Student Clearinghouse, discovering that the greatest disparity in homeownership rates is more tied to education than student debt. People without college degrees are more likely to own a home in their early 20s while their counterparts are hitting the books, but they lose that advantage around age 27. College ...   read more

Week of May 1st-New Study Examines Impact of Parental Money on Millennial Homebuying

May 1, 2016
How much does parental support help aspiring young homeowners?  According to a new working paper, "The Role of Parental Financial Assistance in the Transition to Homeownership by Young Adults," the probability of becoming a homeowner jumps 23 percent among adult children who receive a money transfer from their parent, based on data from the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS).
Not surprisingly, receiving money from ...   read more

NEW LISTING- Lower Westside 10,000 SF Parcel

April 25, 2016

View the new listing at 423 Dufour St, Santa Cruz, asking $899,000.

   read more

Week of April 24th- Take Years for Big-City Millennials to Save for a Down Payment

April 24, 2016
Bucking their rent-not-own reputation, millennials are looking forward to buying a home, but many have grossly underestimated just how much they'll need for that all-important down payment.
Of the generation known for renting everything from designer handbags to desks in a shared office space, 79 percent say they want to purchase a home, according to a report published Wednesday by Apartment List, an online rental marketplace. ...   read more

Week of April 17th-Homes With Barn Doors and Farmhouse Sinks Fetch Higher Prices

April 17, 2016
Homes With Barn Doors and Farmhouse Sinks Fetch Higher Prices - Yahoo Finance
You’ve heard that when it comes to the desirability of real estate property the three most important things are location, location and location. It’s time to add three more to that list: barn doors, shaker cabinets, and farmhouse sinks.
According to a study out Tuesday from the real estate monitoring company Zillow, homes ...   read more

Week of April 10th-First-time homebuyers want to skip 'starter home'

April 10, 2016

First-time homebuyers want to skip 'starter home' | 2016-04-06 | HousingWire

About 75% of first time homebuyers would prefer skip their starter home in order to obtain more long-term options, according to Bank of America’s Homebuyer Insights Report.

Here is a breakdown of what first time homebuyers prefer:

Click to enlarge

FTHomebuyer Preferences

Source: Bank of America

Of these first time homebuyers, about 35% said they would like to retire in their first home purchase, according to the report. About 69% would prefer to wait and move into a nicer home in the future, as opposed to the 31% who would like to move into a starter home now.

Click to Enlarge

Now vs Later homebuyer

Source: Bank of America

On the other hand, buyers who have a plan in place are more likely to purchase a starter home, as opposed to buyers who want a home someday, but have not solidified when. Among buyers with a plan already in place, 41% would prefer to buy a starter home, however 23% of buyers without a plan would buy a starter home now.

Of the reasons given for not purchasing a home, 56% said they don’t think they can afford the type of home they want, 34% said they are paying off debt and 28% said they don’t need a home yet.

The study showed that more Gen Xers have put off purchasing their home than Millennials because of debt. Whereas 32% of Millenials, aged 18 to 34, have put off buying a home due to debt, about 43% of Gen Xers, aged 35 to 49, have postponed due to debt. 

The Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report also showed that it's a good time to buy a home, but no one cares


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Week of April 3rd-Building housing for grandma and the generations

April 3, 2016
Building housing for grandma and the generations- NextGen homes, a brand from Miami-based home builder Lennar (LEN) is doing very well for Lennar, which has made a heavy push into the multigenerational space. Year-over-year, sales of NextGen grew by 24 percent in the third quarter of 2014, the latest company reporting available. It offers the floor plans in more than 200 communities nationwide, and the average ...   read more

Week of March 27th-Rising Home Prices Causing Homebuyer Gridlock Among Starter, Trade Up And Premium Homes

March 27, 2016
Heading into the spring house-hunting season, inventory remains tight and affordability continues to worsen. The number of starter and trade-up homes on the market nationwide has dropped by 43.6% and 41.0%, respectively. Meanwhile, buyers will need to spend between 2-6% more of their income towards a home purchase than in 2012. In turn, this builds a higher barrier to entry for first-time buyers to become homeowners, ...   read more

Week of March 20th-Fed leaves interest rates unchanged, sees only two hikes in 2016

March 20, 2016
The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady Wednesday and signaled it will lift them more slowly than previously indicated because of a weak global environment and volatile stock market.
The Fed said in a statement said its rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee decided to leave the central bank’s benchmark interest rate in a range of 0.25%-0.5%. The decision was widely expected.
The big change was in the ...   read more

Week of March 13th-Foreign Buyers Are Pulling Back, Realtors Say

March 13, 2016
Demand from foreign buyers is weakening, the National Association of Realtors says, undermined by a strong U.S. dollar and rising home prices.
Last year, many real-estate experts predicted that foreign investors could flock to U.S. real estate as a safe haven amid global economic tumult. Last June, Realtors reported that Chinese buyers had surpassed Canadians as the top foreign buyers of U.S. real-estate, ...   read more

Week of March 6th-Single-Family Built-for-Rent Market is on the Rise

March 6, 2016

The increased popularity of the single-family rental (SFR) market in the last two years has led to an increased number of SFR homes built for the expressed purpose of renting. The market for detached SFR homes built-for-rent is on the rise despite a falling market share in the last three years, according to Robert Dietz, Vice President for Tax and Market Analysis for NAHBRead the story.

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Week of February 28th- Home Depot sales beat on housing recovery, outdoor demand

February 28, 2016

Home Depot Inc (HD.N), the world's largest home improvement chain, reported better-than-expected sales, boosted by an improving housing market and mild weather in the holiday quarter that encouraged customers continue outdoor activities and home renovations. Read the story,


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Week of Feb. 21st-Low Down Payment Loans Are Back

February 21, 2016
Just because you haven’t saved up enough for a 20% down payment—or even 10%—doesn’t mean you’re locked out of the housing market.
In 2015, 26% of loans for home purchases were made with down payments of less than 10% of the home’s value, according to data released Thursday from RealtyTrac. That’s a 10% increase from 2014. In fact, the number of home owners who purchased homes ...   read more

Week of Feb. 14th-Home-Price Growth Sped Up Last Year, Realtors Say

February 14, 2016
Home-price growth accelerated late last year, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors, as a lack of supply continues to drive up prices despite cooling demand.
The national median existing single-family home price grew nearly 7% to $222,700 in the fourth quarter, compared with the same time last year, Realtors said. Prices increased 5.4% in the third quarter compared with ...   read more

Week of Feb. 7th-How Selling a Home in Winter Works to an Investor's Advantage

February 7, 2016
When it comes to buying or selling a home, conventional wisdom dictates that winter is lousy timing. You can't show or see a home at its best when the weather is crummy.
Sellers face a shortage of buyers, and buyers find there aren't enough homes to choose from. Considering that a home is a big piece of your investment portfolio, one would think it's a difficult season to enter the real estate market.  Read more. ...   read more


January 30, 2016
The size of new homes rose last year, suggesting Americans' love of space remains strong but making new homes less affordable for a bigger swath of buyers.
The average size climbed to about 2,720 square feet in 2015 from about 2,660 square feet the previous year, according to data released by the National Association of Home Builders at its annual trade show.
Almost half of the homes started last year had four or more ...   read more

Week of Jan. 24th-First-Time Buyers: How Much Down Payment Do You Really Need These Days?

January 24, 2016
For someone who is thinking of buying a first home, the idea of saving enough money for a 20 percent down payment can be daunting. The good news is a first-time buyer can purchase a home for a little as 3 percent down -- and even no money down in some cases.
"The narrative that in order to buy a house in America today you need 20 percent down is just not true," says Marietta Rodriguez, vice president of national homeownership ...   read more

Week of January 17th-Housing market needs incomes to grow: Fannie Mae

January 17, 2016
Housing affordability—or lack thereof—is going to put a damper on the housing market’s growth, according to Doug Duncan, chief economist for Fannie Mae (FNMA) and one of the biggest players in the housing market.  “Our theme for the year is [that] housing affordability constrains as the expansion matures,” said Duncan. “Both rents and house prices are appreciating at pretty strong ...   read more

Week of Jan. 10th-The ‘Missing Link’ in Housing

January 10, 2016
For years, first-time home buyers have made up around 40 percent of all buyers. However, since the recession, this percentage has been shrinking. In 2015, they made up just under 30 percent of the market share, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. 
The decrease of first-time home buyers will have broad economic implications, housing analysts say. Without first-time home buyers, an entire cycle ...   read more

Week of Jan. 3rd-Cities look at subsidized housing to stem teacher shortages

January 3, 2016

Inspired by the success in the heart of the Silicon Valley of a 70-unit teachers-only apartment complex, school districts in high cost-of-living areas and rural communities that have long struggled to staff classrooms are considering buying or building rent-subsidized apartments as a way to attract and retain teachers amid concerns of a looming shortage.  Read the story.

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Week of Dec. 27th-Will El Niño hammer the housing market?

December 27, 2015

Orange County real estate investor Lin He isn’t worried about how his own house will hold up against this winter’s anticipated monster, El Niño.

He, who buys and flips fixer-uppers, is afraid the extreme storm system forecast to last into spring could create construction delays, add to his labor, material and carrying costs and soak up his earnings.Read the article from the OC Register.

   read more

Week of Dec. 20th- Check Out These 8 Surprising Predictors of Housing Prices

December 20, 2015
When it comes to nailing the best deal in real estate, you can get a jump on the competition! Inside-track insights can be found in the most unusual places—such as on a grocery run, or at the gas pump. We’ve rounded up eight surprising indicators of change in home prices. Do they play a role in pushing the numbers skyward or down into the dirt? Or are they false prophets? We’re here to help you ...   read more

Week of Dec. 13th-Average rate on 30-year mortgages rises to 3.95%

December 13, 2015

Average interest rates on 30 year mortgages increased to 3.95% this month, a significant increase over the rate of 3.76% back in October.  The LA Times provides interesting insight into where interest rates are headed.  

   read more

Week of Dec. 6th- 40% of young adults who live on their own still get money from parents

December 6, 2015
So much for financial independence — over 40% of young adults between the ages of 25 and 32 who don’t live at home still receive some sort of financial help from their parents.
That’s according to a new paper in the journal Social Currents by Anna Manzoni, an assistant professor of sociology at North Carolina State University, who examined the relationship between parent-child cohabitation and ...   read more

Week of Nov. 29th- When is Housing's Black Friday?

November 29, 2015
Does the housing market really come to a screeching halt during the holidays?® did some digging into its data and online traffic to determine the true Black Friday of the housing business. Here’s a holiday shocker: Dec. 28 was actually one of the busiest days for real estate searches in the entire year, despite the fact that Dec. 24 was the single slowest. Another best-performing day also falls ...   read more

Week of Nov. 15th- Four reasons why 2016 is a good time to buy a home

November 15, 2015

With 2016 fast approaching, now is the time for renters to get off the sidelines, start organizing their finances and take on the excitement of homeownership.

But given the recent history of the housing market and Americans’ increasing need to stay mobile, it is understandable that it can be nerve-wracking to invest your hard-earned money in a home. Article...

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Week of Nov. 8th-Number of First-Time Home Buyers Falls to Lowest Levels in Three Decades

November 8, 2015
The share of U.S. homes sold to first-time buyers this year declined to its lowest level in almost three decades, raising concerns that young people are being left out of an otherwise strong housing-market recovery.
First-time buyers fell to 32% of all purchasers in 2015 from 33% last year, the third straight annual decline and the lowest percentage since 1987, according to a report released Thursday by the National ...   read more

Week of Nov.1st- Feds Delay Interest Rate Hike Again

November 1, 2015
The Federal Reserve said Thursday that it is not going to raise the federal funds rate this month, citing the fact that the country’s economy still has not met the targets laid out by the Federal Open Markets Committee.
In a statement released Wednesday by the Fed, the FOMC members said that in an effort to “support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today ...   read more

Week of Oct. 25th-Homeownership Help: The Growing Importance of the Bank of Mom & Dad

October 25, 2015

The use of loans and gifts from family and friends to help purchase a home increased sharply during the recession – from 8 percent of homes bought in 2007 to 21 percent of homes bought in 2009. The share has since declined, to 13 percent in 2014.
Hispanics and Asians are more likely to receive down payment assistance from family and friends than blacks and whites.
Presumed first-time homebuyers who bought ...   read more

Week of Oct. 18th- Construction Workers ‘Left the Business and They Didn’t Come Back’

October 18, 2015
Home builders are facing delays and rising costs as they struggle to find enough construction workers. That’s partly a function of the housing boom and bust, which helped push industry-wide employment above 7.7 million in 2006, only to watch it come crashing down by nearly 2.3 million over the next five years. While builders are used to ups and downs, the most recent bust was extreme in magnitude and duration. ...   read more

Week of Oct. 11th-Meet the Hipster Real Estate Developers Building for Millennials

October 11, 2015
If you’re the sort of twenty-something who needs rhubarb bitters in her cocktail, you’re not going to live just anywhere—and Timberlane co-founders Chaffetz, 32, and Dave Enslow, 37, are counting on that. Much of their Seattle- and Los Angeles-based firm’s strategy is straight out of the developer playbook: buy neglected apartment buildings in promising neighborhoods, renovate, raise rents, and ...   read more

Week of Oct. 4th-Silicon Valley Employers’ New Development: Housing

October 4, 2015

The housing shortage in Silicon Valley has employers like Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook paying attention. The tech giants have all dipped their toes into residential development—some with a focus on serving low- and moderate-income workers. While Santa Clara and San Mateo counties have been adding jobs and population at a rapid clip, new housing starts have not kept pace. As a result, the average rent ...   read more

Week of Sept 27th- How an Immigration Downturn Has Contributed to the Construction-Worker Shortage

September 27, 2015
In addition to rising entitlement cost,increasingly restrictive immigration policies and better opportunities abroad have resulted in less Mexican immigration to the U.S. for such work, according to a report released Monday by home-building analyst John Burns Real Estate Consulting Inc.
Without taking a position on immigration policy, the analysis firm examined Commerce Department data to determine ...   read more

Week of Sept. 20th-San Jose affordable housing law headed to U.S. Supreme Court

September 20, 2015
The California building industry has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its legal challenge to a San Jose affordable housing law upheld earlier this year by the state Supreme Court.
In a petition filed Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court, lawyers for the industry argue that San Jose's law and others like it across California violate federal constitutional protections against the "taking" of private property. The Pacific ...   read more

Week of Sept. 13th- Home prices are on the rise, but there's good news and bad news.

September 13, 2015

First, the good news: Higher prices increase home equity and help bring some owners above water and increase their wealth.


Now the bad news:  Sluggish wage growth makes it harder for buyers to enter the market -- particularly first timers and borderline borrowers.


Enjoy the story,

   read more

Week of Sept 6th- Rent run amok: Rent hikes have sparked bidding wars and sent tenants scrambling

September 7, 2015

Rent run amok: Rent hikes have sparked bidding wars and sent tenants scrambling - The Orange County Register

Bidding wars broke out all over Orange County this summer.

Not just to buy houses. But to rent homes, too.


Read the article

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Week of August 30th- The Most Affordable Place in the U.S. to Raise a Family

August 30, 2015

A recent study concluded 14 of the 15 most affordable places in the US to raise a family (two adults, two children) in Tennessee.  Not surprisingly, the Bay Area was one of the most expensive.  Read the article.

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Week of Aug 23rd-Boomerang home buyers poised to return to market with a roar

August 23, 2015

About 7 Million homeowners who went through foreclosure or short sales like Cooley-Guys' during the bust have the potential to get a mortgage again this year, said Daren Blomquist, vice president of Realty Trac. That compares to the 3 million people overall who got a mortgage between October 2013 and September 2014.  Click here to read the story.


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New Listing- Lower Westside Surfer's Delight-$595,000

August 18, 2015

Erik Barbic has listed 132 Dufour St, on Santa Cruz's lower Westside for $595,000.  Check it out

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Week of August 16th-Renting in America has Never Been So Expensive

August 16, 2015

A recent report by Zillow shows renters in Los Angeles spend 1/2 their monthly income on rent.  Read the report. 

   read more

Week of August 2nd-US Homeownership Rate Hits 48 Year Low

August 2, 2015

Enjoy the article.

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Week of July 26th-How to Buy in a Seller's Market

July 26, 2015

The Washington Post ran an interest article about how to best go about buying a home in a Seller's market.

   read more

Week of July 19th-Loan Demand Surges 75% Ahead of Last Year

July 19, 2015
Loan Demand Surges 75% Ahead of Last Year
Mortgage activity is soaring, with total mortgage origination balances reaching $466 billion in the first quarter -- nearly a 75 percent increase from the same time a year ago, according to Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report.  Loan Demand Surges 75% Ahead of Last Year | Realtor Magazine
The bulk of the growth has been to first mortgages, which zoomed ...   read more

Week of July 12th- Harsh reality for young homebuyers

July 12, 2015

It takes 18 years to save for a home down payment in San Diego |
San Diegans who are between 25 and 30 years old may be graying by the time they can save enough to buy a median-priced home here.
A study released Wednesday by real-estate tracker Trulia says it would take 18 years for a San Diego household of college-educated young professionals earning the median income to afford a median-priced ...   read more

Week of July 5th-Want a Shorter Commute? Pay $900 a month to live in a Tent!!!

July 5, 2015
Want a shorter commute? Pay $900 a month to live in a tent near Google
The freelance web developer in the Monta Loma neighborhood of Mountain View recently posted an Airbnb listing for a Coleman tent in his backyard. Rest assured, the tent is in a "safe and friendly" neighborhood, "very close to Caltrain," and "in a beautiful garden." You can even use the shower and eat inside. Although, come on, you're roughin' it! ...   read more

Week of June 28th- Rising Mortgage Rates to Test Housing Market’s Strength

June 28, 2015

Rising Mortgage Rates to Test Housing Market’s Strength -
The national housing market has been gaining strength in recent years as prices rose rapidly in many areas. In the first quarter, 51 metro areas posted double-digit percentage price gains, according to the National Association of Realtors. But economists say that momentum may not outlast higher rates, depending a lot on location.  View the article. ...   read more

Week of June 21st- More than 1.5 Million ‘Boomerang Buyers’ Could Re-Enter Mortgage Market In Next Three Years

June 21, 2015
"Boomerang Buyers'" are those who lost a home or property to a foreclosure action. Boomerang buyers include those who are 60 or more days delinquent on a mortgage loan, have had a mortgage loan modified, or have lost a home through foreclosure, short sale, or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. TransUnion estimates that about 700,000 boomerang buyers could re-enter the mortgage market in 2015, and another 2.2 million could ...   read more

Week of June 14th- Unusual Homes Around the World

June 14, 2015

The Atlantic has run a story with pictures of unusual homes around the world.  Check it out.

   read more

Week of June 7th-Why owners often overestimate their home's market value

June 7, 2015

Do you know what your house is worth? Would you concede that there's a chance that your estimate of its value might be higher than what a buyer would pay?

A new statistical study, published in the Journal of Housing Economics, found that homeowners on average "overestimate the value of their properties by about 8%."

Read the LA Times story.


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Week of May 31st- Not Buying a Home Could Cost You $65,000 a Year???

May 31, 2015

A recent study showed Santa Cruz to be the most costly area to not own a home.  According to the study, the cost of owning rather than renting equates to more than $65,000 per year.  Over 30 years, homeowners save more than $1 million when compared to renting.  Click here to read the story.  

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Week of May24th-After Riding Apt. Value Wave, Investors Taking Long Look at Cashing Out, Diversification

May 25, 2015

After Riding Apt. Value Wave, Investors Taking Long Look at Cashing Out, Diversification - CoStar Group

Maturing Cycle Presenting More Options to Sell, Recycle Capital Into Higher-Yield Asset Types Such as Office or Shopping Centers.  Enjoy the story,


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Week of May 10th- Here's what's driving up housing prices...Demand

May 10, 2015

Home prices took off in 2012 and went on a tear in 2013. And while the double-digit growth has slowed somewhat, prices are still heading higher.  Read the story from CNN Money!.


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NEW LISTING- Three Units in Watsonville

May 6, 2015

John Skinner has listed three units at 212 Pacific Blvd in Watsonville for $687,000.  Ideal low maintenance multi-family investment.  View the property.  

   read more

Week of May 3rd-Why California faces 'lost generation' of homebuyers

May 3, 2015

California faces 'lost generation' of homebuyers in millennials, California Association of Realtors CEO says - Sacramento Business Journal
The slow pace of homebuilding will hurt California by driving millennials out of state to buy, according to the CEO of the California Association of Realtors.
“They’re not going to be a ‘lost generation’ in terms of housing,” Joel Singer ...   read more

Week of April 26th-New Homes Command High Prices

April 26, 2015

New homes are selling for 40% greater prices in certain areas than comparable older homes.  The large increase in prices is great for builders, but it not creating additional wealth for the average homeowner.  Enjoy the story.

   read more

Week of April 19th-Baby Boomer Investors Exchanging Multifamily Ownership for Net Lease Retail

April 19, 2015

Baby Boomer Investors Exchanging Multifamily Ownership for Net Lease Retail - CoStar Group


Since bottoming five years ago this quarter, the average per square foot price being paid for single-tenant net leased retail properties has now surpassed their pre-recession highs of 2007.  Read the CoStar story.


   read more

Week of April 12th-An alternative to HELOCs: Financing tied to future home appreciation

April 12, 2015
An alternative to HELOCs: Financing tied to future home appreciation
Here's a question that growing numbers of owners might encounter in the coming months, especially in markets where growth rates in home values historically have been strong: Would you prefer loading more debt onto your house with a credit line or might you be open to trying something different — sharing part of your future appreciation with private ...   read more

Week of April 5th-Bay Area Is Almost Rock-Bottom in U.S. for Housing Creation

April 6, 2015

The Bay Area has been unable to keep up with the new residents moving to the area but if you’re willing to move to Detroit or Pittsburgh or St. Louis, finding shelter won’t be an issue. And it will be much easier to pay for, given that affordability is compromised when the housing supply is low.  Read the article. 


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New Listing- Golf Course Living in Chowchilla

April 3, 2015

Roxanne Pomo has listed 4180 Brentwood St in Chowchilla for $269,900.  This 3 bedroom, 2 bath home boasts 2,007 sf of living space, a relaxing pool and golf course views.  Click here to see the listing. 

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Week of March 29th-Leased solar panels can complicate a home sale

March 29, 2015

Leased solar panels can complicate — or kill — a home sale - LA Times

Can going green by leasing solar panels for your roof cost you money — or give you headaches — when you go to sell the house?

Possibly both.  Read the story from the LA Times.  


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NEW LISTING-Resort Living in Chowchilla

March 26, 2015

Roxanne Pomo (559-284-7150) has listed 2450 Capri in Chowchilla for $199,000.  This 1,992 sf two story home has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.  View the listing.

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Week of March 22nd-The U.S. Cities Where It Takes the Longest to Be Able to Afford to Buy a Home-Santa Cruz is #1

March 22, 2015

The U.S. Cities Where It Takes the Longest to Be Able to Afford to Buy a Home - CityLab


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Week of March 15th-Airbnb and other short-term rentals worsen housing shortage, critics say

March 15, 2015
Airbnb and other short-term rentals worsen housing shortage, critics say - LA Times
As short-term rental websites such as Airbnb explode in popularity in Southern California, a growing number of homeowners and landlords are caving to the economics. A study released Wednesday from Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, a labor-backed advocacy group, estimates that more than 7,000 houses and apartments have ...   read more

Week of March 8th-Sticker Shock Stalls Downsizing Boomers

March 9, 2015

The high cost of housing located in urban cores has surprised many Boomers looking to downsize from their empty nests.  

   read more

Week of March 1st-Internet Search Volume Reveals Housing Demand

March 1, 2015

A study by three researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland have found a correlation between housing demand and the amount of searches on Google for real estate related items.  Enjoy the article. 

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Week of Feb. 22nd- Low Down Payments Make a Comeback

February 22, 2015

The proliferation of loan's with low down payments have experienced a resurgence.  The story on CNN discusses some of the more prevalent options available to Buyer's whose largest obstacle to homeownership is often the size of the downpayment.  

   read more

Week of Feb. 15th- 3 ways to make your home worth more

February 15, 2015

In an article on Yahoo! Finance with the CEO of ZIllow, Stan Humphries they discuss three ways Seller's can add value to their home through the selling process.  

   read more

NEW Listing-Sunset Beach Stunner!!

February 10, 2015

Sharolynn Ullestad has listed 12 Mesa Way in Sunset Beach for $998,500.  This 3 bed, 2.5 bath home has a rooftop deck providing stunning ocean views.  Contact Sharolynn for more information at 831.464.5006.

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Week of Feb. 8th-Millennials Seek Smaller Houses, But Won’t Sacrifice Details

February 8, 2015

As Millennials begin to enter the home buying market in larger numbers, homes will get a little smaller, laundry rooms will be essential, and home technology will become increasingly prevalent, said panelists during an International Builders’ Show press conference on home trends and Millennials’ home preferences held last week.  Read the story.



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NEW LISTING-Santa Cruz Townhome

February 2, 2015

Tanya Miraglia has listed 2011 Bobwhite Lane in Santa Cruz for $490,000. This 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath home consists of 1,421 sf.  Click here to email Tanya with any questions.

   read more

Week of Feb. 1st- Boomerang’ Buyers Set to Surge Back Into Housing Market

February 1, 2015

‘Boomerang’ Buyers Set to Surge Back Into Housing Market |


   read more

Week of Jan. 25th- Market is About 75% Back to "Normal"

January 25, 2015
According to a recent report published by Trulia, the real estate market is about 75% back to normal.  They are anticipating a slow in price gains during 2015 but an increase in inventory.  Coupled with low interest this could potentially swing the pendelum back in the favor of Buyers.   read more

Week of Jan. 18th-Buyer Spend More Time Shopping for Shoes Than Mortgages?

January 18, 2015
A recent survey conducted in an article by CNBC details how homebuyer's are spending more time shopping for shoes than their mortgage.     read more

Week of Jan 11th-To sell or refinance? In a CRE market flush with capital, owners enjoy luxury of choice

January 11, 2015

To Sell or Refinance? In a CRE Market Flush With Capital, Owners Enjoy Luxury of Choice

Although No Single Solution Fits All, Refinancings Allow Owners To Both Hold Onto Assets and Be Buyers at Same Time.
   read more

Week of Jan. 4th- Delaying the Home Buying Process?

January 4, 2015
The Sacramento Bee details the decisions of millenials and why they are putting off purchasing homes. Is this same thought process prevalent in other area's throughout California?   read more

Week of Dec. 28th- Is It Cheaper to Buy a House in Winter?

December 26, 2014

There are seasonal differences in home prices.  For example, the cost of a home is higher in the summer than in the winter.  These seasonal shifts are well documented—most housing indexes provide “seasonally adjusted” prices—but many models of the housing market have failed to account for them. View the story.

   read more

Week of Dec. 21st-WSJ Survey: Housing Dinged 2014 Economic Growth

December 21, 2014
Housing starts in 2014 fell short of expectations and has been blamed for the US economy not growing as fast as predicted.  Will the lack of housing starts create more demand?  Read the story   read more

Week of Dec. 14th- Booming Silicon Valley job market may be held back by housing costs

December 14, 2014
The San Jose Mercury News ran an article this past week in regards to the negative effect the region's home prices is likely to have on the growing job market.     read more

Week of Dec. 7th- Self-employed find it's not easy to get a mortgage

December 7, 2014
The LA Times ran a story last week about the hardship the self-employed face when applying for a home loan.     read more

Week of Nov. 30th- Could Obama’s immigration initiative boost the housing market?

November 30, 2014
An excerpt from the story in the Washington Post "The immigration changes that Obama is making could nudge the numbers upwards for Hispanics by giving those who are unauthorized more secure status, Pendall said.  But it’s important to note that the majority of Hispanics in the United States are native-born, not immigrants. The number of unauthorized immigrants in this country has not grown since the recession ...   read more

Week of Nov. 23rd- How millennials can overcome hurdles to homebuying

November 23, 2014
With the market in Santa Cruz County on an upswing, many "millennials" are again getting priced out of the market.  US News ran an article airmed at helping this generation to purchase homes.  View the article.     read more

Week of Nov. 16th-Adjustable Rate Mortgages Make a Return

November 16, 2014
As the housing market has shifted, some property owner's have opted to go with Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) as a way of lessening their monthly payments.  Read the story.     read more

NEW LISTINGS-Two Homes, One in Aptos, One in Watsonville

November 10, 2014

Sheila Feddema has listed two new homes:


212 Camino Del Mar, Aptos-1,316 sf 3 bedroom 1.5 bath home for $699,000


507 Niguel. Watsonville- 1,400 sf 3 bedroom, 2 bath for $406,000


Contact her at 831.464.5088 for more details

   read more

NEW LISTING-Development Land in Watsonville

November 10, 2014
John Skinner has listed 2.75 acres on Airport Blvd in Watsonville for $540,000.  View the listing   read more

Week of Nov. 9th-Seeing Similarities to 2007, CRE Industry Debates Whether We're Early or Late in Current Upcycle

November 9, 2014

Seeing Similarities to 2007, CRE Industry Debates Whether We're Early or Late in Current Upcycle

   read more

Week of Nov. 2nd-10 Simple Steps to Save for a House

November 2, 2014
While every situation and person is different, here is a list of 10 steps to save for a house.     read more

Week of Oct. 26th- What are Home Buyer's Using the Internet to do?

October 26, 2014
This infograhpic depicts how and for what purposes home Buyer's are using the internet to assist with their purchases.     read more

Week of Oct. 12th-Bernanke Unable to Qualify for Loan?

October 12, 2014
Ignoring the question of why he might need a home loan, Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke discussed how he was unable to qualify for refinancing his home mortgage.  Read the story.     read more

Week of Oct. 5th-Office Investors Starting to Buy Vacancy

October 5, 2014
As the office market nears pre-recession levels of recovery, investors are purchasing vacant properties, renovating them and re-letting them for considerable gains.  Read the Co-Star story.     read more

Week of Sept. 28th- Investors Leaving Housing High and Dry

September 28, 2014
Investor purchases accounted for just 12 percent of August home purchases, down from more than 30% during previous years.  "The reduction in appetite from investors has put a temporary lid on home sales that has yet to be offset by the first-time home buyer, which is more interested in renting than buying,"  Read the story.   read more

Week of Sept. 21st-Millennials Start Leaving the Nest...

September 21, 2014
Young Adults, falling within the group termed "Millennials" have started leaving home and venturing out to buy or rent homes.  It is estimated in the next five years this group will spend $1.6 trillion on home purchases and more than $600 billion in rent.  A more detailed story is available from CNBC.     read more

Week of Sept. 14th - Tiny Homes? Really Tiny...

September 13, 2014
Click here to read the story on CNBC about people living in tiny homes and the challenges they face.  By tiny, think of two people living in less than 250 square feet...   read more

Week of Sept. 7th - Percentage of Income Paid to Rent...

September 7, 2014
In large uban city's, with traditionally low homeownership rates an average person spends between 26-48% of their income on rent.  Without any tax advantages, these high rent levels are limiting the amount of money spent on other goods and services.    read more

Week of August 31st-Napa Earthquake Causes Estimated $4 Billion in Economic Damage

August 31, 2014
Last week's earthquake in Napa has cost an estimated $4 billion in economic damage, however it is estimated only $2.1 billion of the losses were insured.  A large majority of the uninsured are homeowner's who typically are not required by their lender to obtain earthquake insurance and few do so willingly.     read more

Week of August 24th-Where have the 1st Time Homebuyers Gone?

August 23, 2014
A recent study published by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, shows 1st time homebuyer's are accounting for more than 50% of the mortgages purchased by the government but that is down more than 10% over the last 3 years.  The drop has been attributed to rising home costs and the inability of the government to purchase loans meeting its requirement in some of the countries larger metropolitan areas.    read more

Week of August 17th-Evaluating the Housing Recovery

August 15, 2014
A recent article in Forbes Magazine provided data showing the difference between today's real estate market, the market at the bottom of the "recession" and the market at the peak in 2006.  Using an estimated rate of growth, those who bought in the peak (2006) will be at a breakeven point in 2016.     read more

Week of August 10th-Good Renters Deserve Better Credit Scores

August 10, 2014
With many American's currently living in rental properties, a new thought on providing rental data to credit bureau's has come about.  The opportunity to increase your credit score by paying your rent on time has appeal to many renter's attempting to qualify for a home purchase.     read more

Week of August 3rd-Zillow Purchases Trulia

August 3, 2014
Zillow has purchased Trulia for $3.5 billion.  While a majority of each companies revenue is generated from broker's advertising on their websites, how long until they move into brokerage?   read more

Week of July 27th- Hire a "Home Manager"?

July 27, 2014
A nationwide home staging company is hiring people to live in homes after the owner's move out.  "Home Manager's" pay a greatly reduced rent in exchange for helping a home seem more inviting to potential Buyer's.    read more

Week of July 20th- The Best Way to Loan Your Children Money

July 20, 2014
Yahoo! Finance recently ran a story providing advice on the best way for a parent or grandparent to loan their children money to purchase a home.     read more

NEW LISTING-Aptos Charmer

July 12, 2014

516 Bonita Drive in Aptos has been listed by Sheila Feddema for $479,000.  Click here to view the virtual tour.  

   read more

Week of July 13th-Why Millennials Aren't Buying Homes...

July 12, 2014
A recent artilce in The Atlantic provides details on rising incomes levels in all groups with the exception of the 20-29 year olds.  They are attributing it to lower paying entry level jobs, more times spent in school and larger debt loads.     read more

NEW LISTING- Best Value in Watsonville

July 10, 2014
John Skinner has listed 11 Oliveira Loop in Watsonville for $380,000.  This 1,665 sf 3 bedroom, 2 and 1/2 bath townhome has an asking price of $380,000.     read more

Week of July 6th- Virginia launches Tax-Free Savings Plan for 1st Time Home Buyers

July 6, 2014
The state of Virginia has launched a program for first time homebuyers to invest money and be exempt from state income tax on the profits as long as the funds are used for a home purchase.   read more

Week of June 29th-5 Surprising Missteps That Sabotage Mortgage-Seekers

June 29, 2014
Written on AOL Real Estate, here is a story with 5 mistakes commonly made when in the process of obtaining a mortgage.     read more

NEW LISTING-Rare Prospect Heights Single Family Lot

June 23, 2014
Erik Barbic (831.464.5039) has listed 114 English Drive in Santa Cruz, a 12,000+ sf lot for $399,000.  This is one of the last remaining lots in the established Prospect Heights neighborhood.   read more

Week of June 22nd-How to Win a Bidding War

June 22, 2014
This article in the New York Times describes some hints on how to help win a bidding war when attempting to purchase a property.     read more

Week of June 15th-Loosened Mortgage Rules Advance

June 16, 2014
The SEC is no longer objecting to changes in the current mortgage lending laws, inlcuding a requirement for 20% down payments.     read more

Week of June 8th- How Tax Breaks are Enabling Online Retailers

June 8, 2014
House of Tax Breaks; How Tax Breaks and a Lack of Regulation are Giving Online
Retailers What They Need to Kill Bricks and Mortar
   read more

Week of June 1st-Signs of a Suburban Comeback?

June 1, 2014
After two years of solid urban growth, more Americans are moving again to suburbs and beyond.  Is this a sign of a shitfing economy or a reflection of a mobile workforce?     read more

Week of May 25th- Salary Necessary to Afford Median Priced Home

May 25, 2014
The table in the link shows the annual salary required to qualify for a loan in 30 of the nation's largest metropolitans.     read more

Week of May 18th-40% of Home Sellers Plan to Price Higher Than Market Value

May 18, 2014
According to a recent survey conducted by Redfin (an online real estate tool), more than 40% of Seller's coming on the market intend to price their homes at price above the current market values.    read more

NEW LISTING- On the Golf Course in Chowchilla

May 15, 2014
Suzanne Price has listed 15130 Torrey Pines Circle in Greenhills in Chowchilla.     read more

NEW LISTING- Two Homes in Greenhills Estates

May 12, 2014

Suzanne Price has listed 2170 Orta Corte for $219,000


Roxanne Pomo just listed 6133 Desert Spring Rd (new construction) for $329,000.


View all our office listing in Chowchilla here

   read more

Week of May 11th-Investors Target Coastal Areas

May 10, 2014
This story about house flipping in Southern California follows a group who exclusively fixes and sells upper end homes in Coastal Regions, similar to Santa Cruz County.     read more

Week of May 4th-Economists Explain Housing's Affect on Economy

May 4, 2014
Two economists discuss and point out their reasoning on why housing's return to stability has not positively affected the economy as a whole.     read more

Week of April 27th-Will Water Issues Derail Santa Cruz County Development Projects?

April 27, 2014
An article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel details the pro's and con's of a moriatorium on new development within the city of Santa Cruz.  Undoubtedly until the current water situation improves this will not be last we hear of this and what impact will it have on development projects,     read more

Week of April 20th-Prices in Urban Settings Continue Rapid Growth

April 21, 2014
Home prices in urban settings continue to rise at a rapid pace, more so than those of properties located in suburbs.  View the Wall Street Journal article.     read more

Week of April 13th-How did Seller's handle multiple offers?

April 13, 2014
Click here to view a survey of how Seller's handled multiple offers on a property.     read more

Week of April 6th- Builders Focus on Move Up Buyer's

April 6, 2014
Based on the area's and prices Builders are paying for land, it appears they are focusing on "move-up" Buyers, instead of the first time homebuyer.     read more

Week of March 30th- Are You Ready For A Smart Home?

March 30, 2014
With the development of new applications for smart phones and electronics, are you ready to be able to control the electronics at your house while on the go?  Read about the burgeoning technological advances.     read more

NEW LISTING- Upscale Watsonville Townhome

March 28, 2014
Check out this recently listed townhome in off AIrport Blvd in Watsonville with an asking price of $380,000.  Contact John Skinner at 831.359.8624 for more information.     read more

NEW LISTING- East Santa Cruz County Charmer

March 24, 2014
John Skinner (831.359.8624) has listed 57 Trembley Lane located just outside the ciy of Watsonville for $520,000.  Click here to view more information about the property and it's 1,900 sf home on 1/2 acre lot.     read more

Week of March 23rd- How Much Home Does $1 Million Buy?

March 23, 2014
A recent study shows the average price per square foot in many of the nation's largest market.  $1 milion buys you a 1,502 square foot home in San Francisco while it buys over 20,000 square feet in Cleveland.  View the stats.   read more

NEW LISTING- Westside Santa Cruz Triplex

March 19, 2014
Sheila Feddema (831.464.5088) has listed 104 Surfside Ave for $1,099,000.  This fully occupied triplex can be viewed here     read more

Week of March 16th-Distressed Housing Market Shrinks Dramatically

March 16, 2014
The "distressed" housing market has shrunk to the point where investors are now searching for new growth opportunities.     read more

Week of March 9th- Million Dollar Homes in Bay Area Being Torn Down

March 9, 2014
Buyer's and Investors are paying over a million dollars to tear down homes in affluent areas.  Read the Mercury News story.     read more

Week of March 2nd-Nearly Half of Renters and Landlords Show Incomplete Understanding of Basic Rental Laws

March 2, 2014
A recent study performed by Zillows shows many residential landlords and tenants do not understand the rental laws which vary by state.    read more

Week of Feb. 23rd- Student Debt May Hinder Housing Market

February 23, 2014
With a larger than average number of college graduates carrying student debt loads, many potential first-time homebuyer's are stuck in the sidelines with the current debt to income ratios.  Read the story.     read more

Week of Feb. 16th-Commercial Landlords Seek Internet "Resistant" Tenants

February 16, 2014
Many large retail owners have been searching for tenant's who are not suspectible to being put out of business by an internet competitor.  This has forced shopping center and mall REIT's to rethink their leasing strategies.     read more

Week of Feb. 9th- Rising Prices Send Bay Area Residents to Outlying Communities

February 9, 2014
With a dramatic rise in both rents and housing prices, many Bay Area residents are escaping to outlying communities where prices tend to be cheaper.  View the article in the Mercury News.    read more

Week of Feb. 2nd-Chinese Investors Spent over $3 Billion on US Commercial Properties in 2013

February 1, 2014
With growth slowing in China, investors spent $3.1 billion on US commercial properties, including $2.9 billion in New York.    read more

Week of Jan. 27th- The Aging Housing Stock

January 26, 2014
41% of all owner-occupied homes are more than 40 years old.  This information is important for housing demand, as older homes are less energy-efficient than new construction and will require remodeling or replacement in the years ahead. The aging housing stock represents an opportunity for well positioned builders and developers in areas where the population is not in decline.  Read the full story   read more

Week of Jan. 20th-Lenders Fear Squeeze from Mortgage Rules

January 19, 2014

New mortgage rules have many lenders concerned about their implementation. 



   read more

Week of Jan 12th-Santa Cruz development push targets wharf, downtown, tech talent

January 12, 2014
A recent article on the Silicon Valley Business Journal detailed some of Santa Cruz's ambitious development plans for the city.   read more

Week of Jan 5th-14 Commercial Real Estate Predictions from CoStar

January 5, 2014
Enjoy the CoStar story about 14 market predictions in 2014.     read more

Week of Dec 29th-High End Homes Come Fully Furnished

December 29, 2013
The latest fad for high end homes in the Los Angeles area don't even require a buyer to bring their own toothbrush.  Read the story from the LA Times.     read more

Week of Dec. 22nd-Factors in Determing Home Loan Defaults

December 22, 2013
A recent survey compiled by FHFA studied the impact of credit scores and downpayments on defaulted loans.  Read the study.   read more

NEW LISTING-Seaview Ranch Stunner

December 17, 2013
Sheila Feddema has listed 88 Kingfisher Dr in Watsonville.  This Seaview Ranch stunner is a 2,335 sf 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath with a bonus loft.  Click here to view more information or contact Sheila 831.464.5088.    read more

Week of Dec 15th-Chinese Investors Buying Property at Rapid Pace

December 15, 2013
During 2013, Chinese investors purchased more than $8.2 billion dollars worth of real estate in the United States.  Learn more from the CNN story here.    read more

Week of Dec 8th-Home Prices Rebound Quicker in States Without Long Foreclosures Processes

December 8, 2013
In a recent LA Times article, they detailed how states with quicker foreclosures process have rebounded quicker than those which allow judicial foreclosures.    read more

Week of 12/1-Foreclosue Inventory Continues to Plunge

December 1, 2013
The foreclosure inventory across the nation has fallen to its lowest level since 2008.  Read the story.     read more

Week of Nov. 24th-New Zealand Stops Housing Bubble Before it Happens

November 24, 2013
The Central Bank of New Zealand has taken preventive steps to ensure its economy isn't sent into a tailspin from a new housing bubble.  Read about in this article featured on Bloomberg.   read more

Week of Nov. 17- No Federal Debt Relief on Short Sales

November 17, 2013
in a letter to Senator Barbara Boxer, the IRS provides a reading which states a homeowner must declare a short sale as a capital gain on the amount of debt forgiven. However, an individual can claim up to $250,000 as tax free gain and a couple up to $500,000 on their primary residence thus negating a potential taxable event.    read more

Week of Nov 10th-Banks Lending WIth 5% Down

November 10, 2013
Banks are again lending with as little as Five Percent down.  Read the CNN Story here   read more

Week of Nov 3, 2013-Madera County is the State's 2nd Highest Appreciating Market

November 3, 2013
According to California Association of Realtors, in the September median sales price report, Madera County trailed only Santa Barbara County as the highest year over year price appreciation on the sale of single family homes.    read more

Week of Oct 27th- Credit Unions Say New Lending Rules Will Hamper Their Efforts

October 27, 2013
New laws set to take effect in 2014 have caused Credit Unions to say they will be forced to eliminate their mortgage lending practices.  Read the story.     read more

Week of Oct 20th- Economic Inequity Among Young Adults

October 20, 2013
According to a recent story in the Wall Street Journal, the economic inequity between young adults is growing at a rapid pace.  Additionally, more adults between the ages of 25 and 34 are living at home with family members, creating less demand for new housing.    read more

Week of Oct 13- Vampire Foreclosures?? Huh?

October 12, 2013
According to CBS Money Watch, the housing market has been artificially improved by "vampire foreclosures" which are described as homes now owned by banks but still occupied by the defaulting borrower.  Click here to read more   read more

NEW LISTING-Downtown Santa Cruz Commercial Condo

October 10, 2013
1,050 sf commercial condo located in downtown Santa Cruz on Laurel St between Pacific Ave and Cedar St.  Listed for $399,000.  View the listing here or call Erik Barbic at 831.464.5039.    read more

Week of Oct 6th-Apartment Vacancy Falls, Rent Rise

October 6, 2013
Nationwide apartment vacancy rates have fallen while rents have risen.  With a considerable amount of new apartment buildings under construction will demand continue to rise?    read more

Week of Sept 29th- Buyer's from Asia Purchasing Bay Area Properties

September 29, 2013
Buyer's from Asian countries have begun purchasing Bay Area homes, often sight unseen according to this San Jose Mercury News article.    read more

Week of Sept 22nd-Four Factors to Watch in Housing Rebound

September 22, 2013
The Wall Street Journal lists 4 factors to keep in mind during the housing rebound.     read more

NEW LISTING-Downtown Santa Cruz Investment Property

September 16, 2013
Click here to view this fully leased downtown Santa Cruz Investment Property listed by Erik Barbic.    read more

Week of Sept. 15th- Housing Frenzy Eases

September 16, 2013
The Wall Street Journal reports the housing frenzy of 2013 has begun to ease..    read more

Week of Sept. 8th- FHA Eases Requirements for Hardship Borrowers

September 9, 2013
FHA has made it easier for borrowers who lost a home to a foreclosure or bankruptcy to borrow again.     read more

Week of Sept 1st- Read the Latest News in the Real Estate Industry

September 1, 2013
Click here for a plethora of the latest real estate related stories.    read more

Week of Aug. 25th- Commercial Property Owner Energy Disclosure Act Postponed

August 25, 2013
The state of California has elected to postpone the initiation of the energy disclosure law for commercial property owner's until January 1, 2014.  Read about the law here   read more

Week of Aug 18- Are Seller's Better Off to Price Low or High?

August 18, 2013
The Wall Street Journal debates the age old conundrum of a Seller, are they better off to over or under price their home?   read more

NEW LISTING- Ocean View Condo in Seacliff

August 15, 2013
Sheila Feddema has listed this beautiful ocean view condo for $469,000   read more

Week of 8/11- Silicon Valley Median Home Prices Exceed $1 million

August 11, 2013
The average home price in both Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties has topped $1 million.  Will it cause a ripple effect into Santa Cruz County?   read more

Brand New Construction in Scotts Valley- 4 New Homes

August 9, 2013

Four new homes overlooking the golf course on Dunn Lane in Scotts Valley are now available.  Open houses begin on 8/11. 


126 Dunn Lane- $949,000


130 Dunn Lane- $1,099,000

   read more

NEW LISTING- Peaceful Cabin in Zayante

August 4, 2013
Sheila Feddema's (831.464.5088) new listing in Zayante can be viewed here, with an asking price of $289,000.   read more

Week of August 4, 2013- Homebuyer's Use Out of the Box Tactics to Win Over Seller's

August 4, 2013
This story in the LA Times details some "aggressive" tactics used by Buyer's in today's Sellers market.    read more

NEW LISTING- Golf Course Home in Chowchilla

August 1, 2013
Suzanne Price has listed 4190 Brentwood St located on Pheasant Run Golf Course in Chowchilla for $210,000.   read more

Week of July 28th-Office Market Sees Improvement, Lack of New Projects Helping?

July 29, 2013
Thanks to hardly any new construction or speculative office buildings over the last 5 years, office vacancy rates and rents have shifted according to CoStar.  Additionally, landlord concessions have begun to dwindle.    read more

NEW LISTING- Calling all Gentlemen Farmer's...38 Acres Just Outside of Santa Cruz

July 23, 2013
Martin Boone (831.464.5021) has listed a breathtaking 38 acre pear/apple orchard and vineyard property at 2799 Branciforte Drive.  Click here to view more details Asking price is $1,150,000.   read more

Week of July 21st-CA Median Home Price Continues Climb

July 21, 2013
Click here to read about the increase in the median housing prices throughout California and compare different counties.    read more

Week of July 14th- 10 Items Buyer's of Luxury Homes Want

July 14, 2013
According to this survey by the National Association of Home Builders, the number one desired amenity of a luxury homeowner is a warming drawer in the kitchen.    read more

Week of July 7- Bay Area Housing Market Cooling Down?

July 7, 2013
According to the San Jose Mercury News, the Bay Area housing market has begun to cool down.     read more

Week of June 30th- Return of the "McMansion"

June 30, 2013
With home values rising in nearly every market across the country, Buyer's are again searching for larger homes according to CNN Money.    read more

NEW LISTING-Pristine Larkin Valley Land

June 28, 2013
Erik Barbic has just listed this 6.97 acre parcel located at the corner of Larkin Valley Rd and Larkin Vista Lane for $329,000.    read more

Week of June 23rd-Lowe's Emerges as Likely Buyer for Orchard Supply

June 23, 2013
Orchard Supply Hardware has become the latest victim of a corporate bankruptcy, with Lowe's emerging as the likely buyer of 60 stoes.  Currently, the plans include keeping both the Capitola and Watsonville stores in operation.    read more

New Listing-McSwain Ranch Special in Atwater

June 18, 2013
Roxanne Pomo has listed 5195 Mulberry Ave, located in Atwater's desirable McSwain Ranch.  Click here for more information.     read more

New Listing- Santa Cruz Banana Belt Special

June 18, 2013
Check out this new listing from Sheila Feddema, located at 427 Morrissey Blvd with an asking price of $599,000/   read more

Week of June 16th- Housing Bubble Back in the Bay Area?

June 16, 2013
Has the housing bubble returned to the Bay Area?  Not necessarily according to the experts in this article from the San Jose Mercury News.    read more

Week of June 9th- Homebuilders Target Generation Y with New Houses

June 9, 2013
Homebuilders are adding amenities to new construction which appeals to the Generation Y buyer according to a recent study.     read more

Week of June 2nd - Fixed Jumbo Mortgages Make a Return

June 2, 2013
Fixed jumbo loan's (typically those greater than $625,000) have made a return after being nearly non-existent to the typical consumer for the past five years.  Read about it here.    read more

Week of May 26- Property Tax Breaks in Silicon Valley Disappear

May 26, 2013
Property tax breaks in Silicon Valley disappear thanks to rising property values according to the Mercury News.    read more

Week of May 19th- New Focus On Efficiency Portends Slower Demand for Office Space

May 20, 2013
The trend in less square footage requirement per employee has serious implications for landlords with near-term lease rollover risk as illustrated by this story.    read more

New Listing- 5 Bedroom Home Under Construction in Scotts Valley

May 16, 2013
Click here or contact Sheila Feddema (831.464.5088 or  for more information on this under construction 5 bedroom home in Scotts Valley off Lockewood Lane.  Asking price is $949,000   read more

Week of May 12- Happy Mother's Day

May 13, 2013
   read more

Coming Soon - 4 New Homes in Scotts Valley

May 6, 2013
Sherman and Boone Real Estate has been retained as the exclusive listing broker on 4 new homes in Scotts Valley.  Located on Dunn Lane (View Map), near Valley Gardens Golf Course and off Lockewood Lane, these homes range in size from 2,178 sf to 2,884 sf, each with 5 bedrooms, 3 and 1/2 baths.  The homes are being built by Sycamore Homes and construction is expected to be completed by the ...   read more

Week of May 5- With Home Inventory Low, Speculative Building is Back

May 5, 2013
In most markets across the nation, for sale listings have diminished to levels allowing Seller's the upper hand in the market.  Some builders are now constructing speculative custom home according to this article on CNBC.      read more

*New Listing* 3 Bedroom Home in Capitola-$649,000

May 3, 2013
Sheila Feddema has listed 4149 Pearson Ct for $649,000.  Constructed in 2012, the home located at the end of a private court has 3 bedrooms, 2 and 1/2 baths.  Click here to view more information or contact Sheila at 831.464.5088.   read more

Week of April 28th- Institutional Apartment Investors Drive Market, but Where?

April 28, 2013
According to this article in Co-Star, REIT's have been purchasing high quality apartment buildings with cap rates in the range of Four Percent, driving up prices.  Has the trickle down effect made an impact on the smaller investor interested in purchasing a multi-family property?   read more

Week of April 21, 2012-Santa Cruz County Median Home Price Hits $585,000

April 21, 2013
According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel article, the median home price in Santa Cruz County has risen to $585,000.     read more

NEW LISTING-Scotts Valley Mobile Home

April 14, 2013
Click here to view more information on the Scotts Valley mobile home listed by Sheila Feddema (831-464-5088) for $119,000.      read more

Week of 4/14-Lending on Commercial Real Estate Becoming Too Easily Obtainable?

April 14, 2013
According this article published by CoStar, current commercial lending underwriting standards could lead to another cycle similar to the one the economy appears posed to have overcome.    read more

NEW LISTING- East Cliff Drive Tear Down-$399,000

April 11, 2013
Sheila Feddema has listed 21130 E Cliff Drive with an asking price of $399,000.  Walk to Twin Lakes Beach!!!   read more

Week of 4/7 - Regular Buyer's Have Trouble Finding Properties

April 7, 2013
The Bay Area's tightened housing market has led to ordinary Buyer's being unable to purchase homes according to this article which ran in the San Jose Mercury News  read more

Week of 3/31 - Investment Firms Take Advantage of Down Market

April 1, 2013
This LA Times article describes the strategy taken by major investment firms in purchasing single family residences in area's where these same investment firms are blamed for causing the housing crash.    read more

3-28 NEW LISTING ALERT- Medical Office Condo in Santa Cruz

March 28, 2013
Erik Barbic has listed a medical office condo adjacent to Dominican Hospital.     read more

Week of 3/24- Housing Inventory Down 39% Statewide

March 24, 2013
According to a recent news release from the California Association of Realtors, currently the available "For Sale" housing inventory is down 39% statewide from one year ago.  Read the story   read more

Week of 3/17-Buyers Facing a Quandry

March 17, 2013
This article run last week in the San Francisco Chronicle details the quandry faced by Buyer's due to the shortage of available properties currently on the market.    read more

New Listing Alert- Brand New Construction in Capitola $439,000

March 13, 2013
Sheila Feddema has listed 4150 Pearson Ct in Capitola for $439,000.  This brand new home is part of a 10 home subdivision located on a private court off 42nd Ave between Clares St and Capitola Rd.  The property is a part of the city of Capitola's affordable housing program.  You can view the listing here and email Sheila for more information   read more

Week of 3/10 Interest Only Loans Return in the Jumbo Mortgage Market

March 10, 2013
Interest only loans have returned to affluent borrower's according to this article in the Wall Street Journal.   read more

Week of 3-3 Freddie Mac Posts $11 Billion Dollar Profit

March 3, 2013
Freddie Mac posted a $11 billion dollar profit in 2012.  Read the story   read more

Week of 2/24 Santa Cruz County Listings Hit Lowest Point Since 2005

February 24, 2013
With the recent frenzy over single family residential listings in Santa Cruz County, active for sale listings have hit their lowest point in the last 8 years.  Read the article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel   read more

Week of 2/17 - REIT's Electing to Sell Properties Rather Than Take On New Debt

February 17, 2013
With the growing demand for "trophy" commercial real estate assets, some REIT's have elected to sell assets and tap their equity rather than raise new capital or take on debt to further their development projects.  Read the story here.    read more

New Listing- Exclusive Tehama Oceanview Lot

February 13, 2013
Erik Barbic and Martin Boone have recently listed this 12 acre oceanview parcel located within Clint Eastwood's Tehama Ranch.    read more

Week of 2/10 - FHA Hikes Premiums on Mortgages

February 10, 2013
CNN Money's story details on the changes on the FHA premiums on all government insured loans, most of which are attractive to first time homebuyers.    read more

Two New Listings in Chowchilla

February 8, 2013

Roxanne Pomo, Sales Manager in Chowchilla has listed the following two properties located in Greenhills Estates:


15060 Torrey Pines Cir, Chowchilla CA   $195,000


2915 San Michelle Ave, Chowchilla CA   $325,000

   read more

Week of 2/3 Appraisals Slow High End Transactions

February 2, 2013
According to this story in the Wall Street Journal, some high end sales have been hindered by the lack of comparable data found during the appraisal process.   read more

Week of 1/27 - Fixer Upper Loans Back in Vogue

January 27, 2013
The New York Times published an article regarding the availability of government insured 203k rehab loans to fix up properties in need of work.  Read the story.    read more

Week of 1/20- Residential Market Reversal: Can I buy your home, Pretty Please???

January 20, 2013
In an article published by the Wall Street Journal, Buyer's in multiple bid situations on traditional sales are resorting to writing letters to Seller's in an effort to get their offer selected.  Read the article.     read more

Week of 1/13- Bay Area Feels Effects of Tighten Lending Standards

January 13, 2013
Here is an article from the San Jose Mercury News explaining updates to the recently passed lending laws protecting consumers.    read more

Week of 1/6- Commercial Sales See Dramatic 4th Quarter Rise

January 6, 2013
In a recent article published by CoStar, year end closings of commercial sales rose dramatically when compared to the rest of 2012.    read more

Week of 12/30-Fiscal Cliff Potential Tax Impacts

December 30, 2012
Here is a brief summary of the tax impacts of the Fiscal Cliff on small business owners.    read more

Week of 12/16-House Flipping See's a Resurgence

December 16, 2012
With the residential real estate market on a current upswing, traditional home flipping has seen a resurgence.  Read the LA Times article.     read more

NEW LISTING- Remodeled Santa Cruz Home-$649,000

December 12, 2012
Click Here to view Sheila Feddema's new listing at 2241 Susan Lane with an asking price of $649,000.    read more

Week of 12/9 - Commercial Lending Rates Near Low's

December 9, 2012
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, commercial lending rates are currently at a very borrower friendly level thanks to the demand for low yield securities.  Read the article   read more

New Listing-Rio Del Mar Oceaview Estate

December 6, 2012
Click here to view Sheila Feddema's new listing on Cliff Dr in Rio Del Mar.  Asking price is $1,999,999   read more

Week of Dec 2-Chowchilla Ranks as #4 Market for Growth Over the Next 5 Years

December 2, 2012
Click Here to read the story published by Yahoo! about the top 15 housing markets over the next five years.  The Chowchilla-Madera market ranks as #4.   read more

Week of 11/25 - Tight Lending Standards Effect on Economy

November 25, 2012
Read Ben Bernake's comments on "Tight Lending Standards" Here   read more

*Listing Alert*- New Construction in Chowchilla

November 20, 2012
Click Here to View the Listing  Contact Roxanne Pomo, Broker Associate for More Information  559-665-1640   read more

Happy Thanksgiving from Sherman and Boone Real Estate

November 18, 2012
   read more

*New Listing Alert*-Pleasure Point Mobile Home

November 14, 2012

Pleasure Point Mobile Home - Click Here to View.  Listed by Sheila Feddema  831.464.5088

   read more

Week of Nov. 12- Equity Homes Sales Hit 4 Year High

November 12, 2012

"Equity" or non distressed home sales hit a 4 year high last month.  Read the story.


   read more

Week of Nov 5, 2012- 3.8% Healthcare Tax

November 5, 2012

Click the link to read about the 3.8% Healthcare Tax and its effect on real estate

   read more

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