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David and Marlene Macbeth

September 1 - September 30, 2009 Market Update

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Enclosed is the update of activity for September 1, 2009 through September 30, 2009, click here to view the updates.  There were a total of  32 new listings.  There were 29 pending sales.  Of the residential sales there were 18 sales between $200,000 and $600,000, 6 sales between $601,000 and $999,999 and 3 sales between $1,000,000 and $1,999,999, 1 commercial sale and 1 land sale.  There were 15 sale completes.  Their were 33 price decreases and 1 price increase.  The number of current listings are down slightly; however they are still very high at 337 listings specific to the Santa Ynez Valley.

Rates continue to go up and down on a daily basis.  We are checking daily with  lenders and trying to make sure our buyer have their loans locked in and for a long enough period of time if they are dealing with the purchase of a short sale.  Conforming 30 year fixed rates up to $417,000 are at 4.7% at 1 point and Jumbo Conforming Loans which are loans up to $729,750 are at 5.0% at 1 point and Super Jumbo Loans are at 5.6% at 1 point for origination. The conforming 5 year ARM Interest Only is at 3.8% at 1 point, the Jumbo 5 year ARM Interest Only is at 5.2% at zero points.  The 11th District Cost of Funds index (COFI) is down at 1.412 for the month of October.  We are adding the 6 month LIBOR index to our update letter as it is becoming the standard for many Adjustable Rate Mortgages. The 6 month LIBOR rate is at 0.63; last month it was at 0.76; 12 months ago it was at 3.98.

Fall is certainly in the air.  There was frost on our roofs the other morning so I think it is time to put away summer and move into my fall-winter mode. Marlene and I take our grandchildren to preschool every morning so we are heading out early to make our rounds to the Presbyterian Preschool, Tecolote Daycare and Los Olivos School and it is frosty. The girls are quite fond of Krazy Country so no more Fox News for me. Their morning serenade usually involves some Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts or Sugarland and what's scary is they know all the words.  Even Keighley at age 3 can sing right along. I have considered painting my "Man" Truck  pink as the car seats are lined up in the back seat. Life doesn't get any better than this.

I also love to do the stats for the month when they start looking good.  Real estate has been busy of late and  32 new listings versus 29 sale pendings means that at least we are almost keeping pace.  The one thing that should be noted the length of time the contingency sales are taking.  Some of the short sale pending will actually not report as sold final for 4-6 months, sometimes even longer.  That bodes well for those sellers that are not in a short sale position because some buyers just don't want the wait or the hassle of not really knowing for 5 months or so if they really will get the house. An experience listing agent can sometimes make all the difference in shortening that time frame or having a reasonable assurance of closing. If you are thinking that its your time to enter the market or if you find yourself in a position where you need to sell for less than the amount owed, it would be wise to schedule a consultation with us and  consider all the possibilities.  The $8,000 tax credit deadline for the Fed is looming and it is a big plus if you can take advantage of it.  There is also some talk of extending it but there is nothing definite as yet.

What is the market doing currently...stabilizing?, continuing to free fall?. My thoughts are that prices in some cases have retreated to 2002 values.  I continue to think we are stabilizing especially in the lower end  but REO lenders continue to amaze me with their pricing which does impact the overall market.  My number one pet peeve at the moment is they do not do anything to make a property more saleable to the buyer other than lower the price.  I am not talking any big ticket items.  I think minor cleaning, washing windows, cleaning bathrooms and carpets would make a difference that would translate into a little higher sales price which would compensate them for paying for those expenses.  It might also translate into shorter marketing times.  If you as a seller are competing with a lot of low-priced REO's, then staging the house, removing the clutter and making it sparkle needs to be your number one priority, it does make a difference.

Guess I am out of space.  Hope we see you this fall at the games at the High School, on the way to School or out just enjoying a spectacular Valley fall.  Otherwise, we may be reached during the day at our office 805-688-2969, and in the evening at 805-688-2986.  Our toll-free number is 1-800-300-7977.  My cell phone is 805-689-4178 and Marlene's is 805-689-2738.  So whether you need to buy or sell, call us. We would like to show you what we can do!  In the meantime we thank you again for your loyalty and support in seeking us out when looking at properties in the valley and for choosing in 2009 to get your information about Santa Ynez Valley real estate from................

Published Sunday, October 11, 2009 9:31 PM by Marlene Macbeth

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