Monday, December 31, 2007

Dataquick's November Sales Numbers

Santa Barbara Counties Dataquick sales information on Home and Condo sales has been available for about a little over a week now. Sorry I'm tardy at getting this information out. I guess having Santa deliver a leopard gecko and Guitar Hero 3 is a lame excuse, but I'll use it anyway. I hope eveyone had a terrific Christmas! The information is a bit hard to really get my arms around since there were so few sales in November of 2007. What Dataquick is reporting is that for Santa Barbara County there were 158 homes that closed escrow and 34 condos. The median price home went up .4% and the median price for a condo was down 7.2% from November of 2006. You can browse through the rest of the zipcodes listed for Santa Barbara and make your own determination of what is going on, but I for one am hard pressed to draw any real conclusions, since there were so few sales. Have a fantastic New Year! See You In Escrow!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

ZeeMaps Showing November Sales

I am pretty excited about a new feature of my blog. I ran across ZeeMaps trying to figure out how to publish the CORT property sales to my blog. It did exactly what I wanted it to do for free. So, every month I will be updating the map at the bottom of the blog page to show all the property sales in the Santa Barbara area. I haven't quite figured out if I want to do the same with the North County properties, but I probably will. Here is what it looks like. I will keep this map permanently posted at the bottom of the blog. I am not sure exactly as to how I may tweak this in the future, but it is usable right now. Let me know your feedback. See You In Escrow!

Zillow On The Mesa

I am going to admit right off the bat I don't know how Zillow works. But I decided to play around with it for a short while and I am going to focus my post today on the properties that they are showing for sale on The Mesa or zip 93109. I was at first intrigued to see that I could do a search for homes listed for sale in the 93109 zip code and up they popped on a very nice map. My first thought was that Zillow was getting information from the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors and so this information would pretty much mirror that information. I started clicking on the icons to see some of the details of the properties and this is where things got interesting. The first property I clicked on was a home just around the corner from where I live. It is listed with a local realtor but was showing in Zillow as a for sale by owner. So, I went to view the listing on that agents site and I found all the property information to be the same. Zillow did have an advertisement from a competing agent, interesting. The next couple of properties I clicked on were properties that I know are listed with agents, but they appeared to be entered in to Zillow by someone that wasn't associated with the property. Just someone that is a member of Zillow. So I decided to go to the agents websites and view the listing pages that are up for these listings and guess what? The prices didn't match what was listed on Zillow. I wonder what problems this may cause someone, if any. Zillow does have a little link at the bottom that allows the agent or seller to claim this listing, which I suppose let's them modify it. I clicked on a fourth listing and low and behold it looked like the agent who had it listed was also uploading the listing on Zillow. That last one made some sense to me. I then clicked on a few more and one alarming trend was I saw a few properties showing as for sale that had closed escrow. My thoughts are this, if you are an agent you should probably be keeping an eye out for any of your listings that may show up on Zillow. If you are a buyer you may want to do a more extensive investigation of a property before relying too much on anything you see on See You In Escrow!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

I have seen some pretty funny cartoons and jokes going around about the condition of the real estate market and the holidays. They have really brought me to think about how many things there are to be thankful for. We get to experience an industry filled with terrific people. If that wasn't enough we get to do it in what might just be the best place on earth to live. Now if you really want to get down and dirty about what to be thankful for, you should consider your health, your family, and all of those things that are very near and dear to your heart. I hope that as busy as we all are we can take more than a moment to know how truly blessed we are. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Santa Barbara County Loan Activity for November

The loan activity in the South County of Santa Barbara fell in November compared with October. The number of non purchase loans was down about 11% to 341. The number of purchase loans was up about 6% to 86. There are certainly some seasonal influences affecting these numbers but these numbers are pretty low compared to earlier in the year. Santa Maria saw the same trend with the number of non purchase transactions being down and the number of purchase loans being up slightly from October. Lompoc wasn't any different. In speaking with lenders there are still some good loan programs out there. The underwriting across the board is certainly more stringent than it has been in many years. This is a good thing. See You In Escrow!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Santa Barbara Foreclosure Info Nov. 2007

I wasn't sure if there would be anything interesting to post about until I gathered the numbers. I am only hazarding a guess when I say that if you look at the last few months it would appear that the foreclosures in the county are slowing down a bit. The number of Notice of Defaults that were recorded in November fell to 121 as compared to 176 and 209 in the previous 2 months. I would think that would be the leading indicator of what the foreclosure activity is. The bank owned properties that sold were 17 which is a bit more than in previous months which might indicate there will be less of these properties on the market soon. The properties the banks took back was 40 which was down slightly from last months 45. The number of loans that adjusted in November was 220 which is the highest number I currently show through June of 2008. You can draw your own conclusions, but from what I can tell the foreclosures look to be slowing down, and hopefully that isn't because of the holidays season. See You In Escrow!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Santa Maria and Lompoc November Sales Statistics

Santa Maria and Lompoc saw a very small increase in the number of closings in November. There were 95 combined closings in October and 99 in November. Lompoc did 3 more closings in November. There total was 25 as compared to the 22 that closed in October. Santa Maria had 1 more closing. They had 74 as compared to 73 the month before. Both of these areas have seen what you would probably consider a seasonal slow down starting in September. It will be interesting to see if the closings pick up in December like the charts show they have in the last few years. See You In Escrow

Monday, December 10, 2007

Santa Barbara South County Sales For November

I went back and looked at what CORT numbers I could find. The numbers I found went back to 1997. We almost did it, we almost hit double digits in the number of sales in the South County of Santa Barbara in November. I couldn't believe that the number we hit in October was ever going to be beaten, but it was and it didn't take long. Maybe December or January will be the winner and the number of sales will fall in to the double digits. I just can't seem to get a grip on what the bottom is going to be when it comes to the number of sales. We are certainly in our seasonal downturn and when you add the uncertainty the credit issues have thrown at every one's mental state of mind it goes to figure we are seeing historic lows in terms of the number of transactions. Lawyers Title had the pleasure of opening escrows today on 9 properties that were auctioned off by a builder over the weekend. If you ask me the buyers made good deals. The properties are brand new and have some very nice features and amenities. I think sellers are doing what it takes to draw buyers in to their properties. The number one thing is being realistic on a listing price. Now back to the CORT numbers, I couldn't find any months where there had been less than a 100 sales close. I looked all the way back to Jan of 1997. There were a handful of months below the 150 number, but there were many more months where there were over 300 closings. We are living in historic times. The next few months could be record breakers, but after that I think we are going to see things start picking up. See You In Escrow!

Santa Barbara Association of Realtors Awards Dinner

Thursday night at the Doubletree was a very well attended event. I tried to get around to see everyone but there just wasn't enough time. This event was particularly special because The Association of Realtors was celebrating their 100th anniversary in Santa Barbara. Chris Agnoli did an excellent job of having fun and recapping his terrific year as president of the association. Of course Laurie Dorris was the hostess with the mostest as she always says. She did a terrific job of making the evening fun. The event wouldn't be what is is without the award winners. This years winners were Carol Kruckenberg for The Presidents Award, Ed & Harry Heron received a Special Recognition Award, Karen Chackel for Affiliate of the Year, Lois Capps won the Community Service Award, Don Katich won the Good Neighbor Award, Zena Drewisch won the Distinguished Service Award, Ruscha Robbins won the Howard Gates Award, and The Realtor Of The Year went to Matt Vaughan. Congratulations to all the winners and to the Association for pulling off their 100th anniversary celebration. See You In Escrow!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Santa Barbara MLS Statistics

Gary Woods does a great job of compiling statistics on a monthly basis using the Santa Barbara Multiple Listing information and then sending them out to all the agents. He was also kind enough to do some comparisons of the last 4 years. I took some time to check them out and a few things jumped out at me. The number of sales is down 27% from 2004 in the Estate-PUD category year to date. The cancellation rate in the same category has more than doubled from 2004 but it is just up slightly from last year at 13.3%. All the while the median price is up for the last 4 years. As far as the condo market is concerned the number of sold properties is up 12% from last year. In both the Estate and Condo categories the number of listings is down from last year. I can remember a famous Santa Barbara Real Estate Professional by the name of Ed Heron saying "We have our best years when inventory is down". Well if the trend of less inventory continues we will be able to put Ed's thoughts to the test. See You In Escrow!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Subprime Loans, Where Are They?

The New York Times published an interesting map showing what counties have the highest percentage of subprime loans. I noticed Santa Barbara County was on the low side compared to many. I think that should help us see a quicker recovery from where we are now. It is interesting to note that Texas and many states in the south are the ones with the highest percentage of subprime loans. See You In Escrow!