Bainbridge Island, WA Real Estate News

The word of the week was "debt" as investors worried about both Italy's sovereign debt problems and the inability of the politicians in Washington to get to agreement on raising the U.S. debt ceiling. With these uncertainties, stocks wobbled off their high perch and all three indexes sank for the week, the broad-based S&P 500 down 2%. The FOMC Minutes from the Fed's last meeting revealed a divided committee. Some officials feel the central bank "might have to consider providing additional monetary stimulus" if the recovery remains slow. Others think inflation threats could cause them "to begin removing policy accommodation sooner." Tracking inflation, the June Core Consumer Price Index (CPI) was up a little more than expected, but consumers weren't that put off, as June Retail Sales wer...
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Increasingly, the wrong thing for consumers to do is to stay out of the housing market. In many locales, owning a home is now less expensive than renting. Rents are rising and vacancies falling, according to a report that tracked leasing data across the country. For the second quarter, rents rose in all but two of 82 markets, while vacancies dropped in 72 of them, sending the vacancy rate to 6%, its lowest level since 2008. Another report showed rental listing prices up 6.7% nationally in June versus a year ago. Meanwhile, national average mortgage rates got pushed down some more, thanks to the prior week's disappointing jobs report. And the Mortgage Bankers Association reported demand for purchase loans was at about the same level as a year ago, although down a tad from the week before...
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Fed Chairman Bernanke still feels the recovery needs all the help it can get, so economists expect he'll keep the Funds Rate at its super low level a bit longer. Note: In the lower chart, a 1% probability of change is a 99% certainty the rate will stay the same. Current Fed Funds Rate: 0%-0.25% After FOMC meeting on: Consensus Aug 9 0%-0.25% Sep 20 0%-0.25% Nov 2 0%-0.25% Probability of change from current policy: After FOMC meeting on: Consensus Aug 9      <1% Sep 20      <1% Nov 2      <1% From my weekly enewsletter INSIDE LENDING, for real estate pros, July 18, 2011
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 Date Time (ET) Release For Consensus Prior Impact TuJul 19 08:30 Housing Starts Jun 570K 560K Moderate TuJul 19 08:30 Building Permits Jun 609K 609K Moderate WJul 20 10:00 Existing Home Sales Jun 4.93M 4.81M Moderate WJul 20 10:30 Crude Inventories 7/16 NA -3.124M Moderate ThJul 21 08:30 Initial Unemployment Claims 7/16 411K 405K Moderate ThJul 21 08:30 Continuing Unemployment Claims 7/9 3.700M 3.727M Moderate ThJul 21 11:00 Philadelphia Fed Index Jul 0.0 -7.70 HIGH ThJul 21 08:30 Leading Economic Indicators (LEI) Index Jun 0.3% 0.8% Moderate From my weekly enewsletter INSIDE LENDING, for real estate pros, July 18, 2011
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This week we get a good look at the economy. June Retail Sales are forecast down from May, flat if you take out auto sales. But Industrial Production and factory Capacity Utilization should both inch up, while University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment is expected slightly off.Although the economic recovery is in slow motion, at least inflation isn't growing much either. This week's readings on wholesale (PPI) and retail (CPI) prices should both show slight declines for June. Midweek we'll get the Fed's feelings on it all, as the FOMC Minutes from their June 22 meeting are released. From my weekly enewsletter INSIDE LENDING, for real estate pros, July 11, 2011  
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The bulls charged as stocks gained for the first three days of the holiday-shortened week. Then Friday morning the June Employment Report showed jobs down on every front. The markets dipped for the day, but ended up for the week. The downer? A piddling 18,000 nonfarm payrolls were added last month and April and May payrolls were revised lower, while the unemployment rate went to 9.2%. The economy certainly hit a "soft patch" in Q2. There was, however, positive labor news. New unemployment claims fell 14,000 for the week and continuing claims were down 43,000 to 3.681 million, the second lowest level in the recovery. Retailers delivered some solid same-store sales reports, so consumers are indeed spending. The ISM Non-Manufacturing Index declined for the month, but is still above 50, so ...
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It finally appears seeds are being planted for a housing recovery. Fannie Mae's monthly survey reported that Americans expect home prices to drop just 0.5% in the next year. Some reported this as a negative because a 0.7% price gain was expected last month. But other analysts see this as a bottom, and those surveyed agree, as the majority (69%) believe it's a good time to buy a home. A MacroMarkets LLC study echoed this. More than 50% of the economists, real estate experts and investment strategists polled said they expect a bottom for national home prices this year. Almost two thirds of the respondents felt our residential real estate market is at an historic turning point.The Wall Street Journal also reported this could be a good time to buy. The reasons? Mortgage rates are near 50-ye...
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Expert opinion still says the Funds Rate will stay at its super low level for a few more Fed meetings at least. Note: In the lower chart, a 1% probability of change is a 99% certainty the rate will stay the same. Current Fed Funds Rate: 0%-0.25% After FOMC meeting on: Consensus Aug 9 0%-0.25% Sep 20 0%-0.25% Nov 2 0%-0.25% Probability of change from current policy: After FOMC meeting on: Consensus Aug 9      <1% Sep 20      <1% Nov 2      <1% From my weekly enewsletter INSIDE LENDING, for real estate pros, July 11, 2011
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Economic Calendar for the Week of July 11 - July 15  Date Time (ET) Release For Consensus Prior Impact TuJul 12 08:30 Trade Balance May -$44.0B -$43.7B Moderate WJul 13 10:30 Crude Inventories 7/9 NA -0.889M Moderate WJul 13 14:00 FOMC Minutes 6/22 NA NA HIGH ThJul 14 08:30 Initial Unemployment Claims 7/9 419K 418K Moderate ThJul 14 08:30 Continuing Unemployment Claims 7/2 3.700M 3.681M Moderate ThJul 14 11:00 Retail Sales Jun -0.2% -0.2% HIGH ThJul 14 08:30 Retail Sales ex-auto Jun 0.0% 0.3% HIGH ThJul 14 08:30 Producer Price Index (PPI) Jun -0.3% 0.2% Moderate ThJul 14 08:30 Core PPI Jun 0.2% 0.2% Moderate ThJul 14 08:30 Business Inventories May 0.9% 0.8% Moderate FJul 15 08:30 Consumer Price Index (CPI) Jun -0.1% 0.2% HIGH FJul 15 08:30 Core CPI Jun 0.2% 0.3% HIGH FJul 15 08:30 Empir...
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By Paul Pival, A Realtor with the soul of a professor.
(Coldwell Banker Bain)
  Second Quarter 2011   The second quarter of 2011 showed a marked decline in transactions compared to the second quarter of 2010, but remember that there was increased activity last year due to the tax credit.   Nearly a third fewer transactions. Closings nearly two weeks slower.   The average selling price dropped two percent. Sellers accepted 13% less than they had originally asked.   If you'd like the selling details of the home that closed in your neighborhood, send me an email. I'll be happy to send them to you.  
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By Paul Pival, A Realtor with the soul of a professor.
(Coldwell Banker Bain)
 Closed Transactions Month of June   Please note: we are comparing closings for June of this year to last year.   26% fewer homes closed in June this year.   Transactions took about 10 days longer to close.  The average selling price was down nine percent.     Sellers accepted 12% less than they originally asked. There are 249 homes in inventory, 20 more than last month, at all price ranges (the highest listing is $8.8M).  Average listing  price is $949,000, down from last month) , with half the inventory under $679,000.     Factoring out homes listed at over $1M, the average home in Bainbridge is listed at $541,000, with half the homes under $479,000.     In summary, Bainbridge has more homes in inventory with prices lower than last month. Still a strong buyer's market. If you would l...
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It will be interesting to see if Wednesday's Pending Home Sales give us some positive signs about the state of housing sales a few months out. The expectation is for a small gain. The week begins with the Fed's favorite inflation reading, Core PCE Prices, forecast to be up a benign 0.2% for May.We'll all watch for signs of improvement in Thursday's Initial Unemployment Claims, but the figure should still be above the 400,000 threshold. Nevertheless, consumers aren't too discouraged, as Tuesday's Consumer Confidence and Friday's University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index are both expected to hold steady for June. From my weekly enewsletter INSIDE LENDING, for real estate pros, June 27, 2011
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It certainly takes plenty of determination to find the opportunities in today's housing market. Last week the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Existing Home Sales down 3.8% in May to an annual rate of 4.81 million units, a six-month low. The median price was up for the month, though down 4.6% from a year ago. Inventories declined, but the months' supply increased to 9.3 because of the slower sales rate. Nevertheless, the NAR's economist opined, "...sales activity in the second half of the year is expected to be stronger than the first half, and will be much stronger than the second half of last year." Thursday's New Home Sales showed a 2.1% drop for May, to a 319,000 annual rate, but this did beat expectations. The months' supply fell to 6.2, as inventories dropped to the...
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Weaker stock prices and stronger concerns over European sovereign debt sent investors to the safe haven of bonds, whose prices benefited.  The FNMA 4.0% bond we watch ended the week up .84, closing at $101.09. In Freddie Mac's weekly survey, national average rates for conforming mortgages held at levels that are near the lowest for the year. From my weekly enewsletter INSIDE LENDING, for real estate pros, June 27, 2011
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It was a volatile week in stocks, with only the Nasdaq index up, while both the Dow and the S&P 500 were off. The up-and-down stock prices mimicked Wall Street's responses to the economic situation. The week started on an up note, as Greek debt problems (which could impact U.S. banks) seemed closer to solution. But on this side of the pond, investors found little solace in Fed Chairman Bernanke's admission that the economic recovery is slower than expected. He thinks food and energy prices will subside, but doesn't have a clear take on why the slow pace of recovery persists. He also said that the majority of home sales "have much more stable prices than houses sold on a distressed basis," as reported here on June 6.  The next day, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced it will ...
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 In last week's presser, Fed Chairman Bernanke explained that keeping the Funds Rate where it is for an "extended period" means at least two or three meetings. Economists are taking him at his word. Note: In the lower chart, a 1% probability of change is a 99% certainty the rate will stay the same. Current Fed Funds Rate: 0%-0.25% After FOMC meeting on: Consensus Aug 9 0%-0.25% Sep 20 0%-0.25% Nov 2 0%-0.25% Probability of change from current policy: After FOMC meeting on: Consensus Aug 9      <1% Sep 20      <1% Nov 2      <1% From my weekly enewsletter INSIDE LENDING, for real estate pros, June 27, 2011
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 Date Time (ET) Release For Consensus Prior Impact MJun 27 08:30 Personal Income May 0.3% 0.4% Moderate MJun 27 08:30 Personal Spending May 0.1% 0.4% HIGH MJun 27 08:30 PCE Prices - Core May 0.2% 0.2% HIGH TuJun 28 10:00 Consumer Confidence Jun 60.3 60.8 Moderate WJun 29 10:00 Pending Home Sales May 2.0% -11.6% Moderate WJun 29 10:30 Crude Inventories 6/25 NA -1.711M Moderate ThJun 30 08:30 Initial Unemployment Claims 6/25 420K 429K Moderate ThJun 30 08:30 Continuing Unemployment Claims 6/25 3.715M 3.697M Moderate ThJun 30 09:45 Chicago PMI Jun 53.5 56.6 HIGH FJul 1 09:55 U. of Michigan Consumer Sentiment - Final Jun 71.8 71.8 Moderate FJul 1 10:00 ISM Index Jun 51.1 53.5 HIGH  From my weekly enewsletter INSIDE LENDING, for real estate pros, June 27, 2011
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