Todd & Lisa Sheppard
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Archive for September 2016

Consumers More Optimistic About Economy in September

September 27th, 2016   by lisasheppard

low rates

The Index of consumer sentiment remained unchanged in September at 89.8%.  There was no change from the previous month, but it does represent a 3% increase from last year.  The index of consumer expectations increased to 81.1%, up 3% from last month and up 3.7% from last year.

Modest gains in the outlook for the national economy have been offset by small declines in income prospects as well as buying plans.

An article by Jill Mislinski for Advisor Perspectives explains what this means historically:

The Michigan average since its inception is 85.4. During non-recessionary years the average is 87.6. The average during the five recessions is 69.3.

“While income gains expected during the year ahead have edged upward, declines in inflation expectations were the main reasons future financial prospects improved, as both near and long term inflation expectations fell to near record lows,” Curtin said. “Nonetheless, buying plans suffered from the perception that no additional price discounts would be offered.”

“Even the more optimistic outlook for the economy had little if any impact on the expected growth rate in new jobs,” he said. “Importantly, all of these changes were relatively minor. Overall, consumers remain reasonably optimistic about their economic prospects. Real personal consumption expenditures can be expected to grow by 2.6% through mid 2017.”

Sonoma County Housing Market has Slowest Summer in Five Years

September 14th, 2016   by lisasheppard

The summer housing market tends to be a bustling and robust market, with sales reaching their peak for the year.  This summer, Sonoma County market experienced one it’s slowest seasons in the last five years, with only 1,384 single-family homes sold during the 3-month period, compared to 1,526 homes sold a year earlier.

The county’s home prices have certainly rebounded since 2012, with the median price rising to $590,000 in August, coming quite close to the record high median price of $619,000 in August 2005.  Since 2012, home prices have enjoyed an annual increase of 8% or more.  Sellers have typically enjoyed the upper hand due to multiple offers and low inventory.  However, buyers now seem to be more resistant to making full-price offers, and many offers are coming in well below asking price.

Brokers typically expect a slowdown in mid- to late August due to the start of school, however, this slowdown started earlier and is lasting longer than expected.  A number of factors could be contributing to the decline in home sales, such as the lack of inventory and new listings and uncertainty about the upcoming presidential election.

While the last few years have been a seller’s market, it appears the market may be leveling out a bit.


What Trends Are Ahead for the U.S. and Bay Area Housing Markets?

September 8th, 2016   by lisasheppard


Leading expert and economist, Selma Hepp, weighs in on what the future of the real estate market holds.  Millenials are becoming a large percentage of the home buyer market, although affordability and student loan debt continues to be a challenge.  Mortgage creditors will need to accommodate for the changing face of the buyers market, as minorities will account for all homeowner growth by 2020.  Income inequality is becoming an ever increasing challenge as middle-income households has decreased from 65% in the 70s to 40% today.

Click here to read the full detailed analysis.