Tuesday, January 31, 2012

S&P/Case-Shiller: November 2011

Note... be sure to bookmark the overall S&P/Case-Shiller Dashboard or the Scary Housing Dashboard of the weakest markets for a real-time view of all the markets tracked by S&P.

The latest release of the S&P/Case-Shiller (CSI) home price indices for November reported that the non-seasonally adjusted Composite-10 price index declined 1.29% since October while the Composite-20 index declined 1.27% over the same period with both measures continuing to decline notably since last year.

The latest CSI data clearly indicates that the price trends are experiencing a declining trend into the typically less active summer and fall season and as I recently pointed out, the more timely and less distorted Radar Logic RPX data is starting to capture notable falling prices driven primarily by seasonality.

The 10-city composite index declined 3.56% as compared to November 2010 while the 20-city composite declined 3.67% over the same period.

Topping the list of regional peak decliners was Las Vegas at -61.07%, Phoenix at -55.54%, Miami at -51.06%, Tampa at -47.36% and Detroit at -44.38%.

Additionally, both of the broad composite indices show significant peak declines slumping -32.87% for the 10-city national index and -32.94% for the 20-city national index on a peak comparison basis.

To better visualize today’s results use Blytic.com to view the full release.

The following charts (click for larger version) shows the percent change to single family home prices given by the Case-Shiller Indices as compared to each metros respective price peak set between 2005 and 2007 as well as annual and monthly changes.

Additionally, in order to add some historical context to the perspective, I updated my “then and now” CSI charts that compare our current circumstances to the data seen during 90s housing decline.

To create the following annual and normalized charts I simply aligned the CSI data from the last month of positive year-over-year gains for both the current decline and the 90s housing bust and plotted the data side-by-side (click for larger version).

The “peak” chart compares the percentage change, comparing monthly CSI values to the peak value seen just prior to the first declining month all the way through the downturn and the full recovery of home prices.

Promotional Items

So, the key to success in most sales careers has to do with keeping your name or brand in front of everyone.  I prefer to think it has more to do with service, but passing the word that service and communication are key returns to the idea of names and faces in front of everyone.  After 10 years in real estate, I can't call everyone so I send out post cards of listings and the occasional promotional item.

I think it all came home to me that this is important when I went to an SU game recently.  I ran into a friend who introduced me as "This is the woman who is on my refrigerator."  Her friend instantly lit up with recognition. 

I have received promotional items myself along the way.  Carol Alger, a loan officer who is now with Homestead Financial (http://www.homesteadfinancial.net/) has been with me from the start, probably one of the very few professionals who has been.  She gives great service, communicates with me quickly and easily via e-mail, and I can reach her when I need her.  The feedback from clients is also positive - if it weren't, I would not recommend her.  But she also gives out promotional items.  When she switched from MetLife I asked her if they would continue to come, because they are fun.

So I still have the old ones.  The MetLife apron is red, so it works over the winter months for both Christmas and Valentine's Day.  I have on the refirgerator a Snoopy embellished list of emotions, with a marker to show how I am feeling each day.  I got stuck on ecstatic when Liam was born last July and can't seem to pull myself off of that.  Which is fine!

This morning I finished sending out calendars, a bit late, but I do want to connect and be on more refrigerators.  Next week I will send out the new Parcell Woods lots post cards.  I think these are the most important, and not necessarily to promote me, but to keep my clients (and friends) informed about new properties.

There is something else that goes along with mailings, whether they are multi-steps like the calendars, or single moments of attaching address labels.  Sitting at the kitchen table today I think about each and every person as I put on the mailing label.  This is an old method / teaching strategy from my days in Spring Hill School in Saratoga (http://waldorfsaratoga.org/).  Teachers were encouraged to bring to mind their students, one at a time, as they fell asleep.  This helped to focus on the individuality of each child and solve or prevent problems.  As I sat at the table today, I thought of that exercise.  It applies to real estate too.

Monday, January 30, 2012

More Pain, Less Gain: S&P/Case-Shiller Preview for November 2011

As I demonstrated in prior posts, given their strong correlation, the home price indices provided daily by Radar Logic, averaged monthly, can effectively be used as a preview of the monthly S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices.

The current Radar Logic 25 MSA Composite data reported on residential real estate transactions (condos, multi and single family homes) that settled as late as November 25 and averaged for the month indicates that with slowing summer/fall transactions has come a notable decline of prices (the typical trend) with the national index declining 1.8% since October and falling 7.11% below the level seen in November 2010.

The Radar Logic index will likely be capturing an decline in prices from now until early 2012 as transactions continue to trend down.

Look for tomorrow's S&P/Case-Shiller home price report to reflect this declining trend though to a lesser degree due to its three month rolling-average nature with prices moderately higher.

Time and Again

We spent the weekend in Manhattan, visiting Alex, Rachel and Liam.  It was a truly lovely - if brief - time away.  We made it down there in four hours and twenty minutes, and that included two stops.  I never would have believed it possible until I started making the trek through Scranton.  As long as there is no George Washington Bridge or FDR tie-up we can do it.  We also found a parking spot just a few doors from their building.

I have come to really love the City.  I love the energy, the way it really doesn't seem to sleep, the safety of it.  I can walk and walk, we are close to parks on either side, there are dogs and kids galore to watch.  We ventured out with Liam, now six months old, to a sit-down restaurant, stroller and all.  Candlelight, great Vietnamese food, good wine and beer, close to their building....and there were two other little kids at the next table.  It was all fine and the wait staff accommodated everyone. 

I looked at the City slightly differently this time.  I've been reading Time and Again, by Jack Finney, for the second time.  I read it years earlier when I was in Seattle, and remembered it fondly.  When it was reissued this past year I bought it and also gave a copy of it to Alex and Rachel.  Not to give too much away, it is a story that features the NYC of 1882, at the end of January that year. 

The details are simply delicious, things I had not known or thought about.  There's a scene in which it has snowed a great deal, and everyone has taken the opportunity to bring out their horse-drawn sleighs.  Finney evokes this beautifully - the sounds and sights of all those horses and bells in the night air.  The protagonist stays at The Dakota, famous in part now due to John Lennon, but when this was published in 1970 it was a star among the Manhattan buildings in its own right.  Across the street in Central Park, in 1882, were farms!  (For a great photo of it, and a description, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dakota)

There was no snow this weekend, and I didn't make it down to The Dakota as I will some day.  The wind blew off the East River and froze us, but the parks were filled with kids on a Saturday afternoon in the sun.  So different from Finney's descriptions - but still the same fascinating city.

Weekend & Pinterest!

Hello friends!
Hope everyone had a great weekend!

This was a fun weekend for us, I worked a little, we visited Chris's new baby nephew ....

How cute is he? Love him! SO sweet!
(This pic I made with the Red Stamp app on my iPhone, it's awesome!)

Then we put a little Pinterest to use for Jake and had a BLAST ... take a look... if you have a small boy in your fam you need to try to do this!! It was so easy!

Jake put on his Spiderman outfit for a little extra emphasis LOL ;)

We actually did the entire hallway upstairs so that the girls could do it too down their side of the hallway lol. Just red yarn for the "lasers" and then tape them to the wall with duct tape (both from Hobby Lobby) and then they can crawl through and under and over!! I will admit I got stuck a few times ha, would like to say it was my pony tail... buttttt my backside got stuck a few times too ha! :(

I saw this cute frame on Pinterest too and decided to make them for Chris's sister to take to give her when we went to see Baby Birch :) Such a cute idea!

I just made them on Publisher and then stuck them in frames from Hobby Lobby (50% off now!) and then thought she could put them in their rooms or hang up or whatever :)

I am obsessed with our new warm headbands that I got for me, Ella and Ava... they are super cozy and very chic too if I do say so myself ;)

Model Pic...

I got them from a local Lex friend of mine who does awesome monogramming and I think I have blogged about her before... but you can find her on Facebook HERE and see the link to the headbands and all the other goodies she has (she also did the bib Frankie was modeling in HERE)! LOL

My new shoes came in and I am obsessed with them... not only are they HOT ass pink which I love, they are really comfortable and I am excited to run in them today for the first time :)
I got lots of compliments on them over the weekend... but the best were Ava's 7 yr old BFF and then their cousin who is 4 yrs old lol and then my cousin who is 5yrs old ha. So they seem to be a hit with the younger ladies... must be the pink!

Ordered from Finishline.com they have tons of colors and FREE Shipping!

Now for some Pinterest!! My fave day of the week... and my favorite hobby, PINNING!

Things I am obsessed with..
This bag...

This lace shirt... love it!

Ok basically everything about the pic below.. her hair.. her jacket... and her LV dog carrier! Ha!

And of course these Yorkie cupcakes... dying over them!

For the house...
I know a million people have pinned this but this fridge is literally the most amazing thing I have ever seen, what would you do to have a fridge like this? ha!

I love this below.. zebra chairs with the hot pink pillows, and the elephant pic. Looks so good!

This office is great with the chalk board wall... and I love the way it looks, however, sometimes she messy chalk looks makes my OCD really bad so not sure I could handle it every day ;)

Since Valentine's Day is creeping up here are some ideas I have found ...

"All About You Basket" so cute, kind of like a stocking I think.. and you know I love stockings!! :)

 Cell phone Valentines ha very clever. Ella is wanting to make these for her friends, they look semi easy and we found the candy buttons last night at Cracker Barrel :)

For the healthy people :) Apples and Oranges for V-Day! Free Printable Stickers to just stick right on!

For all my preggo friends.. this is an adorable idea!

Would be so easy just get a cute chalkboard, or have someone paint one for ya! Love this.

Now, because everyone needs a good laugh on Mondays... :) These are for you!

Hahahahahahahhahaha!  Dressed up for Wal Mart literally can't handle that!

This is so me, and I think it is hysterical!

And I can.not.wait. to see this movie....

HAHAHAHAHA! Just sayin' people, just sayin' ... do love me some Channing Tatum!
(sorry babe! ;)

Happy Monday Ladies!
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Friday, January 27, 2012

University of Michigan Survey of Consumers January 2012 (Final)

Today's final release of the Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers for January indicated improvement in consumer sentiment with a reading of 75.0 and climbing just 1.08% above the level seen last year while one year inflation expectations rose slightly to 3.3%.

The Index of Consumer Expectations (a component of the Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators) rose to 69.1, and the Current Economic Conditions Index climbed to 84.2.

It's important to recognize that consumer sentiment has seriously eroded over the past few months with the current results remaining near levels not seen since 1980, a major indication that consumers are in the process of tightening even further on spending.

The Last 10 in 2011

So here they are, the last 10 homes that closed in the Skaneateles area of the multiple listing service in 2011.  This brings the total to 70 homes.  It WILL get better in 2012 - I know it!

In no particular order:

181 Hemlock Hollow - $159,750

3859 Highland Avenue - $245,000

9 Wicklow Drive - $309,000

2989 East Lake Road - $1,375,000

1698 Amerman Road - $225,000

2424 West Lake Road - $215,000

48 West Genesee Street - $350,000

14 State Street - $300,000

61 State Street Road - $285,000

25 Leitch Avenue - $530,000

On to a better year!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday News

I have lots of new news for this Thursday :)

Most importantly... Chris and I have a new nephew!! His sister had her baby on Tuesday,
a sweet baby boy... little baby Birch (I love that his initials will be BB for some reason haha kind of like my cute Godson who is CC!)  ... he was a little under 8lbs.

We haven't gotten to see him yet, both had to work a lot this week, so I am excited to go see him this weekend and take him some little goodies! :) So happy for them! His big brother, Jack, who is 1 and will be two this summer, is obsessed with vacuums! Literally obsessed. For Christmas we got him a little sweeping set with a broom and I'm pretty sure it was a hit ;) So when getting some stuff for the new baby, I realized we needed to get Jack a fun "Big Brother" present too...  and I found this...

A kid's Dyson Vacuum!!! I know... how cute is that?? It actually is Dyson, says it on there and everything! Spins and rotates, actually sucks up a little bit too, and has little popping colored balls in there also! I literally died when I saw this at a client's house and knew I had to get it for Jack!
How fun is that?!? :)

Speaking of babies... my sweet friend Emily's shower is coming up soon ... so I have ordered some cute little things that I will share after the shower because I want them to be a surprise ha BUT I did get some cute monogrammed things that came in today and I was dying to show her something so I thought a bib would be appropriate and I had to have a model...


Ta-Da! LOL He is a multi-versatile model ;)
But he was not having this what so ever... would not even look at me or the camera... (as you can tell) and barely looked out of the corner of his eye just to let me know he was pissed. Ha.

But how cute is the bib? Can't wait for baby Lila to get here!

More news... Ella is OBSESSED with her Marley Lily monogrammed purse and since she has now seen it I can show it to you ..

Don't you love the teal (looks blue in the pic but it's really more of a teal IRL) and the block letters?
 I think it turned out so cute!
She wanted to pick the color and style and everything, and she did a great job!

I know this may be boring for those of you not in Lex... BUT for those of you who are, please keep this new listing in mind if you have a friend, or co-worker, or someone looking for a house! You never know who may be looking to buy :) And this one is adorable!

It has a 1st Floor Master Bedroom which is very desirable, New Roof, New Windows, New Flooring, New Light Fixtures... too much to name! Located off Tates Creek Rd close to Hartland Kroger!
If you would like more info or know someone you think might like it feel free to email me or 
CLICK HERE for the link to the MLS :)

Lastly, we are thinking of going to NYC for Spring Break in a few months...

We have never been, and I think it would be something fun and different to do... and am getting kind of majorly excited thinking about it!
If anyone has any tips, places we must go, things to do for us and the kids, anything you can think of.. PLEASE SHARE! I am googling and talking to people and feeling overwhelmed that there is so much to do there!!!

Here is a bit of what I've found so far that we would like to do...

1. Of course we would want to take the boat and go see the Statue of Liberty
(I've heard you have to order tickets in advance and it's a big production, anyone been?)

2. I FOR SURE want to visit Ground Zero and the Memorials
(also heard you must register in advance? can't just show up?)

3. We would love to find a Broadway show that would be enjoyable for us and the kids ??

4. Museum of National History looks awesome, Chris is dying to go here!

5. Toys R Us - this is a no brainer, the kids will love it, there is a ferris wheel inside the store!

6. Dylan's Candy Bar - This is a must on my list :) Heard it is unbelievable!!

7. Central Park - I think it might be too warm in April to go ice skating? But we will see :)

8. FOA Schwarz - This would be a must, lol

9. The Eloise Suite at the Plaza Hotel - Chris is realllly wanting to take the girls here, they have talked about it several times and we feel like if we go to NYC we have to go have tea with Miss Eloise ha ;)

That is a LOT of tourism... and I know there is TONS more to do (I haven't even mentioned places to shop, that could be an entire post on its own!!) ... if you have any suggestions please comment!!

Happy Thursday!

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New Home Sales: December 2011

Today, the U.S. Census Department released its monthly New Residential Home Sales Report for December showing a notable monthly decline with sales dropping 2.2% since November and 7.3% below the level seen in December 2010 and remaining at an epically low level of 307K SAAR units.

It's important to recognize that the inventory of new homes has now fallen to a new series low at 157K units, lowest level seen in in at least 47 years while the median number of months for sale declined to 6.7.

The monthly supply remained declined to 6.1 months while the median selling price declined 12.81% and the average selling price declined 8.81% from the year ago level.

The following chart show the extent of sales decline to date (click for full-larger version).

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index: December 2011

Today’s release of the Chicago Federal Reserve National Activity Index (CFNAI) improved though continued to indicate weakness in national economic trends with the index climbing to a tepid 0.17 while the three month moving average improved to -0.08.

The CFNAI is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity collected into four overall categories of “production and income”, “employment, unemployment and income”, “personal consumption and housing” and “sales, orders and inventories”.

The Chicago Fed regards a value of zero for the total index as indicating that the national economy is expanding at its historical trend rate while a negative value indicates below average growth.

A value at or below -0.70 for the three month moving average of the national activity index (CFNAI-MA3) indicates that the national economy has either just entered or continues in recession.