I thought the article 10 Market Facts for Uncertain Times on NAR web site was very interesting. In my market, the south coast of Santa Barbara county, which includes Santa Barbara and Montecito, CA, our economy is tourist driven, followed by agrictulture (think wine) Our largest employer in the southcaost is UC Santa Barbara. UCSB is expanding, applying for a CUP that will allow for more housing to be built, more staff to be hired, and, of course, more students to attend.
Photo by Steven Pinker
The wine industry has continued its many years of success, especially after the movie Sideways highlighted our area (for good or bad!) New wineries are being created both in the City of Santa Barbara on the Urban Wine Trail, as well as being scattered all over Santa Barbara County.
Several years ago, when the defense industry of Raytheon and Hughes were laying off workers, many became self-employed entrepreneurs, and this sector is still growing. There is the UCSB Entrepreneurs Association that has been helpful in transition.
Our median price has stablized, leveling out and stabilizing at 2003 levels for the last year and a half. We do not have the high number of deliquencies as in so many other markets in California, and nationwide.
Although the economy is soft and consumer confidence remains low, new data from the National Association of REALTORS® shows positive signs for the future. To help REALTORS® interpret current economic data and address clients' concerns, here are 10 key facts to understand about today's market.
1. The economy is growing, though slowly.
2. The private sector is finally creating some jobs.
3. Consumer confidence remains low, though clearly off bottom.
4. The 30-year mortgage rate is at generational lows.
5. The national median-home price is stabilizing.
6. Other home-price measurements also are showing price stabilization.
7. Home price-to-income ratios have returned to fundamentally justifiable levels.
8. Economists expect price increases in upcoming years
9. Delinquencies are high but recent loan originations are performing well.
10. The long-term path to self reliance may be helped from long-term housing-wealth gains.