The Economic Watch – BACK TO A NEW NORMAL, AGAIN

by Mark Schniepp

Are We Back To Normal Again?
Many people will argue that the economy has
Are We Back To Normal Again?
Many people will argue that the economy has
not returned to the condition it was in prior
to the Great Recession when it was easy to
buy or rent a home, employment was full, and
household incomes were higher. Retirement
account contributions and pensions were more
generous, expense accounts were fatter, business
travel more frequent, and Christmas parties more

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Home prices soared in 2013 and that momentum pushed into 2014. The market leveled off after the first 7 months of 2014 and plateaued. We figured that housing values had overcorrected downward and the appreciation spike during the recovery was therefore warranted. The plateau did not last long because the pace of price appreciation has now ramped up again. Why? Read more (PDF)…

9 Red Flags to Watch for When Picking a Real Estate Agent

Pass on agents who are family members and those who have never bought or sold in your neighborhood.

The proliferation of online real estate information makes it easier than ever to be an informed consumer when buying or selling a home. Yet the digital revolution has done little to lessen the importance of choosing the right real estate agent to work with you.

The right agent can help you buy your dream house or sell your existing home quickly. The wrong agent can botch the transaction, leaving you with egg on your face and nowhere to call home.

Despite the high stakes, many buyers and sellers give little thought to choosing an agent, whether they’re buying or selling. Read More >>>

10 reasons the housing market could go ballistic this spring

I’m guessing here. My forecasts aren’t any better than anyone else’s, so don’t trade on this. But my gut is telling me that the U.S. housing market could go ballistic this spring, specifically for single-family homes—especially among first-time buyers.

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Pending home sales surge to highest level in 18 months

Pending home sales in January surged to the highest level since August 2013 after a steep drop last month, according to the National Association of Realtors.

All major regions except for the Midwest saw gains in activity in January thanks to improved buyer demand at the beginning of 2015.

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California Economic Forcast: SEARCHING FOR WEAKNESS

We are at or near the peak of the economic cycle. That’s my opinion. We could also be in for a longer period of expansion than normal, because the sluggish period of recovery during this economic
cycle was much longer than expected. If so, then my thoughts about the peak could either be premature or the peak could evolve into a longer running plateau of economic growth.

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Ask These 7 Questions to Create a Whole House Color Palette

It seems so simple, but picking a paint color is one of the biggest obstacles my clients have when updating their homes. Once they realize they’re really picking an overall palette, they’re positively paralyzed.

I’ve been part of the process in thousands of homes, and it really is easier than most people think. Answer a few questions, make a few quick decisions, and then narrow those decisions down to an ultimate choice. I usually give myself a week to make a final decision.

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Higher Prices Don’t Deter First-time Buyers

A new survey of first-time buyers in Canada reveals they are more financially savvy than the general population, well-educated, employed and married or in a common-law relationship. Most of them are millennials (34 or younger) and they share the desire of their parents to own their homes.

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How to win a bidding war in today’s outrageous housing market

The spring homebuying season is in full swing. But there is just one problem: The majority of America is reporting a tight supply of residential real estate in most price points of the market.

And no matter how much the demand is there and how much lenders are willing lend, it means little if there are no houses to buy.

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