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The Rilliet Report March 2014

March 14 2014
March 14 2014

THE BUZZ


The spring buying season has begun. A variety of signs point to the underlying strength that should support real estate sales gains in the upcoming months of March through June. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors, notes that although the severe winter conditions in much of the country held sales down in December and some of January, "job growth and pent-up demand are positive factors."

A surprisingly strong pace of new-home sales last month has boosted hopes. Sales of new homes rebounded to the fastest rate in more than five years. Sales of new homes rose 9.6% in January. It was the fastest pace since July of 2008.

Lowe's, the home-improvement retailer, reports that their net income rose 6% in the most recent quarter, thanks in part to the housing recovery.

With anxious buyers and attractive mortgage rates, real estate seems poised for another great spring. Know that I am watching our local market and am ready to help when you need me.

 

JUST ASK

Q: What's this about a "house crush"?

A: If you've found yourself swooning over a house you just can't get out of your head, you're not alone. In a new Realtor.com survey, 69% of the 1,000 respondents said they have had a "house crush" - a home they liked so much that they were drawn back to looking at it more than once online or in person.

Women were more likely than men to have a crush on a home that was out of their league financially, while men more frequently moved from one home crush to another.

Men and women tend to fall for the same things when it comes to houses, though. Of the women included in the survey,

  • 54% loved the outdoor living spaces
  • 42% shared open floor plans
  • 29% revealed updated appliances and fixtures

Of the men included in the survey,

  • 46% loved the outdoor living spaces
  • 30% revealed open floor plans
  • 40% swoon for garages

 

MY TOWN

Water moratoriums are taking place throughout the state of California. Generally moratoriums go into effect as a temporary solution for a temporary problem. For the past two years in California, rain has been scarce and some towns are starting to impose water rationing.

For example, in Montecito, CA, a lush area south of Santa Barbara, the Montecito Water Board recently raised prices by 15% and mandated that residents cut water usage by 30% until further notice.

Here are some tips for cutting back on water usage:

  • Turn off your automatic sprinklers. Water winter lawns every five days.
  • Stop dripping faucets and replace old shower heads. A WaterSense showerhead can save up to 750 gallons per month.
  • Install water-saving aerators on all of your faucets

Check out www.wateruseitwisely.com for more ways to conserve water. Let's work together to protect our natural resources.

 

FYI

The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee has drafted a proposal to limit mortgage interest deductions and capital gains.

WASHINGTON (February 26, 2014) - The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors President Steve Brown:

"NAR supports reforms that promote economic growth, but we strongly oppose severely altering he rules that govern ownership and investment in real estate. Real estate powers almost one-fifth of the U.S. economy, employs more than 17 million Americans, and contributes a quarter of all federal and state tax revenue and as much as 70% of local taxes.

"We are extremely disappointed with several of the provisions contained in the U.S. House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp's tax reform draft released today, namely proposed limits on the mortgage interest deduction and capital gains, and the repeal of deductions for state and local property taxes. These proposed changes to the taxation of real estate will impact every single American, either directly or indirectly.

"NAR will carefully analyze the details of the Chairman's plan so we can best educate Congress and the public about how this plan would impact the owners, consumers, and producers of both residential and commercial real estate."

I think it is important to be aware of this and I will keep you in the loop.


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