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The Voice of Orange County

By Michael Caruso | Broker in Orange County, CA
  • Caruso's *Laguna Niguel* Closed Sales Report!

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Laguna Niguel, Home Selling in Laguna Niguel  |  April 5, 2012 3:56 PM  |  1,403 views  |  No comments

    Is the market is improving or at least stabilizing!?  We provide the latest market updates regularly, as well as personal consultation of market direction…

    The Laguna Niguel Closed Sales Report for FEBRUARY:

    The Laguna Niguel Closed Sales Report for Homes Sold in the 0-$500,000 Range:

    2012   43 listings closed escrow  

    2011   27 listings closed escrow

    The Laguna Niguel Closed Sales Report for Homes Sold in the $500,000-$1,000,000 Range:

    2012   25 listings closed escrow

    2011   25 listings closed escrow

    The Laguna Niguel Closed Sales Report for Homes Sold in the $1,000,000+Range:

    2012  5 listings closed escrow   

    2011  6 listings closed escrow    

    Does a sales report tell the whole story about market environment, consumer sentiment and the value of your home?  Is it time to sell?  Is it time to add a property to your investment portfolio? Is the market changing, and in which direction? 


    We Are Now Accepting Qualified Listings
    Now providing "Short Sale Services"
    Call Today for More Info and our "Spring Thing...."

    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

    Be Michael Caruso's Friend! Watch Caruso TV! Are You LinkedIn with Michael? The Voice of Orange County Review Michael Caruso! Tweet Michael Caruso!

    Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist  Member of The Institute Luxury Home Marketing   Million Dollar Guild Member  Member of Proxio Pro - The International MLS



  • Still Guessing…Leaning Toward The Positive

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Orange County  |  March 7, 2012 4:49 PM  |  652 views  |  No comments

     

    The U.S. housing market will begin to mount a turnaround this year, building toward a solid recovery in 2013, according to a forecast by the chief economist of a homebuilding industry trade group. The outlook by National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist David Crowe all call for U.S. sales of new homes and single-family home construction to improve this year compared with 2011, when they hit record lows. The forecast still leaves new home sales and construction well below levels of a healthy housing market, however. That reflects the severity of the industry's downturn, and suggests the housing market could be years away from full health. "I'm looking at 2012 as sort of a ramping event to get a much more solid recovery in 2013," Crowe said in a telephone interview. The economist, who gave his forecast at the trade association's annual conference in Orlando, Fla., sees sales of new, single-family homes climbing 19% this year to 360,000. Next year, he expects those sales to rise a whopping 40% to 505,000. Crowe's outlook also hinges on unemployment staying below 8.5% and the economy adding more jobs. And he's assuming that tight lending requirements will ease this year, enabling more homebuyers to qualify for financing. Source: Investors Business Daily


    We Are Now Accepting Qualified Listings
    Now providing "Short Sale Services"
    Call Today for More Info and our "Spring Thing...."

    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

    Be Michael Caruso's Friend! Watch Caruso TV! Are You LinkedIn with Michael? The Voice of Orange County Review Michael Caruso! Tweet Michael Caruso!

    Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist  Member of The Institute Luxury Home Marketing   Million Dollar Guild Member  Member of Proxio Pro - The International MLS


  • Caruso's *LAGUNA NIGUEL* Closed Sales Report

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Laguna Niguel, In My Neighborhood in Laguna Niguel, Property Q&A in Laguna Niguel  |  March 6, 2012 5:09 PM  |  1,083 views  |  No comments

    Is the market is improving or at least stabilizing!?  We provide the latest market updates regularly, as well as personal consultation of market direction…

    The Laguna Niguel Closed Sales Report for JANUARY:

    The Laguna Niguel Closed Sales Report for Homes Sold in the 0-$500,000 Range:

    2012   22 listings closed escrow  

    2011   23 listings closed escrow

    The Laguna Niguel Closed Sales Report for Homes Sold in the $500,000-$1,000,000 Range:

    2012   23 listings closed escrow

    2011   28 listings closed escrow

    The Laguna Niguel Closed Sales Report for Homes Sold in the $1,000,000+Range:

    2012  3 listings closed escrow   

    2011  6 listings closed escrow    

    Does a sales report tell the whole story about market environment, consumer sentiment and the value of your home?  Is it time to sell?  Is it time to add a property to your investment portfolio? Is the market changing, and in which direction? 


    We Are Now Accepting Qualified Listings
    Now providing "Short Sale Services"
    Call Today for More Info and our "Spring Thing...."

    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

    Be Michael Caruso's Friend! Watch Caruso TV! Are You LinkedIn with Michael? The Voice of Orange County Review Michael Caruso! Tweet Michael Caruso!

    Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist  Member of The Institute Luxury Home Marketing   Million Dollar Guild Member  Member of Proxio Pro - The International MLS


  • Caruso Says Watch the Big 3 ~ Employment, Housing and Europe…

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Orange County, Financing in Orange County, Agent2Agent in Orange County  |  March 2, 2012 1:09 PM  |  921 views  |  No comments

     

    We are halfway through the first quarter of 2012. The big question in everyone's mind is whether the economy continues to grow from here, or does it slow down like it did during the spring and summer of 2011? Remember, only a few months ago we were talking about the danger of a double dip recession. A stronger finish to the year ended that talk, but still many analysts have been predicting some sort of slowdown in 2012. What could prevent such a slowdown and keep the economy on pace to strengthen through 2012? We have already introduced the "big three" factors we will be watching. Not necessarily in order or priority, these factors are employment, housing and Europe. The numbers regarding employment are encouraging. First time unemployment claims last week hit the lowest level in nearly four years and employment growth was strong in January. The first set of January economic releases thus far have been mixed, however the data on housing starts and first time unemployment claims reported last week was very encouraging because of the importance of housing and jobs as two sectors of the "big three."

     

    If the economy keeps producing job growth, then home sales will keep rising and housing will become a positive factor with regard to economic growth in 2012. Economic growth is also the only factor which can pull Europe out of its crisis. All the austerity measures by themselves can't pare down their deficits without growth. Therefore, the key to whether the economy will continue to grow from here is actually the economy itself. Consider a rock rolling down the hill. Last year the rock hit a bump and slowed down. However, the faster the rock rolls, the less likely bumps will be able to slow it down. A stronger economy is self-sustaining. We believe that the economy has reached an important juncture. If growth accelerates from here, it will be harder to stop the rock. The rock is not rolling downhill fast enough now to overcome all the obstacles, however we are not far from that happening and the first half of 2012 will be crucial in measuring the speed of the rock.

     


    We Are Now Accepting Qualified Listings
    Now providing "Short Sale Services"
    Call Today for More Info and our "Spring Thing...."

    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

    Be Michael Caruso's Friend! Watch Caruso TV! Are You LinkedIn with Michael? The Voice of Orange County Review Michael Caruso! Tweet Michael Caruso!

    Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist  Member of The Institute Luxury Home Marketing   Million Dollar Guild Member  Member of Proxio Pro - The International MLS


  • Caruso's Economic Update!

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Orange County, Financing in Orange County, Agent2Agent in Orange County  |  February 1, 2012 1:24 PM  |  790 views  |  No comments

    The first set of earnings released in January focused upon the financial sector.  In all, the reports by larger national and regional banks were disappointing and showed that we are not out of the woods with regard to the legacy of bad loans piled up on the asset sheets of banks during the recession. While the economy recovers, debt loads of banks and nations will prove to be a drag on growth.  This is why analysts are looking at the good economic releases we have experienced in the past few months and are still remaining cautious.  For the consumer, this situation actually represents good news.  A recovery that does not get too strong too fast will continue to translate into record low interest rates for a longer period of time. If it were not for Europe or the banks right now, the sale on our nation's real estate would be over much more quickly.  On the other hand, looser credit standards will not come until banks dig out from their credit morass.  We are not likely to have looser credit standards and record low rates at the same time as the two just don't go hand-in-hand.

     

    Home affordability is at 1971 levels, due to falling home prices and record low rates, pushing home ownership in reach to many more families, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Home owners are bringing in nearly double the median income they need to cover the cost of an average home, Housing Predictor reports. "With rates at historically low levels and markets across the country beginning to improve, home ownership is within reach of more households,” Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, said in a statement.  Home sales have been ticking up, according to recent reports by the National Association of Realtors® and the National Association of Home Builders, Source: Housing Predictor

     

    The apartment vacancy rate is at its lowest level since late 2001 as the rental market continues to soar, according to the latest fourth-quarter data by Reis Inc.  As demand increases, the vacancy rate for apartments dropped in the fourth quarter to 5.2 percent compared to 6.6 percent a year prior. Meanwhile, as the rental market takes off, builders are rushing to play catch up in building new units to meet the demand.  In 2011, Zelman & Associates estimates that more than 173,000 units were started, and about 225,000 and 280,000 starts are expected in 2012 and 2013. Source: The Wall Street Journal

     

    Borrowers who have a history of paying rent on time may see a boost to their credit score.  Experian, a leading credit report company, added a section to its credit reports last year that reflected on-time rent payments, which helped give a boost in the credit scores to some on-time rent payers.  Now the two other major credit reporting companies are following suit.  CoreLogic and FICO recently announced they are also adding a score that reflects payment histories from landlords, The New York Times reports.

     

    No discussion of the prospects for our economy in 2012 would be complete without an examination of the housing sector. As daunting as the debt crisis in Europe is, there is no doubt that the real "x" factor is housing.  This topic is so complex that it is hard to sort out.  For example, we know that the housing sector will not rebound without employment strengthening.  But we also know that the housing sector is very important in creating employment. If that sounds like a catch-22, it is.  And it is one of the main reasons our recovery has been tepid up to now.  We also believe that it is no coincidence that the housing market seems to be improving now that the employment sector is also getting stronger.  Of course, we will know more about how strong the employment sector is in a few days because Friday we will see the release of January's employment report.

     

    Regardless of the results of this report, we do know employment growth was stronger in 2011 -- especially towards the end of the year. In January first time unemployment claims fell to their lowest levels since April of 2008.  We also know that existing home sales and starts for single family homes also have increased in the last quarter of 2011.  Again, no coincidence.  The National Association of Home Builders has indicated that every single family home built creates three jobs.  To put it another way, just over 425,000 single family homes were built last year. That is over one million jobs.  Sound impressive? It is still a few million jobs less than the sector produced during the real estate boom years.  An increase of 100,000 houses this year would create 300,000 additional jobs and that does not include the apartment sector which is starting to boom and the commercial sector which has yet to awaken from its slumber.  Conceivably, we could see close to 500,000 additional jobs created this year with modest growth in building.  Even more importantly, those jobs create even more demand for housing.  Will this happen?


    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

    Be Michael Caruso's Friend! Watch Caruso TV! Are You LinkedIn with Michael? The Voice of Orange County Review Michael Caruso! Tweet Michael Caruso!

    Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist  Member of The Institute Luxury Home Marketing   Million Dollar Guild Member  Member of Proxio Pro - The International MLS


  • Caruso's *LAGUNA NIGUEL* Closed Sales Report ~ December

    Posted Under: General Area in Laguna Niguel, Market Conditions in Laguna Niguel, In My Neighborhood in Laguna Niguel  |  January 26, 2012 1:52 PM  |  1,170 views  |  No comments

     

    Is the market is improving or at least stabilizing!?  We provide the latest market updates regularly, as well as personal consultation of market direction…

    The Laguna Niguel Closed Sales Report for DECEMBER:

    The Laguna Niguel Closed Sales Report for Homes Sold in the 0-$500,000 Range:

    2011   46 listings closed escrow  

    2010   38 listings closed escrow

    The Laguna Niguel Closed Sales Report for Homes Sold in the $500,000-$1,000,000 Range:

    2011   29 listings closed escrow

    2010   33 listings closed escrow

    The Laguna Niguel Closed Sales Report for Homes Sold in the $1,000,000+Range:

    2011  8 listings closed escrow   

    2010  3 listings closed escrow    

    Does a sales report tell the whole story about market environment, consumer sentiment and the value of your home?  Is it time to sell?  Is it time to add a property to your investment portfolio? Is the market changing, and in which direction?


    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

    Be Michael Caruso's Friend! Watch Caruso TV! Are You LinkedIn with Michael? The Voice of Orange County Review Michael Caruso! Tweet Michael Caruso!

    Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist  Member of The Institute Luxury Home Marketing   Million Dollar Guild Member  Member of Proxio Pro - The International MLS


  • Homeownership Declines

    Posted Under: General Area in California, Market Conditions in California, Agent2Agent in California  |  January 25, 2012 1:47 PM  |  683 views  |  No comments

    Recently while browsing the latest California Real Estate Magazine, I came to learn that California is among the top five states with the lowest homeownership rates nationwide, according to the “Housing Characteristics: 2010” report by the U.S. Census Bureau.

     

    With homeownership rate of 55.9%, California ranked second in the nation, falling behind New York’s rate of 53.5%.

     

    Of California’s 37.3 million residents, 22.2 million live in the Los Angeles, San Diego, & San Francisco metropolitan regions. Because of this concentration in large urban areas, more than 30% of Californian families live in multi-home residences (which include apartments & condominiums), compared with a national average of 25.9%. California also has the second-highest median home value in the country, which some claim provides an incentive to rent rather than buy.


    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

    Be Michael Caruso's Friend! Watch Caruso TV! Are You LinkedIn with Michael? The Voice of Orange County Review Michael Caruso! Tweet Michael Caruso!

    Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist  Member of The Institute Luxury Home Marketing   Million Dollar Guild Member  Member of Proxio Pro - The International MLS


    Home Values In Your Area  Michael Caruso Real Estate Group

     
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