Happy New Year – Big Bear Market Year End Stats/Projectings

Now that 2008 is behind us, and all the final sales numbers have arrived, we are looking forward to a new start, and a new real estate season for 2009. We have had more buyers and escrows open in the past week, than we have had in a long time. Looking back on sales and statistic's for 2008, the following information is interesting as compared to years past; Sold Residential Units in 2008: 697 Actives as of today are: 981 Residential Units Sold Residential Units in 2007: 797 2008 December Solds: 48 Residential SOLD Units Sold Residential Units in 2006: 1,172 (This represents 20 months worth Invntry. (DOM*) Sold Residential Units in 2005: 1,817 * Days on the Market We are about 68% less in sales, since 2005 as compared to today. There are few important news items from last week... First, the results are in on the Fed's first run at purchasing Mortgage Backed Securities under their new $500 Billion buying program. Over the last week, the Fed bought $10.2 Billion of Mortgage Backed Securities. Any time there is increased buying demand - for anything - prices will move higher. When Bond prices move higher, home loan rates improve. Next, Stocks faced selling pressure last week due to a rash of earnings warnings from the nation's retailers, including Macy's, who announced they are closing eleven stores. Because money coming out of Stocks is often parked over into the Bond market, Bonds and home loan rates responded by reaching never-before-seen levels. Finally, the job market reached a level not seen since 1945. The Labor Department reported on Friday that there were 524,000 jobs lost during the month of December. All told there were 2,600,000 jobs lost in 2008, which represents the biggest job loss in any calendar year since 1945, when 2,750,000 jobs were lost as the wartime economy was demobilized. But we must consider that there are a lot more people in the US today. Adding further sting to the report was the Unemployment Rate, which shot up higher than expectations to 7.2%, the highest reading in 16 years. As we know...Bonds and home loan rates typically improve on negative economic news, since money will flow out of Stocks and into Bonds when bad news hits the wires. But keep in mind, these are volatile times - and it's hard to know how long the good times will last for home loan rates, which is the key to our buyers market!

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