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March 31st, 2017 · No Comments · Santa Barbara Real Estate

Hope Ranch Beach (Private Access)

The California Association of Realtors’ latest monthly Pending Home Sales Report says,  “that the state’s pending transactions dipped by 2.6 percent on an annual basis last month, marking the weakest February since 2014.” Real estate professionals polled by the organization in the accompanying Market Pulse Survey expect activity to pick up with the coming of spring, pointing to an increase in listing-presentation requests and open-house traffic.

Inventory and affordability are both top of mind for California real estate professionals. Forty percent of those surveyed cited a lack of homes for sale as their biggest concern, the highest level in a year. Thirty-two percent of respondents pointed to eroding affordability conditions, perhaps partially in anticipation of the Federal Reserve’s recent decision to raise interest rates.

Sustainable Tech Friendly Yards a Hit with Homeowners  More Americans want to take their plugged-in lifestyles outside, as wireless connectivity is expected to be in high demand from landscaping professionals in 2017. Sustainable Tech-Friendly yards have become a hit with homeowners.

That’s according to survey results from the American Society of Landscape Architects, which ranks the 10 outdoor design elements that are expected to be most popular with homeowners. For the first time, wireless Internet is in the picture, with about 70 percent of landscape architects saying that they expect clients will request this feature.

Still, the most popular outdoor elements tend to be tried and true and focused on sustainability. Native, drought-tolerant plants both received about 83 percent of the vote, followed by low-maintenance landscapes (79 percent) and vegetable gardens (76.5 percent).   Demand for sustainable Tech-Friendly yards

A recent analysis by Realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke examines the pace of the national housing market in February. Homes sold in a median 90 days last month, six days faster than they did one year ago. Twenty-seven percent of homes sold in less than 30 days, a trend that didn’t appear until late March last year.   Homebuyers have been buoyed by job growth, which is 30 percent stronger than in the first quarter of 2016. The national unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent in February, and wage growth is nearing an eight-year high.  Rising mortgage rates may also be motivating some homebuyers to lock in financing before rates move even higher. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates last week and is expected to do so twice more in 2017.

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