Rain, Rain Go Away. We Were Having Such Lovely Days…. (Stay dry, drive safe & keep warm)
“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” — Napoleon Hill: Was a lecturer and author of books on achieving success
NEWS & HEADLINES
MBA Survey: Mortgage applications Composite Index decreased 6.7% , Refinance Index decreased 7.7% and the Purchase Index decreased 4.7%. The refinance share decreased to 60.3% from 61.2% and the ARM share decreased to 5.9% from 6.1%. The average 30-year rate increased to 4.98% from 4.93%, and the average 15-year rate increased to 4.17% from 4.14%.
Retail Sales increased 0.4% in March increasing for the ninth straight month, adding to speculation the economic recovery is gaining momentum. February retail sales were revised upwards to 1.1% from 1.0%. Purchases excluding autos increased 0.8%, while sales Ex-Autos and service stations climbed 0.6%.
Business Inventories rose 0.5% in February, and business sales rose 0.2%, compared to an increase of 2.0% in January. The inventory-to-sales ratio, an indication of demand, was flat at 1.24 in February.
Beige Book scheduled for release at 2PM today.
Treasuries Drop Before 10-Year Note Auction as U.S. Retail Sales Increase $21 billion in 10-year UST notes will be auctioned at 1PM today. and retail sales increased in March for the ninth straight month, adding to speculation the economic recovery is gaining momentum.
Deficit Speech Will Be Lightning Rod. Obama will outline plans for long-term deficit reduction in a speech tonight that will likely start a debate with Republicans while alienating some members of his own Democratic Party.
Bernanke Urges Republicans to ‘Deal With’ Debt, Lawmaker Says Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke urged Republicans during a dinner meeting yesterday to find a way to “deal with” the rising U.S. national debt without endorsing a specific plan, lawmakers who attended said.
WHY THE WEALTHY ARE BUYING
We have taken the stance that real estate is currently a great investment. There have been MANY that have let us know that they think we are crazy. Today, let’s look at a few prominent people, media sources and one very important group that agree that now is the time to buy.
Fortune Magazine and The Wall Street Journal
John Paulson, billionaire investor.
Donald Trump, no introduction necessary.
Barbara Corcoran, real estate TV personality.
A pretty impressive list! The question: Is anyone listening to them? The answer: The wealthiest people in the country. According to the most recent Existing Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, at a time when sales of all homes have decreased 2.8% compared to last year, homes over $1million dollars are selling at a rate 3.9% higher. Why are the wealthy purchasing real estate right now?
Money is cheap. The 5% interest rate will not be available forever.
The ability to lock in that interest rate for 30 years may soon disappear.
Getting a mortgage may get much more expensive soon.
They want to buy low and sell high. The price of real estate is low.
We know many will disagree with us about now being the time to buy. But if the wealthiest people in the country are buying, shouldn’t we at least consider the possibility?
CAR SOCIAL MEDIA PROGRAM TO FEATURE ROOST PLATFORM
Social network marketing and technology company Roost has signed an agreement with California Association of Realtors’ subsidiary Real Estate Business Services to feature its platform as the primary tool in CAR’s first social media training program, Roost announced today.
CAR is the country’s largest state Realtor association, with more than 145,000 members at the end of March. REBS’ training division, CAR Education, will use Roost’s social marketing platform as the primary tool of its new Social Network Master Program.
The program is fee-based and geared toward increasing business through social media campaigns. It includes courses on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogging that members have the option to take individually.
“Social networking has become a useful and necessary tool for Realtors to generate leads and serve their clients. Many of our members are in need of quality training and tools to utilize these new platforms,” said Robert Bailey, chairman of REBS, in a statement.
Training on the Roost platform will begin this Friday, April 15, at CAR’s Social Media Boot Camp, a daylong seminar at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Training materials will also be available online.
Roost launched its social marketing platform on March 29. The company simultaneously expanded its business model beyond real estate professionals to other small business owners, such as lawyers, accountants and restaurateurs.
“We’ve been in real estate quite a while and we’ve learned quite a lot. One of things we’ve learned is that, like in real estate, there’s lots of businesses that rely on referral, word-of-mouth business,” said Chris Brubaker, Roost’s vice president of marketing.
Social networks can play a big role in helping small business owners stay “top of mind” to customers offline, he said.
Nevertheless, Roost will continue “to develop and invest in real estate,” Brubaker added.
The platform launch included a more robust version of Roost Publisher, now called Campaign Creator. Whereas the Publisher tool allowed users to schedule a single Facebook post at a time, Campaign Creator allows them to schedule multiple posts simultaneously to both Facebook and Twitter.
The tool also suggests a campaign format, recommending the number of links and status updates a user should schedule per week and times of day to post them.
The idea behind the tool is to allow users to spend as little as 20 minutes a week managing their social marketing campaigns, Brubaker said.
For those worried about what to post, Campaign Creator also suggests content based on the user’s industry type and interests — an article from the real estate section of a local paper, for example.
“By suggesting that content we really hope we’re taking that guesswork out of the equation,” Brubaker said.
Another tool, Roost Circles, has also launched. Roost Circles allows users to share each other’s posts.
“We wanted to create a tool that was actually social. (Users) can band together with colleagues to create a social network for content sharing. I can create a blog post about the market in San Francisco and share it with my mortgage broker and appraiser and encourage them to share,” Brubaker said.
CAR members will also learn to use other Roost tools, including its “Real Estate” Facebook tab; RoostBar, a banner in which a business name, picture, and a “like” button appear at the top of links a user posts via Campaign Creator; and the “Roost Academy” Facebook tab, which includes webinars, how-to videos, and FAQs about how to use social media for real estate marketing.
Roost Listen, which will allow agents to create a list of their most promising leads and see everything they post in one place, and an analytics tool, are in development, the company announced.
SURVEY: AMERICANS STILL OPTIMISTIC ABOUT HOUSING
A sluggish real estate market hasn’t shaken the confidence of the public in how it views home ownership, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. Eight in 10 adults (or 81 percent) say owning a home is the best long-term investment a person can make, according to the Pew study of about 2,000 adults conducted in March.
“Home owners are not blind to what has happened to home prices, nor are they expecting a speedy recovery,” according to the Pew study. In fact, of the home owners surveyed, about half said their home is worth less now than before the recession, while 31 percent said their home’s value has stayed the same.
Nevertheless, 82 percent of home owners who say their home is worth less now than before the recession either strongly or somewhat agree that home ownership is the best long-term investment a person can make, according to the survey.
The value of home ownership even continues to emerge on top when home owners were surveyed and asked to rate the importance of four long-term financial goals. Home ownership and “being able to live comfortably in retirement” rated the highest–viewed as either extremely or very important by 80 percent of respondents.
Yet, their optimism about home ownership doesn’t mean they’re completely happy with their current home. Nearly a quarter of all home owners surveyed said that if they had it to do all over again, they would not buy their current home. Most of the “buyer’s remorse” complaints were about the home itself or its location. Only 31 percent of those surveyed cited financial factors, such as the home losing value or their own changing financial situation.