Wednesday, April 28, 2010


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OVERVIEW ~ for April 12 through April 16, 2010 The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) climbed quietly and unobtrusively higher, generally in 0.1% increments, until Friday, when a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charge unsettled the market’s forward movement and sent the markets running for safe havens. Consequently the DJIA lost nearly 126 points, though managing to remain above 11,000, and the 10-year Treasury fell back to 3.774% (having begun the week at 3.890%).

FOCUS ~ It was a good week, in many respects, for the real estate market and the overall economy. Federal Reserve Board chairman Bernanke reiterated the Fed’s commitment to keep short-term interest rates low for some time to come. Though he expressed caution about the recovery, Mr. Bernanke suggested there are few worries about inflation as of yet. The stock markets rose on these words, while Treasury security yields edged higher.

The National Association of Home Builders monthly survey of builder outlooks rose from 15 to 19, indicating a jump in optimism about sales of new homes in the near-term future. And the number of new residential properties whose construction began in March exceeded the number in February by a strong 1.6%.

And in the broader economy, March retail sales were 1.6% higher than those of February (and 7.6% higher than in March, 2009). As a result, analysts felt that consumers were more open to big-ticket purchases than in the recent past. However, though auto sales may have risen, home sales have not, nor have applications for mortgages.

With these economic weathervanes pointing in the right direction, then, and with the imminent expiration of the $8,000 and $6,500 federal homebuyer tax credit, one would have expected the Mortgage Applications Index (see to right) to improve as well. But it hasn’t. Most significantly, the number of applications for new purchase money home loans actually declined in the week ending April 9 by 10.5%.

An upward spike in mortgage applications, of course, would signify that more homes are under contract for purchase, of course. (A homebuyer’s purchase contract has to be signed by April 30 if the purchase is to qualify for the tax credit.) Surely there is a tipping point, where the good news in the economy motivates homebuyers to act. Not even the end of the homebuyer tax credit is creating that tipping point right now, though. Hopefully, a firming recovery will soon lead to increased home sales, though this economy offers no guarante.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Palm City Equestrian Properties: Palm City's Horse Talk: Week in Review...OUR ECONOMY

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Look at this great looking photo of rider and Sunflower Farms,Palm CIty, Florida

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Palm City's Horse Talk: Week in Review...OUR ECONOMY

                Cindy Reddish, stands with horse in front of Sunflower Farms Equestrian Estate, Palm City, Fl

OVERVIEW ~ for April 5 through April 9, 2010. The remarkable news over this week was that mortgage interest rates surged higher (as you can see to the right). This was the result, largely, of increasing confidence among investors about the economic recovery. And that growing confidence was reflected both in the higher stock market indices and in the apparent readiness among investors to put their money into riskier investments, but was not reflected in any real estate sales data other than the recent Pending Home Sales Index.

FOCUS ~ Two very important questions:

1. Wednesday, April 7th’s auction of 10-year Treasury notes inspired the highest overall demand among investors since 1999. But most interest rates are rising, including mortgage rates. Why, therefore, were the auctions of Treasury securities so successful last week? Wouldn’t investors shy away due to rising rates, which reduce the value of existing securities?

No. Buying Treasury securities bearing higher yields was (and is, today) attractive to investors seeking higher returns on their investments. Further, if an investor takes a risk and buys a Treasury security today yielding 4% and the yield for those securities falls tomorrow to 3.5%, then the Treasury securities yielding 4% gain in value in tomorrow’s market. Of course, the opposite is equally true, but investors are willing to take that risk and, in any case, their investment will provide a higher yield than it would have if they’d bought a short time ago.

2. Where is the upward “bump” in real estate sales we’ve been expecting that the approaching expiration of the $8,000 and $6,500 homebuyer tax credit should bring? Curiously, the Purchase Mortgage Applications index (see to the right) has barely budged since the last tax credit expiration brought it considerably lower. If sales are about to spike, we can often expect the applications for purchase money loans to rise well in advance of the higher completed sales figures.

At the same time, though, the National Association of RealtorsÃ’ Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) jumped by 8.2% between January and February. This is a forward indicator, generally reliable, of future real estate sales closings. The mortgage applications then rise after a time to finance the purchases indicated by the PHSI. And the sales eventually show up in the existing-home sales data, which let us know what happened, not what is happening or is about to happen. Clearly, all three indicators are worth watching closely just now.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Just listed: SW Busch Street , Palm City, FL 34990 for $2,950,000

Equestrian Farm and Estate in Palm City Farms, Palm City, Florida. Beautiful property.

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Just listed: 3436 SE 67th Way , Okeechobee, FL 33491 for $329,000

New equestrian development near Palm City, Florida.

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Just listed: 4000 Highway 360 , Tellico Plains, TN 37385 for $137,268

Tellico Plains, Tennessee, Ten acres. Pretty views.

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Just listed: 4100 Highway 360 Lot 5 and 6 and lot 2, Tellico Plains, TN 37385 for Not specified

SOOO Beautiful and peaceful. Tellico Plains, Tennessee.

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Just listed: 6801 East 283rd Street , Myakka City, FL 34251 for $995,000

Myakka City, Florida, 50 acre farm. Beautiful property. Call for a appointment.

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Just listed: 3265 SW StoneyBrook Way , Palm City, FL 34990 for $171,000

Pretty equestrian and country home new development in Palm City, Florida. Lot for sale. Low price

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Just listed: 1501 SW San Antonio Drive , Palm City, FL 34990 for $669,000

Beautiful four acre tropical country estate in Stuart-West, Palm City, Florida. Call for an appointment.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

PALM CITYS HORSE TALK: Week In Review..Our Economy



OVERVIEW ~ for March 29 through April 2, 2010, the stock markets improved while Treasury security yields ended lower. Mortgage rates rose along with Treasury note rates. FOCUS ~ Three reports brought cheer to the markets. 1. This was the week, of course, when the Federal Reserve ceased its purchases of mortgage-backed securities (MBSs), a move that had been awaited with some concern by investors. The Fed has been buying up MBSs so as to make sure there is adequate demand for the huge supply available for purchase. If demand were to decline, yields to investors would rise, very likely taking other interest rates higher as well. However, the markets have had plenty of time to digest the fact that the Fed was going to stop making the purchases. No panic ensued this week, therefore. But no one is certain that private investors can fully take up the slack left by the Fed’s exit from its purchase program. Still, the initial mild reaction calmed the markets. 2. Surveys showed that manufacturing orders and output were improving solidly, not just in America, but throughout the world. The U.S. Manufacturing Index reached its highest level since 2004. Meanwhile, China’s manufacturing sector grew for the thirteenth consecutive month. Exemplary of the positive manufacturing data were signs of growth from auto manufacturers, with General Motors and Honda each announcing a 20% jump in auto sales. The news, especially since it was strong throughout the world, led to a rise among stock markets, as investors acted on a firmer belief in the economic recovery’s strength. 3. The important employment report for March was released Friday, April 2. It showed an addition of 162,000 payroll jobs in our nation. At the same time, the household survey component of the report indicated that the unemployment rate remained where it was at 9.7%, which was understandable since more people are probably looking for employment as a result of job market improvements, and those who are once again seeking employment are treated as additions to the ranks of the unemployed. (When they weren’t actually looking for jobs, they were in a statistical limbo in which they were neither unemployed nor employed.) These numbers suggest that our economy is unlikely to continue shedding jobs, and thus the stock markets reacted favorably. However, though the numbers showed a clear improvement, they simply aren’t high enough yet to force the unemployment rate lower. We need at least 250,000 new jobs each month in order to employ those Americans newly entering the work force.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Weekly Economic Summary - April 2, 2010

OVERVIEW ~ The credit markets moved from calm to confusing over the week of March 22 through 26. The 10-year Treasury note yield climbed from 3.689% at Monday’s opening to 3.852% at the close on Friday.

FOCUS ~ Three apparent causes of rising interest rates from March 22 through 26 raised some difficult questions. What are recent investor decisions, as suggested by their actions, telling us?

First, it was another week of large Treasury security auctions, this time offering 2-year, 5-year and 7-year notes. Ironically, the day before the auctions began, The Wall Street Journal ran a story declaring that since Inflation was currently “dead,” we could expect to see the kind of heavy demand for Treasury notes that we’ve seen in other recent auctions. But we didn’t. Why?

Second, global investors were visibly worried by debt troubles in the euro region; they pushed the dollar far higher against the euro. But this has usually meant an influx of investor dollars into the safe haven of Treasury securities. This time, though, the connection between a higher dollar and elevated demand for Treasury securities didn’t hold. Why?

Third is a rather obscure hedging strategy that involves trading the income stream from Treasury securities for the income stream from floating-rate corporate bonds. The corporate bonds have always provided a slightly higher yield because they haven’t been considered as safe as the Treasury securities, which are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Last week, though, their yield in this swap arrangement actually fell below the yield of Treasury securities for the first time ever, suggesting that investors felt safer with the corporate bonds than with the Treasury securities. Why?

We just don’t yet know why these odd events are taking place. But this is a topsy-turvy set of actions, and it suggests, at least, that investors all over the world may be losing confidence in government securities. Until now, less confidence in foreign securities has only reinforced confidence in American securities. But investors seem to be taking a dimmer view of American securities now, and if they continue, it could push interest rates still higher, as it did this week. Higher rates in the market could force the Federal Reserve’s hand as well, making it difficult to maintain lower short-term rates for much longer. It is a time to watch the Treasury securities markets with special care
PHOTOS: MAYKKA CITY, FLORIDA. MOSS CREEK FARM. 50 Acres farm for sale. Call for information.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Need To Know About HAFA

New federal program for short home sales starts today

WASHINGTON – April 5, 2010 – Effective today, the short sale process is simplified. The only problem: Many lenders don’t know it, and Realtors may have to convince them.

The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program gives $3,000 to borrowers for relocation assistance, $1,500 to servicers for administrative and processing costs, and up to $2,000 to investors who allow up to $6,000 in short sale proceeds to be distributed to subordinate lien holders. The program was created to help stabilize distressed inventory such as underwater homes.

Some lenders have already adopted HAFA rules, but April 5 was the deadline for participating servicers to implement HAFA. The program reportedly covers servicers handling more than 90 percent of all mortgages.

However, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says that it’s already hearing complaints from members. Many servicers say they haven’t even heard about the program, Realtors claim, so it’s clear that they won’t “hit the ground running.”

NAR says it will carefully monitor HAFA implementation and report delays and other program problems to the Treasury Department. However, “patience will be needed.” Realtors can negotiate faster short sales by urging lenders to comply with the new procedures and deadlines.

NAR offers a webpage with information on how HAFA works at:

NAR also offers other short-sale info (including links to a 45 minute Webinar and a 15 minute video on a separate webpage:

NAR also produced a four-page HAFA informational brochure.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Find Below My letter that I sent to My Senator and Congressman. Unfinished Business on Critical Housing Programs
Congress left town for their spring recess without completing work on two critical programs essential to recovering real estate markets – the National Flood Insurance program (NFIP) and the Section 502 Rural Housing program.

The real estate market cannot afford another setback. Urge Congress to renew NFIP and the Rural Housing 502 program today.

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
Your Congressperson
Your Senators

Below is the sample letter:
Subject: Renew Critical Housing Programs: NFIP and RHS
Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],
Congress left for recess, leaving two critical housing programs unauthorized or unfunded. On March 28, authority for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) expired, and lenders have stopped accepting applications for the Section 502 rural housing program, which is expected to exhaust its commitment authority by the end of the month.

Until Congress returns and extends these programs, worthy homebuyers will be left without access to mortgages. Given the many challenges financial and real estate markets are facing, now is not the time to create another, but avoidable, obstacle to real estate transactions. Please do not let this continue.

As a Realtor, I can personally attest to these programs' importance. Since the NFIP expired, my clients are no longer able to purchase a home or commercial property in many parts of my community. They cannot buy the NFIP insurance needed to obtain a mortgage for those properties. In addition, those families and businesses with existing mortgages are not able to renew their required coverage.

Rural families in every state in the nation rely on the Section 502 single family guarantee program to allow them to repair, renovate and purchase homes, as well as prepare sites with water and sewage facilities.

Today, property owners in every state depend on these programs. Each day the Congress fails to act, thousands of real estate transactions will be delayed and homebuyers and homeowners will be left in the lurch.

Upon your return, Congress must swiftly take the necessary steps to ensure the continuation of these critical and essential insurance programs.

Betty Barron