Home Sales Zoom to Highest Pace in Decade

This spring’s housing mantra: Going, going, gone! “Severe” housing shortages are prompting existing homes to sell significantly faster this year, propelling home sales to the highest pace in more than a decade, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Friday.

Strong sales gains in the Northeast and Midwest were behind most of the nationwide 4.4 percent month-over-month increase in existing-home sales in March. The West was the only major region of the U.S. to see a modest decline in sales activity last month.

Regional Breakdown 

The following is a closer look at how existing-home sales performed across the country in March:

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

  • Northeast: Existing-home sales jumped 10.1 percent in the region, reaching an annual rate of 760,000. Sales are now 4.1 percent above a year ago. Median price: $260,800, which is 2.8 percent higher than a year ago.
  • Midwest: Existing-home sales rose 9.2 percent to an annual rate of 1.31 million in March, and are 3.1 percent above a year ago. Median price: $183,000, up 6.2 percent from a year ago.
  • South: Existing-home sales increased 3.4 percent to an annual rate of 2.42 million, and are 8.5 percent above March 2016. Median price: $210,600, up 8.6 percent from a year ago.
  • West: Existing-home sales in the West dropped 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.22 million in March, but remain 5.2 percent above a year ago. Median price: $347,500, up 8 percent from March 2016.

“The early returns so far this spring buying season look very promising as a rising number of households dipped their toes into the market and were successfully able to close on a home last month,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Although finding available properties to buy continues to be a strenuous task for many buyers, there was enough of a monthly increase in listings in March for sales to muster a strong gain. Sales will go up as long as inventory does.”

Total existing-home sales—which include completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million in March. The sales pace is 5.9 percent above a year ago. Further, existing-home sales are now the strongest month of sales since February 2007 (5.79 million).

Here’s a closer look at some of the key indicators from NAR’s latest housing report, reflecting March housing numbers:

Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types was $236,400, up 6.8 percent from a year ago when it averaged $221,400.

Days on the market: Properties stayed on the market for an average of 34 days in March, down significantly from 47 days a year ago. Short sales took the longest to sell at a median of 90 days in March; foreclosures sold in 52 days; and non-distressed homes took a median of 32 days—which is the shortest length of time since NAR began tracking such data in May 2011. Forty-eight percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.

All-cash sales: All-cash transactions comprised 23 percent of sales in March, down from 25 percent a year ago. Individual investors make up the biggest bulk of cash sales. They purchased 15 percent of homes in March, up from 14 percent a year ago.

Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales made up 6 percent of existing-home sales in March, down from 8 percent a year ago. Broken out, 5 percent of sales in March were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales. On average, foreclosures sold for a discount of 16 percent below market value; short sales were discounted an average of 14 percent.

Inventories: Housing inventory at the end of March rose 5.8 percent to 1.83 million existing homes available for sale. Inventory is 6.6 percent lower than a year ago (1.96 million). Unsold inventory is now at a 3.8-month supply at the current sales pace.

“Bolstered by strong consumer confidence and underlying demand, home sales are up convincingly from a year ago nationally and in all four major regions despite the fact that buying a home has gotten more expensive over the past year,” Yun says.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

Check Out The Citrus Lane Brochure

We’re all so excited to part of Loma Linda’s newest community, Citrus Lane. There’s very little new construction in this area, so we’re receiving a wonderful reception from the locals and everyone is really anticipating a successful grand opening next month.

I wanted to give you a sneak peek at what is yet to come for Citrus Lane! Hot off the press is the sales brochure with floor plans and features. There’s a lot of amazing standard features for a house this size, meaning you won’t have to spend a ton in upgrades to get the home of your dreams! What a treat!

Please share your thoughts! We love feedback!

BLUEWATER AT SUMMERLY IS OPENING!

We’re putting the finishing touches on the model homes and marketing collateral is being delivered! SeaCountry Homes, Create-a-Buzz Marketing and the team of many are looking forward to a successful grand opening weekend on Saturday, August 13th.

These one- and two-story single family residences have as many as 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and 3 bay in the garage; but don’t be fooled by the space! Prices are projected to begin in the lower range of the mid-$300,000s! That’s VALUE when you consider all the amenities and benefits of living in a masterplanned community that is conveniently situated off I-15 in a very active region of Southern California. There’s so much going on in and around Lake Elsinore!

Feel free to come out and experience personally the BlueWater neighborhood! You’ll see right away why Summerly is becoming a favorite place to call home for so many.

Learn more at www.SeaCountry-BlueWater.com

Break Through The Clutter

The Team has been a-buzz doing research for email effectiveness, and having a brand that stands out from your competition is definitely a must! With all the online template services out there, brands have blended into one a big stew of redundant flavor…all vanilla! So while marketing budgets have shrunken, creativity and establishing a cohesive “look and feel” for your business has suffered greatly in the landscape of an online presence.

How do we bring back style and creativity without busting the budget with expensive ad agencies that charge $250 to $300 per hour?

Good question! Buzz-e-blasts is a product we’ve developed for the small business professional that wants to break through the clutter and express their own unique online personality. Forget paying expensive monthly retainers or spending hours uploading files and typing words on a template just to see the same design from someone else land in your own inbox. Get serious about who you are and how you’re different from everyone else!

We’ll help you establish your own brand through color, type styles and imagery that is carried out in your email campaigns and landing pages. Why landing pages you ask? It’s a proven strategy! We’ve found that by letting imagery and fewer words drive the main message, you can spell out the details after you entice someone to click through. More benefits to a click through is improved analytic reports and obtaining more information in a simple contact form.

If you really want to jump into digitally integrated marketing campaigns, we can develop animated banner ads, social media platforms and websites with home galleries and virtual tours. Let’s not forget that we offer federally compliant database management to tie all the pieces together into one lovely package so your brand is able to be TOP OF MIND with clients, affiliates and colleagues.

Not sure what to do next? Buzz-e-blast offers an email outreach service for tapping other real estate brokers’ shoulder or locating qualified prospective buyers and sellers directly based on location, income, age range and several other criteria.

Customized email designs begin as low as $250, so give us a call and together we can develop an action plan to suit your needs.

BlueWater by SeaCountry’s Brand In Process

Team Buzz has been working with SeaCountry Homes to develop a new brand for their upcoming neighborhood in Summerly, Lake Elsinore. It’s a fun-loving, fresh community with a TON of lifestyle amenities in and around the community.

We started by developing a color palette that resonated all the fun to be had if you were to live in BlueWater by SeaCountry. Swinging at home plate, jumping dirt bikes, cooling off in a pool, water skiing being a boat or teeing off with a few friends…it what BlueWater is all about.

Stay tuned…next step is the logo design!

Welcome Wright Secretarial!

The Team just launched a new website today for Wright Secretarial Services.

A short backstory is that Wright has always relied on word-of-mouth for business…the best referral you can get. But, technology and client attrition has necessitated more outreach.

We designed a modern, yet retro logo and them for Wright’s brand, as they’ve never needed to market themselves. The website copy has a play on the name, but not so frequent to be redundant. Testimonies bring in personality and work ethic, as well as increases keywords for search engine optimization.

Its fun and playful, yet working hard at the same time…just like our favorite jobs in real life!

Please share your thoughts!!

Should You Outsource Or Do Your Own Digital Marketing?

Businesses outsource web hosting and development, accounting, and even customer service. Why not digital marketing? Where do you draw the line?

If your industry is highly regulated, the decision is often very clear cut. Regulatory restrictions and very specific use of language can make it difficult for an outside firm to create marketing content – let alone marketing campaigns — unless they have deep roots in the industry. Mining is a good example of a highly-regulated industry. Every press release is examined, every tweet and post scrutinized to make sure the content doesn’t violate standards for disclosure.

For many companies however, the decision is not so straightforward. There are pros and cons for handling your digital marketing in-house, and the same can be said for using an outside marketing agency. Here are some of the essential considerations:

Benefits of In-House Digital Marketing

  • Less time to bring up to speed: Your own team has a better understanding of your company, products, services, and customers than any outsider.
  • Better business intelligence: This is related to domain knowledge. When your own marketing team performs analytics, they have more context when it comes to interpreting your data.
  • Respond quickly to situations: Whether it’s via team meetings or water cooler chit-chat, your own team is up-to-the-minute in tune with what’s going on in your business. They can respond faster to new situations and market conditions, and understand right away which areas of your business are affected. An outside agency can be very responsive, but they only know as much as you tell them – or remember to tell them.
  • Achieve tighter integration: For best results, a marketing program should have offline tactics that support digital campaigns and vice versa. It requires close coordination to get your message out via social media, forums, blogs, print, and advertising. Not all agencies and businesses manage to achieve such close collaboration.

Benefits of Outsourced Digital Marketing

  • More cost-effective: Salaries often represent the biggest percentage of a marketing budget. Digital marketing skills are in high demand and small businesses may not be able to afford a full-time team. Tap into specialized expertise and save on recruiting, training, salaries and benefits – not to mention the cost of tools and setting up systems. An outside agency will have a working environment already set up.
  • More skills: You get experienced talent and a range of skills that would be impossible to hire in-house. A digital marketing agency has experts on board whose job it is to stay on top of the latest in trends and technologies.
  • Better campaign ROI: Part of an agency’s job is to prove they bring value into the process. One of the major challenges for in-house teams is expertise in data-driven marketing and analytics. An agency will set up the metrics and analytics, monitor them closely, and tweak the campaign so that you achieve the best possible ROI.
  • Guaranteed timely delivery: When an agency takes on a project, it dedicates resources to meet your deadlines. If anything happens to team members, it’s their responsibility to plug the gap. When other priorities pop up, an in-house team can get distracted, which puts campaign schedules at risk.
  • Stay focused on core business focus: When it comes to business success, focus is essential. If your core business is not digital marketing, trying to manage campaigns will take a lot out of your valuable time. Agencies with core competencies in digital market can achieve more for you in less time.

There are pros and cons to each approach. It comes down to comfort level, budget, skills, and time. It’s common to see a hybrid model where a client uses outside agencies to fill temporary gaps or work on a specific project. Some of the most common reasons a business will outsource are:

  • Fast deployment: Rebranding, launching a new product, or going to an industry event? When an urgent project adds work on top of existing priorities, it’s faster and easier to work with a ready-made team. A digital consulting agency will do the time-consuming but unavoidable legwork of finding the right channels for reaching a target audience, conduct keyword research for optimizing web content, and manage PPC campaigns.
  • Lack of bandwidth or skills: When a marketing team is already 100% utilized it’s tough finding the resources to run ongoing programs such as a pay-per-click campaign. A digital consulting agency can monitor, analyze, and manage costs to achieve campaign ROI. From creative brief to final execution, an agency gives the marketing manager full visibility into the project — without the project management headaches.
  • Need to develop in-house skills: On-the-job training is a great way to upgrade a team’s skills. Put your own team members on a project where they can collaborate with an agency on a digital marketing campaign. Make learning one of the goals and a good agency will take the time to explain things along the way. Nothing teaches more effectively than seeing how things work in a real-world scenario.

Final word of advice: if you believe an ongoing, long-term relationship with a digital marketing agency would be the best use of your budget and resources, begin with a small project. Use it as an opportunity to find out whether it’s a good fit.

If your marketing plans are slowing down because you lack the skills or bandwidth, do a quick assessment of the issues and decide whether you should bring talent in-house, outsource it, or contact out on a project-by-project basis.

by Ray Wang, February 29, 2016

Paris and Helena are going to Rio!!

Paris Henken got her start in Dana Point Harbor and I was fortunate enough to be the youth sailing director the first year Paris and her twin brother ,Sterling first shared a sabot in the summer sailing program. Now she’s representing the USA in the Olympics! U S A! Stay tune, as we’ll update this page with new articles as they become available.

Click the link below for a full article in our local paper and the environmental challenges their facing reported in the New York Times:

San Clemente Times – February 25, 2016

New York Times – March 3, 2016