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Welcome to 2017!

Debora Sanders

As I begin the new year, like most of you I'm reflecting on last year and the changes in my life and business. At the end of 2016, I decided to branch off from the Doug Mckenzie Team and work under my own name. I am still at Coldwell Banker.

I enjoyed working with Doug and Rich. It was fun. We had some great experiences and we met some wonderful people along the way. I believe in change and I’m told “change is good” so….I’m looking forward to my new business venture and I’m excited about 2017!


Here’s the summary of Monterey Peninsula real estate activity reported on MLS for the past seven days:

· New listings – Negative 24

· New escrows – 12

· Closed sales – 26

· Largest sale - $3.47M in Pebble Beach

· Inventory – 414

· Price reductions – 23

The “New Listings” category shows a substantial negative this week (24). As predicted, many listings expired over the holidays. Some will renew in the next week or so but Sellers might also decide to take a few weeks off and join the market during the ATT tournament. It’s a fairly common strategy. If we weren’t looking at the net, listings actually ticked up (14). In addition, there were a few more houses on broker tour and open house activity is getting back on track. So far, it’s business as usual on the Peninsula market.


From my perspective, it appears that Sellers in 2016 were overly optimistic about values and initial list prices were often aggressive. If a house was remodeled, updated or in a prime location they sold fairly quickly and prices came in close to or at asking. If the home needed some updating or had “issues”, Buyers expected a “discount” and were not willing to pay what was asked. It also appears that many people weren’t interested in tackling “big” projects. In addition, their analysis of cost to improve against potential resale value played a role in their decision….the numbers didn’t always add up. Other influencers were oil prices and the second home market. Predictably, during times of uncertainty, people won’t invest as much and they’ll be more guarded about their purchases.

Based on the statistics below, 2016 ended up being very similar to 2015. Sales, pricing and days on market adjusted slightly. Although the elections were a concern and may have affected sales leading up to November, people seemed resolved to push forward with a “wait and see” attitude. Inventory didn’t go down drastically and sales didn’t plummet.


Pacific Grove had a boom year in 2015. The PG School District, the quaint historic town and affordability played a role in making it a very desirable town. Sellers had the upper hand and were able to move prices up. Prior to 2015, the majority of homes in the PG market used to always be under $1 million. As I watched the numbers over the course of the year, properties over $1 million accounted for more than 50% of inventory. That was a significant change and eliminated a lot of potential buyers. With the change in the vacation rental laws in PG and elevated pricing, Buyers seem to have hit their limit. The PG market seems to be leveling out.

That’s my take on 2016. As we move into the new year, many in the real estate game seem optimistic and articles are predicting a positive market.

We’ll see what happens…


Latest Mortgage Scam: Owners Pose as Renters


A new mortgage fraud scheme is taking a reverse approach to traditional occupancy scams. In the past, prospective investors have claimed they intend to take owner occupancy. Then, they are able to qualify for a better interest rate, lower fees, a smaller down payment, or higher loan amount than if they applied for a mortgage as an investor. But CoreLogic analyst Willa Wei is sounding the alarm on the growing incidence of a “reverse occupancy scheme,” in which home buyers claim they’ll be renting out the home even though they actually intend to occupy it as their home.

Wei says by doing so fraudsters can then claim “expected” rental income in satisfying the mortgage application debt/income requirement. The cities seeing the highest cases of reverse occupancy schemes tend to be in areas where both home prices and rents have appreciated at the fastest rates. CoreLogic pinpointed New York City as having the highest reverse occupancy risk than any other metro. Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and Houston are also considered among the highest risk, but “New York is a hot spot considering both percentage and volume,” CoreLogic notes. Combating mortgage fraud continues to prove challenging for lenders, says Wei. Fraud “morphs from one scheme to another depending on changing local economic and real estate market conditions and government programs,” Wei says.

I welcome your feedback and I hope you find the information helpful.


Have a great weekend


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