The other market indicator.

too much party last night...
Creative Commons License photo credit: hans s

Where have all the blog posts gone? In the old days, the days before all of the web-point-stwopid stuff that took the wheel of my life, I liked to say that you could judge the tempo of the real estate market by simply looking at my roots. A dark stripe where my part used to be was a telltale sign that the market was active.

Attention to personal detail, for me, is always a sacrificial rite of Spring. As the warm weather returns and every other self-respecting Scripps Ranch mom is busy trying to find her bikini body (mine is in 1978), I am living on take-out and Girl Scout cookies, simply trying to keep my head above water. My hairstyle is still a valid indicator of market activity – and I am currently channeling a Chia Pet – but all one needs to do is look to the frequency of our posts here for a reliable barometer of housing trends.

Jim Cramer called the bottom last March. We laughed then, and we certainly aren’t calling the bottom now. However, things are picking up as we haven’t seen in a very long time. No one is doing the happy dance quite yet, but consumer confidence is on a slow mend if you believe what we are seeing on the streets. The base is starting to form

The lower price points remain the darlings of the buyer pool. In the San Diego I-15 corridor, this means that detached homes starting with a “four” or a “five” are in strong demand. Homes in the $600,000s are also drawing a crowd. For the most part, this is because first-time buyers are seeing opportunity -the lowest prices in five years and, for many, an $8,000 gift from Uncle Sam. What we are seeing that is most encouraging, though, is a spike in the number of move-up buyers we are working with, buyers suddenly less afraid to take that next step. A market without discretionary moves will remain stagnant, but as the discretionary buyers and sellers return, so will some semblance of stability.

So, to our three readers, we beg for leniency. Someone opened the barn door back in February, and we have been busier than Britney’s publicist on a Friday night. It’s not just us. Our agents and many of the other agents we talk to are just as busy. My oldest daughter was home this week for Spring Break, but I only know this because I saw her Drew Carey luggage at the foot of the stairs. I haven’t actually seen her and probably won’t, unless she decides to surprise me at a listing appointment this weekend. I am running out of Girl Scout cookies and in a panic, because I know I won’t have time go to the store and restock until the next Congress convenes. I am afraid to open my eyes, fearful I might find that we have moved beyond Web 2.0 to some double-digit while I was taking care of business.

And as for my roots, we won’t even go there. Anyway, who says blondes have more fun?

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