Real Estate Information Archive


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SLO County Median Home Price up Nearly 20% in December


The San Luis Obispo County housing market ended 2013 with fewer homes sold in December than the previous year, but with median prices for those homes continuing to increase. In December, the total number of homes sold countywide — including new homes, resale single-family homes and condos — was 292, down 12.8 percent from the same month in 2012, according to DataQuick of San Diego.

Despite the decrease in sales, the overall median home price increased 19.4 percent to $465,500 in December — the highest median price for that month since 2007. It also marked the 20th consecutive month in which the median home sales price has increased year-over-year. The median is the midpoint where half of the houses sold for more and half for less; figures are compared year-over-year because of the seasonal nature of home sales.

The same year-over-year trend was reflected statewide. In December, sales fell by 12.1 percent to 34,949 total units sold, with the median home price increasing 22.1 percent to $365,000. In San Luis Obispo County, 78.4 percent of the homes sold in December were resale single-family homes. Those single-family home sales fell 17 percent year over year to 229. The median price of those resale single-family homes grew 18.4 percent to $467,500 — also hitting its highest point since December 2007.

DataQuick also tracks sales of condos and new homes, though data for those categories is subject to large swings because the sales numbers are so small. Condo sales decreased 6.3 percent year-over-year, with 30 units sold in December, but the median price rose 3.7 percent to $324,000.

Sales of new homes in December increased by 22.2 percent year-over-year, with 33 being sold, compared with 27 in the same month in 2012. The median price of a new home increased by 37.3 percent from the same month last year to $593,250.

(Posted by Kaytlyn Leslie January 21, 2014)

Paso Named One of the Best Places to Visit in 2014


CBS news named Paso Robles/SLO County as one of the top travel destinations (in the world) for 2014!

“In my book it’s better than Napa, because it’s [SLO] the gateway to Paso Robles: Great vineyards, great wineries… The owners are there and you’re not stuck behind 85 tour buses,” Greenberg said. “You really have a great time there and you’re not crowded.”

Click below to view the full video...

Schools Matter-Even if You're Not a Parent

by Blog

Posted January 10, 2014

There’s a lot to consider when buying a house: location, price, bedroom count, taxes, and a slew of other items everyone and your uncle will remind you about, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer.

Here’s yet another item you shouldn’t forget: Educating yourself about local schools. Whether you have a full house, you’re an empty nester looking to downsize, or you're years from starting a family, the quality of schools should factor into your home search.
According to the National Association of Realtors, schools will affect:

  • The sale price: Homes in the best school districts sell for more, on average, than similar houses in areas with lower-rated schools.
  • The number of people looking at the same homes you are: In a 2012 National Association of Realtors report, 25 percent of buyers listed school quality as a deciding factor in their purchase.
  • The resale value of your home: Home values in sought-after school districts often fare better, even in a down market, than similar homes in areas with less reputable schools.

So how do you find out about schools if you’re new to the area? Search online for school district websites. Many of them post test scores of individual schools and comparisons to other schools statewide. You can also explore, which features data, school “report cards” and comments from parents and students. Or check out U.S. News & World Report rankings that track the nation’s top high schools. 

If you’re a parent, keep in mind that school boundaries change. Call the local district to verify that the home you’re looking at is still within the bounds of the schools you like. Of course, nothing beats firsthand information, so ask residents in your targeted areas about local schools and other educational options. Find a local RE/MAX agent who can tell you more, too. RE/MAX agents know their communities and are great bets for having up-to-date neighborhood information.

Home Improvements That Pay You Back

by CA Association of Realtors

Looking for a few simple ways to increase your home's value and improve its marketability? Here are a few small improvements that could bring big returns when you are ready to sell!

Economic growth pushes SLO County higher in national ranking


A new report reinforces indications that San Luis Obispo County’s economy is on the upswing. The San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles metropolitan area was ranked 25th on the Milken Institute’s Index of Best Performing Cities in the country — the first time the region has cracked the top 25 since 2003. The ranking is especially dramatic considering the area was rated 106th in 2012. “Impressive one-year and short-term job growth along with good high-tech GDP growth fueled this meteoric rise up the rankings — the largest gain of any large metro in the Top 25,” the Milken report noted. The index uses job, wage and technology performance to rank the nation’s large metropolitan areas in one-year and five-year increments.

The Milken Institute is an independent economic think tank based in Santa Monica that publishes research and hosts conferences that apply market-based principles and financial innovations to a variety of societal issues in the United States and internationally. The SLO-Paso metropolitan area ranked an impressive sixth in one-year job growth but 93rd over the last five years; 36th in one-year high-tech gross domestic product growth and 16th over five years. Wage growth, however, was weaker than job gains. Compared to other large metro areas, the region ranked 91st in one-year wage growth and 90th in wage growth over the last five years. The SLO-Paso metropolitan statistical area represents all of San Luis Obispo County with a combined population of more than 274,000 in 2011, classifying it as a “large city.”

Service industries were the driving factor in employment growth, with the area creating 950 new administrative and support service jobs and 600 new restaurant and bar jobs between 2011 and 2012, the report said. Because of the area’s retail and tourism focus, “the metro benefited from the ripple effects of rising incomes — for example, consumers’ increased thirst for local wine,” the report said. Still, the report said the county’s success was tempered by statewide budget issues. “California’s budget challenges have weakened the job market at major government employers like Cal Poly, Atascadero State Hospital and the California Men’s Colony,” the report noted. “Newly added fiscal sources should limit the impact going forward assuming revenue meets projections.”

Local economic experts said the report reflects an upswing they’ve already noted. “SLO County being placed 25th of the Top 25 best performing cities by the Milken Institute is a great accomplishment,” said Michael Manchak, president of the Economic Vitality Corp. of San Luis Obispo County. “The region’s economic performance since the recession has been recognized as one of the strongest in the West, and that certainly plays an important role in contributing to this coveted designation. It speaks equally to the local quality of life and economic performance,” he said. San Luis Obispo City economic development manager Lee Johnson agreed, adding: “It’s definitely confirmation of what we feel happening.” Johnson said the measures Milken uses in its index such as high-tech gross domestic product and job growth are important to getting an accurate idea of an area’s economic performance — he has plans himself to include those same measures in the city’s next economic development report. The only thing Johnson said he wishes were different about the Milken Index is its use of San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles and other cities in the county as one entity. “There are some things that can cloud what is happening in individual cities,” Johnson said about using metropolitan statistical areas. “I’d personally like to see more what is happening just in San Luis Obispo, since, you know, that is my area.”

Paso Robles City Manager Jim App said the report seems to follow with what he’s seeing in the city — large Paso businesses such as IQMS, a global software firm, Santa Cruz Biotechnology Inc., one of the world's largest suppliers of antibodies produced in animals, and Justin Vineyards and Winery have had huge growth this year, he said. The report also follows the findings from the semi-annual countywide Economic Forecast, he added. “When we listen to the most recent countywide reports, they’re saying the same things,” App said. “We hear that our economy is rebounding faster than the rest of California.” And they’re not predicting an end to the rebound in the near future. “The local indicators are that the recovery is continuing, and it seems to be stabilizing,” App said. “We predict that that stabilization is going to continue in the next few years — which is nice considering the (ups and downs) of the recession.”

Read more here:

Paso Robles Housing Market Closes its Best Year Since Crash

by Paso Robles Daily News

By Rylan Stewart, Paso Robles Daily News

There were 39 total single-family Paso Robles residential home sales in December of 2013. This total is a drop from November, 44, and October, 48, but is a typical decline for the winter season as buyers turn their attention to the holidays.

What is less typical – at least in recent Paso Robles real estate history – is the complete drop off in foreclosure sales numbers. Since July, there have been just four foreclosure sales of residential, stick-build homes on the open market.

The 2013 total of 104 total distressed (foreclosures and short sales) property sales was over 50 percent below 2012′s total of 222, according to, a local real estate statistical aggregator.

REO and short sale properties are valued lower than “normal” properties, and so weigh down home values. Just 18 percent of Paso Robles sales were distressed in 2013 (7 percent foreclosure, 11 percent short sale), according to That number was closer to 50 percent from 2009 through 2011.

“Distressed sales dropped 51.7 percent in 2013 in San Luis Obispo County,” said Monica Chudgar, a realtor with Patterson Realty and a property appraiser. “The fact that these distressed properties are declining in number so much shows that the market is returning to normal.”

With a larger percentage of “normal” homes reaching the market, median home prices jumped by double digits year-over-year. The median Paso Robles sales price was $370,000 in 2013, which is up 12.5 percent year-over-year and 26.5 percent from 2011.

Total home sales for the year declined slightly, dropping from 594 to 588. Paso Robles had the most home sales of any city in San Luis Obispo County.

“We had a good year as far as price appreciation as well as sales volume,” Chudgar said.

The county-wide median sales price was $450,000, up 13.9 percent year-over-year.

North County in general registered a sales jump in the latter part of the year. Buyers took advantage of favorable mortgage rates and still-low prices.

“It panned out to be a great year for our local housing market,” said Jacob Rodrigues, appraiser and realtor with Peabody & Plum Realty. “As compared from the first six months of the year, total number of sales units increased roughly 50% for all residential housing, while median home prices showed consistent month-to-month improvement.”

Moving forward, Rodrigues listed several factors that could slow home purchases in 2014. To begin the year, weather is typically a limiting factor (though not so much on the California Central Coast). Potential buyers will be navigating tax season and the Affordable Care Act. Higher mortgage rates will also limit the affordability of real estate. Still, Rodrigues predicts that sales will continue at a moderate pace.

“I predict sales volume in the first quarter to be similar to that of 2013, with a slow start in January and then a steady climb,” said Rodrigues, noting that he expects year-over-year price appreciation at 4 to 6 percent, down from the double digits gains in 2013.

Mortgage rates rose over 1 percentage point throughout 2013, as markets prepared for the eventual reduction of the Federal Reserve stimulus program. Known as quantitative easing (QE), the program included $40 billion in mortgage-backed security purchases per month, which helped mortgage rates plummet to the lowest level in history.

To begin 2013, Freddie Mac recorded the average 30-year fixed rate at 3.34 percent. The final reading of the year had the average at 4.48 percent, which came after the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced that it would reduce or “taper” QE by $5 billion per month in the new year.

Chudgar said that she expected positive housing market trends to continue, but that overall growth would drop.

“I think we will see home price appreciation at a more normal pace,” said Chudgar. “I think it will be good to come back to a normal market where there aren’t extremes.”

If the past few years can be characterized as sharp jumps up and down, both Chudgar and Rodrigues are optimistic that the housing market is finally balancing out, and that more predictable, steady growth can be expected.

What Buyers Like Most About Their REALTORS

by California Association of Realtors

There are many great reasons to use a Realtor when buying a home. Here are the top 5 reasons why California home buyers were satisfied with their Realtors in 2013.

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

Contact Information

Real Team 360
RE/MAX Parkside Real Estate - BRE #01421338
1213 Vine Street
Paso Robles CA 93446
Office: (805) 238-1555