Economic News Week: January 24, 2011

The DOW continued its 8th straight week of gains last Friday closing at 11,871.  As 4th quarter corporate earnings begin to roll in, most are beating expectations which in turn is helping stocks.  Southwest Airlines reported a 13% increase in profits as a stronger  economy led more people to fly.  New York banking giant-Morgan Stanley earnings rose 60% in the last three months of the year on strong banking results.  One recent report stated that Americans are starting to get their household finances in order.  From the encouraging earnings reports, major banks say fewer mortgages are going bad, credit card defaults are down and more people are paying their bills on time. Personal spending accounts for  about 70% of the U.S. economy and most economists agree that a fiscally fit consumer is critical to a strong economic recovery. Most economists would also agree that another way to a strong economy is through education. If so, then why cut education?

Local Economic News
San Antonio’s December jobless rate fell to 7.6% from 7.8%.  San Antonio’s unemployment total is still stronger than Texas’ and the nation’s.  The State’s is 8.3% while the nation’s is 9.4%. Austin’s, however is even better as it boasts a 6.8%  unemployment rate. The San Antonio/Austin areas are primed for more jobs.  The announcement last week that San Antonio-alone will be producing some 27,300 jobs for 2011. This is progress in anyone’s book.

Real Estate and Mortgage Industry News
San Antonio was the fourth most-popular real estate market in the country for online searches in 2010, according to  After San Antonio, Austin was in the top ten as well.  The top 10 most searched real estate markets in 2010 were established based on the number of visitors that viewed properties in each city between January and December 2010 on  Mortgage rates remained about parr for the week.  A flitter here and a flitter there caused rates to remain active, but not far from the 4.870% range of last week for the 30 year index..  Still, rates remain at very attractive levels which seems to be causing a stir in the purchase market.

Commercial Listing update

Commercial Real estate is a tough sell right now, but there are good deals out there, besides there are always new ways to making money.  I have 4 properties that are a excellent deal in my personal opinion.

The 1st one is a NEW Listing in down town Sabinal.  301 N Center Street Sabinal.  A ready to open Antique store.  A Elderly lady started it but lives too far away to keep it open but it is setup with a awesome inventory, well layed out and decorated.  The asking price is $124,900 for all inventory and building. What a great deal!  It is one of the best buildings for maintance and visibility of all down town.  IF you just want the building it is also available empty for $114,900.

Second great commercial property that is being offered is a 4 plex walking distance of the town of Bandera.  Two 2/1 ans Two efficiency appartments.  Bandera has a shortage of rentals so theses are never empty.  listed price $149,900!

Third property is on FM 1283 1 acer with work shop/well ans septic…  owner says – bring offer!!!!!!!!!

Vanderpool.  A place for motorcycles, hunting and recreation.  The ONLY Store in Vanderpool is for sale.  Has 8+ acres (one of those acres is on the Sabinal River) with 337 and Hwy 187 as frontage.  Log construction, excellent views and great potential for a Two wheel only resort/rest stop.  A MUST see!  Owner financing is available .
All of these listings can be viewed on my website or click

Economic News Week: January 17, 2011

Economic News Week: January 17, 2011
The DOW rose to its highest level in 2 1/2 years closing at 11787 this past Friday.  This is yet another indicator that stocks are on the rebound.  The Federal Reserves survey of economic conditions (The Beige Book)  reported that the U.S. economy ended on a positive note, with all parts of the country showing improvement. It was reported also last week that the housing market could gradually begin to emerge from its doldrums this year, industry experts said  but, their forecast depends on a steady ramp up  in hiring. Retail Sales rose in December for the 6th straight time to .08%.  A report from the  New York Times said  that  as Republicans choreograph a House vote to repeal The Health Care Bill this week, no change has stung Democrats  more than the argument that the  new law will “kill”  jobs in a economy wobbling back to life. In the fight over whether  the law will create or destroy jobs, both political parties cite evidence to support their claims. But many economists say the effect on jobs is likely to be  modest: neither so negative as Republicans assert nor so positive the Democrats contend.

Local Economic News
The San Antonio area will see a job surge of 27,300 jobs in 2011, for an above average gain of 3.2 percent, Keith Phillips of the Federal Reserve-senior economist based in San Antonio predicted last week.  Another report said last week that a “consensus is building” San Antonio will jump from a below-average year in job growth for 2010 to an above average year in 2011.  This week-Friday  the Texas Work Commission will release December’s unemployment rate for San Antonio and other cities of the State. Plus,  SABOR (San Antonio Board of Realtors) will release its December and year-end 2010 home sales data.  Don’t expect positive numbers in either case.  But, instead look for the positive numbers in 2011. Especially after an estimated 27,300 jobs are created and folks are out spending and looking for a home. 2011 is the year for growth.

Real Estate and Mortgage Industry News
As I said above, with the job growth San Antonio expects for 2011-this will surely create an atmosphere of anticipation that when folks are working, folks are spending money.  I would also think that with that many jobs, some will be out buying a home.  Some San Antonio and surrounding Hill Country Realtors I have talked to have said that their business has picked up for January.  Their phones are ringing more and appointment showings have increased.  On the Mortgage rate front: Freddie Mac reported that mortgage rates  on the 30 year fixed index dropped slightly to 4.71% last week from 4.77%.  As a reminder, when Mortgage rates go up, the tend to rise quickly and vice versa.  If you are thinking of buying a home this year, please seek the advice of a local Realtor and Mortgage Loan Officer.  Home prices are very reasonable in most areas and mortgage rates are still at historically low levels.  Keep in mind too, that when the $8k tax credit was available, home prices were higher. Now, that there is no tax credit, home prices are even lower saving you more than $8k  in most cases.

Economic Data due this week:  Monday: Markets closed.  Wednesday: Building Permits and Housing Starts Report.  Thursday: Weekly Jobless Claims.  Thursday: Philly Fed Index= A manufacturing survey.  Thursday: Existing Home Sales Report.

Economic News week: January 10, 2011

Greeting 2011!  The DOW ended last Friday at  11,674 up 97 points for the week.  Historically, the Dow has risen on the year 74% of the time that it was up in the first week of the year.  The  nation’s unemployment rate dropped  to 9.4% from 9.8%.  That is its lowest level in 19 months!   As President Obama said in his weekly radio address, “the numbers can bounce from month to  month, but the trend is clear,” meaning our economy is strengthening.  Some predicted an even further drop in unemployment figures.  A  .4% drop is about as much of a 1 month drop you will get in any month in my opinion.   Too bad the negative news media  can’t focus on the positives of our economy.   At least the Wall Street Journal  posted a headline this weekend that read, “Good signs for stocks in 2011”.   And I for one believe it!

Local Economic News

Bankruptcy filings dropped slightly last year for South Central Texas after a surge in 2009. Further signs of economic recovery as folks aren’t under as much pressure because of our ever increasing job market.  When folks are working, house payments are being paid-as well as credit card bills.  Extra job openings were created by West Business Services in San Antonio as they announced that it plans to hire 275 people this quarter for inside sales and account-management services to Fortune 1000 companies.
Metro Study projects a 9% increase in New home starts for San Antonio home builders.  2010 had a 5.5% rise vs 2009.  This news at least is may help some home builders breathe a little easier. In a speech this past week at the San Antonio Board of Realtors Home Forecast,  San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro said San Antonio’s economy is looking “promising and fantastic for 2011.”  As further proof that Texas is the place other states envy, another speaker said that Texas produced 48% of jobs nationally for 2010. Way to go Texas!

Real Estate and Mortgage Industry News

Nationally, home  sales are expected to rise 5%-10% in 2011.  This year  will offer unique opportunities to buy homes.  While prices are down and mortgage rates remain at historically low levels, 2011 could present itself as the year to buy a home or investment property.  Mortgage rates have been able to stay slightly under 5% to around 4.875%.  However, do not expect them to stay at these levels long as  stocks continue to climb.  As a rule of thumb, when stocks rise, MBS’ (Mortgaged-backed securities) tend to suffer-causing mortgage rates to rise. When rates rise they rise quickly and vice versa. Now would be a terrific time to buy a home.  Ask any local Realtor and let them show you the data.

Economic Data due this week: This week we begin to receive 4th quarter earnings. Tuesday= Wholesale trade inventories.  Wednesday= Beige Book: This is a survey of current economic conditions.  Thursday= Weekly Jobless claims.  Thursday= PPI (Producer Price Index):  This is a survey of prices changes on the wholesale level.  Thursday= International Trade Report.
Thursday= Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates.  Friday= CPI (Consumer Price Index):  This is a report of price changes for consumers at the retail level.  Friday= Retail Sales Report for December.