Fannie Mae Survey Finds Americans Still Wary About Housing Market

Fannie Mae’s most recent nationwide housing survey found that Americans are less certain that the housing market has bottomed, and continue to be wary of buying a home, according to a press release. Some of the survey’s key findings include:

  • The number of Americans who think it’s a good time to buy a home dropped to 68 percent (down 2 percentage points since June). 85 percent think it is a bad time to sell a house.
  • Americans are cautiously optimistic about their personal finances, with an equal percentage (41 percent) expecting their situation to improve as those expecting their finances to remain the same.
  • Fewer Americans expect home prices to rise during the next year. Delinquent borrowers and outright Owners are more likely to expect home prices to decline, in contrast to Underwater borrowers and Renters who think prices will go up modestly.
  • Fewer Americans expect home mortgage interest rates to go up. While a plurality of Americans still expect rates to go up during the next year, Americans are more likely to expect the rates to remain flat, especially among Mortgage borrowers and Renters.
  • The perception that buying a home is a safe investment continues to decline among Americans, ranking second to putting money into a savings or money market account.

These results are surely no surprise to real estate agents. The fact is there are plenty of psychological and hardcore financial realities keeping many buyers and sellers from entering the market. So how do you, as realtors, counter these perceptions with FACTS that support the notion that now is a good time to buy or sell? Comment here or on the Facebook post.

Here are a few responses I’ve heard thus far:

  • Even though sellers will net less than they would have at the peak of the market, they can also buy at a significant discount.
  • Interest rates remain at historic lows. Rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages are still less than 5 percent, and they will likely increase in coming years.
  • Houses in all categories ARE selling if priced and marketed right.
  • Cash buyers have a lot of leverage in the current housing market.
  • Sellers may have to wait a long time for home values and the market to rebound.
  • Now is a good time to make a long-term investment.

To read the full results of the Fannie Mae survey visit:

Scott Baio and Siblings List Parent's Home in Toluca Lake

Actor, director and producer Scott Baio, brother Steven, and sister Stephanie, have placed their parent’s Toluca Lake, Calif. home on the market for $4,995,000. Scott Baio is well- known for his role as Chachi Arcola on Happy Days and for the title character on the 1980s sitcom Charles in Charge.
More recently, he played the lawyer Bob Loblaw on the Emmy Award winning comedy series Arrested Development. He also had two reality shows on VH1, “Scott Baio is 45…and Single,” and “Scott Baio is 46…and Pregnant.” Steven Baio acted on Happy Days
and has acted in or produced a number of other movies and programs
since. Stephanie is not in the entertainment business.
The 11,000 square foot house has 7 bedrooms, 8 baths, a 26,000 square foot gated lot, guest house, and total privacy in the back yard. It’s located close to Lakeside Golf Club, Universal, Warner Brothers and Disney. The late Mario Baio, father of the three siblings, originally purchased the home in the early 1990s. But the house is too large for just their mother to live there anymore, according to the family.
The interior includes expansive living, dining, media/game and billiards rooms. The kitchen has a center island, granite counter tops, and Subzero and Gagganeu appliances. The downstairs master has a sitting room, fireplace, separate gym, office and ornate bath. And the three other downstairs suites can work as additional masters.
The private backyard includes lawns, mature trees, pool and a complete guest house. The home has a 10 car garage and circular motor court. The home also has an additional 1,500 square feet of interior space that could be used for a wine cellar or studio. Lisa and Scott Sorrentino of Rodeo Realty are listing the property. The property web site is

Time to Start Preparing for the Annual Walk of Ages

The Los Angeles Jewish Home’s annual Walk of Ages takes place this year on Sunday December 5, 2010 at the Jewish Home’s Eisenberg Village Campus in Reseda. Friends, family , co-workers, neighbors and even dogs are encouraged to participate.

This is one of the largest charitable walks in the San Fernando Valley, and Rodeo Realty is one of the event sponsors. Proceeds support the Jewish Home’s efforts to provide compassionate care to seniors.
Registration begins at 7 a.m., followed by the opening ceremony at 8:20 a.m., 5K walk and run at 8: 30 a.m., and awards ceremony from 9:30 a.m. to 10: 30 a.m. There will also be music, free refreshments and prizes for the top fundraisers.
Individual adults need to collect of donate a minimum of $100 to walk or run in the event, seniors need to collect or donate a minimum of $50, families $250, and teams of 10 or more $1,000. People who cannot participate are welcome to make contributions directly to the Jewish Home.

Visit register and for more information. Rodeo Realty has a team listed on the site. The Eisenberg Village Campus is located at 18855 Victory Boulevard in Reseda. The event will take place rain or shine.

Real Estate Veteran, Fred Henry, To Manage Sunset Strip Office

Rodeo Realty is moving forward with plans to open a new office on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Fred Henry, a Westside real estate veteran, will be managing the new branch.

Henry’s experience in the Westside market is extensive. He was manager and VP of marketing and communications for DBL Realtors (now Sotheby’s International Realty) on the Sunset Strip.
He opened one of John Aaroe & Associate’s offices in Los Feliz. The branch went on to be a great success for the company. And Henry was manager of Fred Sands on the Sunset Strip.
“The Sunset Strip area has always been a dynamic market,” said Henry. “It’s an entertainment hub and centrally located. It’s important to have an office in the neighborhood to really service this area right.”
Rodeo’s Sunset Strip branch will open in early 2011. Once the space is secured and built-out, it will house approx. 100 agents. Henry is also hiring experienced Westside agents. The office will be a great addition to Rodeo Realty and West Hollywood, he said.

Syd Leibovitch: September Wrap-up, Looking Forward

The month of September brought unexpected financial data showing more strength in the economy than was forecasted in early August. If you recall we were told in August that the economy was slowing and the recovery, which was slow, was losing steam.

September brought better results than were expected and the double dip talk has stopped. September marked the largest September gain in the Dow in 71 years! The Dow rose 773.33 points, or 7.72 percent, the best September result since 1939. At the beginning of October, retail sales and consumer spending were also reported up more than expected.

What does this mean for us? I think this means a more optimistic consumer. We have already seen sales (open escrows) rise after dropping unexpectedly in July. Going forward I would predict:

1. Slightly higher interest rates in the coming days and much higher over the next year.

2. Banks have drastically improved their balance sheets to where they are very well capitalized. (The opposite of a year ago). This will enable them to get rid of non performing loans at a higher rate which will mean more REOs.

3. Inventory levels have doubled since January and it appears will continue to increase. This increase has been due to an increase of non-distressed sellers who are buying up, and the increase in distressed properties I am predicting.

Certainly, in my mind this could keep prices from rising, and even put a little downward pressure on prices, although I think a more optimistic public will cause more sales and keep this minimal, if at all. 

The extension of the $729,750 loan limits will also be a huge help. If your clients are waiting for higher prices to sell, I don’t see that happening in 2011. For buyers I just don’t see it ever being more affordable than now as higher rates will more than offset drops in price as far as low payments, in my mind.

To sum all this up. Uncertainty is a “deal killer”. I see less uncertainty going forward than any time since the end of 2007 when the mortgage credit markets collapsed. It looks like we are nearing the end of what was one of the toughest real estate markets ever.

I am quite optimistic and very grateful to all of you. Thanks to your hard work the last few years have been pretty good for Rodeo. I think economists are going to look back at September as the turning point in our economy. Let’s see if that ends up right.

Have a great weekend and GO SELL SOME HOMES!


Rodeo Realty Presents Rick DeLuca Seminar

What a great turnout for the Rick DeLuca seminar this morning at the Arclight Cinema Sherman Oaks! Syd Leibovitch and Rodeo Realty hosted DeLuca’s two hour seminar titled “90 Days to Success.” More than 200 agents attended.
DeLuca is a real estate veteran who averaged more than 200 sales per year for six years. The guy knows this business. He shared a wealth of practical tips and systems that real estate agents, and any business person for that matter, can use to ensure success.
A few subjects he discussed include: trust; the importance of agent’s database and communicating with target clients; hosting client gatherings; becoming a student of the real estate industry by knowing market statistics; creating new habits; self promotion and day-to-day organization; customer service; and being in the right place at the right time.
One of the most important ingredients for success, according to DeLuca, is self discipline.

This only brushes the surface of what amounts to nothing less than a great seminar. Thanks to Rick DeLuca, Syd Leibovitch, organizers of the event and everybody who attended!