Sacramento Real Estate Resource Guide - Sacramento County, El Dorado County and Placer County Realtors

Tuesday, October 3, 2006, 03:57 AM
Pending Home Sales Index Rises 4.3%
Daily Real Estate News | October 2, 2006
— REALTOR® Magazine Online

Pending home sales have increased, showing that the housing market continues to stabilize, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in August, rose 4.3 percent to a level of 110.1 from a reading of 105.6 in July, but is 14.1 percent lower than August 2005.

David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, says the higher index reading is a hopeful sign for the real estate market.

“Our sense is that home sales may have reached a low in August,” he says. “The Pending Home Sales Index shows home sales should be fairly stable over the next two months, although a minor decline is possible.

. Regionally, the index reading for the West rose 9.2 percent in August to 112.7 but was 16.9 percent below August 2005.
. The index in the South increased 4 percent to 126.8 in August but was 9.4 percent below a year ago.
. In the Northeast, the index rose 3.6 percent in August to 95.4 but was 12.4 percent below August 2005.
. The index in the Midwest was unchanged at 93.8 in August and was 20.4 percent lower than a year ago.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006, 06:19 AM
Cool Market Keeps Mortgage Rates Affordable
Daily Real Estate News | September 22, 2006
— REALTOR® Magazine Online

The national average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.4 percent for this week, down from the previous week’s 6.43 percent, according to Freddie Mac. Last year, the average rate for 30-year, fixed mortgages was 5.8 percent.

“A slowing housing market and signs that inflation is leveling off have helped to lower mortgage rates lately and keep them more affordable,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “For example, housing starts dropped to a three-year low in August and the Producer Price Index (PPI) fell below market expectations.”

The average rate for 15-year, fixed mortgages was 6.06 percent, compared with 6.11 percent the previous week and 5.37 percent a year ago.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 6.08 percent, down from the previous week’s 6.1 percent. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 5.31 percent.

The average rate for one-year ARMs was 5.54 percent, compared with 5.6 percent a week earlier and 4.48 percent a year ago.

“Going forward, the economy is expected to expand at a somewhat slower rate than it did in the first half of the year," Nothaft says. "This should continue to keep inflation in check, and therefore, mortgage rates low.”

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006, 06:16 AM
Gender Marketing Web Design Differences
September 22, 2006
By Joseph Carrabis
iMedia Connection

If you're building a website for female consumers, then you need to do it differently than if your site is for males or for everybody. The NextStage CRO explains how.

Growing up, I navigated the worlds of men and women with equal ease. Several indigenous peoples I've studied with have told me I carry my grandmother and grandfather energies reversed. Perhaps that accounts for my facility, I don't know. I do know that the differences and similarities between the genders have always fascinated me and became part of NextStage's marketing research a few years back.

THE THREE MAIN ONLINE GENDER DIFFERENCES - The differences between men and women show up in so many ways that to ignore them in marketing is to defeat marketing's purposes. Three differences that directly apply to designing marketing material are:

. Women purchase strategically; men purchase immediately.
. Women are cogno-emotionally placial; men are spatial.
. Women consider other's opinions as a guide to making their own decision; men consider others' decisions as a guide to forming their own opinions.

What I found fascinating about item #1 was that, once I looked at the data as an anthropologist, it was -- duh! -- obvious. Item #2 is something I was taught and teach in evolutionary biology. Item #3 is the new one, and it intrigues me as it applies to marketing methodologies.

PUTTING GENDER DIFFERENCES INTO PRACTICE - If you know your target market is women, don't sell them on now, sell them on now (the near bars) and again (the middle bars) and yet again (the far bars), or make sure they buy enough so that what they buy is useful again and again and again.

If your target is men, make them happy now because they'll probably forget you before the next page loads or they leave the store. This plays into branding in that men are more difficult to brand than women in an open, competitive market.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006, 04:38 AM
September Is National Preparedness Month
Daily Real Estate News | September 6, 2006
— REALTOR® Magazine Online

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is joining with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to launch National Preparedness Month 2006 this September.

National Preparedness Month is a nationwide effort that encourages Americans to prepare for emergencies of all kinds. A special Web site,, has been created to share helpful and important information.

“We believe in the importance of educating individuals on the potential life saving steps that can be taken to ensure the safety of families in the event of a natural disaster or potential terrorist threat,” says Thomas M. Stevens, president of NAR.

NAR is using its vast network of members and home owners to help communicate the importance of preparedness — including having a family plan and having an emergency supply kit ready and on hand. “REALTORS® are a strong voice for communicating the importance of being prepared in case of natural disasters,” Stevens says.

In addition to joining the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts, NAR has created a disaster planning task force made up of REALTORS® from all across the country. NAR will hold a natural disaster symposium in Washington on Sept. 18, when participants will discuss the need for a federal natural disaster insurance program and the need to be ready for such disasters.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2006, 06:29 PM
Nielsen: Internet Ad Spent up 49%
September 05, 2006
By Roger Park

Nielsen Media Research announced that ad spending in the U.S. is up 5.1 percent in the half of the year with internet leading the way with 49 percent.

Spanish language TV was up 21.8 percent due largely to the World Cup. Other media that showed gain were local magazines (10.4 percent) and nation newspapers (6.5 percent).

Spending among the top 10 advertisers grew 3 percent to nearly $9.8 billion; AT&T, due to a re-branding of the company, increased its spending by 51 percent, according to Mediaweek.

"Ad spending continues to build in strength when compared to last year, although not at the levels projected by many at the beginning of the year," says Jeff King, managing director of Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

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