Friday, September 15, 2006

Fight Back Against Junk Mail

At our house, we get an average of one credit card offer per person per day. These offers usually include an annoying application partially filled out with personal information. They also contain other junk, along with an envelope with its postage prepaid by the solicitor in the hopes that it will be returned. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of getting these wasteful letters all the time. They waste resources in the production and transport of them, and they cost me time since I must dispose of the sensitive portions by shredding. Now, the only reason these companies send these solicitations is because they are profitable. The minute they stop making money through these, they will stop sending them. Through the postage paid envelope, these companies have given us the seeds of their own destruction. We can cost them time and money by returning the junk mail back to them in the return envelope. Here’s two weeks worth that I plan on mailing tomorrow: Remember to remove all personal information from the junk you return if you want to remain anonymous: If everyone in the US returned only one piece of junk mail a week, the junk mail industry would fail. I know you can do it: return your junk mail today!

Friday, May 19, 2006

New Blog

I've started a new blog for my real estate postings. You can find it at I'll continue to update this blog with randomness, at random intervals. Max

Monday, May 15, 2006

Sacramento Home Listings & Inventory Numbers

Sorry for the long delay. I’ve been trying to get explicit clearance to post my browsable Google Earth files, but no dice so far. Instead, I have some aggregate data and more pretty pictures. I have been working from two data sets. One is taken from active listings for Sacramento, Yolo, Placer, and El Dorado counties, and contains active listing data only. (Pending sales are not included.) The second data set contains pending sales and active listings, and is where I get my daily inventory stats. Although the active listing data set is more conservative in absolute terms, they compare very well trend-wise. (Interestingly, if you subtract the totals from both data sets on any day, you come up with a difference of around 1500. Presumably this is the number of pending sales. I will keep my eye on this and report back later.) Anyway, to the data: The median asking price in all counties has been firm with a slight upward trend for the last five weeks, while the average price per square foot is holding steady. Inventory surpassed the April 1992 record of 13,507 on May 4th, and should surpass the population adjusted record of 17,913 by mid August if the accelerating upward trend holds: During the first three months, inventory grew an average of 22 listings per day: That trend has accelerated, and inventory is growing by about 28 listings per day. We are already about 600 listings over the peak from October 2005, and on the last two weekends alone Sacramento inventory grew by 510 listings: So, what does this market actually look like? I put together some Google Earth images of the latest data set to answer that question. Unfortunately, I am unable at this time to offer the actual data file. I would also like to thank Patrick Killelea for posting this blog on his widely read housing news site. Without him, nobody would read this. Max Note: The large dots designate that a price change has occurred. El Dorado Hills/Cameron Park: Folsom / Orangevale / Citrus Heights: North Highlands / Fair Oaks / Carmichael: North and East Sacramento: South Sacramento: Elk Grove: Natomas / Rio Linda: Roseville / Rocklin: Woodland: Davis:

Thursday, April 13, 2006

San Francisco Home Listings Preliminary

I’ve just compiled a rough draft data set of all Bay Area home listings. The data set isn’t refined enough to release quite yet, but I thought I’d share some images taken from Google Earth after I imported it. As of April 13, 2006, there were over 27,000 homes listed for sale in the Bay Area, with 20,106 listed as "Active Listings" and 7,529 as "Pending Sales". In the following images, the pending sales are the red dots, and the active listings are white. Each dot represents one property (house, condo, land) offered for sale in the Bay Area. The first image illustrates the impact Bay Area investors have had on the regional market. Notice the tendrils of speculation that spread out along the highways into the Central Valley, up to Sacramento, down to Monterey, and up into the foothills of the Sierras. The Monterey and Salinas home markets are way too small to survive on native demand. There are over 750 active, and 150 pending listings for Salinas in the Bay Area listing service. That ratio of 1:160 listings per person, in a city of roughly 150,000 people, mirrors the one in San Diego. Santa Cruz and Watsonville are close enough to San Jose to almost be considered suburbs. I’m not sure about commuting over 17, though. Here’s what 25,000+ home listings look like in a region with roughly 6,000,000 people: I’m going to let the rest of these speak for themselves. Once I refine the data set, I’ll post it here. Max

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Sacramento County Home Listings (4-9-06)

I'm struggling with how best to display the data I've found. Google Maps is very slow loading when there's more than 200 data points per map, and it's hard to get a good understanding that way. I think the best answer right now is to use Google Earth. It's very fast, a lot more functional than Google Maps, and creating a data file for it is trivial. I've compiled all the listings I've found into this file. Download Google Earth (it's free) and download the file. Then, let me know what you think. Alternate File Locations Alternate 1 Alternate 2 Sacramento County Date: April 9, 2006 Homes on Map: 8101

Antelope Homes For Sale (4-8-06)

Antelope Date: April 8, 2006 Homes on Map: 297 Use the menu on the right for more maps

Rancho Cordova - Gold River Homes For Sale (4-8-06)

Rancho Cordova - Gold River Date: April 8, 2006 Homes on Map: 535 Use the menu on the right for more maps