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Reflections on the human spirit

Looking back over the events of this past week and contemplating what to write about in this blog, it is impossible to not to write something about the devastation in Japan and the outpouring of aid and compassion.  Events such as these can bring out the best and the worst of the human spirit and it seems we’ve seen much more of the former. Let us hope for healing and recovery for those impacted.

Of course these events and those in the middle East have had an impact on the markets and economy, which in turn impact real estate. How long-lasting these changes will be remain to be seen.

From a U.S. economy perspective, there was a bit of a silver lining this week. After inching up over the past few weeks, average mortgage rates across the country fell this week, spurred by the economic stress from the crisis in Japan. Typically when a global economic crisis erupts, investors will rush to the security of U.S. Treasury bonds, pushing bond prices up and yields down with mortgage rates following.

On the home front this week there was another bit of a bright spot. DataQuick released information that indicated San Diego County home sales and prices increased slightly in February vs. January. Not big gains but at least the trend is in the right direction. A high percentage of these sales were distressed properties with cash buyers. It is hoped that more traditional buyers will soon be back into the market.

For everyone’s sake, let us hope that the Japan crisis is contained and restoration and recovery can begin.