San Diego In Top 5 home markets In 2011, the finance publication, ranked San Diego #5 out of 315 housing markets and that prices are in place to see increases in 2011 and in the coming years.

They believe the median home price in San Diego will increase 2% over the next 12 months and on throughout the next three years which is based on findings from Local Market Monitor. Local Market Monitor is a research company that analyzed data from real estate markets throughout the United States, which also factored in the areas’ unemployment and job growth rates.

Along with San Diego two other cities were on the list of United States cities where home values are more than likely going to increase over the next three years which are Santa Ana and San Jose. Median home prices in both of these cities are believed to increase three percent over the next year and then an average of 2% each year throughout the next three years.

Forbes predicted that California is heading toward somewhat of a housing recovery; it went on to say that, Florida “shouldn’t hold its breath”. Cities in Florida were on the list for cities with the home values including Orlando, Lakeland, and Daytona Beach.

Ingo Winzer, president of the Local Market Monitor stated, “The big difference between Florida and Southern California … is people are moving into Southern California, but they’re not moving to Florida.”

Housing Market Index stayed Unchanged

According to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo, the housing market index stayed the same in the month of January at 16.  Economists had predicted a reading of 17. Any index reading below 50 shows a negative sentiment about the housing market.

The seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage complied by the Mortgage Bankers Association for the week that ended on January 14 increased 5 percent, while refinancing applications rose 7.7 percent, and purchase volume decreased 1.9 percent.

The combined construction of new single-family homes and apartments for the month of December decreased to 4.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 529,000 units. Single-family starts decreased 9 percent; multifamily starts increased 17.9%, while applications for new building permits increased to 16.7 percent for an annual rate of 635,000 units.

Retail sales dropped 0.1 percent for the week that ended on January 15, as reported by the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index, which makes the year-over-year sales that retailers saw rose 1.4 percent.

Existing home sales increased 12.3 percent in the month of December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.28 million units from 4.7 million units seen in the month of November. Inventory of unsold homes on the market fell 4.2 percent to 3.56 million, which is an 8.1-month supply at the current sales pace, making it down from a 9.5-month supply seen in the month of November.

The index of leading economic indicators, which was created to forecast economic activity in the next three to six months, increased 1 percent in the month of December, mainly due to an increase in building permits.

First claims for unemployment benefits decreased by 37,000 to 404,000 for the week that ended on January 15 and continuing claims for the week that ended on January 8 decreased by 26,000 to 3.8 million.

Upcoming reports on the economic calendar
January 25 – housing price index
January 26 – new home sales
January 27 – pending home sales

2011’s Top New Cars

The hottest cars of the year are just around the corner and here is your sneak peek of what is coming.

Performance Cars
Yes, expect more hot rods this year with the 425-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT8, 426-horsepower Chevrolet Camaro, and 550-horsepower Ford Mustang GT500. Not only these but a couple of imports as well including the Subaru’s Impreza WRX/STI and Audi’s A3 offering turbocharged and all-wheel-drive.

Hybrid Vehicles
Motor Trend gave the new Chevrolet Volt the title of “Car of the Year”. This hybrid starts at $40,280 offering technologically advanced features and amenities that you are sure to love. This car operates in either gas/electric or full electric modes. Other hybrids on the list include the Toyota Prius wagon, 206-horsepower Hyundai Sonata and the sporty new Lexus CT.

Ford has spruced up its Explorer with new styling, front wheel drive, and improved mileage. Other new debuts include the Mazda’s compact M5 minivan and Nissan’s redesign of the Quest.

Family Vehicles
Family vehicles are also on the list with price tags between $16,800 to $33,000. Here you will find revisions and more eco-friendly vehicles like the Volkswagen Jetta, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Cruze, Toyota Avalon, and Chrysler 200.

Affordable Cars
In this group, you will find vehicles between $14,000-$20,000 range including the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit Sport, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris.

Interesting Martin Luther King Facts

This past Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was the 25th anniversary of this federal holiday first observed in 1986.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is known for his activities in the civil rights movement during the 1960’s. He was a leader of nonviolent civil disobedience inspired from the tradition he found in the writings of Mahatma Gandhi and Henry David Thoreau.

At age 35, in 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. become the youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize. At the time, he learned he was receiving this prestigious honor he stated the prize money, which was
$54,123 would be donated to the civil rights movement.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was designated a national day of volunteer service in 1994. If you have a service project, create your own neighborhood, or find a volunteer opportunity you can visit