What are digital signatures?

Digital signatures are like electronic “fingerprints.” In the form of a coded message, the digital signature securely associates a signer with a document in a recorded transaction. Digital signatures use a standard, accepted format, called Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), to provide the highest levels of security and universal acceptance. They are a specific signature technology implementation of electronic signature (eSignature).

What’s the difference between a digital signature and an electronic signature?

The broad category of electronic signatures (eSignatures) encompasses many types of electronic signatures. The category includes digital signatures, which are a specific technology implementation of electronic signatures. Both digital signatures and other eSignature solutions allow you to sign documents and authenticate the signer. However, there are differences in purpose, technical implementation, geographical use, and legal and cultural acceptance of digital signatures versus other types of eSignatures.

In particular, the use of digital signature technology for eSignatures varies significantly between countries that follow open, technology-neutral eSignature laws, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, and those that follow tiered eSignature models that prefer locally defined standards that are based on digital signature technology, including many countries in the European Union, South America, and Asia. In addition, some industries also support specific standards that are based on digital signature technology.

How do digital signatures work?

Digital signatures, like handwritten signatures, are unique to each signer. Digital signature solution providers, such as DocuSign, follow a specific protocol, called PKI. PKI requires the provider to use a mathematical algorithm to generate two long numbers, called keys. One key is public, and one key is private.

When a signer electronically signs a document, the signature is created using the signer’s private key, which is always securely kept by the signer. The mathematical algorithm acts like a cipher, creating data matching the signed document, called a hash, and encrypting that data. The resulting encrypted data is the digital signature. The signature is also marked with the time that the document was signed. If the document changes after signing, the digital signature is invalidated.

As an example, Jane signs an agreement to sell a timeshare using her private key. The buyer receives the document. The buyer who receives the document also receives a copy of Jane’s public key. If the public key can’t decrypt the signature (via the cipher from which the keys were created), it means the signature isn’t Jane’s, or has been changed since it was signed. The signature is then considered invalid.

To protect the integrity of the signature, PKI requires that the keys be created, conducted, and saved in a secure manner, and often requires the services of a reliable Certificate Authority (CA). Digital signature providers, like DocuSign, meet PKI requirements for safe digital signing.

Monthly Market Overview North San Diego County January 2020

For 2020, The National Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun sees good news for home prices:

“National median home price growth is in no danger of falling due to inventory shortages and will rise by 4%,”

the long-term NAR economist predicts. He is also expecting the new home construction market sales to increase 10%. Yun and others would like to see home builders bring more affordable units to market to help ease shortages and slow price gains in that segment.

  • Closed Sales increased 6.0 percent for Detached homes and 12.3 percent for Attached homes.
  • Pending Sales increased 8.1 percent for Detached homes and 26.7 percent for Attached homes.
  • The Median Sales Price was up 11.9 percent to $742,750 for Detached homes and 9.1 percent to $485,000 for Attached homes.
  • Days on Market decreased 8.2 percent for Detached homes and 2.4 percent for Attached homes.
  • Supply decreased 40.7 percent for Detached homes and 28.6 percent for Attached homes.

We start off the year with continued low interest rates, low unemployment, and rising rents nationally. These factors should encourage healthy buyer demand and sets us up for a strong start to the 2020 housing market and a lot of optimism for the coming spring market.

Jan-20-Monthly

Kiplinger’s Economic Outlook for All 50 States, 2020

Low jobless rates and rising incomes are helping to fatten state coffers across the U.S. Revenue from sales, personal and corporate taxes is on the rise –the best growth since before the Great Recession.

States can expect healthy tax revenues for at least the next several quarters as low unemployment continues, incomes slowly rise, inflation increases modestly and higher energy prices generate more income for states with severance taxes.

But the outlook for individual states is varied, with several regions facing big challenges. The trade war with China is battering the agriculture industry in the Midwest and the prairie states and crimping activity at Southern ports. Manufacturing is slowing down because slowing global growth is hurting exports. New England’s economy is slowing as employers struggle to find the workers they need.

Although construction spending is up markedly this year, most states won’t boost spending much. As they prepare for 2020, governors and legislatures are eyeing modest spending increases –perhaps reversing cuts made after the Great Recession. They also intend to sock away some of the newfound revenues in rainy-day funds. (See our list of States Most Unprepared for the Next Recession.)

See the breakdown HERE

Here are five things you may not know about VA loans.

1. They’re reusable.

Even if someone has used a VA loan in the past, they’re still eligible for a new loan. Service members can reuse the loan as many times as they like as long as they pay each previous loan off. Furthermore, service members with bankruptcies and foreclosures can still get a VA loan, even if it was a VA loan they foreclosed on.

2. Only certain homes are eligible.

VA loans are primarily designed for move-in-ready homes that will be the service member’s primary residence. While there are a few exceptions, commercial properties, investment properties, and vacation homes are typically ineligible.

3. The VA doesn’t issue the loans.

The VA doesn’t actually provide the loans; they just guarantee the loans (usually up to 25 percent), making lenders more confident and allowing service members to get better terms and rates.

4. No mortgage insurance required.

The VA’s guarantee eliminates the need for service members to purchase mortgage insurance for their loans, saving them thousands of dollars. However, there is a mandatory fee of about 2 percent of the loan amount for VA loan recipients. This fee helps keep the VA loan program going and can be rolled into the loan amount or waived for those with service-connected disabilities.

5. They have co-borrower restrictions.

Having a co-borrower who isn’t the spouse of the service member or another veteran with VA loan entitlement who will also live in the home will require a down payment on the home.

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Annual Report on the North San Diego County Housing Market for 2019

The 2019 housing market was fueled by the overall strength of the economy across most of the country. The stock markets reached new highs throughout the year, improving the asset bases of millions of Americans. Unemployment rates fell to 50-year lows, while wages increased, creating new home buyers. Mortgage rates also declined significantly from 2018, helping to offset affordability stresses caused by continued price appreciation nationally.

With a strong economy and low mortgage rates, buyer activity has been strong. However, most markets are being constrained by inventory levels that are still below historical norms. With supply and demand continuing to favor sellers, prices continue to rise.

With 10 years having now passed since the Great Recession, the U.S. has been on the longest period of continued economic expansion on record. The housing market has been along for much of the ride and continues to benefit greatly from the overall health of the economy. However, hot economies eventually cool and with that, hot housing markets move more towards balance.

Sales: Pending sales increase 4.1 percent, finishing 2019 at 15,118. Closed sales were up 1.4 percent to end the year at 14,785.

Listings: Comparing 2019 to the prior year, the number of homes available for sale was lower by 32.6 percent. There were 1,974 active listings at the end of 2019. New listings decreased by 4.6 percent to finish the year at 21,603.

Distressed: The foreclosure market continues to remain a small player in the overall market and is likely to remain that way in 2020. In 2019, the percentage of closed sales that were either foreclosure or short sale decreased by 1.6 percent to end the year at 6.2 percent of the market.

Prices: Home prices were up compared to last year. The overall median sales price increased 0.5 percent to $637,000 for the year. Single-Family Detached home prices were down 0.1 percent compared to last year, and Single-Family Attached home prices were up 2.2 percent.

List Price Received: Sellers received, on average, 97.1 percent of their original list price at sale, a year-over-year reduction of 0.2 percent.

While the Federal Reserve moved to temper the hot economy with four interest rate hikes in 2018, in 2019 they turned the heat back up, and reduced rates a total of three times during the year. The Fed’s rate decreases were due in part to GDP growth in 2019 that came in notably lower than 2018, showing the Fed’s alternating efforts to keep our economy at a steady simmer and not a full boil.

The housing market continues to remain healthy nationwide with price gains and limited inventory being the most common threads across markets. Tight inventory continues to constrain buyer activity in part of the country, while some areas are seeing increased seller inventory starting to improve buyers’ choices. New construction activity continues to improve, but is still below levels required to fully supply the market’s needs.

As we look at 2020, we see continued low mortgage rates and a healthy economy giving a great start to housing in the new year. But in election years, we sometimes see a softening of activity that may temper the market in the second half of the year.

Annual-2019