Tag Archives: C.A.R.

Money Monday: Home sales up in California

California home sales register nominal annual increase in September

Source: C.A.R.

urban real estate prices, most live in suburbsCalifornia existing home sales ticked up in September on a year-over-year basis for the first time in seven months as a shortage of homes available for sale continues to hold back the market, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

Making sense of the story

  • Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 425,680 units in September, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2016 if sales maintained the September pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
  • The September figure was up 1.3 percent from the revised 420,360 level in August and up 0.8 percent compared with home sales in September 2015 of a revised 422,360. Home sales remained above the 400,000 pace for the sixth straight month, and the year-over-year increase was the first since January.
  • “While higher sales both on a monthly and an annual basis is a glimmer of good news, with most of the home-buying season behind us for 2016, it’s not enough to tip the scales for an increase above 2015’s sales pace,” said C.A.R. President Pat “Ziggy” Zicarelli. “With listings continuing to decline and demand still strong, especially at the lower end of the market, affordability will remain a challenge for would-be buyers.”
  • The statewide median price remained above the $500,000 mark for the sixth straight month, with minimal signs of cooling down outside of a few select markets. The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home was down 2.3 percent in September to $514,320 from $526,580 in August. September’s median price increased 6.1 percent from the revised $484,670 recorded in September 2015. The median sales price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less; it is influenced by the types of homes selling, as well as a general change in values. The monthly price decline is primarily due to seasonal factors.

Full story: www.car.org/newsstand/newsreleases/2016releases/september2016sales

Money Monday: Challenges Hamper the Housing Recovery

As the Housing Recovery Strengthens, Affordability and Other
Challenges Remain: Harvard Study

Source: Harvard

The national housing market has now regained enough momentum to provide an engine of growth for the US economy, according to The State of the Nation’s Housing report released this week by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. However, several obstacles continue to hamper the housing recovery—in particular, the lingering pressures on homeownership, the eroding affordability of rental housing, and the growing concentration of poverty.for rent

Making sense of the story

  • On the renter side, the number of cost-burdened households rose by 3.6 million from 2008 to 2014, to 21.3 million. Even more troubling, the number with severe burdens (paying more than 50 percent of income for housing) jumped by 2.1 million to a record 11.4 million.
  • The national homeownership rate has been on an unprecedented 10-year downtrend, sliding to just 63.7 percent in 2015. Tight mortgage credit, the decade-long falloff in incomes that is only now ending, and a limited supply of homes for sale are all keeping households—especially first-time buyers—on the sidelines.
  • The report finds that income inequality increased over the past decade, with households earning under $25,000 accounting for nearly 45 percent of the net growth in US households in 2005–2015.
  • The report finds that rent burdens are increasingly common among moderate-income households, especially in the nation’s 10 highest-cost housing markets, where three-quarters of renters earning $30,000–45,000 and half of those earning $45,000–75,000 paid at least 30 percent of their incomes for housing in 2014.
  • Federal assistance reaches only a quarter of those who qualify, leaving nearly 14 million
    households to find housing in the private market where low-cost units are increasingly scarce.
  • Low-income households with cost burdens face higher rates of housing instability, more often settle for poor-quality housing, and have to sacrifice other needs—including basic nutrition, health, and safety—to pay for their housing.
  • The report notes that a lack of a strong federal response to the affordability crisis has left state and local governments struggling to expand rental assistance and promote construction of affordable housing in areas with access to better educational and employment opportunities.

Read the full story here. This concise intro to Harvard’s article is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.

2015 California Housing Market Forecast

What’s predicted to happen in the real estate market this next year?

With more available homes on the market for sale, California’s housing market will see fewer investors and a return to traditional home buyers as home sales rise modestly and prices flatten out in 2015, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) “2015 California Housing Market Forecast.” Continue reading

Current Real Estate Market Statistics

“C.A.R. closely monitors and analyzes trends in the residential real estate industry; the table below contains the latest reported existing home sales series, median home prices, unsold inventory index, median time on market, first-time buyer housing affordability index, and the latest mortgage rates” (www.car.org). Click here for PDF version Here’s the most current Market @ A Glance stats from the California Association of Realtors:market at a glance

How to get help with your down payment

refinancing your home

“Did you know there are programs out there that can help homebuyers with their down payments?

Consumers in San Diego County and throughout California can see if they’re eligible for any of them through a new web tool that scours for public and private aid…

…The California Association of Realtors, a real estate trade group, this week introduced a new tool that aims to make that process easier.

To access the down-payment tool, visit mortgage.car.org

Read U~T San Diego’s article in full here: How to get help with your down payment”.

California home prices are at a 4-year high

Persistently declining for-sale home inventory helped push the median price of California homes up to its highest level in four years in August, according to a report by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Closed sales of existing single-family homes in the Golden State also saw gains, rising 2.3 percent on an annual basis in August to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 511,240 units. That’s a 3.4 percent decline from July, but the fifth straight month to see a year-over-year increase.

“A lack of inventory remains an issue, as the housing supply fell more than 30 percent from last year,” said LeFrancis Arnold, the Association’s president, in a statement.

“Inventory levels are at the lowest levels we’ve seen in seven years, and we are starting to see the supply shortage conditions having a negative impact on sales in the Central Valley and the Inland Empire, where REO (real estate owned) properties are in short supply.”

For-sale inventory fell to a supply of 3.2 months at the current sales pace in August, down from a revised 3.5 months in July and a revised 5.2 months in August 2011, C.A.R. said. A supply of six months is considered to be a “normal” market where buyer and seller demand is roughly equal. Last month, only homes selling for more than $1 million were in normal territory with a supply of 6.1 months. Homes under $300,000 had the lowest inventory, with a supply of 2.8 months.

home prices up in real estateIt took a median 41.1 days to sell a single-family home in August, down from 43.2 days in July and a revised 52.5 days a year ago.

The median price of an existing single-family home rose for the sixth straight month in August, up 15.5 percent year over year to $343,820. That’s a 3 percent increase from July, the largest annual price jump in more than two years, and the highest median since August 2008.

“The median price is gaining in part because of a shift in the mix of what is selling,” said CAR Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young in a statement. “The increasing share of sales in higher-priced coastal markets at the expense of the inventory-scare distressed markets has been the primary factor in fueling the statewide median price.”

Higher-priced markets with a “robust economy” are experiencing strong demand and posting double-digit year-over-year price increases, but sales were stagnant or declined in lower-priced markets that rely more on distressed properties, Appleton-Young said.

Sales of homes under $200,000 saw a 13.6 percent year-over-year decrease in August, while sales in every other price range rose. Homes above $500,000 saw the biggest jump, nearly 30 percent.

How to tell if a home will hold its resale value when buying

Six signs a home will hold its resale value

Most buyers have a wish list of features they’d like to have in a home. Often missing from that list is how salable the home will be when they later decide to sell.

Generally, buyers deal indirectly with resale value. They want a home they can buy at market value or less. They want to buy a home that will retain its value. They want to buy a home that will suit their needs. They want to buy a home they can make their own.

home hold its resale valueA listing that’s priced low to sell fast may be one that will have good resale value only if you use this marketing strategy. The low price may offset an incurable defect, such as a location on a busy street.

There’s nothing wrong with buying a home on a busy street as long as (1) you buy it at a price that reflects the location issue; (2) it suits your long-term needs; and (3) you understand that you will probably have to discount the price accordingly when you sell, depending on the market at the time.

In a hot seller’s market, buyers are desperate to buy. They often overpay, and they are more likely to overlook defects that they would shun in a sour market.

Resale value has become a bigger issue since the housing recession began five years ago. Buyers are more cautious in their home-buying decisions. They don’t want to buy just any home; they don’t want to make a mistake and end up wanting to move in a slow market in which they might lose money.

The homes that hold their resale value well are the ones that appeal to a broad cross section of buyers; offer a good floor plan that works for different lifestyles; have a good amount of space but are not enormous and expensive to maintain; and exhibit a pride of ownership. They should also be in good condition.

Location is also a critical element of resale value. There are market niches that are always in demand, in both hot and soft markets. For example houses in neighborhoods with close proximity to shops, cafés and public transportation systems.

That’s not to say that every listing in these neighborhoods sell quickly. To sell, it needs to be priced right for the market.

It’s easier to recognize a home with good resale value in the current market than it was in the bubble market of 2005 and 2006 when virtually all homes sold in many areas. In a soft market, the homes that sell within 30 to 60 days are either good homes or good deals.

Ideally, you want to buy a home that has good resale value. Not one that’s just a good deal. There’s no urgency to buy now in many areas, although it would be nice to take advantage of record-low interest rates. But you shouldn’t buy a home that won’t work for you long term just to lock in a great interest rate.

Even though there are a lot of homes for sale on the market, in many areas there is a not a surplus of quality inventory on the market. One reason for the lack of quality homes on the market is that many sellers are waiting for a better time to sell. Another reason is that homes with good resale value don’t tend to change hands that often.

THE CLOSING: There may be good news ahead. Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, predicts that sellers who have been waiting for a better time to sell may decide they’ve waited long enough and list their homes for sale in 2012.

Dian Hymer is a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience and is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author.

Latest Real Estate Market Information

Latest Market @ A Glance
C.A.R. closely monitors and analyzes trends in the residential real estate industry. The table below contains the latest reported existing home sales series, median home prices, unsold inventory index, median time on market, first-time buyer housing affordability index, and the latest mortgage rates.

CAR | Real estate market at a glance

This information is from the California Association of Realtors, available here: Latest Market @ A Glance