Tag Archives: finance

Improved Affordability in California

Compared to this time last year, homes are slightly more affordable in California

  • The median price for a single-family home in California in 2016’s Q3 was $515,940.
  • 31% of households could afford to purchase a median-priced home — compared to 29% of households a year ago.
  • Least-affordable counties include: San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin.
  • Most-affordable counties include: San Bernardino, Kings, and Kern.

CAR improved real estate affordability in California

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

Money Monday: Time to Refinance Your Mortgage?

Time to Think About Refinancing Your Mortgage?

Source: NY Times

refinancing your homeDue to shifts in global bond markets, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.49 percent Monday, which is down from 4.2 percent a year ago and 3.9 percent at the start of 2016. As a result, now may a good time to check the rate on your home mortgage, because borrowers could save money by refinancing. For that, American homeowners can thank British voters, central banks in Europe and Japan, and a global economy that just can’t get out of first gear. Furthermore, mortgage rates could fall further in the weeks ahead as banks start to pass more of the savings from low rates in the bond market through to customers.

Read the full story here.

Money Monday: Investor shift

Investors are changing their real estate investments.

It used to be that investors focused their attention a lot in the single-family and multifamily properties; but now their switching investments to other types:

  • 10% purchased more commercial, land, mobile homes or other properties
  • 70% of investors in 2016 instead of the 78% in 2013 bought single-family homes

TheInvestorShift

This infographic is from CAR.org.

Money Monday: Mortgages are still getting cheaper

Mortgage rates are dropping.

“In December, when the Federal Reserve raised rates for the first time in nearly a decade, many would-be homebuyers assumed it meant the beginning of the end for record-low mortgage rates.

mortgage rates and property taxes

“‘This is evidence that the Federal Reserve isn’t the sole determinant of U.S. mortgage rates,’ said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.

“The 30-year mortgage rate fell to 3.79%, the fourth straight week of declines, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago, the rate averaged 3.66%.

“The rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage also dropped to 3.07%…

“…But tight inventory has helped push home prices higher, creating an affordability problem in many markets throughout the country.

“In response to the lower rates, mortgage applications ticked up 8.8% last week.”

Read the rest of CNN’s article here: money.cnn.com/2016/01/28/real_estate/mortgage-rates-fall

 

Money Monday: Top 10 tips for mortgage borrowers in 2016

Interest rates on mortgages hovered around 4% throughout 2015 but are expected to reach 4.5% by the end of 2016, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Bunch of kets in front of pile of cents

If you’re planning on capitalizing on these still-low interest rates by becoming a homeowner this year, consider these tips:

1. Improve your credit

2. Save up for a down payment

3. Get a mortgage preapproval

4. Look around for a lender

5. Consider loan types

6. Pick the home and location based on your lifestyle

7. Budget for all the other homeowner expenses

8. Ask for help from a professional (Call me if you don’t have a Realtor!)

9. Remember to have enough for closing costs

10. Save!

Read the full article and all of its advice on the Yahoo! finance site: finance.yahoo.com/news/top-10-tips-mortgage-borrowers-100000055

Real Estate Purchases in 2015

In 2015, the majority of home buyers financed their real estate purchase.

In 2015, 86% of home buyers used financing (first-time buyers were more likely to utilize financing) to purchase their homes, but there were also high numbers of all-cash buyers.

CallingAllFirstTimeBuyersThis infographic is from CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, at CAR.org.

6 Tips for Choosing the Best Offer for Your Home

Have a plan for reviewing purchase offers so you don’t let the best slip through your fingers.

All-cash offers in today's real estate market

You’ve worked hard to get your home ready for sale and to price it properly. With any luck, offers will come quickly. You’ll need to review each carefully to determine its strengths and drawbacks and pick one to accept. Here’s a plan for evaluating offers.

1. Understand the process.
All offers are negotiable, as your agent will tell you. When you receive an offer, you can accept it, reject it, or respond by asking that terms be modified, which is called making a counteroffer. Continue reading

Cash is king in today’s housing market

In these financially uncertain times in the housing market, all-cash sales are attractive offers to homesellers, but come with a condition–they usually must settle for less. In a typical housing market, if your home receives multiple offers (from prospective cash-carrying and/or those pre-approved for a loan), you will accept the highest bid.  But in this current market, mortgages can be hard to come by, and sellers often will take less in order to have the deal go through. 

The outcome: lowering prices despite fewer listings and rising demand.  According to the Star Tribune’s article below, the increased amount of cash offers is offsetting other postive trends that, if there weren’t these cash offers, should lead to higher prices.

All-cash offers in today's real estate marketThis all-cash trend is especially prevalent in distressed sales, where investors are the main buyers, and who typically deal with cash as it is. Short sales and foreclosures accounted for 42% of active listings last month, on average in metro areas. Read more about what the Star Tribune has to say on this topic in their article below:

In today’s topsy-turvy housing market, cash rules

Financing uncertainties make those cash offers alluring, but sellers often must settle for less money to guarantee a deal.

When Chris and Diane Finney decided to buy a bank-owned condo in St. Paul, they knew there would be competition.

Their strategy? Offer less — but offer cash.

While others said they would pay more, they needed to finance the deal. The bank took less and took the cash.

“We were in the driver’s seat,” Chris Finney said.

In a normal housing market, multiple bids usually lead to higher home prices, and the highest bid wins. But when credit markets are tighter and appraisals are often lower, many sellers will take less to be sure that the deal will get done.

“If I get five offers on a property and the cash offer is darned close to being one of those top offers, I’d take the cash offer any day,” said Marshall Saunders, owner/broker at Re/Max Results.

In December, 33 percent of all U.S. home sales were cash deals — a record since the downturn started in 2006, according to Campbell Survey and Inside Mortgage Finance. As a result, home prices can’t gain much traction because many sellers won’t necessarily accept the highest offer.

For most home buyers, it’s confounding to be rejected because they are financing the deal. For the housing market, it means more downward pressure on prices despite tight supplies and rising demand.

“It’s a real sign of what’s going on,” said Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. “All things being equal, cash wins.”

The volume of cash deals is offsetting other positive trends in the market that should be leading to higher prices. The number of houses on the market has fallen to an eight-year low, and sales are up double digits. At the same time, home prices continue to fall.

At least a third of all homes sales last year involved an investor, Cecala said, and they often pay cash…

Read more of this article from the Star Tribune: “In today’s topsy-turvy housing market, cash rules.”