Tag Archives: recovery

Freddie Mac economist makes ’13 housing predictions

Frank Nothaft, chief economist for mortgage giant Freddie Mac, is in San Diego this weekend for the American Economic Association annual meeting. He took some time Friday to talk to U-T San Diego about his national and regional predictions for housing in 2013. Here are some excerpts:

On housing activity: It began to turn around in 2012 and will continue to pick up in 2013. Housing starts nationwide were up 25 percent in 2012 from 2011. Home sales were up about 9 percent during that same time frame. Housing starts this year may rise an additional 20 percent to 25 percent and home sales may rise another 8 percent to 10 percent. Southern California also will see pickup in home prices and sales.

On mortgage rates: Mortgage rates are going to stay at a very low level, mainly due to the Federal Reserve’s decision to continue buying up large quantities of mortgage-backed securities. That pushes up the price of those securities, which reduces the yield and drives the very-low interest rates. The 30-year fixed conforming loan rate is expected to remain below 4 percent…

Read the rest of SignonSanDiego.com’s article here: “Freddie Mac economist makes ’13 housing predictions”.

Zillow: Home Values See Highest Monthly Increase Since 2006

Zillow issued a released Friday reporting that both national home values and rents rose in the month of April.

According to the April Zillow Real Estate Market Reports, national home values rose 0.7 percent in April to a Zillow Home Value Index of $147,300. This is the largest monthly increase in home values since January 2006, and it makes April the second month in a row in which home values climbed up.

Zillow also reported that rents rose from March to April, increasing by 1.6 percent, according to the Zillow Rent Index. Of the 178 markets covered by Zillow, 78 percent experienced a rise in rents.

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Phoenix metro areas saw the biggest increases in home values, rising 1.6 and 1.9 percent, respectively. Values continued to decrease in hard-hit markets like Atlanta, where home values fell 0.7 percent.

“The housing market continues to show positive signs, with home values increasing significantly in April,” said Dr. Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow. “The recovery is moving in the right direction, but we caution that negative equity will cast a long shadow over the housing market. With almost one-third of homeowners with mortgages underwater and unable to sell their homes, inventory is having a hard time keeping up with increasing demand in many areas. We’ll continue to watch this signal as increasing home values turn from a blip into a trend.”

Foreclosures also continued to decline in April, with 6.8 out of every 10,000 homes being foreclosed across the U.S. That figure was down from 8 out of every 10,000 in March.

Read the rest of this article by DSNews.com here: “Zillow: Home Values See Highest Monthly Increase Since 2006”.

Local pending home sales up 12.3%

Local pending home sales up 12.3%

San Diego nearly same as April,state up for 12th straight month

pending sales“San Diego County pending home sales rose 12.3 percent in April from year-ago levels as completed sales nationally increased nearly as much.

The chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun, interpreted the results as indicative of demand extending beyond the investor community looking for bargains in the still-depressed housing market.

“A return of normal home buying for occupancy is helping home sales across all price points, and now the recovery appears to be extending to home prices,” Yun said.

The San Diego Association of Realtors said there were 5,697 pending sales as of Tuesday, up slightly from 5,654 a month ago and up 12.3 percent from 5,075 a year ago…”

Read the rest of this article by the Union Tribune, San Diego here: “Local pending home sales up 12.3%“.

Is the San Diego real estate market heating up?

Is the spring homebuying season heating up?

Last month, San Diego County saw its highest home-sale count for a March month since 2006 as it entered another spring home-buying season, Tuesday’s numbers from DataQuick show.

A total of 3,237 homes were sold in March, up 19.5 percent from February and up nearly 6 percent from a year ago. Big percentage bumps are natural from February to March throughout Southern California, historical records show, but it appears this is the best March San Diego County has seen in six years, when a total of 4,367 homes were sold.

Improvement aside, sales are still far below from pre-recession levels. The current housing cycle’s peak was 6,926 transactions in June 2004.

“The year is young and lots could still change,” said DataQuick John Walsh in the company’s latest Southern California report. “But the results from the first big sales month of 2012 suggest the market is stuck in low gear. This remains a very gradual – not to mention fragile – recovery.”

Sales saw the most oomph in the markets of single-family resales and new properties, in which tallies increased almost 10 percent and 27 percent, respectively, from a year ago. However, both submarkets saw their values in March fall from a year ago. Prices for single-family resales dropped 4.2 percent to $350,000, and almost 26 percent to $392,000 in the new-home market…

Read the rest of this article by U~T San Diego’s Lily Leung here: “Is the spring homebuying season heating up?

 

More mortgage relief from the White House – but congressional ‘ok’ doubtful

Mortgage reliefAn summary update (by CAR.org) on the mortgage relief plan by the federal government, covering an article by The Mercury News:

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama laid out a plan to help responsible borrowers and support a housing market recovery. Details of that plan were released yesterday. However, funding for the proposed program must be approved by Congress, lowering the possibility that it will be implemented quickly. Making sense of the story:

  • Operated by the Federal Housing Administration, the plan would allow underwater homeowners to refinance into cheaper federally insured loans. Borrowers with good credit who are current on their loan payments are eligible.
  • The measure also streamlines the process of refinancing an underwater mortgage, eliminating the need for an appraisal or submitting a new tax return.
  • To qualify, borrowers must be current on their mortgage, have a minimum credit score of 580, and must be refinancing a loan on a single-family owner-occupied principal residence.
  • Lenders only need to confirm that the borrower is employed. Loans that are more than 140 percent of the home value probably would not qualify until banks wrote down part of the balance.
  • Congress must approve $5 billion to $10 billion in funding, leading housing experts to praise the plan’s objectives with skepticism of it passing this year.

Read the full story from The Mercury News here: “More mortgage relief from the White House – but congressional ‘ok’ doubtful.”

Is it a “Happy New Year” for the Housing Market?

Goodbye 2011 & Hello 2012! Is this a Happy New Year?

Is it goodbye to a bad year or hello to the same?  While the economy is still struggling, unemployment slightly better, and real estate showing signs of improvement only to retract its position, I believe the glass is still half full, with an asterisk.

What's in store for 2012's housing market?The holiday season began strong on Thanksgiving weekend, reports are that retailers numbers receded which led to heavy markdowns the week of Christmas. Final numbers are still to come, while job growth is modest, mostly in low-paying sectors like retail and hospitality. This past year also saw an increase in credit card spending for gifts as a result of higher gasoline, food prices, and general inflation.

With mortgage rates still at historic low rates, the housing industry is still struggling with values dropping, even though sales have shown signs of recovery. With more than one in every five borrower still owing more than their home is worth, many homeowners are too pressed to spend on much more than the essentials which leave us to the big question: WHAT SHOULD I DO?

With all predictions expecting more of the same this year as last, there is still and always will be optimism, but each homeowner out there who is still upside-down, either waiting for or in a modification, is so far upside down that they most likely will never recoup the past negative equity in the future.  They are at the same time struggling to make ends meet with just the essentials. Mortgage companies and investors are still holding the belt tight and are not reducing principle for most people waiting for  modifications or who have them–leaving homeowners to finally make that decision that enough is enough.

There are opportunities to purchase and leave your upside-down home, but you would need to act fast. Other opportunities are also available and action now will help you live a life more care-free and stress-free in a fast-paced, ever-uncertain economic time.

Call me now and let’s talk. My direct line of contact is 619-890-3648.

God Bless

9 Reasons to be Optimistic About Housing

housing marketThere’s a lot of negative information and news about the real estate market, but not to worry–there is a brighter side to housing! In fact, there are nine reasons to be optimistic!

There’s been a lot of positive signs for a housing (and broader economic recovery) coming out lately. Here are nine reasons we might be looking at a better 2012 than 2011 in the residential construction market:

  1. Unemployment dropped to its lowest point since 20092. Pending home sales up 10.3 percent in October
  2. Pending sales up 10.2 percent in October
  3. Housing affordability at record levels
  4. Consumer confidence up heading into year-end
  5. Existing home sales make surprising October jump
  6. Residential construction spending up 3.4 percent
  7. Construction industry adds most jobs since 2006
  8. Builder confidence at 18-month high
  9. Single-family starts increased in October

Read the article in full at HousingZone.com: “9 Reasons to be Optimistic About Housing“.

Existing-Home Sales Rise Unexpectedly in October

Sales of previously owned homes got an unexpected boost last month while the number of homes on the market continued to decline, according to data released Monday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The trade group recorded a 1.4 percent month-over-month increase in existing-home sales in October, pushing the annual rate of sales to 4.97 million. NAR’s latest reading is 13.5 percent above the 4.38 million-unit sales pace in October 2010.

Housing inventory fell 2.2 percent to 3.33 million existing homes available for sale as of the end of October, which represents an 8.0-month supply.

That’s down from an 8.3-month supply in September. NAR says the housing supply has been trending gradually down since setting a record of 4.58 million in July 2008.

Distressed homes – foreclosed REOs and short sales – slipped to 28 percent of October’s transactions, down from 30 percent in September. They were 34 percent in October 2010.

NAR says 17 percent of last month’s existing-home sales were foreclosures and 11 percent were short sales.

Market analysts were expecting up to a 3 percent drop in overall existing-home sales between September and October. Forecasts ranged between an annual rate of 4.76 million and 4.80 million.

According to NAR, October home sales should have risen higher than the 1.4 percent the trade group recorded.

According to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, contract failures reported by Realtors jumped to 33 percent in October from 18 percent in September. Only 8 percent of contracts fell through in October of last year.

“A higher rate of contract failures has held back a sales recovery,” Yun said. “Home sales have been stuck in a narrow range despite several improving factors that generally lead to higher home sales such as job creation, rising rents, and high affordability conditions. Many people who are attempting to buy homes are thwarted in the process.”

NAR’s report shows the national median existing-home price was $162,500 in October, which is 4.7 percent below October 2010.

“In some areas we’re hearing about shortages of foreclosure inventory in the lower price ranges with multiple bidding on the more desirable properties,” Yun said. “Realtors in such areas are calling for a faster process of getting foreclosure inventory into the market because they have ready buyers.”

Yun adds that extending credit to responsible investors would help to absorb distressed inventory at an even faster pace, which he says “would go a long way toward restoring market balance.”

NAR’s data indicates investors purchased 18 percent of homes in October, while first-time buyers accounted for 34 percent of transactions. All-cash sales made up 29 percent of last month’s purchases.

This article is by DSNews.com.