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FAST FACTS

Calif.median home price: August 2013:

•California: $441,330

•Calif. highest median home price by region/county August 2013: San Mateo, $980,000

•Calif. lowest median home price by region/county August 2013: Del Norte, $100,000

Calif. Pending Home Sales Index: August 2013: Decreased 5 percent from 114 in July to 108.3 in August

Calif. Traditional Housing Affordability Index: Second Quarter 2013: 36 percent (Source: C.A.R.)

Mortgage rates: Week ending 9/26/2013 (Source: Freddie Mac)

•30-yr. fixed: 4.32% fees/points: 0.7%

•15-yr. fixed: 3.37% fees/points: 0.7%

•1-yr. adjustable: 2.63% Fees/points: 0.4%

 

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one cool thing overlooked

Think Americans are hesitant to buy Real Estate? Think again! According to a recent survey by the moving company Mayflower, nearly half of American (47% percent) say they feel more comfortable purchasing a new home today than at any other time in the4 past five years! This is great news for not only the real estate market but encouraging news that the economy is thriving again and that the market has turned.

According to the data, nearly one in three respondents (32%) say they anticipate moving in the next year. Not surprisingly, nearly half of Americans reported putting off moving over the past four years. "Economic instability" and the "declining real estate market" were the most cited reasons. If you live in San Diego and were not aware, our real estate market made a turn last year and has not looked back. Prices have rose consistently with no sign of a declining market in sight as of August 2013.

Millennia's were the most likely group of respondents to consider moving, with 50% saying it was something they were considering in the next year. And, bucking the notion that Millennial are a generation of renters. Millennia's desire to rent versus own decreased more than any other generation. In fact, mature respondents ( 65+) had the biggest jump in likelihood to rent in the last five years.


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THE  WALL STREET JOURNAL just released their list of the TOP 250 agents in the COUNTRY and my Broker - BROKER KURT and our team ranked for both transactions and volume! Not only that but #1 in SAN DIEGO for transactions and #3 in the CA!

Check out the article here!!!   http://realtrends.com/best-real-estate-agents-america

 


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Hire someone like me to help you in your home search -with 10 years of experience for the best in service, expertise, knowledge and market experience in today's market. Position yourself with a true professional for one of the biggest financial decisions in your life - whether you're buying or selling I am here as a resource to help get you started. Check out this quick video!

http://bcove.me/qzlcgk8r

 

Southern California Home Sales Hit 7-year High

By Gregory J. Wilcox, Staff Writer 06/11/2013

 

Buyers poured a record $4.65 billion in cash into Southern California's housing market during May, driving the biggest price gain in nine years and putting sales at a seven-year high, a research firm said Tuesday.

Last month, cash down payments and home purchases jumped 19.5 percent from $3.89 billion the year before and increased 1.8 percent from $4.57 million in April, the prior record, said La Jolla-based DataQuick.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos in the six-county region increased 24.7 percent in May to $368,000 from $295,000 a year earlier and it was up 3.1 percent from $357,000 in April.

Last month's median was the highest for any month since May 2008, when it was $370,000, and the year-over-year increase was the largest since a 24.8 percent gain in October 2004.

"We're deep into uncharted territory: Amazingly low mortgage rates, a razor-thin inventory of homes for sale, and the release of years' worth of pent-up demand. Plus there's a seemingly endless stream of investors and non-investors who pay cash and thereby avoid the loan-qualification process. How this all plays out is educated guesswork at this point," John Walsh, DataQuick president, said in a statement.

"Understandably, speculation continues over whether another housing bubble is forming."

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Tiny Housing Bubble may be forming amid buying pressure - By Dan McSwain SD U~T

Is the San Diego housing market blowing another bubble?

It quite probably is, but it's still a great time to buy a home. In a market that is unusually prone to boom and bust, we are very early in the process, judging by market fundamentals.

Indeed, our latest bubble is minuscule compared to the global bank-wrecker that triggered the Great Recession. Yet it's still worth taking seriously. The questions now are how big it will get, when it will eventually pop, and what — if anything — you should do about it.

For families who dream of buying a home for the long run, bubble risk should be way down the list of considerations. Except for last year, now is the best time to buy since 1997. Mortgages are near historic lows, but risIng, while prices are climbing fast from their lowest levels in a decade.

Still, investors and speculators should be wary, and do plenty of homework. Buying a home is vastly easier than making money on a rental house or timing the market.

The best evidence for a nascent bubble in San Diego County is behavioral: Buyers are showing signs of growing impatience. As detailed in a slew of stories by Lily Leung, the U-T's housing reporter, homebuyers returning to market over the last two years have encountered tight inventories and stiff competition from investors.

Meanwhile, prices have rebounded strongly. The value of the overall market was 12 percent higher in March than a year earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which is the gold standard because it tracks recurring sales of the same homes.

Dataquick figures show the median rising a scorching 21.4 percent in April, with price inflation accelerating over the past year. The homes were flying off the shelves: In March, there were 3,762 sales and only about 4,200 active listings, yielding a sales velocity that's probably a record high.

Coupled with fears that mortgage rates will rise, this has buyers in a tizzy. In scenes reminiscent of pre-crash 2005, they are joining waiting lists for new construction, writing offers on the hoods of cars, and sending "love letters" to persuade sellers to pick them.

The sense of urgency is increasing along with prices. It's the classic sign of early bubble formation.

"In a normal market, higher prices mean that sellers sell less. But the market becomes pathological when higher prices cause more buying," said Ed Leamer, an economist at the UCLA Anderson Forecast who in 2002 warned of the last bubble. "People are starting to think, 'I've got to buy a house before it is too late.' That's a bubble."

Leamer hastens to add that he doesn't think California has entered true bubble territory — yet — based on market fundamentals.

Prices are still below their long-run trend. Mortgage payments haven't outstripped incomes. The cost of owning and renting are roughly comparable. So value inflation could continue for some time.

Although I admire Leamer's precision, there is no academic consensus on the definition of an asset bubble. And economists say nobody can reliably predict the timing of its demise.

Still, history suggests that we're already in a bubble, however momentarily modest. Robert Shiller, the Yale economist who foretold both the 2000 stock market crash and the recent global housing crash, has shown that housing markets are unusually prone to boom and bust cycles, using transaction data from Amsterdam, Norway and the U.S. housing markets from 1628-2005.

San Diego is more susceptible than other markets. Strict zoning, which is popular with the public and unlikely to ease, keeps land prices relatively high and delays new developments. This prevents builders from quickly responding to higher prices by adding new houses, a dynamic that moderates price volatility in much of the nation.

Combined with tight financing conditions for smaller builders, zoning restrictions have sent San Diego County's inventory of new construction plummeting – down 89 percent since 2006 to just 1,783 units in the first quarter, according to Russ Valone of MarketPointe Realty Advisors.

Certainly, construction will come roaring back if prices rise enough. In the meantime, zoning gives the housing market a built-in supply lag.

San Diego has produced three housing bubbles in four decades: 1976-1982, 1985-1989, and 1997-2006. The market rarely purrs along at the rate of general inflation.

That's not to say prices will keep rising at today's blistering pace. Increasing values will flush out more sellers, increasing the resale supply. A sharp rise in mortgage rates would clip affordability and dampen demand.

Yet Shiller argues that such fundamentals are surprisingly weak at explaining housing prices. "The market for homes is a very risky place," he says. Psychology is a major factor.

Leamer says that the next phase in a bubble is for banks to relax lending standards, as rising values build optimism that foreclosures won't cause big losses. My reading of Federal Reserve data suggests we are very early in this process: 10 percent of banks reported easing standards for "prime," or low-risk, loans in the first quarter, up from 5 percent in the previous quarter. And more buyers are seeking loans; the Mortgage Bankers Association's purchase index in May is about 10 percent higher than last year.

Meanwhile, the federal government, which dominates the mortgage market, continues to boost demand with loans requiring 5 percent or zero down payments.

We are a long way from the reckless lending that fueled the 1997-2006 mega-bubble, which burst and triggered a global financial panic. But those who say bankers have learned their lesson don't read history.

For homebuyers, the lesson is to avoid getting carried away. If you can cover the costs, save for retirement, and keep a prudent cash reserve for emergencies, then by all means buy a house.

If we are lucky, this bubble will be mild. The U.S. housing market last had a "soft landing" in 1947. One can always hope.