US home prices rose at solid pace in January

U.S. home prices rose in January after three months of declines as a tight supply of properties likely supported prices despite slower sales.

Real estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that prices rose 0.9 percent in January after dipping 0.1 percent in December. Over the past 12 months, home prices have risen 12 percent, the biggest year-over-year gain in more than eight years.

Such outsize price gains might not continue much longer, however. Paul Diggle, an economist at Capital Economics, notes that January’s price gains reflect conditions several months ago, when buyers first made offers. The supply of available homes was smaller than it is now, and it helped lift prices. The sales were completed in January.

Since then, more homes have come on the market while sales have slowed. That trend has modestly boosted the supply of homes and “points to a slowdown in price gains later this year,” Diggle said.

Diggle, like most other economists, foresees year-over-year price gains of below 10 percent in the coming months.

CoreLogic’s price figures aren’t adjusted for seasonal patterns, such as winter weather, which can depress sales. Snowstorms and low temperatures contributed to a sharp drop in sales of existing homes in January. The National Association of Realtors said sales plunged to their lowest level in 18 months.

The harsh winter weather has discouraged many Americans from house-hunting. And the average rate on a 30-year mortgage is about a percentage point higher than it was last spring, which means buying costs have risen.

Those factors have weighed on the housing market. Economists think the housing recovery could pick up once the spring buying season begins, though likely at a slower pace than last year.

A measure of signed contracts was unchanged in February, a sign that sales won’t immediately recover from January’s sharp fall. Signed contracts usually lead to a finished sale in one to two months.

And builders broke ground on 16 percent fewer homes in January than in December, the government said last month. That was the second straight decline.

Other price gauges are falling. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index dipped in December, the latest period for which data are available, and its year-over-year gain slowed.

Nationwide, home prices are still 17 percent lower than at the peak of the housing bubble in April 2006, according to CoreLogic. Prices have set highs in three states: Louisiana, Nebraska and Texas. They are within 10 percent of their peaks in 19 additional states.

The five states with the biggest price gains in January, compared with a year earlier, were Nevada, where prices rose 22.2 percent; California, 20.3 percent; Oregon, 14.3 percent; Michigan, 13.7 percent; and Georgia, 13.4 percent. Mississippi was the only state to report a price decline.

If you’re looking for residential or commercial real estate assistance please contact me direct at (310)402-8181 or jkryukova@gmail.com.

source: SF Gate

New rules for jumbo loans, qualified residential mortgages could make homebuying more costly in 2014

On Jan. 1, 2014, a new provision in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act goes into effect. The “qualified residential mortgage,” or QRM, may have far-reaching effects that will lessen the number of people who ultimately can obtain home loans.

Most agents and brokers have no idea what QRM is or how it will impact their businesses. Briefly, QRM was designed to set the bar for residential mortgages and to minimize the risk that borrowers may default. It requires that debt ratios be limited to 43 percent and loan fees limited to 3 percent, and interest-only loans and negative amortization are not allowed in most cases.

The Dodd-Frank bill also requires the lender to retain 5 percent of any mortgages they make. In other words, if they make a $100,000 loan they must retain $5,000 to secure the loan. QRM loans are exempt from the risk retention rules. This means that the lender can sell the loan on the secondary market without having to retain the 5 percent. The effect of these provisions is already being felt in the lending industry. Citibank has restricted its lending to those areas where it has a banking presence. Compliance departments have tripled in size at many large lenders. Community banks and credit unions are being choked by the regulations and often lack the resources to meet the new compliance requirements.

“Community banks and credit unions have historically had a much lower default rate as compared with other lenders. The reason is that they know their customers,” said Mark Bigelow, national sales manager at Towne Mortgage Co. and AmeriCU Mortgage. “Community bank loans have often been based on a handshake. In terms of credit union loans, people feel they are hurting themselves and other members if they default.”

Bigelow went on to explain what makes the Jan. 1, 2014, provisions so difficult for lenders: “In the past, loans have been turned down primarily due to credit issues. For the first time in history, lending decisions may be made based upon compliance issues rather than just credit issues.” Here’s why: Imagine that you made a mistake on a purchase agreement. The buyer and seller want to change the agreement to correct the mistake, except the law prohibits you from doing so.

If a lender makes a mistake with any part of the compliance, here’s what happens:

1. The lender now has to pay all of the borrower’s closing costs.

2. Even if the mortgage agent made the mistake, the mortgage agent must still be paid.

3. The lender cannot deduct any costs or losses resulting from the mistake.

4. The lender still has to close the loan.

 

These provisions will be particularly difficult for online mortgage sites such as LendingTree, Quicken and Zillow. In addition to the issues cited above, jumbo loans currently fall outside the QRM provisions. This creates tremendous uncertainty as to what will be required of lenders who want to sell jumbo loans on the secondary market. The result will most likely be that be even fewer jumbo loans will be available.

What this means for agents, brokers and their clients:

1. There will be fewer loan choices as community banks and credit unions are squeezed out of the market making it even harder for many borrowers to qualify.

2. The loan process will also probably take longer due to the increased compliance.

3. It will probably be much more difficult and costly to obtain a loan in the future.

 

Lenders generally want to issue loans that meet QRM criteria. It gives them an exception to a rule they find troubling. It allows them to sell a higher percentage of their mortgages into the secondary market, thereby reducing their long-term risks. As a result, the majority of lenders will impose these guidelines upon their customers. These rules will essentially set the bar for mortgage lending standards in the U.S. Borrowers who fail to meet these criteria will have a harder time finding a loan compared to borrowers who do meet the criteria. They might end up paying a higher interest rate as well. Lenders claim that risk retention increases their operating costs, so they will likely charge more for loans that are subject to risk retention. Financial analysts from J.P. Morgan Securities have estimated that borrowers might pay up to three percentage points more for loans that are subject to risk retention (i.e., loans that don’t meet the definition of a qualified residential mortgage). So here’s the bottom line: Encourage anyone who is on the fence about selling or buying to do so before the end of the year. Otherwise, they may be caught up in maelstrom of new regulations that can sink their sale and that might also sink the real estate recovery.

Source: Inman News

 

Report: Home Prices Poised for Growth in 2013

In stark contrast to this time last year, the housing market is chugging into 2013 with a head of steam.

Home-listing prices were up 5.1% nationally in December on a year-over-year basis, according to data released Thursday by real-estate listings and data company Trulia. Out of the 100 major metro markets covered by the report, 82 of them saw year-over-year gains. At the end of 2011, asking prices had fallen 4.3%, and only 12 markets had posted positive price changes.

“Prices are going into 2013 with strong tailwinds,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist for Trulia. He cites a general strengthening of the job market, which in turn means more families able to cover a sizeable down payment. An increase in household formation, which is also the product of improving job prospects, and home construction could further bolster demand.

Mr. Kolko notes that the sharpest tightening of inventory is taking place in Western states. Four of the top 10 cities to see the largest asking price recovery were in California, including Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento and Fresno.

Las Vegas, which was hit hard after the bubble burst, came in at the top of the list with a 16.3% year-over-year listing price increase. In the same period in 2011, prices dropped 11.2%.

To be sure, even among the markets with major gains, some are better positioned for a sustained housing recovery than others.

While Las Vegas may have seen the largest asking price turnaround, it remains far below pre-bust levels. The problem, Mr. Kolko says, is that the market remains unstable, with high vacancy rates, lingering foreclosures and subpar job growth.

On the other hand, metros like Seattle, which came in second on the list of cities with the highest asking-price recovery, are on a smoother path to growth because of their strong economic fundamentals, he said.

Meanwhile, rents rose nationally 5.2% in the same period. In 17 of the 25 biggest rental markets, home prices are rising faster than rents, according to Trulia. Whereas ownership was typically more affordable than renting in most markets in recent years, as sales demand rises, that edge is becoming less apparent, Mr. Kolko said.

Home prices show biggest jump in 6 years in October!

Home prices increased 6.3% in October from a year earlier, the biggest year-over-year gain since 2006, according to Irvine research firm CoreLogic.

Prices dipped 0.2% in October from September, but such a drop was expected at the end of the home-selling season, the firm said Tuesday.

October marked the eighth straight month of year-over-year prices increases and added to recent evidence of growing strength in the housing market. CoreLogic reported Monday that foreclosures were down 17%
in October from a year earlier.

“The housing recovery that started earlier in 2012 continues to gain momentum,” said Mark Fleming, CoreLogic’s
chief economist. “The recovery is geographically broad-based with almost all markets experiencing some appreciation.”

Home prices increased 21.3% in Arizona, the most of any state. California saw a 9% increase. Prices increased
from October 2011 in all but five states — Alabama, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

The Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale area in Arizona had the largest year-over-year price increase of any metro area, at 24.5%. The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metro area was second at 7.3%. And the Los Angeles area was fourth at 6.4%.

Excluding foreclosures and other distressed sales, home prices nationally increased 5.8% in October from a year
earlier. Those prices were up 0.5% from September, the eighth straight monthly gain.

 

Source: LA Times

7135 Pacific View Dr. Hollywood Hills, CA 90068 Open Sunday 2-4pm

Asking Price: $719,000

2bed/2bath

Stylish Hollywood Hills mid-century modern with dramatic city light views. Move-in ready with an open floor plan, fireplace, beamed ceilings, wood floors and a generous balcony that is great for entertaining. The kitchen’s design features stainless steel appliances, retro metal cabinetry, and built-in dining table. Master bedroom includes built-in cabinetry for extra storage, large closet and newly remodeled master bathroom. Attached garage is currently used as additional bonus space with office area, family room area and laundry area, which also features a frosted glass and stainless-steel break-away roll-up door. A side yard area provides private outdoor space for kids/pets, and an above-ground spa provides a place for adults to relax. This home is a true Hollywood Hills pad, but is conveniently located on a flat street with plenty of parking and walking distance to Runyon Canyon.

Open Sunday September 16, 2012 2-4pm.

Please contact Julie Kryukova at (310)402-8181 or jkryukova@gmail.com for more information, showings, and other properties in the Hollywood Hills & Surrounding Areas.

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