Year-over year US home prices up sharply in November

U.S.  home prices in November extended their steady recovery from the housing bust,  rising 7.4 percent compared with a year ago. It was the biggest year-over-year  increase in 6½ years.

CoreLogic,  a private data provider, said Tuesday that prices also rose 0.3 percent in  November from October. The month-to-month figures are not seasonally adjusted.  CoreLogic compiles its indexes by tracking sales of the same homes over time,  using data on sales in all 50 states.

The  gains in home prices have been widespread across most of the country. And  CoreLogic forecasts that prices will increase 6 percent this year.

Prices  in November were higher than in November 2011 in all but six states. And only 13  of 100 large cities that CoreLogic studies reported year-over-year price  declines. That was down from 20 cities in October.

The  sharpest increases were in Arizona, Nevada and Idaho. North Dakota and  California rounded out the top five.

Steady  price increases are helping fuel the housing recovery. They’re encouraging some  people to sell homes and enticing would-be buyers to purchase homes before they  get more expensive. Rising prices also reduce the number of homeowners who owe  more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

“All  signals currently point to a progressive stabilization of the housing market and  the positive trend in home price appreciation to continue into 2013,” said Anand  Nallathambi, CEO of CoreLogic.

Despite  the gains, home prices nationwide are still nearly 27 percent lower than in  April 2006, when prices peaked during the housing bubble.

Some  of the biggest gains have been in states that were hurt the worst. Prices in one  of them, Arizona, have jumped nearly 21 percent in the past year, the most of  any state. But prices in that state are still nearly 40 percent below  their peak.

And  prices in Nevada have risen 14.2 percent in the past year but remain 53 percent  below peak levels.

The  states where prices continue to fall include Delaware, where they are 4.9  percent below a year ago, and Illinois, down 2.2 percent. Connecticut, New  Jersey, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania are also reporting declines.

Prices  rose 24 percent in Phoenix in the past 12 months, the most of any large metro  area. Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. was next with a 9.7 percent rise. It was  followed by Los Angeles, where prices rose 8.4 percent.

Source: Sfgate.com

Why are families flocking to Sherman Oaks, CA?

As a Realtor in Los Angeles and also a native of the city, I know how expensive and even out of reach buying a proper family house can be in Los Angeles.   By proper family house – I mean 3 -4 bedrooms, good living spaces, a nice sized yard, and a kitchen with that large island all the kids can gather around – most moms dream of this and I can understand why! Unfortunately hard working parents all over this city are finding themselves unable to afford that dream because the LA market, even in this recession, is incredibly expensive when compared to the rest of the Country.  In Dallas…you can have a 5 bedroom house for $450,000, in the suburbs of Minnesota you can own a 4 bedroom house on a lake with a huge yard for $350,000…it just seems like the American Dream is so much more realistic everywhere but Los Angeles.  This brings us to Sherman Oaks, a beautiful part of Los Angeles that offers good public schools, easy access to freeways and canyons, as well as great parks, shopping, and entertainment.  As a Realtor who works with many families and often times families who are relocating or expanding – I believe Sherman Oaks is a great place to invest! In the $850,000 range you can get over 2,500 square feet,  at least 3 bedrooms, that great big grassy yard, and large kitchen you’ve been dreaming of.  Ventura Boulevard is now filled with tons of trendy coffee shops, restaurants, and stores for kids, clothing, art, and antiques.   It’s just plain simple – Sherman Oaks is upscale and accessible – but it’s also affordable! You get more for your money just over the hill and it’s a great place to raise your family! If you’re looking for a great family house in the area or looking to sell a property you currently own – please feel free to contact me at (310)402-8181 or jkryukova@gmail.com

 

http://www.juliekproperties.com

Written by: Julie Kryukova

Financing Game Changer to Affect All Buyers and Sellers!

If you’re a buyer or seller on the fence about making a move, October 1st could be a game changing date.

Starting October 1, 2011 “Conforming” (think Fannie and Freddie) and FHA loan limits are set to be lowered nationwide as the federal government looks to lessen its footprint in the business.  This means the current loan limit of $729,750 in Los Angeles that we’ve gotten used to in the past several years will be reduced to $625,000 this fall. So why does that matter to you? Since most buyers rely on the low rates, smaller down payment requirements and the easier underwriting guidelines offered by these government backed loans, the market is going to lose a tremendous amount of its purchasing power. When purchasing power decreases it puts downward pressure on sale prices. For sellers in certain price ranges this means less qualified buyers this fall. For buyers this will put many properties out of reach. For example:  With the conforming loan limit at the current $729k the average buyer with 20% down payment can buy a $910,000 house.  When the conforming loan limit decreases back to $625k, the average buyer with 20% down payment can only buy a $780,000 house using conforming financing. Today an FHA buyer with the minimum 3.5% down payment has the power to buy a $755,000 property. After October that max purchase price drops to $646,000. If you’re planning on buying or selling you may want to accelerate your timeline.   Of course there is and will continue to be financing far above these loan limits. However, these “non-conforming” or JUMBO loans may have higher interest rates, are more difficult to qualify for, require a larger down payment, and require more post closing cash reserves by the borrower.

It’s also important for you to know that this is not being backed by the government so in turn the Jumbo loan product varies significantly from one bank to the next and one lender to another. It is not “one size fits all” when it comes to jumbo loans. That’s why it is so important to have a mortgage consultant who is skilled in jumbo financing, not only understanding the different programs and guidelines but having access to all of those choices. Please don’t hesitate to call for any additional information on these upcoming changes or any property sales questions you may have.

9 Reasons To Buy A House Now

If you’re planning to buy a house right now, the next few months may be the best time to buy. Waiting for both housing prices and interest rates to fall may not be a good strategy for potential homebuyers since analysts don’t expect any significant declines in these two most important home-buying factors. Here’s nine real estate trends that suggest you should get into the housing market sooner than later.


1. Lowest Housing Prices in Years
Nobody knows when the housing market will hit bottom, but prices are at their lowest in several years and may soon start inching back up again. So buying now or in the near future may be the right time. An abundance of bargain-priced housing is now available because of foreclosures and falling prices.

2. Interest Rates at a 50-Year Low
Interest rates are near a 50-year low, according to housing analysts. By the second week of May, 2011, 30-year fixed mortgage rates had fallen to their lowest rates of the year at 4.63%. Although mortgage rates vary from day to day, the 30-year rate at this level is an attractive inducement to first-time buyers, or buyers who want to either move up to larger residences, or others, including many empty-nesters wanting to sell and move to smaller houses or condos.

3. Interest Rates Expected to Go Up
As the economic recovery gains momentum, interest rates are expected to increase, making mortgages more expensive. Even a half-percent increase in mortgage interest can add a hundred dollars or more to your monthly payments, depending on the amount of your loan.

4. Adjustable Rate Mortgages at Record Lows
Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) are also lower now, although there are risks that interest rates may increase over the life of the mortgage and the balloon payment due at the end of the mortgage life, usually three or five years, could be substantial. Nevertheless, for new buyers who are sure they’ll have enough income to meet payment obligations, an ARM may be the best way to buy a house. Keep in mind that payments may increase on a monthly basis. For a full explanation of advantages and risks in an ARM, visit the federalreserve.gov.

5. Low Down Payment Mortgages Available
Low-down-payment financing through Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages is available as an additional inducement to buy a house now. Down payment minimum requirements also fluctuate and may increase as the market heats up, so potential buyers with less cash to consummate a deal may be well-advised to buy now. 

6. Easy to Qualify, Easy to Borrow
Lending standards have become less rigid recently, so qualifying for a mortgage may be easier. Experts advise that a potential buyer become pre-approved for a loan by a lending institution – meaning that a lender guarantees to make the loan contingent on an appraisal of the property. But the good news in seeking pre-approval is that lenders are now willing to let a potential buyer take on more debt than the previous formula allowed – a percentage of monthly income. (For more on getting a cost effective mortgage, see Score A Cheap Mortgage.)

7. Lenders Offer No-Fee Mortgages
Many banks and other lending institutions are waiving mortgage loan generation and other fees and points (each point represents 1% of the loan amount), thereby reducing the cost of buying.

8. Home Builders Eager to Sell, Offer Incentives
Home builders, competing with the resale market, are offering incentives to potential buyers to reduce their inventory of unsold new homes. Incentives may include cash for furniture or free refrigerators, washers and dryers. In Seattle, for example, builders have offered opportunities to win iPads or Smart phones, and $3,000 buyer bonuses. Specific demographic groups, including military personnel, police, firefighters and health-care workers, have been targeted by builders for special offers. But virtually anyone who can qualify for a mortgage is likely to get a good deal from a homebuilder who is eager to sell.  

9. Motivated Home Owners Desperate to Sell
Desperate sellers of existing homes have also been offering attractive inducements to potential home buyers, including warranties on appliances, air conditioners and furnaces. Some sellers are even offering cash or have included furnishings, refrigerators, washers and dryers as a bonus to potential buyers. With so many existing homes in foreclosure or underwater – bargain prices are abound in this depressed market. (For help on buying a house, read Top Tips For First-Time Home Buyers.)

The Bottom Line
With a convergence of the factors above, all of which are favorable to the prospective home buyer, there may not be a better time to buy than right now. It’s a buyer’s market, but like everything else in life, the bargain deals won’t last.

Source: www.blog.forbes.com 

April 2011 Sales and Price Report

California home sales decline in April; median home price increases.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 499,830 units in April, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.  April home sales were down 2.9 percent from March but up 5 percent from the previous year.  The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2011 if sales maintained the April pace throughout the year.  It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

“An improving economy, coupled with the steady pace of distressed sales in the market and the typical seasonal pattern in the median home price, suggests the statewide median price has reached its low point for this year and is unlikely to hit the bottom reached in February 2009,” said C.A.R. President Beth L. Peerce.

The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California rose 2.5 percent in April to $293,570, up from a revised $286,510 in March.  April’s median price was down 4.4 percent from the $307,000 recorded in April 2010.

“While down from March, April’s sales level still was solid, posting the strongest year-over-year sales gain since August 2009,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young.  “At this point in the cycle, the market seems to be responding to the fundamentals of the housing market and economy, and sales are on track to match or slightly exceed last year’s figures.”

Highlights of C.A.R.’s resale housing report for April 2011:

  • The Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes was 5.4 months in April, down from 5.3 months in March, but up compared with April 2010’s 4.9-month supply. The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.
  • Thirty-year fixed-mortgage interest rates averaged 4.84 percent during April 2011, down from 5.10 percent in April 2010, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates averaged 3.20 percent in April 2011, compared with 4.16 percent in April 2010.
  • The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 53 days in April 2011, compared with 37.4 days for the same period a year ago
If you’re thinking about selling do it before the so-called “Double Dip” hits and if you want to buy…the time is now – incredible interest rates combined with great prices make for amazing opportunity to own!
Courtesy of the California Association of Realtors May 16,2011

Reasons to Buy a Home During the Holidays

1. There is less competition for homes by buyers because most people are busy with holiday shopping, cooking and celebrations.

2. Sellers who have their homes on the market during the holidays tend to be more motivated than springtime sellers so buyers can negotiate lower prices and better terms.

3. Interest rates are now at historic lows.

4. By the time mortgage interest tax deductions are calculated, it is usually less expensive to buy than rent, at the same time buying low to gain future appreciation.

5. Closing costs are tax deductible and closing by year end could lessen one’s tax burden.

6. Buyers can celebrate the holidays with family and friends in their new home.

7.  Holiday work hours give buyers more opportunity to search for homes and schedule moves.

Just Listed! 3455 Scadlock Ln. Sherman Oaks, CA 91403. Fantastic Sherman Oaks Hills House! Great Opportunity to Buy!

OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY 12/19/10 1-4PM!

Updated House in the Sherman Oaks Hills. Lovely home featuring a bright, open floor plan with tons of natural light. Floor to ceiling windows and skylights throughout. Updated Kitchen with granite counter tops, 3 newer bathrooms, 2 extra bedrooms are nicely sized, lots of closet and storage space. Master bedroom is quite large with room for sitting area, tons of closet space, great master bath, and unbelievable views!!! House has been vacant and needs a bit of TLC, but overall this is a great opportunity to buy in this desired neighborhood. Please call listing agent for details/showings. Great schools, close to shopping, entertainment, and restaurants, easy access to the City and The Valley. This is a short sale subject to lender approval.  Asking Price $699,000 – to be approved by lenders.