Monday, August 30, 2004

Home Builder Confidence in Market due to Lower Interest Rates

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that "Declining mortgage interest rates helped boost builders’ confidence in the market for new single-family homes this month."

To read the article, go here.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

The California Association of Realtors reports record home sale increases.

The California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reports that "The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California set a new record during the second quarter of 2004 rising 25.3 percent to $461,730."

Further, "Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California amounted to 635,580 for the second quarter of 2004 at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, a 10.4 percent increase from 575,910 in the second quarter of 2003."

The real estate market continues here in Southern California!

To read the article, go here.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Condo/Co-Op Sales Set Record in Second Quarter

The National Association of Realtors® reports that the "sales of existing condominium and cooperative sales set a record in the second quarter, marking the first time this market segment has ever approached the 1-million sales level".

This is in keeping with the real estate market in our area. Houses are so expensive that buyers turn to townhouses or condominiums to find something more affordable. The condo/townhouse market in our area is booming, with prices reaching new levels every month.

To read the entire article of the National Association of Realtors® , please go here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Mortgage loan applications decrease ... a trend?

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announced that for the week ending August 6, mortgage loan applications decreased slightly over the prior week and also decreased about 24% when compared to the same week last year.

Just one more indicator that the real estate market is cooling, in our opinion.

For more information, read here.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

California's Housing Affordability Index falls

The California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) announced that "The percentage of households in California able to afford a median-priced home stood at 18 percent in June, a 9 percentage-point decrease compared to the same period a year ago when the Index was at 27 percent, according to a report released today by the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). The June Housing Affordability Index (HAI) declined one point compared to May, when it stood at 19 points."

"C.A.R.’s monthly housing affordability index measures the percentage of households that can afford to purchase a median-priced home in California. C.A.R. also reports housing affordability indexes for regions and select counties within the state. The index is the most fundamental measure of housing well-being in the state."

To read more, go here.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Women dominate in real estate!

According to the National Association of Realtors®, "Women accounted for 61 percent of part-time and full-time real estate practitioners in 2003, up from 36 percent in 1978. What's more, the number of female practitioners surged from 21 percent to 52 percent over the same 25-year period."

In addition, "Most women practitioners say their listening and nurturing skills, as well as their multi-tasking abilities, help them excel in real estate. The excitement of helping to create homeowners is cited by most women as the main reason they love their real estate careers. Reasonable income, flexible hours that allow them to balance work and family, and the ability to work from home or in the field also make real estate a good career choice, according to many women practitioners."

To read the press release go here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Housing starts still strong in July

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that housing starts in July were still strong, signaling continued market confidence by home builders.

“Builders remain confident about the market and expect to maintain a healthy pace through the coming months as we strive to keep up with strong demand for single-family homes and condominiums” said Bobby Rayburn, president of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home and apartment builder from Jackson, Mississippi.

As far as statistics, the NAHB reports "For the month, single-family housing starts increased 8.5 percent to a pace of 1.651 million. This was a 7.5 percent increase over the July 2003 pace."

To read the entire article online, go here.


Monday, August 16, 2004

Lack of building supplies threatens housing market

The National Association of Home Builders conducted a survey that indicates "A shortage of cement and other key building materials looms as the biggest threat to the dynamic housing market that has produced record levels of new home construction in the U.S., according to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)."

This survey was completed in July indicates shortages in cement, bricks and insulation. Lumber supplies are adequate, but there is concern as to the fluctuating cost. Many blame the government for the shortages, with high duties.

To read the entire article, go here.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Should you pay off your mortgage?

The National Association of Realtors has an interesting article about paying off your mortgage. No doubt many people consider this option at one point or another. Certainly many of our clients tell us that they are making extra payments to help pay down the principal balance.


The National Association of Realtors reports that "...most financial planners recommend prepayment only if the borrowers cannot earn more by investing the extra money in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds."

You will want to verify with the lender that you have no prepayment penalty, and make sure that when you pay extra funds that the lender applies those funds to pay down the principal balance.

You should check with your financial planner, tax or other financial advisor before making a decision about paying off your mortgage. Every person's situation is different.

To read the entire article, go here.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

National Association of Realtors® reports on second quarter home sales

The National Association of Realtors® reports that homes sales reached "... the highest pace on record in the second quarter..." In addition, "Sales rose by double-digit rates in 34 states and the District of Columbia compared to the same quarter in 2003, and no state recorded a decline. Complete data for two states was not available."

"The NAR survey showed that nationwide, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of existing single-family, apartment condominium and co-operative home sales totaled 7.79 million units in the second quarter, up 16.0 percent from the 6.72 million-unit pace in the second quarter of 2003. The previous record was a sales rate of 7.36 million in the third quarter of 2003."

To read the complete article, go here.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Are interest rates going to rise?

The interest rate watch is on, as the Federal Reserve meets tomorrow. Market influences have been mixed ... the jobs report was not a positive note, yet auto sales were up in July. Many economists expect the interest rate will move upward at the end of the meeting on Tuesday.

What will happen? Let's see!

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Baby Boomers interested in adult communities

RISMedia reports that there is "...a nationwide trend of baby boomers (those who are now 40 to 58 years old) and older adults who are buying into active-adult communities even though many of them aren't ready to hang up their business suits for good."

Tired of paying for and maintaining their current residence, or desperate to escape from cold climates, these baby boomers are turning to the next phase of their real estate life! Many baby boomers have significant appreciation in their current residence, which they can turn into money to purchase a very nice home in an adult community. There are not "retirement" communities, but rather communities that afford an easier lifestyle (as far as maintaining the home) and an active lifestyle with a concentration of people in a similar situation.

To read the entire story, go here.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Mortgage Bankers Association reports on loan applications

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports for the week ending July 30, "The Market Composite Index of mortgage loan applications - a measure of mortgage loan applications - was 620.4, a decrease of 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from 621.4 one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased by 0.3 percent compared with last week and was down 35.6 percent compared with the same week one year earlier."

The full press release is here.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Mortgage Bankers Association reports mortgage apps up slightly

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports for the week ending July 23, mortgage loan applications increased 0.6% (on a seasonally adjusted basis)from one week earlier.
Refinances declined slightly during the same period.
For the complete press release, please go here.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

California Association of Realtors reports on June 2004 home prices

The CAR reports that the "Median price of a home in California increase(d) 25.3 percent in June to new record..." and that closed sales werea up 10.8% over June 2003.

According to CAR President Ann Pettijohn, "The real estate market in June experienced the confluence of what is traditionally the peak selling season and consumers' responses to a changing interest rate climate. As mortgage rates began to increase, consumers' expectations of even higher rates in the future pushed many off the fence and into the market."

To read the press release, go here.