Sunday, February 27, 2005

What's the price in your neighborhood?

A good reference site to use is Look on the left side of the homepage at the zip code charts. Many of our buyers find this information very helpful to learn more about the prices of homes and condos. Covering a vast area, this website has become a mainstay of the real estate market.

Friday, February 25, 2005

What's going on in our market?

We're constantly asked, as you would imagine. Right now, from our perspective, the inventory is still low. Perhaps sellers are recovering from the recent record-breaking rains. We are getting many calls from homeowners who need tradesmen to perform repair work from the rain. Water intrusion, leaking roofs, etc.

We still expect this spring to be a very active real estate market here in Southern California. With interest rates remaining low, buyers are waiting for that perfect property to come on the market!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

National Association of Realtors® (N.A.R.) reports record home price gain

N.A.R. reports that "A record number of metropolitan areas showed double-digit annual price appreciation in median existing-home prices in the fourth quarter, and the overall pace of annual price growth accelerated from the third quarter".

In addition, "The association's fourth-quarter metro area home price report, covering 129 metropolitan statistical areas, shows 62 areas with double-digit annual increases in median existing-home prices and only four areas posting modest price declines. The previous record was 49 metros showing double-digit price appreciation in the second quarter of 2004."

Attributing the increases to the economic law of supply and demand, N.A.R. also reports that the west was the strongest area during the fourth quarter.

To read the online article, go here.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Just returning from an exciting business convention!

We just returned from the annual GMAC Business Conference, where we met with GMAC real estate agents, brokers and corporate employees. It was very interesting to meet and talk with people from around the world! Yes, there is real estate happening in Puerto Rico, as well as our neighbors to the north, Canada. It does remind you that there is a big real estate world out there!

We were also fortunate enough to be asked to lead two seminars. One was on personal marketing, and one was on team building. We enjoyed leading the seminars, and feel we got as much out of them from those attending, as those attending told us they got from us!

Thank you, also, to GMAC Real Estate for awarding us the BEST IN SHOW first place award for our real estate marketing campaign.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reports that the California housing affordability index remains steady at 19% in December 2004, the same as in November. It is four points lower than the same period in 2003.

What is this index? "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 about it, go here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The National Association of Realtors predicts strong home sales in 2005

The NAR is predicting the following for the 2005 housing market:

"Home sales will be down from the high-water marks set in 2004 but are expected see the second-best year on record in 2005, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

"Existing-home sales are forecast to decline 2.0 percent to a total of 6.54 million in 2005 from a record 6.68 million last year. New-home sales are projected at 1.11 million this year, down 6.2 percent from a record 1.18 million in 2004. Housing starts are seen at 1.92 million units this year, a decline of 1.8 percent from 1.95 million 2004, which was the highest level of housing construction since 1978."

We will have to revisit this at the close of the year and see how their prediction goes!

To read more, go here.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Condo sales break record!

According to the National Association of Realtors®, "Sales of existing condominiums and cooperatives hit their ninth consecutive annual record in 2004, while the pace of sales activity in the fourth quarter eased but remained the third highest quarter on record."

As for the actual numbers, "There were a total of 970,000 existing condo and co-op sales last year, up 8.0 percent from the previous record of 898,000 units in 2003."

And, what are the prices doing? "For all of 2004, the median existing condo price was $193,600, up 17.0 percent from a median of $164,100 in 2003. At the same time, the typical single-family resale home price rose 8.3 percent to $184,100."

To read the entire online article, go here.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Housing Bubblett?

The economics department of National City Corp provides an interesting view of the U.S. real estate market.

"A study of the top 99 U.S. real estate markets announced today by the economics department of National City Corp. finds housing "bubblettes" in one-fifth of the U.S. housing stock, labeled as areas with home premiums in excess of 20 percent, a metric that may indicate future price corrections."

To read more about this, go here.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports that loan applications are up!

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports that for the week ending February 4,
"the Market Composite Index - a measure of mortgage loan application volume - was 735.9, an increase of 4.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from 706.4 one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 7.5 percent compared with last week but was down 8.7 percent compared with the same week one year earlier. "

To read more, go here.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Million dollar home sales set record in California

"More million-dollar homes were sold in California last year than in the two previous years combined, according to DataQuick Information Systems, a real estate information service."

The number of homes that sold for over one million dollars in 2004 was up 73% over 2003. Wow!

To read more, go here.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Congress considering tax provisions that could affect real estate

Did you know that some of the revisions to the tax code that Congress is considering could affect you and your real estate? Possible areas of consideration include interest on home equity loans, exclusion for short-term vacation home rental and charitable contributions involving real estate.

To read more, go here.

Friday, February 04, 2005

National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports on new home sales for 2004

The NAHB reports that 2004 saw record numbers of new home sales, setting the forth consecutive year that such sales set a new record.

"Total new single-family home sales for the year reached 1.183 million, an 8.9 percent increase from the previous annual record of 1.086 million set in 2003."

As far as prices are concerned, the NAHB reports that "The median sales price of new single-family homes increased 12.2 percent to $218,000 for the year, up from $195,000 in 2003."

To read the article, go here.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Feds raise interest rates

As widely expected, the Feds raised "its target for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 2-1/2 percent...The federal funds target rate is the interest rate charged by banks when they borrow funds "overnight" from each other.

This is the sixth straight increase since June. We will watch for any effect this has on mortgage rates in the coming weeks.

To read the press release, go here.