Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Myrtle Beach real estate

Keeping you informed on real estate around the country we find that areas are offering prices that are lower than in recent years.

Check it out here
Fed Cuts Interest Rate ... again!

The Federal Reserve has reacted to pressure on the economy by lowering "... its target for the federal funds rate 25 basis points to 4-1/2 percent."

To read more: Federal Reserve Press Release

Monday, October 29, 2007

Interest Rates Down

Bankrate.com reports that for the week ending October 24th "The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 18 basis points to 6.31 percent ... One year ago, the mortgage index was 6.46 percent; four weeks ago, it was 6.49 percent."

To read more: Bankrate.com

Thursday, October 25, 2007

California Home Sales Down

To follow up on our report on home sales nationwide, we now have the numbers for home sales in California. The California Association of Realtors has released the numbers for September, reporting that year-over-year, "Home sales decreased 38.9 percent ...Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 271,590 in September at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate ... Statewide home resale activity decreased 38.9 percent from the 444,780 sales pace recorded in September 2006."

Median home prices also declined "The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during September 2007 was $530,830, a 4.7 percent decrease over the revised $557,150 median for September 2006, C.A.R. reported. The September 2007 median price fell 9.9 percent compared with August’s $588,970 median price."

To read more: California Association of Realtors

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Home Sales Down

The National Association of Realtors reports that existing home sales fell in September, and inventory of homes for sale rose .4% in September.

While sales numbers were down, take a look at September median prices:
Single family homes - median price $210,200, down 4.9% over last year's price
Condo sales - median price $221,700, up 1.4% over last year's price
All housing types - median price $211,700, down 4.2% over last year's price

For more information: National Association of Realtors

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Campaign for Affordable Housing Survey

The Campaign for Affordable Housing (check out their website here) a "nonprofit and nonpolitical organization" has an online survey about "affordable housing public awareness campaigns". Help by completing the survey here

Sunday, October 21, 2007

National Radon Action Week - October 21-27

This is National Radon Action Week. It is held during the second week of October.

To learn more: National Radon Action Week

Friday, October 19, 2007

Nearly half of realtors business from internet

Thre California Association of Realtors® (C.A.R.) "2007 Use of Technology Survey" found that "nearly half -- 44 percent -- of their business originates from Internet". Compare this to 2003, when the statistic was 10%.

To read more: 2007 realtor technology survey

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Home Construction Down in September

New home construction fell 10.2% in September according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The new housing starts were down 30.8% over September 2006 numbers. This represents the lowest number in 14 years.

On the positive side, with less new construction, hence less competition, home sellers will benefit.

To read more: Housing Starts September 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

House Passes Mortgage Relief Act

The House of Representatives has passed the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007. This bill would "... remove taxes from mortgage cancellation relief provided on a mortgage on a primary residence. The tax relief would apply to the original purchase price, plus personal improvements of a primary residence and would not cover any amount over the original purchase price if a loan has been refinanced with a “cash out” option. The relief would also only apply to first mortgages, not second mortgages or home equity lines of credit. The relief would apply to any forgiveness given on or after January 1, 2007."

To read more: 2007 Mortgage Relief Act

Monday, October 15, 2007

2008 Forecast for National Real Estate Market

To follow our recent post about the 2008 forecast for California housing, we now present the 2008 housing market forecast from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). The NAR states "Conditions in the mortgage market are improving for consumers, which should help to release some pent-up demand in early 2008 ..." saying further "...it’s important to place the current housing market in perspective, and that 2007 will be the fifth highest year on record for existing-home sales".

To read more: 2008 National Association of Realtors housing forecast

Saturday, October 13, 2007

2008 Forecast for California Housing Market

The California Association of Realtors® has released their forecast for the 2008 housing market in California. What are they saying? "Home prices throughout most of California will post modest declines next year while sales of existing homes will stabilize from the precipitous decrease experienced in 2007 ... The median home price in California will decline 4 percent to $553,000 in 2008 compared with a projected median of $576,000 this year, while sales for 2008 are projected to decrease 9 percent to 334,500 units, compared with 367,500 units (projected) in 2007."

To read more: 2008 CAR Housing Forecast

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mortgage Rates Down

Bankrate.com reports for the week ending October 10, "The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 7 basis points to 6.42 percent ... One year ago, the mortgage index was 6.31 percent; four weeks ago, it was 6.5 percent."

To read more: Bankrate.com

Friday, October 05, 2007

Department of Energy - Change a Light, Change the World

The U.S. Department of Energy has launched it's "2007 Change a Light, Change the World campaign" wherein it encourages "... every American to change at least one light at home to an ENERGY STAR® Compact Fluorescent Light bulb (CFL). These bulbs are estimated to use 75 percent less energy than standard bulbs and last up to ten times longer, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions and substantial energy savings. This national call to action encourages all Americans to help change the world, one light — one energy-saving step — at a time."

You can make a difference ... one bulb at a time!

To read more: Change A Light, Change the World

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Watching the rental market

With home sales in a downward trend, look for rentals to become more competitive. Fewer people in the home buying market - yet people still needing a place to call home - are factors pointing to a changing rental market.

Rental properties may experience a stronger demand.

Keep this in mind if you are now, or are planning to be in the future, a tenant.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Existing home sales fall in August

Continuing the trend ... the National Association of Realtors® reports that "The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, fell 6.5 percent to a reading of 85.5 from an upwardly revised 91.4 in July, based on contracts signed in August. It was 21.5 percent below the August 2006 index of 108.9."

Citing mortgage loan issues, the online article gives the regional statistics:
"The PHSI in the West was down 2.7 percent in August to 80.3 and was 27.1 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest, the index fell 2.9 percent from July to 78.1 and is 18.0 percent lower than August 2006. The index in the Northeast fell 8.3 percent in August to 77.3 and was 18.3 percent below a year ago. In the South, the index dropped 9.5 percent in August to 97.8 and was 21.3 percent below August 2006."

To read more: August existing home sales

Monday, October 01, 2007

Realtor look-up

Looking for a realtor in California? The California Association of Realtors has a "look-up" feature here: find a realtor

Wondering about the license status of your California realtor? The Department of Real Estate has a "look-up" feature here: Department of Real Estate license look-up