Thursday, February 28, 2008

2007 California Home Sales

The California Association of Realtors® has released their 2007 survey of California home sales indicating that "Home sales decreased 26 percent in California in 2007 compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home increased 0.3 percent".

To read more: CAR 2007 home sales report

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Housing Crunch

Did you see the headline article on msn.com? Check it out:
The Housing Crunch

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mortgage rates UP!

For the week ending February 20, Bankrate.com reports that "The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose 41 basis points, to 6.37 percent ... One year ago, the mortgage index was 6.29 percent; four weeks ago, it was 5.57 percent. The 30-year fixed hasn't been this high since the middle of October, when it was near 6.5 percent."

To read more: Bankrate.com mortgage analysis

Friday, February 22, 2008

IRS Changes Rules on Personal Residence Debt Relief

If you lost your home due to foreclosure or had during 2007, there are new IRS rules that may apply.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), "The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence. Debt reduced through mortgage restructuring, as well as mortgage debt forgiven in connection with a foreclosure, qualify for this relief."

Further, the IRS explains "This provision applies to debt forgiven in 2007, 2008 or 2009. Up to $2 million of forgiven debt is eligible for this exclusion ($1 million if married filing separately). The exclusion doesn’t apply if the discharge is due to services performed for the lender or any other reason not directly related to a decline in the home’s value or the taxpayer’s financial condition."

To read more from the IRS: IRS questions and answers on Home Foreclosure and Debt Cancellation

Note: We advise you to check with your tax advisor, financial advisor or other appropriate professional(s) to see how this may affect you and your personal situation. We are not qualified to, or to we mean to, give tax advice.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mortgage Applications Down

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports that for the week ending February 15 " The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, was 822.8, a decrease of 22.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from 1063.5 one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 21.2 percent compared with the previous week and was up 33.9 percent compared with the same week one year earlier.'

As for refinances, the MBA reports that "The Refinance Index decreased 27.9 percent to 3533.8 from 4901.5 the previous week and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 11.5 percent to 357.6 from 403.9 one week earlier."

To read more: Mortgage Bankers Association

Saturday, February 16, 2008

January Southern California Home Sales Slowest in 20 Years

DataQuick reports that "Southern California home sales dipped below 10,000 transactions for the first time in more than 20 years last month as most potential buyers and sellers appear to be waiting out market turbulence... Last month's sales total was the lowest for any month in DataQuick's statistics, which go back to 1988. Since September, sales for each calendar month were a record low for that particular month."

To read more: DQNews.com

Thursday, February 14, 2008

NAR Releases 4th Quarter Home Price Survey Results

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released the results of it's home price survey for the 4th quarter of 2007. The survey shows that half the metropolitan areas experienced an increase in value, while half did not.

The survey of home prices identifies several segments, including top and bottom-range prices for single family homes and condos.

More info:
NAR Metro Area Price Charts
NAR Press Release

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bush Signs Stimulus Package

Including the raise in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac limits.

Read more here: MSNBC.com

Monday, February 11, 2008

Friday, February 08, 2008

Mortgage Interest Rates Down

Bankrate.com reports that for the week ending February 6, "The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 10 basis points, to 5.78 percent ... One year ago, the mortgage index was 6.31 percent; four weeks ago, it was 5.88 percent."

To read more: Bankrate.com

AND ...

Purchase Applications Up

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that for the week ending February 1, mortgage applications were up for purchases, down for refinances.

To read more: Mortgage Bankers Association

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Consumer Information - Real Estate related

The Federal Reserve Board has interesting information available online. Information includes: Consumer Handbook on Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM), Foreclosure Resources for Consumers, and more!

To obtain more information: Federal Reserve Board Consumer Information

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Condo Market Confidence Down

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that "Builder confidence in the condominium housing market eroded in the third quarter of 2007, according to the latest results of the Multifamily Condo Market Index (MCMI)".

To read more: NAHB

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Mortgage Interest Rates UP!

Bankrate.com reports that mortgage rates were up for the week ending January 30, "The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose 31 basis points, to 5.88 percent ... One year ago, the mortgage index was 6.42 percent; four weeks ago, it was 6.14 percent."

Why up? Bankrate.com says "Depending on whom you ask, you'll get a number of explanations of why mortgage rates are going up while the overnight rate is going down. One reason might be that investors are reacting to the Fed's rate moves by selling bonds and buying stocks. The reduced demand for bonds makes their yields go up, and mortgage rates follow."

To read more: Bankrate.com mortgage rates