Thursday, February 28, 2013

California Home Prices - A History since 1970

Are you interested in history?  Take a look at this infographic from the California Association of Realtors -"California Home Prices - A History" from 1970 to present. 

History of California home prices from 1970 to present

Is the past a predictor of the future? No one can predict what will happen with California home prices in 2013 or beyond. But we find this infographic to be an interesting real estate economic study.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Housing Affordability Increases - Is it time to buy a home?

Recent national statistics indicate housing affordability is improving in the United States.  Many areas have seen an upward trend in home prices, while home buyers are still able to lock in a low mortgage interest rate.  It seems like the best of all worlds for the housing market.  For sellers, it means their home may sell in today's real estate market; while as recently as last year, homes were sitting on the market looking (hoping) for buyers.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) was released recently.  This index "is measure of the percentage of homes sold in a given area that are affordable to families earning the area’s median income during a specific quarter."   Specifically, the index shows that "74.9 percent of homes sold between the beginning of October and end of December were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $65,000."  This number is up from 74.1% in the third quarter of last year.

You can read more about the HOI here:  housing affordability index

While our area (Los Angeles) remains at the bottom of the ratings, home buyers in many other areas are seeing a real home buying opportunity - if they can survive the process.  Home buyers in many areas are reporting frustration as low inventory combined with an increased number of home buyers is creating a challenge for home buyers.  Home buyers are finding that their dream home has multiple offers and may sell for a premium (including a sales price over the listing price).  Home buyers are finding that the current listing is most likely selling for more than the last comparable sale.   From the suburbs of Washington, DC to the suburbs of Los Angeles, we are hearing the same reports from frustrated and weary home buyers. 

What remains to be seen is how the appraisers will deal with this price increase in their appraisal report.  Will the appraiser give "upward" value to the pending sale whose price exceeds the last sold comparable property?  In recent years, we have seen appraisers "ding" the appraised value of a property with the comment that the area is experiencing a downward price trend.  Will the appraisers now give the appraised value a "plus"?

Hang in there home buyers!  Patience and fortitude - you'll get the home of your dreams.  Now may be a "window" of opportunity for those who have been waiting and wanting to buy a home.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Number of California Real Estate Licensees Continues Trend

And the trend is downward.

If you will remember, we wrote about the declining number of California real estate licensees in January of 2012, covering data through October of 2011: Number of Real Estate Agents Continues to Decline

Now we can add another year into the statistics, and even bring the data up-to-date with the most recent month available (December, 2012) from the California Department of Real Estate:

Month, Year          Number of "salesperson" licensees

December, 2012   274,563
October,    2012    276,639
October,    2011    291,623
October,    2010    322,009
October,    2009    356,199
October,    2008    383,118
October,    2007    398,176
October,    2006    376,561
October,    2005    336,827

It will be interesting to watch the trend -  as the real estate market picks up will we see an upturn in the number of licensees?  Those of us who have been in the business - and this IS our business - just "roll with the punches" in any real estate market.  We're here for the "long haul."

Wishing everyone a happy President's Day!