Posts Tagged ‘San Diego real estate news’

July Real Estate News

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

Home Prices Show Slight Increase Heading into Summer. San Diego home prices rose slightly in April over compared to March, 0.4%, ending a four-month price dip across the county.  Prices were still lower than they were the same time a year ago, and analysts claim the rise is due to the start of the spring/summer buying season.

Median Market Time for San Diego County Homes Rises. San Diego County homes showed an increase in median market time in May, up to 70 days, according to Realtor.com, lower than the national average of 92 days. Normal market time in the county is about 50-60 days. Median market time is the average time a home is listed on the market. In these more challenging times it is imperative to start a home sale at the right price, so speak with your agent about area comparables, amenities, condition and location of your home and neighborhood to attain the best price and attract buyers.

Half of pending properties in California are short sales or REOs. This may come as no surprise to those who follow the market, and it is great news for buyers. A recent study by the California Association of Realtors found that 28% of buyers who bought property last month purchased REO (lender-owned, or post-foreclosure) properties, and 19% of pending homes sales last month were short sales. The good news, aside from the fact that this inventory is being sold (leaving the market to push toward normalcy), is that these properties are priced lower than traditional sales, allowing the buyer to get a great deal.

Oversight Mandated for National Banks. As part of the regulatory settlement for the robo-signing scandal, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has announced new rules by which all national banks under it’s supervision must adhere. The rules basically require the banks to assess their own foreclosure management processes by September 30, 2011. Banks are also ordered to suspend foreclosure proceedings while working with homeowners on possible loan modifications (this is big news)…although the languages does state “when possible.” Hmmm. There are a slew of other rules as well, so let’s hope this will be a start to lender oversight.

Fannie and Freddie Offer Deals to Save Buyers Money on Home Purchases. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are sweetening the price of homeownership by offering great deals to buyers. Sitting on over 200,000 foreclosed homes combined across the country, these two companies are eager to dispose of their inventory, so if you are a new homebuyer (sorry folks, no investors allowed) you could be eligible for up to 3.5% of the home price paid in closing costs. They are also rewarding your real estate agent with a $1200 bonus. FYI: to qualify for these programs the home must close escrow by October 31 for Fannie homes and September 30 close dates (with contract dates no later than July 31) for Freddie homes. For more information go to http://www.homepath.com/ (Fannie) or http://homesteps.com/ (Freddie).

 

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Will Lenders Start Approving Short Sales Faster?

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Amidst all the news of double-dipping in the housing market, falling prices and an increase in lender-owned properties, there is one thing that may be a silver lining in the doom and gloom news these days: lenders will likely start to approve short sales much sooner and more often.

As housing prices drop across the nation lenders have realized that in order to prevent an inundation of foreclosures they will need to stop the delay of short sale acceptances. This I feel is necessary if we are ever going to improve the housing market.

The current state of the market indicates that with the depletion of home values there will be more homeowners finding themselves underwater with their mortgages. If you are planning on staying in your home for a long time this doesn’t mean you should run out and short sale your property. On the contrary, as long as you can pay your mortgage you should stay put. As with any market, things will eventually rebound and you will be happy you didn’t damage your credit and let your lower real estate taxes (in most cases, if you have owned for some time) go by the wayside.

It is also important to look at your hyper-local market when taking into consideration all the gloomy news. For example, here in North San Diego the default rate has been DOWN for the 17th consecutive month. According to ForeclosureRadar this computes to 1.7 per 1000 defaults, a low number compared to other parts of California and the nation.

Foreclosures are also down in North San Diego. ForeclosureRadar states that only 1 of 1000 homes were foreclosed upon in April.

But have lenders truly embraced the short sale option? Some seem to think so, and one economist was quoted as saying exactly this. However, as an agent currently waiting for approval on two short sales I will believe it when I see it. I must say that in general response time is quicker than it used to be, but we still are waiting long periods in most cases (a few months at least).

Another factor that comes into play with getting short sales approved more quickly is the skills of the listing agent or his/her negotiator. This can make a big difference in approval time, so if you are considering selling your home as a short sale, the most important question you need to ask your agent is how she plans to negotiate with the lender(s) once an offer(s) is received.

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How is the Real Estate Market Fairing?

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

People always ask me how the real estate market is doing. It’s not easy to give a quick answer, so I usually say something like, “we have had some tough times but prices seems to have stabilized in North San Diego, and have even slightly increased in some areas.” The fact of the matter is that there are still lots of buyers out there, they are looking for the right home; there are some great buys out there waiting, if you are ready for negotiating and possibly a long escrow (think short sales and REO properties, or different types of loans). I couldn’t believe how many people called me the last few days of escrow on my last listing, wanting to get in to write back-up offers.

In my efforts to remain upbeat but present an accurate version of the state of the market, here is what I have, in a nutshell:

1. May sales were up in San Diego county, June sales dropped a bit, but prices continued to rise. San Diego was the only metro area in the country with 13 months of consecutive home price increases (placing second only to San Francisco).

2. The median price of a home in California increased 13.6% in June.

3. The number of foreclosed homes nationwide has fallen for the third consecutive month (but the numbers are still high historically speaking)

4. Lenders are still being very tough on potential buyers, so be prepared for an extended escrow (a few days to weeks), even if you are golden on paper.

5. There are still some great deals out there, especially with short sale properties, if you are not in a hurry.

6. There is still lower-than-usual inventory in North San Diego right now (although it is technically rising slightly), with many properties having been on the market a while or having fallen out of escrow. I see this as an opportunity…in fact I have personally had my eye on a property that has fallen out of escrow and reduced a few times.

So, what does all this mean? I really try not to read too much into statistics, as often they do not reflect my specific market. I also don’t place too much on analysts’ takes on the market as, again, they often focus on the big picture and not my little niche in the market. Not to mention you can make yourself crazy trying to crunch all the numbers and decipher all the opinions. I usually stick to my instincts, but being that I have a foot in the market so to speak, those instincts are buffered by what I see on a daily basis in my own market. So, I will end with the cliche that many agents spew, however note that this is based on what I see as truths: numbers, buyers out in the market, inventory (or lack thereof), price reductions in my own area, and of course, the good old instincts: NOW IS A GOOD TIME TO BUY REAL ESTATE IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY. You have to form your own opinion, but there is mine in case you wondered.

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