Consumer Confidence Increases in January

Posted in Atascadero, Central Coast Real Estate, Home Prices, Paso Robles, Templeton, Time to buy a Home, Time to sell a home on February 12th, 2016 by Jim – Be the first to comment

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which increased in December, improved moderately in January. The Index now stands at 98.1 (1985=100), up from 96.3 in December. The Present Situation Index was unchanged at 116.4, while the Expectations Index increased from 83 to 85.9 in January.

Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions was relatively flat in January. The percentage saying business conditions are “good” was virtually unchanged at 27.2 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” declined slightly from 18.9 percent to 18.5 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was modestly more positive. The proportion claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased from 24.2 percent to 22.8 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined to 23.4 percent from 24.5 percent.

Buying More Affordable than Renting in 58 Percent of U.S. Markets

Posted in Atascadero, Central Coast Real Estate, Home loans, Home Prices, Paso Robles, Templeton, Time to buy a Home, Time to sell a home on January 30th, 2016 by Jim – Be the first to comment

RealtyTrac released its 2016 Rental Affordability Analysis which shows that buying is still more affordable than renting in 58 percent of U.S. housing markets despite home price appreciation outpacing rent growth in 55 percent of markets. The report also shows that the rise in rents is outpacing weekly wage growth in 57 percent of markets.

Rents on three-bedroom properties will increase an average of 3.5 percent in 2016 compared to 2015 across all 504 counties analyzed, according to the HUD data. Meanwhile, average weekly wages in the second quarter of 2015 (the most recent wage data available) were up an average of 2.6 percent from a year ago and median home prices were up an average of 5 percent in the third quarter of 2015 compared to a year ago across all 504 counties.

Across all 504 counties analyzed, average wage earners will need to spend 37 percent of their income on rents for a three-bedroom property in 2016, slightly less than the 38 percent of income to make monthly house payments — assuming a 3 percent down payment and including mortgage, taxes, insurance and mortgage insurance — on a median priced home on average across all 504 counties.

Renting was more affordable than buying in 213 of the 504 counties analyzed (42 percent), including counties in Los Angeles, Houston, San Diego, New York City (Brooklyn), and Dallas. Buying was more affordable than renting in 291 counties (58 percent) including counties in Chicago, Phoenix, Miami, the Inland Empire of Southern California, Las Vegas, and Detroit.

Report Shows Home Prices Up Year Over Year

Posted in Atascadero, Central Coast Real Estate, Home Prices, Paso Robles, Templeton, Time to buy a Home, Time to sell a home on December 23rd, 2015 by Jim – Be the first to comment

CoreLogic recently released its CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) and HPI Forecast data for October 2015 which shows home prices are up both year over year and month over month.

Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased 6.8 percent in October 2015 compared with October 2014 and increased 1 percent in October 2015 compared with September 2015, according to the CoreLogic HPI.

The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices are projected to increase 5.2 percent on a year-over-year basis from October 2015 to October 2016, and the projected month-over-month gain is negligible (0.1 percent) from October 2015 to November 2015. The CoreLogic HPI Forecast is a projection of home prices using the CoreLogic HPI and other economic variables. Values are derived from state-level forecasts by weighting indices according to the number of owner-occupied households for each state.

Mortgage Standards Are Easing

Posted in Atascadero, Central Coast Real Estate, Home loans, Paso Robles, Templeton, Time to buy a Home, Time to sell a home on October 28th, 2015 by Jim – Be the first to comment

Fannie Mae’s third quarter 2015 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey reveals that more lenders report easing of mortgage lending standards across all loan types. Conducted in August 2015, the survey asked senior mortgage executives whether their lending organization’s credit standards have eased, tightened, or remained essentially unchanged for GSE eligible, non-GSE eligible, and government loans during the prior three months. Notably, the gap between lenders reporting easing as opposed to tightening over the prior three months jumped to 20 percentage points and 18 percentage points for GSE eligible and non-GSE eligible loans, respectively—reaching new survey highs of “net easing.” In addition, the share of lenders who expect their organizations to ease credit standards over the next three months ticked up this quarter for both GSE eligible and non-GSE eligible loans.

Highlights from the survey include:
•Senior mortgage executives continue to be more optimistic about the economy than general consumers.
•Senior mortgage executives continue to be more optimistic than general consumers about future home prices.
•Senior mortgage executives continue to be less optimistic than general consumers when it comes to the ease of getting a mortgage today.
•The share of lenders reporting increased purchase mortgage demand over the prior three months fell slightly this quarter (Q3 2015) from last quarter (Q2 2015), but overall remains at a high level compared with the 2014 readings.
•For purchase mortgage demand over the next three months, the share of lenders expecting demand to go up fell this quarter from last quarter, likely reflecting seasonal influences, but remains higher than the same period last year (Q3 2014).

California Home Sales Cool in August as Price Gains Temper

Posted in Atascadero, Central Coast Real Estate, Home loans, Home Prices, Paso Robles, Templeton, Time to buy a Home, Time to sell a home on September 21st, 2015 by Jim – Be the first to comment

Following a hotter than usual summer of homes sales, California’s housing market cooled in August, but still posted higher year over year for the seventh straight month, C.A.R. reported this week.

Home sales remained above the 400,000 mark in August for the fifth consecutive month and rose to the highest level since October 2012. Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 431,800 units in August, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.

The August figure was down 3.8 percent from the revised 448,900 level in July but up 9.3 percent compared with home sales in August 2014 of a revised 395,080. The year-to-year change was higher than the 6-month average increase of 8.6 percent observed from February 2015 to July 2015.

The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home edged up 1 percent in August to $493,420 from a revised $488,470 in July. August’s median price was 2.5 percent higher than the revised $481,240 recorded in August 2014.

Americans’ Housing Optomism Gains More Momentum

Posted in Atascadero, Central Coast Real Estate, Home Prices, Paso Robles, Templeton, Time to buy a Home, Time to sell a home on July 13th, 2015 by Jim – Be the first to comment

Consumer attitudes about the housing market showed marked improvement last month, strengthening the case for a lift in housing activity this year, according to results from Fannie Mae’s May 2015 National Housing Survey. In line with the positive May jobs report—which showed an acceleration in average hourly earnings—and reflecting recent trends of firming personal income growth, the share of survey respondents reporting a significant increase in their household income climbed 4 percentage points to a near all-time high.

Homeownership and Renting Highlights

•The average 12-month home price change expectation remained at 2.8 percent.
•The share of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months rose to 49 percent. The share who say home prices will go down fell to 6 percent.
•The share of respondents who say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months fell to 47 percent.
•Those who say it is a good time to buy a house rose back up to 66 percent, while those who say it is a good time to sell went up 3 percentage points to 49 percent – a new survey high.
•The average 12-month rental price change expectation rose to 4.3 percent.
•The percentage of respondents who expect home rental prices to go up rose to 55 percent.
•Those who think it would be easy to get a home mortgage decreased by 2 percentage points to 50 percent, while those who think it would be difficult remained at 46 percent.
•The share who say they would buy if they were going to move rose 3 percentage points to 66 percent, while the share who would rent fell to 27 percent.

New Report Finds Waiting to Buy a Home Could Cost Thousands

Posted in Atascadero, Central Coast Real Estate, Paso Robles, Templeton, Time to buy a Home, Time to sell a home on June 8th, 2015 by Jim – Be the first to comment

With interest rates and home prices expected to climb in the next year, the financial penalties of delaying or forgoing a home purchase in today’s market have become very steep, according to the inaugural Opportunity Cost Report released by realtor.com. The proprietary report examines a wide range of factors, including the long-term financial impact of owning versus renting a home, the likely monetary gain renters forego in waiting to buy and the financial benefits of homeownership by market.

Nationally, the estimated wealth an average buyer would accumulate over a 30-year period based on today’s dollars totals $217,726. Although some markets are more buyer-friendly than others, national data shows homeowners see significant financial benefits as compared to lifetime renters. In 88 percent of MSAs, buying a home produces a financial benefit of at least $100,000 over 30 years.

Ten markets offer an especially considerable upside to owning, with estimated 30-year financial gains above $500,000, and opportunity costs of waiting three years as high as $200,000. These MSAs, in California and other Western states, are relatively expensive markets with strong housing demand and limited supply. The potential long-term wealth in these areas is the greatest nationwide, and likewise, the long-term financial penalty for delaying ownership is substantial, due to price appreciation, escalating rents, and higher mortgage rates on the horizon.

American Household Survey Finds Homeowners Generally Positive

Posted in Atascadero, Central Coast Real Estate, Paso Robles, Templeton, Time to buy a Home, Time to sell a home on June 8th, 2015 by Jim – Be the first to comment

The Federal Reserve Board’s latest survey of the financial and economic conditions of American households finds that individuals’ overall perceptions of financial well-being improved modestly between 2013 and 2014 but their optimism about future financial prospects increased significantly.

The 2014 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking, provides new insight into Americans’ economic security, housing and living arrangements, banking and credit access, education and student loan debt, savings behavior, and retirement preparedness. Sixty-five percent of adult respondents consider their families to be either “doing okay” or “living comfortably” financially – an increase of 3 percentage points from the 2013 survey.

Looking forward, households are increasingly optimistic. Twenty-nine percent of survey respondents say they expect their income to be higher in the year following the survey, compared to 21 percent of 2013 respondents.

The outlook for the housing market among surveyed homeowners remained generally positive, as 43 percent believe that their house increased in value over the past year and 39 percent expect home values in their neighborhood to rise in the coming year. Many renters also expressed an interest in buying but reported financial barriers to homeownership, with half of all renters listing an inability to afford a down payment as a reason why they rent rather than own and 31 percent citing an inability to qualify for a mortgage as a reason for renting.

Low Mortgage Rates Boost Refinance Activity in Q1

Posted in Atascadero, Central Coast Real Estate, Home loans, Paso Robles, Templeton, Time to buy a Home, Time to sell a home on May 8th, 2015 by Jim – 1 Comment

Freddie Mac released the results of its quarterly refinance analysis for the first quarter of this year, showing that borrowers took advantage of better than expected mortgage rates to lower their monthly mortgage payment and shorten their loan term as refinance activity accounted for 63 percent of all single-family originations. Approximately 27 percent of borrowers increased their loan amount when refinancing, either by cashing out equity or consolidating loans, versus 29 percent from last quarter, 17 percent from the same time last year and well below the peak of 89 percent in 2006.

Highlights from the analysis include:
•Of borrowers who refinanced during the first quarter of 2015, 34 percent shortened their loan term, down slightly from the previous quarter.
•The average interest rate reduction in the first quarter was about 1.2 percentage points – a reduction of about 24 percent.
•About 73 percent of those who refinanced their first-lien home mortgage maintained about the same loan amount or lowered their principal balance by paying in additional money at the closing table, about the same as last quarter.
•More than 95 percent of refinancing borrowers chose a fixed-rate loan.
•For all other (non-HARP) refinances during the fourth quarter, the median property value was up 5 percent between the dates of placement of the old loan and the new refinance loan. The prior loan had a median age of 5.6 years, down from 6.8 years in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Mortgage Credit Availability Increases in March

Posted in Atascadero, Central Coast Real Estate, Home loans, Home Prices, Paso Robles, Templeton, Time to buy a Home on April 29th, 2015 by Jim – Be the first to comment

Mortgage credit availability increased in March according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) which analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.

The MCAI increased 2.3 percent to 121.4 in March. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of a loosening of credit. The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012.

“A number of factors contributed to a loosening of credit in March: Freddie Mac’s introduction of their 97 LTV program (Fannie Mae’s was implemented in December), additional loosening of parameters on jumbo loan programs, an increase in offerings of cash-out refinance loans, and continued expansion of the FHA streamline refinance and VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) programs,” according to Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist. “As a result of these changes, all four component indexes of the MCAI increased last month: jumbo, conforming, conventional, and government. Although credit remains tight by historical standards, this increase in availability, coupled with low rates and job market strength, should lead to stronger home purchase activity this spring.”