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Stock markets drop over 10% in two weeks - 


Mortgage Rates slightly higher

Mortgage Rates slightly higher - The December 7, 2017 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.94%, up from 3.90% last week.  The 15-year fixed was 3.36%,  up  from 3.30% last week. The 5-year ARM was 3.35%,  up from last week’s 3.32%. 


Confirming and FHA loan limits increase -  The confirming loan limit will increase from $424,100 to $453,100. The conforming high balance will go from  636,150 to $679,650 in 2018. The FHA loan limit will also rise to $679,650. Both conforming and FHA limits increase for 2,3 and 4 unit dwellings. 


Real Estate Organizations oppose both the senate and house tax plans

Real Estate Organizations oppose both the senate and house tax plans  -  According to The National Association of Realtors, The California Association of Realtors, state's Realtor associations, The National Association of Home Builders and other real estate groups the proposed bills will actually increase taxes for middle class homeowners. Real estate groups oppose the plan because it  cuts the mortgage interest deduction in half from the interest paid on  a maximum of a $1,000,000 loan to the interest paid on a maximum of a $500,000 loan. It also eliminates deductions of state and local taxes. This would include property tax. The house bill would allow a maximum of $10,000 deducted a year in property tax, while the senate bill would allow no deduction for property tax. State and local taxes, which include property taxes, have been deductible since congress passed a federal income tax in 1909, which was Implement in 1913. This is a very controversial portion of tax reform. Neither plan has passed. It is  possible that these changes may not be in the final bill. 


California home sales and prices continue to rise

California home sales and prices continue to rise in August - The California Association of Realtors released its August Sales and Price Report. Despite tight inventory existing, single family home sales totaled 427,630 in August on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. That represented a 1.5% increase month over month from July and a 1.3% increase from last August.  The Los Angeles region registered a 4.4% gain in the number of sales year over year.  The median price paid for a home in California was $565,330, up 2.9% from July and 7.2% from August 2016.  C.A.R.'s Unsold Inventory Index fell to a 2.9-month supply of housing in August, down from 3.2 months in July, as there were too few new listings to keep up with strong sales growth. 


U.S. Existing home sales slightly lower in August – Existing-home sales data released by The National Association of Realtors showed that existing-home sales dropped 1.7% on a seasonally adjusted annual rate in August from July’s sales levels, as tight inventory has affected home sales.  For the year the number of homes existing-homes sold on a seasonally adjusted annual rate in August was 0.2% above last August’s sales pace. Prices continue to rise nationally.  The median price aid for a home in August was 5.6% higher than one year ago.  Housing inventory continued to decline. The number of homes for sale declined 6.5% from August 2016. The 27thstraight month of year over year declines in inventory levels. The unsold inventory index dropped to a 4.2 month supply, down from 4.5 months one year ago.


Home affordability slips in California as prices rise

Mortgage Rates remain near historic lows - The 30-year fixed mortgage rate remained under 4% in August. The August 31, 2017 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30 year fixed mortgage rate average was 3.82%, down from 3.93% on August 3, 2017. The 15 year fixed was 3.12%, down from last month's close of 3.18%. The 5-year ARM was 3.14%, down slightly from 3.18% on August 3, 2017. 

Existing home sales and prices higher in July than last July -Sales of existing homes in California totaled a seasonally annualized rate of 421,460 units in July according to the California Association of Realtors. The number of sales of existing homes was down 4.9% from June's sales pace. July's sales pace was still 0.9% higher than last July. The statewide median price was $549,460, up 7.4% from July 2016.  There was a 3.2 month supply of homes for sale,up from 2.7 months in June but down from 3.6 months in July 2016. 

Fewer homes sold nationwide in July than June, yet still more than one year ago - The National Association of Realtors reported that total home sales slipped 1.3% in July from June's sales pace level. Year over year the pace of home sales were still 2.1% higher than last July. Prices have continued to rise. The median price was 6.2% higher this July than July 2016. That marked the 65th straight month of year over year price increases. Inventory levels continued to shrink. The number of homes for sale nationwide was down 9% from one year ago. The unsold inventory nationwide represents a 4.2 month supply. That is down from a 4.8 month supply last July. Tight supply is causing prices to rise. Total existing home sales include all re-sale single family one to four unit homes, condominiums, co-ops, and town homes. 

Home affordability slips in California as prices rise - The California Association of Realtorsreported that  29% of California households could afford to buy a $559,260 median-priced home in the second quarter. That is down from 32% in the first quarter of 2017 and 31% one year ago in Q2 2016. The annual income required to purchase the median-priced home was $110,780. They found that 38% of California households were able to purchase a median-priced condominium or town-housewhich was $443,400. The annual income required was $88,870.