Home Sales Off to a Bumpy Start in 2015

Home Sales Off to a Bumpy Start in 2015

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS |

Existing-home sales dropped in January to the lowest rate in nine months, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest housing report. All regions across the country saw declines in sales in January, with the Northeast and West posting the largest losses.

Still, the pace of sales was higher than a year ago – at a 4.82 million seasonally adjusted annual rate remains up 3.2 percent compared to a year ago.

“January housing data can be volatile because of seasonal influences, but low housing supply and the ongoing rise in home prices above the pace of inflation appeared to slow sales, despite interest rates remaining near historic lows,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “REALTORS® are reporting that low rates are attracting potential buyers, but the lack of new and affordable listings is leading some to delay decisions.”

5 Stats to Gauge the Market

Here’s a closer look at where the housing market stands, based on NAR’s existing-home sales report for January.

  1. Inventory: Total housing inventory at the end of January rose 0.5 percent to 1.87 million existing homes available but sale. Unsold inventory is at a 4.7-month supply at the current sales pace.
  2. Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types was $199,600 – 6.2 percent above year ago levels. “Although sales cooled in January, home prices continued solid year-over-year growth,” Yun notes. “The labor market and economy are markedly improved compared to a year ago, which supports stronger buyer demand. The big test for housing will be the impact on affordability once rates rise.”
  3. Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales comprised 11 percent of sales in January, down 15 percent from a year ago. Broken out, 8 percent of sales in January were from foreclosures and 3 percent were short sales. The average discount that a foreclosure sold at was 15 percent below market value, while short sales were discounted, on average, 12 percent.
  4. Days on the market: Properties tended to stay on the market slightly longer in January – 69 days compared to 66 days in December. Short sales remained on the market the longest at a median of 128 days, while foreclosures tended to sell in 63 days. Overall, 30 percent of homes sold in January were on the market for less than a month.
  5. Cash sales: All-cash sales made up 27 percent of transactions in January, down from 33 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for the bulk of cash sales, purchased 17 percent of homes in January, below the 20 percent in January 2014.

Regional Breakdown

Here’s a closer look at existing-home sales in January across the country:

  • Northeast: existing-home sales dropped 6 percent to an annual rate of 630,000. Sales are 3.3 percent above a year ago. Median price: $247,800, up 2.7 percent from a year ago
  • Midwest: existing-home sales fell 2.7 percent to an annual level of 1.08 million in January. Sales are still 0.9 percent above January 2014 levels. Median price: $151,300, up 8.2 percent from a year ago
  • South: existing-home sales dropped 4.6 percent to an annual rate of 2.07 million in January, but are still 5.6 percent above year ago levels. Median price: $171,900, up 7.4 percent from a year ago
  • West: existing-home sales fell 7.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.04 million in January, but are still 1 percent above a year ago. Median price: $291,800, up 7.2 percent from a year ago.

 

Allow me to add my 2 cents.  On the San Francisco Peninsula – we are experience a HUGE demand for housing.  We actually are having a housing shortage with the volume of people who work on the peninsula and expect to live on the peninsula.  As a result we have seen rental prices soar through the roof!  I can’t even believe I used to rent a two bedroom apartment in 1996 for under $1000 in SAN CARLOS!  Now – a 2 bedroom apartment is going for close to $2500-$3500 A MONTH!  And the East Bay is rapidly capturing our displaced employees – have you seen the bridges these days during commute hours?  Redwood City is one of the few communities that has actually built housing and they are going for a premium.  So if you want to call San Mateo or Santa Clara County home – it’s best you start saving your money and get into the market sooner than later.  The Caton Team is here to help you every step of the way.  Call or email me anytime.

Sabrina

650.568.5522 or sabrina_caton@yahoo.com

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2015/02/24/home-sales-bumpy-start-in-2015?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BU7P7wB8-lmizw&om_ntype=RMODaily

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

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Call us at: 650-568-5522

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Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

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Why Homebuyers Need to Act Now

Wow – the article below really stuck a chord with me  – as I just heard one of my buyers “wants to wait”.  I cringe when I hear that – because in my 11 years in this business, and Susan’s 16 years – “waiting” has got our clients no where!

Well, let me rephrase that – those who were able to get back into the market after stepping out – ended up spending more money on less house.  Point Blank – end of story.  I kid you not.  Some of them are still looking and it isn’t getting any easier.  Now maybe the few would couldn’t buy before the financial crises did great “waiting” by buying afterwards – but those folks are far and few between and those days are long behind us.  We have exceeded our pre-bust prices – by far!  And with the way our market has fully recovered, with amazing demand we have for housing on the San Francisco Peninsula and the lack of inventory – waiting means paying more money for less house.  And in some cases not even a house – but a condo or townhouse – or nothing at all.

There is a phrase in Real Estate we use.  Don’t wait and buy real estate – buy real estate and wait!  Once you own your home, you will gain equity as the market continues to climb.  Now I know so many buyers, myself included, that would like to see prices come down a bit – for affordability factors.  However, that’s not likely to happen here on the San Francisco Peninsula.  Do you know how many new office spaces are being built or planed to be built here?  I do.  And it is a lot.  And where are these people going to live?  If you want to rent a place these days – get ready to fork over at least $2000 for a one bedroom apartment if not a studio!  And why waste a good $2000 on rent when a person could easily afford a mortgage payment and actually earn some equity so that you can buy a larger house down the road.

The first home you buy will never be perfect, nice enough, or big enough.  But buy investing in a home – since we all need to live somewhere – a buyer will earn equity that will in turn get them into a better home down the road.  In the long run, you earn more money buying and holding real estate than the stock market or that saving account.

It breaks my heart to hear when person looses steam while trying to buy a home.  Our Bay Area real estate market is very competitive.  Always has, always will.  However, The Caton Team knows how to maneuver through it and have had great success with our buyers who take our sage advice, consider the facts, review our numbers and give it their all.

If you have questions regarding buying or selling – we are here to help – call or email me any time.

Sabrina

650-568-5522

sabrina_Caton@yahoo.com

 

Now for the article…

 

Why Homebuyers Need to Act Now

 

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS

 

Home buyers need to move fast if they want to spend less, notes Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com® in commentary at the site.

“Delayed purchases will only result in higher monthly mortgage payments as prices and rates rise,” Smoke writes. Realtor.com® is forecasting that affordability may decline as much as 10 percent over the year.

The Federal Reserve continues to remind the financial markets that it plans to raise its target federal funds rate this year, which will cause mortgage rates to rise. Many economists are predicting 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to average near 5 percent by the end of the year.

For now, mortgage rates are near historical lows for homebuyers and home owners who can take advantage. Freddie Mac reported last week that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66 percent (last year at this time it averaged 4.32 percent), and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.98 percent (a year ago, it averaged 3.40 percent).

“Right now, the Fed is using the word ‘patient’ to describe its approach to picking the time to raise the target rate,” Smoke notes. “However, when the Fed ‘loses patience,’ rates will go up at least 20 to 40 basis points in anticipation of the target rate officially going up. … So, buyers beware: The clock on these low mortgage rates may be ticking.”

Source: “2015: Buy Now, Before the Fed’s Patience Ends,” realtor.com® (Jan. 30, 2015)

 

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2015/02/04/why-homebuyers-need-act-now?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BU0pLgB8-LaaY2&om_ntype=RMODaily

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

VISIT OUR NEW INSTAGRAM PAGE: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

 

County rents jump — again

County rents jump — again

February 02, 2015, 05:00 AM By Austin Walsh Daily Journal

As rents continue to skyrocket throughout the region, housing experts say San Mateo County residents should not expect to see relief in the near future.

In the past year, average monthly rents in the fourth quarter increased $227, jumping to $2,572, according to reports from according to RealAnswers, a group that compiles apartment data.

During the fourth quarter in San Mateo, studio apartments increased by an average of $193 from last year, to $1,762 per month, marking a 12.3 percent increase. One-bedroom apartments with one bathroom increased by 10.3 percent on average to $2,332 per month, up $218 from 2013. And two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments increased $181 per month, to $2,593, a 7.5 percent increase from the previous year, according to the report.

But some renters have seen increases as substantial as $600 in a year, said Josh Hugg, program manager at the Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County.

Hugg and other advocates for renters promote policies that protects residents from exorbitant rates or increases.

“We need more affordable housing,” Hugg said.

Well-paying technology jobs are frequently cited for driving up costs across the region, but Hugg noted that for every job created in the tech sector, there are multiple support workers who are finding it increasingly difficult to live locally.

“When we bring in all these great jobs, they are creating jobs of more modest means,” Hugg said. “We are not making a place for them, even though they are the fastest growing part of the workforce.”

Some residents are being priced out of their homes, and are forced to move back in with their families to afford the cost of living, said Sally Navarro, a rental, sales and property management Realtor for AVR Realty in Burlingame.

“Everyone is piling in until they find something. Folks are just waiting it out to see what’s going to happen,” she said.

But the outlook is not optimistic for those hoping to see prices drop, she said.

Navarro, who has worked in the local rental industry for nearly three decades, said she has never seen a tougher rental market than what is currently available.

“I don’t see that it’s going to get a lot better,” Navarro said.

The best that renters might hope for is that rates level out from their constant incline. Navarro said that she has not seen rents decrease since the dot-com bubble burst around the turn of the century.

She said that the feeling of dissatisfaction with expensive rents is prevalent throughout the county.

“People are extremely frustrated,” she said.

But it’s not bad for everyone involved in the housing industry, said Navarro.

“I think landlords are very lucky right now,” she said. “They have been reaping the benefits for quite a while.”

But she expressed compassion for those who are trying to find a new place to live in the current market.

“I feel bad for tenants. We don’t know how it’s going to go, or when it’s going to change. In the meantime, we have people looking for places and there is nothing out there. It’s really frustrating,” she said.

Those interested in landing a new place should bring all the preliminary paperwork with them to the appointment, and be willing to pay more than the market rate, Navarro said.

Though the region has reaped the benefits of being a globally acclaimed hub of innovation and is seen as a gold mine for people across the globe, Hugg said the success has come at a substantial cost to those who have lived in the region for years.

“We are a victim of our own success,” he said.

 

I read this article at: http://www.smdailyjournal.com/articles/lnews/2015-02-02/county-rents-jump-again/1776425137606.html?interaction=normal

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

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Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008

 

 

Happy Valentines Day From The Caton Team – a Family of Realtors

The Caton Team wanted to take a moment and wish you all a very Happy Valentines Day!

We love our career as full-time Realtors.  Helping buyers and sellers connect on the San Francisco Peninsula is a dream come true.

So this Valentines Day – spend it with the one you love, spend it with your family and spend your money wisely.  Real Estate is a wonderful investment in the future and much less fattening than chocolate.

Curious if buying or selling is right for you right now?  The Caton Team is happy to sit down with you and discuss your options.  After all, we love what we do.

 

What can the Caton Team do for you?  Call or email us!

 

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

VISIT OUR NEW INSTAGRAM PAGE: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE #70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

Half of Americans Can’t Afford Their House

Half of Americans Can’t Afford Their House

 

 

As the housing market slowly recovers, a majority of homeowners and renters are finding it hard to meet rising rents and mortgage payments, new research finds.

Over half of Americans (52%) have had to make at least one major sacrifice in order to cover their rent or mortgage over the last three years, according to the “How Housing Matters Survey,” which was commissioned by the nonprofit John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and carried out by Hart Research Associates. These sacrifices include getting a second job, deferring saving for retirement, cutting back on health care, running up credit card debt, or even moving to a less safe neighborhood or one with worse schools.

“Affordability issues are real and a major hurdle,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, an industry group. Home prices have increased 20% over the past two years while wages have barely gone up, he says. “Only by adding more new supply, via housing starts, can home prices be tamed,” Yun adds. In fact, construction of housing units has averaged around 1.5 million a year for the past five decades, he says, but it’s likely to be less than 1 million in 2014.

What’s more, at least 15% of American homeowners (or residents of 78 counties across the country) were living in housing markets where the monthly mortgage payment on a median-priced home requires more than 30% of the monthly median household income — long considered the maximum for rent/mortgage repayments. Housing costs above that threshold are “unaffordable by historic standards,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at real estate data firm RealtyTrac. In New York county/Manhattan, mortgage payments represent 77% of the median income and in San Francisco County represents 70%.

Although mortgage rates are still quite low, down payments, poor credit and tighter lending standards remain three of the biggest hurdles for buying a home, especially among young people, Blomquist says. “The slow jobs recovery for young adults has made it harder for them to save and to get a mortgage.” Some 84% of young people are delaying major life decisions due to the poor economy, according to a 2013 survey by Generation Opportunity, a nonprofit think tank based in Arlington, Va.

Some people also appear to be cooling on one facet of the American dream. About 43% of respondents in the “How Housing Matters Survey” say owning a home is no longer “an excellent long-term investment and one of the best ways for people to build wealth and assets,” and over half say buying a home has become less appealing. Although 70% of renters aspire to own a home, some 58% believe that “renters can be just as successful as owners at achieving the American dream.”

But they’re still suffering the aftershocks of the property bust, experts say. In the years after the recession of 2008, more than 7.5 million homeowners lost their home to foreclosure or short sale and about 9 million more homeowners are still underwater and owe more than their property is worth, Blomquist says. “If one looks at the last seven years as a predictor of housing market behavior in the future, it certainly should give one pause about whether buying a home is a good investment or not,” he adds.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, says Stuart Gabriel, director of UCLA’s Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate. “From a policy perspective, we overshot in prescribing homeownership too often and to those who would have benefited more from other housing solutions,” he says. Homeownership rates hit 64.8% in April, the lowest since 64.7% in the second quarter of 1995, according to the Census Bureau. “It’s wise to approach homeownership with more skepticism and more trepidation,” he says.

The good news: Rising prices have lifted millions of homeowners out of negative equity. Since the lowest point in the housing market crash, rising prices have led to an additional $4 trillion in housing equity, going to existing homeowners, smart investors and those who can afford to buy, Yun says. Home prices, including distressed sales, increased 10.5% in April 2014 year-over-year, according to the latest survey from mortgage-data firm CoreLogic, representing the 26th consecutive month of annual increases in home prices.

This story was originally published Jan. 31, 2015, on MarketWatch.com.

 

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.com/news/half-americans-cant-afford-house/?MID=2015_0206_WeeklyNL_2010-13&RID=9851214&cid=eml-2015-0206-WeeklyNL-blog_1_cant_afford_homes-blog_finance

 

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

VISIT OUR NEW INSTAGRAM PAGE: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008