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No New Posts   Existing Home Sales Up Nearly Ten Percent

October 28, 2009

NAR is reporting that there was a surge in home sales for the month of September, due to folks taking advantage of the $8,000 tax credit.  The tax credit is due to end in November, unless it receives an extension.  This is the fifth month out of half a year where home sales showed an increase.

Home sales were determined by sales of condos / townhomes, single family homes

First time buyers have currently made up for half of all sales in 2009.  Foreclosures and short sales have accounted for approximately thirty percent of all sales last month. and co-ops.  Sales have risen almost ten percent giving the adjusted annual rate of over 5 1/2 million units in September alone.  Sales are also up almost ten percent compared to the year before.  This is the highest amount of homes sold in a couple of years.

-- Edited by newsbot on Wednesday 28th of October 2009 01:31:09 PM

No New Posts   Home Sales Rise in San Diego

August 25, 2009

Home Sales in San Diego rise twelve percent compared to the previous year.

-- Edited by RLM on Tuesday 25th of August 2009 08:50:33 PM

Started By: RLM

Comments: 0

Views: 2205

Last Post: Aug 25 20:24:05 2009 by RLM

No New Posts   Southern California Property Values Continue to Rise

August 24, 2009

Home sales in July in Southern California were higher than in any month for the past 
three years, and the pace was quicker than any month since December 2006. As sales
jumped by more than 10% in all but one of the six counties in the area, prices
fell by more than ten percent. More than 24k residential properties were
sold in July in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Ventura,
San Bernardino, and Venturacombined. This in an almost 19% rise
from July 2008. The increase in sales represents the 13th consecutive
month with rising sales.

-- Edited by RLM on Monday 24th of August 2009 01:11:14 AM

No New Posts   Foreclosure Prevention Plan Off to a Slow Start

August 21, 2009

The Obama administration's plan to stem the foreclosure crisis has yet to have a significant impact. Less than 10% of delinquent homeowners have entered a trial modification program thus far, according to a Treasury report released Tuesday.

Answering to criticism of the plans slow start, the administration has said that it is on track to help up to four million struggling homeowners in the next three years. The program was unveiled in February and participating lenders began taking applications in April.

Last week, lenders were asked by the administration to increase their efforts after borrowers have complained about their willingness to implement the administrations program. Officials would like to see half a million loan modifications by November 1st.

The administration is releasing lenders progress reports in hopes of holding them responsible if they are unwilling to adhere to the programs. The reports will be published monthly and will allow the public to see which lenders are lagging behind.

Lenders have thus far offered modifications to just over 400,000 delinquent homeowners, about 14% of the total number. Most trial modifications have been done by a small amount of lenders.

Performance varied among the 38 participating lenders in the program. Saxon Mortgage Services led the way, getting 24% of its delinquent borrowers in the program, followed by Aurora Loan Services at 20%. Among big banks, JP Morgan Chase led with 19%, and Citigroup put 14% of its troubled borrowers in modification. Wells Fargo (5%) and Bank of America (4%) fared the worst.

Participating lenders have agreed that they need to improve their efforts and claim they are committed to the administrations plan. Many claim to have provided many modifications independent of the plan.

Wells Fargo claims that their poor performance is because of the delay in the guidelines coming out after the plan was announced, and vows to increase its performance in the coming weeks. The bank did not begin modifying loans held by small investors until April, though it began modifying its Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac held loans in April.

A recent change in the guidelines allows lenders to put eligible borrowers into a trial modification program as soon as 48 hours after receiving their application. The three month trial period will allow lenders to gather sufficient information to decide whether the borrower qualifies for a permanent modification. This change in practice should ease concerns over banks willingness to participate.

While participation in the plan is voluntary, once a lender agrees to participate they are required to offer the trial modification to all qualified applicants. Between the 38 lenders participating, they own 84% of all mortgages nationwide.

The plan calls for a troubled, qualifying borrower to have their payments lowered to 31 percent of gross income or less. Also, the lender must be able to make more money through the modification than by foreclosing. The modification becomes permanent after the borrower makes three consecutive payments on time. Lenders receive substantial cash incentives for their participation. The government has promised $75 billion for the program, of which it has already committed $20 billion.

-- Edited by TW on Friday 21st of August 2009 01:03:26 AM

No New Posts   Home Sales Rise in Second Quarter

August 12, 2009

The National Association of Realtors says that sales of homes and condos dropped almost three percent in the second quarter, compared to 2008.  However, sales did rise almost four percent compared to the previous quarter. 

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun attributes the $8,000 tax credit, lower home prices and low interest rates as leading contributors to the turnaround.  

-- Edited by TW on Wednesday 12th of August 2009 12:38:28 PM

Started By: TW

Comments: 0

Views: 2917

Last Post: Aug 12 12:38:01 2009 by TW

No New Posts   Freddie Mac Posts Second Quarter Profit

August 10, 2009

Mortgage giant, Freddie Mac, posted their first profit in two years.  The news sent shares soaring, up more than ninety percent at one point.  In addition, Freddie Mac says they do not
need more aid from the government, "at this time".

Net income, in the second quarter, for the company was at around $768 million.  Most of the profit can be attributed to gains due to interest rates rising, lower funding and adjustments to their accounting.  They further reduced future credit losses by nearly four billion dollars.

Chief executive officer, John Koskinen, said, Our financial results allowed us to finish the quarter with a positive net worth, meaning we will not need to request any additional financial support from the government at this time.

-- Edited by TW on Monday 10th of August 2009 12:57:28 PM

Started By: TW

Comments: 0

Views: 2777

Last Post: Aug 10 12:57:07 2009 by TW

No New Posts   U.K.'s Largest Mortgage Lender Says Bad Loans Will Drop

August 5, 2009

U.K. lender, Lloyds Banking Group Plc said that bad loans will drop "significantly".  The bank had a loss of more than five billion dollars in the first half.  However, money was put aside to cover mounting real estate loans.

The U.K.'s largest mortgage lender was seeking more than a fifteen billion dollar bailout after it had decided to purchase HBOS.  The deal was brokered by the government to prevent the band from folding.  The deal left Lloyds with nearly 80% of its bad loans.

Richard Champion stated, The HBOS loan losses are severe......Looking forward, they are saying we are getting back to more normal conditions and loss levels are stabilizing, which will be taken positively.

The latest news sent the stock up more than 10%, after being the 2nd lamest performer in the FTSE 350 Banks Index.

No New Posts   Mortgage Rates - Up Slightly

August 3, 2009

For the second straight week, mortgage rates - on a thirty year fixed, were on the rise.  Rates increased by .05% for the week ending July 23rd.  Although rates are up, they still look rather appealing compared to last years average of 6.5%.  As of now, mortgage rates hover around 5.25%. 

Freddie Mac vice president, Frank Nothaft, stated, Bond yields rose slightly higher this week on market optimism that the economy may be stabilizing somewhat, and mortgage rates followed those yields."

Fifteen year rates also rose slightly and both the thirty and fifteen fixed rates averaged less than a one point fee.

-- Edited by TW on Monday 3rd of August 2009 12:16:22 PM

Started By: TW

Comments: 0

Views: 1876

Last Post: Aug 3 12:15:18 2009 by TW

No New Posts   Home Prices on the Rise

July 31, 2009

Home prices posted an unexpected increase, the first since 2006.  The latest signs show that the market is beginning to stabilize.

Although the S&P 500's pricing index, of twenty cities, revealed that the average price rose by 1/2 a percent compared to the previous month, it is still down more than 17 % compared to a year ago.

The ten city home index jumped almost a 1/2 percent and was still down nearly 17 % compared to the year before.  The was the 4th straight month where both indexes avoided posting record declines.  Home prices have not been at this level since 2003.


-- Edited by TW on Friday 31st of July 2009 01:12:15 AM

Started By: TW

Comments: 0

Views: 2757

Last Post: Jul 31 01:10:56 2009 by TW

No New Posts   Commercial Real Estate in Worse Condition Than Residential

July 24, 2009

According to the latest statistics, commercial real estate values have fallen approximately thirty-five percent since the latter part of 2007.  As of now, there seems to be no stopping the rate of decline, with the month of May dropping over fifteen percent in value.  Distressed properties are said to be the main contributing factors.

Commercial real estate prices have fallen much more than residential real estate prices.

According to David Geltner, who led the study, stated, The worst is clearly over in terms of the transaction price drop....Of course, arrival at a solid bottom does not guarantee that the market wont 'fall through' into a negative bubble'. But that seems unlikely given the amount of capital poised on the sidelines of the property market, at least provided that the real economy doesnt take another nose-dive.

Although many parts of the United States are showing signs of a distress, residential areas like the La Jolla real estate market and the San Diego real estate market are showing signs of recovery, with prices and home sales on the rise.

-- Edited by TW on Friday 24th of July 2009 05:38:37 PM

No New Posts   Home Builders Market Showing Signs of Improvement

July 22, 2009

Housing starts and permits are on the rise as the home builders market is showing signs of improvement.  With the current tax credit coming to an end, the real estate market definitely on the upswing.

NAHB Chairman said, "The upcoming expiration of the first-time home buyer tax credit on December 1st is encouraging some builders to get homes started now so that they can be completed in time for clients to take advantage of this attractive buying incentive.  However, there is still much concern about the difficulty of financing new-home production and continuing weakness in the job market." 

There was more than a 3 1/2 percent increase in housing starts, with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of more than 580,000 units.  Permit issuance increased almost 9 percent to over 560,000 units.

No New Posts   Marin-Based Real Estate Company Acquires Major Competitor

July 21, 2009

Marin real estate firm Morgan Lan Marin Inc. has acquired one of its largest competitors, Pacific Union GMAC Real Estate.  There will now be seventeen offices in the Marin / Bay area and will feature more than four hundred real estate professionals.  As of now, projected sales volume will exceed two billion dollars.  Less than ten years ago, Pacific Union had more than three billion dollars in sales.  It was one of the top real estate companies in the region, with a focus on high end real estate in Marin.

The amount of the acquisition was kept private, but it is thought that Morgan Lan Marin bought Pacific Union at bargain prices.  The deal will make the Marin based company one of the real estate giants, however, in these times, it may not be an easy road ahead. 

Sagging homes sales and large declines in pricing have reduced the real estate industry significantly.  In California alone, realtor memberships have declined by almost twenty percent since 2006.

No New Posts   Median Price & Homes Sales Up for the Marin Real Estate Market

July 20, 2009

The Marin real estate market is beginning to show signs of recovery.  The median price for a home in Marin jumped to eight hundred thousand dollars last month, up from seven hundred twelve thousand dollars in May, while home sales in Marin also increased compared to the previous month.  More than two hundred homes were sold in June compared to just over one hundred seventy in May. 

Still, compared to last year's figures, the median price for a home was down nearly twenty percent, however, the number of homes sold increased by three in 2009.

Most Marin real estate agents agree that the median price would actually be higher if it were not for the amount of foreclosures, which are still on the market.

On the other hand, some agents believe that the real estate market data in Marin may be skewed because of the Mill Valley real estate market or Belvedere's market which can bring the average up because of the high prices for a home in those areas.

The market is also seeing an increase of homes sales in the one to three million dollar range, most likely due to the fact that the higher priced homes have not been selling in the first quarter of 2009.  This can be attributed to the fact that obtaining a jumbo loan is not as easy to do as it once was.

More Good News:  Foreclosures in Marin seem to be thinning out, as well as, short sales too.

Condo Update:
The median price for Marin condos is down almost twenty-five percent from the previous year, while more than sixty condos sold throughout the area in the month of June.

No New Posts   Homes Sales Up 7%

July 16, 2009

Since the market crash in 2008, it has not been as easy for real estate agents to find home buyers.  Many people and families are staying put and not moving while the economy is down.  The influx of foreclosures have not helped either, but most of all what seems to be hurting the market the most is the lack of stability with short sales. In layman terms, short sales are when the banks are selling homes for less than what is owed.  In the San Diego real estate market, there will be multiple offers on a short sale and the buyer may not find out for months if they are actually going to get the home. 

On the positive, San Diego real estate and La Jolla real estate are beginning to show more than a glimpse of improvement.  Multiple offers on homes and condos are once again becoming common and in areas like University City, there aren't enough homes on the market for buyers.   In the last week, 4 regions of America have sold more than  7% than what they normally sell.

-- Edited by PMP on Friday 17th of July 2009 12:57:33 AM

Started By: PMP

Comments: 0

Views: 2008

Last Post: Jul 16 20:53:06 2009 by PMP


No New Posts   WiFi, a must have for Condos.

July 15, 2009

Before WiFi, condos usually didn't have an internet connection. In fact, you were lucky to even have dial up service. In todays market, WiFi is a must have for everyone, including condominiums. Whether your a renter or a buyer, WiFi may make or break the deal.

-- Edited by PMP on Wednesday 15th of July 2009 05:09:28 PM

Started By: PMP

Comments: 0

Views: 1038

Last Post: Jul 15 15:57:24 2009 by PMP


No New Posts   Foreclosures Now Affecting People With Good Credit Ratings

June 22, 2009

Here's a new article on the foreclosure market:


Visit the official Marin real estate blog

No New Posts   Choosing a Leather Sofa and Proper Maintenance

June 7, 2009

Leather sofas are a symbol of luxury in a home. They also lend an air of classiness to whatever room theyre in. But before acquiring one several things need to be considered. Here are some things to keep in mind when buying.

In the past styles and colors of leather sofas were somewhat limited. Not so anymore. Today, you can find a broad array of leather sofas, like sectional and recliners, sofa sleepers all the way up to queen size, or a regular one piece sofa.
Sectional sofas are, of course, more functional than a one piece. They can be separated and placed in multiple rooms, or they can be placed in the same room on different walls for a distinctive look.

Search Leather Furniture for sale in San Diego.

Reclining ability, providing maximum comfort, can now be found on sofas as well as chairs. These sofas can be found in various styles and sizes, and every seat can be reclined individually. There are even sofas with armrests separating the seats.

Leather sleeper sofas are available in full, twin, or queen size. The sleeper section will fold neatly into the body of the couch, and wile closed will look just like a regular sofa. This can be very useful when you have overnight guests.
Different types of leather are available. The type you choose will have an impact on price, quality, and lifetime of the furniture.

Natural, top-grain leather is the best. It lasts the longest and is also the most expensive. Top-grain comes from the outside of the hide and is the strongest type of leather. It stays in great condition for years.

The underlying layer of hide is used in making split leather. It may be treated to make it appear like top-grain, but is not as strong. Just about any piece of leather furniture can last for upwards of 30 years with proper care. Any damage caused to leather can usually be repaired, as well.

Leather should be cleaned regularly with soap and water, then dried with a cloth. Spots where leather has been well-worn and lost its sheen can be renewed using leather oil. Make sure to use the appropriately colored oil if the spot is especially noticeable or there is a deep scuff.

There are home repair kits for leather, though if proper results are not achieved, an expert should be consulted. Well taken care of, nothing matches leather for a long-lasting, luxurious piece of furniture you will be proud to own.

No New Posts   Optimism About Economy Wanes as Unemployment, Home Sales Continue to Fall

May 22, 2009

Optimistic expectations from many experts that we might be nearing a recovery took a hit on Thursday when reports on unemployment and housing sales came in at worse than expected numbers. Some analysts expect the housing crisis to persist until at least the second half of 2009. While layoffs are peaking now, unemployment, which is already higher than at any time in the last 25 years, will continue to rise through the middle of next year. According to the Labor Dept., initial unemployment claims rose lat week, to a seasonally adjusted 640k, compared to the revised number from the week before of 613k. Analysts had predicted the number to be about 635k.

The NAR reported sales of existing home in March fell 3% to an annually adjusted rate of 4.6 million, with Februarys sales revised at 4.7 million. Some analysts are optimistic that the rate of falling sales seen at the end of 2008 is slowing. A key indicator for layoffs, the weekly total of new unemployment applications is said to be leveling off. Unemployment will continue to rise, however, because it measures not only layoffs, but the ability of new workers to find jobs. Top analysts predict the downward trends in construction, sales, and property values to continue for several more months. Home sales are expected to hit bottom later this year, due in large part to improved affordability.

Thanks to both the lower property values and more favorable interest rates, housing has become significantly more affordable. But sales should remain low for another year as demand is kept in check by rising unemployment. Unemployment, at its highest point in 25 years, is expected to peak in the spring or summer of 2010 at about 10.3%. April unemployment numbers, which will be released on the 8th of May, are expected to rise to almost 9% as another 625k jobs are cut. In March, unemployment reached 8.4% with 6663k jobs slashed. Continued unemployment claims also rose, to 6.12 million, the 12th week in a row to set a new record. The percentage of the total workforce receiving unemployment is at its highest since January of 1983 and more than 5 million jobs have been cut since December 2007 when the recession began.

A report from the NRA indicated the national median price for existing homes in March fell to $175k, down significantly from last years median of $200k in March. With the mortgage dilemma still an issue, and unemployment rising, foreclosures are a significant portion of the market. This is especially true in the states of Florida, California, and Nevada. Nationally, the NRA estimates that distressed properties accounted for a little more than half of all sales. In an attempt to ease concerns, a top banking regulator said last week that the banking and housing sectors have already passed the worst of their freefall. The FDIC is developing a program to buy up the troubled loans from banks so that they will loosen their lending policies. To that end they have tentatively scheduled a test sale of distressed loans in June to help develop the broader program.

No New Posts   Bottoms Up

April 11, 2009

Retired experts who have driven the mortgage crisis into the ground at Fannie Mae are reporting housing prices in the battered real estate markets as being safe for homebuyers to enter the market again.The amazing fact is that anyone would listen to the likes of Thomas Lawler from Lawler Economic & Housing Consulting, LLC, or that he could generate any clients at all to pay for his data and analysis.

Lawler worked as a senior vice president of something for Fannie Mae until the bubble burst in 2006, which is when apparently he saw the writing on the proverbial wall, and founded his consultancy firm.He has apparently made a living reporting the situation rather than actively managing and solving problems.According to Lawler housing prices are very close to being at a bottom as long as we factor in all distressed sales.

Lawler maintains that investors scooping up short sales have caused sales to skyrocket even in markets that prices are still dropping.He also suggests lending institutions are experiencing complete havoc due to this anomaly that causes bankers consternation and confusion regarding the true market values of these fire sale prices.Lawler points out that experts agree about the obvious that foreclosure sales are priced below the market value, usually due to poor maintenance.

Lawlers so called experts seem to have agreed that the foreclosure prices should not be used in determining the fair market value by the traditional comp method, whereby prices are set by comparing sales of similar properties within the same or nearby neighborhoods.However, Lawler also admits that by omitting REO sales, some markets are left with dreadfully slim sales data insufficient for accurate comp figures.

Another point Lawler makes is the fact that old sales data does not accurately reflect fair market value because of the national housing price crash.Add to the previous claim one like this: many sales have fallen through due to appraisals coming in lower than the sale price, and you have Lawlers nervous investors demanding strict guidelines on appraisal techniques.

In Lawlers opinion the valuation issue is not limited to individual deals but also affects the home price indexes and empirically-based models.There is a noticeable difference to Lawler in indexes compiled by different brokers and lenders based on differences used in considering the data, such as sample size and omissions from the sample due to REO property sales.

In closing Lawler claims in his short blog that many house prices in many markets are no longer inflated relative to income and local rent levels, even if homeowners are upside down in their mortgages.

-- Edited by TW on Saturday 11th of April 2009 04:45:45 AM

Started By: TW

Comments: 0

Views: 2173

Last Post: Apr 11 04:41:25 2009 by TW

No New Posts   Treasury Department Battling With Banks Over Second Liens

April 2, 2009

-- Edited by ireporter on Thursday 2nd of April 2009 04:33:03 AM
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