Reasons to Buy Real Estate Now

The “Three Reasons” below is a repost from the pages of REALTOR Magazine online, but essentially is what I’ve been saying for weeks, nay months!

The tax credits expired and everyone climbed under a rock! For a measly $8 to $18K in conditional tax credits buyers were jumping through hoops like they were handing out bars of gold. Do the math on 4% interest over 30 years on a distressed property that you bought for 10% below market. . .

So STOP listening to all the fearmongers and their media puppets screaming that the sky is falling. They’ve all got agendas. Be smart, do your homework and if it makes sense buy a home.

As a point of reference, interest rates on 30-year fixed conventional mortgages went to double digits in late 1978 and peaked at nearly 19% in late 1981. It wasn’t until early 1986 that rates dipped (briefly) below 10% again and were not permanently in single numbers until late 1990. In November of last year (2009) they were right at or just below 5%.

Three Reasons to Buy a Home Now

Stocks are up 50 percent from the March 2009 bottom. Some commodities have risen dramatically. The only asset class left in the cellar is real estate, says Michael Murphy, editor of the New World Investor stock newsletter.

As a result, Murphy is advising investors to buy now for these three reasons:

Desperate sellers: Both home owners and lenders are eager to unload a flood of foreclosed and underwater properties. Buyers with the patience to push through these complex deals can save a bundle.

Little competition: Because most people don’t have what it takes to negotiate their way through short sales and REOs, patient investors are winners.

Low rates: Mortgage rates are at their lowest level in 40 years. If you believe inflation is inevitable, lock in now.

Source: MarketWatch, Michael Murphy (08/19/2010)

Posted at REALTOR Magazine online

For more information regarding this post or other real estate information visit LARealEstateINFO.net or contact Robert Dixon at RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty, Telephone (310) 703-1848 or email info@robertdixon.net. Content of this or any other post is presumed to be accurate but not guaranteed. DRE License #01828273

Serving the Palos Verdes Peninsula & South Bay Beach Cities, Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills, Silver Lake, Echo Park – Angelino Heights, Los Feliz, the Greater Los Angeles area and Palm Springs.

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SOCAL Sales Up 08 to 09, while Prices Level or Fall Off

With the Federal Tax Credit deadline passing, April 30th there has been a very noticeable slow down. For example combined South Bay properties pending (reported start of Escrow April vs. May) were down to 799 in May compared to 1009 in April. Inventory, however has continued to climb from 2674 listed in April, 2845 in May and 3084 reported listed in June. Average price per square foot for South Bay, as a whole is at the lowest level since February however that covers a wide range of prices and demographics. As I continue to say, interest rates (whether buying or refinancing) are the highlight. Falling or level pricing and increased inventory is another.

Please contact me for numbers and prices on specific areas, if you’re considering buying, selling or leasing and especially if you believe you’re upside-down on your loan and fear you may lose your home as there are alternatives to foreclosure.

Southland home sales edge up, prices level off

July 13, 2010

Southern California’s housing market continued its slow crawl toward normalcy in June as sales volume rose and the median price slipped back a notch from May, but remained 13 percent higher than a year ago. Red-hot, fire-sale deals continued to give way to mere bargains in the lower- cost inland markets where first-time buyers and investors have competed fiercely, a real estate information service reported.

A total of 23,871 new and resale homes were sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties last month. That was up 7.2 percent from 22,270 in May, and up 2.6 percent from 23,262 for June 2009, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego.

The sales count was the highest since July last year when 24,104 homes were sold. It was the strongest month of June since 2006 when 31,602 homes sold. The average June since 1988 has had 28,086 sales.

“The market was wildly out of kilter a year ago, now it’s just somewhat out of kilter. We’re still seeing lots of bargain hunting, and we’re not seeing much discretionary buying. The single-biggest issue is still mortgage financing. Rates may be at record lows, but that doesn’t mean much if the lender won’t qualify you,” said John Walsh, MDA DataQuick president.

“Still, more money was spent last month buying homes in Southern California than in the past two years, and more money was loaned. The tax credits had something to do with that, though it’s not clear exactly how much. With the impact of the credits fading fast, the next few months will tell us a lot.”

The median price paid for a Southland home was $300,000 last month. That was down 1.6 percent from $305,000 in May, and up 13.2 percent from $265,000 for June 2009. The low point of the current cycle was $247,000 in April 2009, the high point was $505,000 in mid 2007. The median’s peak-to-trough drop was due to a decline in home values as well as a shift in sales toward low-cost homes, especially foreclosures.

Foreclosure resales accounted for 33.0 percent of the resale market last month, down from 33.9 percent in May, and down from 45.3 percent a year ago. The all-time high was February 2009 at 56.7 percent, DataQuick reported.

Government-insured FHA loans, a popular choice among first-time buyers, accounted for 39.0 percent of all mortgages used to purchase homes in June.

Last month 20.8 percent of all sales were for $500,000 or more, compared with 22.2 percent in May and 19.3 percent a year ago. Zip codes in the top one-third of the Southland housing market, based on historical prices, accounted for 29.6 percent of existing single-family house sales last month, down from 31.0 percent in May but up from 27.8 percent a year ago. Over the last decade those high-end areas have contributed a monthly average of 33.3 percent of regional sales. Their contribution to overall sales hit a low of 21.0 percent in January 2009.

High-end sales would be stronger, and the overall market recovery more robust, if adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) and “jumbo” loans were more available. Both have become much more difficult to obtain since the August 2007 credit crisis.

While 43.9 percent of all Southland purchase mortgages since 2000 have been ARMs, it was 6.6 percent last month, up from 6.5 percent in May and up from 2.7 percent in June last year.

Jumbo loans, mortgages above the old conforming limit of $417,000, accounted for 17.3 percent of last month’s purchase lending, up from 17.2 percent in May and from 14.9 percent in June 2009. Before the credit crisis, jumbos accounted for 40 percent of the market.

Absentee buyers – mostly investors and some second-home purchasers – bought 19.7 percent of the homes sold in June, paying a median of $220,000. Buyers who appeared to have paid all cash – meaning there was no indication that a corresponding purchase loan was recorded – accounted for 23.5 percent of June sales, paying a median $213,000. In February this year cash sales peaked at 30.1 percent. The 22-year monthly average for Southland homes purchased with cash is 14.1 percent.

The “flipping” of homes has also trended higher over the past year. Last month the percentage of Southland homes flipped – bought and re-sold – within a six-month period was 3.4 percent, while a year ago it was 1.9 percent. Last month it varied from as little as 3.0 percent in Orange and San Diego counties to as much as 3.8 percent in Los Angeles County.

MDA DataQuick, a subsidiary of Vancouver-based MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates, monitors real estate activity nationwide and provides information to consumers, educational institutions, public agencies, lending institutions, title companies and industry analysts.

The typical monthly mortgage payment that Southland buyers committed themselves to paying was $1,251 last month, down from $1,293 for May, and up from $1,193 for June a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, current payments are 44.3 percent below typical payments in the spring of 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. They were 54.4 percent below the current cycle’s peak in July 2007.

Indicators of market distress continue to move in different directions. Foreclosure activity remains high by historical standards but is lower than peak levels reached over the last two years. Financing with multiple mortgages is low, down payment sizes are stable, and non-owner occupied buying is above- average, MDA DataQuick reported.

Source: DataQuick

For more information regarding this post or other real estate information contact Robert Dixon at RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty (310) 703-1848 or email info@robertdixon.net. Content of this or any other post is presumed to be accurate but not guaranteed.

SOLD June, Palos Verdes – South Bay Beach Cities

SOLD during the month of JUNE 2010

61 The number of residential properties sold on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, 90274 and 90275.

120 The number of residential properties sold in the South Bay Beach Cities, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo and Torrance Beach.

Residential properties SOLD during the month of MAY 2010
 
For more information regarding this post or other real estate information contact Robert Dixon at RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty (310) 703-1848 or email info@robertdixon.net. Content of this or any other post is presumed to be accurate but not guaranteed.

Rate on 5-year ARM falls to record low

Interest rates continue to be the best single reason to be in the housing market. Whether you’re buying or need to sell, historically low financing is a huge benefit…

Rate on 5-year ARM falls to record low
But mortgage rates’ weekly move proves minimal: Freddie Mac
MarketWatch June 18, 2010
By Amy Hoak , Real Estate writer

Mortgage rates changed little this week, but the 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage managed to slide enough to break its record low, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of conforming mortgage rates, released on Thursday.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARMs averaged 3.89% for the week ended June 17, down from 3.92% last week and 4.97% a year ago. It’s the lowest the ARM has been since Freddie Mac started tracking it in January 2005.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs also fell, averaging 3.82%, down from 3.91% last week and 4.95% a year ago. It’s the lowest that the ARM has been since the week ended May 6, 2004, when it averaged 3.76%.

But fixed-rate mortgages inched up this week, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 4.75%, up from 4.72% last week; it averaged 5.38% a year ago. And the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.20%, up from 4.17% last week; it averaged 4.89% a year ago.

To obtain the rates, the fixed-rate mortgages and the 5-year ARM required payment of an average 0.7 point, while the 1-year ARM required an average 0.6 point. A point is 1% of the mortgage amount, charged as prepaid interest.

“Mortgage rates were little changed this week amid preliminary signs that the expiration of the home-buyer tax credit in April may have led to a slowdown in new construction,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, in a news release.

“Starts on single-family homes fell 17% to an annualized pace of 468,000 units in May from April’s 20-month high. In addition, permits on one-unit homes fell to the slowest pace since May 2009,” he noted. Read story about housing starts.

“Finally, builders became more pessimistic in their near-term outlook in June, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing,” he said. Read about builder pessimism.

But Nothaft added that household balance sheets have been improving over the last year: “In aggregate, households gained $6.3 trillion in net worth in the first quarter from a year ago, according to the Federal Reserve.

“In addition, homeowners have regained $1.1 trillion in home equity over the same time period,” he said

For more information regarding this post or other real estate information contact Robert Dixon at RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty (310) 703-1848 or email info@robertdixon.net. Content of this or any other post is presumed to be accurate but not guaranteed.

Homebuyer Tax Credits Extended to Sept. 30th

The Senate on Wednesday approved a plan to give homebuyers an extra three months to finish qualifying for federal tax incentives that boosted home sales this spring.

The move by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would give buyers until Sept. 30 to complete their purchases and qualify for tax credits of up to $8,000. Under the current terms, buyers had until April 30 to get a signed sales contract and until June 30 to complete the sale.

The proposal, approved by a 60-37 vote, would only allow people who already have signed contracts to finish at the later date. About 180,000 homebuyers who already signed purchase agreements would otherwise miss the deadline.

Reid, D-Nev., added the proposal to a bill extending jobless benefits through the end of November. Nevada has the nation’s highest foreclosure rate, and Reid is facing a tough re-election campaign.

The Realtors group has been pushing hard in Congress for the extension. Mortgage lenders, the trade group says, have been swamped with borrowers trying to get approved by the end of the month. Many potential borrowers are unlikely to make the deadline.

“If Congress fails to act promptly, then prospective homebuyers might not get the benefit of the homebuyer tax credit, even though they have completed contracts,” the Realtors said a a letter to lawmakers.

First-time buyers were eligible for a tax credit of up to $8,000. Current owners who bought and moved into another home could qualify for a credit of up to $6,500.

The $140 million cost of the measure would be financed by denying businesses the ability to deduct from their taxes punitive damages paid when losing lawsuits or judgments.

For more information regarding this post or other real estate information contact Robert Dixon at RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty (310) 703-1848 or email info@robertdixon.net. Content of this or any other post is presumed to be accurate but not guaranteed.

South Bay Home Sales/Prices April 2009 to 2010

No doubt it is difficult to be too serious about the percentage of loss/gain when looking at such a limited number of sales (per city), as one high or low number can dramatically influence the overall. The devil, as they say is in the details…

Below are numbers (from DataQuick) on April 2010 home sales as compared to April 2009. Data includes homes sold and the percentage of change based on median price 2009 vs 2010. Unfortunately there were no numbers in the report for Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills or Rolling Hills Estates.

Entire report at DQNews – California Home Sale Price Medians by County and City, Home Sales Recorded in April 2010

Los Angeles County  6,334  +9.00%

El Segundo  15  +12.46%
Gardena  31  +10.29%
Harbor City  18  +21.20%
Hawthorne  37  +15.24%
Hermosa Bch  18  -26.54%
Lomita  11  -3.87%
Manhattan Bch  40  +11.72%
Rancho PV  39  +4.38%
Redondo Bch  77  +1.98%
Torrance  106  +18.41%

For more information regarding this post or other real estate information contact Robert Dixon at RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty (310) 703-1848 or email info@robertdixon.net. Content of this or any other post is presumed to be accurate but not guaranteed.

New location: RE/MAX Palos Verdes (Silver Spur)

I’ve recently moved from our Redondo Beach office in the Hollywood Riviera to the office on Silver Spur Road across from the Promenade on the Peninsula in Rolling Hill Estates. Due to the recent acquisition by RE/MAX Palos Verdes & Execs of six new RE/MAX offices (Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, Marina Del Rey/Venice, Santa Monica, West LA and Beverly Hills) there been a lot agents moving within our organization and for me this is a far more convenient location.

Updated contact info:

450 Silver Spur Road
Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274
Direct (310) 703-1848
Cell (310) 750-5751
info@robertdixon.net