Wednesday, April 19, 2006

San Diego Home Sales DOWN!

For March 2006, The number of homes sold continued to drop across Southern California -- with the exception of Riverside County, which saw a 6 percent increase in home sales.

In San Diego County, there were 4,146 home sales last month. That represents a 17.4 percent drop from the 5,018 sales in March 2005.Across Southern California -- including Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties -- there were 29,509 home sales last month, down 9.7 percent from March 2005, when 32,674 homes were sold.

For San Diego, best real estate sites: San Diego coastal real estate
San Diego downtown real estate
San Diego for sale by owner real estate
San Diego real estate

Friday, April 14, 2006

Housing Market Turns!

Red-Hot Housing Markets Cooling Down(April 12, 2006) -- Housing that last year was selling in a matter of hours — Florida coastline condos, townhouses in Washington, D.C., and desert haciendas in Arizona — are now languishing on the market.Home sales have declined 20 percent in Florida, according to the Florida Association of REALTORS®. And in California, sales dropped 15 percent. Sales were off by 19 percent in Washington. D.C., and down 25 percent around Phoenix. Experts blame a number of factors, including a sell-off among investors, worsening affordability due to soaring property prices and rising interest rates. In Florida, last year’s active hurricane season discouraged some buyers.But economists note that while sales in some markets are weaker, they aren't collapsing — just settling into a normal market pace. Inventories are rising but not to an alarming level, and demand for homes is actually posting gains in cities where prices are still considered bargains, such as Indianapolis and Houston.Source: The Wall Street Journal, by Michael Corkery (04/12/06)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

30Yr. Mtg. Rates Moves Higher

McLEAN, VA -- Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market SurveySM in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.49 percent, with an average 0.6 point, for the week ending April 13, 2006, up from last week’s average of 6.43 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.91 percent. The 30-year FRM has not been higher since the week ending July 12, 2002, when it averaged 6.54 percent.The average for the 15-year FRM this week is 6.14 percent, with an average 0.5 point, up from last week’s average of 6.10 percent. A year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.46 percent. The 15-year FRM has not been higher since the week ending June 13, 2002, when it averaged 6.17 percent.

Buying a House - MSN Real Estate

Buying a House - MSN Real Estate: "Los Angeles: The City of Angels has been described as the poster child for how a lack of new housing near employment centers can hurt an economy. Affordable housing has been an issue in the market for years. It's ranked as one of the least affordable places in the country to live, with housing prices consuming 91% of income, according to statistics from John Burns Real Estate Consulting. The median price of an existing single-family home was $568,000 at the end of 2005, the National Association of Realtors reports. Plus, job growth is virtually flat. Together, it's cause for real estate market consultant Gollis to predict that the prices for California coastal markets are topping out in single-family homes. Fortune predicts a drop-off of nearly 8% in housing prices in the next two years, putting it in 95th out of 100 markets for growth. "

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Application Volume Drops -

Application Volume Drops - "WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Mortgage Bankers Association released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 7. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, was 579.4, a decrease of 5.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from 612.8 one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 5.1 percent compared with the previous week and was down 14.7 percent compared with the same week one year earlier.

The seasonally-adjusted Purchase Index decreased by 4.7 percent to 417.7 from 438.2 the previous week whereas the Refinance Index decreased by 6.6 percent to 1532.4 from 1640.8 one week earlier. Other seasonally adjusted index activity includes the Conventional Index, which decreased 5.0 percent to 854.9 from 900.3 the previous week, and the Government Index, which decreased 10.2 percent to 120.0 from 133.6 the previous week."

Monday, April 10, 2006

Rising inventory of unsold homes points to a cooling of the market

Rising inventory of unsold homes points to a cooling of the market: "
Kathleen Pender
Sunday, April 9, 2006

In another sign that the real estate market is cooling -- but not collapsing -- the inventory of unsold homes in California is roughly double what it was a year ago.
Inventory is calculated by dividing the number of homes for sale in a region by the number of homes that have closed escrow in the past month. It tells you how many months it would take hypothetically to sell all the homes on the market.
Statewide, the inventory of unsold single-family homes in February was 6.7 months, up from 3.2 months in February of last year.

'For the better part of 2005, it was in the 3- to 3.5-month range,' says Robert Kleinhenz, deputy chief economist with the California Association of Realtors. 'We saw a rather dramatic increase at the state level beginning in January of this year and continuing in February.'

Inventories are generally higher in Southern than in Northern California. "

Friday, April 07, 2006

Home Mortgage Jump

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate jumped to 6.43 percent from 6.35 percent during the week ended April 6, according to Freddie Mac.Interest on 15-year fixed loans edged up to 6.10 percent from 6 percent over the same period. Meanwhile, the one-year adjustable mortgage rate rose to 5.57 percent from 5.51 percent; and the five-year hybrid ARM surged to 6.11 percent from 6.02 percent. Source: The Wall Street Journal (04/07/06)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

lenders believe a housing bubble

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--About two-thirds of lenders believe a housing bubble exists in the U.S., and half think it has begun to burst or will blow up in the next six months, according to a new survey.A Phoenix Management report, released Tuesday, found 66% of the 92 lenders who took part in the survey believe the country is currently in a housing bubble, up from 46% a year ago."In the minds of lenders, the housing bubble has moved from Loch Ness monster myth status to an economic reality that could have a significant economic impact on the lives of many Americans," said Michael Jacoby, managing director and shareholder of Phoenix Management, an advisory firm that provides turnaround, crisis and interim management and investment banking services.When asked when the bubble might burst, 77% said they believed it would happen within the next 12 months: 30% believe the bubble is already starting to blow up, 20% predict it will happen in the next one to six months, and 27% forecast it in seven to 12 months.If a housing correction occurs, 50% of respondents said they believe prices would decline up to 10%, 43% expect a 20% price decline, and 7% see prices falling up to 30%.The survey found 30% of lenders believe the Northeast region would be hit hardest by a housing correction while 27% believe the West would be affected most.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Housing Bubble Trouble - CBS News

Housing Bubble Trouble - CBS News: "'If something can't go on forever, it won't.'
Herb Stein

With new home sales down 10.5 percent in February, and with home prices declining for the fourth month in a row, it's high time for a sober look at the consequences of a major housing correction. The Federal Reserve, Wall Street economists, and other observers of the U.S. economy are closely watching the housing market because it has been a key driver of economic growth over the past several years.

Roughly a quarter of the jobs created since the 2001 recession have been in construction, real estate, and mortgage finance. Even more important, consumers have withdrawn $2.5 trillion in equity from their homes during this time, spending as much as half of it and thus making a huge contribution to the growth the U.S. economy has enjoyed in recent years (consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of GDP).

But consumers cannot keep spending more than they make. Eventually, home prices will flatten, the flood of 'cash out' refinancings will become a trickle, and consumer spending will slow, as will job creation in housing-related industries. The big question is this: Will the housing sector experience a soft landing and slow the economy or a hard landing that pushes us into recession? "