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2013-12-15 09:33:43
Bryan & Allison's Real Estate Report - 12/15/13

Enjoy your morning coffee with the latest real estate news, stats, and information.  And now, click on the title of the article to link directly to the source!

To start off, here is some information that's not from a specific article:


No Taxation on Debt Relief on Short Sales

The IRS and Franchise Tax Board recently announced that they will not pursue taxes on debt relief homeowners receive through a short sale.  While both the IRS and Franchise Tax Board used to treat this debt relief as income, neither will treat it this way going forward.  This is welcome relief for struggling homeowners.  Contact us for more information and how this may affect you or someone you know.


And now, on to the rest of the news and information:


Home Prices & Sales


Home-Price Moderation a 'Welcome Development,' Economist Says

Rapid and steep home-price appreciation has left some wondering if another bubble is being blown up — but Zillow’s chief economist says the country is still 16 percent from its peak and has a few years before it will reach that level again.

Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow Inc., spoke Thursday at the USD Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s 14th annual Residential Real Estate Conference: Outlook 2014.

Humphries said that many people, especially non-real estate professionals, associate affordability and bubbles tightly with home value appreciation. He used Phoenix as an example, explaining that prices fell 65 percent after the peak in 2006, so appreciating by 20 to 30 percent year-over-year “is not crazy.” He said economists look at affordability relative to other factors, such as how much income it takes to buy real estate and the rental equivalence.


US home prices rise just 0.2% in October

A measure of U.S. home prices rose only modestly in October, adding to signs that prices have stabilized after big gains earlier this year.  Real estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that prices increased 0.2 percent in October from September. That's up from a 0.1 percent gain in September. But it is down sharply from a 0.9 percent increase in August.

One reason for the slowdown is that the figures aren't adjusted for seasonal patterns. Prices usually decline in the fall and winter, when sales slow.  Still, big gains in previous months, along with higher mortgage rates, may be pricing some buyers out of the market.

Home prices have risen 12.5 percent from a year ago. The increase could encourage more sellers to put their homes on the market, easing a shortage of homes for sale.

Only 1.88 million homes were for sale at the end of October, down 2.1 percent from the previous month and the fewest since March.  The shortage of inventory has slowed sales. Home re-sales fell in October for a second straight month to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.12 million, the lowest since June, according to the National Association of Realtors. That pace is still 6 percent higher than it was a year earlier. But it's below the roughly 5.5 million sold each year in healthier markets.

Some sales were delayed in October due to the 16-day partial government shutdown, the Realtors' group said. The shutdown prevented the IRS from verifying incomes, a critical part of the mortgage-approval process. Those sales may have been pushed into November or December.

But a measure of signed contracts to buy homes fell for a fifth straight month in October. That points to weaker final sales in the coming months. Final sales typically occur one to two months after contracts are signed.

According to CoreLogic, prices rose in October from the previous year in all states except New Mexico. The biggest gains were in Nevada (25.9 percent), California (22.4 percent), Georgia (14.2 percent), Michigan (14.1 percent) and Arizona (14 percent).

Ninety-six of the 100 largest metro areas reported price gains from the previous year. That's down from September, when all 100 cities reported gains.

The biggest increase was in Riverside, Calif., with 24.1 percent, followed by Los Angeles (22.1 percent), Atlanta (16.4 percent), Phoenix (15.9 percent) and Chicago (12.3 percent).

Home prices are still about 17 percent below the peak reached in April 2006, according to CoreLogic.


Foreclosure News


Notices of Default Reach 'Normal' Level 

Notices of default have reached a level of normalcy, and one San Diego real estate professional predicts they’ll stay in that range.

Notices of default (NOD) -- which initiate the foreclosure process by registering that a borrower is behind in payments – decreased 26.63 percent from October to November, and fell 46.6 percent from November 2012 to November 2013, according to the San Diego County Assessor's Office.  Lenders issued NODs to 471 borrowers in November, down from 642 in October and down from 882 in November 2012.

Trustee deeds -- the final step in the foreclosure process, transferring ownership from the delinquent borrower back to the lender or to a third party -- were filed on 223 properties in November, 5.69 percent higher than in October and 58.24 percent fewer than November 2012.


Fancy Foreclosures On The Rise 

Luxury homes are beautiful to look at, but difficult to maintain according to a recent report. Despite the continued decline of foreclosure activity in the country, luxury properties are going into foreclosure at a rapid clip. Overall U.S. foreclosure activity is down 23 percent year-to-date through October 2013, but foreclosure activity on homes in the $5 million-plus value range is up 61 percent from the same time period in 2012, according to RealtyTrac.


Estimated Time To Clear Distressed Inventory Rises 

Distressed inventory is on the decline, but the number of months it will take to clear that distressed inventory from the market is on the rise, according to the latest report from Morningstar Credit Ratings. 

Distressed inventory among non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) dropped 20 percent year-over-year and 5 percent quarter-over-quarter in the third quarter of this year, according to Morningstar. 

By the ratings agency’s calculation, total private-label RMBS distressed inventory–-including properties in foreclosure, 90 or more days delinquent, REO, and half of all modified mortgages–-stood at about 891,000 properties as of the end of September. 


Other News & Information


Lots of Investors, Lack of Land Describe Housing Market

San Diego’s housing landscape features investors renting out traditionally owner-occupied homes and a lack of land supply to meet the demand, according to real estate professionals who spoke at the Burnham-Moores’ 14th annual Residential Real Estate Conference on Thursday.


Trulia: Repeat Homebuyers to Dominate 2014 Market

While 2013 was the year of the investor, 2014 is expected to usher in several pivotal shifts in the housing market, including the dominance of the repeat homebuyer, Jed Kolko, chief economist with Trulia said in his latest housing predictions for 2014.

'As prices rise, buying homes will become less attractive to investors as well as first-time home buyers, but repeat buyers will be able to offset the higher price of the home they buy with the higher price from the home they sell,' Kolko said.


Realtor.com Issues Winter Home Buyer Report 

Realtor.com, the leader in online real estate, operated by Move, Inc., released the results of its Winter Home Buyer Report, which ran on realtor.com® from Nov. 7-16 and explored sentiments of home buyers looking to buy a house during the winter months. Survey results from more than 1,300 respondents reveal that lingering conditions of this past home buying season are setting the tone for winter home buyers including inventory challenges and all-cash offers. While the majority of winter home buyers describe themselves as relocation buyers, downsizers are also a large portion of those looking to buy a house in the next four months. 


Friends and Family Beat Out Housing Professionals As First Stop For Information 

The average home buyer looks to friends and family first when gathering information on the home-buying process, ahead of realtors by more than two to one and mortgage lenders by more than four to one in the latest homeownership survey from NeighborWorks America, one of the country’s leading housing and community development nonprofit corporations.


Despite Rising Prices, Investors Expected to Remain Most Active Buyers 

Rising prices may be bringing some homeowners out from under water, but tight credit will still preclude many traditional buyers from the market, according to a recent report from San Diego-based DataQuick, a real estate information and analytics provider. As a result, investors will continue to play a major role in the purchase market for the foreseeable future, DataQuick concluded.

California Coastal Housing Unaffordable Again

One of the earliest phenomenon that occurred during the housing bubble was the ascension of home prices that led to housing becoming unaffordable relative to incomes. This was especially acute in California coastal cities and spurred outflows to Riverside and Sacramento, which then in turn became overdeveloped epicenters of the housing bubble and subsequent burst.

The cascade of markets across the nation from affordable to unaffordable was a key signal that prompted us to warn of the coming housing downturn. It now appears that this first symptom has cropped up once again, as almost all of California’s coastal cities are now reading as unaffordable according to our calculations.


Housing Momentum Stalled by Cautious Consumers

According to Fannie Mae’s November National Housing Survey, positive momentum in the housing market has slowed as Americans remain cautious about their personal finances and the overall state of the economy.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed believe the economy is on the wrong track. Twenty-two percent expect their personal finances to worsen during the next year, and only 45 percent expect home prices to increase within the next 12 months.


Bryan & Allison Devore

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices|California Properties

 “The Team To Trust!”

(760) 908-3838


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