Real Estate Newsletter – December 2016

November 30, 2016

County home prices exceed $500,000

San Diego Union Tribune article and video reports that, “Pushed up by high demand and limited supply, the median price hit $507,500, up 11 percent from a year ago. It has still not reached the housing boom peak of $517,500 in November 2005. ”

November 29, 2016

U.S home prices recover to pre-recession levels

The Wall Street Journal reports that, “U.S. home prices have climbed back above the record reached more than a decade ago, bringing to a close the worst period for the housing market since the Great Depression and stoking optimism for a more sustainable expansion.”

SoCal residential construction to increase in 2017

“Industry leaders expect more construction of residential units in 2017 than this year, said the third quarter report from the nonprofit Real Estate Research Council of Southern California,” according to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune by Phillip Molnar.

November 28, 2016

CA Supreme Court rules on dual agency

San Francisco Chronicle reports on a legal issue involving the role of real estate agents and their relationship with their clients. Most people don’t ever think about this issue or even consider it a problem but it has the potential of being a major issue.

One of the first classes offered in law school is Agency And Partnership where law students learn about fiduciary duty and the concept that one agent cannot serve two masters. The thing to remember is that the person we call agent when we’re listing or buying a home is not your agent in any legal sense. Your agent is the designated California Real Estate Broker under whose license your “agent” is working, probably as an independent contractor. So, when two licensees from the same real estate company represent the buyer and seller then there is a legal conflict. Which party does the agent owe a fiduciary duty to?

The National Association of REALTORS and California Association of REALTORS are powerful political lobbying groups and have been able to protect their members from complying with the same legal standard as other professions in regards to dual agency.

November 23, 2016

Existing home sales highest since 2007

Barron’s story reports that, “Sales of previously owned homes climbed 2% in October (5.9% year-over-year) to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.6 million, according to a Tuesday report from the National Association of Realtors.”

New home sales below estimates

“Sales of newly built homes edged down in October, a sign the housing market could be losing momentum in the closing months of the year,” according to The Wall Street Journal. “New-home sales account for a fairly small slice of U.S. home-buying activity, and sales data can be extremely volatile from month to month.”

Conforming loan limits raised

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Federal Housing Administration has raised their conforming loan limits effective next year. ” In pricier markets (normally including San Diego – check with your lender), such as New York and San Francisco, conforming mortgage limits will move to $636,150, from $625,500.”

2017 predictions not great for SoCal

“Homeownership rates will rise across the nation in 2017 after years of declines as more millennials enter the market, Zillow predicted Tuesday in its look-ahead report.

But, the Southern California market is not expected to see the same gains experienced in the rest of the country because of a lack of inventory and other factors, the home listing website said,” reports Phillip Molnar of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

November 18, 2106

So Cal interest rates increase

The San Diego Union-Tribune article discusses reasons why home loan interest rates have gone up after the November election. The story is essentially the same as the one that follows.

November 17, 2016

U.S. interest rates up after election

The Washington Post reports that interest rates went up following the election. “Since Trump was elected president, investors have flooded the stock market and pulled out of the bond markets.” Interest rates are headed up regardless of who was elected. I read recently that the average interest rate on a home loan over the last 30 years is a little over 8%.

November 16, 2016

Home builders remain upbeat

“U.S. builders say they are upbeat about the market for single-family homes, reflecting steady sales and a stable economy,” reports The Wall Street Journal. This is good news for the residential re-sale market as well since many new homes are purchased by buyers who have an existing home to sell creating more inventory.

November 15, 2016

Millennials and San Diego

“San Diego is beautiful, but if you’re a young person without a lot of cash, North Carolina doesn’t look half bad,” reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.

November 11, 2016

San Diego housing predictions

San Diego Union-Tribune article by Phillip Molnar tries to predict the effect of the new Trump Administration on San Diego housing. Rising interest rates seem to be a concern of local real estate experts but interest rates were going regardless of who was elected. They’ve been artificially depressed for too long. My concern is that once rates start moving up they don’t start accelerating at an uncontrollable pace like they did in the 1970’s.

November 10, 2016

Trump and affordable housing

MarketWatch article by Daniel Goldstein discusses how Donald Trump’s election as President might impact the affordable housing crisis in the U.S. My opinion is that if Mr. Trump can fulfill his campaign pledge of creating more well paying jobs for the middle class then the affordable housing crisis will solve itself. There’s nothing like a good, well paying job to make housing affordable.

November 8, 2016

Issues for buyers to consider

REALTORMag offers some good tips for home buyers to think about when considering a resale home. This is an article intended for REALTORS but good information for potential buyers too.

November 7, 2016

What percent of income for rent?

“Fifty-seven percent of county renters spent more than 30 percent of their income on rent in 2015, the latest U.S Census data shows, which is considered “cost burdened” by economists and federal agencies,” reports Phillip Molnar in his San Diego Union-Tribune story.

November 3, 2016

More housing for San Diego

“California needs to build 3.5 million homes by 2025 to keep up with population growth, says a new report from the McKinsey Global Institute, and local experts put the number around 170,000 new units for San Diego County,” reports Phillip Molnar in a San Diego Union-Tribune article.