Itâ€™s Tuesday News Day and these are this weeks hot topics concerning the real estate market, the financial market, general market conditions, and interest rates.Los Angeles Daily NewsÂ â€“Â Cash buyers, investment uptick boost California median home price
California home sales and prices both posted gains in December, with the median price posting strong double-digit gains for six straight months, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSÂ® (C.A.R.) reported.
Making sense of the story
- Sales in December were up 0.8 percent from a revised 518,460 in November and up 0.9 percent from a revised 517,730 in December 2011. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2012 if sales maintained the December pace throughout the year.
- The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home climbed 5 percent from Novemberâ€™s $349,300 median price to $366,930 in December.
- Decemberâ€™s price was up 27 percent from a revised $288,950 recorded in December 2011, marking the tenth consecutive month of annual price increases and the sixth consecutive month of double-digit annual gains.
- The substantial increase in price was due in large part to a significant increase of higher-priced properties, while inventory constraints continued to constrict sales of lower-priced homes. Price increases are not expected to continue at a high pace into 2013.
- Californiaâ€™s housing inventory was further constrained in December, with the Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes dropping to 2.6 months, down from 3.1 months in November and a revised 4.3 months in December 2011. The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. A six- to seven-month supply is considered normal.
- The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home edged up to 38.1 days in December 2012 from 37.5 days in November but was down from 58.7 days for the same period a year ago.
In other newsâ€¦
CNNMoneyÂ â€“Â Home prices post biggest jump in six years
Home prices in 20 major cities were up 5.5 percent in November compared with a year earlier, their biggest jump in more than six years.
The Wall Street JournalÂ â€“Â The appraisal betrayal
The growing gap between a high-end homeâ€™s sale price and its appraised value can prompt potential buyers to walk away; those who decide to buy anyway may end up with an unwelcome mortgage surprise.
The Los Angeles TimesÂ â€“Â Housing advocates push for new type of subprime loan
The Dignity Mortgage would have a higher rate for higher-risk borrowers but include rate cuts after five years of on-time payments.
CNNMoneyÂ â€“Â Housing to drive economic growth (finally!)
Just over half of economists surveyed by CNNMoney identified a housing recovery as the primary driver of economic growth this year.
The New York TimesÂ â€“Â Appraising high-end homes
As home sales pick up in the million-dollar-plus market, deals are being complicated by unexpectedly low appraisal values.
The Los Angeles TimesÂ â€“Â Pending home sales slip in December, but still up from year earlier
The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSÂ® said its pending home sales index fell 4.3 percent, to 101.7, compared with the previous month, but was up 6.9 percent from December 2011. An index level of 100 is considered a healthy level of pending sales.
- Home appraisals are based on recent sales prices of comparable properties. And in rising price markets, those sales prices might not be high enough to support new home sale prices. Here are some ways sellers can improve their home appraisal.
- Make sure the appraiser knows the neighborhood. Sellers can request that the lender send a local appraiser; if that still doesnâ€™t happen, owners should supply as much information as possible about the quality of the neighborhood.
- Provide your own comparables. Sellers should provide the appraiser with at least three solid and well-priced comparable properties. This will save the appraiser some work, and ensure that he or she is getting price information from homes that really are similar to the one being appraised.
- Document home improvement projects. Sellers should provide before and after photos, along with a well-defined spreadsheet of what was spent on each renovation, which should persuade an appraiser to turn in a number that far exceeds what he or she first called out. Itâ€™s important to highlight all-important structural improvements to electrical systems, heating and cooling systems â€“ which are harder to see, but can dramatically boost an appraisal. Showing receipts also may be helpful.
If you have any questions about the current real estate market give me a call atÂ Â (408) 840-3852Â or shoot me an email atÂ Thomas.Feng@gmail.comÂ to discuss your situation and how to get the most out of the current real estate housing market.
Because of the many legal and tax situations that can arise through the sale and purchase of real estateALWAYSÂ consult with yourÂ ATTORNEYÂ orÂ ACCOUNTANTÂ before makingÂ ANYÂ decisions inÂ ANYÂ transaction
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* THIS ARTICLE WAS POSTED ATÂ Thomas Fengâ€™s Bay Area ConnectÂ *