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By Bud Zeller | Broker in Placerville, CA
  • 2nd Quarter Housing Affordability Declines Statewide

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in South Lake Tahoe, Financing in South Lake Tahoe, Home Ownership in South Lake Tahoe  |  September 9, 2014 1:59 PM  |  18 views  |  No comments
    Lower interest rates in the second quarter of 2014 failed to offset continued home price increases, lowering housing affordability statewide and in 19 of 26 counties in California. 

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  • Luxury Sales Heat Up Across the Country

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in South Lake Tahoe, Home Buying in South Lake Tahoe, Home Selling in South Lake Tahoe  |  May 30, 2014 8:27 PM  |  228 views  |  No comments

    Luxury home sales, particularly sales of the priciest 1 percent of homes, are surging. Sales of the most expensive homes in many local markets are up 21.1 percent this year, after a 35.7 percent gain last year, the real estate brokerage Redfin reports in its 2014 "Luxury Report." On the other hand, sales in the other 99 percent of the market have dropped 7.6 percent this year. 

    It’s a scenario playing out throughout the country: The top 1 percent of the housing market is booming, while the rest of the market has been slowing in its recovery due to sluggish wage and job growth, according to the analysis. 

    In about 10 housing markets, luxury home sales have surged above 50 percent this year. For example, Oakland and San Jose, Calif., are on track to nearly double the number of home sales since last year in the most expensive 1 percent of the market, according to the report. 

    Metros vary on the price to reach the top 1 percent of the housing market. For example, in San Francisco, the most expensive 1 percent of homes sold for $5.35 million or more. In Los Angeles, the most expensive homes sold for at least $3.65 million, and in Orange County, they sold for at least $3.45 million. On the other hand, in some markets, the top 1 percent of home sales can be purchased for six figures, such as Atlanta, where the top 1 percent of home sales averages $861,000, or in Minneapolis, where it averages $881,000. 

    According to Redfin’s analysis, neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Francisco dominate the list of markets with the highest number of luxury home sales. On its top 20 neighborhood list, the top three neighborhood leaders were: Beverly Glenn ($11.86 million); Holmby Hills ($9.91 million); and Malibu Road ($9.51 million).

    Source: “2014 Luxury Report: Sales of Priciest 1% of Homes climb While Rest of Home Sales Down,” Redfin (May 27, 2014)

  • Boomers' Demand Shifts to Change Real Estate

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in South Lake Tahoe, Home Buying in South Lake Tahoe, Home Ownership in South Lake Tahoe  |  January 19, 2014 10:14 AM  |  279 views  |  No comments

    The aging of the nation's Baby Boomer population could reshape the United States' residential real estate market and economy in the coming years. As members of this demographic get older, many will move out of the houses where they raised families and downsize into smaller, cozier apartments, condominiums, and townhouses. 

    This is a normal transition for people of such age, but it represents a potentially massive shift in the nation's housing demand. Based on demographic trends, the nation should see a stronger rebound in multifamily construction than in single-family construction in the years to come. 

    Kansas City Fed senior economist Jordan Rappaport writes: "By the end of the decade, multifamily construction is likely to peak at a level nearly two-thirds higher than its highest annual level during the 1990s and 2000s." 

    At the same time, the shift from single-family dwellings to multifamily housing will almost certainly have implications for fiscal policy, monetary-policy analysis, and possibly even local zoning codes. Rappaport comments, "Suburbs seeking to retain aging households may need to re-create a range of these urban amenities and enact some rezoning to encourage multifamily construction." He adds that the projected shift from single-family homes to apartment, condo, and townhome living will likely put downward pressure on single-family prices. 

    "It will shift consumer demand away from goods and services that complement large indoor space and a backyard toward goods and services more oriented toward living in an apartment," he explains. "Similarly, the possible shift toward city living may dampen demand for automobiles, highways, and gasoline but increase demand for restaurants, city parks, and high-quality public transit." Rappaport concludes that those companies and governments that correctly anticipate such changes stand to reap the biggest rewards.

    Source: "Aging Boomers to Boost Demand for Apartments, Condos and Townhouses," Wall Street Journal (Jan. 7, 2014)

  • Rapid Price Appreciation 'May Soon Curb'

    After a 10.2 percent rise in home prices in the first quarter of 2013, expect price appreciation to decelerate in 2014, according to economists with CoreLogic. 

    CoreLogic predicts that rising home prices and mortgage interest rates, as well as a more balanced inventory of homes for-sale, will cause home prices to even out more next year. 

    However, the price rise isn’t over yet. "Record levels of affordability, a slowly improving job market, and very small inventories of new and existing homes for sale will continue to drive U.S. home price appreciation during the summer," says David Stiff, chief economist for CoreLogic Case-Shiller. 

    The first quarter of this year marked the first double-digit gain in home prices since the peak of housing seven years ago, according to CoreLogic. 

    In Phoenix, home prices have been up 23 percent year-over-year. In Sacramento, prices are up 21 percent; 18 percent in Detroit; and 14 percent in Miami, according to CoreLogic. Most of the housing markets seeing the largest run-up in prices lately are markets that have had a very tight level of homes for-sale. 

    "Although double-digit gains usually indicate unsustainable appreciation and, possibly, bubbles in some metro areas, there is less need for concern now since home prices remain 26 percent below their peak nationally and are even lower in many metro markets," said Stiff.

    Source: “CoreLogic price appreciation update,” HousingWire (Aug. 1, 2013)

  • California Real Estate 'Fast Facts'

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in South Lake Tahoe, Financing in South Lake Tahoe, Home Ownership in South Lake Tahoe  |  June 20, 2013 3:33 PM  |  603 views  |  No comments
    Calif. median home price: April 2013: 
    • California: $402,760
    • Calif. highest median home price by region/county April 2013: Marin, $952,870
    • Calif. lowest median home price by region/county March 2013: Siskiyou County, $$118,0000
    Calif. Pending Home Sales Index: April 2013: Decreased 3.7 percent from a revised 126.5 in March to 121.7 in April
    Calif. Traditional Housing Affordability Index: First Quarter 2013: 44 percent (Source: C.A.R.)

    Mortgage rates: Week ending 6/6/2013 (Source: Freddie Mac)
    • 30-yr. fixed: 3.98% fees/points: 0.7%
    • 15-yr. fixed: 3.10% fees/points: 0.7%
    • 1-yr. adjustable: 2.58% Fees/points: 0.4% 
    More real estate information at: www.SierraProperties.com
  • Mortgage Applications Fall as Rates Surge

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in South Lake Tahoe, Financing in South Lake Tahoe, Home Ownership in South Lake Tahoe  |  June 6, 2013 3:08 PM  |  699 views  |  No comments

    Mortgage applications for home purchases and refinancing continued to fall, dropping 11.5 percent last week, amid rising mortgage rates. Interest rates rose above 4 percent for the first time in a year, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. 

    Applications for refinancings saw the largest declines, with applications falling 15 percent last week, the MBA reports. Meanwhile, applications for home purchases, an indicator for future home sales, fell 1.6 percent last week. 

    Many analysts blame the decreasing applications on rising mortgage rates. The fixed 30-year mortgage rate averaged 4.07 percent for the week ending May 31, its highest level since April 2012, the MBA reports. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke recently indicated that the Fed may soon scale back its bond purchase program, which has helped to keep mortgage rates near all-time record lows. 

    Source: “Mortgage applications drop as rates surge: MBA,” Reuters (June 5, 2013)

  • Top Housing Markets for the Next 5 Years?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in South Lake Tahoe, Property Q&A in South Lake Tahoe, Home Ownership in South Lake Tahoe  |  May 22, 2013 11:44 AM  |  588 views  |  No comments

    Business Insider recently ranked 14 cities by their projected annualize change in home prices between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the fourth quarter of 2017. Many of these cities have seen large declines in home prices over the last few years, but are expected to post major gains and strong rebounds in the coming years. 

    According to Business Insider, these housing markets will likely reign for the next five years: 

    1. Medford, Ore.
      • Annualized expected price growth (from Q4 2012 to Q4 2017): 9.5%
    2. Santa Fe, New Mexico
      • Annualized expected price growth: 9%
    3. Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach, Fla.
      • Annualized expected price growth: 8.9%
    4. Gulfort-Biloxi, Miss.
      • Annualized expected price growth: 8%
    5. Glens Falls, N.Y.
      • Annualized expected price growth: 7.9%
    6. Reno-Sparks, Nev.
      • Annualized expected price growth: 7.7%
    7. Yuma, Ariz. (tied with Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, N.Y.)
      • Both have an annualized expected price growth of 7.4%

    Source: “The 14 Best Housing Markets For The Next Five Years,” Business Insider (May 20, 2013)

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