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Zeller's Blog

By Doug & Bud Zeller | Agent in Placerville, CA
  • Top 4 Markets with 'Largest Gains in List Prices'

    Posted Under: General Area in Sacramento County, Market Conditions in Sacramento County, Home Selling in Sacramento County  |  August 21, 2014 2:04 PM  |  10 views  |  No comments

    Median list prices continued to move up in the majority of markets in July, according to realtor.com®’s latest National Housing Trend Report. The median list price is where half of active listings are higher and half are lower.

    The following markets posted the largest gains in median list prices in July year-over-year, according to realtor.com®’s data:

    1. Stockton-Lodi, Calif.: 31.9%
      Median list price: $296,750
    2. Reno, Nev.: 19.6%
      Median list price: $299,000
    3. Corpus Christi, Texas: 19.3%
      Median list price: $208,998
    4. Sacramento, Calif.: 19%
      Median list price: $345,000

    Source: realtor.com®

  • Sand Fire Sweep-up in Progress - 80% Contained

    Posted Under: General Area in Plymouth  |  July 30, 2014 2:34 PM  |  39 views  |  No comments
    .......... Sand Fire is tamed after Days of Hard Work Pays Off for Firefighters. Cal Fire announced that Fire crews continue to strengthen established containment lines and extend mop-up further into the burned area.
    http://www.inedc.com/1-9261
  • Uptick in Lower-End Housing Could Get More Millennials Off Sidelines

    Posted Under: General Area in Placerville, Market Conditions in Placerville, Home Selling in Placerville  |  June 4, 2014 7:42 AM  |  207 views  |  No comments

    Millennials delaying home ownership has been cited as a threat to the housing recovery and the reason for sluggish household formations. But Builder Magazine finds that some of the hottest markets for first-time buyers are those that have had an increase in new homes sold for less than $200,000. 

    More construction in the lower-end housing market may be the key to attracting more Millennial home buyers. Young adults have struggled to break into home ownership in recent years, strapped with high student-loan debt and unable to meet tighter lending standards. 

    About 36 percent of American adults under the age of 35 own a home, down from 42 percent in 2007, according to the Census Bureau. 

    In some areas of the country, builders are ramping up supply of homes costing $200,000 or less, often in college towns and areas that have improving job markets.

    Source: “Entry-Level Bright Spots,” Builder Online (June 2, 2014)

  • Obama Signs Flood Insurance Relief Into Law

    Posted Under: General Area in Sacramento  |  March 24, 2014 3:14 PM  |  438 views  |  No comments

    President Barack Obama signed into law a bipartisan bill that will delay flood insurance rate hikes for property owners nationwide.

    The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act repeals the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s authority to increase premium rates when a property is sold. It also refunds the excessive premium to those who bought a property before FEMA warned them of the rate increase. The bill limits premium increases to 18 percent annually on newer properties and 25 percent for some older ones. The senate approved the bill on March 13, and the House of Representatives March 4.

    Source: "Flood Insurance Rate Hike Delay Becomes Law," HousingWire (March 21, 2014)

  • Builder Sentiment Takes Biggest Dive Ever

    Posted Under: General Area in Sacramento County, Market Conditions in Sacramento County, Remodel & Renovate in Sacramento County  |  February 19, 2014 8:17 PM  |  478 views  |  No comments

    Severe weather conditions and frigid temperatures across the country put a freeze on builders’ confidence this month. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index shows builder sentiment posted its largest decline in the index’s 30-year history.

    “Significant weather conditions across most of the country led to a decline in buyer traffic last month,” says NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly. “Builders also have additional concerns about meeting ongoing and future demand due to a shortage of lots and labor.”

    Builder sentiment over the newly built, single-family homes fell 10 points to 46 this month. Any number below 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as “poor” than “good.” The index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales, sales expectations for the next six months, and prospective buyer traffic. All three components fell in February, with the component measuring current sales conditions falling the most by 11 points to 51.

    "Clearly, constraints on the supply chain for building materials, developed lots and skilled workers are making builders worry," says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "The weather also hurt retail and auto sales and this had a contributing effect on demand for new homes."

    But NAHB says it remains positive about the construction and sales outlook for 2014. “Pent-up demand and an improving economy will bring buyers back to the market,” according to NAHB’s Eye on Housing blog.

    Source: National Association of Home Builders

  • Real Estate 'Loan Demand Back' on the Upswing!

    Posted Under: General Area in El Dorado County, Market Conditions in El Dorado County, Financing in El Dorado County  |  January 22, 2014 12:01 PM  |  376 views  |  No comments

    After reaching a 13-year low at the end of last year, mortgage applications were back on the rise last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports. 

    Mortgage applications, which include those for refinancing and home purchases, rose 4.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending Jan. 17. Broken out, demand for applications for refinancings increased 10 percent over the prior week, while applications for home purchases, viewed as a future gauge of home buying, dropped 4 percent, the MBA reports.

    The MBA’s mortgage application index had posted its lowest level in about 13 years at the end of last year, when the Federal Reserve announced it would be tapering its $85 billion per month bond-buying program in the new year. 

    However, for the last two weeks, mortgage rates have been declining. The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell from 4.66 percent to 4.57 percent last week, MBA reports.  That marks the lowest average for 30-year rates since this past November, according to the MBA. 

    Source: “U.S. Mortgage Applications Rose 4.7% Last Week,” The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 22, 2014)

  • Transitional Land Deals Stage Comeback

    Transitional land deals are picking up in 2013, but where the recovery is occurring is still very “pocket-oriented,” Nancy Surak told attendees at the “Current Trends in Transitional Land” session on Friday during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

    Transitional land is defined as land that is in constant transition between uses, such as from commercial to residential purposes. Such land sales often occur when buyers anticipate that transition and often are willing to pay a premium to purchase the land from the owners, said Surak, a commercial practitioner with Eshenbaugh Land Co. in Tampa, Fla.

    Land values faced big decreases during the Great Recession, with foreclosures sparking price reductions in some cases of more than 80 percent from peak prices. The sector continues to dig its way out. For example, Surak pointed to an example of a 675-acre parcel in Wesley Chapel, Fla., that was purchased in stages by Pulte Home Corp. in 2004 and 2007 for a total $29 million. By 2009, the property sold for $5 million, posting an 83 percent price reduction. The property, however, regained most of its lost value three years later. Homebuilder Standard Pacific purchased it in 2012 for almost $25 million and has plans to deliver its first homes on the land in the first quarter of 2014.

    “Cycles will continue, but I’ve learned that the best deals were purchased when most buyers were frightened and not willing to buy,” Surak said.

    Transitional land deals are starting to gain steam in many areas, and in some cases are seeing a return to 2004 and 2005 values, Surak noted. “Land in highly desirable locations will command a premium, and during the next correction, there will be focus on infill locations,” she said.

    When the market improves, take note of investor buyers, she said, as they tend to become quick sellers in improving markets. Pivotal to the recovery will be banks’ openness to lending on land again. “Easier and less expensive access to capital may lead to price increases,” she said.

    Local governments also play a critical role in the sector’s recovery.

    “Government will have the biggest impact on value,” Surak said. Local municipalities that want to see development in an area can prove a boon for land values in those areas, since those municipalities often offer up incentives or reduce or eliminate impact fees that encourage development. On the other hand, local governments that want to curb development can make the cost of development rise, hampering the recovery in those areas.

    By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

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