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Mehran Aram

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Where California’s new homes are being built

Posted by Mehran Aram on Tue, May 21, 2019 @ 05:05 AM

There is an ongoing housing shortage in California that experts by-and-large have collectively labeled a crisis. Builders appear to be working to address this shortage but continue to fall short of meeting demand.

Southern California appears to be bringing new homes online at a much faster rate than the north. Los Angeles had 3,0002 single-family properties and a whopping 12,828 multi-family dwellings completed last year. Other SoCal cities with a high volume of new single-family homes include Irvine (1,945), San Diego (940) and Menifee (883). In Northern California, the state capital led the pack. Sacramento had 1,654 new single-family homes built in 2018.

The California Department of Finance reports that the total number of new residences built last year was about 97,000. To compare in 2006 there 200,000.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.125 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.625 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.00 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: new homes, Mortgage rates, California Housing Market, San Diego Housing Market, housing shortage, Southern California Housing Market, California Department of Finance, California Housing Shortage

Foreign real-estate investors continue to eye U.S. housing

Posted by Mehran Aram on Mon, May 20, 2019 @ 05:05 AM

Demand from foreign investors for American homes has not waned despite a strengthening U.S. dollar, rising prices and looming trade wars. According to a survey conducted by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate, 95 percent of foreign buyers stated they plan to maintain or increase their purchase activity in the U.S.

Chinese buyers, who surpassed Canadian buyers in 2014 as the largest block of international buyers, accounted for approximately 25 percent of total foreign investment in residential real estate in 2018. This is according to the National Association of Realtors. Canadians remain the second largest group of foreign investors with 9 percent.

While investment of homes in the U.S. by Chinese and Canadian buyers may seem like a sizable amount, foreign investment in the American housing market is less than 3 percent of total home sales.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.125 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.625 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.00 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: Housing Market, Mortgage rates, Foreign Investors, Foreign Real Estate Investors, Chinese Investors, American Housing Market, Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate, Chinese Buyers, Residential Real Estate Investors, Residential Real Estate

Home building on the rise

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sun, May 19, 2019 @ 07:05 AM

Single-family home construction increased in the U.S. in April, driving housing starts up. Overall housing starts climbed 5.7 percent over the last month according to data from the Department of Commerce. The volume of construction permits also increased, a signal that housing starts in the coming months will be positive as well.

Low unemployment, a strong economy and lower mortgage rates have produced robust buyer-demand for housing, but rising material costs and labor shortages have hindered growth over the past year. These latest numbers suggest that home builders are not being deterred by these less than favorable conditions.

Experts predict that should demand continue to remain high, housing starts in particular may show resilience even if the housing market experiences a broader slowdown.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.125 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.625 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.00 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: Home Builders, single family homes, Housing Starts, U.S. Department of Commerce, Mortgage rates, Home Building, Low Unemployment, Construction Permits, Home Construction, Strong Economy, Department of Commerce

Apps for a stress-free moving day

Posted by Mehran Aram on Wed, May 15, 2019 @ 05:05 AM

As excited as you are to finally get the keys to your new home, the dark cloud of needing to move is hanging over your head. It’s the feeling many people get that comes from the headache and stress of packing all your belongings and moving them to a new place. This is when technology can come to the rescue.

Realtor.com compiled a list of helpful smartphone apps that can help those who are moving save money, time and take the stress out of relocating. Sortly is an app that allows movers to compartmentalize every inch of their home and create a simple moving checklist which can be sent directly to your moving company. Speaking of which, Unpakt can take the guess work out of finding the right moving company and Dolly can help you find a team to help you unpack.

With this kind of digital help, it can help minimize the feeling of panic when moving day arrives and replace it with excitement.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.125 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.625 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.00 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: National Association of Realtors, Mortgage rates, Realtor.com, Smartphone, Apps, Moving

Underwater homes still exist

Posted by Mehran Aram on Tue, May 14, 2019 @ 14:05 PM

While home values have risen rather steadily for the last several years, there remains a notable number of American homeowners who are still underwater. According to ATTOM Data Solutions, more than five million homes were seriously underwater as of the first quarter of 2019. For a home to be considered seriously underwater, the balance of the mortgage is at least 25 percent more than what the home is worth.

San Diegans on the other hand are on the opposite end of the spectrum with one of the lowest underwater rates in the nation. Approximately 40 percent of property owners in San Diego are equity rich, meaning the value of the home is more than 50 percent of its mortgage. This is consistent with the rest of California where 43 percent of homeowners are equity rich.

Higher levels of equity combined with low mortgage rates have led to a surge in refinances as of late. Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.125 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.625 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.00 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: San Diego County, San Diego, homeowners, home values, Mortgage rates, Underwater, ATTOM Data Solutions, Q1 2019, Underwater Homes, Equity Rich

Calif. revised budget includes $1.75 billion for housing

Posted by Mehran Aram on Mon, May 13, 2019 @ 05:05 AM

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, in his revised state budget announced last week, proposed a record $213.5 billion spending plan for the next fiscal year. This includes a $1.75 billion investment in housing production aimed to curb a housing shortage that has plagued the state for years. One change from this revised budget, compared to the original released in January, is that the revised version refocuses $500 million on programs “to remove barriers to building mixed income housing”.

California is aimed to spend $1 billion on addressing homelessness, double the amount originally proposed in January.

“The homeless issue is out of control,” Newsom said. “This homeless issue, like the housing issue, is a crisis. It is a stain on the state of California”

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.125 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.625 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.00 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: Mortgage rates, housing shortage, Homelessness, Gavin Newsom, Housing Investment, California Budget, Governor Gavin Newsom, Governor of California

Agentless home buying

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sun, May 12, 2019 @ 07:05 AM

The vast majority of Americans, as many as 9 in 10, use an agent to help them in buying or selling a home. But online real estate brokerage Redfin is looking to shake things up. The company recently introduced Redfin Direct, a way to save on commission by buying a home without a representative.

The idea is to make home buying as simple as buying a product on Amazon. In fact, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman called it “a buy button for real estate”. But experts warn that this type of real estate transaction might not be for everyone. First-time buyers tend to rely heavily on their agent to help them navigate the process. Eliminating that personal interaction could lead to dissatisfied buyers.

A buyers’ agent also provide the added value of being able to negotiate and be familiar with a market – something Redfin’s new program doesn’t address.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.125 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.625 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.00 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: home buying, Redfin, Mortgage rates, Realtors, home buyers, Real Estate Agent, Redfin Direct, Digital Home Buying

Fannie Mae: consumers remain bearish about home buying

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sat, May 11, 2019 @ 06:05 AM

Inventory rates slowly climbing, and mortgage rates hold steady did little to turn consumers on to the idea of buying a home last month. Fannie Mae reported it its Home Purchase Sentiment Index this week that net positive responses to the question about whether now is a good time to buy a home fell 8 points in April. This is a significant 15 percentage points lower than the same month last year.

Despite the negative sentiment about buying a home, consumers seem optimistic that conditions will continue to improve in the coming months. The share of those who believe rates will decline over the next year climbed 12 points over between March and April.

Historically, the net percentage of American’s who feel conditions are ripe to purchase a home increases in the summer months which are traditionally known as “home-buying season”.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.125 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.625 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.00 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: home buying, home purchase, Fannie Mae, Mortgage rates, consumer, Home Purchase Sentiment

Distressed home sales continue to decline

Posted by Mehran Aram on Thu, May 9, 2019 @ 06:05 AM

Bank owned sales, third-party foreclosure auctions and short-sales continue to decline on an annual basis, according to a new report. ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q1 2019 Home Sales Report shows that total distressed home sales accounted for 14.2 percent of all single-family and condo sales last quarter. This is down from 15.2 percent a year ago.

Distressed properties can often be bought at far below market range and are a popular choice for investors looking to “flip” homes.

With increased home values and low mortgage rates, buyers have been able to fend off foreclosures and short-sales, keeping distressed properties on the market at their lowest point in years.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.125 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.625 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.00 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: foreclosures, Mortgage rates, distressed property sales,, ATTOM Data Solutions, distressed home sales, Bank Owned Sales, foreclosure auctions, Distressed Properties

When bidding wars make sense

Posted by Mehran Aram on Wed, May 8, 2019 @ 06:05 AM

With the home-buying season among us, buyers will be flooding the markets in search of the perfect home. This often means competition among house hunters leading to bidding wars that can drive prices through the roof. While this sounds tedious and unappealing, there may very well be sometimes that engaging in a bidding war makes sense.

Although the tide seems to be turning, the fact remains that it is still a sellers market. Inventory levels are still below healthy levels meaning buyers are clamoring over the homes that are listed. Taking that into consideration, it might be expected that buyers will face a little competition.

Additionally, sometimes homes will be deliberately unpriced to lure multiple offers. Be sure to use a true market value to establish your baseline and not an artificially low starting point. And of course, if it is your dream home and you simply cannot live without it, it may be worth it to battle it out – if you can afford it.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.125 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.625 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.00 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: Housing Market, Mortgage rates, Realtors, Home Listings, bidding war, Home-Buying Season, House Hunters