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San Diego home prices holding steady

Posted by Mehran Aram on Fri, May 31, 2019 @ 06:05 AM

Home prices in the San Diego metropolitan area held relatively steady in April on a year-over-year basis according to new figures released this week by CoreLogic. Although this is a rebound from last month when the Southern California region saw its first yearly drop in prices since 2012, San Diego home price gains remain the lowest in the nation.

"The slowdown in price growth and sales over the past year suggests that despite a healthy economy, the cost of homeownership has outpaced incomes for many,” said Andrew LePage, research analyst for CoreLogic.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.00 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, home prices, San Diego, CoreLogic, homeownership, Mortgage rates, San Diego Home Prices

Mortgage applications drop despite falling rates

Posted by Mehran Aram on Thu, May 30, 2019 @ 05:05 AM

Total mortgage application volume fell by 3.3 percent last week, indicating that lower mortgage rates haven’t been enough to spur homebuying. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index, mortgage applications to purchase a home declined by one percent – the third consecutive weekly drop.

Mortgage activity was 15 percent higher a year ago, despite mortgage rates averaging nearly a full percentage point above their current levels. Higher home prices and limited inventory have kept many potential home prices on the sidelines in 2019 but as mortgage rates continue to fall, experts are optimistic there will be an uptick as we enter the summer home buying season.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.00 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 prices, Mortgage Bankers Association, Mortgage application, Mortgage rates, Limited Inventory

Calif. home sales enter spring in slump

Posted by Mehran Aram on Wed, May 29, 2019 @ 17:05 PM

Home sales in California failed to enter the spring home buying season with any momentum as buyer demand continues to be met with affordability challenges. The California Association of Realtors reported that closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in the state were 4.8 percent lower in April than they were last year.

“Weak buyer demand, largely prompted by elevated home prices, is playing a role in the softening housing market,” said C.A.R. President Jared Martin. “However, with low interest rates, cooling competition and an increase in homes to choose from, buyers can take advantage of a more balanced housing market.”

The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of home sales was 396,760. This is what would be the total number of homes sold during 2019 if sales maintained their current pace throughout the year. Last month’s sales figures are the ninth consecutive month under 400,000.

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: home sales, California Association of Realtors, California Home Sales, Affordability, Affordability Challenges, Low Interest Rates

April home prices stabilize

Posted by Mehran Aram on Tue, May 28, 2019 @ 06:05 AM

After falling during the month of March on an annual basis, home prices across the nation stablized in April, rising 2.8 percent. According to the latest data available from Redfin, U.S. home-sale prices reached a median of $307,000 last month. These newest figures show that although the beginning of the year may have seen a retreat in sale prices, demand rising in the spring is likely to reverse this trend.

“Homebuyers should take April’s home-price rebound as a cue that the cooldown may be coming to an end,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “The good news is that even though home prices are rising again, mortgage rates remain below last year’s levels and are unlikely to tick back up in a meaningful way this year.”

Mortgage rates experienced a notable decline since last November and continue to remain low throughout 2019 with 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 prices, homebuyers, Redfin, Mortgage rates, median home price

Memorial Day celebrations include closing escrow

Posted by Mehran Aram on Mon, May 27, 2019 @ 08:05 AM

In addition to patriotic celebrations, picnics and pool parties, the end of May is also a historically strong period for closing escrow. Reports show that the number of homes that close escrow the week before or after Memorial is more than double that of the Fourth of the July.

Retailers also use the occasion as a way to end “National Home Improvement Month” which concludes on May 31. This designation by the federal government coincides with the end of spring, a time when home sales are typically at their high point for the year.

Home sellers could use the long weekend to increase their curb appeal to potential buyers like power washing the driveway, planting flowers or clearing out the gutters.

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, Home Sellers, National Home Improvement Month, Closing Escrow

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