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California lawmakers reach deal on rent control

Posted by Mehran Aram on Thu, Sep 5, 2019 @ 15:09 PM

Renters across California may soon find some relief from endless rent hikes as a result of an agreement reached between Governor Gavin Newsom and the Legislature. The proposal would cap the rate at which landlords can raise rent prices – a maximum of 5 percent plus inflation per year.

The bill now heads to both the State Senate and the Assembly for a vote. Although strongly opposed by landlords, should the bill pass as it is expected to do, would be a major victory for rents who have faced steep increases over the past several years. As more Californian’s found home prices unaffordable, demand for apartments increased, resulting in a rapid increase in lease costs.

Part of the compromise included an exemption on apartments built within the last 15 years from the rent cap – up from a period of 10 years proposed by tenant advocates earlier on.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 3.625 percent and 15-year rates are near 3.125 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, Rent Control, California Housing Market, Gavin Newsom, California Rent Prices, California Home Prices, Rent Hikes

California housing shortage worse than previously thought

Posted by Mehran Aram on Thu, Aug 29, 2019 @ 06:08 AM

After several months of prodding by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the Southern California Association of Governments, representing half of the state’s population, agreed in June to zone for the development of 430,000 new homes through 2029. Apparently, that figure is short of what is actually needed, drastically so.

According to a letter released by state housing officials last week, the need over the next decade is closer to 1.3 million new homes. Even this new estimate is still far off from the 3.5 million dwellings Newsom is pushing for.

The call for more housing comes as California is battling an unprecedented housing shortage.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 3.625 percent and 15-year rates are near 3.125 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, new housing, Mortgage rates, California Housing Market, Affordable Housing, housing shortage, Gavin Newsom, California Housing Shortage

Calif. home sellers see top profits

Posted by Mehran Aram on Wed, Jun 26, 2019 @ 08:06 AM

Although profit margins have narrowed over the last year, homeowners are still making a bundle on the sale of their homes, particularly in California. Analytics company ATTOM Data Solutions studied the difference between what buyers originally paid for their home and how much they sold it for. The report found that among the top 20 markets nationwide, California had the biggest home seller gains.

San Francisco topped the list with a 74.0 percent return on investment, selling for an average of $385,000 above the original purchase price. This is down from a ROI of 81.6 percent seen last year. San Diego sellers saw a 42 percent return as of April, down from 50 percent during the same month last year.

Homeowners staying in their homes longer is leading to large seller gains. Despite the downturn from last year, current ROIs are still well above levels seen a decade ago.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 3.875 percent and 15-year rates are near 3.375 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: California Housing Market, Home Sellers, ATTOM Data Solutions

Calif. home prices reach new peak

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sat, Jun 22, 2019 @ 07:06 AM

The median home price in California reached another peak in May according to the California Association of Realtors. This marks the second consecutive month in which home prices in the Golden State reached a new high. Prices reached a new-all time high in May - beating the record the prior month – as the median home price climbed to $611,190. This is up 1.4 percent from April’s $602,920 and 1.7 percent higher than the $600,860 median in May 2018.

In San Diego, the median sold price of existing single-family homes was $650,000, up on both a monthly and yearly basis.

Home sales in May also improved over April as the summer home buying season kicked into high gear. But the affordability crunch brought on by the record-high home prices were reflected in year-over-year sales which were down 0.6 percent from May 2018.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 3.875 percent and 15-year rates are near 3.375 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, California Association of Realtors, Single Family Home, Mortgage rates, California Housing Market, San Diego Housing Market, Existing Homes, San Diego Home Prices, California Home Prices, California Median Home Price, Golden State

Lawmakers try to provide relief from high rent prices

Posted by Mehran Aram on Mon, Jun 10, 2019 @ 05:06 AM

After a California ballot measure to expand rent control failed last November, lawmakers are looking into other options to curb the seemingly endless increase in the state’s rent prices. Legislators are weighing bills that would take dramatic steps to control prices like prohibiting landlords from raising the rent more than 5 percent per year after inflation. A new rent control proposition is also expected to be on the ballot in 2020, according to an article on Realtor.com.

On a local level, the city of Long Beach, where rent costs have shot up by more than 25 percent since 2014, is forcing some rental unit owners to pay for a tenants moving expenses if they raised the rent more than 10 percent in the previous year.

In San Diego, where rent prices are among the highest in the nation, someone making $40,000 per year may still need a roommate to avoid monthly living expenses eating away more than half of each paycheck.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 3.875 percent and 15-year rates are near 3.375 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, Rent, California Housing Market, Rental Prices, High Rent, California Rent Prices

A uniquely California problem: too many mansions

Posted by Mehran Aram on Fri, Jun 7, 2019 @ 16:06 PM

Southern California is known for its streets lined with palm trees, beaches and glitz and glam. This includes homes that are so large, they can only be described as mega-mansions. However, a recent report from The Wall Street Journal shows that there is a growing inventory of these palatial homes and not enough buyers.

In Los Angeles alone, there are currently 50 ultra high-end homes under construction and are expected to cost anywhere from $35.5 million to $500 million. And in typical Hollywood fashion, real estate agents are ditching open houses and instead inviting potential buyers to lavish themed parties to check out these grand estates.

The influx in mega-mansions began several years ago where there was increasing interest from foreign buyers for such homes, but builders are seeing that domestic demand is far less, leaving them with a surplus of superfluous properties.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 3.875 percent and 15-year rates are near 3.375 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: California, Mortgage rates, Housing Inventory, California Housing Market, Southern California Housing Market, Mega Mansions, SoCal

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

Housing affordability issues affecting more Americans

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sun, Mar 31, 2019 @ 09:03 AM

Home prices are currently less affordable than the historic average in 71 percent of U.S. housing markets. This unsurprising yet concerning revelation comes from ATTOM Data Solutions Q1 2019 U.S. Home Affordability Report. The report analyzed 473 U.S. counties and found that the median home price in 335 were not affordable for the average wage earner.

The report determined affordability for average wage earners by calculating the percent of monthly take-home income needed to pay for a mortgage, property taxes and insurance on a median-priced home assuming a three percent down payment.

San Diego County was among several other California markets deemed the most unaffordable, including Los Angeles and Orange counties.

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: San Diego County, Mortgage rates, home affordability, Housing Affordability, California Housing Market, median home price, ATTOM Data Solutions, Affordability

Buyers’ make comeback in the West

Posted by Darius Aram on Wed, Mar 20, 2019 @ 07:03 AM

After years of shrinking affordability and limited choices, the housing market in the U.S. may be on the verge of normalizing. According to Zillow’s latest Buyer-Seller Index, home prices have cooled in 30 out of 35 major metropolitan areas. The top 10 are all in the West.

San Jose, often one of the most expensive housing markets in the nation, is currently the fastest-cooling metro. In fact, Zillow says that the region has cooled off so much that it is now a cold market – favoring buyers over sellers.

Six of the top 10 cooling housing markets are in California including San Diego, San Francisco, Riverside, Sacramento and Los Angeles.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.25 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.75 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 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, Housing Affordability, California Housing Market, home buyers

Homeowner equity levels still climbing

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sun, Mar 10, 2019 @ 08:03 AM

Homeowners are sitting on near record-levels of equity according to a new report, gaining an average of 8.1 percent in the last year alone. As a result, homeowners have greater access to ready cash in the form of a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

Equity levels climbed $9,700 in 2018 compared to the year before but California residents saw much higher increases. Property owners in the Golden State saw their home equity levels climb an average of $19,600 last year. Nevada led the nation with gains topping $29,400 on average.

The increases in equity could mean an increased number of home equity loans this year, particuarly as interest rates slide.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.25 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.75 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 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: California, home equity, Mortgage rates, California Housing Market, Homeowner, Homeowner Equity