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Bold, new rent control law passes in Calif.

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sat, Sep 14, 2019 @ 08:09 AM

Lawmakers in California last week approved a statewide limit on annual rent increases for most tenants. This sweeping mandate is the latest step to curb rapidly rising rent prices in the State. Specifically, the new law, which would become retroactively effective as of March this year, caps annual rent price hikes to 5 percent after inflation.

The bill, as of this writing, will head to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk where he is expected to sign it into law. He has made the housing affordability crisis in California a top priority of his administration.

California voters rejected a similar ballot initiative last year that would have allowed cities to impose more strict local rent caps.

Today, 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: inflation, Mortgage rates, Housing Affordability, Rent Control, Gavin Newsom, Governor Gavin Newsom, California Rent Prices, Golden State, Rent Hikes, California Rent Control, Rent Prices, Rent Cap, california voters

Millennials want to own – they just can’t afford it

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sat, Sep 7, 2019 @ 07:09 AM

Although an increasing number of young adults say home ownership is among their top goals, data shows that unaffordable prices and mounting student loan debt is making this goal harder to achieve. In a survey conducted jointly by CoreLogic and RTi Research shows that more than a quarter of millennials are interested in purchasing a home within the next year.

The increase in Millennial home buyers entering the market putting increased pressure on home prices as well.

“A growing number of millennials are expressing an interest in buying homes, reinforcing the theory that this cohort is continuing to engage within the housing market,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “But with so few homes available for sale, the imbalance has created an affordability crisis that is getting worse every day.

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: Millennials, home purchase, Housing Market, CoreLogic, home ownership, Mortgage rates, Housing Affordability, Millennial Homeowners, Affordability, Young Adults

Kitchen remodels top homeowners wish list

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sat, Jun 15, 2019 @ 08:06 AM

With rising home values, homeowners are opting for cash-out refinances which allows for extra money to spruce up the home. And when selecting what type of renovation project to tackle, nothing ranks higher for homeowners than a kitchen remodel. Spending on kitchen transformations jumped a whopping 27 percent over the past year, reaching a median of $14,000 on upgrades. This is according to newly released data from Houzz & Home.

Americans spent over $150 billion on home renovations in 2018, not including work done by investors. This figure is expected to increase in the coming years as housing affordability struggles lead buyers to purchasing more-affordable fixer-uppers.

Upgrading kitchens give home values the biggest boost. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry states that such renovations garner an 85 percent return on investment.

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: homeowners, Mortgage rates, Housing Affordability, home remodel, home remodeling, Kitchen Remodel, fixer upper, Remodel

Median list price of U.S. homes reaches new record high

Posted by Mehran Aram on Tue, May 7, 2019 @ 16:05 PM

Homes are being listed for sale at record prices according to a new report. Realtor.com reported last week that the median list price in the U.S. reached $310,000 in April. This is a record high, beating the previous record reached in March.

“The U.S. median listing price set another record this month, which we expect it to continue to do through the summer when prices typically hit their seasonal peak,” said Danielle Hale, Realtor.com’s chief economist. “Despite growing availability of total homes for sale, prices are rising in response to more high-end homes for sale.”

The majority of the price growth seen over the last few months has been focused in the upper tier of homes for sale. In San Diego, the median listing price was $692,550 as of last month, up one percent from last year.

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, Housing Affordability, median price, San Diego Home Prices, Median List Price, Record Home Prices

California rent control battle rages on

Posted by Mehran Aram on Mon, May 6, 2019 @ 05:05 AM

A new effort is underway in the state capitol to prohibit landlords from raising rent by more than 5 percent above the Consumer Price Index. The bill passed the Assembly's key Housing and Community Development Committee by a 6-1 vote last week.

Those opposed to the legislation say that Bill 1482 could disrupt the natural market and financially hurt property owners. California voters rejected Proposition 10 last November which would have implemented statewide rent control measures.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has stated that he favors measures to control rent hikes which he believes would help quell a housing affordability crisis in the State.

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: California, Mortgage rates, Housing Affordability, Rent Control, Bill 1482, Housing and Community Development Committee, Gavin Newsom

Home builder confidence remains flat

Posted by Mehran Aram on Fri, Apr 19, 2019 @ 05:04 AM

The confidence level among homebuilders in the U.S. appears to be holding steady even in the aftermath of the government shutdown that kicked off the year and the lackluster pace of home sales that followed.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose by one point to a reading of 63 in April, bolstered by low mortgage rates. Builder confidence has held steady in the low 60s for three consecutive months.

“Builders report solid demand for new single-family homes but they are also grappling with affordability concerns stemming from a chronic shortage of construction workers and buildable lots,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde. “Ongoing job growth, favorable demographics and a low-interest rate environment will help to modestly spark sales growth in the near term.”

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, National Association of Home Builders, Home Builders, single family homes, Mortgage rates, Housing Affordability, housing shortage, Affordability, Home Builder Confidence

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

Three’s not company

Posted by Mehran Aram on Thu, Feb 21, 2019 @ 08:02 AM

The high cost of housing is causing married couples to break with convention by seeking out roommates to share the cost of living with. This is according to a new report from Trulia. According to the report, a greater share of married couples that have roommates live in high-priced housing markets like San Diego.

Among the 100 largest metropolitan areas, those with higher rates of married couples also tend to have higher home prices according to Trulia. In Honolulu, one of the least affordable markets compared to the median income, 2.31 percent of married couples have at least one roommate. This is a 78.2 percent increase from the 2005-2009, when Trulia previously examined such data. San Diego has the seventh highest share of married couples with roommates with 1.5 percent of all households – up 47.7 percent.

While most married couples choose to live alone, the rate at which couples are bringing in a roommate is growing. As home affordability continues to decline, the necessary third-wheel may become more common.

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: Mortgage rates, Housing Affordability

Predictions for 2019 housing market look glib

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sun, Dec 2, 2018 @ 06:12 AM

The end of 2018 is setting the scene for 2019 – a housing market battling on several fronts According to Zillow, the rising mortgage rates and devastating natural disasters seen this year will carry on into 2019, along with other challenges.

Mortgage affordability is expected to take another hit next year as rates continue to climb. Zillow predicts 30-year fixed rate mortgage to reach 5.8 percent. The impact of costlier mortgages will not only impact home buyers but renters as well. As affordable homes grow scarce, demand for rental housing will ultimately grow, leading to an increase in rent costs.

Nearly 15,000 homes were destroyed by the California wildfires in the past two months and thousands more in massive storms in other parts of the country. Extreme weather is likely to continue to take its toll in the coming year.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.875 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.25 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.5 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, home buyers