The Orange County real estate market

October 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: California 
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The Orange County real estate market, which was for a time showing strong signs of recovery from the recession, has started to slip into negative territory again, with home sales trailing off and the median price remaining largely unchanged. According to a September 14, 2010 report from the OC Metro, “Orange County home sales in August fell to the lowest level for the month since 2007, due in part to the struggling job market and the recent expiration of the federal tax credits. But the median price for a residence did get a slight boost over the same time last year, according to San Diego-based MDA DataQuick. A total of 2,538 homes were sold last month, down 9 percent from August 2009, when 2,790 transactions were closed. But, the number rose slightly from July, when 2,527 properties were sold. For the entire six-county Southern California region, which includes Orange, L.A., Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino and Ventura, August sales fell to 18,541 – it’s also the lowest level for the month since 2007, according to MDA DataQuick. Last month’s total represents a 13.8 percent drop from August 2009, when 21,502 homes were purchased. The number also dipped from 18,946 in July. “The loss of homebuyer tax credits explains much of the sales weakness over the past two months,” said John Walsh, president of MDA DataQuick…”

Although a separate report indicated a slight rise in the median price of an Orange County home for sale, the OC Metro reported on September 22, 2010 that the median price remained unchanged in August. According to the article, “The median price for a home in Orange County was unchanged in August, though sales slid from the same time last year, according to a new report from the California Association of Realtors, which relies on MLS information for its data. The region’s median home price was $499,580, down 2.8 percent from July and 33.1 percent off its peak, which was recorded in April 2007. But, the number has risen 18.1 percent after hitting the bottom in January of last year. Statewide, the median home price posted its 10th consecutive year-over-year gain, according to C.A.R. The number rose to $318,660, up 8.6 percent from August 2009. The number also increased 1.2 percent from July. Meanwhile, home sales in Orange County declined 11.2 percent from August 2009 and 7.3 percent from July.  Statewide, sales fell 14.9 percent last month, compared to the same time in 2009, though they increased 1.8 percent from July.”

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The San Diego real estate market

September 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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The San Diego real estate market, a component of the larger Southern California housing market, has started to show signs of weakness after recovering for several months straight. According to a September 20, 2010 report from the San Diego Union Tribune, “San Diego County foreclosures and defaults rose from July to August, but analysts said it is too early to tell if this marks the start of the long-expected burst of distressed sales as so many homeowners run out of options. According to MDA DataQuick, August foreclosures totaled 1,026, up 15.4 percent from 889 in July, and notices of default rose 19.5 percent from July’s, 1,664 to August’s 1,988. Some experts, pointing to lower figures a year ago, said the August report from MDA DataQuick shows that lenders are not eager to evict owners and resell the properties. Instead, they are quietly letting owners get by with continued delinquencies on their monthly payments and hoping things will improve. “Bankers are incentivized to just extend and pretend,” said Sean O’Toole, CEO of ForeclosureRadar.com, Discovery Bay company that analyzes foreclosure data. Defaults were down 25.2 percent from year-ago levels of 2,658 and foreclosures were down 14 percent from 1,193 over the same period. DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage said the uptick in August reflected the large decline in sales this summer, after the popular federal tax rebate ended for home buyers. With demand down, lenders then increased their default and foreclosure actions.”

The number of San Diego homes for sale which were actually sold decreased from year-ago levels, partially because of the expiration of federal housing tax credit. A September 14, 2010 report from KPBS News noted that “Home sales in San Diego County have dropped from August 2009 to August of this year. The San Diego Association of Realtors report for existing homes in the county shows sales down 8 percent from August 2009 and the average sales price down nearly 4 percent. Mark Marquez, president of the Realtors Association, said the average sales price for homes last month was $262,000. Marquez said while homes in the entry level have been selling, the sales pace for higher-priced homes was slower in August. “As you escalate in price point it does soften a little bit, meaning there’s more inventory,” said Marquez. In the near term, he expects most of the sales volume to be generated from homes priced at $500,000 or lower.”

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The Aptos real estate market

September 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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The Aptos real estate market, a section of the larger Santa Cruz County housing market, has remained relatively static throughout the last several tracking periods. It appears that the federal housing tax credit might have temporarily stabilized the market, which now appears to be trending into negative territory thanks partially to a high unemployment rate. According to a September 17, 2010 report from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, “Santa Cruz County unemployment dipped in August to 11 percent, down from 11.3 percent last month, but up from a year ago, when it was 10.2 percent. The reason: Not job growth, but a smaller labor force. The jobless rate remained steady nationwide at 9.5 percent and inched up to 12.4 percent in California. “Californians are continuing to suffer from slow job growth, and things will only improve when there is strong hiring in the private sector,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said. Most private-sector industries in Santa Cruz County have a long way to go to recover jobs lost since last August. Real estate, rental and leasing are down from 1,400 jobs a year ago to 1,200. Membership at the Santa Cruz Association of Realtors is 1,227, down from 1,283 a year ago, according to executive director Kathy Hartman.”

One large block of properties – an apartment complex in Santa Cruz County as opposed to an Auburn home for sale – was finally purchased in the beginning of September. It was not significant because of the sale, but because it sold over the asking price, which might indicate some nascent strength in the market. According to a September 3, 2010 article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, “Tropicana Apartments, a 37-unit apartment complex in Live Oak, sold Tuesday for $4.125 million, $130,000 over the original asking price. The property, which went on the market in July, generated 13 bids, several of which were cash and over the original asking price. The deal closed in an unusually short 30-day escrow as a wholly cash deal. The buyer is a local family investment team that owns similar property in the county, according to Mike Bloch, an agent with Santa Cruz-based Lifestyles Real Estate who co-represented the seller with Andy Kay, also of Lifestyles Real Estate.”

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Nashville Real Estate Update

May 6, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Tennessee 
Nashville Tennessee Skyline
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The Nashville real estate market seems to be relatively strong compared to the rest of the country. The one potential weak spot is home prices, which were reported on by an April 8, 2010 article in the Nashville Business Journal. That piece found that “Nashville’s home prices aren’t done falling according to an analysis released Thursday by Fiserv Inc. The Wisconsin company said it doesn’t expect Nashville’s home prices to bottom out until the third quarter of 2011, and says prices won’t return to 2007 levels until 2018.” The article continued to note that “It based its report on historical trend data and forecasts based on the Fiserv Case-Shiller Indexes, which measure sales price trends for existing homes, as well as data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency and Moody’s Economy.com.”

Foreclosures amidst Nashville real estate have also been edging upwards, but that figure remains quite mild relative to the rest of the country. According to an April 7, 2010 article, also in the Nashville Business Journal, “Foreclosure rates in the Nashville area continued to rise in February, according to data released today by First American CoreLogic. According to the data, 1.44 percent of outstanding mortgages were in foreclosure in the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin area in February. That is an increase over February 2009, when the rate was 0.75 percent. The current rate is still below the national average of 3.17 percent.” The piece continued to note that “The mortgage delinquency rate also increased in February. According to First American Corelogic, 6.05 percent of mortgages in the area were 90 days or more delinquent…”

The volume of Nashville home sales, however, has increased impressively, according to an April 9, 2010 article in the Tennessean. The piece, written by Naomi Snyder, found that “Interest rates are at historic lows, the government is shoveling thousands of dollars in tax credits at people who buy homes, and the Nashville real estate market responded in March with a 22 percent increase in sales compared with a year ago. With a new sense of optimism, sellers are putting more homes up for sale here, buyers are signing more contracts, and homes are moving at a much brisker pace that’s likely to last at least until summer.”

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Tucson Real Estate Market

May 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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City of Tucson
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The Tucson real estate market is showing continued strength with the exception of a few indicators, a welcome departure from the harder-hit Phoenix market.  According to an April 6, 2010 article in U.S. News and World Report, “Robust activity in the Tucson housing market may portend an end to the housing crisis there, even though home prices are still bumping along at low levels. Sales are rising as home buyers take advantage of big inventory, sellers willing to deal and the federal home buyer tax credit, says Bob Herd, president of the Tucson Association of Realtors.” The piece, composed by Christine Dugas, continued to note that “In Tucson, home sales were up 6.6% in February compared with the same month in 2009. ‘The first-time home buyer market is very robust, even with multiple offers in some cases,’ Herd says. ‘And the move-up market is starting to show small signs of life.’”

The same article in USA Today tracked other positive news for Tucson home sales, such as a higher median sales price. The article, written by Christine Dugas, found that “In February, Tucson’s median sales price was 15.5% lower than in February 2009. That was largely driven by a surge in sales at the low end of the market because of the tax credit, Herd says. Arizona still has the nation’s second-highest foreclosure rate. But among major metro areas, Tucson ranks 41st, which is much lower than Phoenix, at No. 8, according to RealtyTrac.” The article continued to note that “Foreclosure has made some popular areas more affordable, including Dunbar spring, which is a small, historic neighborhood near downtown.”

More mixed news for Tucson real estate was reported by an April 12, 2010 article in the Arizona Daily Star. This article noted that “Tucson home sales were up in March from the previous year. But the median price of homes sold – while higher than February’s – was down from March of last year. In Tucson’s housing market, 1,169 homes sold this March, with a median price of $157,680, says the latest monthly report by the Tucson Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.”

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Benefits of investing in Hawaiian real estate

May 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Hawaii 
Hawaii #16 - Baby wolphin
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Hawaii has long been known for its tropical beauty and outstanding sceneries. It boasts a unique charm and lively, floral appeal that is enough to refresh and enthrall your mind and body and fill you with abundant energy. Such is the beauty of Hawaiian resorts. From crowded beaches amid sparkling waters to magnanimous mountains and hilly regions to the lush growth of flourishing flora; the place is indeed one of its kinds. Every year millions of tourists from all around the world are attracted to this tropical paradise. Some of these are new visitors while there are still those who are so captivated by the place’s beguiling beauty that they return frequently to spend their vacations.

Hawaii with its beautiful six islands offers a rich geographical variation to its visitors. With a unique blend of cultures, the place holds the power of turning your simple vacations into a highly distinctive and enjoyable experience.

Out of the large number of tourists who visit Hawaii every year; a majority opts for rental houses or condos, while on the other hand there is an equally large population in search of a suitable property on this perfect holiday destination. People may opt for a real estate property on any of the six Hawaiian Islands namely: Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, Lanai and Big Island

You will find a huge variety of houses, lands, villas, apartments, single bedroom cottages, condominiums and duplexes on the islands. Whether you are single, newly wed couple or a large family, investing in a real estate that lies in a tropical paradise is indeed worth it.

For real estate buyers, there are abundant opportunities available. Even though the market lacks it usual galore due to the recent financial crisis all over the globe, the chances of finding a suitable accommodation that best suits your likes and budget are still very high. Furthermore, with the recent decline in the real estate property prices, the time is indeed ideal to invest.

For some the investment in Hawaii homes may seem rather dis-satisfactory owing to the declining prices and market clumps. However, it is worth mentioning the fact that this fluctuation is not a new one and that the chances of recovery by leaps and bounds are indeed very high.

Furthermore, another benefit of investing in a Hawaiian real estate other than its breathtaking views and floral charm is that of lower interest rates. This means that the buyer is actually able to purchase more property than he thought from his given amount.

Investing in Hawaiian real estate is also beneficial because overall the cost of living in Hawaii is very high. This major tourist attraction is also one of the most expensive places to live in and thus one has to consider all the housing costs too.

In addition, the cost of rentals is extremely high, especially if you wish to live on the main land. For this reason, the idea of investing in a real estate is more economical. The prices of Hawaiian homes are still very high; however, they have dropped considerably in the last few years giving the buyers more chances of finding amazing deals. So make sure you buy yourself a slice of this heaven on earth before the property prices soar again. Many buyers tend to foresee this economic trend as an ideal future investment.

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Chicago Real Estate Update

April 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Illinois 
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The Chicago real estate market is facing mixed signals during the first quarter of the 2010 fiscal year. According to a March 16, 2010 article in Business Week, “A new report says the number of Chicago homes in foreclosure was up 16 percent in 2009 compared to 2008. The National People’s Action’s 2009 Chicago Foreclosure Report says more than 23,000 homes in the area were in foreclosure last year.” The piece, originally composed by the Associated Press, continued to say that “Senator Dick Durbin says the report suggest foreclosures are no longer being driven primarily by the years of what he calls predatory lending. The Illinois Democrats says they’re now driven more by unemployment and homeowners who owe more than homes are worth. In a statement about the new report, Durbin’s office cited figures showing 11 million homeowners nationwide owe more than their homes are worth.”

One positive bit of news for Chicago homes for sale and Midwest real estate was reported by a March 23, 2010 article by the New York Times. This article reported that “Midwest home sales improved nearly 10 percent over last year as tax credits and low interest rates continued to motivate buyers. The National Association of Realtors released figures Tuesday showing 68,000 sales in the 11-state region in February, and the median sales price fell 2 percent to $128,000.” The piece, also originally released by the Associated Press, continued to say that “In February, Midwest sales improved more than the nation as a whole. Non-seasonally adjusted figures showed total February homes sales increased 8 percent over last year.”

This same general outlook for Chicago real estate for sale was reported by a March 31, 2010 article in the Chicagoist. This piece found that “The Associated Press is reporting that Chicago-area single-family home prices saw the biggest drop among 20 cities in January, according to The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index. Chicago-area prices dropped just over four percent compared to last year, and is a bigger dip than the 0.7 percent year-over-year drop for the 20 cities combined…Analysts fear that bigger home prices may be in store as the first-time home-buyer credit expires.”

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Los Altos Real Estate

April 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: California 
City of Los Altos
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An affluent community in the Silicon Valley region of northern California, the city of Los Altos is a mid-sized city near the southern end of the San Francisco Peninsula. The community has a high median household income, measured at more than $158,000 in 2007, and thus home prices are correspondingly higher than in many areas. The Los Altos real estate experienced troubled waters throughout much of 2008 and 2009 in the aftermath of the U.S. financial crisis.

Today, the market seems to be showing signs of improvement. According to statistics from the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors, n February, there were 38 new listings, putting the city’s total inventory at 72, down from 86 one year ago, a positive sign. There were 17 Los Altos homes for sale closed upon in February, a significant improvement year-over-year, as there were only six sales in February 2009. These homes spent an average of 55 days on the market before selling, up slightly from 50 one year ago. Sold homes received a median price of $1.64 million, which also showed improvement from a year ago, when the price was $1.48 million, an encouraging sign for those in the market.

The condo market in Los Altos showed some mixed signals. There were two new condo listings posted in February to bring the total inventory to 11, exactly half of what it was one year ago. The month accounted for three condo sales, an improvement on just one last year, after spending an average of 58 days on the market in 2010, compared with 61 days in 2009. The median price for a condo sold in Los Altos came out to $780,000, the one area where the trend is still sloping downward, as last year’s median price was $925,000.

The year 2009 saw 269 homes and 39 condos sell in Los Altos. The yearly average saw homes spend 65 days on the market, and condos, 79. The median price for homes sold in Los Altos in 2009 was $1.5 million, and the median condo price was $760,000. Homes received, on average, 95.4% of their asking prices, while condos received 94.9%.

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Granite Bay Real Estate

April 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: California 
Ward Creek on the western shore of Lake Tahoe ...
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A census-designated place in Placer County California, the community of Granite Bay is a residential suburban area in the Sacramento region. The community is a quite wealthy suburb, with median household income estimated at more than $115,000 in 2007. Of course, this means that the Granite Bay real estate sector had rising home prices prior to the U.S. economic troubles that eventually came tumbling down, crippling the local market.

According to the Placer County Homes and Land blog, in the final quarter of 2009, there were 78 homes and 5 plots of land sold in Granite Bay during that quarter, of which 17 were bank-owned properties and 16 were short sales. These sales ranged from as little as $200,000 for an 1,800-square-foot home to $3.3 million for a nearly 7,000-square-foot home. The sales volume was an increase of more than 16% from the previous quarter from July to September, when there were only 67 properties sold. Inventory had fallen as well. The fourth quarter saw an inventory of 6.15 months worth of homes, versus 9.45 worth in the third quarter. The number of days these homes spend on the market, however, has risen, to 120 days on average from just 95. The median sales prices fell slightly from quarter-to-quarter as well. In the third quarter it was $550,000, but the final quarter of the year saw that figure fall by nearly 5% to $523,000.

At the end of January, there were 160 Granite Bay homes for sale, a positive, as that figure represented a more than 24% decline in inventory from six months earlier, in August. Eight of these homes were bank-owned and 18 were active short sales. The average asking price for these homes was $1.03 million, a 6.7% decline from six months ago. The median asking price, however, rose from six months earlier. In January it was $793,950, nearly 6% higher than in August.

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Carlsbad, California Real Estate

March 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
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A coastal community located in Northern San Diego County, Carlsbad, California, is a relatively affluent community that has nonetheless been unable to escape the claws of the battered U.S. housing market woes. The Carlsbad real estate saw an initial dropping off of prices that seemed unstoppable, but as of recent months, slight improvements have been seen, pointing to signs that perhaps the bottom has been reached and now it’s time to climb back out.

Though sales through most of 2009 of homes were brisk and showed an increase over 2009, median prices of Carlsbad homes for sale struggled. The market kicked off 2009 with a median price of more than $700,000 and finished off the year in December with the median at around $620,000. The median price hit bottom in October at around $600, and then saw increases in November and December. Sales activity actually reached a yearly high in December, when 70 homes were sold.

Condo prices showed a similar trend. They started off 2009 with a median price of around $375,000 and finished the year in December at around $330,000. The lowest point for the condo market was also reached in September and October, and prices began to see ever so slight increases in November and December. Sales activity of condos remained mostly consistent, with around 25 to 30 sales per month.

These trends from the end of 2009 show that perhaps 2010 will be the year the the Carlsbad real estate market regains momentum and begins to see steady increases month over month as the U.S. economy slowly starts to pick up and residents return to employment and resume normal activity.

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