When the housing market declines, it effects everybody. When it is on the upswing, more opportunities are created for everybody. We have been in a recession for 6 years and we are seeing better times. Let’s hope that this is not another bubble.
It is certainly a great time to purchase a property only if there is something to buy. There are plenty of buyers looking to make the purchase but instead, they are experiencing disappointment after disappointment in trying to make offers for a home. Some buyers have made offers over the asking price only to find out that there were 20 other offers for the same house. Some all cash purchases, some with large down payments, and most of them are over the asking price as well. This is due to the lack of properties available for sale. The housing inventory is so low that it is creating a sellers market. Where is all of the shadow inventory? Until more properties come on the market, buyers need to be patient and hope that more properties come on the market.
My buyers are still experiencing multiple offer situations with all of the available listings here on the San Francisco peninsula, especially with homes that are priced under $500,000. They are getting frustrated and some have stopped searching all together. All I can say is to hang in there and something will come your way. This is still the best time to buy something while interest rates and home prices are still low. Multiple offers will continue if the inventory continues to be scarce. There might be some relief soon as banks start to release their huge shadow inventory. It is estimated that there is more then a million homes that are being held. Will this HELP? I hope so.
Home sales have declined in some areas and its due to high demand, low interest rates and a shortage of homes to buy. This creates a change in the market place. Not good for buyers but good for sellers.
Buyers around the bay area are going to be happy to see more homes on the market. Currently homes that are under $400,000 are experiencing a seller’s market. Most sellers are receiving multiple offers for their home. Every home that I have made offers for my clients have had more then 1 offer. One house in Hayward had 18 to 20 offers. Another house in San Bruno had 6 offers. My listing in So. San Francisco received 2 offers above the asking price, right after my open house, and 1 was all cash. My other listing in Pacifica received 8 offers, all over the asking price. It’s like that all over the Bay Area. It’s pretty discouraging for buyers today.
Maybe there is some relief coming soon. There is a shadow inventory due to be release around summer. I hope this will help the buyers that are trying to get into their home.
In the past few weeks the real estate market showed multiple signs of a rebound of some sort. In 20 metropolitan areas prices rose 0.2% in August but were still down 3.8% year over year. This may all change soon. In September, pending sales were down 4.6%. Could this be another beginning of a triple dip? With Freddie Mac requesting for another $6 billion of your tax money and holding about 60,000 REOs from the market, which will take approx. 15 years to sell off, I don’t think our country’s rebound in a lot of areas will happen anytime soon and hope that the triple dip is not too severe.
Some help is on the way. The Federal Housing Financing Agency is trying to help change the market. They are making a few changes to the Home Affordable Refinancing Program to attract more borrowers and stimulate the mortgage industry and helping more homeowners. The National Association of REALTORS are also concerned with the state of our real estate market and has a 5 point plan that could get us out of this triple dip situation and stabilize the market. With any change, it will take a while for the changes to make a difference. Let’s hope that it won’t be too long.
There has been more then 610,000 foreclosures last month and represents a 1% increase then the previous quarter. On average it took 336 days to complete the foreclosure process nation wide. New York took 986 days to complete the process while Texas only took 86 days. Wow, Texas seems to be doing something different.
President Obama is expected to help struggling homeowners with their mortgage payments. The Wall Street Journal reports, “The administration’s plan is expected to eliminate “appraisals and extensive underwriting requirements for most borrowers” who are up-to-date on their mortgage and want to refinance at a lower rate”. This should help those who have been keeping up with their payments and were looking for assistance in avoiding foreclosure.
While most the country is having foreclosure problems, there are areas that are still doing well. These areas are the most expensive areas in the United States. The economy today doesn’t seem to hurt these types of properties. In fact, it seems to have increased the sales activity in this price range.
The economy has driven our home values down and there is no end in site. Many areas in the nation has experienced major price reductions. Not all areas have been hit but California has 6 areas that had the largest drop in value out of the top 10 areas nationwide. The prices have decreased more then 60% from 5 years ago. This situation will not get any better anytime soon due to the 1,000,000+ foreclosures that the banks are holding this year and another 1,000.000+ foreclosures in next 2 years. It will take a few years to sell off all of the phantom inventory before any appreciation can be realized in these areas.
If you think we’re the only country facing problems, then you haven’t been paying attention to our other neighbors in Europe. They are experiencing economical problems as well!! In fact, their problems do help our country but it could be a sign of what can happen to the U.S..
If we can’t stop our spending and fix our current problems, we will be creating an economical monster for our children. This beast will not be easily defeated. As our problem debtors become larger (the beast), the REO housing inventory becomes larger, and will take more time to be sold off.
The Senate is proposing to change the FHA down payment to 5% and decrese the loan limits. Why make it harder to qualify for a loan when FHA is critical in providing affordable financing to help decrease the growing foreclosed properties. Currently the nation’s largest lending institutions own more then 872,000 homes which is twice that of 2007. It will take 400 days for lenders to foreclose on the home and 176 days to sell it. This will make our recovery even slower. Although financing isn’t the only factor to a recovery, it is one of the most important factor to decrease the ever growing inventory.
Although home sales have increased, the prices have decreased in 118 markets across the country. Prices have declined approx. 7.5% in March from a year ago. This is the eighth straight month of declining prices. So what’s keeping the sales going? I believe that the low interest rates and affordable prices are keeping sales alive.
San Francisco is showing signs of recovery along with San Mateo county. With gas prices continuing to rise, many buyers are moving back to big cities where they don’t have to use their car. This may be one reason why San Francisco has been experiencing a brisk recovery.