CA. ASSOC. OF REALTORS NEWS

  • For release:
    March 19, 2015

    C.A.R. statement on Legislative Analyst's Office housing report

    LOS ANGELES (March 19) The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®' (C.A.R.) today issued the following statement on a report titled, "California's High Housing Costs: Causes and Consequences," released this week by California's Legislative Analyst's Office:

    "The Legislative Analyst's Office report on housing is completely on target. California's high cost of housing is putting the squeeze on the state's residents and making it difficult to attain the American Dream or just keep a roof over their heads," said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "Providing safe and affordable access to capital and revising outdated underwriting methods will help increase homeownership opportunities. Moreover, to improve housing supply, thoughtful upzoning is one of the best things we can do to get better land use."

    The report found that California's high housing costs make the state a less attractive place to call home, making it more difficult for companies to hire and retain qualified employees, likely preventing the state's economy from meeting its full potential. Housing has long been more expensive than most of the rest of the country – about 2 ½ times the average national home price, while California's average monthly rent, $1,240, is about 50 percent higher than the average U.S. rent, according to the report.

    The higher cost is primarily driven by less housing being built in the state's major coastal markets, where demand for homes is highest and prices are bid up. For example, between 1980 and 2010, new home construction in the state's coastal metro areas increased 32 percent, compared with 54 percent nationally, the report said. Home building was even slower in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where the supply of new housing grew only around 20 percent.

    The California Environmental Quality Act is a significant factor in inhibiting developers from increasing the supply of housing and building higher density housing, according to the report. Local governments must conduct a detailed review of the potential environmental effects of new housing construction prior to approving it.

    The report urges the legislature to pass laws that would promote more density in urban areas. It also advises the legislature to consider changes to the state's environmental review process for new development, as well as changes to local land use and authority.

    View the full report.

    Leading the way?® in California real estate for 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.


    Created: 5/27/2015 2:46:46 PM
  • For release:
    April 10, 2015

    New C.A.R ad campaign connects the dots between REALTORS® and local businesses

    LOS ANGELES (April 10) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) launched its 2015 consumer advertising campaign this week, with new television and radio commercials and several social media and digital components. The commercials continue the "Ripple" theme, which illustrates the value REALTORS® provide not only to home buyers and sellers, but also the community at large. Specifically, this year's campaign connects the dots between REALTORS® and local businesses.

    C.A.R. will continue to partner with the NBC Owned Television Stations division of NBCUniversal for the campaign. Commercials will air exclusively on the NBC Owned Television Stations in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego markets, on the NBC Network affiliate in the Sacramento market and local cable affiliate inventory to air on Bravo.

    Additionally, C.A.R. and the NBC Owned Television Stations will produce a series of video vignettes. This year, Mike Aubrey, who previously hosted HGTV's "Real Estate Intervention" and "Power Broker" and is a frequent contributor on "The Today Show," will discuss multiple topics including market competition, buying a first property, pricing strategies, and more.

    The campaign also will include commercial extensions on the home and lifestyle cable network HGTV.

    The campaign was created by indie Philadelphia-based agency, Red Tettemer O'Connell + Partners. Demonstrating the success of C.A.R.'s past consumer ad campaigns, a post-test survey of consumers conducted following the 2014 campaign found that the ads continue to build awareness and help consumers understand the importance of working with a REALTOR®. Additionally, buyers and sellers have an increasing appreciation of the work REALTORS® must do to help close real estate transactions.

    This year's consumer advertising campaign will continue to build on past successes by communicating directly with consumers about the added value and peace of mind they receive by working with a REALTOR® when buying or selling a home. See complete information about C.A.R.'s 2015 consumer advertising campaign, or visit the consumer ad site, which is rich with content and resources related to the home-buying and selling processes.

    Leading the way in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    Created: 5/27/2015 2:46:46 PM
  • For release:
    January 8, 2015

    California REALTORS® applaud lowering of FHA mortgage insurance premium

    LOS ANGELES (Jan. 8) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) today issued the following statement in response to President Obama's upcoming announcement to cut the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) mortgage insurance premiums by 50 basis points.

    "Reducing FHA mortgage insurance premiums will make it easier for hundreds of thousands of home buyers to get a mortgage and provide greater access to homeownership for historically underserved groups and credit worthy families," said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "Moreover, this shift in policy will also increase the volume of borrowers using FHA-backed loans, while continuing to contribute to the solvency of FHA's Mutual Mortgage Insurance (MMI) Fund and making the dream of homeownership a reality for millions more Americans."

    The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) estimates that in 2013, nearly 400,000 creditworthy borrowers were priced out of the housing market because of high FHA insurance premiums. Over the past four years, the share of first-time home buyers using FHA-backed loans shrank from 56 percent to 39 percent.

    Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    Created: 5/27/2015 2:46:46 PM
  • For release:
    December 9, 2014

    C.A.R. applauds Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's 3 percent down payment option

    LOS ANGELES (Dec. 9) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) today issued the following statement in response to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's move to lower down payments to as little as 3 percent for first-time home buyers and permit refinancing borrowers to reduce equity to 3 percent to cover closing costs.

    "C.A.R. commends Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for expanding access to credit for well-qualified first-time buyers struggling to enter the housing market," said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "Saving enough money for a down payment is the biggest hurdle for most first-time home buyers, but this program will help remove that barrier, and at the same time, lenders can be assured they are providing a safe, affordable loan to creditworthy borrowers."

    Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.


    Created: 5/27/2015 2:46:46 PM
  • For release:
    December 22, 2014

    Baby boomers still play active role in housing market, C.A.R. survey finds

    Previous homeowners twice as likely to buy again as non-owners

    LOS ANGELES (Dec. 22) – As the wealthiest generation and the first to drive the housing market, baby boomers will continue to be a pillar of the housing market, according to a 2014 CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) survey of California baby boomers* (born between 1946 and 1964).

    While nearly half (46 percent) of baby boomer renters who previously owned a home sold it primarily due to financial reasons, the vast majority still have a strong desire to purchase a home.

    The survey found that 63 percent of boomer renters would be motivated to buy a home if they saw an improvement in their finances, affordable home prices, or other reasons. Moreover, 22 percent said they expect to buy a home in the next five years.

    "Baby boomers are in their peak earning years and will continue to wield great influence on the housing market," said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "Even those who went through financial difficulties during the economic crisis recognize the benefits of homeownership and would rather buy another home than rent."

    Baby boomer renters who previously owned a home are also in a better financial position to purchase a home, having a higher average annual household income ($78,570) than those boomers who have never owned a home ($39,825).

    Nearly half (45 percent) of boomer renters have previously owned a home and are more likely to buy again than those who have not owned before by about a two-to-one margin (31 percent vs. 17 percent).

    Additional findings from C.A.R.'s "2014 Baby Boomer Survey" include:

    • Nearly all homeowners (92 percent) have equity in their home, but 77 percent said they don't plan to use the home equity for income during retirement.
    • More than half of homeowner boomers (59 percent) don't plan to sell their home when they retire, with 78 percent of them indicating they won't sell because they like their current home.
    • Out of the 10 percent of current homeowners who plan on selling their home when they retire, nearly half (47 percent) plan to downsize to a smaller home, and 44 percent plan to move out of California.
    • Despite the recent economic recession, only one in four baby boomers had to postpone retirement. On average, they plan to retire in nine years, with 67 percent saying they plan to retire within 10 years.
    • Three in 10 baby boomers live with their children, with 2 percent saying they moved in with their children; 8 percent of them saying their children moved back in with them; and 21 percent saying their children never moved out. The majority of those living with their children live with adult children mainly due to their children's financial troubles. Baby boomers pay for a majority of living expenses, with their children only contributing a median of $325 monthly for living expenses.
    • Improved affordability would motivate boomer renters to buy a home, but 37 percent said they don't want to buy.
    • Less than half of boomer renters (47 percent) have debt that would prevent them from buying a home.

    California Baby Boomer Survey Slides (click links to open):

    Majority of boomer renters want to buy a home
    Boomer renters expect to buy within 5 years
    Boomers living with their children

    *Approximately 8.6 million baby boomers currently reside in California. (U.S. Census Bureau)

    C.A.R.'s "2014 California Baby Boomer Survey" was conducted in September 2014 in an effort to learn more about baby boomers' attitudes toward home buying and homeownership. The online survey polled 623 California residents age 50-68. For complete survey results, visit www.car.org/marketdata.

    Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    Created: 5/27/2015 2:46:46 PM
  • For release:
    April 20, 2015

    C.A.R. lender performance survey finds improvement in REALTORS®' satisfaction with lenders

    Higher satisfaction likely attributed to better housing market than true improvement in processes

    LOS ANGELES (April 20) – A significant drop in distressed home sales and resulting smoother transactions in recent years moved the needle considerably in REALTORS®' satisfaction level with lenders, according to findings from the latest Lender Satisfaction Survey conducted by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).

    At a current index of 66, the survey's Lender Performance Index (LPI) has increased consistently since the survey began in 2010, suggesting a continuous improvement in the lending process due primarily to an improving housing market. The index improved only negligibly between 2010 and 2011, when distressed transactions made up more than half of total home sales. During that time period, the index inched up from 31 to 33 but increased from 41 in 2012 to 56 in 2013 and at the end of 2014 stood at 66.

    Overall satisfaction rating

    For all transactions – which includes distressed and traditional equity sales – on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "very dissatisfied" and 5 being "very satisfied," REALTORS®' average overall satisfaction with lenders was 3.7 in 2014, up from 3.2 in 2013, 2.7 in 2012, and 1.9 in 2011. While lenders have made progress since 2011, there is still room for improvement.

    Underwriting process

    Even as the lending environment has shown improvement in recent years, the Underwriting Standards Index (USI) provides evidence that there still remains difficulty in equitable access to financing for consumers. Like the LPI, the USI measures the satisfaction REALTORS® have with lenders/servicers based on their most recent home sale transaction with specific focus on underwriting in the lending process. The USI is a separate index that draws upon the answers to the question, "How did underwriting standards for the loan origination in the current or previous month compare to 12 months ago?" The underwriting standards index of 23 suggests an improvement in the lending process when compared to the prior year, when the index was at 17. Much of this improvement can be attributed to fewer reporting that underwriting standards have tightened (41% in 2014 versus 49% in 2013). Even though some steps were made forward, there still remains much room for opening up the credit box for well-qualified, responsible home buyers.

    Ease of closing

    One of the lending processes that has improved is ease of closing a transaction, most likely due to a shift in the market from distressed sales to non-distressed transactions over the past few years rather than a true improvement in lender performance. In 2011, nearly half (49 percent) rated the ease of closing a transaction as "extremely difficult." That figure has dropped to one in five (20 percent). Those rating closing a transaction as "extremely easy" increased from 8 percent in 2011 to 27 percent in 2014.

    See the full lender survey report.

    C.A.R. began conducting its Lender Satisfaction Survey in 2010 in an effort to gauge REALTORS®' experience in working with lenders or servicers during their most recent transaction, most of which were short sales. The most recent survey was conducted in November and December 2014.

    Lender Performance Index Methodology

    The Lender Performance Index (LPI) is a diffusion index based on several survey questions from the Lender Satisfaction Survey. Each question taken from the survey essentially creates separate indices from which a weighted average is calculated. This figure results in the LPI, which ranges in value between 0 and 100. A value of 50 is considered a median value. Any index value above 75 is considered high, and any value below 25 is considered low.

    The Lender Satisfaction Survey began in 2010 and was primarily focused around short sale transactions and then expanded in 2011 to encompass all transactions.

    Leading the way...® in California real estate for 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    # # #


    Created: 5/27/2015 2:46:46 PM
  • For release:
    May 21, 2015

    Solid housing market continues as California pending home sales dial higher from year ago for fifth straight month

    Competitive market persists with more sales and bigger premiums paid above list price.

    LOS ANGELES (May 21) – With the California housing market continuing its upward trend, pending home sales registered their fifth straight annual gain, with the last three months being in the double-digits, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

    In a separate report, California REALTORS® responding to C.A.R.'s April Market Pulse Survey saw more floor calls and all cash purchases, compared to March. The Market Pulse Survey is a monthly online survey of more than 300 California REALTORS®, which measures data about their last closed transaction and sentiment about business activity in their market area for the previous month and the last year.

    Pending home sales data:

    • California pending home sales were up 13.6 percent on an annual basis from the 114 index recorded in April 2014, marking the fifth straight month of year-to-year gains and the third straight month of double-digit advances.

    • Statewide pending home sales dipped slightly in April, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* decreasing 0.6 percent from a revised 130.2 in March to 129.4, based on signed contracts. The month-to-month decrease was below the average March-April gain of 1.7 percent observed in the last seven years.

    • Pending home sales in the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, and Central Valley regions posted back-to-back, double-digit, year-over-year gains.

    • San Francisco Bay Area's PHSI stood at 136.6 in April, down 6.8 percent from 146.6 in March but up 12 percent from the 122 index recorded in April 2014.

    • Pending home sales in Southern California were down 10.4 percent in April to reach an index of 103.5, but were up 13.5 percent from the April 2014 index of 91.2.

    • Central Valley pending sales increased 28.1 percent from March to reach an index of 129.1 in April, and up 15.8 percent from the 111.5 index of April 2014.

    Equity and distressed housing market data:

    • The share of equity sales – or non-distressed property sales – edged up in April to make up 91.9 percent of all home sales, the highest level since 2007. Equity sales made up 91 percent of all home sales in March and 88.3 percent in April 2014. The share of equity sales has been at or near 90 percent since mid-2014.

    • Conversely, the combined share of all distressed property sales (REOs and short sales) fell in April, down from 9 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April. Distressed sales made up 11.7 percent of total sales a year ago. Twenty-three of the 43 counties that C.A.R. reported showed month-to-month decreases in their distressed sales shares, with San Mateo having the smallest share of distressed sales at 1 percent, followed by San Francisco (2 percent), and Santa Cruz (2 percent). Kings and Plumas counties had the highest share of distressed sales at 24 percent, followed by Amador, Lake, and Tulare (all at 16 percent).

    April REALTOR® Market Pulse Survey**:

    • The share of sales closing above asking price has been on an upward trend for three straight months, indicating the return of bidding wars in some local markets. More than a third (36 percent) of transactions closed above asking price in April, up from the lowest point of 16 percent in January 2015. More than four in 10 homes (41 percent) closed below asking price, and 23 percent closed at asking price.

    • The premium paid over asking price increased in April, suggesting heightened market competition among home buyers. In April, homes that sold above asking price sold for an average of 10 percent above asking price, up from 7.7 percent in March and up from 8.7 percent in April 2014.

    • Homes that sold below asking price sold for an average of 11 percent below asking price in April, unchanged from January.

    • The share of properties receiving multiple offers increased for the fourth straight month. Seventy-two percent of properties received multiple offers in April, up from 62 percent in March and up from 71 percent a year ago.

    • The average number of offers per property also has been increasing since January. In April, the average number of offers on a property was 3.6, up from 2.7 in March and up from 2.9 a year ago.

    • All cash purchases and open house traffic were up in April, compared to the previous year, suggesting the spring/summer home-buying season is off to a strong start.

    • The majority (55 percent) of REALTORS® expect better market conditions over the next year.

    Graphics (click links to open):

    Pending home sales by region.
    Transactions closing above asking price.
    Premium paid over asking price.
    Increase in floor calls from potential clients.

    Share of Distressed Sales to Total Sales
    (Single-family)

    Type of Sale Apr-15 Mar-15 Apr-14
    Equity Sales 91.9% 91.0% 88.3%
    Total Distressed Sales 8.1% 9.0% 11.7%
    REOs 4.0% 4.8% 5.4%
    Short Sales 3.8% 3.8% 5.8%
    Other Distressed Sales (Not Specified) 0.4% 0.4% 0.5%
    All Sales 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

    Single-family Distressed Home Sales by Select Counties
    (Percent of total sales)

    County Apr-15 Mar-15 Apr-14
    Alameda 3% 4% 4%
    Amador 16% 9% 22%
    Butte 14% 13% 20%
    Calaveras 15% 6% 18%
    Contra Costa 3% 5% 6%
    El Dorado 9% 10% 15%
    Fresno 12% 14% 19%
    Glenn 5% 14% 23%
    Humboldt 7% 12% 13%
    Kern 8% 9% 19%
    Kings 24% 21% 23%
    Lake 16% 9% 26%
    Los Angeles 7% 8% 12%
    Madera 14% 11% 11%
    Marin 3% 2% 5%
    Mariposa 11% 0% 40%
    Mendocino 7% 15% 27%
    Merced 8% 12% 12%
    Monterey 5% 7% 13%
    Napa 6% 5% 6%
    Orange 5% 4% 7%
    Placer 8% 7% 9%
    Plumas 24% 27% 35%
    Riverside 10% 12% 15%
    Sacramento 11% 13% 16%
    San Benito 12% 8% 4%
    San Bernardino 11% 14% 18%
    San Diego 5% 5% 4%
    San Francisco 2% 2% 2%
    San Joaquin 13% 15% 19%
    San Luis Obispo 6% 6% 4%
    San Mateo 1% 1% 2%
    Santa Clara 3% 2% 4%
    Santa Cruz 2% 4% 9%
    Shasta 12% 14% 20%
    Siskiyou 13% 24% 24%
    Solano 9% 11% 14%
    Sonoma 5% 5% 9%
    Stanislaus 11% 14% 15%
    Sutter 11% 11% 17%
    Tulare 16% 18% 24%
    Yolo 7% 7% 12%
    Yuba 11% 15% 28%


    *Note: C.A.R.'s pending sales information is generated from a survey of more than 70 associations of REALTORS® and MLSs throughout the state. Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, offering solid information on future changes in the direction of the market. A sale is listed as pending after a seller has accepted a sales contract on a property. The majority of pending home sales usually becomes closed sales transactions one to two months later. The year 2008 was used as the benchmark for the Pending Homes Sales Index. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2008.

    **C.A.R.'s Market Pulse Survey is a monthly online survey of more than 300 California REALTORS® to measure data about their last closed transaction and sentiment about business activity in their market area for the previous month and the last year.

    Leading the way...® in California real estate for 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    Created: 5/27/2015 2:46:46 PM
  • DSnews: Agency first-time buyer index shows mortgage loans are becoming riskier
    By Brian Honea
    The April 2015 First-Time Buyer Mortgage Risk Index (FBMRI) for Agency loans increased by nearly a full percentage point year-over-year up to 15.28 percent, indicating that those mortgage loans are moving deeper into the high-risk category, according to data released this week by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)'s International Center on Housing Risk.

    Housingwire: New home sales jump in April even as prices gain
    By Trey Garrison
    Sales of new single-family houses in April 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 517,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    Todays_re_news

    Created: 5/27/2015 2:46:46 PM
  • For release:
    May 15, 2015

    Spring home-buying season off to strong start in April with third straight monthly and annual home sales and price increases

    LOS ANGELES (May 15) – California's housing market accelerated in April as the spring home-buying season kicked off with both higher home sales and prices for the third straight month, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

    Home sales rose above the 400,000 mark in April for the first time since October 2013 to post the highest level since August 2013. Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 427,620 units in April, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2015 if sales maintained the April pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

    The April figure was 9.2 percent higher than the revised 391,440 homes sold in March. Home sales were up 9.3 percent from a revised 391,330 in April a year ago, and the increase was the highest year-over-year change since May 2012.

    "It's encouraging that the spring home-buying season is off to such a strong start," said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "Sales activity is at the highest level in the last year and a half, and should remain solid throughout the rest of the season. We are finally seeing some of the pent-up housing demand that we talked about in the past turning into actual sales, thanks to solid job growth, record-low interest rates, and looser lending requirements."

    The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home increased in April from both the previous month and year for the third consecutive month. The median home price was up 2.8 percent from $468,550 in March to $481,760 in April, the highest level since November 2007. April's median price was 7.4 percent higher than the revised $448,720 recorded in April 2014. The median sales price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less; it is influenced by the types of homes selling as well as a general change in values.

    "While it's a welcomed sign to see the growth in housing demand continue, the lack of supply remains a concern," said C.A.R Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "The imbalance between the two sides not only intensifies market competition and pushes home prices higher, but also leads to housing affordability issues that could ultimately lower the homeownership rate if the problem persists."

    Other key facts from C.A.R.'s April 2015 resale housing report include:

    • While both sales and active listings increased from the previous year, sales grew at a much faster pace than did active listings, contributing to a decline in available homes for sale. The Unsold Inventory Index fell from the 3.8 months reported in March to 3.5 months in April. The index, which indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate, stood at 3.6 months in April 2014. A six- to seven-month supply is considered typical in a normal market.

    • The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home also fell in April, down from 39 days in March to 34.2 days in April but was up from 33.9 days in April 2014.

    • According to C.A.R.'s newest housing market indicator measuring sales-to-list price ratio*, properties are again generally selling below the list price, except in the San Francisco Bay Area, where a lack of homes for sale is pushing sales prices higher than original asking prices. The statewide measure suggests that homes are selling at a median of 98.8 percent of the list price, essentially flat compared to a ratio of 98.7 percent at the same time last year. The Bay Area is the only region where homes are selling above original list prices due to constrained supply with a ratio of 107.1 percent, up from 105.2 percent a year ago.

    • The average California price per square foot** for an existing single-family home was $232 in April 2015, an increase of 4 percent from the previous month and an 8.4 percent increase from April 2014. Price per square foot at the state level has been showing an upward trend since early 2012, and has been rising on a year-over-year basis for 39 consecutive months. In recent months, however, the growth rate in price per square foot has slowed down as home prices level off. San Francisco County had the highest price per square foot in April at $793/sq. ft., followed by San Mateo ($735/sq. ft.), and Santa Clara ($569/sq. ft.). The three counties with the lowest price per square foot in April were Siskiyou ($99/sq. ft.), Glenn ($113/sq. ft.), and Merced ($114/sq. ft.).

    • Mortgage rates fell in April, with the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 3.67 percent, down from 3.77 percent in March and down from 4.34 percent in April 2014, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates were flat in April, averaging 2.46 percent, unchanged from March but up from 2.44 percent in April 2014.

    Graphics (click links to open):

    April sales at-a-glance infographic.
    Unsold Inventory by price range.
    Change in sales by price range.
    Share of sales by price range.
    Sales to active listings ratio.
    Sales to list ratio.
    Price per square foot.

    Note: The County MLS median price and sales data in the tables are generated from a survey of more than 90 associations of REALTORS® throughout the state, and represent statistics of existing single-family detached homes only. County sales data are not adjusted to account for seasonal factors that can influence home sales. Movements in sales prices should not be interpreted as changes in the cost of a standard home. The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical than average prices, which are skewed by a relatively small share of transactions at either the lower-end or the upper-end. Median prices can be influenced by changes in cost, as well as changes in the characteristics and the size of homes sold. Due to the low sales volume in some areas, median price changes in April exhibit unusual fluctuation. The change in median prices should not be construed as actual price changes in specific homes.

    *Sales-to-list price ratio is an indicator that reflects the negotiation power of home buyers and home sellers under current market conditions. The ratio is calculated by dividing the final sales price of a property by its last list price and is expressed as a percentage. A sales-to-list ratio with 100 percent or above suggests that the property sold for more than the list price, and a ratio below 100 percent indicates that the price sold below the asking price.

    **Price per square foot is a measure commonly used by real estate agents and brokers to determine how much a square foot of space a buyer will pay for a property. It is calculated as the sale price of the home divided by the number of finished square feet. C.A.R. currently tracks price-per-square foot statistics for 33 counties.

    Leading the way?® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    # # #

    April 2015 County Sales and Price Activity
    (Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

    April-15 Median Sold Price of Existing Single-Family Homes Sales
    State/Region/County Apr-15 Mar-15 Apr-14 MTM% Chg YTY% Chg MTM% Chg YTY% Chg
    Calif. Single-family (SAAR) $481,760 $468,550 $448,720 r 2.8% 7.4% 9.2% 9.3%
    Calif. Condo/Townhome $381,310 $382,050 $369,720 r -0.2% 3.1% 11.9% 5.4%
    Los Angeles Metro Area $434,240 $431,660 $411,660 r 0.6% 5.5% 16.2% 9.6%
    Inland Empire $288,290 $290,240 $263,610 r -0.7% 9.4% 11.7% 10.4%
    San Francisco Bay Area $844,810 $809,200 $772,110 r 4.4% 9.4% 23.0% 7.7%
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Alameda $808,240 $756,250 $718,580 6.9% 12.5% 14.4% 4.2%
    Contra-Costa (Ctl. Cty.) $838,980 $784,950 $755,950 6.9% 11.0% 22.0% 0.7%
    Marin $1,208,330 $1,085,230 $1,007,580 11.3% 19.9% 21.3% -5.9%
    Napa $617,650 $562,500 $523,150 9.8% 18.1% -6.7% -13.3%
    San Francisco $1,348,480 $1,275,000 $1,132,810 r 5.8% 19.0% 15.4% 1.9%
    San Mateo $1,280,000 $1,300,000 $1,001,000 -1.5% 27.9% 21.8% -4.3%
    Santa Clara $960,000 $932,100 $900,500 r 3.0% 6.6% 31.0% 11.2%
    Solano $337,930 $345,100 $315,150 -2.1% 7.2% 23.3% 35.6%
    Sonoma $558,510 $519,500 $475,260 7.5% 17.5% 34.4% 23.3%
    Southern California
    Los Angeles $426,580 $425,860 $406,750 0.2% 4.9% 18.3% 3.2%
    Orange County $705,190 $696,060 $679,820 1.3% 3.7% 18.1% 19.9%
    Riverside County $333,520 $331,710 $309,240 0.5% 7.9% 8.5% 10.3%
    San Bernardino $219,150 $215,640 $199,420 r 1.6% 9.9% 17.4% 10.6%
    San Diego $530,810 $530,650 $492,080 0.0% 7.9% 17.9% 9.3%
    Ventura $598,500 $596,890 $575,390 0.3% 4.0% 24.9% 19.7%
    Central Coast
    Monterey $455,000 $510,000 $451,500 -10.8% 0.8% -1.8% 0.5%
    San Luis Obispo $522,220 $507,440 $465,310 r 2.9% 12.2% 5.2% 6.5%
    Santa Barbara $672,410 $770,830 $633,330 -12.8% 6.2% -8.8% -6.7%
    Santa Cruz $757,500 $747,250 $626,500 r 1.4% 20.9% 23.9% 15.8%
    Central Valley
    Fresno $217,510 $213,960 $192,880 1.7% 12.8% 6.7% 6.0%
    Glenn $153,330 $190,000 $170,000 -19.3% -9.8% 42.9% 53.8%
    Kern (Bakersfield) $210,000 $205,000 r $200,000 r 2.4% 5.0% -0.6% -7.2%
    Kings County $172,860 $190,000 $166,250 -9.0% 4.0% 44.4% 31.9%
    Madera $222,500 $198,750 $214,060 r 11.9% 3.9% 18.2% 6.6%
    Merced $204,840 $190,000 $164,550 r 7.8% 24.5% 14.9% 0.9%
    Placer County $394,570 $383,330 $375,160 2.9% 5.2% 10.8% 27.5%
    Sacramento $283,600 $282,080 $267,260 0.5% 6.1% 15.9% 9.6%
    San Benito $465,000 $474,900 $430,000 -2.1% 8.1% 2.0% 8.3%
    San Joaquin $280,870 $272,500 $251,100 3.1% 11.9% 0.0% -0.2%
    Stanislaus $243,800 $242,170 $212,500 0.7% 14.7% 10.5% -7.8%
    Tulare $188,460 $182,630 $172,500 3.2% 9.3% 15.3% 10.5%
    Other Counties in California
    Amador $227,500 $250,000 $190,000 -9.0% 19.7% 40.6% -2.2%
    Butte County $253,850 $233,930 $231,670 r 8.5% 9.6% 9.5% 0.0%
    Calaveras $265,000 $258,500 $239,000 2.5% 10.9% 5.6% 5.6%
    Del Norte $130,000 $139,250 $147,500 -6.6% -11.9% 61.1% 190.0%
    El Dorado County $405,170 $393,400 $366,950 3.0% 10.4% 21.5% 10.7%
    Humboldt $256,250 $253,120 $238,460 1.2% 7.5% -16.5% -15.7%
    Lake County $200,000 $225,000 $158,000 -11.1% 26.6% 39.6% 12.1%
    Mariposa $245,830 $275,000 $237,500 -10.6% 3.5% 375.0% 26.7%
    Mendocino $379,170 $297,500 $300,000 27.5% 26.4% 8.2% 20.5%
    Nevada $327,500 $337,000 $339,000 -2.8% -3.4% 42.9% 94.0%
    Plumas $200,000 $245,000 $231,500 -18.4% -13.6% 13.3% -15.0%
    Shasta $230,930 $223,750 $202,270 3.2% 14.2% 19.9% 23.3%
    Siskiyou County $153,330 $176,670 $150,000 -13.2% 2.2% -18.9% -11.8%
    Sutter $211,110 $250,000 $218,750 r -15.6% -3.5% 15.2% 26.7%
    Tehama $165,000 $163,330 $250,000 1.0% -34.0% -7.3% 90.0%
    Tuolumne $230,000 $232,140 $237,500 -0.9% -3.2% -3.0% 3.2%
    Yolo $376,190 $334,720 $331,250 12.4% 13.6% 35.0% 10.7%
    Yuba $206,670 $198,890 $191,670 r 3.9% 7.8% 7.5% -7.7%


    r = revised


    April 2015 County Unsold Inventory and Time on Market
    (Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

    April-15 Unsold Inventory Index Median Time on Market
    State/Region/County Apr-15 Mar-15 Apr-14 Apr-15 Mar-15 Apr-14
    Calif. Single-family (SAAR) 3.5 3.8 3.6 34.2 39.0 33.9 r
    Calif. Condo/Townhome 2.9 3.2 3.1 33.6 36.6 31.8
    Los Angeles Metro Area 3.8 4.3 3.9 r 47.5 51.2 44.4
    Inland Empire 4.4 4.9 4.3 r 51.6 59.1 46.4 r
    San Francisco Bay Area 2.2 2.4 2.5 r 29.8 31.7 29.7 r
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Alameda 2.0 2.0 2.3 44.2 45.4 45.2
    Contra-Costa (Ctl. Cty.) 2.4 2.3 2.4 46.1 45.3 46.7
    Marin 2.4 2.6 2.7 27.6 27.0 24.8
    Napa 5.2 4.1 4.5 51.1 49.9 39.6
    San Francisco 1.6 1.6 2.3 21.0 20.7 23.1 r
    San Mateo 1.6 1.6 1.8 17.4 17.9 17.9
    Santa Clara 1.6 1.9 1.8 17.5 17.7 18.1
    Solano 3.0 3.7 3.4 41.2 46.4 33.7
    Sonoma 3.0 3.7 3.7 37.8 43.6 45.7
    Southern California
    Los Angeles 3.6 3.9 3.5 42.1 44.7 39.5
    Orange County 3.3 3.7 4.0 48.3 51.3 49.9
    Riverside County 4.5 5.0 4.3 55.1 64.5 49.5
    San Bernardino 4.3 4.8 4.2 r 44.7 52.3 40.7 r
    San Diego 3.2 3.7 3.6 23.0 24.7 26.7
    Ventura 3.8 4.5 3.9 53.6 55.1 49.4
    Central Coast
    Monterey 3.9 3.6 4.2 29.9 36.7 29.9
    San Luis Obispo 4.7 4.6 4.9 29.6 28.4 27.8
    Santa Barbara 4.2 3.8 4.1 40.9 46.9 52.5
    Santa Cruz 3.0 3.3 3.5 22.2 22.6 23.6
    Central Valley
    Fresno 4.5 4.6 4.3 28.1 33.1 26.1
    Glenn 3.7 5.5 6.4 r 40.7 105.5 38.3
    Kern (Bakersfield) 4.1 3.7 r 2.8 r 21.0 28.0 24.0
    Kings County 3.8 5.4 3.7 28.5 48.6 46.5
    Madera 6.4 7.2 3.3 68.3 88.2 48.6 r
    Merced 4.4 4.6 4.0 39.3 46.1 27.3
    Placer County 3.1 3.1 3.8 22.3 25.2 23.9
    Sacramento 2.7 2.9 2.9 22.5 23.7 22.0
    San Benito 2.4 2.3 3.0 25.3 28.4 25.0
    San Joaquin 3.4 3.2 3.0 24.2 29.4 23.8
    Stanislaus 3.3 3.6 2.6 24.7 25.2 22.7
    Tulare 4.2 4.8 4.3 37.3 41.5 37.4
    Other Counties in California
    Amador 5.0 6.7 4.3 56.4 105.5 57.1
    Butte County 4.0 4.2 4.2 26.0 44.7 41.0 r
    Calaveras 8.1 7.9 7.4 55.0 150.0 54.0
    Del Norte 5.1 8.4 17.8 99.0 130.0 121.5
    El Dorado County 4.5 4.9 4.6 27.0 37.4 37.6
    Humboldt 5.8 4.7 5.5 46.6 61.9 48.8
    Lake County 6.6 8.1 6.5 82.8 117.9 65.5
    Mariposa 6.8 33.0 4.9 85.2 45.5 122.8
    Mendocino 7.3 7.1 8.9 95.8 98.3 75.5
    Nevada 4.4 5.8 9.0 34.5 48.0 25.0
    Plumas 23.5 22.5 19.5 154.0 175.0 157.0
    Shasta 4.8 5.4 5.2 28.4 42.7 32.1
    Siskiyou County 13.0 9.7 10.6 78.4 75.5 124.8
    Sutter 3.1 3.5 4.3 27.9 43.1 31.0 r
    Tehama 6.1 5.7 11.4 28.6 53.6 91.0
    Tuolumne 6.3 5.4 7.1 26.4 77.6 49.9
    Yolo 2.4 3.3 2.8 21.4 25.4 23.9
    Yuba 3.5 3.6 2.8 28.5 27.3 27.9 r


    r = revised


    Created: 5/27/2015 2:46:46 PM
  • For release:
    May 6, 2015

    As housing market improves, investors shift to multifamily investments, C.A.R. survey finds

    Good price tops main reason to buy now

    LOS ANGELES (May 6) – With the depletion of available distressed homes on the market over the past two years, more investors are shifting to investing in multifamily properties and away from single-family homes, according to a CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) survey of its members about their interactions with investors.

    C.A.R.'s 2015 Investor Survey found 21 percent of investors purchased in multifamily properties in the past year, up from 19 percent in 2014 and 14 percent in 2013.

    Eighty percent of the transactions were non-distressed, up from 70 percent in 2014, reflecting the recovering housing market. Additionally, consistent with investors purchasing more equity and multifamily properties, the median sales price increased to $375,000 in 2015, up from $320,000 in 2014 and $292,000 in 2013.

    Investors also turned to higher-priced properties given a lack of inventory of lower-priced properties. Twenty-three percent of investment properties purchased ranged between $501,000 to $1 million, up from 16 percent in 2014, and 9 percent were above $1 million, up from 8 percent in 2014.

    Among the reasons investors cited for buying now include good price (39 percent), followed closely by good location (38 percent), future development potential (9 percent), and size (7 percent).

    Additional findings from C.A.R.'s "2015 Investor Survey" include:

    • More investors (65 percent) rented their properties, rather than flip them (26 percent), up from 58 percent in 2014 but down from 73 percent in 2013.

    • Investors held properties for a short period of time at an average of 6.1 years in 2015, down from 8 years in 2014, and 7.9 years in 2013.

    • Investors also owned fewer properties on average in 2015 (6.4), down from 8.3 in 2014 and 6.5 in 2013.

    • In a sign of optimism, the vast majority (70 percent) of investors believed their property would increase in value in one year, and three-fourths said the property would increase in value in five years.

    • Investors expect the property to appreciate an average of 27 percent during their ownership period.

    • Investors intend to charge a median monthly rent of $1,850 and plan to increase that by $50 (2.7 percent) next year.

    • Two-thirds (66 percent) of investors paid cash in 2015, essentially unchanged from 67 percent in 2014 and 2013. Investors cited proceeds from a previous investment as the primary source of cash funds (49 percent), followed by personal savings (42 percent), and private investors (20 percent).

    • While the majority of individual investors were Caucasian/white (55 percent), the share of minority investors grew slightly, increasing from 40 percent in 2014 to 45 percent in 2015.

    California Investor Survey Slides (click links to open):

    Increase in multifamily home investments
    Median price of investment properties
    Investors purchasing higher-priced homes
    Minority investors increasing
    Top reasons for buying

    C.A.R.'s "2015 California Investor Survey" was conducted in February and March 2015 in an effort to learn more about the role of investors in the California housing market. The online survey sampled random REALTORS® throughout California who had worked with investors within the 12 months prior to March 2015.

    For complete survey results, visit http://www.car.org/marketdata/surveys/investorsurvey/

    Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.


    Created: 5/27/2015 2:46:46 PM
  • For release:
    May 12, 2015

    Lower interest rates and steady home prices ease California housing affordability for second straight quarter

    Seventeen regions see improvement from previous quarter, with Napa, Merced, Marin, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, and Alameda counties leading the way

    LOS ANGELES (May 12) – Lower interest rates and stabilizing home prices over the past year combined to make it easier for more Californians to purchase a home in the first quarter of 2015, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

    The percentage of home buyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home in California in first-quarter 2015 rose to 34 percent from the 31 percent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2014 and up from 33 percent in the first quarter a year ago, according to C.A.R.'s Traditional Housing Affordability Index (HAI). This is the second consecutive quarter of improvements for the state and the highest level since second-quarter 2013. California's housing affordability index hit a peak of 56 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

    C.A.R.'s HAI measures the percentage of all households that can afford to purchase a median-priced, single-family home in California. C.A.R. also reports affordability indices for regions and select counties within the state. The Index is considered the most fundamental measure of housing well-being for home buyers in the state.

    Home buyers needed to earn a minimum annual income of $87,700 to qualify for the purchase of a $442,430 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the first quarter of 2015. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan, would be $2,190, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 3.97 percent.

    The median home price was $418,570 in first-quarter 2014, and an annual income of $86,800 was needed to purchase a home at that price. The effective composite interest rate in first-quarter 2014 was 4.46 percent.

    Key points from the first-quarter 2015 Housing Affordability report include:

    • The affordability picture was promising when comparing quarterly changes. Seventeen regions had improvements, nine had declines, and two were unchanged. Compared to first-quarter 2014, 11 regions had improvements, 12 had declines, and six held steady.

    • Marin, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey counties saw the largest year-to-year improvements in affordability, mainly due to increases in median annual household income and interest rate declines.
    • Contra Costa, Solano, and San Joaquin counties experienced the largest year-to-year declines in affordability, resulting from double-digit home price growth.

    • Affordability in Santa Clara and Sacramento counties held steady from the previous quarter, primarily due to moderate home price growth, which was offset by interest rate declines.

    • Marin, Napa, and Santa Cruz counties had the largest quarter-to-quarter improvements in affordability, mainly due to increases in the median annual household income, and declines in the interest rate and prices.

    • Contra Costa, Santa Barbara, and San Mateo counties posted the largest quarter-to-quarter declines in affordability as the result of strong home price gains.

    Housing Affordability slides (click link to open)

    Affordability peak versus current
    Annual income peak versus current
    PITI peak versus current


    CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
    Traditional Housing Affordability Index

    C.A.R. Region Housing
    Affordability Index
    Median Home
    Price
    Monthly Payment Including Taxes & Insurance Minimum
    Qualifying Income
    CA SFH 34 $ 442,430 $ 2,190 $ 87,700
    CA Condo/Townhomes 41 $ 369,420 $ 1,830 $ 73,230
    Los Angeles Metropolitan Area 35 $ 414,970 $ 2,060 $ 82,260
    Inland Empire 47 $ 281,000 $ 1,390 $ 55,700
    S.F. Bay Area 23 $ 748,330 $ 3,710 $ 148,330
    U.S. 61 $ 205,200 $ 1,020 $ 40,670
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda 23 $ 707,320 $ 3,510 $ 140,200
    Contra-Costa (Central County) 21 $ 755,760 $ 3,750 $ 149,810
    Marin 19 $ 1,036,050 $ 5,130 $ 205,370
    Napa 34 $ 492,550 $ 2,440 $ 97,630
    San Francisco 12 $ 1,175,850 $ 5,830 $ 233,080
    San Mateo 14 $ 1,202,000 $ 5,960 $ 238,260
    Santa Clara 22 $ 900,000 $ 4,460 $ 178,400
    Solano 48 $ 337,000 $ 1,670 $ 66,800
    Sonoma 31 $ 489,650 $ 2,430 $ 97,060
    Southern California
    Los Angeles 31 $ 434,710 $ 2,150 $ 86,170
    Orange County 22 $ 685,680 $ 3,400 $ 135,920
    Riverside County 42 $ 322,620 $ 1,600 $ 63,950
    San Bernardino 58 $ 212,300 $ 1,050 $ 42,080
    San Diego 28 $ 510,330 $ 2,530 $ 101,160
    Ventura 28 $ 583,820 $ 2,890 $ 115,720
    Central Coast
    Monterey 29 $ 465,000 $ 2,300 $ 92,170
    San Luis Obispo 30 $ 492,390 $ 2,440 $ 97,600
    Santa Barbara 18 $ 680,550 $ 3,370 $ 134,900
    Santa Cruz 22 $ 695,000 $ 3,440 $ 137,760
    Central Valley
    Fresno 51 $ 212,200 $ 1,050 $ 42,060
    Kings County 62 $ 186,000 $ 920 $ 36,870
    Madera 51 $ 212,500 $ 1,050 $ 42,120
    Merced 60 $ 177,240 $ 880 $ 35,130
    Placer County 46 $ 379,080 $ 1,880 $ 75,140
    Sacramento 49 $ 275,810 $ 1,370 $ 54,670
    San Joaquin 39 $ 269,400 $ 1,340 $ 53,400
    Stanislaus 43 $ 237,200 $ 1,180 $ 47,020
    Tulare 57 $ 175,930 $ 870 $ 34,870


    CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
    Traditional Housing Affordability Index

    STATE/REGION/COUNTY Q1 2015 Q4 2014 Q1 2014
    CA SFH 34 31 33
    CA Condo/Townhomes 41 39 41
    Los Angeles Metropolitan Area 35 34 35
    Inland Empire 47 47 47
    S.F. Bay Area 23 21 23
    U.S. 61 59 61
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda 23 20 22
    Contra-Costa (Central County) 21 23 24
    Marin 19 15 15
    Napa 34 24 28
    San Francisco 12 11 r 13 r
    San Mateo 14 15 14
    Santa Clara 22 22 22
    Solano 48 50 53
    Sonoma 31 29 29
    Southern California
    Los Angeles 31 28 31
    Orange County 22 21 21
    Riverside County 42 41 42
    San Bernardino 58 57 61
    San Diego 28 27 27
    Ventura 28 29 29
    Central Coast
    Monterey 29 27 23
    San Luis Obispo 30 26 24
    Santa Barbara 18 21 18
    Santa Cruz 22 17 20
    Central Valley
    Fresno 51 53 54
    Kings County 62 64 64
    Madera 51 50 r 54 r
    Merced 60 53 58
    Placer County 46 45 45
    Sacramento 49 49 50
    San Joaquin 39 41 42
    Stanislaus 43 44 46
    Tulare 57 56 59

    r = revised

    Leading the way?® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with more than 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.


    Created: 5/27/2015 2:46:46 PM