CA. ASSOC. OF REALTORS NEWS

  • For release:
    December 4, 2013

    IRS and California Franchise Tax Board declare California distressed home sellers not liable for federal or state income tax on short sales

    LOS ANGELES (Dec. 4) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®' (C.A.R.) announced today it received a letter from the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), obtained by Board of Equalization (BOE) member George Runner, clarifying that California families who have lost their home in a short sale are not subject to state income tax liability on debt forgiveness "phantom income" they never received in a short sale.

    Last month, in a letter to California Sen. Barbara Boxer, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognized that the debt written off in a short sale does not constitute recourse debt under California law, and thus does not create so-called "cancellation of debt" income to the underwater home seller for federal income tax purposes. Following the IRS's clarification, C.A.R. sought a similar ruling by the California FTB. Now with the FTB's clarification, underwater home sellers also are assured that they are not subject to state income tax liability, rescuing tens of thousands of distressed home sellers from California tax liability for debt written off by lenders in short sales.

    "We are pleased with the recent clarifications issued by the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board, which protect distressed homeowners from debt relief income tax associated with a short sale in California," said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. "We would like to thank Sen. Boxer and BOE member Runner for their leadership in obtaining this guidance from the IRS and FTB. Distressed California homeowners can now avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy and can opt for a short sale instead, without incurring federal and state tax liability, even after the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 expires at the end of this year."

    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: 4/17/2014 8:00:05 PM
  • For release:
    December 2, 2013

    Fidelity National Home Warranty and Disclosure Source Integrate with zipForm® in California

    LOS ANGELES (Dec 2) – Real Estate Business Services® Inc. (REBS®), a subsidiary of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, today announced Fidelity National Home Warranty (FNHW) and Disclosure Source are the latest service providers to integrate with zipForm®, making it easier and faster for REALTORS® to order their home warranty plan and NHD Report and complete the California Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions (RPA-CA).

    "Being inside of the real estate transaction when a REALTOR® needs us most is what we're about," said Billy Jensen, President and CEO of FNHW and Disclosure Source. "Our products not only protect the buyer and seller, but also the real estate agent in every transaction. That's why we're excited to partner with zipForm® in California."

    California REALTORS® can find FNHW in the home warranty company drop-down field of the C.A.R. purchase agreement and other forms that require home warranty company information. Additionally, the Disclosure Source name is an auto-filled option in the natural hazard section of the C.A.R. purchase agreement and other C.A.R. forms.

    "Completing information quickly and professionally is important to our members," said 2014 REBS Chair West De Young. "Having choices at their fingertips while working on transaction documents lets them focus on the other items that need their attention."

    Quick links to order a FNHW Home Warranty and Disclosure Source Natural Hazard Disclosure Report are located throughout the zipForm® software including via the Service Provider icon on the home screen and the partner's link in the transaction screen. The zipForm® Service Provider Address Book lets REALTORS® contact their FNHW or Disclosure Source representative quickly through a variety of technology options. FNHW joins existing service provider Old Republic Home Protection (ORHP) for home warranties. And Disclosure Source joins MyNHD in the natural hazard option of zipForm®.

    FNHW is owned by Fidelity National Financial, Inc. (FNF) which is consistently ranked on the Fortune 500 list of America's largest companies. A FNHW Home Warranty provides both the homebuyer and seller with "peace of mind" when it comes to repairs and replacement of a home's major operating systems and appliances. No matter how extensive the repair of a covered item, the homeowner only pays a minimal service call fee. For online ordering and more information, visit: www.homewarranty.com.

    Disclosure Source is the industry leader when it comes to providing current, complete and compliant disclosure information. Its reports include statutorily mandated and locally identified Natural Hazards, together with tax information; including Mello Roos and 1915 Bond special taxes. It also provides environmental information and a C.L.U.E.® Report for optimum disclosure to protect the seller, the buyer and the real estate agent in a transaction. For online ordering and more information visit www.disclosuresource.com.

    zipForm® is powered by zipLogixSM. zipLogix tech-savvy products are the recognized industry standards for electronic real estate forms software and transaction management systems that are currently used by more real estate professionals than any other real estate software program. zipForm® is the exclusive and official forms software of the National Association of REALTORS® with over 1 million members. zipLogix is a subsidiary of Real Estate Business Services, Inc. (REBS) and is a joint venture between REBS and the National Association of REALTORS®.

    REBS® is a subsidiary of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) and is the leading provider of real estate products and services to practitioners in California and nationwide. For more information becoming a zipForm® service provider call (213) 739-8213 or email jennyr@car.org.

    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 155,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    Created: 4/17/2014 8:00:05 PM
  • Last week, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced it was reducing the loan limit for FHA-insured loans from $729,750 to $625,500 beginning Jan. 1, 2014. However, while the FHA is required by statutes under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) to lower its cap on loan limits, it has also interpreted HERA to require it to reset metropolitan statistical (MSA) median home prices.

    Since 2008, FHA has based its MSA median home prices on the highest median home price for a county over time (which for many counties has meant 2007 home prices, when prices were at a peak). According to FHA's announcement, FHA believes it must use 2008 price levels. If an area's median home price has increased since 2008, FHA will use the higher median price. However, home prices in many areas are still below 2007 levels, which has resulted in the drastic reduction of FHA's MSA median prices. In California, it has resulted in reductions of an average of more than $100,000 statewide.

    This is an unprecedented action by FHA. FHA has historically held an area harmless when that area's median home price declined. While FHA was required to lower maximum loan limits and reduce high-cost area calculation beginning January 1, 2014, C.A.R. does not believe they were required to reset MSA median home prices. C.A.R. is working with NAR to fight the resetting of MSA median home prices.

    View FHA's announcement and the new FHA MSA median home prices.

    December 11, 2013

    Created: 4/17/2014 8:00:05 PM
  • The Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that the temporary loan limits it established as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 will expire Dec. 31, 2013. The loan limits for high-cost areas, which were temporarily raised to $729,750, will be reduced to the FHA permanent limit of $625.500 beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

    Despite C.A.R.'s and NAR's aggressive lobbying efforts to make the increase permanent, Congress failed to extend the temporary loan limits. However, as a result of the lobbying C.A.R. and NAR did in 2008, the FHA loan limits were permanently raised from $362,790 to $625,500.

    Borrowers with existing FHA-insured mortgages may continue to utilize FHA's Streamline refinance program regardless of their loan balance. The changes are effective for case number assignments between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014.

    The mortgage loan limits for FHA-insured reverse mortgages will remain unchanged. The FHA reverse-mortgage product, known as the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), will continue to have a maximum claim amount of $625,500, with actual loan limits based on property value, borrower age, and current interest rates.

    Mortgagee Letter and County Loan Limits

    More information

    December 6, 2013

    Created: 4/17/2014 8:00:05 PM
  • C.A.R. hosts Real Estate Voices—The Past, Present and Future of the Real Estate Industry

    C.A.R. recently gathered some of the brightest minds in real estate for a one-day symposium that featured cutting-edge real estate and economic presentations from leading experts in the field.

    Titled, "Real Estate Voices—The Past, Present and Future of the Real Estate Industry," the event represented a variety of related disciplines, with 18 presenters providing their insights on the future of the housing market, banking, mortgage finance, the economy, demographics, and more. Held in Los Angeles last week, the fast-paced, "TED Talks-styled" event provided an opportunity for a thought-provoking exchange of ideas and information.

    Here is a list of speakers and brief summary of their presentations.

    • Kicking off the symposium, Mark Palim, vice president of Applied Economic and Housing Research at Fannie Mae, discussed difficulties young renters and future potential home buyers have in light of the sluggish labor market recovery, stalling income growth, and difficulty accumulating a down payment.

    Raphael Bostic, professor at Judith & John Bedrosian Chair in Governance, Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California, emphasized the need to approach housing policy as an instrument in balancing one's priorities, life, and communities in general. Bostic highlighted social benefits resulting from balanced and stable housing policy.

    • C.A.R. Chief Executive Officer Joel Singer questioned the epidemic of cash-out refinances that took place during the housing boom. Referencing a simulation in the National Bureau of Economic Research's Working Paper titled "Systemic Risk and The Refinancing Ratchet Effect," Singer highlighted vast differences in aggregated loan-to-value ratios in an environment of no refinancing and cash-out refinancing. Singer concluded that the policy of pricing refinances at the same price as purchase money loans has generated incredible risk for the finance system and consequently, the economy.

    Dan Brumbaugh, an independent financial services consultant, examined the unifying causes of the savings and loan and banking crises in the U.S. in the early 1980s and early 1990s, and the most recent U.S. and European financial crises.

    Richard Green, professor and Lusk Chair in Real Estate at the University of Southern California, posed the question: "Will the Baby Boom Cause a Housing Bust?" and concluded that changes in preferences following the housing crash, along with favorable socio-demographic changes (such as age structure, race/ethnicity, marital status, and educational attainment) will increase housing demand and absorb the housing left by baby boomers.

    Celia Chen, research staff senior director at Moody's Analytics, presented the audience with three reasons why housing is coming back, including fairly valued housing, forthcoming undersupply, and positive demographic forces.

    Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, also highlighted the need for more housing starts. However, Yun reflected on the subdued economic recovery so far and the need for a more robust recovery going forward. Yun also questioned the impact of the rising share of renter households on current and future wealth distribution.

    David Crowe, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders, followed up on the shortage in new home construction. By providing the audience with an overview of the local economic impact of building new homes, Crowe disputed naysayers' arguments for rejecting new homes and suggested that new construction pays for itself.

    • Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank E. Nothaft emphasized the shift in the lending environment from one that is benefiting from low interest rates and is focused on refinancing to one that is dominated by higher interest rates and a shift toward home purchase financing.

    Dowell Myers, professor of Policy, Planning & Demography, Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California, discussed the impact of aging and immigration on future housing demand. While recognizing the ups and downs of demographic waves, Myers believes we can plan for the flood of aging sellers by strengthening the younger generation, increasing their capacities, and removing barriers to their success.

    • Florida Association of REALTORS®' Chief Economist John Tucccillo talked about the difficulties in collecting and analyzing housing data and suggested that the future lies in microdata, augmented by local expertise.

    Mark Vitner, managing director and senior economist at Wells Fargo, focused on the forces driving California's recovery and concluded that California's lead in information technology has widened in recent years. While the Bay area remains the innovation hub for mobile devices, social media, cloud computing, and alternative energy, other parts of the state are still struggling to keep pace with the nation.

    Pat Veling, founder of Real Data Strategies, highlighted productivity challenges for real estate agents and brokers arising from low barriers of entry into the industry. Veiling proposed higher education requirements for all.

    Stuart A. Gabriel, director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA, presented the audience with a new index which measures fear and loathing in the housing market, Housing Distress Index or HDI. The HDI uses Google search data and can significantly predict home price direction.

    Sean O'Toole, founder & CEO of PropertyRadar.com, talked about lending policies which were the culprits of the housing crash and proposed a uniform lending act that clearly defines parties, rules, and recourse.

    Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist at Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, emphasized the importance of financial literacy in achieving sustainable homeownership.

    Amy Crews Cutts, SVP & chief economist at Equifax, concluded the day with a vignette of personal stories highlighting the challenges one faces when trying to obtain or refinance a mortgage loan.

    View materials and slides for select speakers and for more information.

    View the video presentations.

    Created: 4/17/2014 8:00:05 PM
  • For release:
    October 30, 2013

    Heightened market conditions fuel more multiple offers and higher selling price

    LOS ANGELES (Oct. 30) – More properties were sold above their asking price this year, as tight supply conditions continued to heat up market competition in the first half of 2013, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®' (C.A.R.) "2013 Annual Housing Market Survey."

    Nearly half (49.5 percent) of all homes sold in 2013 were sold above asking price, nearly twice the share in 2012 (25.9 percent) and triple the share in 2011 (16.6 percent). The 2013 figure was more than twice the long-run average of 18 percent during the past 20 years. For homes that sold above the list price in 2013, the median premium paid over the list price was 4.8 percent, unchanged from 2012.

    For the third consecutive year, an increasing number of home sellers – nearly half – planned on purchasing another home in the future.

    "Sellers are more upbeat about the housing market and are more comfortable with their financial situation. As the real estate industry and the economy continue to recover, many sellers regained confidence in owning a home since the Great Recession," said C.A.R. President Don Faught. "The number of home sellers planning on repurchasing, in fact, increased to the highest level since 2007, which suggests that repeat buyers could be the driving force in the housing market in 2014."

    The shortage of housing supply intensified further this year, leading to heightened market competition and more multiple offers, with more than seven of 10 home sales (72 percent) receiving multiple offers in 2013, up from 57 percent in 2012. The 2013 figure was the highest in at least the past 15 years, with each home receiving an average of 5.7 offers, up from 4.2 offers in 2012 and 3.5 offers in 2011.

    The distressed market continued to be the most competitive segment of the market, with more than nine in 10 (91 percent) real estate-owned (REO) properties attracting multiple offers, an increase from 71 percent in 2012. The short sale market was less intense than the REO market, but still three quarters of all sales received more than one offer, a jump from 66 percent in 2012. Close to seven of 10 equity sales received multiple offers in 2013, a surge from 51 percent in 2012.

    Other key findings from C.A.R.'s "2013 Annual Housing Market Survey" include:

    • The share of all cash buyers decreased for the first time after seven years of continuous increase. More than a quarter of all home buyers paid with all cash in 2013, triple what it was in 2001, when the share was 8.8 percent. The share of all cash buyers continued to stay well above the long-run average of 15.1 percent since 1998.

    • Overseas buyers were increasingly interested in owning property in California. The share of international buyers rose for the third year in a row, up from 5.8 percent of total sales in 2012 and 5.7 percent in 2011 to 8 percent in 2013. More than half (57%) of all international buyers bought the property as a primary residence, while almost one-third (31%) of them purchased the property as an investment. Buyers from China, Mexico, and Canada made up the vast majority of international buyers at 34 percent, 15 percent, and 10 percent, respectively.

    • Investors were very active in California's housing market, creating high demand for investment properties during the first half of 2013. Nineteen percent of total sales went to investors in 2013 compared to 16 percent in 2012. The demand for investment properties has grown significantly since 2000 as many bargain properties became available during the housing downturn. At the beginning of the past decade, the share of sales pertaining to investment home buyers was only 7 percent, but has nearly tripled since then.

    • As investors and first-time buyers competed intensely for lower-priced properties, the share of first-time buyers fell again in 2013 to 28 percent, after inching up slightly to 36 percent in 2012 and was well below the long-run average of 38 percent. It was the third decline in the last four years since the share of first-time buyers peaked at 47 percent in 2009, when home buyer tax credits fueled the demand for entry-level homes.

    • Bargain hunting investors competed directly with first-time buyers looking for more affordable homes in the distressed market. More than a third of all properties (34 percent) purchased by investors were either short sales or REO/foreclosures.

    Annual Housing Market Survey slides:

    Share of homes sold above asking price and premium paid
    Share of homes with multiple offers highest in 15 years
    Share of cash buyers decreases
    Share of first-time buyers is lowest since 2006
    Share of international buyers is highest in six years

    C.A.R. has conducted its "Annual Housing Market Survey" since 1981. The survey was sent via email to a random sample of 20,199 REALTORS® throughout California, representing a geographical distribution of C.A.R. membership across the state. The survey asked REALTORS® to provide information from their most recent sales transaction that closed escrow in the second quarter of 2013.

    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 155,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    Created: 4/17/2014 8:00:05 PM
  • For release:
    November 26 2013

    C.A.R. applauds FHFA for keeping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits unchanged

    LOS ANGELES (Nov. 26) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) today issued the following statement in response to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) announcement to keep the 2014 maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at $417,000 on one-unit properties in most areas and a cap of $625,500 in high-cost areas:

    "C.A.R. applauds the FHFA for keeping with the law and retaining the existing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits," said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. "The FHFA recognizes that home prices have rebounded in California, especially in the high-cost areas, where lowering the loan limits would have reversed the housing recovery. Retaining the higher loan limits is critical to providing liquidity in today's housing market and is essential to a full housing recovery."

    Earlier this year, the FHFA announced its intention of lowering the loan limits. Since then, C.A.R. and the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) aggressively fought to prevent a reduction in the loan limits. C.A.R. and NAR both have long advocated for making higher conforming loan limits permanent. As a result of C.A.R.'s and NAR's efforts, Congress made permanent the maximum conforming loan limits at $625,500.

    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 155,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    Created: 4/17/2014 8:00:05 PM
  • Research contact: Selma Hepp (213) 739-8305

    For release:
    November 21, 2013

    The American Dream is still alive for young renters, C.A.R. survey finds

    LOS ANGELES (Nov. 21) – Despite the financial toll the recent financial crisis has had on Americans, renters continue to hold homeownership in high esteem, and it remains a goal for the majority of them, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®' (C.A.R.) "2013 Renter Survey."

    Nearly three-quarters of renters rated homeownership as "important," and more than half of renters (52 percent) said they plan to buy a home in the future, as nearly all see the advantages of owning versus renting.

    "It's encouraging that the majority of renters still believe buying a home is a good investment, even after the adverse effects of the Great Recession," said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. "Renters clearly see the benefits of owning a home, citing building equity, freedom to do what they want with their home, pride of ownership, stability, and tax deductions as the top advantages of homeownership."

    This is the first time C.A.R. has conducted its Renters Survey. The survey was conducted by telephone to 800 home renters statewide from April 26-May 25, 2013. The survey was also conducted online to 875 home renters statewide in August 2013. Demographic profiles of the two sets of respondents varied some, with the most significant difference being their age. The median age of online respondents was 39 and was 45 for telephone respondents.

    While almost half of all respondents believed that gaining equity and investing for their future and their children's future was an advantage of homeownership, online respondents were twice as likely to carry that belief. Online respondents were also three times as likely to believe in freedom gained from homeownership and were twice as likely to take pride and feel satisfaction from owning something of their own.

    There are other interesting differences between online and telephone respondents. Among online respondents to the survey, 33 percent indicated having outstanding student loans, with 84 percent averaging less than $10,000 of student loan debt. Fourteen percent of telephone respondents had outstanding debt, with 17 percent owing more than $50,000.

    Additionally, telephone respondents are more stationary and are less likely to move in the near future. Meanwhile, more than one-third (35 percent) of online respondents plan to move within the next couple of years. Online respondents, for various reasons, are also more likely to see significant increases in their rents, with 17 percent indicating their most recent rent increase was more than 20 percent.

    Twenty-six percent previously owned a primary residence, and 6 percent currently own real estate. Of those who previously owned a home, the reasons for selling include: Needed to move for family reasons (24 percent), foreclosure (14 percent), needed to move for work (13 percent), short sale (11 percent), and bankruptcy (3 percent).

    Other key findings from C.A.R.'s "2013 Renter Survey" include:

    • Most renters (44 percent) who expressed the desire to own instead of rent were only renting out of financial necessity and the majority plan to buy in the next three years or longer.

    • Renters mentioned a lack of building equity (24 percent), the inability to make changes to their living environment (14 percent), and unpredictable rent increases (15 percent) as the top three things they dislike about renting.

    • The majority of respondents prefer to buy a single-family home over condominiums, townhomes, and other types of residences, with 77 percent indicating they plan to purchase a single-family home. Online respondents however are more likely to plan to purchase a townhouse, condo, or a mobile home, with 26 percent saying so, while only 19 percent of telephone respondents indicated planning a purchase of a townhouse, condo, or a mobile home.

    • More than four out of every 10 renters (41 percent) indicated they plan to purchase in the same county where they currently reside, and 14 percent plan to buy in the same neighborhood.

    • Currently, about half (51 percent) of all renters live in an apartment, with the remainder residing in a single-family home, a townhouse, or a condominium.

    • Renters are creatures of habit, with the average tenure in a residence being more than eight years.

    • Lastly, when asked if they intend to use a REALTOR® to make their home purchase, telephone respondents were more likely to use one, and half of online respondents did not know if they would use a REALTOR®. Online respondents were also twice as likely to begin their search for a home online, while telephone respondents were almost equally likely to begin online and talk to a real estate agent. Seventy-four percent of those that say they will begin their search online also say they plan to use a REALTOR®.

    Renter Survey slides:

    • Opinion of home buying as a good investment (online respondents, telephone respondents)
    What renters like about homeownership
    • Student loan debt (online respondents, telephone respondents)
    When renters plan to buy
    Intent to use a REALTOR®

    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 155,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    Created: 4/17/2014 8:00:05 PM
  • C.A.R. CEO Joel Singer was named by Inman News as one of the 100 most influential real estate leaders of 2014. The annual award recognizes those who embody leadership, ingenuity, strength, conviction, power, persistence and progress and whose voices and actions are moving the industry toward change.


    Joel Singer has held the Association's top staff position since November 1989 after serving as C.A.R.'s chief economist and heading the Association's public affairs department. Singer was instrumental in developing Real Estate Business Services Inc. (REBS), C.A.R.'s for-profit subsidiary, and serves as its president. He also is president and chief executive officer of zipLogix. Singer joined C.A.R. in 1978.


    Singer was also named to the list in 2009 and 2010 and was an Inman Innovator Award winner in 2000.

    The Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders report seeks to include not only thought leaders, power brokers and deal makers, but entrepreneurs from outside the industry whose ideas are influencing the way homes are bought and sold.

    See the full list of Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders.

    December 26, 2013

    Created: 4/17/2014 8:00:05 PM
  • For release:
    April 7, 2014

    California REALTOR® ad campaign spotlights ripple effect of real estate; Homeownership has powerful impact on economy

    LOS ANGELES (April 7) – "What starts with one California REALTOR® benefits all of California." That's the underlying sentiment of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®' (C.A.R.) integrated consumer ad campaign, launching today on NBC stations in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Sacramento, as well as radio, print, and online.

    Now in its second year, the "Ripple" campaign connects the dots between REALTORS® and the California economy, illustrating how a Champion of Home can help consumers close on their dreams and, together, benefit the entire state.

    While highlighting the intrinsic value of REALTORS® as Champions of Home, "Ripple" goes beyond the story of the individual REALTOR® and focuses on the powerful positive economic impact that REALTORS®, buyers, and sellers are making throughout California.

    C.A.R.'s consumer ad campaign will be supported on several high profile media properties. Through a deal with the NBC Owned Television Stations division of NBCUniversal, ads will run on NBC stations in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Diego, including airtime during some of the network's most popular shows. The campaign also includes Clear Channel Radio, a partnership with HGTV, digital buys on REALTOR.com, mobile ads, and consumer-focused social engagement on platforms including Pinterest and Instagram.

    View the first ad.
    View the second ad.

    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 2013 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. For complete information about C.A.R.'s 2014 consumer advertising campaign, visit http://www.car.org/aboutus/adcampaign/ or visit the consumer ad site, which is rich with content and resources related to the home-buying and selling processes (http://www.championsofhome.com/).

    Follow us on Twitter @CAR_Media and @CAREALTORS
    Like us on Facebook.

    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: 4/17/2014 8:00:05 PM
  • For release:
    April 3, 2014


    U.S. ranks as top destination for international home buyers, C.A.R. survey finds

    Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, Contra Costa, Santa Clara counties
    rank tops in California

    LOS ANGELES (April 3) – Viewing the country as a safe place to put their money, international home buyers preferred purchasing properties in the United States over other countries, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®' (C.A.R.) "2013 International Clients Survey."

    The vast majority (85 percent) of international buyers said they only considered purchasing a home in the U.S., citing that the stable government and financial system would guarantee their home investment. Fifteen percent considered investing in other countries, with Canada, Germany, Mexico, China, Singapore, Sweden, and France cited as other countries most considered.

    International buyers also chose to purchase in the U.S. for its desirable location and climate (20 percent), to be closer to family and friends (20 percent), investment opportunities (9 percent), changes in work and employment (9 percent), educational opportunities (6 percent), and affordable prices (4 percent).

    International buyers purchased a property in the U.S. primarily for investment purposes or tax advantages (18 percent) or to rent out (14 percent), contrary to traditional home buyers, who purchased primarily because they were tired of renting (23 percent).

    Looking at California specifically, Los Angeles County was the top location where international buyers purchased properties (35 percent). International buyers also purchased homes in Orange (22 percent), San Diego (20 percent), Riverside (14 percent), Contra Costa (7 percent), and Santa Clara (7 percent) counties.

    Additional findings from C.A.R.'s 2013 International Clients Survey include:

    • Sixty-nine percent of international buyers paid all cash for their properties, compared to 27 percent of traditional buyers who paid all cash.
    • Thirty-two percent of international buyers purchased the home as a primary residence, compared to 75 percent for traditional buyers, and 33 percent purchased the home as an investment or a rental property, compared to 19 percent of traditional buyers.
    • While the primary language of many international buyers was Chinese (36 percent), 70 percent communicated in English, illustrating a highly educated international clientele.
    • International buyers typically spent five weeks looking for properties, compared to 10 weeks for traditional buyers.
    • Forty-four percent of international home buyers purchased homes with designer kitchens, 26 percent purchased homes with a wine cellar, and 9 percent purchased homes with a sauna. Other home amenities that international buyers wanted include private beach, putting green, heated floors, and outdoor kitchens.

    International Clients Survey slides (click to open):

    U.S. is top destination for international buyers
    Reasons for buying in the U.S.
    International cash buyers.
    Top California counties.
    Intended use of property.

    The International Clients Survey was conducted via email to a random sample of REALTORS® statewide who worked with international home buyers. Eligible respondents all closed escrow on their homes within the 12 months prior to October 2013. Access the full report on the survey findings here: http://www.car.org/marketdata/surveys/other/ and view the webinar presentation here: http://www.car.org/marketdata/videos.

    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: 4/17/2014 8:00:05 PM
  • Housingwire: 17 percent of homes with a mortgage seriously underwater
    By Trey Garrison
    9.1 million U.S. residential properties were seriously underwater, representing 17 percent of all properties with a mortgage in the first quarter, according to RealtyTrac's U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report for the first quarter of 2014.

    Los Angeles Times: Housing starts rise slightly in March
    By Andrew Khouri
    Housing starts climbed 2.8 percent from an upwardly revised February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 946,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Economists polled by Bloomberg News called for a rate of 970,000.

    Todays_re_news

    Created: 4/17/2014 8:00:05 PM
  • For release:
    April 17, 2014

    California home sales spring higher in March, but diminishing affordability sapping market

    LOS ANGELES (April 17) – California's housing market ticked upward in March to reach the highest level in four months, but sales were still lower than a year ago as declining housing affordability continues to put downward pressure on the market, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

    Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 367,000 units in March, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. March marked the fifth straight month that sales were below the 400,000 level and the eighth straight decline on a year-over-year basis. Sales in March increased 1.4 percent from a revised 361,790 in February but were down 12.3 percent from a revised 418,310 in March 2013. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2014 if sales maintained the March pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

    "While the demand for housing was up from February, the market is taking a hit from lower housing affordability compared to a year ago, which led to a decline in home sales from last year," said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. "Moreover, concerns over tighter lending standards and increased borrowing costs are also contributing factors to the sluggish market as they both negatively impact the bottom line of home buyers who obtain financing through mortgages."

    The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home reversed a two-month decline and rose 7.7 percent from February's median price of $404,250 to $435,470 in March. March's price was 14.9 percent higher than the revised $379,000 recorded in March 2013, marking more than two full years of consecutive year-over-year price increases and the 21st straight month of double-digit annual gains, as sales of higher priced homes made up a larger share of the market compared to a year ago. 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 housing inventory has loosened since last year, it's still below what's considered typical in a normal market," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "Many of the listings continue to be priced above what the market will bear and are not moving. As such, even with improved home prices over the past year, new listings are lagging because would-be sellers who have limited options on where to move are hesitant to put their properties on the market."

    Other key facts from C.A.R.'s March 2014 resale housing report include:

    • Housing inventory tightened in March, with the available supply of existing, single-family detached homes for sale slipping last month to 4 months, down from February's Unsold Inventory Index of 4.7 months. The index was 2.9 months in March 2013. The index indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. 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 fell to 35 days in March, down from 40 days in February but up from 29.4 days in March 2013.
    • Mortgage rates edged up in March, with the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 4.34 percent, up from 4.30 percent in February and up from 3.57 percent in March 2013, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates in March averaged 2.48 percent, down from 2.54 in February and down from 2.63 percent in March 2013.

    Slides (click links to open):

    Unsold Inventory by price range.
    Change in sales by price range.
    Share of sales by price range.

    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 may exhibit unusual fluctuation. The change in median prices should not be construed as actual price changes in specific homes.

    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.

    March 2014 County Sales and Price Activity
    (Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

    March 2014 Median Sold Price of Existing Single-Family Homes Sales
    State/Region/County Mar-14 Feb-14 Mar-13 MTM% Chg YTY% Chg MTM% Chg YTY% Chg
    CA SFH (SAAR) $435,470 $404,250 $379,000 r 7.7% 14.9% 1.4% -12.3%
    CA Condo/Townhomes $360,830 $345,430 $306,000 r 4.5% 17.9% 25.8% -6.1%
    Los Angeles Metropolitan Area $402,030 $383,300 $353,350 r 4.9% 13.8% 23.6% -15.5%
    Inland Empire $271,250 $260,380 $227,920 4.2% 19.0% 22.0% -11.0%
    S.F. Bay Area $724,590 $675,000 $636,150 7.3% 13.9% 36.1% -10.5%
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda $660,610 $627,550 $578,310 5.3% 14.2% 51.3% -13.0%
    Contra-Costa (Central County) $703,490 $629,570 $721,870 11.7% -2.5% 25.2% 14.1%
    Marin $1,039,770 $983,700 r $888,890 5.7% 17.0% 58.1% -3.6%
    Napa $585,530 $466,670 $430,950 25.5% 35.9% 10.6% -27.7%
    San Francisco $902,540 $964,670 $828,700 -6.4% 8.9% 22.3% -14.5%
    San Mateo $1,164,750 $965,000 $912,000 20.7% 27.7% 51.6% -12.6%
    Santa Clara $852,000 $801,000 $730,000 6.4% 16.7% 39.2% -11.8%
    Solano $312,350 $288,300 $250,000 8.3% 24.9% 19.4% -21.3%
    Sonoma $494,180 $467,860 $398,090 5.6% 24.1% 34.1% -12.0%
    Southern California
    Los Angeles $395,780 $389,080 $340,890 1.7% 16.1% 20.4% -17.1%
    Orange County $675,540 $677,700 $619,430 -0.3% 9.1% 36.1% -17.6%
    Riverside County $310,670 $302,370 $263,670 2.7% 17.8% 26.2% -8.3%
    San Bernardino $188,800 $185,590 $161,900 1.7% 16.6% 14.3% -16.0%
    San Diego $490,280 $476,780 $436,710 2.8% 12.3% 32.3% -15.1%
    Ventura $559,320 $558,490 $475,000 0.1% 17.8% 22.2% -25.4%
    Central Coast
    Monterey $517,500 $500,000 $359,900 3.5% 43.8% 11.6% -40.7%
    San Luis Obispo $491,340 $480,680 $417,590 2.2% 17.7% 22.2% -20.5%
    Santa Barbara $605,470 $661,760 $575,000 r -8.5% 5.3% 33.6% -20.9%
    Santa Cruz $635,000 $600,000 $585,000 5.8% 8.5% 5.5% -29.4%
    Central Valley
    Fresno $202,100 $182,270 $160,510 10.9% 25.9% 16.6% -19.1%
    Glenn $140,000 $200,000 $130,000 -30.0% 7.7% 0.0% -38.5%
    Kern (Bakersfield) $200,000 $195,000 r $175,000 r 2.6% 14.3% 22.6% -10.5%
    Kings County $179,230 $182,500 $146,000 -1.8% 22.8% 38.6% -4.8%
    Madera $190,000 $147,500 $136,000 28.8% 39.7% -18.5% -21.4%
    Merced $154,000 $181,670 $144,000 -15.2% 6.9% 20.0% -16.7%
    Placer County $367,190 $370,090 $322,560 -0.8% 13.8% 35.6% -8.1%
    Sacramento $263,810 $260,330 $220,590 1.3% 19.6% 26.0% -12.9%
    San Benito $418,000 $399,000 $348,000 4.8% 20.1% 10.3% -18.9%
    San Joaquin $245,900 $234,930 $191,280 4.7% 28.6% 19.6% -24.1%
    Stanislaus $214,760 $215,380 $168,870 -0.3% 27.2% 21.7% -17.8%
    Tulare $165,380 $163,330 $137,560 1.3% 20.2% 30.5% -15.1%
    Other Counties in California
    Amador $214,280 $206,250 $200,000 3.9% 7.1% -18.9% -42.3%
    Butte County $236,460 $234,370 $250,000 0.9% -5.4% 27.6% -19.2%
    Calaveras $257,500 $225,500 $205,000 14.2% 25.6% 3.4% -32.2%
    Del Norte $161,450 $220,000 $167,630 -26.6% -3.7% 71.4% -14.3%
    El Dorado County $385,710 $332,050 $329,170 16.2% 17.2% 52.8% -11.8%
    Humboldt $230,680 $218,750 $225,000 5.5% 2.5% 38.9% -15.7%
    Lake County $158,460 $170,000 $145,000 -6.8% 9.3% -5.5% -33.3%
    Tuolumne $220,830 $222,730 $158,000 -0.9% 39.8% 26.1% -12.1%
    Mendocino $264,280 $272,220 $221,880 -2.9% 19.1% 31.3% 7.7%
    Nevada $340,000 $305,000 NA 11.5% NA 50.0% NA
    Plumas $207,500 $118,000 NA 75.8% NA 81.8% -20.0%
    Shasta $213,410 $186,000 $179,050 r 14.7% 19.2% 25.5% -25.2%
    Siskiyou County $173,330 $130,000 $123,330 33.3% 40.5% 77.8% -13.5%
    Sutter $204,500 $186,000 NA 9.9% NA -23.1% NA
    Tehama $180,000 $237,500 $156,670 -24.2% 14.9% 73.3% -29.7%
    Yolo $326,560 $333,330 $250,000 -2.0% 30.6% 39.3% -15.2%
    Yuba $205,000 $190,000 NA 7.9% NA 68.6% NA

    March 2014 County Unsold Inventory and Time on Market
    (Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

    March-14 Unsold Inventory Index Median Time on Market
    State/Region/County Mar-14 Feb-14 Mar-13 Mar-14 Feb-14 Mar-13
    CA SFH (SAAR) 4.0 4.7 2.9 35.0 40.0 29.4
    CA Condo/Townhomes 3.3 3.9 2.5 34.2 39.8 28.6
    Los Angeles Metropolitan Area 4.2 5.0 2.9 44.6 48.0 38.3
    Inland Empire 4.6 5.3 3.1 46.4 48.0 40.3
    S.F. Bay Area 2.8 3.2 2.6 32.8 36.1 34.3
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda 2.4 3.1 2.1 45.5 48.7 50.2
    Contra-Costa (Central County) 3.0 3.0 2.2 47.8 49.2 48.4
    Marin 3.0 4.1 3.1 31.3 29.8 45.2
    Napa 6.4 5.9 4.7 59.1 51.5 55.9
    San Francisco 2.8 3.4 4.0 21.9 24.7 23.4
    San Mateo 2.3 2.9 2.4 18.8 20.8 19.7
    Santa Clara 2.2 2.5 2.1 18.4 19.8 18.3
    Solano 3.5 3.5 2.9 36.8 37.7 38.8
    Sonoma 3.2 3.8 3.4 43.4 50.6 50.3
    Southern California
    Los Angeles 3.9 4.6 2.7 39.0 43.6 31.5
    Orange County 4.2 5.1 2.8 51.1 56.6 45.1
    Riverside County 4.5 5.6 3.0 48.1 49.0 41.1
    San Bernardino 4.7 4.8 3.3 42.9 45.7 39.0
    San Diego 3.9 5.0 3.3 25.7 29.9 26.6
    Ventura 4.7 5.2 3.6 53.2 58.3 47.2
    Central Coast
    Monterey 5.5 5.5 2.9 29.0 40.2 26.1
    San Luis Obispo 5.3 5.9 3.6 29.1 47.2 36.0
    Santa Barbara 5.1 6.3 4.2 r 28.4 31.0 36.9
    Santa Cruz 4.4 3.7 3.0 27.1 49.9 29.8
    Central Valley
    Fresno 5.2 5.8 3.8 27.0 31.8 27.2
    Glenn 8.9 9.5 5.2 105.5 98.3 19.9
    Kern (Bakersfield) 3.2 3.8 r 2.7 r 26.0 31.0 26.0 r
    Kings County 3.3 4.4 2.7 54.0 54.4 50.6
    Madera 4.3 3.9 3.5 61.0 47.9 23.6
    Merced 4.6 4.6 2.6 32.7 29.6 27.1
    Placer County 3.6 4.2 2.4 24.9 26.5 21.2
    Sacramento 3.2 3.8 2.2 24.3 25.7 19.9
    San Benito 3.3 3.3 2.1 25.4 41.9 21.8
    San Joaquin 3.4 3.8 2.2 22.6 25.4 21.3
    Stanislaus 3.3 3.9 2.0 24.8 26.1 20.7
    Tulare 4.7 5.9 3.2 40.4 40.4 26.9
    Other Counties in California
    Amador 8.5 4.7 5.0 52.8 36.8 75.5
    Butte County 4.8 5.5 3.3 37.2 44.2 29.5
    Calaveras 8.1 7.2 NA 90.0 66.5 r NA
    Del Norte 12.8 20.9 11.8 121.0 98.5 r 121.0
    El Dorado County 4.6 6.1 3.5 46.4 46.4 27.6
    Humboldt 7.1 9.3 4.8 49.5 52.8 56.0
    Lake County 7.7 6.5 5.7 84.7 84.0 72.6
    Tuolumne 6.8 7.8 4.9 82.8 86.4 45.5
    Mendocino 8.1 9.0 8.6 84.2 70.7 71.9
    Nevada 6.0 7.7 NA 28.0 46.5 NA
    Plumas 16.0 24.1 10.9 234.0 106.0 NA
    Shasta 6.3 7.1 2.5 r 39.8 55.2 27.1
    Siskiyou County 10.5 16.7 9.0 91.0 110.3 108.4
    Sutter 5.8 3.4 NA 11.0 21.5 NA
    Tehama 8.1 12.9 5.1 31.0 70.7 28.1
    Yolo 3.4 4.2 2.3 25.2 28.1 22.4
    Yuba 3.6 5.5 NA 23.0 42.0 NA

    r = revised
    NA = not available

    Created: 4/17/2014 8:00:05 PM
  • For release:
    February 12, 2014

    Housing affordability stabilizes in fourth quarter as home price increases slow

    LOS ANGELES (Feb. 12) – As home price gains eased back toward the end of 2013, California's housing affordability held steady in the fourth quarter of 2013, following six consecutive quarters of declines, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported.

    The percentage of home buyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home in California was unchanged from the third quarter of 2013 at 32 percent, but was down from 48 percent in fourth-quarter 2012, according to C.A.R.'s Traditional Housing Affordability Index (HAI).

    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 $89,240 to qualify for the purchase of a $431,510 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the fourth quarter of 2013. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, would be $2,230, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.43 percent. The effective composite interest rate in third-quarter 2013 was 4.36 percent and 3.50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

    The median home price was $352,450 in fourth-quarter 2012, and an annual income of $66,860 was needed to purchase a home at that price.

    California housing affordability hit a record high of 56 percent in first quarter of 2012 but has steadily declined since then, as a lack of housing supply and high demand drove up home prices sharply and significantly reduced affordability.

    At the county level, housing affordability was mixed, with affordability mostly improving or unchanged in most counties in the San Francisco Bay Area, except Sonoma County, which decreased. In Southern California, Riverside and San Bernardino counties experienced a drop in affordability as home prices have recovered significantly. At an index of 67 percent, Madera County was the most affordable county of the state, while San Mateo County was the least affordable at 16 percent.

    See C.A.R.'s historical housing affordability data.
    See first-time buyer housing affordability data.

    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.

    # # #


    CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
    Traditional Housing Affordability Index

    STATE/REGION/COUNTY Q4 2013 Q3 2013 Q4 2012
    CA SFH 32 32 48
    CA Condo/Townhomes 41 41 59
    Los Angeles Metropolitan Area 34 35 50
    Inland Empire 49 51 67
    S.F. Bay Area 23 21 34
    US 58 56 69
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda 23 21 36
    Contra-Costa (Central County) 20 18 31
    Marin 18 18 28
    Napa 29 28 47 r
    San Francisco 16 16 22
    San Mateo 16 15 24
    Santa Clara 23 21 32
    Solano 56 56 73
    Sonoma 23 24 46
    Southern California
    Los Angeles 30 27 44
    Orange County 20 20 34
    Riverside County 43 45 62
    San Bernardino 62 64 76
    San Diego 28 27 43
    Ventura 31 30 48
    Central Coast
    Monterey 29 30 50
    San Luis Obispo 24 23 40
    Santa Barbara 18 17 27
    Santa Cruz 17 18 34
    Central Valley
    Fresno 55 56 70
    Kings County 62 62 76
    Madera 67 62 74
    Merced 60 60 74
    Placer County 46 46 63
    Sacramento 51 50 71
    Tulare 60 61 71

    r = revised

    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 32 $ 431,510 $ 2,230 $ 89,240
    CA Condo/Townhomes 41 $ 345,970 $ 1,790 $ 71,550
    Los Angeles Metropolitan Area 34 $ 396,470 $ 2,050 $ 81,990
    Inland Empire 49 $ 263,580 $ 1,360 $ 54,510
    S.F. Bay Area 23 $ 682,410 $ 3,530 $ 141,130
    U.S. 58 $ 196,900 $ 1,020 $ 40,720
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda 23 $ 626,470 $ 3,240 $ 129,560
    Contra-Costa (Central County) 20 $ 746,380 $ 3,860 $ 154,360
    Marin 18 $ 935,710 $ 4,840 $ 193,520
    Napa 29 $ 494,850 $ 2,560 $ 102,340
    San Francisco 16 $ 873,260 $ 4,510 $ 180,600
    San Mateo 16 $ 935,000 $ 4,830 $ 193,370
    Santa Clara 23 $ 775,000 $ 4,010 $ 160,280
    Solano 56 $ 289,800 $ 1,500 $ 59,930
    Sonoma 23 $ 466,330 $ 2,410 $ 96,440
    Southern California
    Los Angeles 30 $ 423,090 $ 2,190 $ 87,500
    Orange County 20 $ 666,290 $ 3,440 $ 137,800
    Riverside County 43 $ 303,980 $ 1,570 $ 62,870
    San Bernardino 62 $ 193,650 $ 1,000 $ 40,050
    San Diego 28 $ 476,790 $ 2,470 $ 98,610
    Ventura 31 $ 538,930 $ 2,790 $ 111,460
    Central Coast
    Monterey 29 $ 422,250 $ 2,180 $ 87,330
    San Luis Obispo 24 $ 471,960 $ 2,440 $ 97,610
    Santa Barbara 18 $ 620,790 $ 3,210 $ 128,390
    Santa Cruz 17 $ 639,000 $ 3,300 $ 132,150
    Central Valley
    Fresno 55 $ 188,140 $ 970 $ 38,910
    Kings County 62 $ 170,870 $ 880 $ 35,340
    Madera 67 $ 157,140 $ 810 $ 32,500
    Merced 60 $ 160,500 $ 830 $ 33,190
    Placer County 46 $ 362,320 $ 1,870 $ 74,930
    Sacramento 51 $ 250,360 $ 1,290 $ 51,780
    Tulare 60 $ 161,200 $ 830 $ 33,340


    Created: 4/17/2014 8:00:05 PM
  • Research Contact:
    Selma Hepp
    (213) 739-8305
    selmah@car.org

    For release:
    January 16, 2014

    Home sellers excited about the market again; have confidence to repurchase, C.A.R. survey finds

    LOS ANGELES (Jan. 16) – Home sellers are more optimistic about repurchasing a home than in the past few years, thanks to strong growth in home prices, record-low interest rates, and better personal financial situations, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®' (C.A.R.) "2013 California Home Sellers Survey."

    More than two-thirds (69 percent) of home sellers purchased a home after selling their previous residence, up from nearly half (47 percent) in 2012, and from only 12 percent in 2011.

    "Much-improved housing market conditions in the last year have given sellers more confidence to own a home rather than to rent one," said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. "With sellers being more positive about the future of home prices, the vast majority of sellers who are currently renting plan to buy again in the future. In fact, 70 percent of sellers who are currently renting said they would purchase another home, up from 22 percent in 2012."

    Nearly half of sellers (43 percent) believe that home prices will rise in one year, compared to just 9 percent in 2012, and nearly three of five sellers (58 percent) believe home prices will increase in five years, up from 12 percent in 2012.

    Additional findings from C.A.R.'s 2013 California Home Sellers Survey include:

    • The reasons for selling changed significantly in just one year. In 2012, the majority of sellers sold primarily because of financial difficulties, but as home prices surged, a desire to trade up became the top reason for selling in 2013. Others wanted to take advantage of low interest rates to finance their next home, and some sellers believed the price of their home had peaked and wanted to cash out.

    • Heightened market competition in the first half of 2013 led to an increase of multiple offers, nearly all home sellers (98 percent) said they received multiple offers, up from 83 percent in 2012. On average, each home sale received 5.9 offers in 2013 compared to 3.1 offers in 2012.

    • Fierce market conditions also led to bidding wars, with nearly half (45 percent) of all sellers receiving offers higher than the asking price. In fact, more than one-third (37 percent) received three or more offers above asking price. Sellers, on average, received 2.2 offers above asking price.

    • The Internet continued to be the most common resource for sellers to find an agent, with 51 percent of sellers finding their agent online. One-fourth of sellers used the agent with whom they had previously worked, up significantly from just 3 percent in 2012.

    • Website listings were an integral part of the selling process, with more than two-thirds of sellers finding Realtor.com as the most important website in the selling process.

    • Social media is playing a larger role in the home-selling process. Nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of sellers incorporated social media into the selling process, up from only one-fourth (24 percent) in 2010. Sellers used social media sites such as Facebook (83 percent); Twitter (52 percent); YouTube (39 percent); LinkedIn (24 percent); and Yelp (19 percent) to learn more about their agents or to communicate with them.

    California Home Sellers Survey slides:

    More sellers are repurchasing.
    Sellers optimistic about home prices.
    More sellers received multiple offers.
    Reasons for selling.
    Sellers' most used websites.

    The 2013 C.A.R. Home Seller survey was conducted by telephone to 600 people statewide to measure their perceptions of the home selling process. Eligible respondents all closed escrow on their homes within the six months prior to August/September 2013. Access the full report on the survey findings here: http://www.car.org/marketdata/surveys/seller/

    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: 4/17/2014 8:00:05 PM
  • For release:
    March 25, 2014

    Pending home sales dial up again in February; distressed housing market stabilizes

    LOS ANGELES (March 25) – Pending home sales posted stronger than average gains in February for the second straight month, thanks to seasonal factors, but remained below the level of a year ago, despite slight improvements in the statewide housing demand, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

    Pending home sales data:

    • California pending home sales jumped 14.2 percent in February, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* rising from 84.8 in January to 96.8 in February, based on signed contracts. Pending sales were down 12 percent from the 110.1 index recorded in February 2013. The year-over-year decline was the sixth straight annual double-digit drop in the PHSI, but should start to taper in the upcoming months. Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, providing information on the future direction of the market.

    Distressed housing market data:

    • The share of equity sales – or non-distressed property sales – increased to 85 percent in February, up from 84.4 percent in January. Equity sales have stabilized over the past several months and should continue to hover around 85 percent, with February marking the eighth straight month that equity sales have been more than 80 percent of total sales. Equity sales made up 66.7 percent of sales in February 2013.

    • The combined share of all distressed property sales was down in February. The share of distressed property sales dipped from 15.6 percent in January to 15 percent in February. Distressed sales continued to be down by more than a half from a year ago, when the share was 33.3 percent. More than half of the 38 reported counties showed a month-to-month decrease in the share of distressed sales, with San Diego and San Francisco Bay Area counties registering the smallest share.

    • Of the distressed properties, the share of short sales was 8.2 percent in February, down from 9.2 percent in January. February's figure was more than half of the 19.6 percent recorded in February 2013 and remained at the lowest levels since January 2009.

    • The share of REO sales increased in February to 6.3 percent, up from 5.9 percent in January. REOs made up 13.2 percent of all sales in February 2013.

    • February saw a slight increase in active listings across all property types, especially in equity properties, which helped to improve housing supply conditions. The Unsold Inventory Index for equity sales crept up from 4.4 months in January to 4.8 months in February. The supply of REOs dipped from 3.2 months in January to 3 months in February, and the supply of short sales increased from 4.6 months in January to 5 months in February.

    Charts (click link to open):

    Pending sales compared with closed sales.
    • Historical trend in the share of equity sales compared with distressed sales.
    Closed housing sales in February by sales type (equity, distressed).
    Housing supply of REOs, short sales, and equity sales in February.
    A historical trend of REO, short sale, and equity sales housing supply.
    • Year-to-year change in sales by property type.

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

    Type of Sale Feb-14 Jan-14 Feb-13
    Equity Sales 85.0% 84.4% 66.7%
    Total Distressed Sales 15.0% 15.6% 33.3%
    REOs 6.3% 5.9% 13.2%
    Short Sales 8.2% 9.2% 19.6%
    Other Distressed Sales (Not Specified) 0.6% 0.5% 0.5%
    All Sales 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%


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

    County Feb-14 Jan-14 Feb-13
    Alameda 9% 10% 22%
    Amador 19% 21% 46%
    Butte 16% 14% 40%
    Contra Costa 10% 12% 29%
    El Dorado 17% 20% 39%
    Fresno 29% 26% 44%
    Humboldt 15% 17% 26%
    Kern 19% 19% 36%
    Kings 36% 45% 41%
    Lake 36% 50% 45%
    Los Angeles 14% 16% 32%
    Madera 30% 15% 53%
    Marin 7% 13% 19%
    Mendocino 24% 19% 27%
    Merced 16% 27% 41%
    Monterey 14% 17% 45%
    Napa 15% 17% 34%
    Orange 8% 9% 20%
    Placer 16% 15% 33%
    Riverside 18% 16% 39%
    Sacramento 19% 20% 43%
    San Benito 5% 18% 44%
    San Bernardino 22% 22% 43%
    San Diego 5% 4% 15%
    San Joaquin 22% 25% 51%
    San Luis Obispo 9% 10% 21%
    San Mateo 6% 7% 19%
    Santa Clara 7% 8% 17%
    Santa Cruz 13% 12% 34%
    Siskiyou 44% 34% 60%
    Solano 25% 22% 52%
    Sonoma 12% 11% 34%
    Stanislaus 21% 25% 48%
    Sutter 25% 17% NA
    Tulare 18% 20% 49%
    Yolo 18% 13% 38%
    Yuba 23% 24% NA
    California 15% 16% 33%

    NA = not available


    *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.

    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: 4/17/2014 8:00:05 PM
  • For release:
    March 10, 2014

    Distressed housing market shrinks dramatically since housing downturn of Great Recession

    LOS ANGELES (March 10) – Vastly improved home prices over the past five years have changed the landscape of California's distressed housing market, which is now just a fraction of what it was during the Great Recession, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

    In January 2009, 69.5 percent of all homes sold in California were distressed, which includes short sales and real estate-owned (REOs) properties. Five years later, that figure has shrunk to 15.6 percent. More specifically, REOs comprised 60 percent of all sales in January 2009, while short sales made up 9.1 percent of all sales but rose to as high as 25.6 percent in January 2012. Short sales currently make up 9.2 percent of all sales.

    During the same time period, California's median home price has soared more than 64 percent from $249,960 in January 2009 to $410,990 in January 2014.

    "The dramatic drop in the share of distressed sales throughout the state reflects a market that is fully transitioning from the housing downturn," said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. "Significant home price appreciation over the past five years has lifted the market value of many underwater homes, and as a result, many homeowners have gained significant equity in their homes, resulting in fewer short sales and foreclosures."

    The statewide share of equity sales hit a high of 86.4 percent in November 2013 and has been above 80 percent for the past seven months.

    In some of the hardest hit California counties, the distressed market in January 2009 was 93.6 percent in Stanislaus County, 93 percent in San Joaquin County, 89.5 percent in San Benito County, 86.1 percent in Kern County, 85.6 percent in Sacramento County, 84.2 percent in Fresno County, and 83.6 percent in Monterey County. The distressed market now has shrunk to 24.8 percent in Stanislaus, 25.1 percent in San Joaquin, 17.5 percent in San Benito, 18.4 percent in Kern, 19.9 percent in Sacramento, 26.3 percent in Fresno, and 16.9 percent in Monterey counties.

    Of the reporting counties, San Luis Obispo, Orange, Santa Clara, and San Mateo counties held the lowest share of distressed sales in January 2014 at 10.2 percent, 9.5 percent, 7.7 percent, and 6.8 percent, respectively.

    View the slide illustration.

    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.

    Single-family Distressed Home Sales by Select Counties

    Distressed Sales by CountyJan. 2014Jan. 2009
    CA15.6%69.5%
    El Dorado20.1%63.0%
    Fresno26.3%84.2%
    Kern18.4%86.1%
    Los Angeles15.8%62.4%
    Monterey16.9%83.6%
    Orange9.5%60.3%
    Placer15.1%68.1%
    Riverside15.6%79.4%
    Sacramento19.9%85.6%
    San Benito17.5%89.5%
    San Bernardino21.7%81.9%
    San Joaquin25.1%93.0%
    San Luis Obispo10.2%52.2%
    San Mateo6.8%48.2%
    Santa Clara7.7%68.0%
    Santa Cruz11.6%56.6%
    Stanislaus24.8%93.6%
    Tulare20.0%45.8%
    Yolo13.3%74.5%
    Created: 4/17/2014 8:00:05 PM