CA. ASSOC. OF REALTORS NEWS

  • For release:
    November 11, 2014

    C.A.R.'s 2015 Leadership team begins term

    LOS ANGELES (Nov. 11) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) announced today that its 2015 Leadership Team is now in place. Leading the team is C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey, a second-generation REALTOR® and broker in Northern California. Serving with Kutzkey are President-elect Pat "Ziggy" Zicarelli, Treasurer Geoff McIntosh, and Chief Executive Officer Joel Singer. The 2015 officers begin their official term this week at the close of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) Conference and Expo in New Orleans.

    Kutzkey previously served two years as C.A.R. treasurer and was chair of C.A.R.'s Strategic Planning and Finance Committee in 2012 and 2013. She currently serves on NAR's Strategic Thinking and Public Policy committees. She was the 2002 recipient of C.A.R.'s Outstanding Committee Chair Award and was honored several times as her local association's REALTOR® of the Year. Additionally, Kutzkey served two terms as president and two terms as treasurer of her local association of REALTORS®, and one term as a director for California Regional Multiple Listing Services, Inc., (CRMLS). Kutzkey holds numerous professional designations, including GRI and CRB and has won various industry awards, including C.A.R. Director for Life. She most recently served as president-elect of C.A.R.

    Pat "Ziggy" Zicarelli is a second-generation REALTOR® from Birmingham, Ala., and is the founder and CEO/Broker of Style Realty & Investments Company, Inc. in Tarzana, Calif. Active in organized real estate since 1976, he has served in leadership positions for his local, state, and national associations of REALTORS® and brings more than 37 years of real estate experience to the position. Zicarelli has served on numerous committees, including C.A.R.'s Strategic Planning and Finance Committee in 2014 and 2003-2005 and Executive Committee in 2013 and 1999. Among the numerous committees he has chaired include C.A.R.'s Association Presidents Committee in 2012, Legislative Committee in 2010, and Housing Affordability in 2008.

    In his second year as Treasurer, Geoff McIntosh is broker and co-owner of Main Street REALTORS® in Long Beach, Calif. He oversees the activities of his 230-plus REALTORS® and also serves the real estate needs of his own clients. Active in organized real estate, McIntosh previously served as president of the Pacific West Association of REALTORS®, the Greater Long Beach Association of REALTORS®, and the Apartment Association, California Southern Cities. McIntosh is currently a member of the boards of directors of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, and the Pacific West Association of REALTORS®. He previously served as an officer and member of the board of directors of the California Regional Multiple Listing Services, Inc. (CRMLS).

    C.A.R. CEO 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. He 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.

    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: 1/26/2015 7:25:12 PM
  • For release:
    November 24, 2014

    HUD Secretary Julián Castro stresses need for expanding credit and reforming housing finance system at C.A.R.'s inaugural Real Estate Summit

    LOS ANGELES (Nov. 24) – An audience of nearly 300 real estate executives and practitioners, industry stakeholders, economists, and policymakers gathered this month in Los Angeles for the inaugural Real Estate Summit: Partnering for Change in California, which featured a keynote speech from U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro. Convened by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.), Secretary Castro, along with other industry thought leaders, exchanged ideas and solutions about housing affordability, California's infrastructure, consumer trends, and foreign investment challenges.

    Notably, Secretary Castro's speech signaled a shift in tone at HUD about opening the doors of homeownership to every American who's responsible and ready to buy following a period of constrained access in response to the financial crisis. Castro and other speakers at the invitation-only event directly addressed a variety of pressing issues related to real estate, homeownership, and the state's economy.

    "While we are considered the 'golden state,' our state of affairs is facing many challenges," expressed C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "Having Secretary Castro shed light on the U.S. housing situation created a forum that allowed the top economists in our state, along with policy makers and CEOs to share ideas, exchange viewpoints, and challenge possible solutions with the goal of moving the needle to solving some of these issues."

    Castro's remarks were the centerpiece of a variety of viewpoints offered by dozens of influential policymakers, business leaders, and top real estate economists from partner institutions, including the UC Berkeley Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics, UC Irvine Center for Real Estate, UCLA Anderson Forecast, UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, and Stanford Professionals in Real Estate.

    Castro addressed the need for housing finance reform and expanding access to credit, particularly for communities of color because lending to minorities is at a 14-year low after they were the hardest hit by the economic crisis. He added that it's time to remove the stigma from promoting homeownership and wants to make helping responsible people buy their first home one of his top priorities. "The pendulum has swung too far in the other direction, and now we've got to move the market back to a point that balances opportunity with responsibility," Castro said.

    "When I talk about helping more responsible borrowers access credit, it doesn't mean returning to the lending abuses of the past. We are talking about helping families who are recovering from the great recession—and doing everything right—rebuild the American dream."

    "One of the factors holding back the market is that many folks are feeling unsure about their financial security," said Castro. "Young people today are using their money to pay off loans rather than save for a down payment. If we help them prosper, our housing market will prosper."

    Castro continued to emphasize the challenges and possible solutions in lending practices toward minorities, President Obama's housing agenda, the Federal Housing Administration, and housing finance reform.

    C.A.R. Chief Executive Officer Joel Singer set the stage for the day with a brief discussion about the state of California's housing market, saying that in 1976, California was more affordable than the nation as whole, but in the past 20 years, affordability has dropped more steeply than the nation. "The housing market has slowed down in areas where we saw a strong recovery, and even with interest rates around 4 percent, the demand for housing is less than we anticipated due to diminished housing affordability," said Singer.

    In four separate panel discussions, top real estate leaders and economists also addressed four key subjects, including housing financing and homeownership; the impact of foreign investment on the state's economy; changing demographics; and the state's aging infrastructure.
    Key to the homeownership discussion was the impact of the younger millennial generation – members of which are delaying marriage, preferring the flexibility of renting and who no longer see homeownership as a primary aspiration. "We have to offer a cautionary note about homeownership," Stuart Gabriel, director of UCLA's Ziman Center for Real Estate said. "We have a lot of recent evidence that low down payment mortgages won't work well. We want mortgages and a housing finance system that performs."

    Foreign investment panel discussants agreed that the influx of foreign capital is one the strongest drivers of real estate. "While many of us here see our market as soft, from an international perspective, we have a very strong marketplace. As a result, international investors – such as those from Canada a year ago and more recently Chinese investors, who in the past year have invested $22 billion into our housing market – see the U.S. as a strong, stable, and in fact, undervalued market," said Richard Green, director of USC's Lusk Center for Real Estate. "As a result, they see it as a safe place to invest their money."

    To view video of Castro's full remarks as well as each of the day's four panels, visit the Real Estate Summit website.

    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 nearly 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

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    Created: 1/26/2015 7:25:12 PM
  • For release:
    November 24, 2014

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

    LOS ANGELES (Nov. 24) – 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 2015 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. Loan limits were increased in Monterey, Napa, San Diego, and Ventura counties:

    "C.A.R. applauds the FHFA for retaining the existing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limits, and even raising the limit in some California counties," said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "The FHFA recognizes that home prices have risen significantly in California, especially in high-cost coastal areas, where lowering the loan limits would have hurt the housing recovery."

    C.A.R. and the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (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.

    The conforming loan limit determines the maximum size of a mortgage that government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy or "guarantee." Non-conforming or "jumbo loans" typically have tighter underwriting standards and carry higher mortgage interest rates than conforming loans, increasing monthly payments and hampering the ability of families in California to purchase homes by making them less affordable.

    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: 1/26/2015 7:25:12 PM
  • For release:
    November 7, 2014

    Housing affordability in California holds steady in third quarter but improves in Bay Area

    LOS ANGELES (Nov. 7) – Lower interest rates and minimal home price gains kept California's housing affordability in check in the third quarter of 2014 and even helped improve affordability in some high-cost counties in the San Francisco Bay region, 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 third-quarter 2014 was unchanged from the 30 percent recorded in the second quarter of 2014 but was down from a revised 32 percent in third-quarter 2013, according to C.A.R.'s Traditional Housing Affordability Index (HAI). This is the sixth consecutive quarter that the index was below 40 percent.

    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 $94,960 to qualify for the purchase of a $467,700 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the third quarter of 2014. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan, would be $2,370, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.23 percent. The effective composite interest rate in second-quarter 2014 was 4.32 percent and 4.36 percent in the third quarter of 2013.

    The median home price was $457,140 in second-quarter 2014, and an annual income of $93,590 was needed to purchase a home at that price.

    Key points from the third quarter 2014 Housing Affordability report include:

    • Compared to affordability in second-quarter 2014, 13 regions saw an improvement, 10 saw declines, and 10 were unchanged. The largest quarterly declines were in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Napa counties due to mostly double-digit price increases from the previous quarter.
    • Santa Clara, San Francisco, and Alameda counties saw the greatest quarter-to-quarter improvement in housing affordability, primarily due to lower price growth.
    • During the third quarter of 2014, the five most affordable counties in California were Kings (64 percent), Madera (58 percent), San Bernardino (57 percent), Tulare (56 percent), and Merced (55 percent).
    • Santa Barbara at 14 percent, and San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin at 15 percent were the least affordable areas of the state. However, these three Bay Area counties saw a slight improvement in housing affordability from second-quarter 2014.
    • Napa, Santa Barbara, and Marin counties had the largest year-to-year declines in affordability, resulting from strong growth in home prices ranging in increases from 8.6 percent to 21 percent.
    • San Luis Obispo and Kings counties had year-to-year improvements in affordability mainly due to the slight decline in the interest rates from a year ago and only slight gains in home prices.
    • Housing affordability in Orange County was unchanged from the previous quarter and year due to minimal home price growth and lower interest rates.

    Housing Affordability slides (click link to open)

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

    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.


    Created: 1/26/2015 7:25:12 PM
  • For release:
    August 20, 2014

    Housing recovery pushes investors into more remote areas to find deals, with more looking to flip properties, C.A.R. survey finds

    LOS ANGELES (Aug. 20) – Given the depletion of distressed homes on the market, investors are changing their strategy and are moving away from purchasing homes in more popular, urban areas in favor of more rural areas of the state where better deals can be found, according to a CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) investor survey.

    In 2014, nearly half (45 percent) of investors said they purchased properties in such counties as Sacramento, San Joaquin, Fresno, Kern, Merced, and Tulare, up from 27 percent in 2013, C.A.R.'s "2014 Investor Survey" found. Fifteen percent of investors purchased properties in Northern California in 2014, down from 27 percent in 2013, and 40 percent purchased properties in Southern California in 2014, down from 50 percent last year.

    Additionally, with home prices on the rise, more investors are flipping properties instead of renting them. In 2014, 28 percent of investors flipped the property, up from 20 percent last year. Fifty-eight percent of investors rented their properties in 2014, down from 73 percent in 2013.

    More than eight out of 10 investors (83 percent) own other investment properties, with 7 percent owning more than 10 properties, 17 percent owning 6-10 properties, 47 percent owning 2-5 properties, and 12 percent owning one other property.

    Among the reasons investors cited for buying now include profit potential (cited by 58 percent), good price (43 percent), location (26 percent), personal (21 percent), and low interest rates (14 percent).

    The median sales price of an investment property in 2014 was $320,000, up 9.6 percent from $292,000 in 2013, reflecting increasing home prices and fewer available distressed properties over the past year.

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

    • Reflecting the recovering housing market, the majority of investment properties purchased (70 percent) were equity sales, while 18 percent were short sales, and 12 percent were foreclosures.
    • More than two-thirds (67 percent) of investors paid cash
    • One-third of investors were foreign investors, with China, Mexico, Taiwan, and India being the top countries of origin.
    • While most investors made minor or no repairs to the properties, the percentage of those who did major remodeling nearly doubled from 9 percent in 2013 to 17 percent this year.
    • Investors spent more on remodeling costs in 2014, putting a median of $15,000 into the investment property, up 50 percent from $10,000 in 2013.
    • Investors own an average of 8.3 properties in 2014, up from 6.5 properties last year.
    • More than half of investors (55 percent) intend to keep the property less than six years.

    California Investor Survey Slides (click links to open):

    More investors are buying in remote areas
    Median price of investment properties
    Two-thirds of investors paid cash
    Intended use of property
    Top five reasons for buying

    C.A.R.'s "2014 California Investor Survey" was conducted in May 2014 in an effort to learn more about the role of investors in the California housing market. The survey was emailed to a random sample of REALTORS® throughout California who had worked with investors within the 12 months prior to May 2014.

    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: 1/26/2015 7:25:12 PM
  • For release:
    September 4, 2014

    C.A.R. to recognize two California REALTORS® as "Champions of Home" for exemplary service

    LOS ANGELES (Sept. 4) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) will honor two REALTORS® as "Champions of Home," a California REALTOR® who has changed their clients' lives for the better, raised the standards for others, and led by example. In its second year, the award honors REALTORS® who have gone to great lengths on behalf of their clients and who practice business with the highest ethics and morals.

    The 2014 Champions of Home Award winners are Reeza Gervacio of Century 21 Astro in Cerritos, Calif., and Lois Gerace of RE/MAX Olson and Associates in Woodland Hills, Calif. These two REALTORS® repeatedly have gone above and beyond in service to their clients and have shown care and compassion in making sure their clients' dreams of owning a home became a reality. The winners will receive the honors during a luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 8, during C.A.R.'s CALIFORNIA REALTOR® EXPO 2014 to be held in Anaheim, Calif.

    "Reeza Gervacio and Lois Gerace are exemplary REALTORS® who push themselves and consistently set higher standards by showing extreme diligence and persistence in serving their clients," said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. "They rise above the rest and set an example to others for their dedication and passion, and I'm proud to recognize them as our 2014 Champions of Home."

    Reeza Gervacio, Century 21 Astro, Cerritos, Calif.
    COHA2014_ReezaGervacioIn one of many examples, Reeza served as a salesperson/confidante for one couple who hired her to short sell their home. The husband's health was failing, and the wife's business had been suffering due to the prolonged economic recession. Impressed by Reeza's professionalism and attention to detail, they enlisted her help. When the couple had to leave the country for four months so the husband could receive medical treatment, Reeza stepped in and took the reins. Not only did she look after and sell their property to an all-cash buyer, she helped the couple find a rental property after escrow, convincing an apprehensive broker and listing agent to accept the couple's application even though their financial history wasn't stellar.

    A 16-year REALTOR®, Reeza also cares about her profession and the community in which she works. She donates her time to local school career days to talk with young children about the profession she loves. In addition to her sales duties, Reeza also helps train agents in her office in farming, client communications, sphere of influence, and how to expand visibility.

    Giving back to those less fortunate also is important to Reeza. Last year, after typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, she canceled her vacation to travel to her home country to help with relief operations for the survivors of the natural disaster.

    Lois Gerace, RE/MAX Olson and Associates, Woodland Hills, Calif.
    COHA2014_LoisGeraceLois Gerace is a 29-year seasoned professional who knows her industry well. According to her peers, she sets standards for other agents with her knowledge and expertise in the business. While she works tirelessly on behalf of her clients, she believes her ability to connect with her clients and gain their trust is the key to her success.

    Lois looks out for her clients even after escrow has closed. When she heard one couple was experiencing financial hardship and on the brink of losing their home of 35 years, Lois resurfaced and insisted on helping. She found the couple an attorney, helped put their paperwork in order, and assisted them in attaining a loan modification – never charging for her services.

    She sometimes works late into the night to get an escrow closed on time, such as the time when one client ran into challenges during the three-week 2013 government shutdown. Whether she's working to make sure a loan closes on time or using her design skills to help clients stage their homes or settle into their new residences, Lois always gives 110 percent. Some clients have even made her a part of their family.

    CALIFORNIA REALTOR® EXPO 2014, the state's largest real estate trade show, will be held Oct. 7-9 at the Anaheim Convention Center. EXPO 2014 offers three full days of valuable and insightful seminars, various targeted bootcamps, and networking opportunities for California REALTORS®.

    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: 1/26/2015 7:25:12 PM
  • For release:
    October 23, 2014

    Millennials haven't written off homeownership; more than half expect to buy within five years, C.A.R. survey finds

    LOS ANGELES (Oct. 23) – Contrary to popular belief, millennials still highly value homeownership, and a majority expect to buy a home in the next five years, according to a CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) survey of young adults age 18-34.

    More than half (54 percent) gave homeownership an importance rating of "8" or higher on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being "not at all important" and 10 being "extremely important." The biggest advantages they see in homeownership are the freedom to do what they want with the property, privacy, and the satisfaction of ownership.

    Moreover, millennials are optimistic about future home prices, with 59 percent saying they expect home prices will increase in a year, and 63 percent believing home prices will be higher in five years.

    "Despite recent news reports of young adults moving back home to live with Mom and Dad, millennials haven't completely written off homebuying and still aspire to owning a home," said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. "What's encouraging is that while many saw their parents or friends struggle through the housing crisis, the majority haven't changed their attitude toward homeownership. Young buyers may have to delay their home purchase, but they eventually hope to own their own home."

    Of those currently renting, more than one-third (36 percent) would be motivated by affordable home prices to buy now. Sixteen percent claimed they would be motivated by having the down payment required to purchase, and 15 percent by an improvement in their finances.

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

    • Of the millennial renters, the majority (67 percent) rent because they can't afford to purchase a home.
    • Like any other home buying segments, millennials are concerned about high home prices and affordability, with nearly half (45 percent) citing those as their biggest concern about homeownership.
    • One in two millennial renters has student debt, but most don't feel it is preventing them from qualifying for a mortgage. Additionally, more than four in 10 (43 percent) don't have debt that would prevent them from buying a home.
    • Even though many millennials saw their parents struggle through the recession, more than half (59 percent) said the housing crisis didn't affect their attitude toward homeownership being a good investment.
    • Despite the stereotypes that these young adults mostly seek urban living with a high walkability factor, millennials said they prefer single-family homes on large lots in the suburbs, with two out of three (67 percent) indicating they plan to purchase a single-family detached home, while only 12 percent said they plan to purchase a townhome or condominium.
    • While they aspire toward homeownership, the majority was uncertain or doubtful they could obtain a mortgage now, with 45 percent saying they were not sure, and 33 percent saying they would not be able to obtain a mortgage now.

    California Millennial Survey Slides (click links to open):

    Importance of ownership to millennials
    Millennials expect to buy within five years
    Millennials' biggest concerns
    Attitude toward homeownership following housing crisis
    Possibility of obtaining a mortgage

    C.A.R.'s "2014 California Millennial Survey" was conducted in August 2014 in an effort to learn more about millennials' attitudes toward homebuying and homeownership. The online survey polled 1,000 California residents age 18-34.

    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: 1/26/2015 7:25:12 PM
  • C.A.R. CEO Joel Singer has been named one of the 200 most powerful people in residential real estate, ranking No. 32, according to the 2015 edition of Swanepoel Power 200.

    "The SP200 serves to identify those leaders that impact and lead the residential real estate brokerage industry," said Rob Hahn, executive editor of the Swanepoel Power 200. "We acknowledge their enormous influence and contribution to our industry by detailing their role in improving the overall home buying transaction and the real estate business in particular.

    Swanepoel states, "These are the leaders of our industry. They are the drivers! They are the ones making the biggest difference!...There is no pay-to-play, no old boys club, and no favors for friends."

    See the full list.


    Created: 1/26/2015 7:25:12 PM
  • For release:
    January 23, 2015

    California pending home sales register first annual increase in nearly two years

    REALTORS® say improving economic conditions and buyer urgency point to better market in 2015

    LOS ANGELES (Jan. 23) – Pending home sales posted higher on a year-over-year basis for the first time since January 2013 and as expected, declined from the previous month due primarily to a seasonal slowdown toward the end of the year, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

    Additionally, with the specter of a better economy, greater job growth, and increasing household formation, C.A.R.'s new Market Pulse Survey found that many REALTORS® expect market conditions to improve in 2015, as does C.A.R.

    Pending home sales data:

    • Pending sales were up 2.6 percent from the 69.1 index recorded in December 2013. The yearly increase was better than the six-month average of -4.3 percent from June 2014 to November 2014.

    • California pending home sales dropped in December, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* falling 21.9 percent from 90.7 in November to 70.9 in December, based on signed contracts. The monthly decline was in line with the seasonal slowdown in pending sales observed at the end of the year for the last two years.

    Equity and distressed housing market data:

    • The share of equity sales – or non-distressed property sales – dipped for the second straight month in December. Equity sales made up 89.8 percent of all sales in December, down from 90.5 percent recorded in November. Equity sales have been more than 80 percent of total sales since July 2013 and have risen at or near 90 percent since mid-2014. Equity sales made up 84.4 percent of sales in December 2013.

    • Conversely, the combined share of all distressed property sales edged up in December, up from 9.5 percent in November to 10.2 percent in December. Distressed sales were down 33 percent from a year ago, when the share was 15.6 percent.

    REALTOR® Market Pulse Survey**:

    • In the fourth quarter of 2014, the vast majority (87 percent) of REALTORS® expected market conditions to either improve or stay the same over the next year.

    • More REALTORS® (61 percent) closed a transaction in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to the first quarter (53 percent).

    • In an indication of stabilizing home prices, fewer homes (24 percent) sold above asking price in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to 46 percent in the first quarter.

    • Homes selling below asking price rose from 19 percent in the first quarter of 2014 to 48 percent in the fourth quarter, indicating home sellers' expectations moved more in line with buyers' expectations toward the end of the year and competition between sellers attempting to appeal to affordability strapped home buyers increased.

    • More than half (58 percent) of properties received multiple offers in the fourth quarter of 2014, down from 69 percent in the first quarter.

    Charts (click links to open):

    REALTORS® expect market to improve in 2015.
    More REALTORS® closed a transaction.
    More homes sold below asking price.
    Fewer properties received multiple offers.

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

    Type of Sale Dec-14 Nov-14 Dec-13
    Equity Sales 89.8% 90.5% 84.4%
    Total Distressed Sales 10.2% 9.5% 15.6%
    REOs 4.7% 4.3% 5.1%
    Short Sales 5.1% 4.8% 10.0%
    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 Dec-14 Nov-14 Dec-13
    Alameda 3% 3% 9%
    Amador 10% 7% 35%
    Butte 18% 13% 18%
    Calaveras 14% 19% NA
    Contra Costa 6% 3% 7%
    El Dorado 14% 7% 19%
    Fresno 19% 16% 24%
    Glenn 40% 29% 27%
    Humboldt 14% 12% 14%
    Kern 13% 10% 19%
    Kings 26% 17% 28%
    Lake 20% 19% 34%
    Los Angeles 9% 9% 17%
    Madera 13% 14% 20%
    Marin 2% 2% 8%
    Mariposa 7% 10% 40%
    Mendocino 25% 13% 27%
    Merced 10% 17% 22%
    Monterey 9% 9% 20%
    Napa 3% 7% 10%
    Orange 6% 5% 10%
    Placer 7% 8% 13%
    Plumas 8% 11% NA
    Riverside 12% 13% 17%
    Sacramento 13% 12% 19%
    San Benito 8% 3% 15%
    San Bernardino 14% 16% 22%
    San Diego 6% 6% 5%
    San Joaquin 13% 11% 23%
    San Luis Obispo 6% 6% 7%
    San Mateo 2% 1% 6%
    Santa Clara 3% 2% 7%
    Santa Cruz 2% 6% 15%
    Shasta 20% 19% 24%
    Siskiyou 26% 24% 24%
    Solano 11% 9% 22%
    Sonoma 6% 5% 15%
    Stanislaus 12% 10% 22%
    Sutter 20% 21% 32%
    Tulare 16% 17% 26%
    Yolo 10% 8% 18%
    Yuba 22% 16% 31%
    California 10% 10% 16%

    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.

    **C.A.R.'s Market Pulse Survey is a monthly online survey to gather California REALTORS®' sentiment about their last closed transaction and business activity for the previous month and the last 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: 1/26/2015 7:25:12 PM
  • DSnews: Can HAMP borrowers absorb higher payments when mods reset?
    By Brian Honea
    Approximately half a million homeowners who received a mortgage loan modification in 2010 through the government's Home Affordable Modification Program, commonly known as HAMP, are due to reset in 2015 – and those homeowners will be facing slowly increasing monthly mortgage payments.

    Housingwire: Freddie Mac: Hybrid ARMs are "hot"
    By Ben Lane
    Hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages continue to be the most popular ARM loan product offered by lenders and chosen by borrowers, according to the 31st Annual Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Survey of prime loan offerings from Freddie Mac.

    Todays_re_news

    Created: 1/26/2015 7:25:12 PM
  • For release:
    January 15, 2015

    California's housing market returning to normalcy as year ends

    Sales move higher in Southern California and Central Valley, while Bay Area pauses

    LOS ANGELES (Jan. 15) – California's regional housing markets ended the year with mixed results as statewide home sales inched up from a year ago for the first time in nearly a year and a half, 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 366,000 units in December, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. Sales in December were down 2.9 percent from a revised 376,890 in November but up a slight 0.6 percent from a revised 363,740 in December 2013. The negligible year-to-year increase was the first since July 2013. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2014 if sales maintained the December pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

    For 2014 as a whole, a preliminary 383,320 single-family homes closed escrow in California, down 7.6 percent from a revised 2013 figure of 414,900.

    "Home sales were down on a statewide basis, with pockets of gains in sales activity, especially in Southern California and the Central Valley, where home sales were higher than the prior month and year," said 2015 C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "Not so for the San Francisco Bay Area, which saw run-ups in sales and prices throughout the year. This market has tempered from its earlier frenzied pace mostly due to extremely tight inventory."

    Reversing a three-month decline, the median price of an existing, single-family detached California home increased 1.7 percent from November's median price of $444,830 to $452,570 in December and was up 3.1 percent from the revised $438,790 recorded in December 2013. The statewide median home price has been higher on a year-over-year basis for more than two years, but price gains have narrowed over the past few months. 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.

    "2014 saw a return to a near normal housing market, with sales moving at a moderate pace and home price appreciation growing at more sustainable levels," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "Home prices have stabilized over the past year, which is positive news for buyers who have been putting off their home search until prices leveled off. And with recent news of an improvement in the job market and the lowest interest rates in a year and a half, buyers may be resuming their home search."

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

    • Housing inventory tightened in December, with the available supply of existing, single-family detached homes for sale dropping from 4.4 months in November to 3.3 months in December. The index was 3 months in December 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 lengthened in December, up from 43.9 days in November to 47.3 days in December and from 40.4 days in December 2013.

    • According to C.A.R.'s newest housing market indicator measuring sales-to-list price ratio*, multiple bid offers for properties has waned, and properties are again generally selling below the list price. The statewide measure suggests that homes are selling at 97 percent of the list price, down from a ratio of 98.1 percent at the same time last year. The Bay Area is the only region where homes are selling above list prices and are generally selling about 0.6 percent more than the asking price.

    • The average California price per square foot** for an existing single-family home was $210 in December 2014, a decrease of 1.3 percent from the previous month, but a 4.9 percent increase from December 2013. 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 35 consecutive months. It seems to have reached a plateau in recent months and has been leveling off at around $215 for existing single-family homes. San Mateo County had the highest price per square foot in December with $667/sq. ft., followed by Santa Clara ($500/sq. ft.), and Santa Cruz ($409/sq. ft.). The three counties with the lowest price per square foot in December were Siskiyou ($93/sq. ft.), Kings ($113/sq. ft.), and Merced ($114/sq. ft.).

    • Mortgage rates fell again in December, with the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 3.86 percent, down from 4 percent in November and down from 4.46 percent in December 2013, according to Freddie Mac. The December 2014 average 30-year fixed rate was the lowest since May 2013, just before the Federal Reserve announced its intention to taper the bond buying program. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates also dipped in December, averaging 2.40 percent, down from 2.44 percent in November and down from 2.56 percent in December 2013.

    Graphics (click links to open):

    • December sales at-a-glance infographic.
    Unsold Inventory by price range.
    Change in sales by price range.
    Share of sales by price range.
    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 December 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 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    # # #

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

    December-14 Median Sold Price of Existing Single-Family Homes Sales
    State/Region/County Dec-14 Nov-14 Dec-13 MTM% Chg YTY% Chg MTM% Chg YTY% Chg
    CA SFH (SAAR) $452,570 $444,830 r $438,790 r 1.7% 3.1% -2.9% 0.6%
    CA Condo/Townhomes $363,910 $369,040 $338,520 r -1.4% 7.5% 15.7% 0.2%
    L.A. Metro Area $411,050 $417,270 $400,040 r -1.5% 2.8% 18.2% 0.3%
    Inland Empire $281,660 $276,950 $271,930 r 1.7% 3.6% 19.2% 3.4%
    S.F. Bay Area $718,370 $748,870 $659,700 r -4.1% 8.9% -0.8% -2.6%
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda $693,180 $710,370 $609,370 r -2.4% 13.8% 1.2% -8.9%
    Contra-Costa $704,440 $654,410 $636,480 r 7.6% 10.7% -4.5% 4.0%
    Marin $990,130 $1,111,110 $893,750 -10.9% 10.8% -20.4% -9.2%
    Napa $516,670 $625,000 $476,000 -17.3% 8.5% 0.0% -21.2%
    San Francisco $935,480 $956,320 $884,770 r -2.2% 5.7% -4.5% 2.6%
    San Mateo $980,000 $1,092,500 $1,000,000 -10.3% -2.0% -9.7% -8.7%
    Santa Clara $846,500 $850,000 $769,900 r -0.4% 9.9% 0.0% -8.3%
    Solano $324,070 $332,020 $293,520 -2.4% 10.4% 16.6% 10.7%
    Sonoma $519,470 $487,110 $464,190 6.6% 11.9% 6.4% 11.6%
    Southern California
    Los Angeles $464,650 $434,070 r $439,830 7.0% 5.6% 19.5% -0.8%
    Orange County $683,490 $689,480 $677,660 -0.9% 0.9% 12.9% -2.8%
    Riverside County $322,020 $320,880 $310,020 0.4% 3.9% 26.0% 2.3%
    San Bernardino $216,020 $213,780 $199,020 r 1.0% 8.5% 9.1% 5.5%
    San Diego $494,500 $491,690 $479,690 0.6% 3.1% 22.9% 6.8%
    Ventura NA $549,440 $535,180 NA NA NA NA
    Central Coast
    Monterey $430,000 $460,000 $438,500 -6.5% -1.9% 7.9% -4.5%
    San Luis Obispo $488,130 $453,950 $484,480 7.5% 0.8% 13.3% 4.5%
    Santa Barbara $655,000 $643,290 $701,920 1.8% -6.7% 5.2% -9.6%
    Santa Cruz $698,500 $689,500 $608,000 1.3% 14.9% 13.6% 4.4%
    Central Valley
    Fresno $204,430 $200,000 $190,350 2.2% 7.4% 25.3% 5.6%
    Glenn $176,670 $95,000 $190,000 86.0% -7.0% 114.3% 36.4%
    Kern (Bakersfield) $205,000 $211,220 r $208,100 -2.9% -1.5% 11.6% 11.4%
    Kings County $195,550 $192,500 $154,280 1.6% 26.8% 26.3% 33.3%
    Madera $212,500 $236,360 r $200,000 r -10.1% 6.3% 22.0% 8.9%
    Merced $178,230 $177,650 $160,000 0.3% 11.4% 12.5% -8.3%
    Placer County $387,500 $369,490 $361,150 4.9% 7.3% 36.3% 22.8%
    Sacramento $269,350 $266,260 $250,370 1.2% 7.6% 20.1% 1.3%
    San Benito $435,000 $431,000 $410,000 0.9% 6.1% 63.3% 25.6%
    San Joaquin $267,070 $249,080 $248,820 7.2% 7.3% 21.9% -7.7%
    Stanislaus $228,160 $230,950 $220,640 -1.2% 3.4% 16.7% -7.7%
    Tulare $178,620 $187,000 $160,910 -4.5% 11.0% 31.2% 22.0%
    Other Counties in California
    Amador $229,540 $231,250 $192,000 -0.7% 19.6% 34.5% 14.7%
    Butte County $231,820 $241,910 r $231,100 r -4.2% 0.3% 12.4% -12.3%
    Calaveras $240,000 $235,000 $215,000 2.1% 11.6% 25.4% 2.6%
    Del Norte $142,250 $127,500 $130,000 11.6% 9.4% 0.0% -6.7%
    El Dorado County $385,230 $374,540 $360,580 2.9% 6.8% 13.4% -1.7%
    Humboldt $263,000 $262,500 $254,170 0.2% 3.5% 13.5% 3.1%
    Lake County $162,860 $186,670 $165,000 -12.8% -1.3% -3.4% -24.3%
    Mariposa $245,000 $250,000 $225,000 -2.0% 8.9% 50.0% 50.0%
    Mendocino $270,830 $332,140 $278,570 -18.5% -2.8% 40.5% 23.8%
    Nevada $318,000 $338,000 $310,000 -5.9% 2.6% 13.2% 22.9%
    Plumas $225,000 $192,500 $249,000 16.9% -9.6% -12.5% 12.0%
    Shasta $208,160 $210,610 $184,710 -1.2% 12.7% 34.6% 20.7%
    Siskiyou County $135,000 $172,500 $160,000 -21.7% -15.6% 13.5% 23.5%
    Sutter $200,000 $218,180 $196,670 r -8.3% 1.7% 26.9% 15.8%
    Tehama $206,250 $175,000 $137,500 17.9% 50.0% 0.0% 26.1%
    Tuolumne $211,670 $220,000 $209,090 -3.8% 1.2% 30.4% 40.4%
    Yolo $344,590 $343,180 $308,060 0.4% 11.9% -0.9% -1.7%
    Yuba $207,140 $190,000 $200,000 r 9.0% 3.6% -6.5% 38.1%

    NA = not available

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

    December-14 Unsold Inventory Index Median Time on Market
    State/Region/County Dec-14 Nov-14 Dec-13 Dec-14 Nov-14 Dec-13
    CA SFH (SAAR) 3.3 4.4 3.0 47.3 43.9 40.4 r
    CA Condo/Townhomes 2.8 3.8 2.6 r 47.3 40.7 41.9 r
    Los Angeles Metropolitan Area 3.8 4.9 3.3 56.4 53.5 45.8
    Inland Empire 4.6 5.8 4.0 r 58.1 56.0 43.7 r
    S.F. Bay Area 1.7 2.3 1.6 45.6 40.6 44.8 r
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda 1.2 1.9 1.2 53.5 51.5 54.4
    Contra-Costa (Central County) 1.4 2.0 1.1 r 57.3 54.8 56.2 r
    Marin 2.2 2.7 2.3 51.7 40.3 52.6
    Napa 4.2 5.3 2.9 63.6 56.5 74.8
    San Francisco 1.7 2.3 1.9 34.5 25.1 33.6
    San Mateo 1.1 1.4 1.3 20.6 21.3 24.2
    Santa Clara 1.3 1.9 1.3 22.6 21.7 23.2
    Solano 2.8 3.5 1.9 54.6 46.0 41.2
    Sonoma 2.0 2.9 2.2 56.2 50.7 54.4
    Southern California
    Los Angeles 3.4 4.4 3.0 50.9 47.8 41.0
    Orange County 3.1 4.1 2.9 67.7 61.2 58.6
    Riverside County 4.7 6.1 4.0 61.0 57.2 45.0
    San Bernardino 4.4 5.3 3.8 r 54.4 54.0 40.9
    San Diego 3.4 4.9 3.6 28.2 28.1 34.4
    Ventura NA 4.8 2.8 NA 66.6 52.1
    Central Coast
    Monterey 4.0 4.8 3.4 48.6 34.9 38.9
    San Luis Obispo 3.9 5.1 3.9 55.9 49.9 46.7
    Santa Barbara 4.0 4.9 3.5 53.1 45.8 24.4
    Santa Cruz 2.4 3.5 2.6 42.3 26.5 27.6
    Central Valley
    Fresno 4.1 5.7 4.0 34.9 31.2 28.2
    Glenn 4.5 12.0 5.8 55.2 45.5 35.8
    Kern (Bakersfield) 3.1 3.9 r 3.0 r 32.0 30.0 26.0
    Kings County 3.7 4.4 4.6 42.6 29.5 42.0
    Madera 5.4 7.4 r 4.6 74.3 80.3 r 61.0 r
    Merced 3.8 4.8 2.4 44.8 46.8 29.5
    Placer County 2.4 4.2 2.8 36.2 28.4 27.5
    Sacramento 2.6 3.7 2.5 28.1 26.5 25.2
    San Benito 2.5 4.8 3.2 41.0 26.6 26.7
    San Joaquin 3.1 4.4 2.4 29.8 27.7 22.9
    Stanislaus 3.2 4.4 2.6 27.7 25.0 23.1
    Tulare 3.7 5.5 4.3 43.3 34.5 27.9
    Other Counties in California
    Amador 4.7 7.2 4.5 75.5 47.9 56.4
    Butte County 3.6 4.9 r 3.4 r 48.4 36.7 r 47.5 r
    Calaveras 5.7 8.5 5.0 87.0 75.0 64.0
    Del Norte 10.2 12.1 8.6 103.0 83.0 91.0
    El Dorado County 3.9 5.2 3.8 54.3 54.8 44.4
    Humboldt 4.6 6.2 4.6 71.0 59.1 63.6
    Lake County 5.9 6.5 4.1 91.0 107.9 88.3
    Mariposa 6.5 11.7 4.5 125.8 125.8 121.0
    Mendocino 5.4 9.4 6.2 72.6 101.9 91.0
    Nevada 5.0 6.8 5.7 32.5 59.0 45.0
    Plumas 8.3 9.4 9.7 178.0 206.0 245.0
    Shasta 4.6 7.1 4.9 52.3 51.3 44.9
    Siskiyou County 7.1 9.4 7.9 107.3 77.9 98.3
    Sutter 3.5 5.1 2.8 r 44.2 55.9 23.3 r
    Tuolumne 4.3 6.8 6.5 91.0 70.7 70.2
    Tehama 6.3 7.1 8.0 71.9 43.1 98.3
    Yolo 2.5 2.8 2.5 34.2 36.1 29.3
    Yuba 3.6 3.7 4.1 r 42.2 31.0 31.0 r

    NA = not available

    Created: 1/26/2015 7:25:12 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: 1/26/2015 7:25:12 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: 1/26/2015 7:25:12 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: 1/26/2015 7:25:12 PM