CA. ASSOC. OF REALTORS NEWS

  • For release:
    May 9, 2016

    Strong wage growth and level home prices buoy California housing affordability

    Twenty-two regions see improvement, with eight of nine Bay Area counties posting higher

    • Thirty-four percent of California households could afford to purchase the $465,280 median-priced home in the first quarter, up from 30 percent in fourth-quarter 2015 and unchanged from 34 percent in first-quarter 2015.

    • A minimum annual income of $92,571 was needed to make monthly payments of $2,314, including principal, interest, and taxes on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.01 percent interest rate.

    • Forty-one percent of home buyers were able to purchase the $389,910 median-priced condo or townhome. An annual income of $77,575 was required to make a monthly payment of $1,939.

    LOS ANGELES (May 9) – Higher wages and lower seasonal home prices combined to push California housing affordability higher in the first quarter of 2016, compared to the previous quarter, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today. Affordability was flat when compared to the previous year as rising home price offset income gains.

    The percentage of home buyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home in California in first-quarter 2016 rose to 34 percent from the 30 percent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2015 and was unchanged from first-quarter 2015, according to C.A.R.'s Traditional Housing Affordability Index (HAI). This is the 12th consecutive quarter that the index has been below 40 percent and is near the mid-2008 low level of 29 percent. California's housing affordability index hit a peak of 56 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

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

    Home buyers needed to earn a minimum annual income of $92,571 to qualify for the purchase of a $465,280 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the first quarter of 2016. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan, would be $2,314, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.01 percent. The effective composite interest rate in fourth-quarter 2015 was 4.07 percent and 3.97 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

    The median home price was $483,810 in fourth-quarter 2015, and an annual income of $96,790 was needed to purchase a home at that price.

    Condominiums and townhomes were also more affordable compared to the previous quarter. Forty-one percent of California households earned the minimum income to qualify for the purchase of a condominium or townhome in the first quarter of 2016, up from 39 percent from the last quarter of 2015. An annual income of $77,575 was required to make monthly payments of $1,939.

    Key points from the first-quarter 2016 Housing Affordability report include:

    • Compared to affordability in fourth-quarter 2015, 22 of 29 counties tracked saw an improvement in housing affordability, three experienced declines, and four were unchanged.

    • Affordability improved greatly in the Bay Area, with eight of nine counties seeing an improvement. Southern California, Central Coast, and the Central Valley also saw higher affordability, compared to the previous quarter.

    • Housing affordability in Southern California improved from the previous quarter in every county, with Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Diego counties leading the way.

    • During the first quarter of 2016, the five most affordable counties in California were Kings (58 percent), San Bernardino (57 percent), Merced (55 percent), and Kern (55 percent).

    • San Francisco (13 percent), San Mateo (16 percent), and Santa Cruz (18 percent) counties were the least affordable areas of the state.

    Housing Affordability slides (click link to open)

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


    Leading the way?® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 185,000 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

    C.A.R. Region Housing
    Affordability Index
    Median Home
    Price
    Monthly Payment Including Taxes & Insurance Minimum
    Qualifying Income
    CA SFH 34 $ 465,280 $ 2,314 $ 92,571
    CA Condo/Townhomes 41 $ 389,910 $ 1,939 $ 77,575
    Los Angeles Metropolitan Area 35 $ 436,850 $ 2,173 $ 86,915
    Inland Empire 48 $ 297,850 $ 1,481 $ 59,259
    S.F. Bay Area 27 $ 723,060 $ 3,596 $ 143,858
    US 60 $ 217,600 $ 1,082 $ 43,293
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda 23 $ 731,640 $ 3,639 $ 145,565
    Contra-Costa 38 $ 543,570 $ 2,704 $ 108,147
    Marin 20 $ 1,093,750 $ 5,440 $ 217,610
    Napa 24 $ 646,960 $ 3,218 $ 128,718
    San Francisco 13 $ 1,332,500 $ 6,628 $ 265,111
    San Mateo 16 $ 1,170,000 $ 5,820 $ 232,780
    Santa Clara 22 $ 970,000 $ 4,825 $ 192,989
    Solano 47 $ 368,610 $ 1,833 $ 73,338
    Sonoma 26 $ 583,210 $ 2,901 $ 116,034
    Southern California
    Los Angeles 31 $ 458,900 $ 2,283 $ 91,302
    Orange County 23 $ 713,680 $ 3,550 $ 141,992
    Riverside County 42 $ 342,930 $ 1,706 $ 68,228
    San Bernardino 57 $ 233,490 $ 1,161 $ 46,455
    San Diego 28 $ 554,320 $ 2,757 $ 110,286
    Ventura 30 $ 622,520 $ 3,096 $ 123,855
    Central Coast
    Monterey 27 $ 500,000 $ 2,487 $ 99,479
    San Luis Obispo 26 $ 540,830 $ 2,690 $ 107,602
    Santa Barbara 21 $ 680,920 $ 3,387 $ 135,474
    Santa Cruz 18 $ 746,500 $ 3,713 $ 148,522
    Central Valley
    Fresno 52 $ 219,590 $ 1,092 $ 43,689
    Kern (Bakersfield) 55 $ 220,270 $ 1,096 $ 43,824
    Kings County 58 $ 201,340 $ 1,001 $ 40,058
    Madera 50 $ 217,050 $ 1,080 $ 43,184
    Merced 55 $ 192,060 $ 955 $ 38,212
    Placer County 48 $ 411,640 $ 2,047 $ 81,899
    Sacramento 48 $ 297,620 $ 1,480 $ 59,214
    San Joaquin 47 $ 295,000 $ 1,467 $ 58,692
    Stanislaus 50 $ 254,440 $ 1,266 $ 50,623
    Tulare 52 $ 193,900 $ 964 $ 38,578

    CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
    Traditional Housing Affordability Index

    STATE/REGION/COUNTY Q1 2016 Q4 2015 Q1 2015
    CA SFH 34 30 34
    CA Condo/Townhomes 41 39 41
    Los Angeles Metropolitan Area 35 32 35
    Inland Empire 48 45 47
    S.F. Bay Area 27 24 27 R
    US 60 58 61
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda 23 22 25 R
    Contra-Costa 38 37 42 R
    Marin 20 17 19
    Napa 24 21 29 R
    San Francisco 13 11 12
    San Mateo 16 14 14
    Santa Clara 22 20 22
    Solano 47 45 48
    Sonoma 26 26 31
    Southern California
    Los Angeles 31 27 31
    Orange County 23 21 22
    Riverside County 42 39 42
    San Bernardino 57 53 58
    San Diego 28 25 28
    Ventura 30 26 28
    Central Coast
    Monterey 27 25 29
    San Luis Obispo 26 26 30
    Santa Barbara 21 20 R 16 R
    Santa Cruz 18 21 22
    Central Valley
    Fresno 52 49 51
    Kern (Bakersfield) 55 55 57
    Kings County 58 61 62
    Madera 50 48 51
    Merced 55 55 60
    Placer County 48 44 46
    Sacramento 48 46 49
    San Joaquin 47 38 39
    Stanislaus 50 40 43
    Tulare 52 54 57

    r = revised



    Created: 6/24/2016 1:19:50 PM
  • C.A.R.'s Annual Historical Data Summary Report tracks trends in California's housing market from 1968 to present. Updated to include 2015 data, this report provides historical data of California's housing market including single-family and condominium home sales, pending home sales, housing affordability, and equity home sales.

    REALTORS® can use this data to gauge how current market conditions compare to prior years and help their clients make more informed decisions.

    View the 2016 Annual Historical Data Summary.

    Created: 6/24/2016 1:19:50 PM
  • Two words alone have, rightly, loomed large in discussions about California's housing market this year: inventory and affordability, C.A.R. Economist Jordan Levine writes in an April Housing Matters blog. A tight supply of homes available for sale has helped to keep strong upward pressure on home prices, which in turn has caused further deterioration of affordability in the state.

    There are many reasons why inventory remains tight in the state, including:

    • Demographic changes as the population becomes older, fewer people are moving
    • Long-term supply and demand imbalances stemming from decades of under-building
    • An economy that has not seen the bounce-back recovery from the recession
    • Policy issues associated with property taxes and potential capital gains

    Read the full article.

    Created: 6/24/2016 1:19:50 PM
  • For release:
    August 24, 2015

    California REALTORS® welcome HUD/FHA decision to maintain subordinate status of energy efficiency liens

    LOS ANGELES (Aug. 24) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) issued the following statement in response to today's announcement by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will issue final guidance that will require Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) liens to be subordinate to FHA single-family first-mortgage financing:

    "C.A.R. provided input to HUD last week asking that PACE liens remain subordinate to FHA first mortgages, and we are pleased with HUD's announced anticipated guidelines to do so," said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "In aligning with the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) policy that prohibits Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from buying mortgages or notes with PACE-type "super liens," home buyers can more easily obtain FHA financing while supporting energy efficiency, and mortgage markets can remain secure."

    PACE loans allow homeowners to build the costs for energy-efficiency upgrades, such as adding insulation and installing energy efficient windows or solar panels, into their property tax bills. PACE is available in 31 states, including California.

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

    Created: 6/24/2016 1:19:50 PM
  • For release:
    April 14, 2016

    Investors shift to niche properties; fewer paying all cash, C.A.R. survey finds

    Location tops main reason to buy

    LOS ANGELES (April 14) – More real estate investors are turning to niche properties and away from investing in single-family homes and multifamily properties than they have in recent years, according to a CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) survey of its members about their interactions with real estate investors.

    C.A.R.'s 2016 California Investor Survey found 10 percent of investors purchased commercial, land, mobile homes, or other types of properties in the past year, up from 7 percent in 2015 and 6.7 percent in 2014.

    Given a lack of inventory of distressed homes on the market, the share of single-family homes being purchased by investors has been declining gradually since 2013. Seventy percent of investors purchased single-family homes in 2016, down from 78 percent in 2013.

    The share of investors who purchased multifamily properties also declined slightly, dipping from 21 percent in 2015 to 19 percent in 2016.

    Among the reasons investors cited for buying include good location (38 percent), followed by rate of return (30 percent), good price (17 percent), and future development potential (7 percent).

    Additional findings from C.A.R.'s "2016 Investor Survey" include:

    • As real estate deals become increasingly harder to find, the investment climate in California has gotten more competitive. With the listing price and final sale price nearly equal, the number of days the property was on the market has declined, and a larger share of investment properties was located outside of the urban and suburban markets they previously dominated.

    • With fewer available distressed properties, the share of equity transactions has increased steadily, rising from 70 percent in 2014 to 87 percent in 2016.

    • Fewer investors (62 percent) are renting out their properties in 2016, compared to last year (65 percent).

    • Twenty-six percent of investors are flipping their properties, unchanged from last year, but down from 28 percent in 2014. Twelve percent plan to leave the property vacant, use it as a vacation rental, or other use.

    • More than three-fourths of investors remodeled their properties, and the median cost of the remodel increased from $10,000 in 2015 to $13,500 this year.

    • As a sign of optimism, the vast majority (76 percent) of REALTORS® working with investors believed the property would increase in value in one year. This also applied to the long term with 71 percent saying the property would increase in value in five years.

    • Investors in 2016 are planning to hold the property for longer--an average of 8.1 years, up from 6.1 years in 2015.

    • While investors own fewer properties on average in 2016 (5.6), down from 6.4 in 2015 and 8.3 in 2014, a higher proportion of them own other properties. A record share of these other properties is located outside California (15 percent in other states and 2.4 percent in other countries).

    • With higher real estate prices and more investors purchasing other properties within the past year, the share of investors who obtained financing jumped sharply from 34 percent in 2015 – where it had been holding steady for the past three years – to 45 percent in 2016.

    • Conversely, fewer investors paid cash in 2016 (55 percent), compared to last year (66 percent). Investors cited personal savings (46 percent) as the primary source of cash funds, followed by proceeds from a previous investment (19 percent), and private investors (19 percent).

    California Investor Survey Slides (click links to open):

    Increase in niche property investments
    Intended length of ownership increases
    Most investors own other properties
    Location of other investment properties
    Top reasons for buying

    C.A.R.'s "2016 California Investor Survey" was conducted in February and March 2016 in an effort to learn more about the role of investors in the California housing market. The online survey sampled random REALTORS® throughout California who had worked with investors within the 12 months prior to March 2016.

    For complete survey results, visit http://www.car.org/marketdata/surveys/investorsurvey/
    Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 185,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.
    # # #


    Created: 6/24/2016 1:19:50 PM
  • For release:
    May 2, 2016

    California REALTORS® vote to support $1.3 billion affordable housing proposal

    LOS ANGELES (May 2) – The Board of Directors of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) voted last Friday to support a $1.3 billion proposal by California Assembly members to create affordable housing programs.

    "With a historically low homeownership rate of 54 percent and record high rental costs, the dream of owning a home in California is evaporating. Our teachers, nurses, firefighters, police officers, and other middle class workers should be able to afford to live in the communities they serve," said C.A.R. President Pat "Ziggy" Zicarelli. "C.A.R. recognizes the urgency of California's housing crisis and is fully supporting the proposal by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee to invest a portion of our state's budget surplus to address this housing crisis."

    C.A.R. formed an Affordable Workforce Housing Task Force in August 2015 to examine existing policies in California designed to expand the availability of "affordable housing" and to make recommendations to increase the availability of affordable work force housing in California.

    This budget proposal includes:

    • $400 million for homeownership and rental housing opportunities - $200 million for a new workforce housing grant program to provide funding for down payment assistance, homeownership assistance and rental housing for individuals making 120 percent of the area median income; $200 million for the CalHome Program which provides grants and loans to local governments and non-profit organizations for rehabilitation of existing homes, mortgage assistance, acquisition, site development, and pre-development/construction of homes.

    • $60 million for seismic retrofits of soft-story homes. Personal income tax credits for 30 percent of qualified cost incurred for a seismic retrofit.

    • $75 million for farmworker housing: $50 million to finance the construction, rehabilitation, and acquisition of owner-occupied and rental units for ag workers; $25 million for the construction, rehabilitation, and acquisition of rental housing for farmworkers and their families who make up to 60 percent of the area median income.

    • $500 million for the rental housing for lower income working families - $300 million in low income housing tax credits to enable private developers to create more than 3,000 homes and leverage $300 million in federal tax credits and $600 million of federal tax exempt bonds, which would otherwise go unclaimed; $200 million to fund the construction, rehabilitation, and acquisition of 5,700 multifamily rental homes, serving 62,500 families and individuals at 60 percent of the area median income or below.

    • $300 million for shelter programs - $200 million for multifamily supportive housing; $60 million for the Medi-Cal Housing Program to provide rental assistance for people who are homeless and enrolled in Medi-Cal; and, $40 million to assist persons at risk of becoming homeless with homeless prevention assistance and rapid rehousing.

    Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 185,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.


    Created: 6/24/2016 1:19:50 PM
  • For release:
    June 21, 2016

    C.A.R. analysis finds presidential elections have little impact on California housing market

    Prospective home buyers want current presidential candidates to address housing affordability

    LOS ANGELES (June 21) – Presidential elections have historically had little or no negative impact on the California housing market, according to findings by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).

    "Transitory political events such as presidential elections don't drive the housing market," said C.A.R. President Pat "Ziggy" Zicarelli. "Market fundamentals such as housing inventory, affordability, interest rates, job growth, and consumer confidence are the real factors that influence the housing market."

    In an analysis of home sales dating back to 1990, the average growth in home sales during an election year is usually either slightly higher or lower each month than in non-presidential election years. Notably, sales growth is rarely negative during an election year, and there is no evidence of a systematic negative impact on home sales or prices stemming from election season. In fact, C.A.R. found that growth in home sales at the end of an election year actually outperforms non-election years by 7.1 percentage points.

    On a monthly basis since 1990, California home sales contracted by roughly 2 percent during the last four months of the year. However, during the past five election cycles, sales in the final months of the year picked up, rising by 5.3 percent on average compared with -1.8 percent during non-election years. With the exception of December 2004, every single month of the final quarter saw robust growth in home sales during election years.

    The pattern for California home prices is similar. C.A.R. also found little evidence of a negative effect on home prices during an election year. In fact, home price growth in California during the past five election cycles was slightly better than the long-run average of 5.6 percent. Again, the effects were most pronounced during the final months of the year when demand – and therefore, upward pressure on prices – were boosted by roughly 5.6 percentage points following the elections.

    Slides (Click to open):

    Home sales growth election vs. non-election years
    Home price growth election vs. non-election years

    Presidential candidates and housing policy

    In a separate poll* by leading think tank The Futures Company commissioned by C.A.R., nearly three-fourths (70 percent) of survey respondents who plan to buy a home agreed that they would like the current presidential candidates to address how to make housing more affordable in their campaigns.

    And, across all incomes, generations, and races/ethnicities, consumers were strongly in agreement that housing affordability should be a top priority on the presidential campaign trail as candidates make their pitches for ballots in the lead-up to the November contest.

    However, housing affordability and solutions to reduce the cost of living have received noticeably little attention this campaign season. Other than releasing plans to increase the five-decades-low homeownership rate, the presumptive nominees, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, have not issued comprehensive housing policies, including action items to address the significant housing affordability crisis.

    *The poll was conducted by The Futures Company in partnership with the Center for California Real Estate, an institute dedicated to the advancement of advancing real estate knowledge from C.A.R.

    Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 185,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.
    # # #

    Created: 6/24/2016 1:19:50 PM
  • For release:
    June 23, 2016

    California pending home sales hold pace in May

    Housing supply on the rise but low affordability to cut into demand

    LOS ANGELES (June 23) – Building on April's gain, California pending home sales continued to rebound on a year-to-year basis, as listings increased, primarily in seven of nine Bay Area counties, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

    With an increase in housing supply, C.A.R.'s May Market Pulse Survey** also reflected a closing gap between REALTORS®' concern of low inventory and low housing affordability – fewer REALTORS® were concerned about low inventory, but more REALTORS® were concerned with a decline in housing affordability.

    Pending home sales data:

    • Statewide pending home sales rose in May on an annual basis, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* increasing 3.8 percent from 131.4 in May 2015 to 136.5 in May 2016, based on signed contracts. May's increase comes as welcome news since closed transactions declined in May despite low interest rates and high housing demand.

    • California pending home sales declined 3.6 percent on a monthly basis compared to April, which was almost entirely due to seasonal factors. When adjusting pending sales for typical seasonal patterns, pending sales actually edged up 0.1 percent from April and 3.1 percent from May 2015.

    • Led by Southern California, pending sales were up last month on an annual basis across the state on a regional level, with the exception of the San Francisco Bay Area, which saw pending sales contract from the previous year.

    • For the Bay Area as a whole, pending sales were up 4.6 percent from April and down 1.6 percent from May 2015. Perhaps counterintuitively, within the core areas of the Bay Area, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties, pending sales actually saw an increase over last year of 40.5 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. The surge in San Francisco was exaggerated by the monthly decline in the county pending sales level a year ago, when it hit the bottom in the last 10 years. Pending sales typically increase from April to May.

    • Pending sales in the more affordable areas of the Bay Area, where inventory is less constrained, have experienced a decrease in pending sales as a disproportionate increase in home prices has eroded housing affordability.

    • The pending sales in Central Valley posted a gain of 3.8 percent from the previous year and were down 14.5 percent on a month-to-month basis, following a particularly strong April increase.

    • Pending home sales in Southern California as a whole rose 5.6 percent from May 2015 and 2.4 percent from April, thanks to year-over-year gains of 6.9 percent in Los Angeles County and 6.2 percent in San Diego County. Orange County experienced a 1.8 percent decrease from the previous year.

    Year-to-Year Change in Pending Sales by County/Region

    County/Region/State May-16 May-15 Yearly % Change
    Los Angeles 97.8 91.5 6.9%
    Monterey 73.8 67.3 9.6%
    Orange 79.6 81.1 -1.8%
    Sacramento 83.1 82.1 1.2%
    San Diego 157.4 148.2 6.2%
    San Francisco 115.4 82.1 40.5%
    Santa Clara 107.1 106.7 0.4%
    SF Bay Area 177.9 180.4 -1.4%
    So. CA 111.3 105.4 5.6%
    Central Valley 111.3 107.2 3.8%
    California 136.5 131.4 3.8%


    May REALTOR® Market Pulse Survey
    **:

    In a separate study, California REALTORS® responding to C.A.R.'s May Market Pulse Survey reported slower growth in floor calls, listing appointments, and open house traffic, reflecting slowing market activity. Despite the lagging indicators, the percentage of properties selling above asking price reached an all-time high and the number of offers per property rose.

    • The share of homes selling above asking price in May increased to 38 percent, the highest level since the survey began, rising from 32 percent in April. Conversely, the share of properties selling below asking price dropped to 34 percent. The remainder (27 percent) sold at asking price.

    • For the homes that sold above asking price, the premium paid over asking price declined for the third straight month to an average of 9.4 percent, down from April's 9.6 percent and up from 8 percent in May 2015.

    • The 34 percent of homes that sold below asking price sold for an average of 10 percent below asking price in May, down from 12 percent in April and up from 7 percent a year ago.

    • Nearly seven of 10 properties for sale received multiple offers in May, indicating the market remains competitive. Sixty-five percent of properties received multiple offers in May 2015.

    • The average number of offers per property increased to 3.1 in May, up from 2.9 in April and 2.8 in May 2015. The increase in the number of offers was driven by a greater share of transactions that received three or more offers. Moreover, homes priced between $200,000- $399,000 and $750,000-$999,000 saw the greatest increases in three or more offers compared to a year ago.

    • About one in four (23 percent) properties had price reductions in May, indicating sellers are pricing their homes more realistically. One-fourth of properties had price reductions in May 2015.

    • With rising housing supply, fewer REALTORS® were concerned about low inventory (cited by 28 percent), but more REALTORS® were concerned with a decline in housing affordability (cited by 22 percent).

    • REALTORS®' optimism of market conditions over the next year is waning, with the index decreasing to 54, down from 61 in April and 64 in May 2015.

    Graphics (click links to open):

    Pending home sales by region.
    Home selling above/at/below listing price.
    More REALTORS® concerned with low affordability.
    Price range of homes receiving 3+ offers.

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

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

    Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 185,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.
    # # #

    Created: 6/24/2016 1:19:50 PM
  • CNBC: Existing Home Sales Hit 9-Year High
    By Reuters
    U.S. home resales rose in May to a more than nine-year high as improving supply increased choice for buyers, suggesting the economy remains on solid footing despite a sharp slowdown in job growth last month.

    FastCodeDesign: Where San Francisco Residents Are Getting Evicted
    By Meg Miller
    In San Francisco, where the flourishing tech industry has increased demand for housing, causing real estate prices to soar, eviction numbers have also steadily risen. Between 2014 and 2015 alone, evictions filed to the San Francisco Rent Board rose 6%, according to the board's annual report.

    Washington Post: All The Things Americans Sacrifice Because Housing Costs Too Much
    By Emily Badger
    Expensive housing is a problem not simply because it gobbles up a lot of money, but also because it eats into the things we would buy if we weren't shelling out so much for shelter.




    Todays_re_news

    Created: 6/24/2016 1:19:50 PM
  • For release:
    May 24, 2016

    LOS ANGELES (May 24) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) applauds a "build by right" proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown that would create a voluntary permit streamlining approval process for developers to use.

    "With a historically low homeownership rate of 54 percent and record high rents, the dream of owning a home in California has become increasingly more difficult to attain," said C.A.R. President Pat "Ziggy" Zicarelli. "C.A.R. recognizes the urgency of California's housing crisis and fully supports Gov. Brown's efforts to reduce development costs and improve the pace of housing production. We encourage the Legislature to include this proposal in its final state budget."

    Gov. Brown's proposal, in the May revision to the 2016-17 budget, includes a "build by right" proposal that would create a voluntary permit streamlining approval process for developers to use. The proposal will exempt from detailed local government reviews developments already zoned and approved for housing when 5 to 20 percent of the newly constructed units are set aside for low-income residents.

    Additionally, C.A.R. previously announced its support for a $1.3 billion proposal by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee to invest a portion of our state's budget surplus to address the state's housing crisis. C.A.R. formed an Affordable Workforce Housing Task Force to examine existing policies in California designed to expand the availability of "affordable housing" and to make recommendations to increase the availability of affordable work force housing in California.

    Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 185,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    # # #

    Created: 6/24/2016 1:19:50 PM
  • For release:
    June 8, 2016

    Renters value homeownership but face affordability challenges when it comes to buying a home, C.A.R. survey finds

    LOS ANGELES (June 8) – Current renters value homeownership and want to buy a home but many are encountering affordability and financial obstacles that prevent them from buying, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®' (C.A.R.) "2016 Renter Survey."

    Nearly half of renters (48 percent) plan to buy a home in the future, with 10 percent saying that they plan to buy within a year. For those not planning to buy, an improvement in finances, lower housing prices, and saving enough for a downpayment would motivate them to buy now.

    Of the 28 percent of renters who don't plan to buy in the future, 50 percent said they can't afford to buy, 20 percent will not buy because they prefer to rent, 19 percent said they can't qualify for a mortgage, and 15 percent lack a downpayment. Job uncertainty (9 percent), economic uncertainty (12 percent), and housing market uncertainty (6 percent) were among other reasons renters cited for not buying a home.

    Homeownership remains important to renters, with nearly half (45 percent) rating it 8 or higher in importance on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being extremely important. The average was 6.8. Nearly all renters (95 percent) see advantages to homeownership; freedom to do what you want with your home, building equity, and having permanence and stability were the top benefits mentioned by renters.

    One of the surprising findings of this survey is that more than one in four millennial renters said they plan to purchase a home that will accommodate their parents, and about one in five millennials indicated they plan to pool funds with family members to buy a home.

    Primarily reflecting cultural values, Hispanic renters were more likely to buy a home that will accommodate their parents and/or adult children than any other ethnic group, with 46 percent indicating so, compared with 35 percent of blacks, 32 percent of Asians, and 29 percent of whites. Hispanics and Asians place a strong value on family, and tend to live with multi-generations under one roof more so than other ethnic groups.

    Other key findings from C.A.R.'s "2016 Renter Survey" include:

    • Forty-six percent of renters claimed they currently rent because they can't afford to buy, and 13 percent said they have poor credit and can't qualify for a loan. The remaining renters choose to rent because they like the flexibility, freedom and ease of renting, are concerned about the maintenance costs of owning a home, or are not interested or aren't ready to buy.
    • Nearly four in 10 renters (39 percent) indicated they plan to purchase a home in the same county where they currently reside, and 23 percent plan to buy in the same neighborhood.
    • Fifteen percent of renters plan to buy a home out of their current area, with 7 percent planning to move to another state, 7 percent to another county in California, and 1 percent to another country.
    • Of the renters who are planning to leave the area where they currently reside, 27 percent are moving to find lower housing prices, 24 percent are moving for a better neighborhood, 14 percent want to be closer to family, 9 percent want a shorter commute, and 7 percent are moving for a better school district.
    • Two in three renters have made some kind of preparation to buy a home: 25 percent have searched for homes, 16 percent have searched online for information about the homebuying process, and 12 percent have spoken to a REALTOR®.
    • Thirty-one percent of renters previously owned a primary residence, and 9 percent currently own real estate. Of those who previously owned a home, the reasons for selling included family reasons (37 percent), financial difficulties (28 percent), and work (13 percent).

    Renter Survey slides:

    The survey was conducted online to 1,000 renters statewide in March 2016, with a sample error rate of 3.1 percent at 95 percent confidence interval. Sample weighted by ethnicity and age/generations according to 2014 U.S. Census Bureau data.

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

    Follow us on Twitter @CAR Media and @CAREALTORS®

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    Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 185,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    # # #

    Created: 6/24/2016 1:19:50 PM
  • For release:
    June 17, 2016

    California housing market maintains momentum in May despite tight inventory supply

    Statewide median home price continues to climb; above $500,000 for second straight month

    - Existing, single-family home sales totaled 410,090 in May on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, up 0.6 percent from April and down 3.2 percent from May 2015.

    - May's statewide median home price was $518,760, up 1.8 percent from April and 6.3 percent from May 2015.

    - Year-to-date home sales are 2.2 percent higher than a year ago.

    LOS ANGELES (June 17) – California existing home sales edged up in May, rising above the 400,000 benchmark level for the third straight month, while strained housing supply continued to push prices higher, 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 410,090 units in May, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2016 if sales maintained the May pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

    The May figure was up a slight 0.6 percent from the revised 407,560 level in April and down 3.2 percent compared with home sales in May 2015 of a revised 423,700. The year-to-year decline was the first back-to-back sales decline since November 2014.

    "While May home sales edged up slightly, we are seeing a moderation, driven by tight housing inventory and reduced affordability," said C.A.R. President Pat "Ziggy" Zicarelli. "Affordable areas, such as the Inland Empire and Central Valley, where housing supply is relatively more abundant, are outperforming the San Francisco Bay Area, where thin housing availability is hampering home sales. In fact, eight of that region's nine counties experienced a sales decline from the previous year."

    A change in the mix of sales and a continued mismatch between supply and demand pushed the median price of an existing, single-family detached California home 1.8 percent higher in May to $518,760 from $509,590 in April. May's median price was 6.3 percent higher than the revised $487,960 recorded in May 2015. 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. May marked the second consecutive month that the median price was above $500,000; it is still below the pre-recession peak of $594,530 reached in May 2007.

    "The California housing market is growing modestly so far this year, with home sales running 2 percent higher year to date," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "Fundamental drivers, such as household formation and economic growth will continue to move housing demand forward. However, constrained inventory, low affordability, and regional disparities will be a drag on this year's market outlook, which is forecast to see a 1.3 percent growth in sales and a 5 percent increase in the median home price."

    Other key points from C.A.R.'s May 2016 resale housing report include:

    • C.A.R.'s Unsold Inventory Index, which indicates the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate, dipped slightly to 3.4 months in May from 3.5 months in April. The index stood at 3.5 months in May 2015. The year-over-year dip was due primarily to a drop in inventory as overall active listings increased 5.8 percent from April 2016. The long-run average home supply is 6.1 months, indicating inventory levels are running at roughly 60 percent of normal.

    • The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home slipped in May to 27.3 days, compared with 27.7 days in April and 27.9 days in May 2015.

    • According to C.A.R.'s sales-to-list price ratio*, tight inventories also appear to be driving final sales prices closer to listing prices, with sales prices rising to 99.7 percent of listing prices statewide in May from 99.3 percent in April.

    • The average price per square foot** for an existing, single-family home statewide was $249 in May 2016, up from $244 in April and $238 in May 2015.

    • San Francisco County had the highest price per square foot in May at $856/sq. ft., followed by San Mateo ($826/sq. ft.), and Santa Clara counties ($638/sq. ft.). The counties with the lowest price per square foot in May include Siskiyou ($121/sq. ft.), Madera ($123/sq. ft.), and Plumas ($125/sq. ft.).

    • Mortgage rates were essentially flat in May, with the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 3.60 percent, compared with 3.61 percent in April and 3.84 percent in May 2015, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates slipped, averaging 2.81 percent in May, down from 2.83 percent in April and 2.89 percent in May 2015.

    Graphics (click links to open):

    • May sales at-a-glance infographic.
    Calif. existing home sales historical.
    Share of sales by price range.
    Historical condo sales.
    CA sales to list price ratio.
    CA 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. 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 38 counties.

    Leading the way?® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 185,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.


    May 2016 County Sales and Price Activity
    (Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

    May-16 Median Sold Price of Existing Single-Family Homes Sales
    State/Region/County May-16 Apr-16 May-15 MTM% Chg YTY% Chg MTM% Chg YTY% Chg
    CA SFH (SAAR) $518,760 $509,590 r $487,960 r 1.8% 6.3% 0.6% -3.2%
    CA Condo/Townhomes $410,680 $408,880 r $389,880 r 0.4% 5.3% 4.9% 0.8%
    Los Angeles Metro Area $469,890 $459,110 $440,050 2.3% 6.8% 5.0% 1.9%
    Inland Empire $315,980 $310,830 r $288,960 1.7% 9.4% 5.3% 4.5%
    S.F. Bay Area $848,583 $831,182 r $772,558 r 2.1% 9.8% 11.2% -5.1%
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda $843,360 $820,080 $763,740 r 2.8% 10.4% 13.2% -8.2%
    Contra-Costa $633,620 $590,410 $557,060 r 7.3% 13.7% 14.2% -9.6%
    Marin $1,243,590 $1,195,830 r $1,148,650 r 4.0% 8.3% 5.2% -3.4%
    Napa $666,670 $651,960 r $610,800 r 2.3% 9.1% 2.0% -12.6%
    San Francisco $1,409,370 $1,408,330 $1,375,000 0.1% 2.5% -3.5% -4.5%
    San Mateo $1,385,000 $1,309,000 r $1,330,000 5.8% 4.1% 21.1% 1.0%
    Santa Clara $1,100,000 $1,085,000 $993,000 1.4% 10.8% 8.8% -1.3%
    Solano $382,080 $384,470 r $360,140 r -0.6% 6.1% 9.9% -2.8%
    Sonoma $620,810 $595,730 r $567,880 r 4.2% 9.3% 11.7% -5.4%
    Southern California
    Los Angeles $467,040 $457,720 $432,570 2.0% 8.0% 7.9% -1.2%
    Orange $735,910 $734,650 $717,850 0.2% 2.5% 9.7% 4.3%
    Riverside $353,900 $354,020 $332,490 0.0% 6.4% 9.4% 6.0%
    San Bernardino $245,080 $236,850 $220,890 3.5% 11.0% -1.6% 1.9%
    San Diego $591,800 $583,490 $538,660 1.4% 9.9% 3.9% 4.2%
    Ventura $631,140 $630,100 $620,460 0.2% 1.7% 11.2% 1.9%
    Central Coast
    Monterey $540,000 $529,900 $530,000 1.9% 1.9% -3.4% -2.2%
    San Luis Obispo $558,750 $552,835 $498,147 1.1% 12.2% -0.7% 11.4%
    Santa Barbara $655,170 $709,820 $820,120 r -7.7% -20.1% 11.7% -5.2%
    Santa Cruz $800,000 $775,500 $684,500 3.2% 16.9% 3.1% -11.2%
    Central Valley
    Fresno $231,370 $230,590 $216,110 0.3% 7.1% 2.7% 7.5%
    Glenn $176,670 $225,000 $170,000 -21.5% 3.9% -38.9% -45.0%
    Kern $226,800 $218,220 $228,600 r 3.9% -0.8% 4.0% -6.9%
    Kings $216,410 $208,750 $183,330 3.7% 18.0% 21.2% 35.5%
    Madera $214,280 $215,480 $222,060 -0.6% -3.5% -11.1% 30.9%
    Merced $220,690 $208,330 $203,570 5.9% 8.4% 22.8% 7.8%
    Placer $433,140 $435,800 $403,420 -0.6% 7.4% 4.8% 0.4%
    Sacramento $323,000 $313,360 $293,480 3.1% 10.1% 3.4% 4.5%
    San Benito $479,000 $479,000 $444,990 0.0% 7.6% -4.1% -4.1%
    San Joaquin $319,190 $307,880 $280,000 3.7% 14.0% 9.6% -2.3%
    Stanislaus $267,000 $267,420 $245,570 -0.2% 8.7% 1.3% -11.9%
    Tulare $205,260 $205,740 $188,790 -0.2% 8.7% 24.0% 18.8%
    Other Counties in California
    Amador $277,270 $241,670 $233,330 14.7% 18.8% -8.3% -4.3%
    Butte $275,000 $272,220 $261,110 1.0% 5.3% 30.1% 11.5%
    Calaveras $290,380 $280,550 $296,870 3.5% -2.2% 18.2% 8.3%
    Del Norte $190,000 $307,140 $170,000 -38.1% 11.8% 69.2% 15.8%
    El Dorado $437,880 $426,410 $436,510 2.7% 0.3% 13.4% 3.2%
    Humboldt $270,590 $288,890 $250,000 -6.3% 8.2% -3.8% -3.8%
    Lake $244,230 $243,180 $217,190 0.4% 12.4% 3.0% -8.0%
    Mariposa $275,000 $250,000 $250,000 10.0% 10.0% 41.7% -22.7%
    Mendocino $342,100 $364,290 r $317,860 r -6.1% 7.6% 42.9% 17.6%
    Nevada $358,140 $325,000 $340,620 10.2% 5.1% 21.3% -6.6%
    Plumas $225,000 $258,330 $205,000 r -12.9% 9.8% 155.6% -25.8%
    Shasta $230,500 $232,090 $231,030 -0.7% -0.2% -3.4% 7.9%
    Siskiyou $174,000 $166,670 $145,000 4.4% 20.0% 2.5% 13.9%
    Sutter $240,520 $235,420 $218,060 2.2% 10.3% -20.6% 8.5%
    Tehama $175,710 $185,000 $186,000 -5.0% -5.5% 32.3% -4.7%
    Tuolumne $246,660 $261,540 $241,670 -5.7% 2.1% 13.8% 10.0%
    Yolo $392,860 $415,280 $393,180 -5.4% -0.1% 16.3% 3.0%
    Yuba $216,250 $233,820 $219,440 -7.5% -1.5% 10.1% 13.0%

    r = revised?


    May 2016 County Unsold Inventory and Time on Market
    (Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

    May-16 Unsold Inventory Index Median Time on Market
    State/Region/County May-16 Apr-16 May-15 May-16 Apr-16 May-15
    CA SFH (SAAR) 3.4 3.5 3.5 27.3 27.7 27.9 r
    CA Condo/Townhomes 2.8 2.8 2.8 27.3 26.7 29.0 r
    Los Angeles Metropolitan Area 4.1 4.0 3.0 r 45.8 44.5 34.2
    Inland Empire 4.3 4.2 r 3.1 r 48.9 45.0 32.7
    S.F. Bay Area 2.4 2.4 r 2.3 36.0 33.3 36.6 r
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda 2.2 2.3 1.9 17.5 17.3 17.6
    Contra-Costa 2.4 2.5 1.2 r 18.0 18.1 18.6
    Marin 2.8 2.8 2.4 r 25.2 26.5 r 27.3 r
    Napa 5.0 4.9 r 4.4 42.0 47.8 r 46.7 r
    San Francisco 2.5 2.3 1.8 21.1 22.9 19.2
    San Mateo 2.0 2.3 1.7 17.8 17.6 17.1
    Santa Clara 2.1 2.1 1.8 17.9 17.8 17.5
    Solano 2.7 2.8 r 3.3 r 34.3 37.5 r 37.2 r
    Sonoma 3.2 3.2 3.2 r 40.8 41.1 41.4 r
    Southern California
    Los Angeles 3.6 3.5 3.6 40.5 39.7 40.1
    Orange 3.6 3.8 3.6 49.0 48.2 48.5
    Riverside 4.1 4.6 4.3 50.7 53.3 55.0
    San Bernardino 4.2 4.0 4.4 38.2 45.7 43.0
    San Diego 3.1 3.2 3.3 22.1 21.8 23.2
    Ventura 3.8 4.1 r 4.0 51.4 53.0 51.7
    Central Coast
    Monterey 3.9 3.9 3.9 24.8 28.5 26.2
    San Luis Obispo 4.4 4.3 5.2 25.9 29.3 27.5
    Santa Barbara 4.4 4.6 3.4 28.8 28.8 27.2 r
    Santa Cruz 3.0 2.7 3.0 22.4 20.9 21.7
    Central Valley
    Fresno 3.8 3.8 4.3 25.8 27.1 25.6
    Glenn 6.8 4.1 3.8 20.9 31.0 25.2
    Kern 3.7 3.9 3.6 r 26.4 26.3 26.4 r
    Kings 2.9 3.2 4.5 25.5 23.4 27.9
    Madera 5.3 4.7 7.9 57.1 92.5 42.9
    Merced 3.5 4.2 4.0 39.0 31.8 38.3
    Placer 3.0 3.0 3.1 21.1 21.1 22.3
    Sacramento 2.5 2.4 2.9 18.9 19.7 20.6
    San Benito 3.8 3.3 2.6 19.9 24.7 19.8
    San Joaquin 2.6 2.9 2.8 20.9 22.6 23.9
    Stanislaus 2.9 2.8 2.9 22.0 22.4 23.9
    Tulare 3.6 4.5 4.3 28.6 28.7 25.9
    Other Counties in California
    Amador 5.8 5.1 5.4 28.7 41.2 28.8
    Butte 2.6 3.6 r 3.5 r 24.1 23.3 24.6
    Calaveras 5.8 6.2 7.2 33.8 48.4 50.3
    Del Norte 6.9 10.3 8.3 91.0 105.5 105.5
    El Dorado 4.1 4.3 4.5 29.0 29.2 27.2
    Humboldt 4.2 3.8 5.0 25.2 26.6 27.5
    Lake 7.2 6.6 6.8 75.5 58.2 66.6
    Mariposa 6.1 8.5 6.0 86.4 75.5 82.8
    Mendocino 6.8 9.5 r 7.4 r 50.8 75.5 r 72.3 r
    Nevada 4.8 5.6 4.8 29.5 25.8 33.8
    Plumas 17.7 37.3 14.4 r 71.9 85.2 116.4 r
    Shasta 4.7 4.5 5.5 36.4 37.1 29.3
    Siskiyou 7.1 6.6 10.8 48.7 115.9 86.4
    Sutter 2.8 2.4 3.5 27.0 29.7 32.0
    Tehama 5.6 6.7 5.4 58.6 75.5 48.1 r
    Tuolumne 7.0 6.8 7.2 25.7 25.9 36.8
    Yolo 2.5 3.0 2.4 19.0 20.9 19.8
    Yuba 2.5 2.7 3.5 22.4 23.5 21.7


    r = revised

    Created: 6/24/2016 1:19:50 PM