CA. ASSOC. OF REALTORS NEWS

  • 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: 12/19/2014 1:37:38 PM
  • 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: 12/19/2014 1:37:38 PM
  • For release:
    November 18, 2014

    Low mortgage rates fail to perk California home sales in October

    Bay Area continues to experience low inventory and strong price and sales growth

    LOS ANGELES (Nov. 18) – The lowest mortgage rates in 18 months failed to spark the California housing market in October as sales stayed flat and home prices increased at the slowest pace since early 2012, 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 396,220 units in October, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. Sales in October were unchanged from a revised 396,400 in September but were down 1.9 percent from a revised 404,000 in October 2013. October marked a full year that sales were below the 400,000 level. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2014 if sales maintained the October pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

    "As we move into the off-peak home buying season, prospective buyers who may have delayed their purchase earlier in the year should take advantage of the current favorable market conditions and resume their home search," said 2015 C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "With home prices stabilizing and interest rates dropping back down to levels not seen since mid-last year, housing affordability should improve to benefit buyers."

    The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home decreased 2.3 percent from September's median price of $461,370 to $450,620 in October but was up 5.4 percent from the revised $427,540 recorded in October 2013. The statewide median home price has been higher on a year-over-year basis for more than two years. The median sales price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less; it is influenced by the types of homes selling as well as a general change in values.

    "While home sales essentially were unchanged statewide, there were pockets of strong sales growth, especially in coastal regions. The Bay Area, for example, continued to exhibit strong price gains, decent sales growth, and extremely low housing inventory," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "If current price and rate conditions persist, overall home sales should improve for the rest of the year."

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

    • Housing inventory slipped in October, with the available supply of existing, single-family detached homes for sale dropping from 4.2 months in September to 3.8 months in October. The index was a revised 3.3 months in October 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 edged up in October, up from a revised 40 days in September to 41.9 days in October and from 33.4 days in October 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 97.5 percent of the list price. This is down from a 99.1% ratio 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 1.3 percent more than asking price.
    • The median price per square foot** for an existing single-family California home was $216 in October 2014, an increase of 0.2 percent from the previous month and a 6.4 percent increase from October 2013. Price per square foot at the state level has been showing an upward trend since early 2012. In fact, it has been rising on a year-over-year basis for 33 consecutive months. San Mateo County had the highest price per square foot in October with $659/sq. ft., followed by Santa Clara ($521/sq. ft.), and Santa Cruz ($399/sq. ft.). The top three counties with the lowest price per square foot in October were Siskiyou ($104/sq. ft.), Glenn ($110/sq. ft.), and Madera ($111/sq. ft.).
    • Mortgage rates fell in October, with the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 4.04 percent, down from 4.16 percent in September and down from 4.19 percent in October 2013, according to Freddie Mac. The October 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 in October also fell, averaging 2.41 percent, down from 2.43 percent in September and down from 2.63 percent in October 2013.

    Graphics (click links to open):

    October sales at-a-glance infographic.
    Unsold Inventory by price range.
    Change in sales by price range.
    Share of sales by price range.

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

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

    October-14 Median Sold Price of Existing Single-Family Homes Sales
    State/Region/County Oct-14 Sep-14 Oct-13 MTM% Chg YTY% Chg MTM% Chg YTY% Chg
    CA SFH (SAAR) $450,620 $461,370 r $427,540 r -2.3% 5.4% 0.0% -1.9%
    CA Condo/Townhomes $374,480 $369,180 r $349,810 r 1.4% 7.1% 2.5% -2.6%
    Los Angeles Metro Area $412,860 $413,730 r $392,610 r -0.2% 5.2% 8.6% -2.3%
    Inland Empire $274,950 $275,160 r $257,560 r -0.1% 6.8% 2.7% 1.6%
    S.F. Bay Area $760,610 $730,240 $671,490 r 4.2% 13.3% 8.6% -2.6%
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda $706,280 $675,430 $618,930 4.6% 14.1% 5.9% -7.5%
    Contra-Costa (Cty.) $721,590 $742,520 $647,920 r -2.8% 11.4% 18.6% 13.1%
    Marin $969,700 $1,151,040 $959,740 -15.8% 1.0% 24.0% -1.3%
    Napa $599,140 $633,930 $497,730 -5.5% 20.4% 7.3% -1.9%
    San Francisco $986,260 $950,340 $844,510 3.8% 16.8% 36.5% 4.5%
    San Mateo $1,071,000 $1,075,000 $910,000 -0.4% 17.7% 8.3% -6.1%
    Santa Clara $870,000 $850,000 $770,000 2.4% 13.0% 4.8% -2.2%
    Solano $327,460 $328,040 $294,920 -0.2% 11.0% 5.5% -9.5%
    Sonoma $487,930 $496,400 $469,900 -1.7% 3.8% -10.9% -9.6%
    Southern California
    Los Angeles $477,600 $486,030 $447,130 -1.7% 6.8% 17.0% -5.4%
    Orange County $692,390 $696,190 $660,070 r -0.5% 4.9% -0.5% -0.8%
    Riverside County $322,700 $316,500 $296,640 2.0% 8.8% 0.1% -1.0%
    San Bernardino $208,080 $212,790 r $191,330 r -2.2% 8.8% 6.8% 5.6%
    San Diego $493,030 $519,420 $477,130 -5.1% 3.3% 1.8% -6.8%
    Ventura $583,810 $589,080 $538,740 -0.9% 8.4% 12.9% -3.5%
    Central Coast
    Monterey $460,000 $451,000 $412,000 2.0% 11.7% 15.5% 23.6%
    San Luis Obispo $455,660 $480,640 $440,380 -5.2% 3.5% 13.2% 11.3%
    Santa Barbara $570,000 $778,230 $613,640 -26.8% -7.1% -2.6% 0.0%
    Santa Cruz $715,000 $670,000 $650,000 6.7% 10.0% -11.6% -1.2%
    Central Valley
    Fresno $200,600 $208,210 $182,620 -3.7% 9.8% 4.2% -1.0%
    Glenn $167,500 $147,500 $125,000 13.6% 34.0% -10.5% 30.8%
    Kern (Bakersfield) $215,000 $215,000 r $185,000 0.0% 16.2% 3.0% -5.5%
    Kings County $168,670 $183,330 $181,000 -8.0% -6.8% -13.1% 5.8%
    Madera $166,000 $156,670 $153,330 6.0% 8.3% 53.3% -36.1%
    Merced $190,710 $159,500 $171,820 19.6% 11.0% 0.0% -8.0%
    Placer County $380,170 $384,850 $364,150 -1.2% 4.4% 0.6% 11.6%
    Sacramento $270,150 $276,960 $253,560 -2.5% 6.5% -1.0% 0.1%
    San Benito $435,000 $424,000 $397,500 2.6% 9.4% 21.6% -2.2%
    San Joaquin $263,270 $265,400 $234,160 -0.8% 12.4% 7.6% -8.2%
    Stanislaus $228,630 $230,000 $209,110 -0.6% 9.3% 7.1% -8.7%
    Tulare $179,060 $175,000 $161,330 2.3% 11.0% 9.6% 3.7%
    Other Counties in California
    Amador $265,000 $225,000 $198,000 17.8% 33.8% 7.9% 24.2%
    Butte County $247,580 $258,650 $248,330 -4.3% -0.3% 36.5% 35.3%
    Calaveras $245,000 $238,000 $225,000 2.9% 8.9% -4.6% 7.8%
    Del Norte $160,000 $138,000 $176,600 15.9% -9.4% 11.8% -17.4%
    El Dorado County $355,800 $364,650 $367,390 -2.4% -3.2% 12.3% 7.7%
    Humboldt $260,340 $246,050 $260,530 5.8% -0.1% 26.4% 31.0%
    Lake County $190,000 $180,000 $196,250 5.6% -3.2% 5.2% -14.1%
    Tuolumne $219,640 $215,910 $200,000 1.7% 9.8% 37.7% 21.7%
    Mendocino $337,500 $307,690 $255,000 9.7% 32.4% 14.3% -4.0%
    Nevada $323,000 $322,500 $319,000 0.2% 1.3% 46.1% 13.3%
    Plumas $242,000 $270,000 $250,000 -10.4% -3.2% 20.5% 27.0%
    Shasta $220,920 $222,550 $208,540 -0.7% 5.9% 2.3% 17.6%
    Siskiyou County $161,670 $155,000 $156,670 4.3% 3.2% -3.1% 0.0%
    Sutter $213,240 $206,820 r $199,090 r 3.1% 7.1% 6.2% 13.1%
    Tehama $160,000 $166,670 $142,500 -4.0% 12.3% 43.8% 119.0%
    Yolo $344,740 $344,230 $311,290 0.1% 10.7% -5.8% -21.4%
    Yuba $210,940 $219,440 r $195,710 r -3.9% 7.8% 13.2% 14.9%

    r = revised
    NA = not available

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

    October-14 Unsold Inventory Index Median Time on Market
    State/Region/County Oct-14 Sep-14 Oct-13 Oct-14 Sep-14 Oct-13
    CA SFH (SAAR) 3.8 4.2 3.3 r 41.9 40.0 r 33.4
    CA Condo/Townhomes 3.3 3.5 3.0 41.3 40.3 r 31.9 r
    Los Angeles Metropolitan Area 4.2 4.5 3.6 51.7 49.9 40.7
    Inland Empire 4.7 4.8 4.1 r 53.9 51.0 r 37.2
    S.F. Bay Area 2.2 2.8 2.3 38.7 39.5 r 38.2 r
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda 2.0 2.3 2.0 49.5 49.8 50.0
    Contra-Costa (Central County) 2.4 2.9 2.0 r 54.2 52.3 53.0 r
    Marin 2.5 3.6 2.9 38.9 45.2 38.4
    Napa 4.7 5.3 4.7 64.8 64.4 49.0
    San Francisco 2.0 3.6 2.5 22.5 23.1 25.1
    San Mateo 1.6 2.0 1.8 19.5 19.9 19.4
    Santa Clara 1.8 2.2 1.9 20.9 21.1 21.4
    Solano 2.4 3.8 2.4 45.0 46.3 38.0
    Sonoma 3.2 3.0 3.0 50.2 48.4 48.1
    Southern California
    Los Angeles 3.9 4.2 3.2 45.5 45.1 35.7
    Orange County 4.1 4.3 3.8 62.3 57.3 54.5
    Riverside County 4.8 4.9 4.3 56.7 53.5 38.1
    San Bernardino 4.5 4.8 r 3.7 r 49.6 47.0 r 35.7 r
    San Diego 4.3 4.4 3.7 28.3 26.9 28.1
    Ventura 4.4 5.1 3.3 63.0 59.2 49.1
    Central Coast
    Monterey 3.8 4.6 4.3 26.2 26.1 26.8
    San Luis Obispo 4.3 5.1 4.8 50.2 46.7 27.5
    Santa Barbara 4.4 4.3 4.1 41.5 37.3 33.8
    Santa Cruz 3.1 3.1 3.5 33.7 27.6 27.1
    Central Valley
    Fresno 4.9 5.2 4.3 29.4 27.1 24.3
    Glenn 5.5 5.5 6.7 47.9 33.9 69.7
    Kern (Bakersfield) 3.6 3.7 2.8 r 28.0 27.0 r 18.0 r
    Kings County 3.6 3.2 3.9 44.5 41.9 32.3
    Madera 4.9 7.1 2.9 23.2 41.9 28.5
    Merced 3.9 4.1 2.5 46.3 34.0 23.1
    Placer County 3.5 3.8 3.2 29.6 27.0 24.7
    Sacramento 3.3 3.4 3.1 25.8 23.9 21.6
    San Benito 3.7 4.5 2.8 40.2 24.3 24.8
    San Joaquin 3.4 3.7 2.6 25.5 23.4 20.9
    Stanislaus 3.5 3.7 2.5 25.2 24.0 20.4
    Tulare 4.4 4.9 4.0 42.8 36.2 28.6
    Other Counties in California
    Amador 5.9 6.8 5.6 65.8 64.6 28.9
    Butte County 3.1 4.6 4.4 35.8 29.8 45.0
    Calaveras 6.7 6.9 6.2 59.0 72.0 62.0
    Del Norte 9.5 11.6 7.3 106.0 103.0 78.0
    El Dorado County 4.3 5.2 4.4 55.1 55.2 42.2
    Humboldt 5.4 7.2 7.2 52.4 45.5 32.9
    Lake County 7.2 8.3 5.5 80.0 58.7 75.5
    Tuolumne 6.0 9.0 7.3 73.3 72.6 29.5
    Mendocino 7.4 9.0 6.9 91.0 57.8 73.4
    Nevada 5.4 8.4 5.1 50.0 51.0 44.0
    Plumas 8.1 11.4 7.5 174.0 151.0 158.0
    Shasta 5.5 5.8 5.5 56.1 42.0 27.2
    Siskiyou County 12.4 12.6 11.2 45.5 38.3 93.9
    Sutter 4.1 4.5 3.0 r 24.8 48.1 r 21.6 r
    Tehama 4.7 7.4 9.4 41.2 61.0 41.9
    Yolo 3.4 3.5 2.6 23.3 26.4 21.8
    Yuba 2.9 3.9 r 2.9 r 40.0 28.4 r 26.6 r

    r = revised
    NA = not available


    Created: 12/19/2014 1:37:38 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: 12/19/2014 1:37:38 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: 12/19/2014 1:37:38 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: 12/19/2014 1:37:38 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: 12/19/2014 1:37:38 PM
  • For release:
    December 17, 2014

    Statewide home sales remain subdued in November as year ends

    Low housing affordability and short home supply remain hurdles for home buyers

    LOS ANGELES (Dec. 17) – Slower price gains and the lowest interest rates in nearly two years did little to spur November home sales as low housing affordability and tight supply conditions remained obstacles to entering the market for would-be buyers, 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 376,480 units in November, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. Sales in November were down 5.3 percent from a revised 397,400 in October and down 3.4 percent from a revised 389,580 in November 2013. Home sales have been below the 400,000 level since November 2013. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2014 if sales maintained the November pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

    "The declining sales-to-list price ratio suggests that mismatched expectations of home prices between sellers and buyers still exist in most markets, except for the Bay Area, where there's a dearth of homes for sale," said 2015 C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. "Prospective buyers facing affordability constraints recognize the slowing housing market and are looking for deals, while many sellers are still reluctant to adjust their listing prices to reflect the moderation of price gains in recent months."

    The median price of an existing, single-family detached California home slipped 1.1 percent from October's median price of $450,270 to $445,280 in November but was up 5.2 percent from the revised $423,090 recorded in November 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.

    "Despite a highly favorable interest rate environment, the housing market is being hindered by low housing affordability and a lack of homes for sale, especially in highly desired geographic areas," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "The San Francisco Bay Area, which has an extreme housing supply shortage due to robust economic growth, is a perfect example of how these factors have slowed down home sales this year."

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

    • Housing inventory loosened in November, with the available supply of existing, single-family detached homes for sale rising from 3.8 months in October to 4.4 months in November. The index was 3.6 months in November 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 edged up in November, up from a revised 42.2 days in October to 43.9 days in November and from a revised 36.9 days in November 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 97.2 percent of the list price. This is down from a 98.4% ratio 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 0.5 percent more than asking price.

    • The median price per square foot** for an existing single-family California home was $214 in November 2014, a decrease of 0.9 percent from the previous month and a 4.4 percent increase from November 2013. Price per square foot at the state level has been showing an upward trend since early 2012. In fact, it has been rising on a year-over-year basis for 34 consecutive months. San Mateo County had the highest price per square foot in November with $654/sq. ft., followed by Santa Clara ($502/sq. ft.), and Santa Cruz ($399/sq. ft.). The top three counties with the lowest price per square foot in November were Glenn ($64/sq. ft.), Siskiyou ($104/sq. ft.), and Madera ($108/sq. ft.).

    • Mortgage rates fell in November, with the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 4 percent, down from 4.04 percent in October and down from 4.26 percent in November 2013, according to Freddie Mac. The November 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, however, rose in November, averaging 2.44 percent, up from 2.41 percent in October but down from 2.61 percent in November 2013.

    Graphics (click links to open):

    November sales at-a-glance infographic.
    Unsold Inventory by price range.
    Change in sales by price range.
    Share of sales by price range.

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

    # # #

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

    November-14 Median Sold Price of Existing Single-Family Homes Sales
    State/Region/County Nov-14 Oct-14 Nov-13 MTM% Chg YTY% Chg MTM% Chg YTY% Chg
    CA SFH (SAAR) $445,280 $450,270 r $423,090 r -1.1% 5.2% -5.3% -3.4%
    CA Condo/Townhomes $369,040 $374,480 $347,050 r -1.5% 6.3% -21.8% -10.7%
    Los Angeles Metro Area $417,270 $412,190 r $396,790 r 1.2% 5.2% -21.2% -6.8%
    Inland Empire $276,950 $274,630 r $261,490 r 0.8% 5.9% -19.6% -4.5%
    S.F. Bay Area $748,870 $760,610 $692,860 r -1.5% 8.1% -21.5% -6.3%
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda $710,370 $706,280 $652,070 0.6% 8.9% -23.7% -17.1%
    Contra-Costa (Central Cty) $654,410 $721,590 $698,110 r -9.3% -6.3% -17.7% 3.0%
    Marin $1,111,110 $969,700 $942,070 14.6% 17.9% -27.0% -10.5%
    Napa $625,000 $599,140 $528,410 4.3% 18.3% -20.4% -11.8%
    San Francisco $956,320 $986,260 $896,740 -3.0% 6.6% -22.4% -4.0%
    San Mateo $1,092,500 $1,071,000 $895,000 2.0% 22.1% -23.8% -3.4%
    Santa Clara $850,000 $870,000 $785,000 r -2.3% 8.3% -24.1% -9.4%
    Solano $332,020 $327,460 $280,360 1.4% 18.4% -22.0% 0.4%
    Sonoma $487,110 $487,930 $463,820 -0.2% 5.0% -10.2% 1.8%
    Southern California
    Los Angeles $433,850 $477,600 $405,470 r -9.2% 7.1% -25.4% -9.4%
    Orange County $689,480 $692,390 $660,890 -0.4% 4.3% -13.8% -5.7%
    Riverside County $320,880 $321,750 r $306,350 -0.3% 4.7% -18.4% -6.9%
    San Bernardino $213,780 $208,080 $192,470 r 2.7% 11.1% -21.4% -0.8%
    San Diego $491,690 $493,030 $473,360 -0.3% 3.9% -22.5% -13.2%
    Ventura $549,440 $583,810 $543,330 -5.9% 1.1% -18.5% -4.7%
    Central Coast
    Monterey $460,000 $460,000 $420,000 0.0% 9.5% -28.0% -2.2%
    San Luis Obispo $453,950 $455,660 $486,510 -0.4% -6.7% -23.4% -20.4%
    Santa Barbara $643,290 $570,000 $558,330 12.9% 15.2% -19.5% -12.1%
    Santa Cruz $689,500 $715,000 $666,000 -3.6% 3.5% -25.1% -8.8%
    Central Valley
    Fresno $200,000 $200,600 $193,020 -0.3% 3.6% -20.9% -3.7%
    Glenn $95,000 $167,500 $150,000 -43.3% -36.7% -58.8% -68.2%
    Kern (Bakersfield) $211,450 $215,000 $190,000 -1.7% 11.3% -21.3% -15.2%
    Kings County $192,500 $168,670 $171,670 14.1% 12.1% -21.9% -10.9%
    Madera $235,710 $166,000 $160,000 42.0% 47.3% -4.3% 10.0%
    Merced $177,650 $190,710 $151,540 -6.8% 17.2% -23.5% -16.2%
    Placer County $369,490 $380,170 $361,160 -2.8% 2.3% -29.9% -3.1%
    Sacramento $266,260 $270,150 $246,900 -1.4% 7.8% -21.7% -3.3%
    San Benito $431,000 $435,000 $380,000 -0.9% 13.4% -33.3% -18.9%
    San Joaquin $249,080 $263,270 $233,070 -5.4% 6.9% -28.9% -22.7%
    Stanislaus $230,950 $228,630 $198,400 1.0% 16.4% -27.3% -13.2%
    Tulare $187,000 $179,060 $161,300 4.4% 15.9% -25.9% -15.8%
    Other Counties in California
    Amador $231,250 $265,000 $212,500 -12.7% 8.8% -29.3% -17.1%
    Butte County $260,710 $247,580 $255,950 5.3% 1.9% -43.3% -2.2%
    Calaveras $235,000 $245,000 $215,000 -4.1% 9.3% -24.1% 3.3%
    Del Norte $127,500 $160,000 $135,000 -20.3% -5.6% -26.3% -26.3%
    El Dorado County $374,540 $355,800 $361,860 5.3% 3.5% -31.1% -12.6%
    Humboldt $262,500 $260,340 $239,280 0.8% 9.7% -19.1% 23.6%
    Lake County $186,670 $190,000 $143,330 -1.8% 30.2% -4.9% -18.3%
    Tuolumne $220,000 $219,640 $212,500 0.2% 3.5% -23.3% 7.7%
    Mendocino $332,140 $337,500 $300,000 -1.6% 10.7% -22.9% -7.5%
    Nevada $338,000 $323,000 $297,000 4.6% 13.8% -31.5% -10.6%
    Plumas $192,500 $242,000 $259,000 -20.5% -25.7% -31.9% 18.5%
    Shasta $210,610 $220,920 $207,560 -4.7% 1.5% -29.4% -19.2%
    Siskiyou County $172,500 $161,670 $166,670 6.7% 3.5% 19.4% 15.6%
    Sutter $218,180 $213,240 $207,140 r 2.3% 5.3% -24.6% 13.0%
    Tehama $175,000 $160,000 $180,000 9.4% -2.8% -37.0% 45.0%
    Yolo $343,180 $344,740 $283,330 -0.5% 21.1% 1.8% 18.4%
    Yuba $190,000 $210,940 $207,350 r -9.9% -8.4% -19.5% 17.0%


    r = revised
    NA = not available


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

    November-14 Unsold Inventory Index Median Time on Market
    State/Region/County Nov-14 Oct-14 Nov-13 Nov-14 Oct-14 Nov-13
    CA SFH (SAAR) 4.4 3.8 3.6 43.9 42.2 r 36.9 r
    CA Condo/Townhomes 3.8 3.3 3.2 r 40.7 41.3 36.7 r
    Los Angeles Metro Area 4.9 4.3 r 3.9 53.5 52.2 r 42.8
    Inland Empire 5.8 4.7 4.6 r 56.0 55.3 r 40.0 r
    S.F. Bay Area 2.3 2.2 2.2 r 40.6 38.7 40.5 r
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda 1.9 2.0 1.7 51.5 49.5 51.2
    Contra-Costa (Central County) 2.0 2.4 1.6 r 54.8 54.2 54.3 r
    Marin 2.7 2.5 2.7 40.3 38.9 44.6
    Napa 5.3 4.7 4.6 56.5 64.8 53.6
    San Francisco 2.3 2.0 2.4 25.1 22.5 25.5
    San Mateo 1.4 1.6 2.0 21.3 19.5 20.9
    Santa Clara 1.9 1.8 1.8 21.7 20.9 21.2
    Solano 3.5 2.4 3.1 46.0 45.0 41.7
    Sonoma 2.9 3.2 3.2 50.7 50.2 54.4
    Southern California
    Los Angeles 4.4 3.9 3.5 r 47.8 45.5 38.5 r
    Orange County 4.1 4.1 3.8 61.2 62.3 53.2
    Riverside County 6.1 4.9 4.8 57.2 58.7 r 40.3
    San Bernardino 5.3 4.5 4.3 r 54.0 49.6 39.5 r
    San Diego 4.9 4.3 4.1 28.1 28.3 29.3
    Ventura 4.8 4.4 3.5 66.6 63.0 52.4
    Central Coast
    Monterey 4.8 3.8 4.3 34.9 26.2 27.8
    San Luis Obispo 5.1 4.3 4.0 49.9 50.2 47.4
    Santa Barbara 4.9 4.4 4.3 45.8 41.5 34.3
    Santa Cruz 3.5 3.1 3.5 26.5 33.7 29.0
    Central Valley
    Fresno 5.7 4.9 5.1 31.2 29.4 26.3
    Glenn 12.0 5.5 3.6 45.5 47.9 31.0
    Kern (Bakersfield) 4.0 3.4 r 2.8 r 31.0 27.0 r 22.0 r
    Kings County 4.4 3.6 3.9 29.5 44.5 41.4
    Madera 5.1 4.9 5.2 61.0 23.2 48.4
    Merced 4.8 3.9 2.7 46.8 46.3 24.1
    Placer County 4.2 3.5 3.6 28.4 29.6 26.4
    Sacramento 3.7 3.3 3.5 26.5 25.8 22.7
    San Benito 4.8 3.7 3.5 26.6 40.2 26.5
    San Joaquin 4.4 3.4 2.8 27.7 25.5 23.9
    Stanislaus 4.4 3.5 3.2 25.0 25.2 22.3
    Tulare 5.5 4.4 4.0 34.5 42.8 29.1
    Other Counties in California
    Amador 7.2 5.9 5.3 47.9 65.8 40.2
    Butte County 4.8 3.1 5.0 36.3 35.8 35.8
    Calaveras 8.5 6.7 7.1 75.0 59.0 77.0
    Del Norte 12.1 9.5 7.6 83.0 106.0 79.0
    El Dorado County 5.2 4.3 4.5 54.8 55.1 50.0
    Humboldt 6.2 5.4 7.6 59.1 52.4 37.2
    Lake County 6.5 7.2 4.9 107.9 80.0 96.4
    Tuolumne 6.8 6.0 7.7 70.7 73.3 49.1
    Mendocino 9.4 7.4 8.0 101.9 91.0 108.4
    Nevada 6.8 5.4 5.2 59.0 50.0 42.0
    Plumas 9.4 8.1 11.1 206.0 174.0 118.0
    Shasta 7.1 5.5 4.9 51.3 56.1 37.8
    Siskiyou County 9.4 12.4 10.1 77.9 45.5 80.3
    Sutter 5.1 4.1 3.9 r 55.9 24.8 24.0 r
    Tehama 7.1 4.7 9.8 43.1 41.2 49.1
    Yolo 2.8 3.4 3.4 36.1 23.3 22.5
    Yuba 3.7 2.9 3.7 r 31.0 40.0 23.6 r

    r = revised
    NA = not available

    Created: 12/19/2014 1:37:38 PM
  • Housingwire: 18 Senators, mortgage bankers tell HUD: Time to lower FHA premiums
    By Ben Lane
    A group of 18 U.S. Senators and the Mortgage Bankers Association both sent letters to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Thursday, stating that the time has come for the Federal Housing Administration to lower its mortgage insurance premiums.

    DSnews: Fed announces slow approach to interest rate increases in 2015
    By Tory Barringer
    The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it intends to take a slow approach to raising interest rates in the coming year, even as the economy continues to strengthen.

    The Wall Street Journal: When a mortgage hinges on home values
    By Anya Martin
    When deciding who gets a home loan and who doesn't, lenders heavily rely on one number: the loan-to-value ratio, or the LTV. http://www.wsj.com/articles/when-a-mortgage-hinges-on-home-values-1418835033

    Todays_re_news

    Created: 12/19/2014 1:37:38 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: 12/19/2014 1:37:38 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: 12/19/2014 1:37:38 PM
  • For release:
    November 25, 2014

    Back-to-back increase in October pending home sales point to year ending on a high note

    LOS ANGELES (Nov. 25) – Pending home sales in California picked up steam in October and rose for the second straight month, portending a pickup in closed sales for the remainder of the year, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

    Pending home sales data:

    • California pending home sales were up in October, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* rising 2 percent from a revised 102.6 in September to 104.6 in October, based on signed contracts. October's increase was the first back-to-back increase since early this year, when pending sales rose for three straight months, starting in January.

    • Pending sales dipped 0.5 percent from the revised 105.2 index recorded in October 2013. The yearly decrease was significantly lower than the six-month average of -6.7 percent from April 2014 to September 2014.

    Equity and distressed housing market data:

    • The share of equity sales – or non-distressed property sales – edged up in October. Equity sales made up 91.1 percent of all sales in October, up from 90.9 percent recorded in September. Equity sales have been more than 80 percent of total sales since July 2013 and have risen to or above 90 percent for five straight months. Equity sales made up 85.5 percent of sales in October 2013.

    • Conversely, the combined share of all distressed property sales dipped in October, down from 9.1 percent in September to 8.9 percent in October. Distressed sales were down nearly 40 percent from a year ago, when the share was 14.5 percent.

    • Half of the 41 reporting counties experienced a month-to-month decrease in the share of distressed sales, with 17 of the counties recording in the single-digits, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Orange, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz, Sonoma, and Yolo counties — all of which registered a share of five percent or less.

    • Of the distressed properties, the share of short sales remained at its lowest level since February 2008, holding steady at 4.6 percent in October, unchanged from September. October's figure was less than half the 9.3 percent recorded in October 2013.

    • The share of REO sales dipped in October to 3.9 percent from 4 percent in September and from 4.7 percent in October 2013.

    • The supply of REO properties eased slightly in October, while the supply of equity and short sales tightened. The Unsold Inventory Index of REO sales ticked up from 3.1 months in September to 3.2 months in October. The supply of equity sales fell from 4.1 months in September to 3.8 months in October, and the supply of short sales dropped to 5.7 months in October from 6.2 months in September.

    Charts (click links to open):

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

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

    Type of Sale Oct-14 Sep-14 Oct-13
    Equity Sales 91.1% 90.9% 85.5%
    Total Distressed Sales 8.9% 9.1% 14.5%
    REOs 3.9% 4.0% 4.7%
    Short Sales 4.6% 4.6% 9.3%
    Other Distressed Sales (Not Specified) 0.4% 0.5% 0.5%
    All Sales 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

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

    County Oct-14 Sep-14 Oct-13
    Alameda 5% 3% 6%
    Amador 12% 11% 27%
    Butte 10% 7% 9%
    Calaveras 12% 10% NA
    Contra Costa 2% 3% 7%
    El Dorado 11% 10% 15%
    Fresno 15% 15% 27%
    Glenn 24% 26% 23%
    Humboldt 13% 8% 10%
    Kern 10% 11% 19%
    Kings 19% 21% 32%
    Lake 16% 22% 20%
    Los Angeles 7% 9% 15%
    Madera 22% 33% 19%
    Marin 4% 3% 5%
    Mendocino 10% 14% 13%
    Merced 10% 20% 28%
    Monterey 9% 10% 18%
    Napa 3% 0% 12%
    Orange 4% 4% 7%
    Placer 8% 8% 11%
    Plumas 9% 8% NA
    Riverside 11% 10% 19%
    Sacramento 12% 11% 17%
    San Benito 13% 3% 11%
    San Bernardino 14% 13% 22%
    San Diego 5% 5% 5%
    San Joaquin 12% 14% 23%
    San Luis Obispo 6% 7% 12%
    San Mateo 1% 3% 3%
    Santa Clara 2% 3% 4%
    Santa Cruz 5% 4% 11%
    Shasta 14% 15% 22%
    Siskiyou 26% 25% 23%
    Solano 11% 12% 22%
    Sonoma 5% 6% 9%
    Stanislaus 13% 11% 22%
    Sutter 12% 25% 23%
    Tulare 21% 26% 32%
    Yolo 5% 9% 13%
    Yuba 9% 9% 21%
    California 9% 9% 14%

    NA = not available

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

    Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 165,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.
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    Created: 12/19/2014 1:37:38 PM