CA. ASSOC. OF REALTORS NEWS

  • For release:
    April 3, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    International Clients Survey slides (click to open):

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

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

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

    # # #


    Created: 7/28/2014 11:40:31 PM
  • For release:
    March 10, 2014

    Distressed housing market shrinks dramatically since housing downturn of Great Recession

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    View the slide illustration.

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

    Single-family Distressed Home Sales by Select Counties

    Distressed Sales by CountyJan. 2014Jan. 2009
    CA15.6%69.5%
    El Dorado20.1%63.0%
    Fresno26.3%84.2%
    Kern18.4%86.1%
    Los Angeles15.8%62.4%
    Monterey16.9%83.6%
    Orange9.5%60.3%
    Placer15.1%68.1%
    Riverside15.6%79.4%
    Sacramento19.9%85.6%
    San Benito17.5%89.5%
    San Bernardino21.7%81.9%
    San Joaquin25.1%93.0%
    San Luis Obispo10.2%52.2%
    San Mateo6.8%48.2%
    Santa Clara7.7%68.0%
    Santa Cruz11.6%56.6%
    Stanislaus24.8%93.6%
    Tulare20.0%45.8%
    Yolo13.3%74.5%
    Created: 7/28/2014 11:40:31 PM
  • C.A.R. President Kevin Brown responded to a Wall Street Journal editorial last week on housing finance reform. The editorial suggests that higher loan limits are not needed and that at a current limit of $625,500, with a 20 percent down payment, a buyer could purchase a home costing $780,000, "a mansion in most places." The editorial further states that the government is subsidizing wealthy buyers with the higher limit.

    In a letter to the editor, Kevin Brown writes that the editorial is "a continued depiction by many policy makers and pundits that higher loan limits have allowed Californians to live in 10,000-sqare-foot mansions at taxpayers' expense. While a $780,000 house may be a mansion in Texas, Alabama or other states, in California that buys a 2,400-square-foot house in Orange County or a 1,600-square-foot house in the San Francisco Bay Area—hardly mansions."

    Read the full Letter to the Editor.

    April 23, 2014

    Created: 7/28/2014 11:40:31 PM
  • For release:
    April 7, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

    View the first ad.
    View the second ad.

    The campaign was created by indie Philadelphia-based agency, Red Tettemer O'Connell + Partners. Demonstrating the success of C.A.R.'s past consumer ad campaigns, a post-test survey of consumers conducted following the 2013 campaign found that the ads continue to build awareness and help consumers understand the importance of working with a REALTOR®. Additionally, buyers and sellers have an increasing appreciation of the work REALTORS® must do to help close real estate transactions.

    This year's consumer advertising campaign will continue to build on past successes by communicating directly with consumers about the added value and peace of mind they receive by working with a REALTOR® when buying or selling a home. For complete information about C.A.R.'s 2014 consumer advertising campaign, visit http://www.car.org/aboutus/adcampaign/ or visit the consumer ad site, which is rich with content and resources related to the home-buying and selling processes (http://www.championsofhome.com/).

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

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

    Created: 7/28/2014 11:40:31 PM
  • The Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that the temporary loan limits it established as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 will expire Dec. 31, 2013. The loan limits for high-cost areas, which were temporarily raised to $729,750, will be reduced to the FHA permanent limit of $625.500 beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

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

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

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

    Mortgagee Letter and County Loan Limits

    More information

    December 6, 2013

    Created: 7/28/2014 11:40:31 PM
  • For release:
    November 26 2013

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

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

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

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

    Leading the way...® in California real estate for more than 100 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 155,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

    Created: 7/28/2014 11:40:31 PM
  • Research Contact:
    Selma Hepp
    (213) 739-8305
    selmah@car.org

    For release:
    January 16, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    California Home Sellers Survey slides:

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

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

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

    Created: 7/28/2014 11:40:31 PM
  • Last week, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced it was reducing the loan limit for FHA-insured loans from $729,750 to $625,500 beginning Jan. 1, 2014. However, while the FHA is required by statutes under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) to lower its cap on loan limits, it has also interpreted HERA to require it to reset metropolitan statistical (MSA) median home prices.

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

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

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

    December 11, 2013

    Created: 7/28/2014 11:40:31 PM
  • For release:
    July 16, 2014

    Lower interest rates perk up California home sales in June; market more balanced

    LOS ANGELES (July 16) – Lower interest rates and stabilizing home prices combined to boost home sales in June, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today. However, diminished home affordability remains a challenge for buyers, particularly in high cost areas of the state.

    Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 394,930 units in June, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. June marked the eighth straight month that sales were below the 400,000 level and the eleventh straight decline on a year-over-year basis. Sales in June increased 1.5 percent from a revised 389,060 in May but were down 4.8 percent from a revised 414,830 in June 2013. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2014 if sales maintained the June pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

    "While June home sales rose at the statewide level, the market is still constrained by tight supply and low housing affordability in areas of high demand, where job growth is robust and international buyers have a strong presence," said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. "Overall, however, with inventory improving and home sales slowly moving back up, the market is more balanced, and we could see further market normalization in the upcoming months as interest rates remain at the lowest levels we've seen so far this year."

    The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home slipped 2 percent from May's median price of $466,320 to $457,160 but was up 6.6 percent from the revised $428,700 recorded in June 2013. The statewide median home price has increased year over year for the previous 28 months, marking more than two full years of consecutive year-over-year price increases. 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.

    "Home prices are finally increasing at a healthier pace, and the smallest year-over-year price gain in more than two years suggests that prices are stabilizing," said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "Last year's frenzied market of multiple offers, which drove sales prices above listing prices, has tapered off as the sales-to-list price ratio has dropped to a more normal level at nearly 99 percent, which signals a return to a more balanced market."

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

    • Housing inventory edged slightly higher in June, with the available supply of existing, single-family detached homes for sale increasing from 3.6 months in May to 3.7 months in June. The index was 2.9 months in June 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 also rose in June, up from 31.6 days in May to 33.9 days in June and up from 27.8 days in June 2013.
    • Mortgage rates dipped in June, with the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaging 4.16 percent, down from 4.19 percent in May but up from 4.07 percent in June 2013, according to Freddie Mac. Adjustable-mortgage interest rates in June averaged 2.40 percent, down from 2.43 percent in May and down from 2.60 percent in June 2013.

    Graphics (click links to open):

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

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

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

    # # #

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

    June-14 Median Sold Price of Existing Single-Family Homes Sales
    State/Region/County Jun-14 May-14 Jun-13 MTM% Chg YTY% Chg MTM% Chg YTY% Chg
    CA SFH (SAAR) $457,160 $466,320 r $428,700 r -2.0% 6.6% 1.5% -4.8%
    CA Condo/Townhomes $372,070 $376,040 $342,840 -1.1% 8.5% 0.4% -0.2%
    Los Angeles Metropolitan Area $416,290 $425,900 $393,530 r -2.3% 5.8% -2.6% -5.2%
    Inland Empire $279,060 $280,060 $248,760 -0.4% 12.2% 2.6% -2.3%
    S.F. Bay Area $771,610 $768,910 $701,360 0.4% 10.0% 0.4% -3.7%
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda $743,810 $749,330 $639,650 -0.7% 16.3% -0.5% -8.5%
    Contra-Costa (Central County) $765,960 $759,870 $728,850 0.8% 5.1% -0.5% -5.5%
    Marin $1,060,610 $1,033,330 $1,000,000 2.6% 6.1% 1.6% 1.6%
    Napa $556,250 $602,940 $509,620 -7.7% 9.1% 8.9% 15.1%
    San Francisco $987,500 $963,030 $855,180 2.5% 15.5% -10.8% -22.9%
    San Mateo $1,120,000 $1,130,000 $1,001,000 -0.9% 11.9% 4.3% -3.3%
    Santa Clara $900,000 $875,580 $809,000 2.8% 11.2% -1.8% -1.9%
    Solano $320,640 $316,840 $278,920 1.2% 15.0% 5.5% 7.8%
    Sonoma $497,010 $490,450 $450,000 1.3% 10.4% 4.6% -0.2%
    Southern California
    Los Angeles $435,950 $411,640 $403,760 5.9% 8.0% -8.6% -6.1%
    Orange County $696,680 $698,260 $661,740 -0.2% 5.3% -1.4% -8.5%
    Riverside County $321,840 $323,890 $298,470 -0.6% 7.8% 2.8% 0.3%
    San Bernardino $202,420 $214,540 $174,650 -5.6% 15.9% 2.4% -6.8%
    San Diego $531,350 $498,020 $483,330 6.7% 9.9% -2.0% -10.2%
    Ventura $571,250 $568,360 $562,800 0.5% 1.5% 6.2% -4.9%
    Central Coast
    Monterey $485,000 $445,000 $417,000 9.0% 16.3% -15.0% -3.6%
    San Luis Obispo $503,250 $487,500 $462,500 3.2% 8.8% -9.3% -13.8%
    Santa Barbara $659,480 $736,110 $671,430 -10.4% -1.8% 6.9% 9.6%
    Santa Cruz $699,500 $681,500 $586,000 2.6% 19.4% 8.9% -4.2%
    Central Valley
    Fresno $201,080 $199,540 $175,820 0.8% 14.4% 0.4% -7.4%
    Glenn $175,000 $152,500 $136,670 14.8% 28.0% 72.7% 11.8%
    Kern (Bakersfield) $215,000 $210,000 r $195,000 r 2.4% 10.3% -2.2% 0.0%
    Kings County $194,440 $171,670 $147,780 13.3% 31.6% 1.3% -2.5%
    Madera $206,250 $176,670 $150,000 16.7% 37.5% 23.8% -21.2%
    Merced $158,820 $171,430 $154,120 -7.4% 3.0% 3.3% 10.7%
    Placer County $382,970 $383,070 $370,240 0.0% 3.4% -3.3% -11.2%
    Sacramento $271,630 $273,970 $247,100 -0.9% 9.9% 1.0% -1.4%
    San Benito $420,000 $417,500 $382,620 0.6% 9.8% -6.3% -10.0%
    San Joaquin $267,020 $248,680 $208,130 7.4% 28.3% 3.2% 5.0%
    Stanislaus $233,050 $223,870 $187,170 4.1% 24.5% 3.0% -0.2%
    Tulare $176,520 $177,140 $158,710 -0.4% 11.2% -0.7% 4.7%
    Other Counties in California
    Amador $238,890 $242,860 $233,330 r -1.6% 2.4% -13.0% -13.0%
    Butte County $251,250 $261,840 $265,000 -4.0% -5.2% -1.5% 6.5%
    Calaveras $252,640 $247,250 $185,000 2.2% 36.6% -4.7% 3.8%
    Del Norte $185,580 $177,500 $132,590 4.6% 40.0% -16.7% -52.4%
    El Dorado County $372,950 $374,240 $342,250 -0.3% 9.0% 0.3% -2.3%
    Humboldt $248,960 $254,350 $251,090 -2.1% -0.8% -4.8% 4.2%
    Lake County $184,440 $170,000 $155,000 8.5% 19.0% 50.0% 20.0%
    Tuolumne $237,500 $244,440 $180,000 -2.8% 31.9% 1.6% -17.1%
    Mendocino $319,230 $297,500 $242,860 7.3% 31.4% -14.5% 2.2%
    Nevada $331,000 $290,000 NA 14.1% NA -3.2% NA
    Plumas $230,250 $189,000 NA 21.8% NA 15.8% -45.0%
    Shasta $226,780 $214,020 $193,330 r 6.0% 17.3% 7.4% -7.7%
    Siskiyou County $163,750 $170,000 $163,330 -3.7% 0.3% 0.0% 16.2%
    Sutter $213,500 $210,000 NA 1.7% NA 1.4% NA
    Tehama $182,500 $178,000 $140,000 2.5% 30.4% -24.4% -22.5%
    Yolo $377,420 $361,630 $312,500 4.4% 20.8% -10.6% -15.3%
    Yuba $207,500 $195,000 NA 6.4% NA -27.3% NA

    r = revised
    NA = not available

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

    June-14 Unsold Inventory Index Median Time on Market
    State/Region/County Jun-14 May-14 Jun-13 Jun-14 May-14 Jun-13
    CA SFH (SAAR) 3.7 3.6 2.9 33.9 31.6 27.8
    CA Condo/Townhomes 3.3 3.2 2.7 34.5 34.9 27.5
    Los Angeles Metropolitan Area 4.0 3.9 2.9 44.5 44.1 34.4
    Inland Empire 4.2 4.3 3.0 45.0 47.5 33.2
    S.F. Bay Area 2.4 2.5 2.3 33.3 26.9 34.8
    S.F. Bay Area
    Alameda 2.3 2.2 1.9 47.9 40.8 49.5
    Contra-Costa (Central County) 2.3 2.7 2.1 48.7 47.4 50.0
    Marin 2.4 2.6 2.9 29.1 28.7 33.3
    Napa 4.3 4.7 5.3 47.5 48.6 47.9
    San Francisco 3.1 2.6 2.4 20.9 20.3 24.8
    San Mateo 1.8 2.0 2.0 18.6 18.5 18.5
    Santa Clara 1.9 1.9 2.0 18.0 18.4 17.8
    Solano 3.2 3.1 2.7 33.7 34.5 37.6
    Sonoma 3.1 3.2 3.1 43.0 39.6 44.6
    Southern California
    Los Angeles 3.8 3.6 2.8 39.7 38.7 28.8
    Orange County 4.0 3.9 3.0 52.8 49.6 42.5
    Riverside County 4.1 4.3 2.9 47.5 50.3 34.0
    San Bernardino 4.5 4.4 3.1 40.4 41.8 31.7
    San Diego 4.0 3.8 3.2 24.1 24.8 24.1
    Ventura 3.7 3.9 3.6 47.5 48.2 45.3
    Central Coast
    Monterey 4.3 3.5 3.9 27.4 26.0 25.3
    San Luis Obispo 5.5 4.9 3.9 34.3 28.9 24.7
    Santa Barbara 4.0 4.3 4.5 r 27.4 35.6 29.7
    Santa Cruz 3.3 3.4 3.3 24.3 22.2 21.6
    Central Valley
    Fresno 4.5 4.4 3.4 25.7 26.1 24.4
    Glenn 4.3 7.5 4.0 r 28.0 47.0 44.0
    Kern (Bakersfield) 3.1 2.7 2.6 r 20.0 20.0 13.0 r
    Kings County 3.5 3.3 3.1 46.8 48.8 44.3
    Madera 3.9 3.9 2.6 27.9 28.7 33.4
    Merced 3.6 3.6 2.4 28.7 29.5 26.0
    Placer County 3.8 3.5 2.4 23.0 22.8 20.0
    Sacramento 3.2 3.1 2.4 22.3 22.3 18.8
    San Benito 3.5 2.9 2.2 26.1 23.5 22.3
    San Joaquin 3.0 3.1 2.6 23.1 23.7 19.4
    Stanislaus 3.0 2.9 2.3 23.2 21.8 19.7
    Tulare 3.9 3.8 3.2 33.6 29.8 24.5
    Other Counties in California
    Amador 5.8 5.0 r 4.1 55.9 61.0 41.2
    Butte County 4.4 4.1 4.2 31.7 36.7 24.2
    Calaveras 7.6 7.0 6.1 35.0 56.5 37.0
    Del Norte 18.7 14.5 8.5 r 148.0 106.5 133.0
    El Dorado County 5.0 4.8 4.0 35.1 26.5 26.6 r
    Humboldt 6.4 5.8 5.6 28.1 36.4 29.7
    Lake County 5.4 7.9 5.8 57.9 84.2 56.4
    Tuolumne 8.2 7.9 5.7 43.8 52.8 45.5
    Mendocino 8.0 7.0 8.5 53.8 52.3 84.2
    Nevada 7.0 6.5 NA 28.0 28.0 NA
    Plumas 22.2 23.8 NA 152.0 99.0 NA
    Shasta 6.0 6.4 3.4 r 29.3 28.7 24.8 r
    Siskiyou County 9.7 9.4 11.8 47.3 47.7 57.6
    Sutter 3.4 3.5 NA 14.0 18.0 NA
    Tehama 7.7 6.0 5.0 52.8 43.4 41.9
    Yolo 3.0 2.7 2.1 21.3 23.4 18.6
    Yuba 4.1 3.1 NA 9.0 26.0 NA

    r = revised
    NA = not available

    Created: 7/28/2014 11:40:31 PM
  • Fannie Mae recently announced new features on its HomePath for Short Sales website to help real estate professionals efficiently complete short sales and resolve challenges directly with Fannie Mae.

    Listing agents can work directly with Fannie Mae through the HomePath Short Sale Portal to request list price guidance prior to listing a property, view the status of submitted cases, and negotiate and receive first lien approval on a short sale directly from Fannie Mae. Register for a webinar on Thursday, July 10, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., presented by Fannie Mae Director of Marketing Jane Severn to learn about these enhancements.

    Space to attend this webinar may run out very quickly, so register now. After you register, you should immediately receive a confirmation email, which you will need to attend the webinar on July 10.

    Registration space is now full. Thank you for your interest.

    Download the slides to be used in the presentation.

    Created: 7/28/2014 11:40:31 PM
  • Inman News: Zillow set to acquire Trulia for $3.5B in stock
    By Paul Hagey
    Zillow announced today that it's entered into a definitive agreement to acquire its chief competitor Trulia for $3.5 billion in stock.

    AP: Contracts to buy U.S. homes slip in June
    By Josh Boak
    Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in June, as the real estate market appears to have cooled off this summer.

    LA Times: Mortgage buy-downs can spur home sales
    By Ken Harney
    Real estate agents have begun touting "seller-assisted below-market-rate financing" on for-sale signs to make the houses more attractive to buyers as a financial proposition.

    Todays_re_news

    Created: 7/28/2014 11:40:31 PM
  • For release:
    July 23, 2014

    Nine in 10 homes sold in positive equity territory, while pending home sales decrease in June

    LOS ANGELES (July 23) – Equity home sales posted their highest level since the housing crisis began, reaching more than 90 percent of all home sales. Meanwhile, seasonal factors, combined with shrinking affordability cooled pending home sales in June, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

    Distressed housing market data:

    • The share of equity sales – or non-distressed property sales – continued in an upward trend, rising in June to 90.3 percent, up from 89.2 percent in May. Equity sales have been rising steadily again since the beginning of this year. June marks a full year that equity sales have been more than 80 percent of total sales and the first time they have risen above 90 percent. Equity sales made up 79.7 percent of sales in June 2013.

    • The combined share of all distressed property sales declined further in June, dropping from 10.8 percent in May to 9.7 percent in June. Distressed sales continued to be down by more than 50 percent from a year ago, when the share was 20.3 percent.

    • Twenty-three of the 41 reported counties showed a month-to-month decrease in the share of distressed sales, with 17 of the counties recording in the single-digits, including Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, Marin, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties — all of which registered a share of five percent or less.

    • Of the distressed properties, the share of short sales fell to its lowest level since February 2008, falling to 5 percent in June, down from 5.6 percent in May. June's figure was more than half the 12.9 percent recorded in June 2013.

    • The share of REO sales fell in June to 4.4 percent, down from 4.7 percent in May and from 6.8 percent in June 2013.

    • The supply of inventory inched up across all sales types in June. The Unsold Inventory Index for equity sales edged up from 3.7 months in May to 3.8 months in June, and from 2.3 months in May to 2.4 months in June for REO sales. The supply of short sales rose from 4.3 months in May to 4.8 months in June.

    Pending home sales data:

    • California pending home sales fell in June, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* dropping 2.8 percent from 110.1 in May to 107 in June, based on signed contracts.

    • Pending sales were down 5.9 percent from the revised 113.8 index recorded in June 2013. Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, providing information on the future direction of the market.

    Charts (click link to open):

    Pending sales compared with closed sales.
    Historical trend in the share of equity sales compared with distressed sales.
    Closed housing sales in June by sales type (equity, distressed).
    Housing supply of REOs, short sales, and equity sales in June.
    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 Jun-14 May-14 Jun-13
    Equity Sales 90.3% 89.2% 79.7%
    Total Distressed Sales 9.7% 10.8% 20.3%
    REOs 4.4% 4.7% 6.8%
    Short Sales 5.0% 5.6% 12.9%
    Other Distressed Sales (Not Specified) 0.3% 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 Jun-14 May-14 Jun-13
    Alameda 4% 2% 9%
    Amador 23% 15% 28%
    Butte 5% 13% 16%
    Calaveras 16% 13% NA
    Contra Costa 4% 6% 10%
    El Dorado 12% 12% 22%
    Fresno 17% 17% 36%
    Glenn 21% 18% 24%
    Humboldt 8% 12% 20%
    Kern 11% 12% 25%
    Kings 25% 31% 44%
    Lake 23% 25% 35%
    Los Angeles 10% 11% 21%
    Madera 15% 19% 33%
    Marin 3% 3% 9%
    Mendocino 10% 22% 33%
    Merced 16% 12% 36%
    Monterey 13% 11% 32%
    Napa 6% 8% 13%
    Orange 6% 6% 14%
    Placer 7% 10% 16%
    Plumas 18% 37% NA
    Riverside 13% 14% 26%
    Sacramento 13% 15% 26%
    San Benito 7% 13% 26%
    San Bernardino 16% 19% 29%
    San Diego 3% 3% 6%
    San Joaquin 14% 17% 35%
    San Luis Obispo 5% 5% 13%
    San Mateo 3% 3% 7%
    Santa Clara 2% 3% 7%
    Santa Cruz 7% 6% 11%
    Shasta 14% 15% 26%
    Siskiyou 19% 19% 24%
    Solano 13% 16% 30%
    Sonoma 6% 6% 17%
    Stanislaus 12% 14% 30%
    Sutter 8% 17% NA
    Tulare 21% 21% 27%
    Yolo 12% 12% 24%
    Yuba 9% 23% NA
    California 10% 11% 20%


    NA = not available

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

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

    Created: 7/28/2014 11:40:31 PM
  • PITI, Minimum Annual Income Required to Purchase Median-Priced Home Rises More Than 50 percent in First Quarter, C.A.R. Reports
    All counties in California realized a double-digit year-over-year decline in affordability

    LOS ANGELES (May 13, 2014) – A combination of continued price increases and relatively higher interest rates during the first quarter of 2014 led to decreased housing affordability in all regions of the state, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported.

    While the percentage of home buyers who could afford to purchase a median-priced, existing single-family home in California rose slightly from 32 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 33 percent in the first quarter of 2014, affordability declined sharply from the 44 percent rate reported in the first quarter of 2013, according to C.A.R.'s Traditional Housing Affordability Index (HAI).

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

    Home buyers needed to earn a minimum annual income of $86,419 to qualify for the purchase of a $416,720 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the first quarter of 2014. The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, would be $2,160, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 4.46 percent. The effective composite interest rate in fourth-quarter 2013 was 4.43 percent and 3.56 percent in the first quarter of 2013.

    The median home price was $431,540 in fourth quarter 2013, and an annual income of $89,247 was needed to purchase a home at that price.

    Highlights from the fourth quarter HAI include:

    • California's housing affordability has dropped 23 percent since its peak in the first quarter of 2012, and has steadily declined since then as rising interest rates and increasing home prices contributed to the lack of affordability.
    • Approximately 77 percent of the counties reviewed by C.A.R. experienced a quarter-over-quarter decline in affordability, and all counties realized a double-digit decline in year-over-year comparisons.
    • The largest year-to-year declines in affordability were in Monterey County (-20 percent), Sonoma County (-14 percent), Ventura County (-13 percent), and Solano County (-13 percent).
    • During the first quarter of 2014, the three most affordable counties were Madera County (65 percent), San Bernardino County (63 percent), and Kings County (62 percent).
    • The least affordable counties in California included San Mateo County (12 percent), San Francisco County (14 percent), Santa Barbara County (16 percent), and Marin County (16 percent).
    • The Bay Area tops the list of least affordable markets while affordability in the Inland Empire still ranks relatively higher. Nevertheless, both regions saw a 22 percentage point drop in affordability since their peaks in first quarter 2012. By comparison, national affordability only declined by 12 percentage points since affordability peaked in first quarter 2012.
    • With home prices increasing by double-digits throughout 2013 and interest rates significantly higher than those observed in early 2013, both monthly PITI and the minimum annual income required to purchase a home rose by more than 50 percent at the state level since first quarter 2012. The top three counties that increased the most in minimum income required to purchase a median-priced home were Santa Barbara, San Mateo, and Monterey.
    • Inland Empire and the Bay Area experienced even larger increases in PITI since the affordability peaked.
    • The three counties that increased the least in minimum income required to purchase a median-priced home were Contra Costa, Kings, and San Luis Obispo.

    Slides (click to open)
    Affordability peak versus current*
    Annual income peak versus current*
    PITI peak versus current*

    *County data available by request

    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: 7/28/2014 11:40:31 PM
  • For release:
    May 8, 2014

    Hilltop home views outrank water-front views four to one, C.A.R. luxury client survey finds

    Vast majority of luxury home buyers purchased home as primary residence

    LOS ANGELES (May 8) – Even in a state with hundreds of miles of beautiful, sandy beaches, luxury home buyers in California preferred hilltop homes over ocean-front properties by a margin of four to one, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®' (C.A.R.) "2013 Luxury Real Estate Consumer Survey."

    Forty-one percent of buyers who bought luxury homes (homes priced above $1 million) last year, purchased a home with a hilltop view, compared to 10 percent who bought an ocean-front home. Hilltop homes even outranked ocean-front homes and ocean-view homes combined (38 percent). Buyers also purchased luxury homes located near a golf course (16 percent), mountain area (12 percent), resort area (9 percent), lake-front (4 percent), and ski resort (1 percent).

    The vast majority (79 percent) of luxury home buyers said they purchased the home as a primary residence. Ten percent purchased the home as a vacation or second home. Nine percent purchased the home as an investment or rental property, and two percent cited "other" reasons.

    Additional findings from C.A.R.'s 2013 Luxury Real Estate Consumer Survey include:

    • One-fourth of luxury home buyers said the main reason they purchased a home was because they wanted a larger home, compared to traditional buyers (23 percent) who said they were tired of renting as the primary reason for purchasing a home.

    • With luxury home buyers usually being higher income earners, more than a third of all luxury buyers (35 percent) were able to pay all cash for their property, compared to 27 percent of traditional buyers, and 11 percent of first-time buyers.

    • Luxury home buyers also made higher down payments (30 percent of the sale price) than traditional buyers (25 percent), and as a result had less difficulty in obtaining financing than traditional buyers. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being "very easy" and 10 being "very difficult," luxury home buyers rated acquiring financing difficulty at 3.7, compared to 8.6 for traditional buyers.

    • While luxury home buyers spent less time looking for properties (five weeks) compared to traditional buyers (10 weeks), luxury buyers looked at more properties (10 properties) than traditional buyers (eight properties) before purchasing the home.

    • Buyers of luxury properties tend to be more optimistic than traditional buyers, with more than seven in 10 (71 percent) luxury buyers saying they expected home prices to increase in one year, compared to 36 percent of traditional buyers.

    • Luxury home buyers intended to keep the property for a median of 10 years, compared to six years for traditional buyers.

    • Fifty-seven percent of luxury buyers were single, compared to 37 percent of traditional buyers who were single.

    Luxury Real Estate Consumer Survey slides (click to open):

    Hilltop homes outrank ocean-front homes
    Intended use of luxury property
    Reasons for purchasing a luxury home
    Luxury home buyers more optimistic
    All cash buyers

    The Luxury Real Estate Consumer Survey was conducted via email to a random sample of REALTORS® statewide who worked with luxury home buyers. All eligible respondents closed escrow on their homes within the 12 months prior to November 2013. The survey asked REALTORS® a series of questions regarding their last closed transaction with a luxury client. Access the full report on the survey findings here: http://www.car.org/marketdata/surveys/other/ and view the webinar presentation here: http://www.car.org/marketdata/videos.

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

    Survey contact:
    Selma Hepp (213) 739-8305

    Created: 7/28/2014 11:40:31 PM
  • For release:
    June 26, 2014

    More home buyers turning to social media in home-buying process, REALTOR® survey finds

    LOS ANGELES (June 26) – Reflecting the proliferating use of social media in today's society, more home buyers are turning to social media in the home-buying process than ever, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®' (C.A.R.) "2014 Survey of California Home Buyers."

    More than three-fourths of home buyers used social media in their home search, up from 52 percent who used it in 2011. Buyers said they primarily used social media to obtain buying tips and suggestions from friends (44 percent), neighborhood information (44 percent), and to view their agents' Facebook pages (42 percent).

    Mobile technology and the Internet continued to be important tools in the home-buying process, with 91 percent saying they used a mobile device to access the Internet during the course of their home purchase. Buyers used their mobile devices to look for comparable home prices (78 percent), search for homes (45 percent), and take photos of neighborhoods, homes, and amenities (43 percent). Conversely, with the increased use of social media, fewer buyers "Googled" their agent (50 percent in 2014, down from 68 percent in 2013), turning to agents' Facebook pages instead.

    In another sign of recent market competitiveness, more than nine in 10 buyers (91 percent) made one or more other offer, with an average of 3.6 offers in 2014, up from three offers in 2013. Additionally, buyers viewed a median of 20 homes in 2014, up from 10 last year. Given the limited supply of homes available for sale, fewer buyers were satisfied with their home purchase than last year. Only about half of the buyers were satisfied with their purchase in 2014, down from two-thirds (66 percent) in 2013. Nearly half (46 percent) of buyers felt they "settled" on their home purchase in 2014, up from 34 percent.

    Additional findings from C.A.R.'s "2014 Survey of California Home Buyers" include:

    • Buyers cited price decreases (54 percent), receiving a promotion or raise (34 percent), low interest rates (29 percent), and favorable prices/financing (17 percent) as the top reasons for purchasing a home.

    • Echoing a recovering housing market over recent years, buyer optimism of home prices also continued to improve, with the vast majority of buyers (81 percent) believing that home prices will rise in five years and 60 percent believing that prices will rise in one year. This is an improvement since 2009, when only 35 percent of buyers believed that prices would rise in five years, and only 8 percent who believed prices would rise in one year.

    • Higher down payments are still the norm in this market, with buyers putting an average of 28 percent down on their purchases. The average down payment has been higher than the traditional 20 percent since 2009.

    • More than nine in 10 buyers (92 percent) obtained a fixed-rate loan, a 23 percent increase from 2009, when only 69 percent obtained a fixed-rate loan, reflecting low rates and the desire for certainty as the market gets back to basics.

    • Nearly all surveyed buyers (88 percent) used a real estate agent in 2014, down slightly from 91 percent in 2013. Reflecting a growing use of the Internet, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of those who used an agent found their agent online, compared to only 38 percent who found their agent online in 2003.

    Survey of California Home Buyers Slides (click links to open):

    Buyers' use of social media
    Increase in number of offers made
    Higher down payments
    Fixed-rate loans still popular
    How buyers found their agent

    The 2014 Survey of California Home Buyers was conducted by telephone to 1,400 people statewide to measure their perceptions of the home-buying process. All eligible respondents closed escrow on their homes within the six months prior to February 2014. Access the full report on the survey findings here: http://www.car.org/marketdata/surveys/buyer/ and view the webinar presentation here: http://www.car.org/marketdata/videos.

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


    Created: 7/28/2014 11:40:31 PM
  • For Release:
    May 13, 2014

    C.A.R. applauds FHFA Director Melvin Watt for dismissing plan to reduce loan limits for Fannie, Freddie loans

    LOS ANGELES (May 13) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) today issued the following statement in response to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) announcement that it will not lower loan limits eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    "C.A.R. commends FHFA Director Melvin Watt for his announcement today that the FHFA will not reduce loan limits on loans eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. "Lower loan limits would have had an adverse effect in many parts of the country, but especially here in California where rebounding home prices and decreasing home affordability would hamper mortgage activity and impact the housing recovery."

    Earlier this year, the FHFA announced its intention of lowering the loan limits, and asked for public comment. Since then, C.A.R. and the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) aggressively fought to prevent a reduction in the loan limits.

    In March, C.A.R. submitted a letter to Director Watt urging him not to decrease loan limits for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Additionally, C.A.R. sponsored California Senate Joint Resolution 19, authored by Senator Lou Correa, a measure that would express the Legislature's opposition to a reduction of the current national and high-cost conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. SJR 19 (Correa) passed the Senate as written and is awaiting assignment to the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee.

    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: 7/28/2014 11:40:31 PM