Friday, May 25, 2012

Will you want some cash with that ?...

Freddie Mac reported this week that 79 % of homeowners who refinanced their first-lien home mortgage either maintained about the same loan amount or lowered their principal balance by paying-in additional money at the closing table in the first quarter of 2012.

Of these borrowers, 58 percent maintained about the same loan amount, and 21 percent of refinancing homeowners reduced their principal balance; the share of borrowers that kept about the same loan amount was the highest in the 26-year history of the analysis.

“Cash-out" borrowers, those who increased their loan balance by at least 5%, represented 21% of all refinance loans; the weighted average cash-out share during the 1985 to 2008 period was 50 percent.

The median interest rate reduction for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was about
1.5 % points, or a savings of about 27 % in interest rate, the largest percent reduction recorded in the 27 years of analysis. Over the first year of the refinance loan life, the median borrower will save about $2,900 in interest payments on a $200,000 loan.

More info on this Freddie Mac article.

Francis Rolland

Francis - on Trulia

Current Mortgage rates

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Some perspective on the market...

Finally, after a long waiting, CAR - the California Association of Realtors - released the figures that enable me to make my yearly update of the following graphs.
One set of figures is missing as the information is compiled in a different way: the median price for the Bay Area (comprised of the nine Counties around the Bay Area).

Still, interesting to have some perspective on prices over such a long period of time....

Thanks for reading,
useful links

Current Mortgage rates

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Good news: housing inventory is up..

After some grueling months in the trenches, (if you happen to be looking for a house to buy), seeing the number of homes available on the market dwindle to something not seen since 2005, we relish a breath of fresh air:  the number of houses and condominiums available for sale is finally coming up a bit, promising more balance in the market may be?  We'll see.

When the market is sharply up, people often think that it is "great" for Realtors. Not quite so, unless you strictly work for sellers. If buyers have too hard a time to purchase a property, it does not benefit the community as a whole. Hence the sigh of relief when the market is more balanced.

In the past month, and as of the 18th of May, we have seen the number of homes on the market for sale, in the whole County of Santa Clara, come up from about 1575 to 1720. (below is the average for a given month...).

At the same time, the percentage of houses (not condos) sold for more than listing price has gone up to 44.5%.  By the way, this statistic is available every Saturday in the San Jose Mercury News in the real estate section.

Thanks for reading!
useful links

Current Mortgage rates

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rents are up 5% nationwide

Taken from a Trulia article:

Rents Continue To Climb, Rising Nationally 5.0 Percent Year-Over-Year

Asking rents rose over the past year in almost all large metro areas included in the Trulia Rent Monitor. In the largest metros, rents rose 6.2 percent in New York and 6.1 percent in Chicago, but only 0.6 percent in Los Angeles. Rents rose strongly in Miami (12.1 percent) and Denver (9.9 percent), which also experienced large asking price increases. Meanwhile, rental affordability declined in places where rents rose while prices fell, most notably in San Francisco (rents up 11.1 percent), Seattle (9.7 percent), San_Jose (9.4 percent) and Boston (9.2 percent).

On the ground I find that there is a complete penury of rentals in the area centered around Palo Alto, and that rents have gone up in the Silicon Valley by a lot more than 10% in some cases.  It is good to check with your Realtor on the latest values if you are thinking of renting out your property for a while.
I often advise to also check Craigslist's listings.

Francis Rolland

Francis - on Trulia

Current Mortgage rates