Archive for November, 2014

Historically, properties in this market sell at a 25.7% discount. Today's discount is 33.8%. This market is 8.2% undervalued. Median home price is $257,400 with a rental parity value of $391,600. This market's discount is $134,200. Monthly payment affordability has been improving over the last 6 month(s). Momentum suggests improving affordability. Resale prices on a $/SF basis increased from $171/SF to $172/SF. Resale prices have been rising for 3 month(s). Over the last 12 months, resale prices rose 18.8% indicating a longer term upward price trend. Median rental rates increased $0 last month from $1,772 to $1,772. The current capitalization rate (rent/price) is 6.6%. Rents have been rising for 12 month(s). Price momentum signals rising rents over the next three…[READ MORE]

This post was originally posted in early 2011, but the information is timeless. For readers of this blog, the editorial that follows will not cover new ground. For the wider readership in California, what follows is pure sacrilege. Bursting our bubble Why do we continue to think that rising home prices are a good thing? By Michael Kinsley -- February 15, 2011 If President Obama could ask for one gift from the economy — one statistic that turns unexpectedly rosy — what would it be? If Americans in general could choose one change in their financial situation, what would they choose? I suppose Obama would choose a decline in the unemployment rate. But a close second for Obama, and quite…[READ MORE]

I used to be thankful for affordable housing for everyone, but then lenders reflated the housing bubble with the government's blessing. The agents of denial seem bent on failing to learn the lessons of the housing bubble, or worse yet, they want to learn the wrong lessons. We are setting up a system where actions have no consequences, money is for the taking, and the bills get passed on to the prudent and law-abiding. All under the watchful eye of our bought-off politicians who will tell us the plundering of our nation's wealth was for our own good. In my opinion, government has no place in setting market prices. We need regulations to ensure markets are transparent, contracts are enforceable,…[READ MORE]

Lenders profit from consumer debts, politicians gain finance industry donations, and borrowers run personal Ponzi schemes. What could go wrong? Macro-economists focus on their financial models and behavior in the aggregate, and they intentionally ignore the incentives and moral implications of decisions made by the individuals who compose the aggregate. A Ponzi borrower is not an irresponsible thief gaming the lending system in the eyes of a macro-economist; instead, the Ponzi is seen as a stimulant to economic growth and a valuable feature of the financial system. As long as they all don't flame out at the same time, the irresponsible behavior of individuals has a positive aggregate effect. Economists study the “wealth effect” to determine how important it is…[READ MORE]

Mel Watt receives criticism from both political parties, demonstrating he balances the competing ends, a competent replacement for Ed DeMarco. I was wrong about Mel Watt. Despite my concerns he would use his position to advance a left-wing agenda, at least so far, he's proven a capable administrator of the GSEs. I am a big fan of Ed DeMarco, the man Mel Watt replaced, and perhaps I was not open to change at the GSEs because of my admiration for Mr. DeMarco, but so far Mel Watt has surprised me. Prior to taking over as head of the Federal Home Finance Agency (FHFA), the overseer of the GSEs, Mel Watt pandered to left-wing constituents, promoting principal reductions and other destructive…[READ MORE]

Many borrowers spent their home equity during the housing bubble, and now they want income tax relief on the money they spent as income. Mortgage equity withdrawal feels like free money. When this money comes from home-price appreciation on a primary residence, the borrower did nothing to earn this money, and since a primary residence has a large capital gains tax exclusion, the borrower won't pay any taxes, income or capital gains, on free money they extract from their house. Obviously, this makes mortgage equity withdrawal a very desirable source of spending money. Of course, borrowed money is not free money, and it must be repaid. Most HELOC abusers expected the house to pay off this bill for them, but…[READ MORE]

Shevy Akason, exclusive agent for OC Housing News, is named a Top Producer for his great work with OC Housing News customers and others. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Shevy Akason, exclusive agent for OC Housing News, is named a Top Producer in Orange County, California, real estate sales. Shevy Akason earned Top Producer status at his 1,200 agent brokerage through representing OC Housing News clients and many others. This is the sixth consecutive year Mr. Akason has been awarded this prestigious and coveted award. IRVINE, Calif., November 24, 2014 – Shevy Akason consistently delivers results for his many clients. Starting from scratch in 2007, he quickly developed a growing group of satisfied clients by delivering more than expected and always putting…[READ MORE]

Historically, properties in this market sell at a 18.5% discount. Today's discount is 21.8%. This market is 3.2% undervalued. Median home price is $291,500 with a rental parity value of $375,000. This market's discount is $83,500. Monthly payment affordability has been improving over the last 4 month(s). Momentum suggests improving affordability. Resale prices on a $/SF basis declined from $166/SF to $165/SF. Resale prices have been falling for 2 month(s). Over the last 12 months, resale prices rose 13.7% indicating a longer term upward price trend. Median rental rates increased $0 last month from $1,696 to $1,697. The current capitalization rate (rent/price) is 5.6%. Rents have been rising for 5 month(s). Price momentum signals rising rents over the next three…[READ MORE]

Plagued by affordability problems, the Western US endured a 5% decline in home sales in October 2014. Ever since mortgage interest rates suddenly and unexpectedly rose from 3.5% to 4.5% in May of 2013, the market has been weak. For almost a year prices were flat while sales volumes declined. The spring rally of 2014 pushed prices a little higher, driven mostly by rising rents, but resale volume was very low, suggesting the gains do not represent fundamentally strong demand from an improving economy. For the housing market to really improve, the fundamentals underpinning the market must improve because manipulating inventory and interest rates are short-term market props, not fundamental drivers of demand. The house price rally in 2012 and…[READ MORE]

Fannie Mae attempts collection on old bad debts, which were often associated with robo-signed foreclosures. Many people borrowed money to buy a house and quit making payments. Lenders attempted to foreclose on these properties and found the volume overwhelming and their bubble-era paperwork lax. Many lenders contracted with firms that automated the foreclosure filing process -- robo-signers -- and these firms routinely created bogus paperwork to facilitate processing the foreclosure. This fabrication of paperwork infuriated judges who didn’t want to see the public record inundated with forged documents. Nobody at the Robo-signing law firms was ever charged with or convicted of any crime, and the people who lost their homes in foreclosure were all guilty of failing to pay their…[READ MORE]

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In Memoriam: Tony Bliss 1966-2012
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