Monday, June 27, 2016

Good News for Sellers

As prices continue to rise, they carry with them the questions: "Can people afford my house?" and "Are there really buyers out there?"  Well, have faith, my friends.  The answers to both questions are "yes".  In fact, as the following indicates, the outlook is more encouraging than some of you might think.

About 50 percent of Golden State renters plan to eventually purchase a home, and a substantial portion of them will stay local when they do.pending_sm
That’s according to the California Association of Realtors’ 2016 Renter Survey, which found that 48 percent of the state’s tenants aspire to homeownership. Those who are lucky enough to live in rent-controlled apartments are even more likely to become buyers, with 54 percent saying they plan to purchase a home someday.
Thirty-nine percent of these future homebuyers will purchase a home in the same county in which they currently live, and 23 percent plan to stay in the same neighborhood. In spite of California’s high home prices, only 7.4 percent of respondents said that they will leave the state entirely.
The vast majority of renters — 76 percent — will opt for single-family homes, particularly Generation X (83 percent) and millennials (81 percent). Respondents from the Silent Generation, those who preceded the baby boomers, were the only demographic to voice an overwhelming preference for condominiums and townhouses, perhaps the result of a desire to downsize as they age.
Aging relatives are top of mind for a significant portion of future buyers, with 38 percent planning to purchase a home to accommodate their parents or adult children. Millennials were the most likely to buy a home for multigenerational living (42 percent), followed by Generation X (37 percent), and baby boomers (31 percent).
Golden State tenants planning to buy a home have a median annual income of $54,000 and pay median monthly rents of $1,200. Northern California has both the state’s highest annual incomes ($50,000) and highest monthly rents ($1,500).
What about those renters who don’t aspire to homeownership? Fifty percent of them cited affordability concerns, while 19 percent don’t think they can qualify for a mortgage. Nearly two-thirds of renters carry debt that would make it difficult for them to purchase a home, with credit cards the biggest culprit, affecting 31 percent of respondents.
California renters who aspire to homeownership should take pains to manage their debt responsibly and keep tabs on their credit scores; nearly half of those surveyed didn’t know their credit rating. Respondents had an average credit score of 700, which CAR classifies as good, and 42 percent of them had scores in excess of 720, which qualifies as excellent.

So, the word here for Sellers is that if you're thinking of selling, start getting the property ready for the market.  If, on the other hand, you're a buyer, you should also get moving to prepare to locate and buy that dream home.  In either case, give us a call.  We can help you dot all the i's and cross all the t's that your wishes will require. Call:Peter: (415) 279-6466; Jane: (415) 531-4091.  We'd be happy to help.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Bay Area Suburbs Now Nation's Hottest Market

If you could choose a hot market to sell in, wouldn't you like to be THERE?  Well, in the case of the Bay Area suburbs, delay no further.  You're THERE!!

Demand for Northern California real estate remains as intense as ever, with relatively affordable Bay Area bedroom communities commanding the most interest in the country in May. ranks the Vallejo-Fairfield metropolitan area as the nation’s hottest housing market in May based on a combination of the most listing views on its website and the quickest paces of sales. The Solano County suburbs edged out the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metro area, which fell to the No. 2 position on the list after six consecutive months in the top spot.
With a median list price of $425,000, homes in Vallejo cost less than half of what they do in San Francisco, where properties listed for a median price of $880,000 in May. Buyers snapped up homes in San Francisco in an average of 24 days, the fastest rate of sales in the country, compared with 30 days in Vallejo.
Santa Rosa retained the No. 4 spot on’s list, with a median-priced $678,500 home selling in an average of 34 days. San Jose dropped to No. 9 and remained the most expensive of the 20 cities included in the study, with median-priced homes listing for $980,000 and finding a buyer in 25 days.
As in the previous month, half of May’s hottest U.S. real estate markets were located in California, including Stockton (No. 5), Sacramento (No. 7), San Diego (No. 8), Santa Cruz (No. 15), Eureka (No. 16), and Modesto (No. 18). With a median list price of $325,000, Modesto is the Golden State’s least expensive hot market in which to purchase property, but costs there are still $75,000 higher than they are nationwide.
The current $250,000 U.S. median home price is the highest since began tracking statistics in 2013. Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke attributed the price growth to bottled-up demand and mortgage rates that are near their yearly lows. According to Freddie Mac, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.64 percent for the week ended May 26, up slightly from the previous week and lower than they were one year ago.
A lack of homes for sale — a particular issue here in the Bay Area — is also fueling national home price
Now, granted, these hottest spots cited in the aforementioned info are a bit further to the north.  But, never fear--there is a 'spill-over' effect that has hit prices in northern Marin.  That may sound a bit exciting--or scary--depending if you're a buyer or seller, but these numbers were historical.  They only include property sold and closed through the end of May--nearly two weeks into your collective rear view mirror.  The market has definitely changed in recent weeks, with the furnace heat of early spring moderating a bit.  We are still seeing a few multiple offers, but not as all encompassing as previously.  With this moderation, prices have eased as well.

So, what does this mean for you? Sellers: you can still sell for a good price, IF you act reasonably in pricing your home.  Unless you just bought late last year, you'll likely come out ahead.  Buyers: The gradual easing means you may be able to get a better deal with less competition going forward.  Rates have not gone up, and the FED indicates it plans to moderate any upward trend, so you can still afford to finance your dream home.
Need advice?  Call us: Peter: (415) 279-6466; Jane: (415) 531-4091.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

New Jobs Up--More Opportunity in Homes!

One thing that has always remained true, year in and year out, is the relationship of the employment market to the housing market.  As jobs go, so goes the real estate market.

The Golden State was responsible for a sizable share of the country’s new jobs last month and continues to outpace the nation in terms of employment growth.nowhiring516
In its latest jobs report, the California Employment Development Department says that the state added 59,600 positions in April after a slow March in which only 4,200 new jobs were created. The state’s robust job growth accounted for more than one-third of the 160,000 positions created across the U.S. last month.
According to a separate report from the Palo Alto-based Center For Continuing Study of the California Economy, the state has added 450,000 jobs over the past year for a growth rate of 2.8 percent, compared with 1.9 percent growth nationwide. California continued to close the gap between the state and U.S. unemployment rates, with jobless claims falling to 5.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, the lowest since June 2007. U.S. Department of Labor statistics put the national unemployment rate at 5.0 in April, unchanged from March.
The Bay Area’s high-octane economy continued its run in April, with jobless claims dropping in all nine counties month over month. San Mateo County again had the state’s lowest unemployment rate — 2.9 percent on a nonseasonally adjusted basis. According to the EDD’s historic employment data, the last time unemployment dropped below 3 percent in the county was February 2001, just before the dot-com bubble popped.
San Francisco and Marin counties had California’s second-lowest number of unemployed residents, at 3.1 percent, followed by Santa Clara (3.6 percent) and Sonoma (3.8 percent) counties. Napa County tied Orange County for the state’s sixth-lowest unemployment rate at 3.9 percent, the first time jobless claims have dipped below 4 percent there since October 2007.
In the East Bay, jobless claims dropped to 4.1 percent in Alameda County and 4.3 percent in Contra Costa County. Solano County’s unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, putting it in line with the statewide average.
In a recent analysis of the Bay Area’s economy, Pacific Union Vice President of Business Intelligence and Chief Economist Selma Hepp wrote that the Bay Area added 118,000 jobs between March 2015 and March 2016. The region is following statewide trends, with the largest job gains in the high-tech and construction sectors. Hepp expects economic growth throughout the region to continue, pointing to the fact that the San Jose metro area has the largest number of job openings in the country.
“I’m very encouraged by the latest job-growth numbers, especially in light of recent fears around a tech-employment downturn,” Hepp says. “April’s numbers showed 13,100 new jobs were added from the month before in the Bay Area, and most of those jobs are in the tech and construction industries. Strong employment growth suggests pressures on the housing market will continue, and 2016 will be another solid year for the Bay Area, with lingering concerns over a lack of homes for sale and especially those in affordable price ranges”

These facts affect your local real estate market.  Take advantage of them whether you're considering selling or buying!

While you're considering these stats, if you have any questions on housing, give us a call. Peter; (415) 279-6466; Jane (415) 531-4091. As always, we'd be happy to help.