December 2013

Found 24 blog entries for December 2013.

Fullerton California...

The Fed announced that part of their stimulus package will be pulled back. It doesn't come as a surprise, since they said it may come earlier than 2014 (as they had promised to wait until that time), but this package has kept long-term mortgage rates at a low that has never been recorded in Real Estate history...

2013 was a phenomenal year for buyers, being able to purchase a house with these incredibly low rates. However, despite the rise in mortgage rates, buyers can still take advantage of rates currently capping at 4.3%. What buyers need to realize is that waiting will be costly as these rates are bound to increase the more we go into 2014 to a possible 5.5% interest rate. Buyers, even if you are not ready, the market may

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Fullerton California...

Dow Jones Industrial Average is up over 25% and the S&P 500 up over 29%, year-to-date. The Nasdaq, which lists a different, tech-heavy group of stocks and has no physical trading floor, is up over 37% year-to-date. This type of stock market rise in 2013 shows real potential of a market recovery in all general economic factors for the new 2014 year, including Real Estate.

For the week, the three major stock indexes posted gains once again. November Personal Income and December Michigan Consumer Sentiment missed estimates. But Core PCE Prices showed inflation crept up just 0.1% in November and is up only 1.1% the past year. Durable Goods Orders and New Home Sales both beat expectations for November. Best of all,

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Fullerton, California...

Sales volume came in at an annual rate of 464,000 in November. This was only a 2.1% slip from October's five-year high, so most of those gains were retained in November, and this beat consensus expectations. Many observers see continued momentum in new home sales, as the median price rose again in November and is now up 10.6% from a year ago. Inventory is down to a 4.3 months' supply. 

Of course, a lot remains to be done. The annual sales rate is still below the 700,000 pace economists say indicates a more healthy new home market, yet builders feel positive. The chairman of the National Association of Home Builders commented, "NAHB's member increasing confidence."

Good news for the overall housing

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Brea, California....

New home production tops 1 million in November.  Led by a solid increase in both single-family and multifamily starts, nationwide housing production rose 22.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million in November, according to figures released by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Single-family starts posted a 20.8 percent gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 727,000 units in November, which was their fastest rate since December of 2007. Multifamily production was up 26 percent to 364,000 units. Regionally, combined starts activity rose 41.7 percent in the Midwest, 38.5 percent in the South, and 8.8 percent in the West, but fell 29.4 percent in the Northeast.

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Brea, California....

Fannie Mae etends first look opportunity for home buyers.  Fannie Mae announced that its First Look period will be extended to 20 days, providing additional time for owner-occupants and public entities to submit an offer on a HomePath property without competition from investors. The change is effective for properties listed on or after Jan. 2, 2014.

First Look is designed to promote owner occupancy and allows both families and public sector entities to submit offers on Fannie Mae-owned properties without competition from investors. Prospective buyers can search for properties and easily identify how many days remain on a property’s First Look period by visiting The First Look logo appears next to each qualifying property.

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Brea, California...

December 2013 U.S. economic and housing market outlook.  Freddie Mac released its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for December showing that housing affordability is being challenged as the year comes to an end.

Highlights from the Outlook include:

  • At a 4.4 percent interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage that prevailed in the third quarter of 2013, more than 70 percent of the country remained affordable. All of the North Central region remained affordable, while just 36 percent of the West remained affordable.
  • At a 5 percent rate (and no change in prices/income) approximately 63 percent of the country would be affordable, at 6 percent mortgage rates 55 percent would be affordable, and at 7 percent
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Fullerton, California....

Anyone hoping for an end-of-the-year Santa Claus rally to begin early had those hopes dashed last week, as Wall Street investors sent stock prices down, fearing the Fed will start tapering its bond buying program at this week's FOMC meeting. The Dow and S&P 500 sailed south for the second week in a row, and this time they were joined by the tech-heavy Nasdaq. There wasn't a lot of economic news, so traders were free to obsess over the coming Fed meeting. Now, a growing number of investors and economists think the central bank will announce the beginning of tapering on Wednesday.

In addition to sending stock prices up, the extra money the Fed has been pouring into the economy was intended to stimulate it. So tapering would be a

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Fullerton, California....

Keeping Sir Winston's words in mind, let's consider some prognostications coming out now about the real estate market in 2014. A national online listing site sees housing becoming a little less affordable and repeat buyers emerging as the market's dominant players. The site's chief economist explained, "repeat buyers will be able to offset the higher price of the home they buy with the higher price from the home they sell." This expert also sees mortgage rates creeping up, although he feels that should make the mortgage process easier, as lenders shift resources from refinancings to purchase loans.

Freddie Mac's chief economist revealed that "single family mortgage debt outstanding increased for the first time since 2008." He

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Brea, California....

The economy is improving. As an example, the latest employment report showed that the unemployment rate hit a five-year low. We must realize that, as the economic news gets better, the government will consider whether or not to continue the programs they put in place to stimulate the economy. One such program is the Fed’s purchasing of assets which has led to historically low long-term mortgage rates.

Analysts at Capital Economics noted in a recent HousingWire article:

"The 203,000 increase in November's non-farm payrolls, along with the drop in the unemployment rate to a five-year low of 7.0%, gives the Fed all the evidence it needs to begin tapering its asset purchases at the next FOMC meeting later this month."

Whether such

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Brea, California....
Perhaps you’ve known someone who raised money for a documentary or civic project by making an appeal through crowd funding on the Internet. Now, the concept of pooled resources is being used as an investment vehicle offering equities in homeownership to investors and loan assistance to selected prospective homeowners.

One of the first companies to offer such a program is PRIMARQ, a San Francisco, California-based capital market company that uses equity shares to enable a person to be the major equity owner in a property that otherwise would have been difficult or impossible for that person to obtain. In addition, investors are able to purchase partial equities in the property.

The creative mind behind this movement is Steve Cinelli,

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