August 2015

Found 21 blog entries for August 2015.

Over the next decade, Americans will emerge from their childhood bedrooms or rental apartments and start becoming homeowners again, a new report says.

Homeownership has plunged to its lowest level in half a century. But over the next decade the country will see a surge in new household formation, with many of those families choosing to own rather than rent.

By 2024, the U.S. will create between 14 million and 16 million new households, according to the report to be released Tuesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Of those, as many as 13 million will be owners and as few as three million will be renters, the bankers say.

The report says that as many as 1.3 million additional owner households will be created each year. That is a

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California pending home sales soared from the previous year in July, posting the strongest year-over-year increase in more than six years, CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.
In a separate report, California REALTORS® responding to C.A.R.’s July Market Pulse Survey saw a reduction in floor calls, listing appointments, and open house traffic, compared with June. The Market Pulse Survey is a monthly online survey of more than 300 California REALTORS®, which measures data about their last closed transaction and sentiment about business activity in their market area for the previous month and the last year.

Pending home sales data:

• The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* climbed 17 percent on an annual basis to 122.3 in July, based on

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What’s up with mortgage rates? Jeff Lazerson of Mortgage Grader in Laguna Niguel gives us his take.


From Freddie Mac’s weekly survey: The 30-year fixed improved 9 big basis points, dropping to 3.84 from last week’s 3.93 percent. Ditto for the 15-year, better by 9 basis points, dropping to 3.06 percent from last week’s 3.15 percent.

BOTTOM LINE: Assuming a borrower gets the average 30-year conforming fixed rate on a $417,000 loan, last year’s rate of 4.10 percent and payment of $2,014 is $62 more than this week’s payment of $1,952.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports unchanged loan application volume from the previous week.

WHAT I SEE: From rate sheets hitting my desk that are not part of Freddie Mac’s survey: Locally,

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Cal State Fullerton continues to be among the nation's "Best Bang for the Buck" universities, according to Washington Monthly, which released its annual rankings of "schools that do the best job helping non-rich students earn marketable degrees at affordable prices."

Cal State Fullerton is No. 7 in the West and No. 5 in California for "best value." Washington Monthly describes the "Best Bang for the Buck" ranking as "the best value for your money based on 'net' (not sticker) price, how well [institutions] do graduating the students they admit, and whether those students go on to earn at least enough to pay off their loans."

This is the fourth consecutive year, CSUF has been selected for the list, which put the University of Washington-Seattle at the

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Just Google it. A new tool we never knew we needed has just rolled out from deep within the goat-maintained Googleplex. Project Sunroof, engineered by East Coast Googler Carl Elkin, proves to solar-skeptical homeowners that solar power is attainable, affordable and practical. And who wouldn’t trust the all-knowing Google?

The concept: plug in your address and the big G estimates how much you could save by going solar, with the help of a few self-set indicators. The tool also generates the amount of roof space available to accommodate solar panels and the hours your roof soaks up sun each year, taking into account factors like sun positions, local climate, roof orientation and surrounding shade. It’s basically Google Earth, but more sunshine-y.


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With home affordability a big challenge to the budgets of many house hunters, is it any surprise that condos are a hot seller in Orange County this summer?

CoreLogic reported that in the 22 business days ending July 22, 1,028 existing condos were sold -- up 17.9 percent from a year ago. Compare that to an 11.6 percent year-over-year gain for the overall market. Or a 10 percent drop in condo sales last year vs. 2013.

And condos are still a relative bargain. The median selling price for condos in the last period was $408,500 – up 2.5 percent from a year ago. That’s quite a savings vs. Orange County's overall median selling price for all residences: $613,000 -- up 3.1 percent compared to a year ago.

Price does move the market. Sales in Orange County’s

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A Mediterranean-style residence set atop a rock promontory jutting into the Pacific Ocean. A house tricked out with a sushi bar and a tequila tasting room carved into a coastal cliff. Homes along private, sandy coves, or in enclaves at harbor’s edge, or perched high atop guard-gated hilltops.

Like their rarefied, secluded settings, Orange County’s top-dollar houses inhabit their own real estate market.

Now that 2015 has passed the halfway mark, how is the luxe slice looking?

“I am expecting a strong second half of the year with the same trends as the first half of 2015,” said Steve High, president of Villa Real Estate. The firm was involved in what public records indicate was the priciest Orange County home sale in the first six months of the year:

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Orange County housing's upper crust cooled off a bit in July.

It was the busiest July in a decade, with 3,692 Orange County residences sold in the period, up 15.5 percent from a year ago. Sales rose in 58 of 83 Orange County ZIPs compared to the year-ago period.

Digging into CoreLogic's July report on homebuying trends, my trusty spreadsheet tells me the high-priced local niches did not keep pace:

• In the nine Orange County ZIP codes with median selling prices above $1 million, sales totaled 226 homes in July, down 4.2 percent compared to a year ago.

• In the 27 priciest ZIPs -- median sales price beginning at $710,000 -- sales in July were up 12.3 percent compared to a year ago.

• Builders sold 228 new homes in July, down 34.1 percent from a

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