Friday, September 28, 2012

SCV Realtor Thoughts

Reading all kinds of stuff this morning. A lot about the 'cooling' trend of housing. A ton about the 3.4% interest rates too.

Today, is all about opinion....mine. Experience....mine. Summary of thoughts....mine.

Housing has slowed. Okay, yes, we're getting close to holidays and loans are still (as they should be) a bit challenging for some to obtain. One point that makes sense. No, I don't think the slowing down has anything to do with a housing bubble.

Interest rates @ 3.4%. Well, HELLO, we knew they'd be held down. QE 3 and all....who knows what will really happen in 2013 though.

Buyers ~ The first 1/2 of 2012 seemed like all my clients were buyers. Oh, wait, not all, but 90%, yes. Now, just as the tables have turned on the MLS regarding Short-Sales vs Traditional sellers, so have my client needs. I am now working with 90% ~ Sellers. 1/2 Traditional, 1/2 SS.

But what does that mean? Is it just my 'dumb luck' that I'm working with mostly sellers now? Maybe, but I don't think so.

In my humble opinion, I believe the housing has hit its bottom and is on the way up. I know, for certain as I've done the math, it is also less expensive to buy now than it was a few years ago, even one year ago, regardless of an increase in prices.

Buyers, you need to buy now. Figure out a way to make it happen. I believe that some of the slowness is exasperation on the buyers side, frustration, tired of the battle to find a home. And, yes, some would be the challenge to get a loan. If you can't get a loan, do something to fix your problem and try to buy a home before they get out of your affordability range.

Sellers, sell if you need to, or want a move up property. Although we are seeing a moderate increase in home prices due to lack of inventory....don't expect to see 2006 prices anytime soon. And, I think a few of my sellers know that we may bet a few more listings in the beginning of 2013 so sell now when the competition is scant.

My thoughts, enjoy. Your thoughts?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Shadow Inventory Is Definitely Decreasing

If you don't read the news, you won't know this. But, here it is ~ THE SHADOW INVENTORY IS DEFINITELY DECREASING! And, that means housing recovery.

There, should I stop writing? Hah, nope...wanted to share JPMorgan Chase's research numbers with you.

1.2 million homes are no longer considered in the shadow, as of the first half of this year. If that progress continues, we could be down to only 4 million. But, that is great news, down from 6m in 2010! 335,000 in Short-Sales, 420,000 in loan mods, and about 470,000 REO's sold in those numbers.

Expected by the end of the year numbers:

Sell 950k REO's, 670k Short-Sales, and 800k total loan mods.

Right now we have almost 11 million people underwater in their home loans. Prices are certainly going up in Santa Clarita Valley and San Fernando Valley. If prices continue to improve, Chase's estimate of a 10% increase, then we'd only have about 9 million people paying on their homes that they owe more than it's currently worth.

What say you???

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bank Of America Cutting Jobs, Of Course

Bank Of America is cutting in LA Times today. Of course they are....I'm pretty sure the other from the Big 5 will cut back as well. And, the medium 4....and many other banks too.

16k jobs, 200 branches and shrinking of the mortgage operation. Ultimately cutting back 30k jobs to save some 5 billion.

I get that, downgrading of junior investment bankers, consumer banking employees, and the ones overseeing new mortgages. The peeps in the Global Wealth and Investment Management sector will remain untouched.

But, let's face it, a lot of jobs were added due to the housing crisis....and a lot of jobs will get cut as the number of employees needed reduces.

Interesting that Bank of America left the wholesale lending business a while ago and kept their loans in B of A. With their cutting back of new mortgage employees, I wonder if they will get back into the wholesale market again. I hope so because I wasn't too happy with the last B of A mortgage rep one of my clients tried to work with!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wall of Shame? Funny, Interesting Read!

I honestly don't know where I read the article, but one this morning I'm sharing. "The Wall of Shame". I believe it was happening in Seattle?

At any rate, many of the homes that have been foreclosed upon, and remain vacant, are being posted on a website with bank information, etc. The city feels that these banks are not doing their due diligence in keeping the properties maintained as they are to by law.

I know a Canyon Country family that has one of these homes on their street and the bank has been less than responsive to their concerns, health being a huge red flag. The family has sent numerous letters to the bank to no avail.

So, this little city mayor has set up the Wall of Shame and is posting pictures of the homes. Citing the banks, placing liens against them if the fees are not being paid. Anything they think might make the bank stand up and take notice, they are attempting.

With all the Social Media Networking that Santa Clarita Valley residents do, we'd have a great tool for publicizing any banks lack of responsibility.

However, I'm not seeing the dilapidated homes now as much as we were a few years ago spread around our beautiful, albeit scorching hot, little valley. I used to be able to drive around and point out foreclosures around SCV, today not so much.

Fees were put into effect, $1000.00/day, as I recall, if the banks were not keeping the lawns, pools, etc. maintained.

At any rate, I think a Wall of Shame could be another way to help keep the banks in line. You?

Friday, September 14, 2012

What Will QE3 Do For Real Estate?

It's the talk of the news today. Federal Reserve to buy Mortgage Backed Securities at the rate of 40 BILLION per month. Starting at 85 Billion per month thru the end of the year, then going to the 40 Billion per month amount.

What does this mean for Real Estate? The interest rates are now supposed to be kept in this 3% bracket through 2015. QE3 hopes to help the jobless rate, the housing crisis, the economy in general is to be improved.

I watched a great video and read a couple of terrific articles. Google QE3 and you'll find out a ton of information.

To me, my friends, associates, means that rates will continue to be low and that will help people afford homes. 

Certainly not a miracle cure, none of the programs have been. Just another pill for the cure of the housing crisis.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

First FHFA REO Bulk Sale Awarded

A while ago we heard that REO's were going to be sold in bulk to investors. I have read that the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) is against this. The C.A.R. feels, rightfully so, that we need the listings on the market for traditional home buyers.

The bulk sales are going to be sold to investors, after they have determined they are worthy of the properties and will do with them what the FHFA had intended.

Many are occupied, so the investors will become landlords. The first bulk sale was in Florida, one of the hardest hit states of the housing bust. 699 units were in this transaction, just over 500 had people living in them. The estimated value to Fannie Mae is 78.1 million. These properties were apparently sold at near, or even above, market value.

Through this pilot program, almost 2500 Fannie Mae foreclosed homes are scheduled for bulk sale in neighborhoods of Las Vegas, Phoenix, Chicago, Nevada, Arizona, and the Riverside and Los Angeles areas of California.

Bulk sales in housing...not sure if this is a good idea or not. While we want to clear out as many REO's as fast as possible with the least amount of burden to the taxpayers....we really need more homes for our buyers.....What say you?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Santa Clarita MLS Stats

Wow, how the tables have turned!

I make no guarantee on the accuracy of what type of listing is marked in our MLS...there are errors, trust me....but, you'll get the picture! That would be why the numbers don't add up to the totals....all the time...

Total number of ACTIVE listings in our Santa Clarita Valley communities: 391 ~ Obscenely low inventory!
Of that obscene inventory:
Standard Sales ~ 253
Short-Sales ~ 99
REO's ~ 35

Total that are either in PENDING or Supposedly taking BACK-UP offers: 1132, Crazy, isn't it?
Of that crazy number:
Standard Sales ~ 237
Short-Sales ~ 807
REO's ~ 80

And, the number of SOLD, or closed escrow in the last 30 days: 325 ~ Pretty typical.
Of that typical amount:
Standard Sales ~ 132
Short-Sales ~ 144
REO's ~ 50

While, again, I am happy that more Standard Sellers are able to come on the market, we still have a ways to go.

 More REO's would be nice to have to sell, wouldn't they?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

About 1/2 Paid Out for ROBO Settlement Already

Seems like we are all hearing more and more success stories about Short-Sales completing, Loan Modifications working, and Principal Reductions being authorized. Don't yell at me! I know it's not happening for everyone, but it is happening, and for the ones that are eligible, it's happening a tad quicker.

Apparently to the tune of about 140,000 homeowners and 10.6 Billion dollars in the second quarter of this year. The 5 big banks that were part of the Robo-Signing Settlement ~ Bank of America, Chase, Ally, Wells Fargo, and Citi ~ have all been working hard to follow through on the terms of the settlement.

The largest category of relief so far, no surprise, is in Short-Sales. Tons of them happening, lots of short pay-offs. And, Bank of America is the one that has provided the most relief to the struggling homeowners.

California, my beautiful state, received the most money of any state, with about 4.6 billion in assistance.

I wonder though, what do you think will happen when the 25 billion settlement is fulfilled?