Thursday, November 29, 2012

Santa Clarita MLS Stats

MLS stats for Santa Clarita Valley ~ Including Acton, Agua Dulce, Canyon Country, Saugus, Newhall, Castaic, Valencia, Stevenson Ranch & Val Verde.

ACTIVE Listings: 295
Short-Sales: 47
REO's: 26

PENDING or taking BACK-UP Offers: 1027
Short-Sales: 729
REO's: 64

CLOSED sales in the last 30 days: 289
Short-Sales: 141
REO's: 25

Less closed, but don't forget we did have a holiday. More traditional sellers on the market.

Prices are going up, inventory is going down. Mortgage rates are staying low. 

As I keep saying, if you can find a home to buy, grab it! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Current Push To Extend The Debt Relief Act

FORTY ONE state attorney generals are urging congress to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act past the current expiration date of 12/31/12.

It is spearheaded by 4 state AG's with the strength of the Robo-Signing Settlement behind them. It is noted that with the 25 billion settlement many homeowners that are in the midst of short-sales, loan modifications, and principal reductions could all be stuck with a tax bill in 2013 if there is no extension.

It has been in the Obama 2013 budget for quite some time but we all know that budget has not been finalized, and who knows when it will be.

I've got mixed feelings about extending it. Rip the bandaid off and be done with it? But, as we are still teetering on the edge of recovery, I am now leaning towards one more year. I think it's taken so long to get the process of housing assistance moving in the right direction, at a more appropriate speed. The thought of pulling that bandaid of the Debt Relief Act off now, may just make the wound heal at a significantly reduced pace than what we were starting to see recently.

Rip it off quickly, peel it back slowly....what are your suggestions?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Think The Fiscal Cliff Will Take Away Your Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction?

It's big news this last few weeks, calling it the Fiscal Cliff. Yes, we are on the edge.

Regarding Real Estate and our favorite of homeowner deduction, this is the skinny on what changes may occur. Although I don't think it will be completely taken away, the majority of Americans will be affected by it very minimally even with the suggested changes.

Examples here of what it may do if it passes:

Make less than 40k a year and you normally save about 100 bucks with that write-off. Not a lot of that earning bracket even itemizes their deductions so they don't get the cash. Under 250k? average savings on your taxes is between 1200-2600/year. Nice little chunk of change. Those big earners of over 250k annually, and ALL of them itemize, average tax break is 5400.

Several suggestions for changes to the mortgage interest deduction, which, right now, reduces income tax revenue almost 80 billion per year, are as follows:

1) Cap the deduction at 500k of the homes value and only for primary residences.
2) Limit the overall deduction to just 25k worth of mortgage interest.
3) Eliminating it for any tax payers that earn 250k or more.
4) Removing the benefit for 2nd homes.
5) Take the deduction away entirely.

So, be aware of the interest deduction, the fiscal cliff too. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Plenty of Foreclosures Cancelled In California

By now most of us have heard about the California law that goes into effect in 2013, banning the dual-tracking by lenders. Which means they couldn't move forward with foreclosure proceedings while a borrower was working on a loan modification or short-sale.

The amount of foreclosures that were cancelled in California bumped up to 62.1 percent from September to October and almost 37% over a one year period.

We don't know what this will do the recovery. Consider that the banks seem to be working harder at getting mods and short-sales done...but, what if they aren't approved, aren't acceptable to the borrowers....does that mean the foreclosure timeline will start all over again and therefor the housing recovery be stalled even further?

I would have to say yes...and then we'd certainly be working with more distressed properties.....still.....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

National Association of Realtors Forecast for Housing and the Economy

Great article I read this morning that I wanted to share, word for word, with my blog readers!


NAR Makes Forecast on Housing, Economy

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) offered market projections into 2014 during a forum at the 2012 Realtors Conference and Expo.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun says he expects the market share of distressed sales to fall from about 25 percent in 2012 to 8 percent in 2014, according to a release on the forum.

Mark Vitner, managing director and senior economist at Wells Fargo, was one of the speakers at the NAR forum. Vitner compared distressed homes to an after-Christmas sale stating, “most of the best stuff has been picked over, but make no mistake they’ll be with us for a while.”

The housing recovery was expected to continue so long as credit does not further tighten and a fiscal cliff is avoided.

The rise in home prices should also stay. Yun predicted a 6 percent rise in the median existing-home price in 2012, with another 5.1 percent increase next year and comparable gains in 2014.

Existing-home sales were projected to move higher year-after-year: a 9 percent increase this year to 4.64 million, 5.05 million in 2013, and 5.3 million in 2014.

Mortgage interest rates were expected to eventually increase to an average of 4 percent next year, and inflationary pressure should cause rates to go up to 4.6 percent in 2014, the NAR said in the release.

Yun projected a higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the coming years, with GDP expected to be 2.1 percent this year and rise to 2.5 percent in 2013. The unemployment rate should also fall to about 7.6 percent in 2013.

Yun stressed that the “projections assume Congress will largely avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’ scenario.”

“While we’re hopeful that something can be accomplished, the alternative would be a likely recession, so automatic spending cuts and tax increases need to be addressed quickly,” Yun added.

Friday, November 9, 2012

35 Million Committed to Soldiers By Wells Fargo

New hiring, donation of REO properties, and financial education the tune of Thirty-Five Million dollars from Wells Fargo. Nice!

The properties will be given to non-profit organizations that serve the military. Money will be set aside for ways to help soldiers via 'philanthropic endeavors'.

November 14-30, WF customers can donate via their ATM's as well. The donations will end up going to various organizations that assist the military.

Short, sweet, good news!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

FHFA's 3rd Winner for REO Bulk Sale

Colony Capital is the big winner in the SW states it would appear. They were able to purchase 970 properties from Southern California, Arizona and Nevada. They are a private firm out of California.

Wonder what kind of moolah FHFA got for the sale? 176 million smackeroos. Value was apparently placed at 156.8 million. Hmmm, could you say there was a profit made by FHFA? Hardly. Surely, the Colony Capital people see extreme value here.

California Association of Realtors was strongly opposed to the bulk sales saying that we, here in Cali, need homes for buyers to purchase. And, they feel that it will stall the housing recovery by not having those homes available for sale through normal channels.

I'm not sure I complete agree with C.A.R. I believe we definitely need homes for sale, but I also believe by selling these in bulk we can get the REO's cleared out faster.

What's your opinion on REO bulk sales?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Ways To Help Keep Your Rentals Filled...If You Didn't Already Know

We're all hearing that housing seems to be rebounding. A ways to go, of course. but it is looking better.

As a local Realtor I do have people that purchase investment properties, myself included. So, just a tidbit of reminder information to help keep your rental properties occupied. Once more people start buying again, those after Short-Sale or Foreclosure, we may have a few more vacancies. I know, I know, I keep harping on that. I'm a nag. 

Regardless of my naggyness (is that even a word), if you'd like, please see below for some suggestions:

1) Similar to when we list a house for sale ~ Use lots of PHOTOS on your advertisements. People respond to photographs much better than the written word. And, it will help eliminate the ones that, in person, find the property not appropriate to them. Saves you time...time = money.

2) Video ~ yup. Take a video, you can do it! When it's vacant, unless there have been major changes, take it when there is no one living there. You can use the same one over and over again. People love those videos and using the same one again? Hmmm, saves time....time = money.

3) Start the search for new tenants before your unit is vacant. And, if your current tenants are good ones, OMG, ask them first if they know anyone. They can be a great referral source for you.  Work with your tenants, if they are the good kind, to show your property. They don't generally like when someone comes if they are out, so arrange it when they are there. They can practically advertise it for you....again, if they are good and happy tenants. This will help to avoid a long time with the unit being empty....time = money.

4) Use advertisement sites wisely. Make sure you are getting the quality prospective tenants from whatever advertising you are doing. Always ask the applicants where they saw your ad. Take note of where they come from and learn by the quality of applicants you get which places to stop advertising. Less time spent on those sites that don't refer quality. ....time = money.