Sunday, December 14, 2008

What Does 2009 Hold In Store For Santa Rosa Real Estate

clipped from
Home prices in the nations 10 biggest metro areas are projected to keep falling in 2009, with Miami and Los Angeles suffering most.
Metro area2009 median home price2009 change
New York393,210-13.7
Los Angeles269,614-17.2
Notes: Prices are projections for the end of 2009. Change is from the end of 2008.

Source: Moody's

Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the perpetually optimistic National Association of Realtors, says he expects prices to rise 2.8% in 2009.

Go to to see how much nearby homes fetched recently. Once you've figured out what a buyer might pay, price your house 5% below that.

 blog it

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mortgage Rates Drop to Lowest Level Since April

A bit of good news for the Santa Rosa real estate market that will help both buyers and sellers. The government takeover of Fannie and Freddie has had the desired effect of lowing mortgage rates. The lower rates mean more people will qualify for home loans and be able to the home loan payments.

One thing for sure, this is a very exciting time in the real estate business.
clipped from

Freddie Mac reported Thursday that its nationwide survey found that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages dipped to 5.93 percent this week, down from 6.35 percent last week.

"This is the most significant positive benefit of the government takeover of Fannie and Freddie," Zandi said. "I think it is important that rates have fallen below the key 6 percent benchmark and hopefully rates will move lower in coming weeks."

 blog it

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pending Sales Fall in June - How Does It Impact Santa Rosa Real Estate?

Another indication of weak housing market at the national level. It is unclear how this effects the local Santa Rosa real estate market.
clipped from

The National Association of Realtors said its seasonally adjusted index of pending sales for existing homes fell 3.2 percent to a reading of 86.5 from an upwardly revised June reading of 89.4. The index was 6.8 percent below year-ago levels.

Lawrence Yun, the trade group's chief economist, forecasts U.S. home sales are on a pace to fall 11 percent from last year to just over 5 million in 2008. Yun also says that stringent lending criteria by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- the mortgage finance companies taken over by the government this weekend held back sales activity.

 blog it

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fannie and Freddie Bail Out or Take Over?

The treasury Department announced on Sunday that they are buying out Freddie and Fannie to the tune of $100 billion each - representing 80% of the companies. This step is good news for home purchasers as it is expected to lower interest rates for new mortgages though it will provide little relief for those already in trouble.

Think of this as the beginning of the end of the worst financial collapse since the great depression.
clipped from

The plan to inject up to $100 billion in each of the government-chartered mortgage companies could not only help lower mortgage rates but, some investors are hoping, buoy the overall economy. The plan could help banks feel more open to write new mortgages and to refinance existing mortgages at lower rates, offering a possible lifeline to consumers struggling with increasing payments.

Dave Rovelli, managing director of U.S. equity trading at Canaccord Adams in New York, said while the plan boosts confidence in sectors like financials and home builders, it doesn't immediately alleviate worries about other areas of the economy. Still, he said the move was far more welcome than a collapse of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

 blog it

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Foreclosures in Poor Condition Drive Real Estate Prices Lower

Adding insult to injury, the condition of foreclosed homes drives the price down even further. As I reported in an earlier post, July sales numbers we fueled by foreclosure sales with many in poor or downright horrible condition.
clipped from

"Part of the reason home prices are declining is a fundamental deterioration in the housing stock," said Glenn Kelman, CEO of the online, discount broker Redfin. "During the boom, nine out of 10 houses for sale in many markets were in prime condition. Now, for every 10 houses, at least three are dogs."

"I've never seen so many houses in this condition before," said Ray Anderson of Buyer's Advantage Real Estate in Auburn Calif., near Sacramento. "And I've been in the business 20 years. I've seen bank-owned properties in the past. They were never like this."

Nationally 18.6% of all homes sold during the three months ended June 30 were foreclosures, compared with just 7% during the same period a year earlier, and 3.1% in 2006, according to the real estate Web site And that doesn't include short sales, which is when a home is sold for less than the mortgage balance and the bank forgives the unpaid balance and also account for a lot of sales in many areas.

 blog it

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How Far to the Bottom of the Santa Rosa Real Estate Market?

Always the question and everyone has an opinion on when the Santa Rosa real estate market will bottom out. It looks like some think the historical prices are still way out of whack and we should see declines for another year.

My analysis says houses that our priced at 2000-2001 price levels are selling in 30-60 days. Houses priced higher are not selling at all.
clipped from
Price To Rent.png

Asha calculates the price-to-rent ratio using the Case-Shiller price
index and the "Owner's Equivalent Rent" component of the CPI.  The
horizontal "means" in her chart are one standard deviation above the
long term mean (i.e., they're not the average...they're a
standard-deviation higher than the average*). The higher mean includes
the high prices of the bubble years, and the lower one doesn't. Either
way, it's clear that house prices are still well above their long-term
average level relative to rents. (And don't forget that prices spend
about half the time below the average).

 blog it

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Home Sales Up But Still at Record Low Levels

Watching this real estate market closely is an obsession of mine. Almost daily there are stories written and statistics published that taken all together, begin to show a picture.

And studying the micro market of Santa Rosa, more specifically, home sales in Bennett Valley - the picture is clear. Good home priced at 2001-2002 levels will sell. All others sit on the market for 120 days or longer as the home inventories continue to grow.
clipped from

The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that new-home sales rose by 2.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 515,000 units, the most since April. But sales in June had plummeted to a pace of just 503,000 — down from previous estimates of 530,000 — to mark the worst showing since September 1991.

The average price of a new-home sold in July was $294,600, down 4.1 percent from a year ago. The median home price — where half sell for more and half for less — was $230,700, down 6.3 percent from last year.

The National Association of Realtors reported Monday that sales of previously-owned homes rose in July as discounts lured buyers. However, the number of unsold properties hit an all-time high, an indication that the worst housing slump in decades is far from over.

blog it

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Down Payment Return to Home Sales in Santa Rosa

The days of zero down for real estate in Santa Rosa are over as we experience the end of the financial market collapse. The good news is that home prices are very attractive now so for families that have saved a down payment, or investors with cash on hand now is a great time to pick up deals.
clipped from

Over the past 18 months, the mortgage market has changed more rapidly than in any comparable period since the Great Depression. From the standpoint of borrowers, two changes are of paramount importance. The first is an increase in day-to-day price volatility. The second is a tightening of underwriting requirements, with higher down payment requirements the centerpiece. That is the subject of this article.

When the market turned and home prices began to decline in late 2006 and 2007, down payment requirements had to be drastically revamped. Just as rising prices generate homeowner equity, falling prices destroy it. There are no zero-down loans anymore, except the VA loan for veterans. FHA loans remain available at 3 percent down for smaller amounts, but conventional loans now generally require 10 percent down, and in some areas it is higher. On top of this, lenders now want most borrowers to have good credit scores and to fully document their incomes.

 blog it

Friday, August 22, 2008

When will the bottom of the real estate market happen?

Well,no one knows for sure when Santa Rosa real estate will bottom out but some models suggest that we may be getting close. Lets all keep our fingers crossed that Santa Rosa home prices will start back up.
clipped from

The New York Times asked economists across the country to share the data they use to figure out how much houses in regional markets are overvalued, a calculation that approximates where the bottom may be. Models built on these variables show that while some markets — such as California — are on a road to recovery, others — such as south Florida — have a way to go.

 blog it

Monday, August 18, 2008

Real Estate Prices Drop as Sales Increase

Southern California reports some interesting news in July real estate numbers. Massive reduction in median home prices (31%+) boosted home sales by 16%. But the interesting part is the fact that 44% of all sales were for foreclosed properties. When you put this into human terms, we're talking about a huge number of families in trouble. The social costs of the real estate meltdown will be felt for years to come.
clipped from

The median price for all homes and condo sales — including new and existing models — dropped to $348,000 in the six-county region last month, down from the market peak of $505,000 in July 2007 and down slightly from $355,000 in June, MDA DataQuick said.

Foreclosures accounted for 43.6 percent of all resold properties last month, up from 7.9 percent in July 2007 and a revised 41.8 percent in June.

 blog it

Sunday, August 17, 2008

2009 Recovery for Santa Rosa Real Estate

clipped from

"Home prices in the US are likely to start to stabilize or touch bottom sometime in the first half of 2009," former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said Thursday.

"The correction isn't over," the TD Bank analysts said, adding that prices have further to fall, particularly in "cities such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Miami which saw the largest price gains."

"The rising share of foreclosed homes in overall sales bodes negatively for home prices," said Ethan Harris, chief US economist at Lehman Brothers, who sees prices falling between 25 and 30 percnt in the correction phase of a cycle he sees ending in late 2009.

"The light at the end of the tunnel is a faint and distant one. Further, the risks to this outlook weigh heavily on the downside, with the main risk being the potential for financial markets to unravel further," said Celia Chen, director of housing economics at Moody's

 blog it

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Bright Side to the Real Estate Mess?

I ran across an article that had a certain bright side (sort of) to the real estate downturn. It seems that it is keeping families together because they can't afford to sell their house at a loss. Now the reality is this is a big mess. If your relationship is over and you can't afford to sell the house to divide your assets I don't think this will make a happy home life. But maybe, just maybe, some of the couples will work through this hard time an come out stronger.

Ok, I'm an incurable romantic....
But lawyers and financial planners anecdotally say they are seeing more clients staying married – if only for the time being – simply because they cannot afford to break up.
“Truthfully, it’s a mess,” says Carol Chumney, a family-law attorney in Memphis, Tenn. “There are a lot of folks who want to get a divorce, and the house is an impediment because nobody wants it.”
Of course, not all divorcing couples are able to get along well enough to minimize their losses. “A lot of times both of them cannot agree on what to do,” Chumney said. “It can be a huge financial mess. In the past a lot of times folks wanted to keep the house, and lately, that’s not the case.”
blog it

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Santa Rosa Home Sales for week of July 20

Real Estate sales in Santa Rosa are up for this week. Here is a selection of homes that sold in Santa Rosa California.

170 Sotoyome St., $1,050,000

1788 Cooper Drive, $240,000

519 W. Eighth St., $290,000

300 Stony Point Road, $150,000

2500 Campbell Drive, $298,645

706 W. Jasmine Circle, $220,000

609 Dillon Lane, $285,000

3530 Fir Drive $400,000

1826 Arroyo Sierra Circle, $310,000

310 Mockingbird Circle, $430,000

431 Pythian Road, $610,000

128 Mountain Vista Circle, $390,000

9470 Oak Trail Circle, $670,000

6011 Melita Glen Place, $1,025,000

1730 Hopper Ave., $472,000

2398 Battersea St., $290,000

1014 Kenmore Lane, $169,500

453 Nikki Drive, $280,000

2336 Providence Court, $310,000

2443 Lemur St., $379,500

2946 Sweet Grass Lane, $365,000

1722 Burgundy Place, $259,500

2454 Micawber Lane, $293,500

1400 N. Dutton Ave. 15, $525,000

465 Flower Ave., $172,000

1417 Miras Lane, $261,000

276 Firelight Court, $312,500

243 Anteeo Way, $210,000

3275 Apricot Lane, $250,000

1013 Center St., $315,000

1080 Ruby Court, $245,000

1488 West Ave., $590,000

2672 Arrowhead Drive, $265,000

2616 Barndance Lane, $310,000

312 Gate Way, $195,000

 blog it

Friday, August 8, 2008

Santa Rosa Real Estate May Feel the Fannie Pinch

Fannie Mai just posted larger than expected losses and essentially got out of the Alt-A mortgage market. This will translate into tighter standards for borrows which has downward pressure on home prices.
clipped from

Fannie Mae is raising fees, which will be passed onto borrowers as higher interest rates, and abandoning "Alt-A" borrowers because those loans are defaulting at an alarming rate. These high-risk loans -- made to borrowers with solid credit but little proof of their income, or small or no down payments -- made up about 11 percent of Fannie's portfolio but accounted for more than half of its credit losses in the quarter.

If Freddie Mac follows Fannie Mae and stops buying Alt-A loans, "it means that market is not going to exist at all. It's barely hanging on now," said Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade publication.

 blog it

Monday, July 28, 2008

New Financial Product to Free Up Mortage Financing

US Treasury Secretary Paulson announced today that the four largest US banks are prepared to create a market for a new kind of product to help free up liquidity in the mortgage market. This type of action is needed to get the Santa Rosa real estate market going again.
clipped from

Covered bonds, issued by banks and secured by pools of
assets like home loans, are widely used in Europe but have only
become attractive in the United States since the segment of the
mortgage securitization market driven by investment banks dried
up last year amid a wave of foreclosures.

He said that Bank of America (NYSE:BAC - News), Citigroup (NYSE:C - News),
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM - News) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC - News) said they intend
to establish covered-bond programs "and kick-start this market
in the United States."

 blog it

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sonoma County Foreclosures Dip Slightly

California foreclosures rise at 6.6% but Sonoma County drop by 1.1%. Still too early to tell if this is the bottom as the numbers are very high when compared to year over year.

Foreclosure activity showed signs of leveling off in Sonoma County during the second quarter even as it continued to spiral to unprecedented highs in other parts of the state, according to a study issued Tuesday.

Lenders sent 1,376 default notices to Sonoma County borrowers who fell behind on their mortgages, down 1.1 percent from the first quarter, when lenders issued 1,392 default notices, according to DataQuick Information Systems, a real estate research firm.

 blog it

Santa Rosa Home Sales for Week of June 29

A list of homes sold in Santa Rosa for the week of June 29.

721 Mill St., $285,000

713 Trowbridge St., $230,000

510 Duncan St., $320,000

1617 Clover Lane, $372,500

3619 Yale Drive, $360,000

1615 Solano Drive, $349,000

2810 Sioux St., $250,000

2728 Navajo St., $205,000

6413 Meadow Creek Lane, $535,000

405 Oak Brook Place, $770,000

429 Oak Vista Drive, $719,100

9432 Oak Trail Circle, $682,972

2065 Tebow Court, $425,000

2365 Redoak Drive, $428,000

2348 Maria Luz Court W., $325,000

2322 Jose Ave., $295,000

1373 Peterson Lane, $411,000

421 Manka Circle, $310,000

439 Ashwood Drive, $200,000

323 Anteeo Way, $235,000

2145 Fairfax Place, $370,000

2155 Onyx Way, $305,000

1232 Comalli St., $430,000

1390 Funston Drive, $292,000

4455 Hall Road, $380,000

115 Coronation Drive, $350,000

2077 Banjo Drive, $360,000

1839 Bancroft Drive, $300,000

1308 Starview Drive, $260,000

1906 Greeneich Ave., $295,000

2822 Audubon Court, $305,000

3490 Bonita Vista Drive, $500,000

3823 Rocky Point Way, $734,000

2319 Northwood Drive, $348,181

556 Silva Ave., $337,500

2126 Orchard St., $400,000

 blog it

Foreclosures Continue to Rise

The Santa Rosa real estate market is not immune to the foreclosure crisis that has infected California. With median home prices falling and more foreclosures on the horizon there won't be a bottom till next spring. If you are thinking of buying a home, be sure to save as much as you can and keep your dept low, there are deals to be had on Santa Rosa homes.
clipped from

In all, some 63,061 homes were lost to foreclosure in the second quarter -- the most in any quarter since 1988, when the firm began tracking foreclosures.

Foreclosures, measured by the number of trustee deeds recorded, increased about 33 percent from the previous quarter and jumped 261 percent versus the same quarter last year.

Notices of default, meanwhile, more than doubled in the second quarter to 121,341 loans on a total of 118,020 homes, compared to the year-ago period.

Most of the home loans that slipped into default in the most recent quarter were made between September 2005 and November 2006, as air came out of the housing bubble.

 blog it

Monday, July 21, 2008

Quick Tip When Buying Foreclosures

Whether it's Santa Rosa CA or anywhere USA, seems like everyone is talking about buying real estate foreclosures. There are deals to be had, just be careful.
clipped from

Buying at a public auction is the most common type of foreclosure purchase. Buyers can expect a discount of 10% to 25% compared with buying a home through traditional channels, says Dean Street, an agent and 30-year veteran of foreclosure buying in the western U.S. But the road to auction can be bumpy, too. For starters, you often cannot inspect the interior of the home. Street says it's vital to see the property even if you can't gain entry. "If there is 300 pounds of garbage in the front yard, there is probably 600 pounds inside," he says. One way to research the interior is to check the local building department's permit records, or have your agent see if a recent listing has information on appearance, layout and previous remodelings.

 blog it