San Diego Real Estate and Community News

Nov. 25, 2020

Home Price Spike Biggest Since 2014

The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are among the most closely followed measures of US home values. According to their most recent release, their National Home Price Index showed a 7 percent year-over-year gain in September. It was the biggest increase in six years and a significant spike from the previous month, when prices were only up 5.8 percent from one year earlier. Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P, says it's too soon to determine whether the increases are due to the market catching up from COVID-related declines earlier in the year or sign of upcoming strength. “A trend of accelerating increases in the National Composite Index began in August 2019 but was interrupted in May and June, as COVID-related restrictions produced modestly-decelerating price gains,” Lazzara said. “This month's increase may reflect a catch-up of COVID-depressed demand from earlier this year; it might also presage future strength, as COVID encourages potential buyers to move from urban apartments to suburban homes.”


Nov. 18, 2020

Mortgage Credit More Available In October

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Mortgage Credit Availability Index measures how easy or difficult it is for borrowers to secure financing. If the index increases, that means lending standards have loosened and borrowers should expect to have an easier time qualifying for a loan. When it tightens, the opposite is true. In October, the MBA found the index up 2.3 percent from the month before. Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said it was the first increase since July. “Credit availability increased in October for the first time since July,” Kan said. “The ongoing economic recovery and improving labor market led to a rise in credit supply for various loan types.” Among them, there was an increase in credit availability for low credit score loans and loans with higher loan-to-value ratios. Still, despite the improvement, credit availability remains tighter than it's been in recent years. In fact, the index is at a level last seen in 2014

Nov. 16, 2020

Majority Of Buyers Face Bidding Wars In October

There are different types of competition. Some are more enjoyable than others. Competition on a golf course, for example, can be fun, while in the housing market, competition can cause buyers and their budgets stress. That's why a new report detailing how many homes for sale received multiple offers in October offers good and bad news. The good news is that the number of homes facing competition during the month fell slightly from the month before and is almost 3 percent lower than its peak in August. But while competition for available homes has calmed down a bit since the height of the summer market, it's still high. In fact, 56.8 percent of homes sold in October faced at least one competing bid, according to the report. And, depending on which market you look at, the number can get even higher. Hot markets like Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, and Austin lead the list of the most competitive markets. However, in Las Vegas, Miami, Chicago, and Detroit – which were among the least competitive metros – you're less likely to find yourself in a bidding war.

Nov. 13, 2020

Third Quarter Home Prices Up Everywhere

The monthly mortgage payment on the typical single-family home is now $1,059, according to new third-quarter data from the National Association of Realtors. Up $27 from last year, the increase comes as the NAR's most recent quarterly price report shows home prices up in every measured metro area. In fact, more than half of the included cities had double-digit increases and all four major regions were up year-over-year. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says rising prices are going to affect affordability conditions, regardless of how low mortgage rates go. “Favorable mortgage rates will continue to bring fresh buyers to the market,” Yun said. “However, the affordability situation will not improve even with low interest rates because housing prices are increasing much too fast.” But why are prices rising? Well, part of it is too few homes for sale. The pandemic caused already low inventory to fall further. And too few available homes, combined with elevated buyer demand, has caused more competition and bidding wars, which push prices higher.

Nov. 11, 2020

Mortgage Rates Expected To Stay Low Through 2021

Favorable mortgage rates have helped the housing market handle affordability challenges, low inventory, and the coronavirus. With record low rates counteracting continuing price increases, demand from home buyers has stayed strong and the market has been resilient. And fortunately, according to a recent forecast from Freddie Mac, low rates aren't going anywhere any time soon. “One of the main drivers of the strong housing recovery is historically low mortgage interest rates,” the forecast reads. “Given weakness in the broader economy, the Federal Reserve's signal that its policy rate will remain low until inflation picks up, and no signs of inflation, we forecast mortgage rates to remain flat over the next year.” In fact, Freddie Mac says rates should continue to hover just above record lows through the end of 2021. That's good news for anyone interested in buying a home any time soon. It's also encouraging for current homeowners who may be able to benefit from refinancing.

Nov. 6, 2020

Number Of Showings Up 64% From Last Year

There is a lot of real estate data devoted to tracking buyer demand. Reports covering home sales, contract signings, and builder confidence are all, in one way or another, measuring how many interested buyers are in the market. These reports are worth following, especially for anyone thinking of buying or selling a home. After all, having a general awareness of how many buyers there are can help prospective home shoppers know how much competition to expect when they start looking for a house. And, obviously, someone thinking of selling their home will want to know whether or not there are buyers in the market. That's why new data looking at the number of showings homes for sale have scheduled is interesting. The report – which looked specifically at showings in September – found that they were up over last year by a significant amount. In fact, showing traffic was up 64.1 percent year-over-year. Regionally, the Northeast saw the biggest increase, with traffic 68.4 percent higher than last year – though the West, Midwest, and South all followed closely behind. Ultimately, the data shows that, despite the pandemic and the end of the summer season, buyers and sellers are still active and the market's still hot.

Nov. 4, 2020

Typical Home Sale Generates $85,000

If you're a homeowner thinking about selling your house, you're in luck. Today's market is good for selling and, according to new numbers from ATTOM Data Solutions, it only got better during the third quarter of this year. In fact, the report found that the typical home sale generated a gain of $85,000 for homeowners. That's up from $75,000 in the second quarter and $66,000 last year at the same time. The results mean the typical homeowner received a 38.6 percent return on investment compared to the price they paid for their home. Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM, says the housing market continues to thrive despite the economic damage of the pandemic. “Home prices and seller profits across the nation continue racking up new highs as the housing market remains relatively immune from the economic havoc caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” Teta said. “It's almost as if the housing market and the overall economy are operating in different worlds.” Both the raw-profit and return-on-investment figures are at their highest point since before the housing crash and financial crisis more than a decade ago.

Nov. 3, 2020

Mortgage Payments Have Become More Affordable

Home prices can be deceiving. After all, the sales price of a home isn't really the number that matters most to a prospective home buyer. The monthly mortgage payment is, and it depends on a number of different factors, including property tax, mortgage rates, the down payment, mortgage insurance, etc. In other words, when thinking about how much house you can afford, it's best to take everything into consideration, not just the sticker price. That's why a new analysis is good news for home buyers concerned about affordability. According to the numbers, released by a popular online real estate portal, the typical mortgage payment has become more affordable over the past two years. In fact, homeowners earning the median income could cover the monthly payment on the typical U.S. home in September with 17.5 percent of their earnings. That's down over two percent from two years ago. That means, despite the fact that home prices have continued to rise, the drop in mortgage rates – which are considerably lower than they were in October 2018 – has helped make mortgage payments more affordable.

Oct. 30, 2020

Contracts To Buy Fall 2.2% In September

The National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index measures the number of contracts to buy homes signed each month. It's an important barometer of housing-market health because it can be a reliable indicator of future home sales numbers. In September, the index found pending sales down 2.2 percent from the previous month, though still 20.5 percent higher than last year at the same time. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says home buying demand is still strong. “The demand for home buying remains super strong, even with a slight monthly pullback in September, and we're still likely to end the year with more homes sold overall in 2020 than in 2019,” Yun said. “With persistent low mortgage rates and some degree of a continuing jobs recovery, more contract signings are expected in the near future.” Regionally, only the Northeast saw a month-over-month improvement, with pending sales now up 27.7 percent from last year in the region.

Oct. 28, 2020

Why Aren't More Homeowners Ready To Sell?

In today's market, there are more home buyers than there are homes available for sale. In other words, it's a seller's market. But despite favorable conditions for sellers, the number of homes for sale is down 37 percent year-over-year. So why aren't more homeowners putting their homes up for sale? Well, according to one recent survey, uncertainty is the answer. Among Americans who have considered selling in the next few years, 34 percent said life is just too uncertain right now, with 31 percent citing financial uncertainty specifically. Among those respondents, 27 percent recently changed jobs and 17 percent had a spouse or partner who had been laid off. But not all potential sellers were holding off because of financial uncertainty. Some have put a pause on their plans because they see conditions getting even better in the future. In fact, nearly 40 percent of participants who are considering selling said they feel they'll get a better price if they wait. And if that's the case, it suggests we'll soon reach a point where we see more homeowners listing their homes, which will help bring greater balance to the market.