Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Southern California home sales surged in July, rising to an eight-year high for that particular month, as there were more properties for sale.  Prices did not increase significantly from the previous month, but for July, year over year, there was a 26% increase in pricing.  This is the seventh month in a row, according to DataQuick, that prices have risen 20% in year over year comparisons.  That being said, housing is just at the 2004 levels, far below the high of 2007, just prior to the pricing crash and housing slump.  What is interesting is that people have already forgotten these encouraging numbers and were noticing the significant slowing of new sales for August.  Let this column be the first to encourage the consumer not to be discouraged.  August has always been notoriously slow compared to the spring season.  June is slow because of the advent of summer; graduations, weddings, early vacationers.  August is slow with heavy vacationing, the coming school year, and families getting ready for one or the other, or both.  Exacerbated this year, by many school districts staggering their start dates, August appeared to be one long back to school month.  Having said that, look for September to be stronger than usual, because so many schools did start earlier, allowing people to return to routine and start to think about the fall selling period.  There are many advantages to selling in the fall.  Less competition for buyers, so they have more selection, and because of the tight inventory this year, sellers should also find themselves in decent position.   There is frequently more flexibility on close of escrow time frames and an easier time getting to see those properties.  Buyers and move up sellers should not wait too long, read on for what may be in store for interest rates... This question is asked and followed immediately with the comment, "maybe I should wait for them to come back down."  The fact that interest rates have been at historic lows for so long, may cause some to forget that they have been held there artificially.  One mustn't be lulled into the common myth that after a quick hike, they will settle back down.  Although rates will remain fantastic, all agree for at least another year, 3 1/2% is likely not coming back unless you get a 10 year fixed rate loan, or buy it down through escrow.  In fact the following entities all agree rates will rise: 1)The Mortgage Bankers Association  2)Fannie Mae  3)Freddie Mac  4)National Association of Realtors.  How much?

The following projections are for 4th quarter 2013 versus 2nd quarter 2014.
Housing Sales -- 2013 - (in thousands) 5,592  -- 2014 - (in thousands) 5,794
Prices -- 2013 - $189,000  -- 2014 - $213,000
30 Year Mortgage -- 2013 - 4.6%  -- 2014 - 4.8%


Orange County saw a total number of sales of 4,402; this includes resale single-family, condos, and new homes.  That was a change of 42.6% upward from the previous July (the most recent complete month available).  There were 2,851 single-family resale homes, 1,283 condos, and 268 new homes.  The median price for all of Orange County, for all housing types combined was $539,500 and that is an increase of 19.9% from July 2012.  Resale single-family median price was $611,000, with condos coming in at $380,000 and new home median price was $706,000. All of So Cal (Ventura, Los Angeles, OC, San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego counties) had sales totaling 25,419 which was up in volume 23.50% and the median price for So Cal was $385,000, up 25.80%, both comparing July 2013 with July 2012.


1) Tell the client the truth about price.  Whether buying or selling, it is wise to know what the market will bear, and what price reveals about motive on both sides of the transaction.  2) Understand the family's timeline.  When and how are very important in serving the client.  3) Remove Challenges - There are many during the course of a transaction, and all must be explained and overcome.  4) Help with Relocation.  Whether across town or across the country, every available resource will be made available to assist the client.  5) Get the home sold.  This is what a real estate agent does.  Never lose sight with all the hype of search engines, the Internet, social media, etc.  Get the home sold.  For the best price possible with the least amount of hassle.  Done.  

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