Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Monday, April 18, 2016
Real estate agents that sell houses in La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Point Loma and Ocean Beach say that now it is a seller's market. It is a great time to sell because many buyers are looking for a house and there aren’t that many houses listed.
“If a house is market-ready, clean and neat and has a good location, it sells fast. Many families don’t want to renovate a lot before they move in, so they buy a house that is ready to move in,” says real estate agent Michelle Serafina.
Agents Tony Franco and Lionel Silva note that the hot buying season has been early. It started already in December, although it usually is in March to June.
In 2015, the prices were at the same high level as in 2007, and now the prices have steadied. Buyers are active, but they don’t buy anything. Some sellers check what other sellers in the same area have gotten and try to get their prices higher. Agents note that buyers are smart and that they notice when a house is overpriced.
Interest rates are also quite low, so people are willing to take a loan on a house. Some people also buy houses now with cash.
“One out of 10 deals I sold, a buyer received a loan. That also saves buyers money. For many years, people invested in the stock market, and after that, they are now willing to put the money for a house or apartment,” says Franco.
Listing agent Chris Mannerino says there will be a correction in the prices at some point.
“Nobody knows how shortly markets change, because global events are usually a chain reaction. But banks don’t give out house loans so much than they used to, so some kind of bubble with loans is avoided for the most part,” he says.
Lionel and Tyler Silva say that during the last 12 months, rents have raised 20 percent or more, so families that rent want to buy a house. Meanwhile, Michelle Serafina says families are paying attention to comfort.
“They want quality of life: a house that is in good shape, large yard, space that they need and short distance to schools,” she notes.
Agents say that some homes are now sold even before listing. Lionel Silva notes it’s not always wise to sell a house that way.
“Why would you sell before every potential buyer has seen it?” he notes. “With more buyers competing, it is possible to get the price that you want, or even more.”
Friday, April 1, 2016
The cities with the fastest-growing rents in the U.S. probably are not the ones you’d expect. That’s because they’re not the most expensive cities for a renter to live in (e.g., San Francisco, New York City, Washington, DC). Instead, rents are shooting up in places that seem like bargains compared to those high-priced metropolises ($3,550 for a one-bedroom, San Francisco? Really?). But if they keep up the pace—and they probably will—these cities won’t be bargains for long.
Rents rose 2.7% across the country in March compared with a year earlier, according to Apartment List, which analyzed its own data for the report. That brought the median rent of a one-bedroom apartment to $1,150 and a two-bedroom to $1,300.
And they jumped the highest year over year in Colorado Springs, CO. Rents in the fast-growing city, about an hour away from Denver, surged 11.4%, according to the report. That brought the median rent for a one-bedroom to $790 and a two-bedroom to $1,010.
“Rents are going to continue to increase very quickly,” Andrew Woo, data science manager at Apartment List, says of the Colorado city as well as other fast-growing towns. “There are so many millennials moving there. They’re really attracted by the quality of life there and strong employment opportunities.”
Colorado Springs may have the biggest annual rent hike, but these other cities weren’t far behind:
1. Orlando, FL: 8.9%
2. Providence, RI: 8.7%
3. Tampa, FL: 8.6%
4. Vancouver, WA: 7.3%
5. Reno, NV: 7.3%
6. Salt Lake City, UT: 7.2%
7. Austin, TX: 6.7%
8. Portland, OR: 6.6%
9. Fort Wayne, IN: 6.4%
It’s gotten so nuts in Colorado Springs that a day after local real estate agent Monique Allison-Vollmer put up a listing for a rental house in a good school district, she received 15 phone calls and 30 emails.
“It’s overwhelming,” says Allison-Vollmer, at Keller Williams Partners.
She blames the housing bust for the pinch. New development stalled in the aftermath of the financial crisis, when builders struggled to secure financing. It didn’t pick up until a few years later—leaving the city without enough homes to go around now that people are flocking in.
The large military community (nearby Fort Carson and the U.S. Air Force Academy) as well as the state’s legalization of marijuana (drawing not only stoners but also those in need of its medical benefits) have also proved to be big draws, she says.
“I’ve had several [people] call me and say we’re looking for rentals in the area because of the marijuana laws,” Allison-Vollmer says.
In Orlando, the jump in prices can at least partly be attributed to a high number of foreclosures turning homeowners into renters, says Ken Anderson, a local landlord and real estate broker at ApexOne Realty.
There is also a steady influx of new residents moving into the home of Disney World, drawn to its attractions, golf courses, and year-round warm weather, he says.
Many smaller landlords, who rent out just a single unit or property, are keeping prices steady because they don’t realize what people will pay to live there, Anderson says. But savvier property managers have begun to jack them up.
Since October, Anderson has begun to raise rents by about 10% on his nearly two dozen rental homes.
“And I’ve been getting [them],” he says.
The median monthly rental price in the Florida city is $980 for a one-bedroom unit and $1,110 for a two-bedroom apartment, according to the report.
Despite the hikes, putting a roof over one’s head was nowhere near the heights of San Francisco or New York City, where a one-bedroom rents for $3,300. In nearby Jersey City, NJ, it’s $2,550. Boston, at $2,500, and the Silicon Valley city of San Jose, CA, at $2,200, rounded out the top five most expensive cities to find a one-bedroom apartment.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Low inventories and eroding affordability coupled with financial market volatility contributed to a second consecutive month of year-over-year declines for pending home sales statewide, CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.
Pending home sales data:
- Statewide pending home sales fell in February on an annual basis, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* decreasing 0.4 percent from 121.4 in February 2015 to 120.9 in February 2016, based on signed contracts.
- On a monthly basis, California pending home sales increased 26.4 percent from January, well above the long-run average increase of 15.9 percent typically registered from January to February based on data collected between 2009 and 2015. Even after adjusting for typical seasonal factors, pending sales still rose 6.3 percent over January despite remaining below February 2015 levels.
- C.A.R.’s 2016 housing market forecast, released in October 2015, calls for a slightly slower pace of sales growth in 2016 than California experienced last year. Current pending sales figures suggest that tight inventories could begin to weigh more heavily on sales in coming months.
- Regionally, pending sales increased significantly in month-over-month comparisons, but varied in year-over-year changes.
- San Francisco Bay Area pending sales rose 36.3 percent from January to reach an index of 145.2 in February, up from January’s 106.5 index but down 13.6 percent from February 2015.
- Pending home sales in Southern California declined 1.3 percent from February 2015, but increased 28.7 percent over January 2016 to reach an index of 97.7.
- Central Valley was the only region to see pending sales rise both year over year and month over month, which suggests that tight supply and affordability will continue to push more activity to less constrained, more affordable areas of the state. Pending sales in the Central Valley region rose 20.2 percent from January to reach an index of 87.5 and increased 6.7 percent from February 2015’s index of 82.
Year-to-Year Change in Pending Sales by County/Region
Year % Change
SF Bay Area
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Friday, February 19, 2016
Nina Hatvany has worked for 25 years in San Francisco as a real estate agent concentrating on the high end of the market. Today, as a result of a reeling stock market and concerns about global economic stability and growth, the conversation with well-heeled clients has turned decidedly more cautious.
"I have a number of buyers who are just more hesitant," Hatvany told CNBC. "They look and they talk and then they start arguing with me about the slow IPO market and overvalued unicorns. I feel like I have to argue with them about how nice the house is."
As technology stocks slide — the Nasdaq is down 15 percent this year — and private tech valuations suffer, real estate brokers say the feverish clamor for high-end homes in San Francisco has quieted.
"Somebody who might have pulled the trigger at $5 million last year now might be a bit more cautious," said Josh McAdam, a top producing real estate agent with Pacific Union in San Francisco. "It's not the same environment."
McAdam is quick to note that demand remains strong for homes selling in the $1 million range. But the high-end residences in the City by the Bay, if they are to attract buyers, now need to boast all the right finishes, he says.
For example, McAdam said only one home in the tony neighborhood of Noe Valley last year sold for over $5 million. The year before, he says a handful of homes sold in that price range and a couple even above $5 million.
Hatvany confirms the same trends. In the second quarter of last year, her firm said, 18 homes sold in San Francisco for $6 million or higher. That number dropped to nine in the fourth quarter.
One question: Will the more cautious tone now defining the ultra-high-end of the market spread to other price points?
Christopher Palmer — an associate professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, who specializes in the housing markets — said the biggest threat to price appreciation is a downturn in tech because so much of the Bay Area economy is reliant on the sector.
"Tech stocks have taken a beating in the past few months, and every time there is a stock market correction, people start to wonder if the spigot of capital that has fueled so much Bay Area growth is about to be turned off," Palmer said.