Category Archives: Real Estate Trends

Another Reason To Buy a Home Now: FHA Loan Rates Dip Below 4%!

Home mortgage rates continue to drop as 2013 nears an end.

Home buyers were in a bit of a struggle over the summer. Not only did interest rates take a 1 percent jump, but available housing inventory for sale was still pretty scarce. Mortgage interest rates once again on the declinePrices rose due to such a high velocity demand from not only buyers who wanted a residence to live and/or raise a family, but investors were still snatching up properties as well.

With the considerable rebound in housing prices, it’s no wonder that buyers are back in the game. Knowing that the investment they make will begin to grow equity almost immediately whetted the whistle of those looking for homes, and sellers took complete advantage. Many home sellers experienced multiple simultaneous offers, putting them completely in the driver’s seat as far as price, terms and conditions against the buyer whose offer was finally accepted.

A slight shift in the real estate market that turns into a win-win for both buyers and sellers.

As interest rates rose over the summer, housing sales began to level off slightly, bringing about a slow rise (VERY slow!) in available houses for sale. While inventory is still low in Santa Clarita, it has raised a few hundred units from around 300 at the end of summer, to around 500 in October. Now, this is typical as the year winds down and the holidays near. Many sellers consider holding off listing their home until after the new year, although there are many who are serious enough about selling that they will continue to offer their homes to buyers straight through. Continue reading Another Reason To Buy a Home Now: FHA Loan Rates Dip Below 4%!

Santa Clarita Housing Prices At Pre-Recession Levels

Positive signs continue to aid full recovery of the real estate market.

For the first time in five years, the average price of single family homes in the Santa Clarita Valley rose to $450,000, according to the Southland Regional Association of Santa Clarita Real EstateRealtors. And while condominium prices dropped slightly last month, condo sales volume reached the highest level since 2006. This is great news for anyone considering selling their home.

This news comes on the heels of other positive signs in the Santa Clarita Valley real estate market, including a drop in interest rates and a slight rise in available home inventory for sale, all good news for home buyers.

Short Sales and Bank-Owned Properties Dropping As Well

The number of Pre-Foreclosure Sales, or short sales, has also dropped dramatically in the Santa Clarita Valley. Where as recently as last year we saw short sales accounting for over 47 percent of overall real estate sales, in August of this year they stand at 18.7 percent. Bank Owned, or Real-Estate-Owned (REO) properties stood at slightly over 4 percent.  Continue reading Santa Clarita Housing Prices At Pre-Recession Levels

Federal Reserve To Continue Bond Purchases. Could This Bring Interest Rates Down?

The Fed will continue it’s $85 billion monthly guarantee of Mortgage Backed Securities despite earlier hints at tapering off.

After months of speculation that the Federal Reserve will end its stimulus for Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), causing a ripple effect in the stock market and inadvertentlyFederal Reserve raising mortgage interest rates, key policy makers have made the decision to continue the program until further notice.

Citing the desire to see more improvement in the economy, the Federal Reserve made it clear that they will continue to guarantee MBS. The stimulus program was put into effect in November 2008, during the dark days of the real estate collapse and Great Recession as a way of maintaining low interest rates in preparation for an eventual economic recovery. The stimulus program, known as Quantitative Easing,  provides $85 billion per month in guarantees for MBS. Other funds have helped to purchase debt issued by government backed agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

This past spring, the Federal Reserve hinted that they may eventually discontinue the stimulus in light of more positive economic news coming from Washington this year. On the heels of this revelation, mortgage interest rates jumped over 1 percent during the summer months and are currently holding just below 5 percent. Rates did take a very slight dip (.10 percent) after the Fed made their announcement, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up 80 points. Continue reading Federal Reserve To Continue Bond Purchases. Could This Bring Interest Rates Down?

New FHA Guidelines Aim To Give Recession Victims Another Chance At Home Ownership

Federal Housing Authority changes wait time for bankruptcy filers and short sellers from two years to one.

As the real estate market recovers, many previous homeowners who were either forced to give up their homes due to foreclosure or short sale, and/or filed for bankruptcyFHA changes guidelines for home buyers as a result of the economic issues surrounding the “Great Recession.” In many cases, those issues were temporary and many who had previously been affected by the negative economic impact of a few years ago have since rebounded. However, the minimum wait time for any former homeowner who fell victim to the conditions described above has been at least 24 months to be approved for a loan backed by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA).

Recently the FHA sent a letter to mortgage lenders regarding changes they have made to help put former home owners back into the real estate market by announcing that, under certain conditions, they will back mortgages that will reduce the wait time from 24 months to one year. These conditions include:

  • Buyer must prove that an economic hardship was suffered beyond their control, such as experiencing job loss or a negative financial impact that was a result of the conditions brought on by the recession. These hardships must be documented in writing.
  • Buyer must also prove that they have since recovered economically and are able to qualify for a home loan. Lender may review credit scores and information that may qualify the buyer as a candidate for a mortgage. Also, the buyer must be able to show that they had excellent credit PRIOR to the events that created their negative economic situation.
  • Qualifying factors for loan approval include buyer proving cash reserves, loan-to-value ratio at or below 90%, and debt-to-income ratios.
  • Buyer must agree to HUD approved home buyer counseling. Continue reading New FHA Guidelines Aim To Give Recession Victims Another Chance At Home Ownership

Southern California Home Prices Jump Over 28% In June

Housing prices in the Southland rise to a new year-over-year record.

RealtyTrac, the company that collects and reports nationwide statistics and trends for the real estate industry, recently reported that housing prices in Southern California Housing prices take a sharp turn upward in Southern Californiajumped 28.3% in June 2013 over June of last year. According to RealtyTrac, this is the largest jump in housing prices since they began generating data in 1989. This includes double digit jumps for the Santa Clarita housing market as well.

Los Angeles County had the largest price jump at 30.8 percent year-over-year, with Riverside County a close second at 30.4 percent. Locally, Santa Clarita housing prices have seen an 18% rise.

The real estate market has returned, but will it last?

We’ve seen a tremendous turnaround in the real estate market in the past few years, dramatically so from the dark days following the economic issues that sparked the so-called “Great Recession” back in 2008. Interest rates remained steady, and even dropped to historic lows thanks in part to the Federal Reserve guaranteeing mortgage backed securities to the tune of $85 billion per month. With the economic rebound came more qualified home buyers who were ready to take advantage of the low mortgage rates. This, coupled with “boomerang buyers” (Home buyers who may have left the market a few years earlier due to short sale or other methods of avoiding foreclosure), have led to a buying surge. Of course, lower than normal housing inventory for sale sparked what turned into a seller’s market, which has helped spur the dramatic rise in home prices. Continue reading Southern California Home Prices Jump Over 28% In June

Rising Mortgage Rates Affect Re-fi’s, But Not Home Sales

While mortgage rates are back on the rise, they are still phenomenally low for home buyers.

After years of continually dropping to historic lows, mortgage interest rates are slowly on the rise. That being said, as of this posting they are still hovering below 4 percent.Team Avalos Real Estate

While rates are rising, it’s important to note that home sales, as well as prices, are also still on the rise.

Santa Clarita has experienced an 11 percent jump in home prices for both single family residences and condominiums in the past year, and overall the market has improved into the double digits across the country as well. Most people know and understand a lot about trends in real estate sales, such as supply and demand, economic conditions that drive prices down and/or up, and indicators for growth and expansion, but how is it that interest rates have remained so low during the so-called “Great Recession,” and what are some of the factors driving them upward again?

Mortgage Backed Securities and the Federal Government

We saw many bad things happen in 2007 and 2008 with the fall of banks and lending institutions deemed “too large to fail.” So much so, that by the Fall of 2008, the Federal Government stepped in to buy up Mortgage Backed Securities to the tune of $85 billion per month. Mortgage Backed Securities (Also known as MBS) are loans bundled into packages and sold as stock options whereby money is based on the principal and interest payments on the packaged loans. That’s the definition in its simplest form, however MBS can be much more complicated than that based on the offerings and desires of the investor. Since November of 2008, government backed MBS have helped keep interest rates low since the Fed will guarantee a return on the investment.  Continue reading Rising Mortgage Rates Affect Re-fi’s, But Not Home Sales

Santa Clarita Valley Home Prices Rise While Unemployment Drops

February Real Estate Sales Figures For The Santa Clarita Valley Show An Increase In Property Value For Single Family Homes

According to figures from the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation and the Southland Regional Association of Realtors, the Santa Clarita Valley showedSanta Clarita Valley Real Estate Sales an average increase of 5% in single family home values during the month of February.

Median prices for single family homes rose to $379,000 in February from an average of $360,000 in January of this year. Condominium prices also rose slightly in February to an average of $220,000 from January 2013’s high of $206,700.

March Figures Show Agua Dulce At Top Of Pricing Index For Housing

The Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported housing sales figures for the month of March 2013. Valencia had the highest number of new listings at 90 and a median list price of $489,000; followed by Canyon Country with 82 new listings with $400,000 as its price median which is the lowest in the Santa Clarita Valley. Total figures for all of the Santa Clarita Valley for the month of March are as follows: Continue reading Santa Clarita Valley Home Prices Rise While Unemployment Drops

Santa Clarita Real Estate Market Rebound in Full Swing

Homes are Selling in the Santa Clarita ValleyTeam Avalos Real Estate

It’s true what they’re saying about the real estate market: A recovery is at hand. Higher consumer spending , receding unemployment figures, record stock closings as well as double digit jumps in real estate values in many parts of the country are all great signs of a brighter economic future.

After years of sagging sales and a bottoming out of property values due in large part to what’s now being referred to as the “Great Recession”, we’ve seen a big jump in the Santa Clarita housing numbers.

According to, the average price per square foot for Santa Clarita properties has increased slightly over 15% from the same time last year. Loan applications, which were soft at the beginning of this year, are gaining in volume as buyers come out in force to take advantage of the market with historically low interest rates. With this overall gain in property value, many homeowners once upside-down on their mortgage are once again seeing a return of equity. Continue reading Santa Clarita Real Estate Market Rebound in Full Swing