Shirley Kistler #240 – Top 500 Agents in California

With exceptional sales comes exceptional recognition. We here at Realty World Northern CA and NV are extremely proud to announce five members of our Realty World family were recently recognized as the BEST REAL ESTATE AGENTS IN CALIFORNIA by Real Trends.

In ranking by transactional sides, the following five agents were ranked as members of the top 500 agents in California (Ranking in parenthesis):

  • Todd Su from Realty World – Todd Su & Company in San Jose, CA (#5)
  • Kris Karaglanis from Realty World – Californians in Walnut Creek, CA (#51)
  • Suzanne Rocha from Realty World – Californians in Walnut Creek, CA (#55)
  • Shirley Kistler from Realty World – A+ Real Estate in Fair Oaks, CA (#240)
  • Joan Dooley from Realty World – Selzer Realty in Ukiah, CA (#251)

You can find the entire Real Trends report here:

http://realtrends.com/best-real-estate-agents-california

Home prices still climbing, but at slower pace

Home prices are still climbing in the Sacramento area, but at a much more moderate pace than a year ago, DataQuick reported Wednesday.

The market research firm said the median sale price of all homes came to $260,000 last month in Sacramento County. That was down slightly from May, but up 13 percent from a year earlier.

Median sale prices in Placer County reached $385,000 last month, the highest in the eight-county region covered by DataQuick. That represented a 6.5 percent increase from a year ago.

DataQuick said the results are in line with the general slowdown in price appreciation elsewhere in California. “Sacramento is more or less mirroring the state in terms of price appreciation throttling back,” said analyst Andrew LePage.

The actual volume of sales was down significantly throughout the region, with activity dropping 10.3 percent in Sacramento County in June compared to a year earlier.

The latest statistics suggest the market is continuing to recover from the 2008 crash but isn’t roaring like it was in 2013, LePage said.

For example, he said the 13 percent growth in Sacramento sale prices is one-third the pace of a year ago, when prices jumped 39 percent.

One reason for the slowdown in price appreciation: Investors are retreating from the market. In June, 25 percent of all purchases were made by investors. A year ago, it was 34 percent. The 14-year average is 22 percent.

“We have fewer investors and cash buyers out in the market,” LePage said.

In addition, job and income growth remains relatively sluggish, putting a damper on pricing, he said.

As for the decline in sales volume, LePage cited a relative scarcity of available homes for sale. That shortage is a reflection of the incomplete recovery in the housing market. Many homeowners either are still “underwater” or have only a small amount of equity in their properties, which means they don’t have the ability to make a down payment on another house. If they can’t move into another house, they can’t sell their current house.

Also, new-home construction remains relatively slow, which puts another constraint on inventory, he said.

Only 121 new homes were sold last month in Sacramento County, down 21 percent from a year earlier.

Courtesy of Dale Kasler, sacbee.com

Sacramento area home prices continue to increase

April statsThe number of homes sold in Sacramento County in March dropped to the lowest level for the month in six years, DataQuick reported Wednesday.

The median price for detached resale homes in the county was $245,000 – 19.5 percent higher than March of last year, the San Diego real estate information service said. Yet only 1,456 single-family resale homes closed escrow last month – a nearly 15 percent drop from the same month a year ago, DataQuick said.

A low supply of homes for sale was the main reason, said DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage. Fewer sales to investors, decreased affordability for buyers and credit hurdles were other reasons, “but tight inventory’s at the top of the list,” he said.

There are currently about 1.5 months of inventory in Sacramento County, meaning it would take about that long to sell all the homes on the market, the Sacramento Association of Realtors recently said. Anything less than three months is deemed a sellers’ market.

Sales volume also fell significantly in El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties last month compared with March 2013, DataQuick reported

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/16/6330782/sacramento-county-home-sales-drop.html#storylink=cpy
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Real estate pros to forecast market’s future

 

One thing experts agree on is that significant job growth is needed for the Sacramento region’s real estate market to continue improving.

Job creation will drive real estate moving forward for the next 24 to 36 months, said Robert Burris, senior vice president of the Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization.

Burris and a group of leading brokers and agents will gather next month in a first-of-its-kind forum to talk about the market’s future.

Organized by the Sacramento Association of Realtors and a host of brokerages, the meeting at McClellan Conference Center on Oct. 17 is unique because it is a nonprofit event and because it will bring commercial and residential real estate brokers, who rarely interact, together in one room.

“If anybody does anything with real estate in Sacramento, this is the place to be. These are the people to listen to,” said event chairman Anthony Scotch, a commercial broker and vice president with Century 21 in Citrus Heights. “I don’t recall anything like this in 40 years.”

Scotch said he and others thought the time was right, with changing market conditions, for the different sectors to interact.

The Sacramento Bee is the official media sponsor of the event, called the Sacramento Real Estate Connect 2014 Regional Economic Review & Outlook.

Among the speakers will be Pat Shea, president of Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento.

Shea was an early predictor of the residential rebound of the past year. After plummeting in the housing crash, home prices shot up by double- digit percentages at a time of ultra-low inventory, heavy investor activity and growing demand from traditional homebuyers.

Shea anticipates the coming year will see a housing market that achieves some degree of stability. “We’re going to see a steady climb of inventory and more stable appreciation in the 5 to 10 percent range,” he said.

He also said he expects sales to remain solid despite interest rates that are rising after hitting historic lows earlier this year.

“Affordability will still be strong, and the desire for home ownership is ingrained in us,” Shea said.

The key to maintaining the market’s momentum is job growth, he said. “If we see more job opportunity, I think we can see a very consistent appreciation in house prices in Sacramento,” Shea said.

Chains making deals

Joining Shea will be a dozen specialists in office, retail, industrial and investment properties.

In the retail market, commercial broker Scott Reynolds said the rate of vacancies in shopping centers and storefronts following the recession was the worst he’s seen in three decades, but the upturn in housing prices is a good indicator that retail’s fortunes are picking up.

“Retail follows residential and consumer spending,” Reynolds said.

Shopping centers in some of the region’s most affluent markets, such as Folsom and Roseville, are doing better as national chains come to the area seeking favorable rents, he said. “There are chain retailers that have weathered the storm and are saying ‘now’s our chance to come in and make deals.’”

Working smarter

High vacancy rates for office and industrial space won’t drop much until more businesses move to the Sacramento region, helping to soak up the excess inventory, brokers said. Burris, with SACTO, said the group’s mission is to market the region to potential employers. It is now working on recruiting European crop sciences companies to the area, he said. Last year’s opening in Davis of a 150-employee factory by Japanese toolmaker Mori Seiki Co. is a prime example of the kind of economic development the region needs for solid, long-term job growth, Burris said.

Bay Area companies seeking to expand but faced with skyrocketing rents and sales prices at home will eventually arrive, seeking office space within driving distance of their headquarters, he said. So will companies that have a strong reason to be near Sacramento, including food and agricultural enterprises.

But Sacramento’s one-time strength, that it was relatively inexpensive, doesn’t necessarily seal deals anymore,  Burris said. Companies just looking for a cheap place to do business now leap past Sacramento to Nevada or Texas.

“We’ve had to work smarter in the last few years,” Burris said. “Making the play strictly by cost doesn’t work anymore.”


By Hudson Sangree hsangree@sacbee.com

The Sacramento Bee
Last modified: 2013-09-23T07:28:40Z
Published: Sunday, Sep. 22, 2013 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Monday, Sep. 23, 2013 – 12:28 am

Call The Bee’s Hudson Sangree, (916) 321-1191.

Read more articles by Hudson Sangree

February 2013 Homes Prices Up 22.6% in One Year

Due to the low inventory of homes available, home buyers are willing to spend more on a home, that is if they can find one to buy.   The  Sacramento area’s resale home inventory is still very low.  This time last year there were 1,766 homes sold in February 2012 compared to 1,566 sold in February, 2013.  This is an 11.3% drop in sold homes.   This has caused the rapid increase in home prices.  Sacramento’s median price for February 2013 is $192,500, Placer County $298,500, El Dorado County $283,250 and Yolo County $250,000.  New home sales are also on the increase with 104 closings in Sacramento, 86 in Placer and 14 in Yolo County in the month of February.

 

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Is Cash still King??

We are in the middle of a crazy real estate market the Greater Sacramento area.  First time home buyers are being outbid by Cash Investors and Cash Buyers.    It is not uncommon to write over 10 offers for a first time home buyer in this market and sometimes still not get a home.  FHA home buyers are constantly being out bid due to the fact that they don’t have the necessary funds to pay more than the appraised value of the home and conventional buyers and cash buyers are purchasing the homes.

With this recent lack of inventory, the cash buyers are now being outbid by other cash buyers and we have seen homes selling for $20,000 over the list price.   Everyone is scrambling to find the deals only to find out that ship may have already sailed.

With spring a few month’s away and home prices on the increase, we should see more inventory coming on the market and some sellers with enough equity to move up in the market (an area we haven’t seen for many years).

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Check before you Burn

With the cold temperatures still upon us lots of people are burning in their fireplaces for additional heat.  The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District still has the Check Before Your Burn requirements from November thru February.   This law applies to residents and businesses in Sacramento county and the cities of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Galt, Isleton, Rancho Cordova and Sacramento.

Below please find the six ways to check before you burn:

 

1:  Call 1-877-NO-BURN-5

2:  Visit AirQuality.org

3:  Visit SpareTheAir.com and sign up to receive Air Alert emails (input your Sacramento County zip code and select the Daily Air Quality Forecast box).

4:  Read the Sacramento Bee’s weather page on the back of Our Region section.

5:  Listen to television and radio weather forecasts.

6:  Go to Twitter.com/aqmd

 

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The Truth about Sales Tax on Homes

There is a viral email circulating claiming the new health care bill contains a 4% “transfer tax” on home sales.  This came out of an inaccurate opinion piece from the Spokane Washington Spokesman-Review newspaper.

The health care bill included a provision that imposes a new 3.8% Medicare tax for some high-income households that have “net investment income”.  Any revenue collected by the tax is dedicated to the Medicare hospital insurance program.

This new tax applies only to households with Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of more than $200,000 for individuals or $250,000 for married couples.  Since capital gains are included in the definition of net investment income, an additional tax obligation might result from the sale of real property.

Even if the AGI limits are met, the new tax would not be automatically applied to capital gains that result from the sale of a principal residence, since the existing exclusion rule still applies to $250,000 for an individual and $500,000 for a couple.  If the gain from the sale of the principal residence is below that amount then no gain would be realized and NO Medicare tax will have to be paid on the gain.  The new Medicare tax would apply only to a realized gain that pushes the filers AGI over the $200/$250k income limits.

            The new Medicare tax will take effect for tax years ending on or after January 1, 2013.  And this new legislation makes no changes to the mortgage interest deduction. A more detailed discussion is contained in a brochure that can be downloaded at http://www.ksefocus.com/billdatabase/clientfiles/172/8/1437.pdf

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Article Posted on Zillow – 1 in 3 homeowner’s underwater

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Great Article posted on www.zillow.com that I wanted to share.

One in three mortgage holders still underwater

By John W. Schoen, Senior Producer

Got that sinking feeling? Amid signs that the U.S. housing market is finally rising from a long slumber, real estate Web site Zillow reports that homeowners are still under water.

Nearly 16 million homeowners owed more on their mortgages than their home was worth in the first quarter, or nearly one-third of U.S. homeowners with mortgages. That’s a $1.2 trillion hole in the collective home equity of American households.

Despite the temptation to just walk away and mail back the keys, nine of 10 underwater borrowers are making their mortgage and home loan payments on time. Only 10 percent are more than 90 days delinquent.

Still, “negative equity” will continue to weigh on the housing market – and the broader economy – because it sidelines so many potential home buyers. It also puts millions of owners at greater risk of losing their home if the economic recovery stalls, according to Zillow’s chief economist, Stan Humphries.

“If economic growth slows and unemployment rises, more homeowners will be unable to make timely mortgage payments, increasing delinquency rates and eventually foreclosures,” he said.

For now, the recent bottoming out in home prices seems to be stabilizing the impact of negative equity; the number of underwater homeowners held steady from the fourth quarter of last year and fell slightly from a year ago.

Zillow map: Where homes are underwater

Real estate market conditions vary widely across the country, as does the depth of trouble homeowners find themselves in. Nearly 40 percent of homeowners with a mortgage owe between 1 and 20 percent more than their home is worth. But 15 percent – approximately 2.4 million – owe more than double their home’s market value.

Nevada homeowners have been hardest hit, where two-thirds of all homeowners with a mortgage are underwater. Arizona, with 52 percent, Georgia (46.8 percent), Florida (46.3 percent) and Michigan (41.7 percent) also have high percentages of homeowners with negative equity.

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Information on the Obama administration’s foreclosure-avoidance program

Members of the Committee on Financial Services...
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Recently the House Financial Services Committee took a look at the performance of the Obama administration’s foreclosure-avoidance program in early October; here is what came out of that hearing and it doesn’t look good: 

1)      HAMP – designated to help as many as 4 million troubled homeowners modify the terms of their mortgage and obtain more affordable payments.  The program has resulted in approximately 800,000 permanent modifications and 106,000 trial modifications still ongoing, according to Darius Kingsley, deputy chief of Treasury’s Homeownership Preservation office.  These figures are far less than the original target.

2)      Emergency Homeowner’s Loan Program – The Dodd-Frank financial reform law authorized $1 billion to provide bridge loans of up to $50,000 for homeowners who had experienced sudden drops in income because of employment or medical problems.  As of Sept. 28, it has resulted in 12,000 completed transactions and is expected to use just $400-$500 million of the authorized $1 billion, according to acting FHA commissioner Carol Galante.  The 12,000 funded cases were all that HUD could manage to approve out of 100,000 applications.

3)      FHA Refinance Program, aka “Short Refi” This was designed to help as many as 1.5 million underwater owners refinance into affordable FHA loans, and was funded by $8 billion originally set aside for HAMP.  As of the end of September, FHA and the program’s 27 participating lenders had completed just 334 refinancings according to the agency.

4)      HARP – The administrations signature program for homeowners who have lost equity because of declining home prices but who nonetheless have stayed current on their payments.  Only borrowers with loan-to-value ratios above 80 percent and no higher than 125 percent are eligible.  Originally projected to help between 4-5 million homeowners, as of August it had resulted in 838,000 refinancings.

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