Mortgage Market Week in Review – July 29, 2011

THIS WEEK IN REVIEW

Mill Valley Bus Depot

Mortgage Bonds are getting a boost today on news that a Debt Ceiling contingency plan is being brought forth by the Treasury Department. This good news is moving rates lower. The Treasury’s plan would guarantee present holders of US debt will receive interest payments on time before the Treasury makes any other payments — even if the debt ceiling is not raised.  As a result The Bond market is sensing the government will do whatever it needs to avoid an outright default – hence the positive rate movement.

CURRENT INTEREST RATES | JULY 29, 2011

CONFORMING RATES
($200,000 – $417,000) 0 POINT
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.500% (4.58% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.125% (3.20% APR)
JUMBO RATES
($729,751 – $2,000,000) 1 POINT
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.875% (5.02% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.250% (3.39% APR)
CONFORMING (HIGH-BALANCE) RATES
($417,001 – $729,750 cap by county) 0 POINT
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.625% (4.69% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.375% (3.44% APR)
RATE TRENDS
Rates are DOWN compared to last week.
Rates are DOWN compared to last month.
Rates are UP compared to one year ago

INDUSTRY NEWS

Terra Mortgage Banking Offers Realtors & Clients A Jumbo Advantage!

 On October 1st, the temporary maximum loan limit for conforming (FNMA & FHLMC) mortgages and FHA insured loans is scheduled to drop to a maximum of $625,500 for most Bay Area Counties (Sonoma: $520,950, Napa: $529,950). 

As the expiration nears, the market will focus more and more on jumbo financing and we want you to know that Terra Mortgage Banking is one of the few (if only) North Bay Mortgage Bankers who underwrite our own jumbo loans in-house up to $1.5M.  This means your jumbo loan will receive the same expedited service you have come to depend on from Terra for your conforming loans. 

Bottom Line: Terra’s expedited closing times give Realtors and their clients a competitive advantage when writing offers.

This report reproduced with the permission of

Gina Kemsley

gkemsley@terramb.com
Office: (415) 464-3144
Cell: (415) 828-0218
Fax: (888) 449-0329
DRE License #: 01121768
NMLS #: 291780

Copyright © 2011 Gina Kemsley, Terra Mortgage Banking, All rights reserved.

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About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I help people move in and out of Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County! 

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


How to Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector

 

Did you know there is  a new law regarding carbon monoxide poisoning in California:  The Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010  requires carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in each “dwelling unit intended for human occupancy” having a fossil fuel burning heater or appliance, fireplace, or an attached garage by July 1, 2011 for single family residences and by January 1, 2013 for all other dwellings.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that’s produced whenever fuels such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal are burned.   Low levels of carbon monoxide exposure can make victims feel like they are suffering from the flu, while higher levels can be lethal.  Carbon monoxide is responsible for about 480 deaths annually nationwide and 20,000 emergency room trips.

Therefore, whether you own a home or rent one, if you have not yet installed yours, watch this 2-minute video from Lowe’s.  You’ll learn how to get started:

  1. How to mount CO detectors using basic household tools
  2. In what rooms to install CO detectors for maximum safety
  3. How often CO detector batteries should be changed

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a four-season danger at home. Protect yourself and your loved ones.

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About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I help people move in and out of Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County! 

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


Marin County: Highest median price in California:

Enjoy the Marin Lifestyle in Belvedere
Enjoy the Marin Lifestyle in Belvedere

Fast Facts from the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.)Calif. median home price: June 2011: $$295,300 (Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. highest median home price by region/county June  2011: Marin: $843,080 (Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. lowest median home price by region/county June 2011: Lake County $85,620 (Source: C.A.R.)

Calif. Pending Home Sales Index: June 2011: 119, an increase of 1.9 percent compared with prior month. (Source: C.A.R.)

Calif. First-time Buyer Affordability Index: First quarter 2011: 53 percent (Source: C.A.R.)

Mortgage rates: Week ending 7/21/2011

  • 30-yr. fixed: 4.52 fees/points: 0.7%
  • 15-yr. fixed: 3.66 fees/points: 0.7% 1-yr.
  • adjustable: 2.97% Fees/points: 0.5% (Source: Freddie Mac)

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Sylvie Zolezzi - www.YourPieceofMarin.com About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I help people move in and out of Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County!

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


16 of 20 Case-Shiller Cities Show Improvement In May

Case-Shiller Index May 2011

Standard & Poors released its May 2011 Case-Shiller Index this week.   The index measures change in home prices from month-to-month, and year-to-year, in select U.S. cities.

Home prices in the Bay Area are up again.   The S&P Case Shiller Home Price Index show prices are up 1.8 percent May over April.   Previously prices were up 1.7 percent April over March. A pretty good indicator things are starting to stabilize. 

Overall May’s Case-Shiller Index showed a 1 percent increase from April 2011.   Home values rose in 16 of the Case-Shiller Index’s 20 tracked markets.   Only Detroit, Las Vegas and Tampa fell.   Phoenix was flat.

This is positive news!  Even though the Case-Shiller Index has flaws, it reveals an upward trend in home prices.  The first flaw of the Case-Shiller Index is its limited geography.   Despite being positioned as a national housing index, Case-Schiller Index is sourced from just 20 cities nationwide.   There are more than 3,100 municipalities nationwide.

The Case Shiller Index’s second flaw is that it ignores all home types excepts for single-family, detached homes in its findings.   Condominiums, multi-family homes, and new construction are not included in the Case-Shiller Index.  In some markets, these excluded home types outnumber the included ones.

Furthermore, the Case-Shiller Index is flawed in that it takes 60 days to release.  

When you want real-time, local Marin County housing market data, therefore, look past the Case-Shiller Index and talk to a real estate professional instead.   It’s where you’ll get your best, most relevant information. 

Blackie's Pasture, Tiburon, CA

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About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I help people move in and out of Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County! 

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


The Pros and Cons of Paying off Your Mortgage Early

Here is an excellent article from the New York Times about paying off your mortgage early.

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About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I help people move in and out of Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County! 

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


Is An FHA Mortgage Better Than A Conforming One?

FHA vs Conforming Mortgage Rates 2005-2011

The FHA is insuring a greater percentage of loans than during any time in recent history. In 2006, it insured roughly 5 percent of the purchase mortgage market.   Today, it insures one-quarter.   “Going FHA” is more common than ever before — but is it better?

The answer — like most things in mortgage — depends on your circumstances.

Like its conforming counterpart, an FHA-insured mortgage is available both as a fixed-rate loan and as an adjustable-rate one.   Payments are made monthly and come without prepayment penalties.

That’s where the similarities end, however, and decision-making begins.   For homeowners and buyers, FHA mortgages carry a different set of rules as compared to conforming loans through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac that can render them more — or less — attractive for financing.

For example:

  • FHA mortgages can be assumed by a subsequent buyer.   Conforming loans may not.
  • FHA mortgages require mortgage insurance, regardless of downpayment.   Conforming loans do not.
  • FHA mortgages do not have loan level pricing adjustment.  Conforming loans do.

FHA mortgages also require smaller downpayment requirements versus a comparable conforming mortgage.   FHA calls for a minimum downpayment of 3.5%.   Conforming mortgages often require 5 percent or more.

And, lastly, FHA mortgages are priced differently from conforming ones.   Since 2005, the average FHA mortgage rate has been below the average conforming mortgage rate more than 50% of the time, meaning that an FHA mortgage’s principal + interest payment is lower than a comparable Fannie/Freddie loan.

Today, conforming mortgage rates are lower.

So, which is better — FHA loans or conforming ones?   Like most things in mortgage, it depends.   FHA-insured loans can be big money-savers or money-wasters. To find out which is best for you, consult your loan officer.  Feel free to contact me if you need a referral to a trustworthy mortgage professional.

Larkspur Ferry

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About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I help people move in and out of Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County! 

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


How To Clean Your Front-Loading Washing Machine

Front-loading washers can collect bacteriaIn today’s homes, front-loading washing machines are a popular choices as compared to traditional, top-loading machines for 3 main reasons:

  1. They wash more clothes per cycle, lowering household energy costs
  2. They’re environmentally-friendly, using less water per cycle
  3. They’re gentler on clothes, preserving colors and fabrics longer

They also require more care in the “cleaning” department.

Because of the way most front-loading washers are built, they tend to pool water in their drums, which can be a breeding ground bacteria and mildew.

Whether your front-loading washer smells “dirty” or not, you’ll want to follow proper procedures to keep it clean.

First, only use High Efficiency detergent. High Efficiency detergent is super-concentrated and creates fewer suds than traditional laundry detergent. Fewer suds means more soap is drained in the rinse cycle, leaving fewer chemicals and fragrances to sit in the drum.

High Efficiency detergent is also sold fragrance-free. This is the preferred variety for a long-term, stink-free washing machine.

Next, at least once weekly, take a dry cloth and wipe the inside rim of your front-loading washer. There, you will find a wide plastic tube in which water settles between loads of laundry. If you find stains or grime, remove it.

If your washer has a drain filter on its front-lower edge, remove the filter and allow the water to drain — preferably onto a towel or into a bucket.

Then, lastly, consider running an empty cycle with just bleach and water. This is optional, but can help remove lingering stench.  

Once your front-loading washing machine is cleaned, going forward, after each load runs, try leaving your washer’s front door open. This will allow fresh air to circulate through the washer and help drum-settled water to evaporate.

With less water and humidity in the drum, bacteria growth is slowed.

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About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I help people move in and out of Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County! 

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


Burglars Don’t Take Vacations

Burglars Don’t Take Vacations

While you’re away on vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is burglars invading your home and stealing your personal belongings. So before you leave, take these precautions. They’ll help protect your property and give you peace of mind.

 Lock all windows and use dead-bolts on exterior doors. Install security bars on sliding doors to prevent them from being lifted off their tracks.

 Leave a few shades or curtains open to maintain a “lived-in” appearance.

 Set light timers in a few rooms so that it appears people are at home when it’s dark.

 Stop newspaper delivery so that papers don’t pile up at your door.

 Store cash, jewelry and other valuables in a bank safe-deposit box.

 Don’t leave an outgoing message on your answering machine announcing you are on vacation. Lower the volume on the machine and your telephone ringer.

 Install outside lights, preferably with motion detectors.

 If you can afford one, install and activate a security system. Or at the very least, put security system warning decals on doors and windows to deter intruders.

Finally, ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your property and to notify you if they suspect a problem. Even better, ask a friend or relative either to house sit or to stop by daily to collect your mail, put out your garbage, and check that everything’s okay. Don’t forget to exchange the favor yourself.

For further safety tips, read my post: Ex-burglars share tips to prevent break-ins. 


Sylvie Zolezzi - www.YourPieceofMarin.com About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I help people move in and out of Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County!

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


Home Prices Rise For The 2nd Straight Month

Good news, but let’s look at what it really means for us in Marin.

Home Price Index since the April 2007 peakA strong spring season helped home values recover, says the government.

According to the Federal Home Finance Agency’s Home Price Index, home prices rose a seasonally-adjusted 0.4 percent from April to May.

It’s the HPI’s second straight increase, and puts the monthly index at its highest point since January 2011.

As a home seller, you may appreciate news such as “rising home prices”, but it’s important to remember that the Home Price Index has several built-in flaws — it does not reflect the reality of our local market nor the current state of the market.

Today, the calendar nearly reads August, yet, we’re still discussing May’s housing data.   A 2-month delay does little to help buyers and sellers wanting to know the “right now” of housing.

Audubon Center, Tiburon, CA

Unfortunately, the Home Price Index data is even more aged than that.

Because the FHFA’s Home Price Index measures home prices as recorded at closing, the actual sales prices included in the index are from real estate contracts written 30-60 days prior.

In other words, when we look at the Home Price Index report for May, what we’re really seeing is a snapshot of the housing market as it existed in March.   March’s housing market has little to do with the forces driving home prices today.

Today’s real estate market is driven by today’s economics.

The Home Price Index is a useful gauge for economists and law-makers; it shows long-term national trends in the housing market which can be used to allocate resources to a project, or to form new policy. For home buyers , though, it’s less helpful.

For today’s real estate buyers and sellers, there’s no substitute for real-time and local data.   For that, talk to a knowledgeable real estate professional who is familiar with the Marin market and its different communities: read my Mid Year Marin County Market Update to find out what is happening here in Marin.

Contact me with any real estate question.  I am looking forward to your call!

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About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I help people move in and out of Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County! 

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


Marin County Real Estate Market Update: Where are we at mid-year?

 Half way through the year: how is the market?

San Anselmo home

Tracking the number of sales of single family homes for the first six months over the past three years shows a steep increase from 2009 to 2010 and almost identical numbers compared to last year for 2011: 931 single family homes sold in the first half of the year compared to 923 at the same time last year.

These figures herald particularly good news since sales were artificially inflated during the first half of 2010 due to Federal Tax Credits for homebuyers.  This statistic is very encouraging and points towards increased stability in our market, which should in time lead to recovery. 

High Demand and Low Supply:

Trends at a Glance  
(Single-family Homes)  
  11-Jun 11-May 10-Jun % YOY change
Median Price: $814,250 $785,500 $815,000 0.09%
Average Price: $1,068,162 $1,080,318 $1,041,091 -2.60%
Home Sales: 218 174 217 -0.46%
Sale/List Price Ratio: 96.40% 95.10% 96.20% -0.21%
Days on Market: 77 90 80 3.75%

Demand continues to be high with eager buyers out in force at open houses.  June sales were up 25.3 % from May.  Year-over-year they were up 0.5%, pointing to stability.  This unusual surge in sales is surprising as the Marin County real estate market usually peaks in the spring and then takes a siesta during the summer months.  Is it because of the wet spring and unpredictable weather we’ve had during spring and early summer?

Not only are buyers writing more offers, but the most desirable properties are receiving more and more multiple offers, often significantly over asking.  

Price-wise things are looking up compared to May.  The median price for single family rose 3.7% in June compared to May, and was very slightly down (0.09%) year-over-year. The average price was up 2.6%, year-over-year.

Supply is the lowest it’s been in the last 24 months and 30% lower than it was in June 2010, with months’ supply of inventory at 3.7 months for Single Family Homes.  This should put upward pressure on Marin County home prices.

What’s selling by price point?

Each market segment behaves very differently however, with the below $1 million price segment continuing to represent the lion share of the market due to the high percentage of distressed property sales in that price range: out of 73 distressed property sales, there were only 7 over $1 million.  Distressed property sales represented 26% of all sales in Marin County in June, 20% of single family residence sales and 47.5% of condominium sales.  For more information, read my Marin County June 2011 Foreclosure Report.

Marin County – Single Family Residences as of July 12, 2011
  Total Active In Contract % In Contract Type of Market
ALL PRICES 1141 325 28.48% Buyers’
0-$999K 663 244 36.80% Sellers’
1MIL-$1,999K 287 56 19.51% Strong Buyers’
2MIL-$2,999K 89 13 14.61% Strong Buyers’
$3MIL + 102 12 11.76% Bottom of Form  

What’s selling in your neck of the woods?

The City-by-City report shows 4 of the 13 cities covered with increased percentages in contract since May.  Fairfax leads the pack with a slight surge to 46.67% from 45.95%.  Larkspur, Belvedere and Tiburon are also up.  Greenbrae, Novato, San Rafael and San Anselmo, despite percentages in contract slightly down, are still doing well and in the “Seller’s Market” territory. 

City by City Analysis-Single Family & Condos July 1, 2011. All price ranges combined  
City Total Active In Contract % In Contract
Sausalito 80 19 23.75%
Belvedere 35 8 22.86%
Tiburon 122 23 18.85%
Mill Valley 189 46 24.34%
Corte Madera 51 13 25.49%
Larkspur 41 12 29.27%
Greenbrae 38 15 39.47%
Kentfield 29 7 24.14%
Ross 22 4 18.18%
San Anselmo 74 23 31.08%
Fairfax 30 14 46.67%
San Rafael 334 109 32.63%
Novato 311 119 38.26%

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Larkspur Home

I will not make any prediction because it is impossible to know what will transpire in the next few months.  My Mid-Year Prediction Review clearly illustrates that it is impossible to accurately predict the future.

However, three things are certain.  First, a combination of low supply and high demand such as we are currently experiencing generally pushes prices upward.

Second, there is currently a large shadow inventory of distressed properties. When these properties hit the market, it can be expected that they will exert renewed downward pressure on home prices.

Celia Chen, of Moody’s Analytics explains: “Foreclosures are weighing on the outlook for U.S. house prices and the slow resolution of issues surrounding the so-called robo-signing scandal is keeping distressed homes off the market….By the fourth quarter of this year…the distress share will rise, sending the house price index back down.”

If you are a seller and are planning to sell your home in the near future, now is a good time as the market is likely to get flooded with foreclosures in the upcoming months .

If you are a buyer, regardless of the movement of home prices, the cost of purchasing a home is likely to significantly increase, erasing any advantage from a slightly lower house price.  Many economists are surprised interest rates have not risen already.  While many predict interest rates will go up later this year, there is also the issue of stricter mortgage guidelines and higher borrowing costs, which depress demand further.  Whether the Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) requirements are instituted as originally proposed or eased somewhat, there is no doubt that guidelines will continue to tighten.  And as private industry  begins to step into mortgage lending again, it can be expected that it will start introducing alternative mortgage financing, but at a greater expense to the consumer.   Finally, in many higher priced markets such as Marin County, the upcoming rolling back of conforming loan limits means that the mortgage rates over $625,500 will go back to private jumbo rates, up about ½ to ¾ of a percentage point.  Finally as the economy gets better (and it eventually will), the pressure to keep rates artificially low to stimulate growth will disappear.

If you find your dream home, don’t wait.  Just hire the right agent to negotiate the best possible price. 

I would be happy to represent you in the sale and/or purchase of your piece of Marin.  Contact me for a no-obligation consultation to discuss your options.