Real Estate Outlook 2014

Equity is up, interest rates are down, and good news for 2015 home buyers.

It might be safe to say that the real estate “slump” is over. We might even dare say, as 2015 fast approaches, that our “recovery” is turning into a full on real estate boom. That is, if things Montemayor and Associatescontinue the way they are going.

In using the term “boom,” we’re not referring to the over hyped and over priced real estate market we experienced a decade ago, which was fueled largely in part by speculation, some fast stock trading, and the dubious practice of sub-prime mortgages. Instead, we’re referring to the steady growth of the Santa Clarita real estate market over the past few years, which includes a return to equity growth for homeowners, solid lending practices, and buyers truly qualified to afford the homes they purchase.

We’ve seen an overall rise in value of both single family residences and condominiums in 2014, with increases in value of over 10% since January. Short sales and foreclosures have also continued to drop in the SCV. Continue reading

Sales are still brisk through the Fall season, spurred on by lower interest rates.

The latest statistics as reported by the Southland Regional Association of Realtors showed that home prices remained relatively steady in September, with no price changes up or down forMontemayor and Associates single family homes, and a drop of $5000 in median prices for condominiums.

The real estate market has remained relatively strong here in the Santa Clarita Valley, although available property inventory for sale has remained steady, at just over 900 reported in all of the Santa Clarita communities including Valencia, Stevenson Ranch, Saugus, Castaic, Newhall, Canyon Country, Acton and Agua Dulce.

This activity can be attributed at least in part to the drop in interest rates to levels not seen since the Spring of 2013, giving buyers an extra incentive to act on this increase in purchasing power before the end of the year.

Savvy homeowners, sensing an opportunity to sell before the year’s end, are considering their options as well. Montemayor and Associates has obtained several new listings in the past month, many of which are already in escrow. Continue reading

Rates hold steady while economy continues to improve.United States Federal Reserve System

We’ve had a fascinating turn of events, economy-wise in 2014. Recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed continued job growth and the unemployment rate falling below 6% for the first time in six years. The median price of a single family home in Santa Clarita has risen nearly $60,000 since January, with condos rising $35,000. Yes, we’ve seen more homes for sale in the Santa Clarita Valley than we had this time last year, but the rise in inventory denotes more of a balance in our real estate market than anything else.

There have been some doom sayers last year that predicted things would be much different by this time. Some predicted that the reduction in Quantitative Easing by the Federal Reserve would cause interest rates to leap forward. Others predicted another real estate bubble. None of which has happened in 2014.

In fact, the Federal Reserve recently announced that no new changes would take place in interest rates for at least the foreseeable future. They did this in part to insure the economy continues on its path to recovery by making money cheap to borrow. They are also taking precautions in the wake of a stronger dollar bumped up against slower economic growth in international markets. It’s a delicate balance, along with decisions that have affected our national economy in a very strong way, with the stock market spiking upward upon the most recent news. Continue reading

SCV single family homes tick upward in August while condos hold steady.

It’s been a rather interesting year real estate-wise here in the Santa Clarita Valley. The median price of a single family home started off the year at $432, 900, and, with a few Santa Clarita real estate. Photo copyright George D. Cummingsfluctuations, the prices have continued to rise.

The month of August saw single family homes in the SCV rise to $490,000. That’s a $57,000 rise in equity in 8 months. Think about it…$57,000 in 8 months. Condominiums, while on a slightly slower pace, still rose by $35,000 since January.

When you consider the value of real estate, it’s hard to fathom any other low-risk investment that has the potential to increase this much in this amount of time. Yes, there may be others out there, but again, consider the risk.

Of course, we usually think of real estate as a long term investment. It’s rare that anyone who may have purchased a home at the beginning of the year would simply sell to “cash in”, except for professional investors who have an eye for short term property turnovers. Then again, these investors do inherit a fair amount of risk, as short term strategies may take a turn in a direction that may not be profitable. Continue reading

More evidence of an impending buyer’s market?

New statistics released by the Southland Regional Association of Realtors showed the median price of single family homes in Santa Clarita fell $3,000 from May, holding Santa Clarita Real Estateat $481,000. Condominium prices jumped $9,000 from May to reach a median price of $290,000.

Single family home prices have held steady with little movement upward or downward since April, when median prices first rose to $485,000. Homeowners should realize however that this demonstrates a typical pricing trend, as prices can bounce up or down slightly through the season. In 2013 for example, prices rose and fell between $430,000 and $450,000, then back to $430,000 between June and September before settling in at $440,000 by year’s end. Another item for consideration is that median single family home prices have risen $49,000 since January of this year. Very few solid investments can yield you this type of return in only six months.

Condominium prices have risen $40,000 since January, which is another incredible equity yield for homeowners.  Continue reading

More signs that we’re headed toward a more balanced market as summer sizzles on.

Information from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors recently released showed a steady real estate market through the month of June, with no significant Santa Clarita Real Estate Marketgains or losses.

The median selling price of SCV homes in June remained at $412,000. This number includes averages from single family homes as well as condominiums. We saw little change in the number of homes listed, with 393 listings compared to 400 in May. Fewer escrows were opened, but not by much, with the number reaching 370 last month, compared to 401 in May. Closed escrows were even closer, with only 23 less in June.

As we’ve stated previously, we’re seeing a slight change in the makeup of buyers and sellers. With more inventory on the market (895 on average in June), buyers are finally beginning to have some choices in their home selections. Sellers are also becoming more amenable to contingent sales. That being said, sales are still relatively brisk, with an average “Days On Market” time of 68 days, which is fairly average.  Continue reading

As balance returns to the Santa Clarita real estate market, how you price your home is more important now than ever.

This time last year, the market in Santa Clarita was quite the wild ride. While interest rates took a jump from the mid 3 percent range to the middle 4’s, inventory in theSanta Clarita Real Estate SCV was still extremely low. Prices were rising, and homes were selling quickly with multiple offers. In some cases those multiple offers pushed the final selling price of a home beyond its listing price.

This was all very find and good for sellers…until those sellers had to turn around and purchase another Santa Clarita home. Situations like these can (and did) cause a short-lived unusually high jump in home prices as we saw median single family home equity jump $80,000 in between January and December of 2013.

That was then, this is now…

Continue reading

Is this a sign of a shift in the Santa Clarita real estate market?

The Southland Regional Association of Realtors released their statistics for the month of May, revealing that single family home prices made no gains over April. Santa Clarita Real Estate UpdateCurrently single family homes are holding at a median price of $485,000 in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Condominium prices in the SCV did bounce upward nearly 6 percent last month, settling in at $281,000. Condos have had a bumpy ride in the past year or so, with a few ups and downs along the way. They had topped out briefly at $295,000 in November 2013 before taking a dip at the beginning of this year, but overall their median equity has increased by over 12 percent since January.

Condos may have gained more appeal in light of the fact that single family homes are becoming out of reach for many entry-level home buyers.  Continue reading

As we near the first half of 2014, trends show the potential for a more balanced market in the SCV.

The last few years have been an interesting ride in real estate. From the near collapse of the market in 2008, to the “bottoming out” of prices a few years later, to the hugeSanta Clarita home prices on the rise. rebound that began in the latter part of 2012, we’ve had a bumpy experience, to say the least.

Fortunately, so many good things have happened in the recent past that seems to be making a positive impact on the real estate market. Between the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s realignment of loan policies through “Qualified Mortgages’ (QM), to the FHA’s more recent actions to make home buying easier, these things, along with low interest rates and rising home prices, have gained momentum providing a win-win for both buyers and sellers.  Continue reading

SCV Housing prices continue to climb in 2014.

The median price of single family homes took another tick upward in April to $485,000; up nearly 5 percent from the median price in March.Things to think about when buying a home

The last time we came close to this median price was in April of 2008, when single family home prices averaged $480,000 just before the onset of the economic downturn that came as a result of the impending recession.

Since then, Santa Clarita housing prices faltered for the next several years, dipping to the lowest point in December 2011 when the median price of single family homes dropped to $340,000 before beginning a slow but steady rebound.  Continue reading

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I had specific needs for my new home. Brandon was very patient with my unique situation and flexible when it kept changing. He showed me so many houses, but with little inventory, none of them were quite perfect or they had too much HOA or Mello Roos. Finally when we found The One, no HOA, no Mello Roos, it had been on the market for 4 days and I made an offer that morning. I was sure the sellers would give it to someone else but Brandon worked hard to make sure they accepted my offer and by that night, the house was mine. Had it not been for Brandon I would still be searching for a house because so far, there is still nothing better than mine.
Lisa G. , Saugus
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