Forecasts for a slow 2016 real estate season have been greatly exaggerated.
Late last year, some financial analysts worried that a rise in the base interest rates by the Federal Reserve would trigger a reversal of fortunes in the real estate industry. Rates would rise, loans would be harder to get, houses would begin to languish on the market, and home prices would drop.
However, that turned out to not happen…at all!
Interest rates, while bumping back and forth between a few fractions of a percentage point, are still holding below 4 percent, despite the quarter percent rise in the base rate the Federal Reserve implemented in December. Continue reading
Home buyers are not waiting to see what happens with interest rates.
In what almost defies odds, despite the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise their base interest rate in December, home buyers are finding that their purchasing power is at its peak with nearly historic low interest rates.
According to a recent study, home mortgage applications jumped by nearly 9 percent in January of 2016. Borrowers are clearly seeing the advantages of acting now, rather than sitting on the fence.
And why not? Home prices on average rose 10 and a half percent in 2015. This average includes both single family homes and condominiums sold in the Santa Clarita Valley. The median price of a single family home rose 8.1 percent, while condos rose on average 12.9 percent.
I think I’m ready to buy a house. What do I do first?
The best thing to do, of course, is to contact Montemayor & Associates, and we’ll get the ball rolling to find the right lender who can let you know what your qualifying home mortgage rate and amount may be. Yes, you should do this FIRST before you begin looking at homes. Continue reading
Despite the Federal Reserve raising their interest rates, home loan prices are at an almost record low.
Interestingly enough, there was potential “doom and gloom” on the horizon as spelled out by some analysts late last year in light of the Federal Reserve’s decision to finally raise the rate they charge lenders to borrow money.
You’d think then, that mortgage rates would instantly rise as a result, right? Wrong!
In fact, 2016 has begun with home loan interest rates once again hovering near record lows. Having dropped below 4 percent, home owners, buyers, and sellers are taking advantage of what may be an “extended reprieve” from rising rates. Continue reading
Lots of economic indicators left “in the air” as we near the end of 2015 gives pause to speculation about the real estate market.
As we hurtle toward the final month of 2015, we’re seeing some interesting signs in the Santa Clarita real estate market. Interest rates, while still very low, have inched just above 4 percent, and housing prices for both condos and single family homes have leveled off.
That being said, it’s not unusual for housing prices to dip slightly in the final quarter of the year, with the summer buying season behind us and the holidays just ahead. The question still remains, however: Have Santa Clarita home prices reached their peak?
To be clear, prices have only dipped slightly between September and October of this year. The median price of a single family home still holds firm at the half million dollar mark, and condos are averaging prices in the low $300,000’s. We’re nowhere near the peak we achieved in the Spring of 2006, when single family home prices averaged $643,000 before they began to fall at the outset of the recession which began a year later. Continue reading
Lower interest rates over the past few years have saved homeowners a lot of money, but how long will it last?
For the past several years, the Federal Reserve has aided the real estate community by maintaining the rate at which banks buy their money at nearly zero. To be clear, this is the starting wholesale point for lenders who borrow money from the Federal banks, and not the borrow rate for home buyers.
That being said, these low interest rates have helped maintain the real estate market through the worst of the most recent economic recession, and many claim that this strategy was one that staved off a major real estate collapse.
The Pros of Low Interest Rates
Of course, it sounds like we’re stating the obvious. Low interest rates are ALWAYS a good thing, right? It helps borrowers increase their purchasing power when buying a home, and allows homeowners the opportunity to refinance their mortgages at a lower rate. This saves both buyers and refinancers a ton of money over the long term. A win-win, right? Continue reading
Yes, Spring is still in the air, but timing is everything when it comes to buyers and sellers realizing their real estate goals.
There’s been a lot of good news in the Santa Clarita real estate market lately. Not only have single family homes topped the $500,000 mark for the first time in 8 years, but interest rates are still holding below 4 percent…establishing what we might call a “win-win” scenario for both buyers and sellers.
While we’re still smack dab in the middle of Spring, many buyers and sellers “on the fence” should take this time to consider the fact that Summer is one of the best times to buy or sell. Why?
First of all, for the most part, kids are out of school. Parents find it much easier to move in between school sessions. Also, it is the time right after tax season that many renters are reminded of the potential tax savings as homeowners. Conversely, those who have received tax refunds have cause to think about investing it in something that will give them a long term return. Continue reading
Median price of single family homes takes a 6 percent swing upward from February.
The Santa Clarita real estate market showed signs of a continued rebound when statistics recently released from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors showed the median price of a single family home reached $520,000 in the SCV in March. This represents a slightly higher than 6 percent median equity increase over the previous month.
To put it more plainly: Single family home prices rose $30,000 in one month!
In fact, home prices have risen nearly $60,000 since March of 2014, which begs the question yet again: What other investment can you make that will net you an equitable return of this magnitude in 12 months?
Leveraging your money to leverage equity.
Say, for example, you purchased a home in Santa Clarita in March of 2014 for the median price of $462,000. Now, if you obtained what we call a conventional fixed-rate mortgage using a 20 percent down payment ($92,400), then in one year you’ve technically made back nearly 2/3 of your cash investment. Continue reading
Statistics show Santa Clarita homeowners are getting a very good return on their investment.
It’s been written that the industry standard for return on investment as far as real estate goes is on average between 3 to 5 percent. In the Santa Clarita Valley, the median price of a single family home rose 12 percent in 2014. Condos, while not faring quite as well, still rose by just a little over 8 percent.
So think about it: Where else can you make an investment with only a small percentage down, and make 12 percent on that investment in as little as 12 months?
When thinking about personal wealth and investments for your future, real estate truly is one of the best investments you can make.
Now, the past couple of years has seen recovered growth in the Santa Clarita Valley from a few “down” years during the recession. Even taking those negative equity years (Between 2007-2010), on average, single family homes in the Santa Clarita Valley have increased in value by 6.15 percent per year since 1998 (Source: Southland Regional Association of Realtors. 1998 was the first full year they posted median statistics in the Santa Clarita Valley). Continue reading
Low interest rates and an improving economy does not necessarily mean you can price your home as you choose.
Fair Market Value, or FMV can be quite the moving target, based on continually changing conditions in the real estate marketplace. Like stocks, bonds, and other investment items, real estate falls under that FMV category as well.
So what is “Fair Market Value?” Quite simply, it’s the price that one is willing to pay for an item based on several value conditions. For real estate, it’s location, demographics, size, amenities, and honestly, what other similar properties have sold for.
For example, if you have a 1,500 square foot three bedroom, 2 and a half bath home on a 6,000 square foot lot in Valencia, we’d begin to analyze recent sales of similar homes first in your tract, then perhaps we’d broaden the parameters a bit to see what homes sales were in surrounding neighborhoods for comparison. Continue reading
It’s a great time for both home buyers and sellers in the Santa Clarita Valley.
First of all, with available housing inventory on the lower side of nominal (somewhere in the mid 500’s), most sellers are confident that they can sell their home relatively quickly at market rates, which climbed nearly 15% in 2014.
Mortgage rates have bumped up (very) slightly, but are still well below 4 percent, which is great news for both buyers and sellers? Why is it great news for sellers? Well, for the most part, many sellers turn into buyers once they have their home in escrow, so the “win-win” is in full effect. Homeowners are excited as well, being able to take advantage of lower rates to refinance to a lower monthly mortgage payment, or access equity to make home improvements or other investments. We’re continuing to see mortgage loan applications jump as a result of low interest rates. Continue reading