real estate trends
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
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
Mortgage rates will hold steady for the time being.
Slow economic growth over the summer has motivated the Federal Reserve to remain cautious, holding off on
proposed rate hikes for now.
National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew slower than expected over the summer. As such, the Fed has made plans to raise the rate of money borrowed by lending institutions in an effort to stave off runaway inflation, based on higher economic projections that have yet to be met.
Good News For Home Buyers
Interest rates have held at under 4 percent for the bulk of past year. As of the date of this article, mortgage interest rates are as follows:
- 30 year fixed-rate mortgage: 3.87%
- 15 year fixed-rate mortgage: 3.15%
- FHA 30 year fixed: 3.60%
- Jumbo 30 year fixed: 3.67%
- 5/1 fixed adjustable rate mortgage: 2.93%
Scarcity of rents along with high demand puts landlords in the driver’s seat. Is it time to take control of your destiny?
A recent survey from rent.com showed that property managers will hike rent prices on average by 8 percent by the end of the year. The same survey shows available rentals at a 20 year low, and nowhere is this fact made more prevalent by what’s available for rent in the Santa Clarita Valley.
As of the date of this article, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service shows a total of 39 active rentals listed by real estate agents in the Santa Clarita Valley. These rentals make up available properties offered by owners that include single family homes and condominiums. It does not include privately managed or advertised properties outside the MLS.
According to the MLS reports, there are no single family homes available within the city of Santa Clarita that are under $2000. What does this mean? The answer is obvious. The number of available SCV rentals for sale is low, and prices are continually going up. Continue reading
Single family home sales up nearly 16 percent from 2014.
The median price of single family homes in the SCV rang in at $523,000 in August, up 2.7 percent from the previous month, and nearly 7 percent from the previous year.
Condos fell only slightly in August, but are still strong year over year, with median equity increasing by 14 percent from August of 2014.
These numbers reflect continued positive growth in our economy, as well as interest rates still holding at historically low levels. We can also attribute the rise in prices to the still relatively low number of available homes for sale in the Santa Clarita Valley. There was a reported 675 active listings in the SCV at the end of August, which is about half of what would be considered a “balanced” market. Continue reading
Rumors that The Federal Reserve may raise interest rates have not affected the market…yet.
The market is in pretty good shape at the moment, with the recent jobs numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics bolstering confidence along many financial lines. Of course, this confidence may eventually lead an increase in inflation; something the Federal Reserve would like to avoid.
So how do we curb inflation as the nation’s economy improves? Many signs point to raising the base rate at which banks borrow money. In essence, this move trips a proverbial “breaker switch” with businesses and financial institutions, causing them to rethink their decisions on raising prices on goods and services. That being said, even a slight push upward in Federal rates will have an impact on the real estate market, even if it’s only temporary. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has hinted that rates may rise as early as September. 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
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