Tag Archives: Cross River Real Estate

San Francisco’s housing bubble is collapsing | Cross River Real Estate

house, San Francisco, California Flickr / Håkan Dahlström

Here’s the other side of central-bank engineered asset price inflation, or “healing the housing market,” as it’s called in a more politically correct manner:

San Francisco Unified school district, which employs about 3,300 teachers, has been hobbled by a teacher shortage. Despite intense efforts this year – including a signing bonus – to bring in 619 new teachers to fill the gaps left behind by those who’d retired or resigned, the district is short 38 teachers as of Monday, when the school year started. Others school districts in the Bay Area have similar problems.

For teachers, the math doesn’t work out. Average teacher pay for the 2014-15 school year was $65,000. And less after taxes. But the median annual rent was $42,000 for something close to a one-bedroom apartment. After taxes and utilities, there’s hardly any money left for anything else.

A teacher who has lived in the same rent-controlled apartment for umpteen years may still be OK. But teachers who need to find a place, such as new teachers or those who’ve been subject of a no-fault eviction, are having trouble finding anything they can afford in the city. So they pack up and leave in the middle of the school year, leaving classes without teachers. It has gotten so bad that the Board of Supervisors decided in April to ban no-fault evictions of teachers during the school year.

Yet renting, as expensive as it is in San Francisco, is the cheaper option. Teachers trying to buy a home in San Francisco are in even more trouble at current prices. And it’s not just teachers!

This aspect of Ben Bernanke’s and now Janet Yellen’s asset price inflation – and consumer price inflation for those who have to pay for housing – is what everyone here calls “The Housing Crisis.”

As if to drive home the point, so to speak, the California Association of Realtors just released itsHousing Affordability Index (HAI) for the second quarter. It is based on the median house price (only houses, not condos), prevailing mortgage interest rate, household income, and a 20% down payment.

urban houses san franciscoShutterstock

In San Francisco, the median house price – half sell for more, half sell for less – is $1.37 million. According to Paragon Real Estate, if condos were included, the median price would drop to $1.2 million.

The median household income in San Francisco is $84,160, including households with more than one earner. So a household of two teachers with $130,000 in household income is doing pretty well, comparatively speaking.

The monthly mortgage payment for the median house in San Francisco, after a 20% down payment and at the prevailing rock-bottom mortgage rates, is $6,740 per month, or $80,900 per year!

So what kind of minimum qualifying household income would be required for the mortgage of a median house, plus taxes and insurance? For the US on average, $47,200 per year. In San Francisco, $269,600 per year. It would require a household of four teacher salaries!

Only the top-earning 13% of households in San Francisco can afford to buy that median house!

Other Bay Area counties have similar out-of-whack affordability rates: In San Mateo County (part of Silicon Valley), only 14% can buy that median home; in Marin County (north of the Golden Gate) 18%; Santa Clara Country (where San Jose is) 19%; Alameda County (where Oakland is) 20%. And so on.

And this despite the historically low mortgage rates. If prevailing mortgage rates rose to 6%, practically no one could afford to buy.

Then there’s the issue of down payment that the CAR so elegantly glosses over: the 20% down payment of for that median house in San Francisco is $275,000!

House in San FranciscoJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

How are people going to save $275,000 after taxes while living and renting in a city that is as pocket-cleaning expensive as San Francisco? Saving $275,000 on a median household income of $84,160 while paying $42,000 a year in rent, plus taxes, utilities, food, transportation, clothes, parking tickets…..

Saving anything is going to be tough. But even if that household, using herculean discipline, can save 5% of its income a year (so $4,200 a year), it would take 65 years to save that down payment. Oh well. There goes the dream.

These are a scary numbers for the housing market! If only 13% can buy that median home – when in a healthier housing market, over 50% should be able to buy a median home – who the heck is going to buy the rest of the homes?

This puts a stranglehold on demand. To sustain these crazy home prices, San Francisco needs to bring in an endless flow of highly paid people, including absentee foreign investors, to replace the teachers and other middle-class households, the artists and shop keepers and office workers, and to push out city employees, nurses, and the like. That’s how the process has worked.

But that endless influx of highly paid people and investors is grinding to a halt. Some companies are still hiring, but others are laying off, and highly paid workers are just switching jobs rather than pouring into the city in large numbers. That’s a sea change for this housing market.

It comes at a time when a historic building boom is throwing thousands of high-end condos and apartments on the market every year, for years to come.

 

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http://www.businessinsider.com/san-franciscos-housing-bubble-collapsing-under-its-own-lopsidedness-2016-8

Mortgage rates at 3.43% | Cross River Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates declining after nudging slightly higher for three consecutive weeks.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.43 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending August 4, 2016, down from last week when it averaged 3.48 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.91 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.74 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.78 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.13 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Treasury yields fell last week following both the FOMC’s meeting and a disappointing advance estimate for second quarter GDP. Mortgage rates, which had moved up 7 basis points over the past three weeks, responded by erasing most of those gains, falling 5 basis points to 3.43 percent this week for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Mortgage rates have been below 3.5 percent every week since June 30. Borrowers are taking advantage of these low rates by refinancing. The latest Weekly Applications Survey results from the Mortgage Bankers Association show refinance activity up 55 percent since last year.”

US homeownership rate matches a 51-year low | Cross River Real Estate

The proportion of U.S. households that own homes has matched its lowest level in 51 years — evidence that rising property prices, high rents and stagnant pay have made it hard for many to buy.

Just 62.9 percent of households owned a home in the April-June quarter this year, a decrease from 63.4 percent 12 months ago, the Census Bureau said Thursday. The share of homeowners now equals the rate in 1965, when the census began tracking the data.

The trend appears most pronounced among millennial households, ages 18 to 34, many of whom are straining under the weight of rising apartment rents and heavy student debt. Their homeownership rate fell 0.7 percentage point over the past year to 34.1 percent. That decline may reflect, in part, more young adults leaving their parents’ homes for rental apartments.

The overall decline appears to be due largely to the increased formation of rental households, said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at the real estate site Trulia. McLaughlin cautioned, though, that the decrease in homeownership from a year ago was not statistically significant.

America added nearly a million households over the past year and all of them were renters. Home ownership has declined even as the housing market has been recovering from the 2007 bust that triggered the Great Recession. Ownership peaked at 69.2 percent at the end of 2004.

Home prices have been steadily outpacing gains in average earnings. This has made it harder for first-time buyers to save for down payments, thereby delaying their ability to purchase a home.

The median home sales price was $247,700 in June, up 4.8 percent from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. That increase is roughly double the pace of average hourly wage gains.

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https://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-homeownership-rate-62-9-percent-matches-51-145524882–finance.html

Mortgage rates average 3.42% | Cross River Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates holding steady with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remaining near its all-time record low of 3.31 percent in November of 2012.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.42 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending July 14, 2016, up from last week when it averaged 3.41 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.09 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.72 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.74 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.25 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.76 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.68 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.96.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“We describe the last few weeks as A Tale of Two Rates. Immediately following the Brexit vote, U.S. Treasury yields plummeted to all-time lows. This week, markets stabilized and the 10-year Treasury yield rebounded sharply. In contrast, the 30-year mortgage rate declined after the Brexit vote, but only by half as much as the 10-year Treasury yield. This week, the 30-year fixed rate barely budged, rising just one basis point to 3.42 percent. This pattern suggests that mortgage rates are likely to remain low throughout the summer.”

Pending Sales Down | Cross River Real Estate

The Pending Home Sales Index declined 2.5% in January, but has increased year-over-year for 17 consecutive months. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), decreased 2.5% in January to 106.0 from an upwardly revised 108.7 December, and was 1.4% above the same month a year ago.

Pending Home Sales January 2016

The PHSI increased slightly in the South by 0.3%, but fell in the remaining three regions, ranging from a 3.2% decrease in the Northeast to a 4.9% decrease in the Midwest. Year-over-year, three regions increased, ranging from 10.9% in the Northeast to 0.4% in the West. The South decreased 1.3% from the same month a year ago.

Existing sales increased 11.0% in 2015, and improving economic conditions and rising employment suggest a continuing recovery in existing sales. However, both housing starts and new home sales stumbled in January. Also, the long-term weakness among first-time buyers will continue to dampen all sales in 2016.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/02/pending-sales-down-2/

CoreLogic: Foreclosures fall to lowest level since 2007 | Cross River Real Estate

The inventory of homes in foreclosure continued to decrease in November 2015, falling to the lowest level since November 2007, a new report from CoreLogic showed.

CoreLogic, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider, released its November 2015 National Foreclosure Report on Tuesday.

The report shows that during the month of November foreclosure inventory declined by 21.8% and completed foreclosures declined by 18.8% compared with November 2014.

CoreLogic’s report also showed that the number of completed foreclosures nationwide fell year over year from 41,000 in November 2014 to 33,000 in November 2015.

Additionally, the number of completed foreclosures in November 2015 was down 71.6% from the peak of 117,657 in September 2010, CoreLogic’s report noted.

According to CoreLogic’s report, the foreclosure inventory represents the number of homes at some stage of the foreclosure process and completed foreclosures reflect the total number of homes lost to foreclosure.

CoreLogic’s report noted that as of November 2015, the national foreclosure inventory was approximately 448,000, or 1.2%, of all homes with a mortgage compared with 573,000 homes, or 1.5%, in November 2014.

The November 2015 foreclosure inventory rate marks the lowest for any month since November 2007, CoreLogic’s report showed.

“After peaking at 3.6% in January 2011, the foreclosure rate currently stands at 1.2% – a remarkable improvement,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “While there are still pockets of areas with high foreclosure activity, 30 states have foreclosure rates below the national average which is evidence of the solid improvement.”

But it wasn’t just the number of homes in foreclosure that fell to an eight-year low.

CoreLogic also reports that the number of mortgages in serious delinquency, which CoreLogic defines as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure or REO, declined by 21.7% from November 2014 to November 2015, to 1.3 million mortgages, or 3.3%, in this category.

According to CoreLogic, the November 2015 serious delinquency rate is the lowest since Dec. 2007.

“Tight post-crash underwriting standards coupled with much improved economic and housing market fundamentals have combined to push new mortgage delinquencies to 15-year-lows,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Although judicial states will likely continue to lag, given current trends, it is reasonable to expect a continued and significant drop in the rate of serious delinquencies and foreclosure starts in 2016.”

CoreLogic’s report also showed that:

  • On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures decreased by 10.9% to 33,000 in November 2015 from the 38,000 reported in October 2015.
  • The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in November 2015 were Florida (83,000), Michigan (51,000), Texas (29,000), California (24,000) and Georgia (24,000). These five states accounted for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
  • Four states and the District of Columbia had the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in November 2015: the District of Columbia (78), North Dakota (225), Wyoming (543), West Virginia (565) and Hawaii (686).
  • Four states and the District of Columbia had the highest foreclosure inventory rate in November 2015: New Jersey (4.4%), New York (3.5%), Hawaii (2.5%), Florida (2.4%) and the District of Columbia (2.4%).

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http://www.housingwire.com/articles/36008-corelogic-foreclosures-fall-to-lowest-level-since-2007?eid=311691494&bid=1275777

QM Rule is a Yawner | Cross River Real Estate

Despite months of turmoil and repeated complaints from lenders, Realtors, builders and other members of the housing lobby, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s Qualified Mortgage Rule enacted in 2014 has not had any significant impact on risk taking and credit availability, according to a new study by the Federal Reserve.

Congress passed one of the most comprehensive financial reform laws in U.S. history, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. One key part of Dodd-Frank — the ability-to-repay (ATR) provision — discourages risky mortgage lending practices that proliferated during the housing boom. On January 10, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) rules implementing the ATR provision went into effect. For the first time, Federal law required lenders to consider certain underwriting criteria and make a good-faith determination that borrowers will have the ability to repay their home loans. As the new ATR requirement represented a shift toward more prescriptive regulation in the residential mortgage market, it is important to understand how the rules are affecting risk taking and credit availability.

Federal Reserve economists Neil Bhutta and Daniel RingoIn used recently released loan level data collected under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) to examine how the new rules may have affected mortgage lending activity in 2014. They examined broad lending patterns and found little indication that the new rules had a significant effect on lending in 2014. They conducted sharper tests around the date of enactment, and around lender-size and loan-pricing thresholds, where treatment of loans under the new rules varies. They found evidence that some market outcomes were affected by the new rules, but the estimated magnitudes of the responses are small.

The new ATR rules require lenders to consider and verify a number of different underwriting factors, such as a mortgage applicant’s assets or income, debt load, and credit history, and make a reasonable determination that a borrower will be able to pay back the loan. (Thus, these verification requirements prohibit so-called “no-doc” loans, where borrowers’ income and assets are not verified.) Borrowers may allege a violation of the ATR requirement within three years of the date of violation. They may also use a violation of the ATR requirement as a defense against foreclosure for the life of the loan. Lenders that are found to violate the ATR rules can be liable for monetary damages.

 

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http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2016/01/qm-rule-is-a-yawner/

Mortgage rates average 3.95% | Cross River Real Estate

Freddie today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate declining slightly leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage hasn’t risen above 4 percent since the week of July 23rd of this year, which is helping homebuyer affordability in the face of rising house prices due to low levels of inventory in many markets.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.95 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending November 25, 2015, down from last week when it averaged 3.97 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.97 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.18 percent with an average 0.6 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.17 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.01 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.98 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.01 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.59 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, down from 2.64 percent last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.44 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following links for theRegional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

As of January 1, 2016, the PMMS will no longer provide results for the 1-year ARM. Additionally, the regional breakouts will not be provided for the 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages, and the 5/1 Hybrid ARM.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“In a quiet week leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, the 30-year mortgage rate dipped 2 basis points to 3.95 percent. Economic releases over the last week contained no major surprises, and none are expected in the next few days. The year is winding down, and the only remaining market dates of note are December 4 — the last employment report of the year — and December 15-16, the long-awaited FOMC meeting.”

Gen Xers more likely than Millennials or Boomers to buy a home | Cross River Real Estate

MCLEAN, VA–(Marketwired – Nov 18, 2015) – Freddie Mac

  • Gen Xers more likely than Millennials or Boomers to buy a home
  • Millennials more likely to save for short- and long-term goals
  • Renters offset rent hikes by spending less on essentials and are considering getting a roommate

Renters indicate they still feel challenged with their finances and 66 percent are carrying debt each month, according to a recent Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) survey. Yet, the majority of renters (56 percent) are optimistic about managing their debt. Renters are also saving money for numerous priorities and a down payment on a home is not at the top of their list. In addition, Gen Xers are more likely than Millennials or Boomers to buy a home in the next three years.

For the Freddie Mac quarterly online survey, conducted in October on its behalf by Harris Poll, renters currently saving for all listed goals place a higher priority on saving money for an emergency/unexpected expense (59 percent), retirement (51 percent) and children’s education (50 percent) than a down payment on a home (39 percent) or a vacation (26 percent). They also indicate that they are behind in saving for those things.

Looking across generations, Millennial renters are more likely to be saving for short- and long-term goals than Boomer and Gen X renters. For example, Millennial renters are more likely to be saving for a major purchase (92 percent) and a vacation (94 percent), when compared to Boomers (82 percent and 81 percent respectively) and Gen Xers (77 percent and 75 percent respectively).

“We know rents are rising faster than incomes and now we have data to show that many renters don’t have enough to pay all their debts each month, which is forcing them to make tradeoffs, such as cutting spending on other items,” said David Brickman, Freddie Mac executive vice president of Multifamily. “Despite this, some renters feel optimistic about managing their debt.”

Brickman added, “Growth in the renter segment will most likely occur through multifamily properties as more than half of those currently renting single-family properties are planning to become homeowners in the near future. The data shows single-family renters are increasingly more dissatisfied than multifamily renters.”

Ways to Offset a Rent Hike

The many ways in which renters are making adjustments due to rent increases include:

  • 51 percent are spending less on essentials, the same as last quarter.
  • 52 percent put off plans to purchase a home, compared to 44 percent in June.
  • 35 percent are contemplating getting a roommate, up from 29 percent in June.
  • 26 percent say they need to move into a smaller rental property, compared to 20 percent in June.

The Future Homebuyer

When broken out by generations, 58 percent of Gen X renters expect to purchase a home in the next three years, compared to 42 percent of Millennials and 33 percent of Baby Boomers.

Overall, almost half (48 percent) of renters in single-family properties are dissatisfied with renting, and are more likely to purchase a home in the next three years than multifamily renters (57 percent vs. 28 percent).

Satisfaction with Rental Experience

The satisfaction rates from the March, October and June surveys this year are virtually unchanged, with a third of renters being very satisfied with their rental experience and almost a third (30 percent) indicating they are moderately satisfied. In the October survey,

  • 70 percent of satisfied renters are likely to continue renting for the next three years, up slightly from 68 percent in the previous quarter.
  • 30 percent of satisfied renters indicate they are more likely to buy a home, compared to 32 percent in the previous quarter.

In addition, the top favorable factors for renting remain about the same and are freedom from home maintenance (79 percent), more flexibility over where you live (74 percent) and protection against declines in home prices (68 percent).

Additional details about the survey, including charts, are on the Freddie Mac website.

Here’s what the typical #homebuyer and #seller look like | Cross River Real Estate

This is the third year in a row that the share of first-time buyers declined, staying at the lowest point in nearly three decades, according to an annual survey released by the National Association of Realtors.

Instead of first-time buyers, the overall strengthening pace of home sales over the past year was driven more by repeat buyers with dual incomes.

In this year’s survey, the share of first-time buyers declined to 32%å (33% a year ago), which is the second-lowest share since the survey’s inception (1981) and the lowest since 1987 (30%). Historically, the long-term average shows that nearly 40% of primary purchases are from first-time homebuyers.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the housing recovery’s missing link continues to be the absence of first-time buyers.

“There are several reasons why there should be more first-time buyers reaching the market, including persistently low mortgage rates, healthy job prospects for those college-educated, and the fact that renting is becoming more unaffordable in many areas,” said Yun.

He attributed the drop in first-time buyers to several reasons.

“Unfortunately, there are just as many high hurdles slowing first-time buyers down. Increasing rents and home prices are impeding their ability to save for a down payment, there’s scarce inventory for new and existing-homes in their price range, and it’s still too difficult for some to get a mortgage,” Yun said.

This infographic shows what the typical homebuyer and home seller look like.

Click to enlarge

NAR

(Source: National Association of Realtors)

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http://www.housingwire.com/articles/35541-infographic-heres-what-the-typical-homebuyer-and-seller-look-like?eid=311691494&bid=1227253