WHAT DO CALIFORNIA HOMEOWNERS REALLY THING ABOUT THE CURRENT REAL ESTATE MARKET?

Even with rising home prices over the past few years, many homeowners who have considered selling are deciding not to because they are caught in an affordability squeeze that is compounded by a lack of inventory, according to findings from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) “2015 Survey of California Homeowners.”More than one-third (35 percent) of homeowners have considered selling their home in the past year, and of that share, about two-thirds (64 percent) are reluctant to sell because they are finding they can’t afford the home they really want, the survey found. C.A.R.’s inaugural Survey of California Homeowners also found that more than half (59 percent) of homeowners have not seriously considered selling their home in the past year, with more than half (60 percent) saying their current home will be their retirement residence. For those who have been in their home 15 years or more, that figure rises to 70 percent who indicated they have not considered selling because their current residence will be their retirement home.  Click here to read more.                                 Continue reading

THE CALIFORNIA REPORT: AUGUST RESIDENTIAL REAL ESATE REVIEW

Following a hotter than usual summer of homes sales, California’s housing market cooled in August, but still posted higher year over year for the seventh straight month, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today. Home sales remained above the 400,000 mark in August for the fifth consecutive month and rose to the highest level since October 2012. Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 431,800 units in August, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2015 if sales maintained the August pace throughout the year.  It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.  Click here to read more.                                 Continue reading

LEASE OPTIONS: A WIN FOR BUYERS AND SELLERS

A rent-to-own luxury home may help potential homeowners buy some time before it’s buying time. For potential jumbo-mortgage borrowers, a lease option gives future buyers the opportunity to save for a higher down payment or get a credit history in order, while locking in on their future purchase, says Linda Rheinberger, a broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Las Vegas. On their end, sellers typically agree to a lease option as a way to cover their mortgage payments or make additional income until the sales market improves, Ms. Rheinberger adds. Click here to read more.                                 Continue reading

THIS WEEK'S PRICIEST HOMES FOR SALE: DOES CELEBRITY LEGACY ADD TO THE ASKING PRICE?

The high-end housing market hasn’t been this entertaining to watch since the last upturn. Luxury homes are being bought for eye-popping prices with large amounts of cash, and apparently imagination is the only limit to amenities. Nowhere is this more apparent than in L.A.’s ultra-expensive celebrity-studded neighborhoods. – Lauren Beale and Neal J. Leitereg Actress Sela Ward's mansion in Bel-Air is as personalized as they come. Rebuilt into a French country estate during her 12 years there, the eight-acre spread has a miniature golf course, a pond with a beach and a stone-walled amphitheater built into a hillside. Asking price: $39.995 million. Click here to read more.                                   Continue reading

ARE SHAKY MARKETS SHAKING CONFIDENCE IN LUXURY REAL ESTATE?

For a while, it seemed like the luxury housing market was downright untouchable. “More properties than ever before were both sold and listed for sale at US $100 million or higher in 2014,” Christie’s International Real Estate reported. In many cases, it’s been easier to get a jumbo loan than a conventional mortgage in the postcrash real estate world. But wait … are the recent nosedives in the Chinese stock market—and the resulting roller-coaster ride experienced by U.S. stocks—finally making a dent in housing’s vaunted upper-end sector? “Wild swings in the U.S. stock market over the past few weeks have prompted many high-end home buyers across the country to rethink selling off assets to finance down payments, leading to canceled purchases, delayed closings and requests for price reductions,” the Wall Street Journal reported. Click here to read more.                                 Continue reading

ON FIRE: WHICH ARE THE HOTTEST MARKETS FOR RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES?

The U.S. has been named the hottest market for global residential property in a survey of 14 countries by real estate advisors Savills. The researchers analyzed economic and demographic trends to forecast how much prices in popular cities will rise over the next five years. And the essential ingredients for solid returns? A combination of population growth, rising wealth and limited housing supply. 1. United States The U.S. housing market has enjoyed three years of growth as the economic recovery gathers pace. Prices are up about 30% from their 2009 trough. San Francisco offers the most impressive growth potential. Nearby Silicon Valley has spurred interest in the city and secured its place as one of the country's best performing housing markets. Savills named it ahead of New York, Los Angeles and Miami.  Click here to read more.                               Continue reading

AUTUMN’S BOUNTY: OPPORTUNITIES CONTINUE FOR U.S. REAL ESTATE

While autumn is fast approaching, home prices are also starting to climb up. The US Real Estate market has also experienced different trends just like with stocks exchange, rising and falling prices of energy and as well as the possibility of Federal Reserve's interest rate increase this year. According to thestreet.com, the autumn residential real estate market seems to be in a good shape this year. Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Realtor.com said "Recent stock market volatility and seasonal trends may give buyers better financial options and more time to make purchase decisions entering the fall. August data remains positive with regard to overall housing health as both demand and supply continue to grow." He also added that investors and consumers are on the lookout of an opportunity where "supply and demand merge in a way where deals are fair to everyone." Smoke also added, "This year we [saw] inventory continue to grow in August, and while overall demand is strong, the trend in median days on market is suggesting that the market is finding more of a balance. This bodes well for would-be buyers who have been discouraged by the inability to find a home to buy this spring and summer." Click here to read more.                             Continue reading

BIG BUCKS: THE MOST EXPENSIVE REAL ESTATE SALES LAST WEEK

The storied home of a pioneering film family, the former residence of a pop star and newly built estates in Pacific Palisades and Arcadia were among the most expensive real estate transactions in the Greater Los Angeles area this week. $25 million -- Beverly Hills In the 1200 block of Laurel Lane, a home built for film pioneer Samuel Goldwyn Sr. -- and later owned by his son, film producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr. -- sold after coming to market in April for $32 million. Set on two acres, the estate centers on a Georgian-inspired Traditional designed by architect Douglas Honnold and completed in 1934. Within the 11,000 square feet of living space is a formal dining room, a paneled 35-millimeter screening room, six bedrooms and five bathrooms. Click here to read more.                             Continue reading

HOW HIGH ARE PROPERTY TAXES IN YOUR STATE?

States tax real property in a variety of ways: some impose a rate or a millage—the amount of tax per thousand dollars of value—on the fair market value of the property, while others impose it on some percentage (the assessment ratio) of the market value, yielding an assessed value.  Some states have equalization requirements, ensuring uniformity across the state. Sometimes caps limit the degree to which one’s property taxes can rise in a given year, and sometimes rate adjustments are mandated after assessments to ensure uniformity or maintenance of revenues. Abatements are often available to certain taxpayers, like veterans or senior citizens. And of course, property tax rates are set by political subdivisions at a variety of levels: not only by cities and counties, but often also by school boards, fire departments, and utility commissions. Click here to read more.                           Continue reading

DOES CROWDFUNDING HAVE A FUTURE IN REAL ESTATE?

New York’s first real estate project financed significantly though crowdfunding is set to open, a step forward for a nascent investing model that has yet to prove itself in commercial property. AKA United Nations, an extended-stay hotel-condominium on East 46th Street near Second Avenue, will start taking guests Sept. 10. Sales of the suites have already begun. Of the $95 million it cost to buy and fix up the existing hotel, $12 million was raised from online pledges. It’s “the first ever crowdfunded building in New York coming to completion, from A to Z,” said Rodrigo Nino, chief executive officer of Prodigy Network, which is gut-renovating the building with partners. Until now, “everything has been about promises.” Click here to read more.                           Continue reading