Curbed SF – Our cousins at Curbed National highlighted a Napa Valley winery listing yesterday. Not just any Napa winery— a Stags Leap Appellation property, Quixote Winery, on the market for $35,000,000. The owners bought the property forty years ago, and in 1996 split of off from the legendary Stags Leap Winery, crediting their organic practices to Alice Waters… read more…
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Existing-home sales rose in April and remain above a year ago, while home prices continued to rise, according to the National Association of REALTORS (“NAR”). The improvements in sales and prices were broad based across all regions.
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million in April from a downwardly revised 4.47 million in March, and are 10.0 percent higher than the 4.20 million-unit level in April 2011.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the housing recovery is underway. “It is no longer just the investors who are taking advantage of high affordability conditions. A return of normal home buying for occupancy is helping home sales across all price points, and now the recovery appears to be extending to home prices,” he said. “The general downtrend in both listed and shadow inventory has shifted from a buyers’ market to one that is much more balanced, but in some areas it has become a seller’s market.”
Total housing inventory at the end of April rose 9.5 percent to 2.54 million existing homes available for sale, a seasonal increase which represents a 6.6-month supply at the current sales pace, up from a 6.2-month supply in March. Listed inventory is 20.6 percent below a year ago when there was a 9.1-month supply; the record for unsold inventory was 4.04 million in July 2007.
“A diminishing share of foreclosed property sales is helping home values. Moreover, an acute shortage of inventory in certain markets is leading to multiple biddings and escalating price conditions,” Yun said. He notes some areas with tight supply include the Washington, D.C. area; Miami; Naples, Fla.; North Dakota; Phoenix; Orange County, Calif.; and Seattle. “We expect stronger price increases in most of these areas.”
The national median existing-home pricefor all housing types jumped 10.1 percent to $177,400 in April from a year ago; the March price showed an upwardly revised 3.1 percent annual improvement. “This is the first time we’ve had back-to-back price increases from a year earlier since June and July of 2010 when the gains were less than one percent,” Yun said. “For the year we’re looking for a modest overall price gain of 1.0 to 2.0 percent, with stronger improvement in 2013.”
Distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales sold at deep discounts – accounted for 28 percent of April sales (17 percent were foreclosures and 11 percent were short sales), down from 29 percent in March and 37 percent in April 2011. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 21 percent below market value in April, while short sales were discounted 14 percent.
According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.91 percent in April from 3.95 percent in March; the rate was 4.84 percent in April 2011. Last week the 30-year fixed rate dropped to a record weekly low of 3.79 percent; recordkeeping began in 1971.
First-time buyers rose to 35 percent of purchasers in April from 33 percent in March; they were 36 percent in April 2011.
All-cash sales fell to 29 percent of transactions in April from 32 percent in March; they were 31 percent in April 2011. Investors, who account for the bulk of cash sales, purchased 20 percent of homes in April, compared with 21 percent in March and 20 percent in April 2011.
Single-family home sales rose 3.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.09 million in April from 3.97 million in March, and are 9.9 percent higher than the 3.72 million-unit pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $178,000 in April, up 10.4 percent from April 2011.
Existing condominium and co-op sales increased 6.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 530,000 in April from 500,000 in March, and are 10.4 percent above the 480,000-unit level in April 2011. The median existing condo price was $172,900 in April, which is 8.1 percent above a year ago.
Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 5.1 percent to an annual level of 620,000 in April and are 19.2 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $256,600, up 8.8 percent from April 2011.
Existing-home sales in the Midwest increased 1.0 percent in April to a pace of 1.03 million and are 14.4 percent above April 2011. The median price in the Midwest was $141,400, up 7.4 percent from a year ago.
In the South, existing-home sales rose 3.5 percent to an annual level of 1.79 million in April and are 6.5 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the South was $153,400, up 8.0 percent from April 2011.
Existing-home sales in the West increased 4.4 percent to an annual pace of 1.18 million in April and are 7.3 percent above April 2011. The median price in the West was $221,700, a surge of 15.9 percent from a year ago.
National home values rose for the second consecutive month, climbing 0.7 percent in April compared with March to a Zillow Home Value Index of $147,300. This is the largest monthly increase in home values since January 2006, when they rose 0.8 percent, according to the April Zillow® Real Estate Market Reports.
Rents also rose from March to April, increasing 1.6 percent, according to the Zillow Rent Index. Rents rose in 78 percent of the 178 markets covered by Zillow.
“The housing market continues to show positive signs, with home values increasing significantly in April,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “The recovery is moving in the right direction, but we caution that negative equity will cast a long shadow over the housing market. With almost one-third of homeowners with mortgages underwater and unable to sell their homes, inventory is having a hard time keeping up with increasing demand in many areas. We’ll continue to watch this signal as increasing home values turn from a blip into a trend.”
Foreclosures continued to decline in April, with 6.8 out of every 10,000 homes in the country being foreclosed. That was down from 8 out of every 10,000 in March.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency this week reported that the average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loans of $417,000 or less increased 9 basis points to 4.21 in April. These rates are calculated from the FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey of purchase-money mortgages, and reflect loans closed during the April 24-30 period. Typically, the interest rate is determined 30 to 45 days before the loan is closed. Thus, the reported rates depict market conditions prevailing in mid- to late-March.
The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans (fixed- and adjustable-rate) was 3.93 percent in April, up 4 basis points from 3.89 percent in March. The effective interest rate, which reflects the amortization of initial fees and charges, was 4.03 percent in April, up 10 basis points from 3.93 percent in March.
This report contains no data on adjustable-rate mortgages due to insufficient sample size. Initial fees and charges were 0.90 percent of the loan balance in April, down 3 basis points from March. Twenty-one percent of the purchase-money mortgage loans originated in April were “no-point” mortgages, up one percent from the share in March. The average term was 27.3 years in April, matching the term in March. The average loan-to-price ratio in April was 75.3 percent, up 0.5 percent from 74.8 percent in March. The average loan amount was $256,200 in April, up $9,100 from $247,100 in March.
Sales of new single-family houses increased 3.3 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 343,000 units, according to estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.
This is 9.9 percent above the April 2011 estimate of 312,000 units.
The median sales price of new houses sold in April 2012 was $235,700; the average sales price was $282,600. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was 146,000. This represents a supply of 5.1 months at the current sales rate.
Active duty military customers may be eligible for certain housing-related protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
Bank of America has a Military Short Sale Team, which handles short sale requests for active duty military members. Real estate professionals should ask if a seller is in the military, as knowing ahead of time will allow the short sale request to be directed to the Military Short Sale Team with fewer delays. When a customer advises that he/she is on active duty military service, Bank of America will transfer that customer to a specialized team for assistance.
This team will determine if the customer is eligible for SCRA protection and will verify his/her military duty status. Once the review is complete, the customer will be advised of the status and the short sale request will be initiated in Equator. The short sale will be processed by the Military Short Sale Team.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which declined slightly in April, fell further in May. The Index now stands at 64.9 (1985=100), down from 68.7 in April. The Expectations Index declined to 77.6 from 80.4, while the Present Situation Index decreased to 45.9 from 51.2 last month.
Consumers’ appraisal of present-day conditions deteriorated in May, with those claiming business conditions are “bad” increasing to 34.3 percent from 33.2 percent. Those saying business conditions are “good” decreased to 13.6 percent from 15.5 percent. Consumers’ appraisal of the job market was also less favorable. Those claiming jobs are “hard to get” increased to 41.0 percent from 38.1 percent, while those stating jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 7.9 percent from 8.4 percent.
Consumers have also grown less upbeat about the short-term outlook. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased to 16.6 percent from 18.5 percent. However, those anticipating business conditions will worsen decreased to 13.1 percent from 14.2 percent.
Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also less positive. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead decreased to 15.8 percent from 16.9 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs increased to 21.0 percent from 18.4 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes improved to 15.2 percent from 13.9 percent.
California home sales and median price both jumped in April, with sales shooting up to their highest level in more than two years, and the median price rising above $300,000 for the first time in 16 months, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) recently reported.
Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California rose to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 555,300 units in April, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. Sales in April were 10 percent higher than March’s pace and 11 percent higher than in April 2011. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2012 if sales maintained the April pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home climbed 5.7 percent in April to $308,050, up from March’s revised $291,330 median price and 4.7 percent from a revised $294,140 recorded in April 2011.
Data through March 2012, released Tuesday by S&P Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showed that all three headline composites ended the first quarter of 2012 at new lows. The national composite declined 2 percent in the first quarter of 2012 and was down 1.9 percent compared with the first quarter of 2011. The 10- and 20-City Composites posted respective declines of 2.8 percent and 2.6 percent in March 2012.
Month-over-month, their changes were minimal; average home prices in the 10-City Composite fell by 0.1 percent compared with February and the 20-City remained basically unchanged in March over February. However, with thi latest data, all three composites still posted their lowest levels since the housing crisis began in mid-2006.
In addition to the three composites, five cities – Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, New York, and Portland – also saw average home prices hit new lows. This is an improvement over the nine cities reported last month.
SFResidence is part of the TRI Coldwell Banker office at 1699 Van Ness in San Francisco which is one of the premier offices in the City and has the market share numbers to prove it. We have the most elite agents selling real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a result, our office posts some impressive numbers.
Once again listings are down, but homes are selling. Our sales figures are very strong with most of our transactions representing buyers.
Here are the numbers the week of 5/30/12: