Wall Street Journal – The number of homes listed for sale in March jumped 2.4 percent from February and has increased 3.5 percent compared with January, according to data compiled by Realtor.com.
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CNN Money – Low mortgage rates and pent-up demand have coaxed buyers back into the market, and homeowners who list their houses are seeing more traffic. That quaint relic of the bubble, the bidding war, has even started to reemerge in some cities.
World Property Channel – Driven by strong sales in high-end coastal areas and shrinking inventory, California’s median home price hit its highest level in March since May 2008, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).
Making sense of the story
Strong sales in higher-cost coastal regions and heated market conditions drove California’s median home price to its highest level in March since May 2008, while inventory shortages continued to stifle home sales, C.A.R. reported this week.
“While home sales were essentially flat from February, sales declined moderately from last year, as an extreme shortage of available homes continued to dictate the market,” said C.A.R. President Don Faught. “Statewide inventory dropped 36 percent from last March and was below 3 months for the second time in the past few months. Supply conditions are particularly tight in the lower-priced segment of the market, as inventory for homes priced below $300k plunged more than 50 percent from the previous year.”
March home-sale closings were up a slight 0.1 percent in March from a revised 417,310 in February but down 4.9 percent from a revised 439,260 in March 2012. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2013 if sales maintained the March 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 13.7 percent from February’s $333,380 median price to $378,960 in March, reversing a two-month decline. The month-to-month increase was the highest since C.A.R. began tracking this statistic in 1979. The March price was up 28.2 percent from a revised $295,630 recorded in March 2012, marking the 13th consecutive month of annual price increases and the ninth consecutive month of double-digit annual gains.
Gov. Jerry Brown once again is scheduled to speak at the 2013 C.A.R. Legislative Day on Wednesday, May 1 in Sacramento. The governor’s speeches at Legislative Day are always entertaining and enlightening as he speaks about issues that affect the real estate industry.
Legislative Day is an opportunity for REALTORS® from across California to meet with their state legislators to discuss the issues that affect the real estate industry the most.
Legislative Day 2013 will begin at the Sacramento Convention Center with a morning briefing and Gov. Brown’s presentation.
Following the morning briefing will be a Capitol March, a group picture on the south steps of the Capitol, local association activities, and a Capitol Reception.
C.A.R. encourages all members to attend Legislative Day, especially those who have never attended.
Trulia Inc. recently released the results of its Real Estate Regrets survey, which reveals the most-common housing mistakes today’s home buyers and renters should avoid during spring house hunting season.
According to the survey, buyers are feeling the pressure of rising home prices this spring: 75 percent of Americans say it’s better to buy a home now than a year from now. However, fewer than 1 in 3 Americans (32 percent) agree it would be better to sell now than a year from now. Patient sellers, along with little new construction, fewer foreclosures, and underwater borrowers, have pushed inventory to a 12-year low, creating a seller’s market. This year’s housing season will likely cause aggressive buyers to scramble in order to try to win tough bidding wars and overcome stiff competition–putting them at risk of making real estate mistakes they will regret.
More than half of Americans who were involved in the process of choosing their current home (52 percent) have at least one regret about their current home or the process of choosing it. A common theme of the top regrets is Americans not investing enough in their home. Top regrets include choosing a home that’s too small, renters wishing they had bought instead of renting, homeowners regretting not remodeling more, and not being financially secure. When comparing homeowners to renters who were both involved in the process of choosing their current home, renters are more likely to have housing regrets – 56 percent versus 50 percent. Among different age groups who were involved in the process of choosing their current home, Millennial homeowners (age 18 to 34) are far more likely to have housing regrets than homeowners age 55 or older – 75 percent versus 36 percent.
CNN Money – Selling your home? In most parts of the country, you have finally regained the upper hand.
In its quarterly survey of U.S. bank risk professionals, FICO found lenders more bullish on the housing recovery than at any point in three years, with 71 percent of respondents saying home prices are “rising at a sustainable pace” in the context of mortgage lending risk. In addition, 39 percent of respondents are expecting mortgage delinquencies to decrease over the next six months, while another 45 percent expect delinquencies to remain flat, and only 16 percent expect an increase. Those are the most optimistic figures recorded in the 12 quarters since the survey was launched.
The survey, conducted for FICO by the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA), also found that a majority of bankers (59 percent) expect the supply of credit for residential mortgages to meet demand over the next six months, and a slightly larger majority (60 percent) expect the supply of credit for mortgage refinancing to meet demand.
CoreLogic’s February CoreLogic HPI® report shows that home prices increased 10.2 percent year over years in February, representing the biggest year-to-year increase since March 2006. On a month-over-month basis, including distressed sales, home prices increased by 0.5 percent in February 2013 compared with January 2013.
The CoreLogic Pending HPI indicates that March 2013 home prices, including distressed sales, are also expected to rise by 10.2 percent on a year-over-year basis from March 2012 and rise by 1.2 percent on a month-over-month basis from February 2013. Excluding distressed sales, March 2013 home prices are poised to rise 11.4 percent year over year from March 2012 and by 2.0 percent month over month from February 2013. The CoreLogic Pending HPI is a proprietary and exclusive metric that provides the most current indication of trends in home prices. It is based on Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data that measure price changes for the most recent month.
“The rebound in prices is heavily driven by western states. Eight of the top ten highest appreciating large markets are in California, with Phoenix and Las Vegas rounding out the list,” said Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.
CNN Money – The bidding wars are back. Seemingly overnight, many of the nation’s major housing markets have gone from stagnant to sizzling, with for-sale listings drawing offers from a large number of house hunters.