News from C.A.R.

Published: July 26, 2007

<p><strong>.A.R. REPORTS HOME SALES DECLINE 24.7 PERCENT IN JUNE</strong>Home sales decreased 24.7 percent in June in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home increased 3.2 percent, according to a C.A.R. reported today.<br /><br />&quot;The focus on foreclosures and subprime lending is ongoing and, coupled with higher inventories of homes for sale, is prompting many would-be buyers to play a 'wait-and-see' role,&quot;' said C.A.R. President Colleen Badagliacco. &quot;However, well-maintained homes with curb appeal that are priced for today's market continue to sell. It's often a matter of counseling buyers and sellers to set realistic expectations on both sides of the transaction.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;First-time buyers continue to be impacted by tighter mortgage underwriting standards and the affordability challenge, which has not improved significantly despite price declines in most regions of the state,&quot; she said.<br /><br />Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 364,280 in June at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. Statewide home resale activity decreased 24.7 percent from the 483,690 sales pace recorded in June 2006.</p><p><br /><strong>LAEDC SAYS SO. CAL HOUSING SECTOR TO DRAG WELL INTO 2008</strong> <br />Southern California's overall economic picture going forward looks generally positive, but the housing market is expected to limp through 2008 with only modest recovery expected by 2009, according to the mid-year economic forecast by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). The LAEDC is predicting a 1.4 percent spike in the number of non-farming jobs across the region through 2008, with support from the tech, health services, and leisure and hospitality industries, bolstered by steady growth in international trade.<br /><br />For the housing industry, the picture isn't quite as upbeat.<br /><br />&quot;A frequently asked question is when the housing industry will turn around,&quot; said LAEDC Chief Economist Jack Kyser. &quot;We are a tad bearish, forecasting a distressing 33.7 percent decline in the number of new housing permits in the five-county area in 2007 and a 6.8 percent slide in 2008.&quot; Continued weakness in the industry, said Kyser, will hold through late 2008, with only &quot;restrained&quot; recovery expected. &quot;Don't look for a return to double digit gains in prices,&quot; he said.</p><p><strong>CALIFORNIA FORECLOSURES HIT HIGHEST RATES IN A DECADE</strong>California foreclosures soared to their highest level in more than a decade during the last quarter according to a recent report by DataQuick Information Systems.<br />Lenders submitted 53,943 Notices of Default (NoDs) during the period from April to June, according to DataQuick, up 15.4 percent from 46,760 from the previous quarter, marking the highest level recorded since the fourth quarter of 1996 at 54,045 NoDs. Foreclosure notices topped out at 61,541 during the first quarter of 1996, but fell to 12,417 by the third quarter.</p><p><strong>NEW STUDY SHOWS CITIES REAP FISCAL REWARDS FROM HOUSING</strong> <br />The fiscal benefits from new home construction generate solid revenue streams for state and local municipalities, according to a study by the California Homebuilding Foundation (formerly the California Building Industry Foundation).<br />&quot;The Housing Bottom Line: Fiscal Impact of New Home Construction on California Governments,&quot; challenges frequent claims that new home construction costs state and local governments more in services than it generates in tax revenue. The study shows new median-priced homes provide a strong one-time fiscal benefit upon completion and continue to generate ongoing revenue thereafter.<br /><br />The study said that a city nets on average $3,017 in one-time benefits for each new median home built, ranging from $2,353 in the San Diego area to roughly $6,800 in portions of the San Francisco Bay Area, while county governments net averages of $1,706 in one-time benefits, and the state recognizes a windfall $15,858 through corporate and sales tax revenue.<br /><br />&quot;Although many consulting firms and university researchers have looked at the fiscal effects of a specific development project on one city or one county, no previous study that examines the overall fiscal effects of housing at the state level or looks at multiple cities or counties has been found,&quot; said Mathew Newman, one of the authors of the study. &quot;This analysis seeks to fill the gap in the existing literature with respect to the statewide fiscal impact of new housing, focusing on whether new housing does in fact 'pay its own way.'&quot;</p><p><strong>MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS FALL BY 3.6 PERCENT</strong>The number of applications for home mortgages fell 3.6 percent during the week ending July 20, according to the latest survey form the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). According to the MBA's latest survey, the market composite index used to gage mortgage application volume slipped 3.6 percent to 609.0 on a seasonally adjusted basis from 631.6 the prior week.<br /><br />Meanwhile, refinancing activity showed some strength for the period, likely a response to slightly lower interest rates. Refinance loan applications accounted for 38.5 percent of all applications, up from 37.7 percent the previous week.</p><p><strong>TOP PRODUCER PANEL SET FOR EXPO</strong>REALTORS® Stephanie Vitacco, Raju Chhabria, Marty Rodriguez, and Ron Wynn will share their experience and insights on how to thrive in California's real estate industry at CALIFORNIA REALTOR® EXPO'S Top Producer panel, slated for Thursday, Oct. 11 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Moderated by REALTOR® Wendy Furth, the panel includes in-depth discussions on marketing techniques, technology investments, current industry and business trends, and more.<br /><br />More than 10,000 attendees are expected at this year's EXPO in Anaheim, which will feature nearly 300 exhibit booths, cutting-edge seminars, and a number of special events. Highlights include the Tech Tuesday Luncheon on Oct. 9, featuring Frans Johansson, author of &quot;The Medici Effect.&quot; Other EXPO events include the DRE Forum with Commissioner Jeff Davi on Oct. 10; REALTOR® Night Out at Disneyland, taking place Oct. 10 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and the EXPO Closing Luncheon on Oct. 11, featuring former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden.</p><p><strong>HOW TO AVOID PROBATE SUBJECT OF NEW LEGAL BRIEF</strong>C.A.R.'s Member Legal Services has published a new legal article aimed at helping REALTORS® understand and avoid entering into the thorny issue of probate. &quot;Avoiding Probate: Small Estates&quot; is available on Legal's What's New and the Legal Articles pages of C.A.R. Online ( The article details the non-probate procedures for transferring title in personal and real property when a decedent'sestate is valued at $100,000 or less. Included are links to Judicial Council forms as well as the DMV form for transferring titles on automobiles and vessels.</p><p><strong>NEW REAL ESTATE LICENSE REQURIEMENTS TAKE EFFECT OCT. 1</strong>Beginning Oct. 1, AB 2429 requires all new applicants for the real estate salesperson exam to show proof of having completed a three-semester, or quarter-unit equivalent, college-level course in real estate principles, real estate practice and one additional course set by the California Department of Real Estate.</p>

Last modified: July 26, 2007 at 6:49 am | Originally published: July 26, 2007 at 6:49 am
Printed: October 1, 2020