Posted by: Marvin Remmich | January 6, 2015

California tiered home pricing

Home prices displayed mixed signals in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego in the single month of October 2014. Prices dipped in San Diego, remained roughly level in Los Angeles and rose slightly in San Francisco. Low-tier property prices are still on average 10% higher than one year earlier. Mid-tier and high-tier prices are 6% higher.

As in 2010, today’s price movement is the tail end of a mini-bubble, set into motion some 18 months earlier. This price rise was produced by short-lived speculator interference in 2013 (not a tax stimulus, as in 2009). This pricing activity is under pressure from insufficient personal incomes, rising fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) rates and new construction.

Prices are expected to fall in the coming months, likely bottoming in mid-2016 and retreating toward the mean price trendline. The cooling of speculative fever and continually rising mortgage rates will prolong the falling trend in sales volume, pulling prices down in turn. Remember, real estate prices track and run with bond prices due to interest rate movement. A lag time of up to 12 months exists due to expectations of continued recent price movement — the sticky price phenomenon.

Posted by: Marvin Remmich | December 12, 2014

Burglary Statistics And Prevention 101

Before you go on vacation this holiday season, have you prepared against burglary? Do you store your valuables, close the blinds, lock the back door and so on? Many homeowners might be unaware of a string of burglaries in their neighborhood and come home to find their house broken into as a result.

Home burglaries account for $4.7 billion in property losses every year in the United States, because burglars find a way in.

<!–Start Growing Loyal Leads!–> According to statistics, a home burglary occurs every 13 seconds because someone forgot to lock a window or door — almost 30% of the time. With you going on holiday, make some home security investments to avoid inclusion in this statistic.
Posted by: Marvin Remmich | December 9, 2014

Zillow: Renting is twice as expensive as buying

Renting is now twice as expensive as buying, and mortgage payments as a percentage of buyer income is at historic lows

Posted by: Marvin Remmich | November 18, 2014

5 Real Estate Predictions for 2015

The new year could be a seesaw. Freddie Mac says the home-purchase market will improve with the economy, but there will be some stumbling blocks in the way of the housing recovery.

  1. Mortgage rates: Interest rates will likely be on the rise next year. In recent weeks, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has dipped below 4 percent. But by next year, Freddie projects mortgage rates to average 4.6 percent and inch up to 5 percent by the end of the year.
  2. Home prices: By the time 2014 wraps up, home appreciation will likely have slowed to 4.5 percent this year from 9.3 percent last year. Appreciation is expected to drop further to an average 3 percent in 2015. “Continued house-price appreciation and rising mortgage rates will dampen affordability for home buyers,” according to Freddie economists. “Historically speaking, that’s moving from ‘very high’ levels of affordability to ‘high’ levels of affordability.”
  3. Housing starts: Homebuilding is expected to ramp up in the new year, projected to rise by 20 percent from this year. That will likely help total home sales to climb by about 5 percent, reaching the best sales pace in eight years.
  4. Single-family originations: Mortgage originations of single-family homes will likely slip by an additional 8 percent, which can be attributed to a steep drop in refinancing volume. Refinancings are expected to make up only 23 percent of originations in 2015; they had been making up more than half in recent years.
  5. Multi-family mortgage originations: Mortgage originations for the multi-family sector have surged about 60 percent between 2011 and 2014. Increases are expected to continue in 2015, projected to rise about 14 percent.
Posted by: Marvin Remmich | October 3, 2014

Unemployment Rate Falls Below 6 Percent For First Time Since ’08

After giving a soft performance in August, the labor market came back strong last month, knocking the national unemployment rate down below the 6.0 percent mark for the first time in more than six years.

According to the latest monthly figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation added 248,000 jobs in September, bringing employment growth back above 200,000 after an unexpected drop in August.

Posted by: Marvin Remmich | October 2, 2014


David Stevens, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, is not a pessimist when it comes to Millennials and the future of the housing market. He argues there are four key steps that can help younger Americans purchase a home and contribute toward the economy. One, he says credit standards should be loosened, the loan approval process for condos should be easier, and risk-sharing agreements should be encouraged by banks.

Posted by: Marvin Remmich | September 25, 2014

Home-price growth in August slows in 18 of 20 largest housing markets

Home-price growth is slowing even as the sales of homes under $200,000 slip and the share of home sales above the $500,000 price point grow, according to the August home report from RealtyTrac

Posted by: Marvin Remmich | September 9, 2014

Why It Pays to Be a Home Owner

Home owners are building net worth at a pace that is up to quadruple that of a renter.

Tips to Share With Renters
• 10 Ways to Prepare for Home Ownership
• Tax Benefits of Home Ownership
• You Don’t Need That Much of a Down Payment

In the past 15 years, the net worth of the typical home owner has ranged between 31 and 46 times that of the net worth of the typical renter, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, which is based on 2013 data.

On average, home owners had nearly $200,000 in net worth compared to the average $5,000 net worth of renters, according to the survey.

“Home owner equity is a substantial component of home owner wealth,” Danielle Hale, research economist at the National Association of REALTORS®, writes on the association’s Economists’

Posted by: Marvin Remmich | July 4, 2014

Recovery Evident in Latest Housing Trends

The home price recovery moved in a less focused and more broad-based direction in May as available listings sank, a housing trend report shows. According to, the median listing price of homes in May this year was $214,900, a rise of 8 percent compared to year-ago levels. Month-over-month, prices ticked up 2.4 percent

May 27, 2014



While the “official” observance was yesterday, I believe that every day is Memorial Day in the hearts and minds of those of us who understand its true significance.   My father and father-in-law both served with the members of the Greatest Generation and were among the lucky ones to come back and relate their experiences.  So many others, then and now, were not so fortunate and we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for the sacrifices they made in order for us to live in peace.  Those who gave their lives for our country are the true heroes amongst us.



Lots of reasons to BUY NOW and I’d like to share some of them with you. Total home ownership is right around 64.7% compared to 69.1% seven years ago.  Some of this can be attributed to foreclosures from the housing meltdown and some to the new mortgage loan regulations.  Whatever the reason, the situation is creating an increase in renters.  If you are wanting to sell and trade up, you might want to consider keeping your present home as a rental.  With historically cheap mortgage money and long term appreciation better than you could get elsewhere, this is an option worth considering if it makes financial sense to you personally.

Eric Belsky, Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University, revealed five financial reasons people should consider buying a home in his paper on homeownership entitled: “The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America.”

  1. Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.

Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money.  As a result, homeownership allowshouseholds to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor.  Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity.  With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”

  1. You’re paying for housing whether you own or rent.

“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.”

  1. Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”.

“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

  1. There are substantial tax benefits to owning.

“Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income.  On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.”

  1. Owning is a hedge against inflation.

“Housing costs and rents have tended over most time periods to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation, making owning an attractive proposition.”

Bottom line?  Not only does homeownership makes sense for many Americans for social and family reasons, it makes sense financially.



The Wall Street Journal, 5.23.14, USAToday, 5.23.14, The Gazette, 5.24.14,, 5.21.14

The housing recovery regained momentum for the first time this year during the critical Spring selling season.  Sales of existing homes rose 1.3% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.56 million, according to the National Association of Realtors.  It was, however, 6.8% lower than the year ago level.

This comes after a particularly harsh winter nationwide and “we think the recent slump in home sales may now be in the past”, said Daniel Silver, economist at J.P. Morgan Chase.  The coming months are crucial for the U.S. housing market because families prefer to move to a new home in a new school district by the end of summer, among other reasons. 

On the positive side, the supply of homes in April increased from March while price gains eased—two trends that could help pull more Buyers into the market and boost sales further if they continue.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist of NAR expected the improvement.  “Some growth was inevitable after sub-par housing activity in the first quarter, but improved inventory is expanding choices and sales should generally trend upward from this point.”

“We’ll continue to see a balancing act between housing inventory and price growth, which remains stronger than normal simply because there have not been enough Sellers in many areas.  More inventory and increased new-home construction will help to foster healthy market conditions,” Yun said.

NAR President Steve Brown said that there was some heating of the market last moth.  “The typical time on market shrunk in April, with four out of 10 homes selling in less than a month,” he said. 

“Homes that show well and are properly priced tend to sell the fastest.  More housing inventory gives Buyers better choices, and takes the pressure off the buying process, which is a welcome sign, especially for first-time Buyers.”

Properties sold faster for the fourth straight month in April, reflecting the prolonged lag in inventory relative to demand.  The median time on market for all homes was 48 days in April, down from 55 days in March.  It was 43 days on market in April 2013.

Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan thinks that improving financial and labor market conditions should also contribute to a rebound, with economic growth in April, May and June accelerating to an annual rate of 3 percent. 

The outlook for housing “remains more worrisome with existing-home sales, new-home sales, housing starts and multifamily housing all experiencing year-over-year declines despite improving consumer attitudes,” Duncan said.  “However, we anticipate a modest uptick in housing activity as the Spring and Summer selling and buying seasons get under way.”

Fannie Mae economists say that “given the current regulatory landscape, we believe rising employment and income are more likely to bolster housing demand rather than easing credit conditions.”

In March, existing homes were selling at the slowest pace (4.59 million units a year) since July 2012, and were down 6.6 percent from a year ago for the first quarter as a whole.

One bright spot, however, is the growing number of consumers surveyed by Fannie Mae who say it’s a good time to sell a home.  “As consumers become more confident in the selling environment and more supply enters the market, it will help to boost turnover,” Fannie Mae economists said.  “Leading indicators of home sales point to cautious optimism in the near-term outlook.”

Fed Chair Janet Yellen appeared before Congress several weeks ago and said that the recent housing slowdown “could prove more protracted” than expected.  While neither Yellen nor other surveyed economists expect a housing rebound that began in 2011 to reverse course, they say the turnaround will be more gradual, crimping economic gains in 2014. 



RealtorMag 5.22.14, NAR, 5.22.14

Rising mortgage rates are the main culprit for the weakening in home resales this year and they could further dampen existing home sales, according to a new paper published by John Krainer, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.  He also cited other factors such as the fragile economic recovery and the retreating of investors who have slowed their market share as home prices rise. 

Fed Chair Janet Yellen cited “very slow household formation” as young adults saddled with student debt continue to live with their parents.  “My expectation is that as the job market strengthens…we’ll see household formation pick up, but it’s hard to know here what exactly the new normal is,” she said.

New mortgage lending regulations which took effect on January 10, 2014 have also made it difficult for many, especially first time homebuyers, to obtain mortgages. 

The FHA has recently announced a plan to expand access to mortgage credit for underserved borrowers according to Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. 

Donovan said that the FHA will launch a housing counseling program later this year.  The four-year, two-phase pilot program, called Homeowners Armed With Knowledge (HAWK) will offer a 50 basis point reduction in the upfront mortgage insurance premium and a 10 basis point reduction in the annual premium at the time of loan origination to first time home buyers who complete the program.  Loans that remain in good standing will also receive reductions, which could add up to thousands of dollars in savings for homebuyers over the life of their loan. 



keepingcurrentmatters, 5.20.14

Whether you are Buying or Selling a home, you need an experienced Real Estate Professional in your corner.  I’ve been telling you this for a long time, but today’s new rules and regulations makes For Sale By Owner (FSBO) more confusing and difficult than ever.

The reasons have not changed, but they have been strengthened in recent months as the market recovers.

  1. What do you do with the paperwork?

Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing.  A true Real Estate Professional is an expert in their market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality.

  1. Ok, so you found your dream home, now what?

There are over 230 possible actions that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction.  Don’t you want someone who has been there before, who knows what these actions are, to make sure that you acquire your dream?

  1. Are you a good negotiator?

So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home.  However, after looking at the list of parties that you need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll realize the value in selecting a Real Estate Professional. From the Buyer (who wants the best deal possible) to the home inspections companies, to the appraiser, there are at least 11 different people that you will have to be knowledgeable with and answer to during the process.

  1. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?

Not only is it important for your home to be priced correctly from the start to attract the right buyers and shorten the time that it’s on the market, but you also need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home, to give you the truth as to your home’s value.

According to the NAR, “the typical FSBO home sold for $184,000 compared to $230.000 among agent-assisted home sales.”

Get the most out of your transactions by hiring a professional.

  1. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?

There is so much information out there on the news and the Internet about home sales, prices, mortgage rates: how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area?  Who do you turn to, to tell you how to competitively price your home correctly at the beginning of the selling process?  How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much or offending the seller with a low-ball offer?

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman”—Dave Ramsey

Hiring an agent who has their finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying/selling experience an educated one.  You need some one who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

Bottom Line?

You wouldn’t try to replace the electrical wiring in your home unless you were an electrician nor install new sinks or toilets unless you were a plumber.  Why would you want to make one of the most important financial decisions of your life with hiring a professional? 



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