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21 August 12

HousingWire | FHFA streamlines short sale standards for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

New short sale requirements for servicers proposed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency are giving financial firms a battle strategy for dealing with reluctant subordinate-lien holders who attempt to delay short sales on points of negotiation.

Some parties in short sales are able to delay the process by objecting to certain conditions and attempting to negotiate higher prices.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac launched new short-sale guidelines for servicers to speed up and streamline the process of moving distressed borrowers through a short sale. The guidelines take effect Nov. 1.

The program, which is part of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Servicing Alignment Initiative, allows servicers to approve a short sale for borrowers who have certain types of hardships even if they have yet to default.

The program also removes barriers created by some subordinate lien holders by limiting subordinate-lien payments to $6,000. This maneuver essentially cuts off any attempts by the second-lien holders to negotiate for larger payoff amounts.

"By setting a standard payout amount and a limit for every transaction, Fannie Mae is removing the guess work and standardizing the transaction to help accelerate the short sale process," Fannie Mae said in a statement.

The FHFA’s new guidelines waive deficiencies for borrowers who complete a short sale and gives servicers the authority to approve and complete short sales that conform to the new standards without individual approval from the GSEs. 

Borrowers dealing with the loss of a co-borrower, divorce, legal separation, illness, disability or a distant employment transfer will have the option of getting a short sale approved by the servicer before they actually default on a payment. Fannie also is culling down on the amount of documentation required to complete a short sale under hardship circumstances and eliminating certain documentation requirements for borrowers who are 90 days or more delinquent or living with a credit score below 620.

"Short sales have become an increasingly important tool in preventing foreclosures and stabilizing communities," said Leslie Peeler, senior vice president, National Servicing Organization, Fannie Mae. "We want to help as many homeowners avoid foreclosure as possible.  It is vital that servicers, junior lien holders and mortgage insurers step up to the plate with us.  These new guidelines will open doors to help more homeowners qualify for short sales, remove barriers to completing short sales, and make the process more efficient for homeowners and servicers."

Posted via email from Sean Allen Real Estate: North San Diego Homes and Community | Comment »

18 August 12

Senate bill would presere key housing tax policies

Senate bill would preserve key housing tax policies

Mortgage insurance premium write-offs, debt forgiveness amid possible extensions

By Ken Harney
Inman News®

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The rap on the current Congress is that it can’t overcome partisanship, can’t move bills, can’t do diddly-squat on budgets or tax policy. That reputation is richly deserved and has hurt the national economic recovery and done nothing to help housing.

But now and then, something odd happens. Republicans and Democrats come together and agree on legislative proposals that have the potential to stimulate economic growth and directly assist millions of taxpayers who are also homeowners. The Senate Finance Committee — one of the two key tax-writing bodies on Capitol Hill — did precisely that before heading home for vacation with a strong, 19-5 bipartisan vote on legislation extending or reviving 50-plus tax code provisions, several of which have important implications for housing.

The bill would preserve the mortgage debt forgiveness tax exemption that is scheduled to expire Dec. 31; bring back the popular home energy efficiency improvement write-offs that expired last December; revive the now moribund tax deduction for mortgage insurance premiums paid in connection with FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA and USDA Rural Housing low down payment programs; and extend the alternative minimum tax (AMT) “patch” retroactively for 2012 and continue it into 2013. Without the patch, millions of small-business owners and professionals are likely to pay higher federal income taxes this year and next.

The Senate committee’s bill is expected to hit the full Senate floor for a vote — likely in favor — after the Senate returns Sept. 10. Then it goes to the House, where it could either be taken up in the following several weeks or left for action after the election. Since the Senate’s vote represents the first positive, bipartisan move for real estate on a tax bill in years, here’s a quick overview of what it would do if it makes it out of the House in roughly similar shape and goes to the president for signature.

  • Mortgage debt forgiveness. Since early this year, I have received what must be several hundred emails from homeowners and REALTORS® asking essentially the same question: Could Congress be so dumb as to let the vitally important current tax code exemption for homeowners who’ve had their principal mortgage debts reduced by lenders expire? Could the federal government insist, in effect, that the Internal Revenue Service hit people when they’re down by treating the amounts forgiven in loan modifications, short sales, foreclosures and deeds-in-lieu as ordinary income, subject to crushing tax burdens?

As a matter of fact, the answer is yes. There are members of Congress who view the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act of 2006 as just another form of government bailout — forcing taxpayers who never fell behind on their loans to subsidize homeowners who stopped paying their mortgages, for whatever reason.

Political analysts including Douglas Holtz-Eakin, chief economic adviser to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, told me earlier this year that extension of the debt forgiveness law is “not a sure thing” by any means, and could easily become a victim of the end-of-the-year battles over the federal debt, deficit and budget — the “fiscal cliff” when the Bush tax cuts expire and heavy expenditure reductions are imposed on the defense budget and social programs.

Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Finance Committee, expressly sought to insulate issues such as mortgage debt forgiveness from the expected year-end craziness by including it in the extender bill that just passed. If the National Association of REALTORS® can redouble its successful lobbying efforts in the House, Baucus’ strategy just might work. Thousands of underwater owners heading for foreclosure or seeking principal cancellation through the $25 billion, multistate robo-signing settlement certainly have good reason to hope so.

  • Energy efficiency write-offs. Remember those federal tax credits that homeowners could get when they installed new energy-conserving windows, doors, roofs, heat pumps, insulation and the like? Well, they expired last year and currently are unavailable for tax year 2012. But the Senate committee’s bill would bring them back for this year and through 2013. Not a game-changer, perhaps, but definitely a money-saver to large numbers of homeowners and a plus for the environment.
  • Mortgage insurance premium write-offs. This is another tax benefit that expired last December, but has special significance for a key segment of the housing marketplace: first-time buyers, minorities, and moderate-income buyers who lack big down payment cash. Under previous tax law, buyers who paid FHA or private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums, VA guaranty or USDA Rural Housing fees were able to deduct them — just like mortgage interest — if their incomes did not exceed specified thresholds ($100,000 for married taxpayers, $50,000 for single filers, with a graduated phaseout up to $110,000 and $55,000, respectively). In the most recent year when IRS data was available, 2009, homeowners claimed $5.5 billion in deductions.
  • AMT “patch” extension. The alternative minimum tax “patch” that has spared large numbers of small-business owners, REALTORS®, investors and others from higher tax bills no longer is in force. It expired last December. The Senate bill would revive it for 2012 and next. If that effort fails, some estimates indicate that as many as 25 million additional taxpayers could be hit by the AMT — not a welcome development in a sluggish economic environment.

Bottom line here: The fact that Sen. Baucus was able to weld together a lopsided bipartisan majority in committee to support key tax extenders bodes well for possible Senate approval sometime next month. Beyond that, the bill could become another element in what could turn out to be a grotesque game of partisan chicken in December.

But let’s think positively. If the case for bipartisanship on a carefully limited piece of tax legislation was convincing enough for Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, maybe there’s hope that we’ll see the same in the House.

Ken Harney writes an award-winning, nationally syndicated column, “The Nation’s Housing,” and is the author of two books on real estate and mortgage finance.

Posted via email from Sean Allen Real Estate: North San Diego Homes and Community | Comment »

17 August 12

All About Appraisals

An appraisal is an opinion or estimate on the value of real property. This value is generally expressed as Market Value. Obtaining an appraisal is an important part of the mortgage process that will determine the actual market value of the home being purchased or refinanced. The appraisal allows the lender to determine if the value of the home is sufficient to support the loan amount requested. The appraised value will also ensure that a homebuyer is not paying more than a home is actually worth. 
Appraisal requirements include:

  • Interior and exterior inspection of the subject property
  • A street map that shows the location of the subject property and of all comparable properties that the appraiser used
  • An exterior building sketch of the improvements that indicates the dimensions
  • Clear, descriptive photographs of the subject property and comparable sales used
The appraisal report (URAR) is broken up into sections. Some of the more common sections include:
  • Subject: Basic information such as the address, legal description, owner’s and/or borrower’s names. The client is also identified here.
  • Contract: Information on the contract for sale is entered here for appraisals in which a change of ownership is about to occur.
  • Neighborhood: Detailed information related to the neighborhood such as boundaries, characteristics, trends, description and conditions.
  • Site: Data on the size, shape, zoning and access to utilities as well as FEMA flood-zone information.
  • Improvements: Physical characteristics of the property such as age, materials, and condition.
  • Sales comparison approach: This is where the property being appraised is compared to recent sales of other properties.
There are three ways to approach an appraisal. These are all used to determine the final, “reconciled” value. 
Sales Comparison Approach 
The purpose of the sales comparison approach is to derive a value based on recent sales prices of similar properties, called comparables. The method assumes that the typical buyer pays no more for a property than the cost of purchasing an identical property. 
Data is collected on recent sales of comparables. Because comparables may not be identical to the home that is the subject of there appraisal, some price adjustment is necessary. To minimize the amount of adjustment required, comparables should be closely similar to the subject in size, age, proximity and condition. 
Cost Approach 
The purpose of the cost approach is to indicate value based on the cost to replace the property, using current materials and methods. It is not necessary to simulate production of an exact replica. Any depreciation on the subject property is estimated and subtracted from the new reproduction cost. Depreciation includes physical wear, needed repair and replacement of components, outmoded design and materials, and incompatibility with surroundings. 
Income Approach 
This approach assumes the property is purchased for its productivity as an investment. The appraiser will look at market level rents and operating expense ratios to determine the value. This approach can be used for investment properties as well as owner-occupied properties. 

Posted via email from Sean Allen Real Estate: North San Diego Homes and Community | Comment »

15 August 12

Why U.S. House Prices Won’t Recover


That’s why prospective buyers should stop focusing on the vague hope that house prices will jump from here and focus instead on the functional value houses provide for the money. In most markets, they provide enough of that to make buying a good deal.

To see why house prices and inflation are linked, consider that inflation is a general rise in the price of consumable goods and services. We measure it as a nation just as you might think: pollsters collect prices on thousands of items and statisticians turn those prices into an index, called the Consumer Price Index.

The inflation rate over the year through March was 2.6%. Behind that number is a lot of variation; dairy products got 6.3% more expensive, while utility gas service got 9.1% cheaper.


That’s because inflation isn’t the only thing that drives individual prices. Short-term supply and demand factors drive them, too. For example, the U.S. has a severe glut of natural gas at the moment. But prices have a way of self-correcting over time. Power companies have already sharply increased their electricity production from natural gas while pulling back on coal.

Few things escape the gravitational pull of the inflation rate forever. Even healthcare and college tuition are showing signs of slowing price growth. U.S. housing had spectacular booms and busts in the 1920s and mid-2000s, but smoothing out the swings and adjusting for inflation, prices have gone nowhere for more than a century.

Houses are ordinary consumable goods: wood, stone and metal bound together through labor. There’s no reason to believe they should enjoy a special rate of return distinct from those for, say, apples and shoes. My best guess for the rate of price increase of all three is 2.2% a year over the next 10 years—equal to the rate of inflation.

Posted via email from Sean Allen Real Estate: North San Diego Homes and Community | Comment »

14 August 12
Posted: 8:35 AM

California Fire Fee Ignites Anger as Bills Go Out

More than 800,000 Californians who own property in wildfire country will begin receiving bills this week for a new annual fire-protection fee, rekindling outrage among rural residents and leading to a likely lawsuit seeking to overturn the surcharge.

The fee, passed by Democrats in the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year, is intended to raise an estimated $84 million in its first year for fire-prevention efforts. The annual charge can run as high as $150 for property owners with a single occupied dwelling, although there is a $35 discount for those who already pay a local tax for fire protection.

The discount will apply to about 95 percent of rural property owners, but it’s not enough to quell the anger in the parts of California where the fee will apply.

“Everybody that knows about it is upset, but I think 90 percent of the public has no idea it’s coming. It’s going to be quite a shock,” said John Little of Laytonville, chief of the Long Valley Fire Protection District in rural Mendocino County.

He said the $115 annual bill will hurt residents in his 250-square-mile district. The region, between the Mendocino National Forest and the Pacific Ocean, has a jobless rate of 18 percent and many seniors living on fixed incomes.

The bills start going out Monday and will have been issued to more than 825,000 property owners by year’s end. They are being sent to counties in alphabetical order, so residents of Alameda, Alpine and Amador counties will be first in line.

The fee was imposed on those who own property within the 31 million rural acres covered by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, a responsibility area that includes about one-third of the state.

Fire danger there is growing more extreme, according to a recent University of California, Merced study prepared for the California Energy Commission. Climate change, development and changes to the landscape may double the fire risk to rural homes over the next 40 years, researchers found. They predict the greatest increase in risk in Northern California’s foothills and mountains.

Brown sought the fee mostly to help close the state’s budget deficit, calling it “a fee consistent with the ‘beneficiary pays principle’,” in his signing message. If additional money can be raised and dedicated to CalFire, he reasoned, a similar amount could go to other state services that have experienced deep budget cuts.

The fee will help prevent more spending cuts for state firefighters, department spokesman Daniel Berlant said.

Over the last 18 months, the department has dealt with an $80 million budget cut by hiring 700 fewer seasonal firefighters, closing an air base in Fresno and mothballing five bulldozers and both of its fire engines serving the Lake Tahoe area because it lacked enough firefighters to operate them. Fire protection around Lake Tahoe is now provided by local fire districts and the U.S. Forest Service.

The fee will pay for the department’s existing fire-prevention efforts, including thinning brush and trees and clearing around homes.

Soon after the bills go out, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association plans to file a lawsuit to have the fee declared unconstitutional.

Association president Jon Coupal said the fee is actually a tax, which requires a two-thirds vote in the Legislature to enact. The fire fee passed on simple majority votes in the Assembly and Senate, without support from any Republican lawmakers.

Adding to the confusion is a notice sent by the state Board of Equalization to alert affected property owners that a bill for the new fire fee would be coming. The notice shows a picture of a firefighter spraying water on flames, giving the impression that the fee is for suppression rather than its stated purpose of prevention. It further says property owners have 30 days to send their payment or “protest the amount of the bill in writing.”

State fire officials worked with the board last week to revise the wording of the notice and substitute a different photograph, Berlant said. “Protest makes it sound like if you don’t want to pay, you don’t have to pay. That’s not accurate,” he said.

Property owners can ask for “redetermination” if they can prove, for instance, that their property is not in the state responsibility area and they should not have to pay. They also can argue that they are entitled to the $35 discount because they pay a local fire district tax or that they are being billed for more habitable structures than they actually own.

Former state Sen. George Runner, a Republican from Lancaster who sits on the Board of Equalization, pushed for the advance notice to give rural residents more time to pay or contest the billings. He agreed with changing the wording and the photograph to more accurately reflect the details of the new fee.

“We’re going to use the word ‘appeal.’ This is going to the public. They don’t understand the word ‘redetermination.’ Our agency tries to use words that real people understand,” said Runner, who has been critical of the fee.

The nonpartisan Office of Legislative Counsel ruled that it qualifies as a fee because it directly pays for specific state services. Democratic lawmakers said they also followed a recommendation from the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office to levy a fee on homeowners who directly benefit from the state’s firefighting efforts in rural areas.

Opponents said it singles out one group of homeowners subject to a particular type of natural disaster.

“It’s a bogus way the state is just trying to sidestep their budget issues and slap it on the rural communities,” said mortgage broker Jason DeLeo, president of the chamber of commerce in Ramona, which abuts the Cleveland National Forest about 40 miles northeast of San Diego.

He recalls working with friends and neighbors using garden hoses to save homes threatened by devastating wildfires that roared through San Diego County in 2003. The same homeowners already clear around their homes to protect them from fires, without the state’s help, he said.

“The money they’re going to raise from this isn’t going to new fire engines, or firefighters or any of that,” DeLeo said. “The only thing that could help is more boots on the ground, which none of this is going to do.”

Berlant said the state fire department would face a gap of $85 million in its current year budget if the lawsuit succeeds in overturning the fee, forcing more service cuts.

Carol Banner, who lives and sells real estate in the Lake Arrowhead region of the San Bernardino Mountains 80 miles east of Los Angeles, is upset because she already pays for local fire protection.

“Those are the people who we call when we have a fire in our home or when the big one comes,” she said.

Local fire officials said they worry the new fee will discourage residents from paying more for local services.

John Hallman, who sits on a local board that promotes fire-prevention efforts in his community near Lake Berryessa, has been trying to persuade his neighbors to each pay $25 to $50 a year. The money would go toward clearing brush around their properties and on the road linking the community to the Napa Valley.

“With this going through, people are not going to want to pay any more for sure,” he said.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted via email from Sean Allen Real Estate: North San Diego Homes and Community | Comment »

13 August 12

Lawn care: How to mow like a pro - Aug. 10, 2012

NEW YORK (Money magazine) — I’m one of the last guys on the block still mowing his own lawn. This saves about $1,500 a year and, I’d like to think, shows that I’m handy, youthful, earthy, and well attuned to my small property.

As I zig and zag, I can spot a thirsty hydrangea, a wasps’ nest, or a loose porch screen. Plus, since I so often write about yard care, it’s important to actually do yard care.

Witness these time — and money — saving tricks learned in the Saturday morning sun.

Treat your gas. The secret to getting power equipment to start on the first pull isn’t hauling it in for $50 to $90 tune-ups. It’s all about the gas, which begins to degrade as soon as you pump it.

After a couple of months (never mind a whole winter), it will gum up the carburetor, and you could shred a rotator cuff trying to start your mower.

See also: 4 ways to save on landscaping

There’s a simple solution: a few drops of fuel stabilizer. One $6 bottle of Sta-bil has kept my tools purring like lions for two years and counting.

Don’t bag clippings. Every turf scientist and workaday landscaper I’ve questioned recommends forgoing the collection bag and setting the mower to mulch. That pulverizes the clippings and recycles them into the soil, saving water and fertilizer costs. It also keeps me honest.

With the bag, I might get lazy and let the lawn reach meadow height before finally chopping it down (bad news since removing more than a third of their height harms the plants), but the mower can’t effectively mulch that much material. And my better half won’t abide the clumps of hay it leaves behind. So unless I want to rake, I have to mow often.

Let the pros fertilize. Passing joggers and dog walkers may think I’m some sort of grass whisperer, but fertilizer is beyond me. I can’t interpret the back-of-bag chart, and I once applied a weed-and-feed mix when the temperature was over 80° F and burned out the backyard. Now I hire a crew to fertilize (and aerate in the fall), for around $600 a year.

See also: Low-cost ways to put off pricey home repairs

Edge twice. It’s easy to get lazy about edging, which is really a two-step job — a horizontal cut anywhere the mower can’t go, then a vertical one to slice a line wherever the lawn meets beds and walks.

Trouble is, this eats up trimmer string. So I attach extra precut pieces to the wand with Velcro tape. I can pop in replacements quickly, and I’m back inside for lunch.

Contributing writer and home-renovation expert Josh Garskof is a former editor for This Old House and Martha Stewart Living. To top of page

First Published: August 10, 2012: 10:24 AM ET

Posted via email from Sean Allen Real Estate: North San Diego Homes and Community | Comment »

6 July 12

Get Ready for the New Investment Tax

  • Updated July 2, 2012, 10:10 a.m. ET

Get Ready for the New Investment Tax


It really is happening.

Until this week, investors were waiting to see what the Supreme Court would do about the 3.8 percentage-point surtax on investment income, part of President Obama’s health-care overhaul. The Internal Revenue Service hasn’t yet released guidance on the new tax.

So when the court affirmed the law on Thursday, investors—and tax advisers—started scrambling.

Associated Press

Dr. Nadya Hasham, a professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, examines Glenn Johnson at New York’s Touro College Family Health Center on Wednesday.

The new tax, which Congress passed in 2010, affects the net investment income of most joint filers with adjusted gross income of more than $250,000 ($200,000 for single filers). Starting on Jan. 1, 2013, the tax rates on long-term capital gains and dividends for these earners will jump from their current historic low of 15% to 18.8%, assuming Congress extends the current law.

Streaming Live: Health-Law Decision


Associated Press

Real-time updates, analysis and reaction on the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the health-care law. Click here to see full coverage of the decision.

If, on the other hand, Congress allows the tax rates set in 2001 and 2003 to expire on Dec. 31—an unlikely scenario, according to many experts—the top rate on capital gains will rise to 23.8% and the top rate on dividends will nearly triple, to 43.4%.

Whatever the fate of the 2001-03 tax rates, advisers are telling clients to start making moves to minimize the new levy.

Beatrice Mitchell of Sperry Mitchell in New York, a broker of middle-market businesses, says she expects that entrepreneurs looking to sell companies will hurry to do so this year and forgo installment sales, in order to avoid paying the 3.8% surtax.

"Business sellers haven’t been paying attention to this tax, but now they are," she says, adding that one client, the head of a 2,000-employee firm, "is in shock."

What It Means for Consumers


The health law’s future depends on which party controls the White House and Congress after elections in November. Read More.

The new levy’s ramifications extend far beyond the end of the year, however, and will be a game changer for many taxpayers. In the future, affluent investors will need to manage both their adjusted gross income and their investment income in order to minimize this tax, says CPA Dave Kautter of American University’s Kogod Tax Center.

Many will likely seek more shelter in assets and structures where the tax doesn’t apply. Municipal-bond income is doubly blessed because it doesn’t raise adjusted gross income and isn’t subject to the 3.8% tax, notes Jonathan Horn, an accountant in New York.

Related Video

A version of this article appeared June 30, 2012, on page B7 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Get Ready for the New Investment Tax.

Posted via email from Sean Allen Real Estate: North San Diego Homes and Community | Comment »

3 July 12
25 June 12

California pending home sales jump in May | Inman News

<a href=Handshake  image via Shutterstock.

Pending home sales in the nation’s most-populous state rose by double-digits in May compared to the same month a year ago, according to a monthly index from the California Association of Realtors.

CAR’s Pending Home Sales Index remained unchanged from April’s revised figure. But the index jumped 11.2 percent from May 2011, to 128.8.

The index, which tracks purchase contracts signed but not yet closed, is considered a forward-looking indicator of future home sales activity with the majority of pending sales closing within one to two months, CAR said. An index level of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity in California in 2008.

May was the fourth straight month to see a double-digit, year-over-year index increase.

“Despite a slowdown in economic growth in recent months, sales in California remain strong as record low mortgage rates and favorable home prices continue to fuel demand in the housing market,” said LeFrancis Arnold, CAR’s president, in a statement.

"The strong results in pending sales — double-digit year-over-year gains in the last nine out of 10 months — suggest solid housing market performance for the state in the upcoming months."

Article continues below

California’s share of distressed sales fell in May, to 40.7 percent of total sales, from 49 percent in May 2011. The shares of both REOs (real estate-owned homes) and short sales declined, though short sales to a smaller extent, to 21 percent and 19.4 percent, respectively.

Share of distressed sales to total sales (single-family):

Type of sale May-11 Apr-12 May-12
Equity sales 51.0% 55.8% 59.3%
Total distressed sales 49.0% 44.2% 40.7%
     REOs 28.4% 23.2% 21.0%
     Short sales 20.3% 20.6% 19.4%
     Other distressed sales (not specified) 0.3% 0.4% 0.3%
All sales 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%

Source: California Association of Realtors

Of 28 selected California counties, distressed sales accounted for at least half of total sales in 13, according to CAR. The three counties with the highest share of distressed sales were Madera (79 percent), Lake (70 percent), and Solano (70 percent).

Single-family distressed home sales by select counties (percent of total sales):

County May-11 Apr-12 May-12
Amador 61% 41% 50%
Butte 44% 44% 37%
Fresno 63% 62% 57%
Humboldt 17% 36% 34%
Kern 66% 54% N/A
Lake 80% 64% 70%
Los Angeles 45% 44% 41%
Madera 85% 67% 79%
Marin 28% 29% 21%
Mendocino 51% 67% 44%
Merced 59% 58% 54%
Monterey 59% 55% 52%
Napa 43% 41% 44%
Orange 36% 33% 33%
Riverside 65% 56% 54%
Sacramento 65% 61% 58%
San Benito 66% 56% 59%
San Bernardino 69% 57% 59%
San Diego 29% 23% 23%
San Luis Obispo 40% 44% 35%
San Mateo 23% 24% 21%
Santa Clara 34% 27% 28%
Santa Cruz 41% 49% 33%
Siskiyou 82% 62% 54%
Solano 71% 69% 70%
Sonoma 48% 44% 45%
Tehama 62% 58% 65%
Tuolumne N/A 61% 46%
California 49% 44% 41%

Source: California Association of Realtors

In a separate report  released last week, CAR reported the state’s highest annual jump in existing, single-family home sales last month since May 2009 — a 21.5 percent increase to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 572,260. The state median home price rose on both a month-to-month and year-over-year basis for the third straight month in May to $312,110 — the highest median since September 2010, CAR said.

The trade group also noted a shortage of for-sale homes in the state with inventory at the same level as in December 2005 — a 3.5 months’ supply, down from 5.7 months in May 2011. 

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Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

Copyright 2012 Inman News

All rights reserved. This content may not be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever, in part or in whole, without written permission of Inman News. Use of this content without permission is a violation of federal copyright law.

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Themed by Hunson. Originally by Josh