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Some Industries Are Still Hiring in O.C. - 09/23/09 08:50 PM
The unemployment rate for Orange County reached 9.6% in August – tied for a modern day record of highest unemployment rate in the region. Some industries in Orange County are still doing well in spite of the economy. Federal and state jobs have accounted for four of the five top categories in terms of annual growth. Hiring for the census and hiring for the new Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. helped boost employment numbers in Orange County. Local government employment, however, has slashed 3,300 jobs in the last year, a 2.9% decline. The depressed mortgage business added 100 local jobs – (0 comments)
6-Month Streak in Rising Revenues For Brokers Ends - 09/23/09 08:43 PM
The money generated from sales of existing homes fell from July to August, ending a 6-month streak of rising revenues from broker-tracked sales. Last month sales of O.C. homes listed in the MLS totaled $1.3 billion, down 10.6% from July. Last month’s dollars were down 8.1% from a year ago. The year-to-year decline in revenues was due to both to decreased sales and falling prices. The total volume last month was half the total generated in August 2005- right before the housing slump began. So far O.C. home sales have generated $8.6 billion this year. Last month distressed homes sales (0 comments)
CA Comes In 2nd For Priciest Places To Rent In The Country - 09/23/09 08:38 PM
California is the second priciest place in the country to be a renter. Following closely behind Hawaii which has a median monthly rent of $1,298. Rounding out the top 5 was Maryland, New Jersey and the District of Columbia. The state’s where rent is the lowest are West Virginia with a median rent of $528 and North Dakota with a median rent of $534. The national average for rent came in at $824 a month. Another survey was put out that compared the cost of rent with the percentage of the renter’s income. California came in second on this list (0 comments)
Senate Proposes Super-Regulator For Banks - 09/23/09 08:34 PM
The Senate Banking Committee is proposing merging four bank agencies into one super-regulator in order to diminish the role of the central bank as a system wide overseer. Although this proposal is expected to be opposed by the Federal Reserve and President Obama, the Senate Banking Committee feels that having one regulator for banking will prevent companies from shopping for the easiest regulator. Critics say that interest rate cuts are currently fueling the housing bubble but the Feds are neglecting the fact that lending abuse is a major problem. Will this truly solve the banking problems?
Fed Extends Mortgage Purchases Through March - 09/23/09 08:26 PM
The Federal Reserve announced today that they will continue to purchase mortgage securities and debt of mortgage for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through March 2010. The idea is to gradually slow the pace of these purchases in order to promote a smooth transition in markets. The U.S. central bank plans to purchase as much as $1.25 trillion of mortgage securities backed by Fannie and Freddie and as much as $200 billion of their debt for company operations. The Fed reaffirmed its purchases of $300 billion in treasuries will finish by October 2009.
Nationally this month the net home sales per development increased from 1.4% to 2% in August. Builders have been targeting entry-level buyers who don’t have homes to sell in order to lower cancellation rates. Housing starts increased in California last month even though it declined in two out of 10 regions in the U.S. The demand for builders has been brought back due to the $8,000 tax credit that expires in November, but more than likely prices may fall again early next year. (1 comments)
Builders Are Raising Prices In CA - 09/23/09 08:21 PM
<!--StartFragment--> For the first time in 15 months more builders in California are raising prices than dropping prices. Nationally this month the net home sales per development increased from 1.4% to 2% in August. Builders have been targeting entry-level buyers who don’t have homes to sell in order to lower cancellation rates. Housing starts increased in California last month even though it declined in two out of 10 regions in the U.S. The demand for builders has been brought back due to the $8,000 tax credit that expires in November, but more than likely prices may fall again early next year. (0 comments)
The FDIC Needs A New Plan To Find Money - 09/23/09 08:16 PM
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp funds is loosing cash fast and are considering a plan to borrow money from successful banks to bolster the fund – rather than tapping taxpayers. Money for the fund comes from assessments on all banks that take deposits. The new plan to borrow from the banks would be interesting but could be tricky when the FDIC is trying to oversee banks it owes money to. The FDIC’s other option is to tap into the existing $100 billion credit line from the Treasury but this has more personal issues attached to it. The chairwomen of the FDIC (1 comments)
Have A Pet? Go To Pet Trek Walkathon - 09/23/09 08:12 PM
The festival takes place Saturday September 26, 2009 from 8:00 am to 12:00pm at Woodbridge Community Park in Irvine, CA. The festival is full of pet-related activities including vendors, food, entertainment, contests for you and your pet, silent auctions and a walk around Woodbridge Lake with your favorite pet to raise money for homeless animals. For more info, including a pledge form, please call 949-724-7740 or go to their Web site.
The average sale to list price ration for foreclosures throughout the past three months have been 103%, on average foreclosures are selling for 3% above the list price. In general short sales are being encouraged because they are in much better condition than foreclosures and save the lenders a lot on repairing and carrying costs. There are currently 2,050 short sales on the market with an expected market time of 1.58 months, much different than just one year ago when there were 4,422 (1 comments)
Homes Selling For Over $1 Million Harder To Sell - 09/21/09 10:05 PM
Homes listed for under a million bucks have a market time of 1.75 months compared to 10.57 months for homes listed for more than $1 million. This means it takes more than 6 times longer to sell a home priced at over $1 million dollars. Home priced are not dropping in the lower ranges, but homes priced above $1 million a dropping. The higher the price ranges the high the expected market time – especially with the lack of demand. 30% of the active inventory is found in the homes selling for over $1 million, yet it only represents 7% of (1 comments)
Sales In Beach Cities Up - 09/21/09 09:59 PM
Sales in beach cities was up 14% from a year ago – with 429 homes selling in beach cities ZIP codes last month. The average selling price was $641,750 and 16.9% decrease from last year. The breakdown from home sales throughout the county were as follows: The median selling price for a home in a south inland ZIP was $530,375 with 757 sales last month. That was an 11% increase in sales and a 3.7% decrease in median price. In the north inland ZIPs the median selling price was $470,000 and had 663 sales last month. The amount of homes (2 comments)
Mortgage Rates Could Jump In January - 09/21/09 09:51 PM
There is potential for the Federal Reserve Board to stop purchasing mortgage backed securities on January 1st which could cause mortgage rates to jump any where from 30 bps to 50 bps. The Feds $1.25 trillion MBS purchase program is set to expire on December 31, but it is expected to be extended by the Feds while they slowly finish their purchase of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae MBS. There is hope that if the Feds slowly end the program there will not be such disruption to mortgage rates. The Fed is expected to announce how it will (2 comments)
Over 15,000 File Tax Appeals In The O.C. - 09/21/09 09:46 PM
The number of tax appeals received by the Orange County Clerks office totaled 15,050, last year there were 14,527 appeals. Property owners had until Tuesday to request a hearing to review the county’s opinion of what their real estate was worth. The Orange County Assessor’s Office already lowered tax assessments on more than 200,000 of the county’s 897,000 parcels of land. Not everybody qualifies for a tax cut when real estate values fall. Prop. 13, limits annual increases to 2%, meaning that most properties have taxable values well below what their homes and buildings would sell for.
Rent Cost Hikes In O.C. At 12-Year Low - 09/21/09 05:25 PM
Renters inflation rat at a 1.2% annual rate – the lowest rate since March 1997. The equivalent rate for homeowners rose at a 0.3% annual rate, which was the lowest since February 1995. For the tenth straight month household energy prices declined and the annual rate of household furnishings and operation fell 0.2% for the first time this year. August inflation fell at an 0.4% annual rate, for all housing costs, biggest drop since 1996.
The overall SoCal inflation rate for all goods and services fell at a 1.7% annual rate, the sixth consecutive decline.
Nationwide the overall (0 comments)
O.C. Property Tax Appeals Up 23% - 09/21/09 05:21 PM
The number of Orange County property owners disputing their property taxes jumped 23% this year. The deadline to appeal is less than a week away and the Orange County Assessor’s office already reduced tax assessments for a fifth of the county’s land parcels. This year so far there have been 4.5 times more tax appeals than in 2006 and it is projected that tax appeals filed by homeowners alone could rise 85% this year. Properties are taxed according to their value, with increases limited by Prop. 13 to 2% a year. The county Assessor’s Office determines the taxable value of (1 comments)
Local Hotels Have 21% of Rooms Empty - 09/21/09 05:18 PM
Local hotel owners had a slow summer. In the last year room rates fell 16% and 21.2% of rooms went empty. Hotels in the Newport Beach area cut rates by 24% and still saw the number of room reservation fall by 30%. Countywide the “revpar” (a key hotel cash flow measure tracking rates and occupancy) was down 20.6% for the month compared to a year ago.
Investors Helping O.C. Home Sales - 09/21/09 02:16 PM
Total home sales and median prices have been rising since the start of the year. Investors have played a part in the housing rebound by purchasing an increasing number of homes in Orange County over the last 4 months. Overall investors accounted for 20% of purchasers last month in Southern California.
Out of the 2,790 homes sold in August about 15% were purchased by investors or absentee buyers who have their tax bills sent to a separate address. That is a 13.6% increase from the previous 19 months. Investors bought more than 400 O.C. homes a month in the past (0 comments)
The median selling price of homes was $420,00, which is a decrease of 5.4% since last year and 35% below June 2007’s peak. Prices have been falling on a year-over-year basis since September 2007.
For the month of August single-family homes were being re-sold for 32% less than their peak pricing and condos are selling for 39% below their peak pricing. August marks the 14th straight month of sales gains compared to the year-ago period.
Garden Grove’s 92844 ZIP code shows the fewest listing with price cuts – 7%, while the 92845 zip code in Garden Grove is seeing the most in the county at 43%.
August Home Prices 34% Below Peak - 09/21/09 02:01 PM
The selling prices for homes in Orange County during the month of August were 34% below the peak reached in Slice Price Yr. ago Sales Yr. ago June 2007. For the month of August the median selling price of a home in Orange County was $427,750 – which is down 2.8% from a year ago. This was the smallest year-over-year loss in a 2-year losing streak dating back to September 2007. Single family homes are being sold for 32% below their peak pricing, while condos are selling for 38% below their peak reached in March 2006. In this most (0 comments)
O.C. Having Success With FHA Backed Loans - 09/21/09 01:56 PM
Orange County has had more success with the government’s mortgage insurance program than the rest of the nation, at least as far as defaults go.
The Federal Housing Administration has insured about a quarter of the home purchase loans in Orange County over the past few months. The national rate for defaults on FHA loans is 5.6%, while it is only 1.3% in Orange County. FHA buyers in Orange County are using down payments close to the minimum 3.5% required, so if home prices drop over the next year or two that would eliminate their equity.
MBA Urges Split of Fannie and Freddie - 09/21/09 01:51 PM
The Mortgage Bankers Association is urging the split of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into smaller companies that would continue to function normally; buying loans from banks and issuing mortgage securities with government guarantees. The MBA has proposed a federally run insurance fund, similar to the program run by the Federal Housing Administration, to back bonds made by new entities. The fund would be paid for by fees, which means that tax payers do not pay for losses but would be forced to if losses exceed the pool of money in the fund. Investors take on interest-rate risk but (0 comments)
U.S. Home Prices Hit Bottom - 09/20/09 01:15 AM
According to the UCLA Anderson Forecast for September, housing prices in the U.S. have hit bottom.
After falling to the lowest level in more than 60 years, they predict that new home construction will begin to pick up in the next two years. Since prices have finally hit a level in which existing homes are more affordable, sales are slowly beginning to increase making conditions perfect for a new wave of residential construction. Unfortunately the same can not be said for home prices. The forecast seems grim for home prices to return to peak levels at any time in (1 comments)
Sept. 18th “Taste of Villa del Sol” - 09/11/09 01:32 AM
Mark your calendars; September 18th from 7-11 p.m. is the “Taste of Villa del Sol” benefit event. Proceeds from the event will go to Child S.H.A.R.E.
Child S.H.A.R.E. is a nonprofit organization that finds stable homes for Orange County's abused and neglected foster children. The group has found homes for more than 2,500 children in foster care so far.
The event will feature food from the restaurants of Villa del Sol, including Café Hidalgo, The Cellar, Stadium Tavern and The Brownstone Café. There will also be live music, dancing and signature drinks being served in the historic courtyard (0 comments)
Company Owned By Son of Irvine Co. Chairman Files For Bankruptcy - 09/11/09 01:29 AM
Bacchus Development – a development firm owned by Steven M. Bren, son of Irvine Co. Chairman Donald Bren – has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The firm has no business connections with the Irvine Company. The firm had built three office parks in the Irvine Spectrum and has been unable to repay it bank loans due to slow sales. The company built the Bacchus Office Park, Jeffrey Office Park and Bacchus Signature Series projects at the Spectrum, consisting of 169 buildings. The company sold most of those buildings, but still owns 43 of them – the majority of which are still (1 comments)
Preventing home price appreciation is the fact that lenders are agreeing to accept less than debt owed on a property. Currently, 54% of active listings below $500,000 are distressed properties. Last week distressed properties accounted for 30.1% of the market compared to 30% two weeks earlier. Since the end of December the number of distressed homes on the market has dropped 53% and the supply of non-distressed homes has dropped 29%.
Lowest Number of Homes For Sale Since 2006 - 09/11/09 01:22 AM
The number of active listings dropped by 169 homes in the past two weeks to 8,362 – the lowest it has been since the beginning of 2006. At the current pace it will take home buyers 2.46 months to purchase all homes for sale on the market, a year ago the market time was 4.77 months for homes. Homes that are listed for under a million dollars have a market time of 1.85 months compared to homes listed for over one million dollars have a market time of 10.24 months.
Now Is The Time To Rent - 09/11/09 01:19 AM
If you are thinking about renting in Orange County, now is the time! Landlords are hurting for business and so they are aggressively competing for new tenants. Landlords are offering freebies including months of rent; cable TV and internet. The number of freebies are work 4.9% of asking rents – nearly double the amount offered a year ago. Overall rents in Orange County are falling 5.7% in the hopes of bringing in new tenants.
Hottest Home Markets In O.C. - 09/11/09 01:16 AM
The hottest Orange County city to buy a home in is Aliso Viejo with a market time of 0.9 months. This number is found by comparing the supply of homes for sale compared to the new purchase deals.
Currently the market with the longest market time (11 months) is Laguna Beach. This is most likely due to the price of homes for sale in that region/ The chart below shows the 10 best and worst markets to sell in.
O.C. Home Priced 10.6% Too Low - 09/11/09 01:12 AM
Based on a study done by HIS Global Insight, Orange County home prices were 10.6% too low in the second quarter.
This report was based on regional real estate and economic data that combined selling prices, incomes and interest rates. Current buying patterns were also analyzed to put them into historical context. According to the report, homes in Orange County have been undervalued by buyers for five consecutive quarters. This period followed 5-years where homes were overvalued, cumulating with a 34.6% overvaluation in Q1 of 2006. With the current status of the economy nationwide, extreme home price overvaluation (0 comments)
Millions More Foreclosures Expected - 09/11/09 01:08 AM
Despite President Obama’s implementation of the Home Affordable Modification Program, millions more foreclosures are expected to hit the housing market. This does not mean that the HAMP is not working, we seem to forget that even prior to the current housing crisis many hundreds of thousands of homes were still being foreclosed. The goal of the program is to ultimately save 3 to 4 million borrowers and currently only 571,000 eligible candidates have been offered modifications. Members of the House Financial Services Committee plan to include a note in their financial regulatory reform bill that will allow bankruptcy judges the (3 comments)
O.C. Ranked 2nd in Construction Performance - 09/03/09 06:24 PM
Although the homebuilding business has been incredibly slow in Orange County, we are currently ranked No. 2 in terms of percentage point performance. O.C. developers have applied for 17% fewew building permits through July than in 2008. Statewide builders have filed fewer permits for single-family homes in the first seven months of 2009 than the same period in 2008. This is expected that this will be the slowest housing construction year since World War II.
August Layoffs Down 14% - 09/03/09 06:19 PM
August has the smallest employment decline since September 2008 with private employers cutting 298,000 jobs.
The job losses experienced in August covered all business and sectors of the industry but the trend is clear – slowly but surely the losses are diminishing. Small businesses are expected to recover first; they tend to not fire as many when times are bad and not need to hire as many when times are good. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees laid off 122,000 people in August. Goods producing companies were hit the hardest this month loosing 152,000 jobs followed closely by people (1 comments)
The report is based on the assumption that local housing will average annual gains for 2.7% for the next 21 years from January’s cyclical median-price low of $370,000. There was a 3.6% annualized gain ending in July. Prices have exactly doubled since July 1898 – when another buying frenzy ended in a depression. From the last cycle’s bottom (January 1996) to new peak (April 1998) the annualized gain from the bounce was 8.5%. The highest (2 comments)
BofA Trying To Repay U.S. Aid - 09/02/09 09:48 PM
U.S. officials want Bank of America to pay $500 million to end a tentative pact that has the government sharing its losses on certain assets. If the banks wants to end the arrangement the government feels that an appropriate fee was required. The Treasury and the Federal Reserve are asking the bank to pay at least $300 million and would prefer $500 million. Bank of America is offering to repay part of its bailout money. Repaying this would mean that BofA would no longer be categorized as an “exceptional” aid recipient – a title that has brought about a lot of (1 comments)
FDIC Hit With Losses On Loans - 09/02/09 09:41 PM
The FDIC has assumed most of the risk on $80 billion in loans and other assets used in agreements with buyers of failed banks. The FDIC anticipates it will have to cover about $14 billion in future losses. The FDIC has agreed to absorb losses on more than 50 deals – referred to as “loss shares.” The losses range from hundreds of millions of dollars in a failing condo loan in Florida to two log cabins in the woods in Illinois. Currently there is $10.4 billion in the FDIC’s deposit-insurance fund, down from more than $50 billion last year. Thus (2 comments)
The Federal Reserve’s board of governors has asked the Manhattan Chief U.S. District Judge to delay enforcement of her August 24 decision that the identities of borrowers in 11 lending programs much be made public. The case has now been sent to the U.S. Board of Appeals. The Fed has appealed the judge’s ruling to disclose the names of banks who have received emergency loans because they believe identifying the financial institution would hurt their reputation and trust factor with the public. The Fed feels that their ability to effectively manage the current financial crisis and potentially a future financial (1 comments)
OC has 6 of 100 Priciest ZIP Codes - 09/02/09 09:29 PM
According to Forbes Magazine, six of the costliest ZIP codes to buy in reside in Orange County and 22 of the top 500 are also in Orange County.
Some of Orange County housing still ranks among the most expensive in the country, despite the substantial price drop we have been experiencing during this recession. The change in California’s economic status did not go unnoticed,, Forbes’ mentioned writing “Take California, a state where housing speculation — and the subsequent market crash — peaked early. Last year, the Golden State accounted for 96% of America’s 50 most expensive ZIP codes. This year, (1 comments)
Over 8,000 Mortgages Face Foreclosure - 09/02/09 09:21 PM
At the end of July there were 8,346 outstanding foreclosure auction notices in Orange County, which is an increase of 12% from June and more than double the year ago total. Some of the data may be skewed because of the mortgage modification plan but in place by the Obama administration. An unknown portion of the people receiving auction notices may be in the trial modification period. Regulators are now trying to help banks keep people from avoiding foreclosures instead of promptly dealing with bad loans.
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