Irvine Real Estate News

 

June 18, 2019

Last Call

There is not a lot of steam left in the best time of the year to sell a home and get it under contract.

 

Last Call: In order for sellers to cash in on the most lucrative time to sell a home during the year, they better open up escrow soon.

 

It is that time of the year for the family vacation. That includes airports, long lines at the TSA checkpoint, connections, and a bit of stress and anxiety. Inevitably, countless travelers with kids in tow will find themselves running to their connecting flight. The sense of urgency is intense. As if to mock the situation, the flight crew announces, “LAST CALL for flight 93!” Frantically many will barely make it, gasping for air while boarding the plane. Still others will arrive at the gate only to find that the “cabin door has been closed.” This is also the time of year when many sellers come on the market thinking they have an ample amount of time to market their home to take advantage of the Summer Market, but that simply is not the case. Yes, summer has just begun, but the Summer Market for housing already started in May. The housing market shifts from away from the Spring Market with the distractions of the end of the school year, especially graduations. From there, the distractions of summer and the family activities take hold: family vacations, trips to the beach, trips to the pool, family reunions, summer camps, and picnics. Life gets in the way for many that are looking to purchase a home. As a result, housing downshifts from the best time of the year to sell, the spring, to the second-best time of the year, summer.

 

Posted in News
June 11, 2019

Home prices on the rise with predictions for more of the same

While homebuyers may not be as pleased these days, sellers have smiles on their faces. The news (statistics always lag behind a bit) is that national home prices notched a stronger annual gain in April than in March, marking the first time in over a year that prices have accelerated from one month to the next.

That data comes from a recent report from CoreLogic, a national real estate information services provider. Prices were up 3.6% for the year and 1% for the month in March.

Annual price gains in CoreLogic’s national index have been flat or declined every month since April 2018, but the company believes that “the pickup in sales between March and April” helped soften some of the slower growth in prices.

Sales as reported by the National Association of Realtors were slower in April than in March: they ran at a 5.19 million seasonally adjusted annual pace in April, down from a 5.21 million pace in March. But CoreLogic expects home prices to keep going up, and forecasts a 4.7% rise over the coming 12 months. The company also analyzes housing stock in major metro areas for their values compared to their “long-term, sustainable level.” By these measurements, markets including Las Vegas were overvalued, while (believe it or not) San Francisco was undervalued.

The company’s chief economist points out that price growth nationally is strongest for lower-priced homes, keeping buying conditions challenging for first-timers.

Source: Corelogic, NAR, TBWS

 

 

Rates Currently Trending: Neutral

Mortgage rates are trending sideways so far today.  Last week the MBS market improved by +13 bps.  This caused rates to remain very low. Rates experienced relatively low volatility.

 

Posted in News
June 5, 2019

Top 5 Trends

Sometimes it is a great idea to step away from the noise swirling around housing and focus on the trends.

Top 5 Housing Trends: With five months of the year in the rearview mirror, there are crystal clear trends in 2019. Everybody seems to have an opinion about the direction of the housing market. “Up!” “Down!” “The housing run has peaked!” “I’m going to wait for values to come crashing down.” In the end, there is way too much noise that is not rooted in facts, ignoring the data. It is time to step aside from the commotion and look at the trends that have surfaced in 2019.

Here’s a breakdown of the “Top 5” current Orange County housing trends:

1. There are a lot more homes on the market. In fact, this is the highest active inventory level since 2011. There are 7,479 homes that are currently FOR SALE. That is 27% more than last year, an additional 1,605 homes. At the start of the year, the difference was 2,204, so this trend is beginning to diminish. The big rumor is that there are a lot more homeowners opting to sell and flooding the market. The reality is that there are nearly the same number of sellers coming on the market year after year. In 2017, from January through May, 18,264 homes were placed on the market. In 2018 there were 18,199. And, there were 18,180 this year. No flood. Instead, fewer and fewer listings have been converted to sales due to muted demand. With less success, the active inventory has grown.

Posted in News
June 3, 2019

The Ultimate Truth about Housing Affordability

 

There have been many headlines decrying an “affordability crisis” in the residential real estate market. While it is true that buying a home is less affordable than it had been over the last ten years, we need to understand why and what that means.

On a monthly basis, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), produces a Housing Affordability Index. According to NAR, the index…

“…measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national and regional levels based on the most recent price and income data.”

Their methodology states:

“To interpret the indices, a value of 100 means that a family with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home. An index above 100 signifies that family earning the median income has more than enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a median-priced home, assuming a 20 percent down payment.”

So, the higher the index, the more affordable it is to purchase a home. Here is a graph of the index going back to 1990:

The Ultimate Truth about Housing Affordability | MyKCM

It is true that the index is lower today than any year from 2009 to 2017. However, we must realize the main reason homes were more affordable. That period of time immediately followed a housing crash and there were large numbers of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales). Those properties were sold at large discounts.

Today, the index is higher than any year from 1990 to 2008. Based on historic home affordability data, that means homes are more affordable right now than any other time besides the time following the housing crisis.

With mortgage rates remaining low and wages finally increasing, we can see that it is MORE AFFORDABLE to purchase a home today than it was last year!

Bottom Line

With wages increasing, price appreciation moderating, and mortgage rates remaining near all-time lows, purchasing a home is a great move based on historic affordability numbers.

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.
Posted in News
June 3, 2019

4 Reasons to Buy A Home This Summer

 

Here are four reasons to consider buying today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest U.S. Home Price Insights reports that home prices have appreciated by 3.7% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.8% over the next year.

Home values will continue to appreciate. Waiting may no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have started to level off around 4.3%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting rates will increase by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You Are Paying a Mortgage

Some renters have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Examine the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, greater safety for your family, or you just want to have control over renovations, now could be the time to buy.

Bottom Line

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

 

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.
Posted in News
May 23, 2019

4 Most Popular Bottom Line Investments in America

Irvine real estate

Every year, Gallup surveys Americans to determine their choice for the best long-term investment. Respondents are given a choice between real estate, stocks, gold, and savings accounts.

For the sixth year in a row, real estate has come out on top as the best long-term investment! That has not always been the case. Gallup explains:

“Between 2008 and 2010, covering most of the Great Recession period that saw plummeting home and stock values, Americans were as likely to name savings accounts or CDs as the best long-term investment as they were to name stocks or real estate.”

This year’s results showed that 35% of Americans chose real estate, followed by stocks at 27%. The full results are shown in the chart below.

is irvine real estate a good investment

If you're one of the many people asking yourself "is Irvine real estate a good investment", I think the answer is clear above. As everyone's real estate goals and situation is different Let's discuss.

Now that the real estate market has recovered, so has the belief of the American people in the stability of housing as a long-term investment.

Posted in News
May 1, 2019

The Woodbridge Real Estate Market, (Irvine, CA)

15 Fallbrook - a Creekside listing

There are 42 Woodbridge homes currently listed for sale, up from 37 at the beginning of last month. 

Prices range from $429,900 all the way up to $1,988,000. Included in these numbers is my 15 Fallbrook listing, (in the Creekside tract).

  See all Woodbridge homes for sale.

South Lake Woodbridge

There are 746 properties for sale elsewhere in Irvine.  

For info on any listing, call or text me on 949-232-5634 or shoot me an email.

29 Woodbridge homes are in escrow, (Pending or Backup Offers status), at an average list price of $776,989.

 

20 Woodbridge homes sold in April 2019, at prices from $459,800 for a 2-bedroom, 2-bath attached condo at 27 Firwood in the Village Green neighborhood, to $1,563,000 for my 79 Limewood listing, a 4-bedroom, 3-bath detached Single Family Residence in the Landing II neighborhood.

79 Limewood in Landing 2, Woodbridge

My 2 Laurelglen listing is another Landing II home which sold in April.

2 Laurelglen in Landing II

 

Posted in News
April 8, 2019

Some things to think about when choosing your Irvine home to retire in.

As more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether they should sell their homes and move has become a hot topic. In today’s Irvine housing market climate, with low available inventory in the starter and trade-up home categories, it makes sense to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your needs in retirement.

According to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA), there are 7 factors that you should consider when choosing your retirement home.

1. Affordability

“It may be easy enough to purchase your home today but think long-term about your monthly costs. Account for property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities – all the things that will be due whether or not you have a mortgage on the property.”

Would moving to a complex with homeowner association fees actually be cheaper than having to hire all the contractors you would need to maintain your home, lawn, etc.? Would your taxes go down significantly if you relocated? What is your monthly income going to be like in retirement?

2. Equity

“If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply it to the purchase of your next home. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity gives you a source of emergency funds to tap, via a home equity loan or reverse mortgage.”

The equity you have in your current home may be enough to purchase your retirement home with little to no mortgage. Homeowners in the US gained an average of over $9,700 in equity last year. In Irvine the number is much larger!

3. Maintenance

“As we age, our tolerance for cleaning gutters and raking leaves can go right out the window. A condominium with low-maintenance needs can be a literal lifesaver, if your health or physical abilities decline.”

As I mentioned earlier, would a condo with an HOA fee be worth the added peace of mind of not having to do the outside maintenance work yourself? Of course you’d still need a gardener or have to take care of your own yard yourself.

4. Security

“Elderly homeowners can be targets for scams or break-ins. Living in a home with security features, such as a manned gate house, resident-only access and a security system can bring peace of mind.”

As scary as that thought may be, any additional security is helpful. An extra set of eyes looking out for you always adds to peace of mind.

5. Pets

“Renting won’t do if the dog can’t come too! The companionship of pets can provide emotional and physical benefits.”

Consider all of your options when it comes to bringing your ‘furever’ friend with you to a new home. Will there be necessary additional deposits if you are renting or in a condo? Remember many Irvine landlords don't even allow pets. Is the backyard fenced in? How far are you from your favorite veterinarian?

6. Mobility

“No one wants to picture themselves in a wheelchair or a walker, but the home layout must be able to accommodate limited mobility.”

Sixty is the new 40, right? People are living longer and are more active in retirement, but that doesn’t mean that down the road you won’t need your home to be more accessible. Installing handrails and making sure your hallways and doorways are wide enough may be a good reason to look for a home that was built to accommodate these needs.

7. Convenience

“Is the new home close to the golf course, or to shopping , movies and dining? Do you have amenities within easy walking distance? This can add to home value!”

How close are you to your children and grandchildren? Would relocating to a new area make visits with family easier or more frequent? Beyond being close to your favorite stores and restaurants, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Bottom Line

When it comes to your forever single-level Irvine home, evaluating your current house for its ability to adapt with you as you age can be the first step to guaranteeing your comfort in retirement. If after considering all these factors you find yourself curious about your options, let’s get together to evaluate your ability to sell your house in today’s market and get you into your dream retirement home!

Posted in News
April 3, 2019

Looking to Upgrade Your Irvine Home? Now’s the Time to Move-Up!

The kitchen/family room in one of Debbie Sagorin's listings

In every area of the country, homes that are priced at the top 25% of the price range for that area are considered to be Premium Homes. In today’s real estate market there are deals to be had at the higher end! This is great news for homeowners who want to upgrade from their current house and move-up to a premium home.

Much of the demand for housing over the past couple years has come from first-time buyers looking for their starter home, which means that many of the more expensive homes that have been listed for sale have not seen as much interest.

This mismatch in demand and inventory has created a Buyer’s Market in the luxury and premium home markets according to the ILHM’s latest Luxury Report. For the purpose of the report, a luxury home is defined as one that costs $1 million or more.

“A Buyer’s Market indicates that buyers have greater control over the price point. This market type is demonstrated by a substantial number of homes on the market and few sales, suggesting demand for residential properties is slow for that market and/or price point.”

The authors of the report were quick to point out that the current conditions at the higher end of the market are no cause for concern. 

“While luxury homes may take longer to sell than in previous years, the slower pace, increased inventory levels and larger differences between list and sold prices, represent a normalization of the market, not a downturn.”

The spa at 233 Downs Road - listed by Debbie Sagorin

Luxury can mean different things to different people. It could mean a secluded home with a ton of property for privacy to one person, or a penthouse in the center of it all for someone else. Knowing what characteristics you are looking for in a premium home and what luxury means to you will help your agent find your dream home.

Bottom Line

If you are debating upgrading your current house in Irvine to a premium or luxury home, now is the time!

Posted in News
March 4, 2019

March 1st Woodbridge Irvine Market Report

There are 37 Woodbridge homes currently listed for sale, up from 34 at the beginning of last month. Prices range from $440,000 all the way up to $1,988,000. Included in these numbers is my 79 Limewood listing, (in Landing II).

See all Woodbridge homes for sale.

There are 660 properties for sale elsewhere in Irvine.  

18 Woodbridge homes are in escrow, (Pending or Backup Offers status), at an average list price of $859,610.

14 Woodbridge homes sold in February 2019, at prices from $479,000 for a 2-bedroom, 1 bath attached condo at 25 Smokestone in the Park Vista neighborhood, to $1,150,000 for 17 Springwood, a 3-bedroom, 2 bath attached townhouse in the Grove neighborhood.

 

Posted in News