Should You Opt for a Fixed-Rate Mortgage?

Type of Mortgage Acquired

94% of purchasers last year opted for a fixed-rate mortgage at some of the lowest rates in home buying history.  Yet, some of them will pay more in interest than necessary based on the time they’ll own the home.

If a person only plans to be in the home a few years, the adjustable-rate can offer significant savings.

Not only is the interest rate on the adjustable-rate lower than the fixed in the initial period, amortization on a lower interest rate amortizes faster than a higher interest rate.

Continue reading Should You Opt for a Fixed-Rate Mortgage?

Housing Statistics Reports for San Diego County and North San Diego County April 2014

HomeDex logo housing statistics
March housing statistics were a bit of a mixed bag in San Diego County. Hopefully this indicates that we are moving toward a more balanced market.

The housing statistics report for San Diego County overall showed an increase in the median price for single-family detached homes from $470,000 in February 2014 to $492,000 in March 2014 and a year-over increase of 13.1 percent from March 2013.

In North San Diego County, the median price for detached homes slipped slightly dropping from $564,500 in February 2014 to $556,000 in March 2014, but still increasing almost 6 percent compared to March 2013. This annual appreciation of approximately 6 percent is much more sustainable than the many months of 20 to 25 percent year-over median price increases we had been experiencing.

The median price of single-family attached homes increased both countywide and in the North County area in March 2014 showing a year-over gain of 5.44 percent countywide and 1.83 percent in North County.

To read the full housing statistics reports, please click on the links below.

FULL COUNTY REPORT    NORTH COUNTY REPORT

Continue reading Housing Statistics Reports for San Diego County and North San Diego County April 2014

Is the Window Closing?

window closingWith interest rates lower than they’ve been in over 40 years, it may be difficult to think of a “window of opportunity” closing.  However, it isn’t difficult to understand that it may very probably cost more to live in a home in the near future due to rising interest rates and prices.

Zillow recently reported results from a nationwide study that home values are expected to appreciate by 4.5% through the end of the year.  Coupled with Freddie Mac’s projection that rates are going up, the cost of housing for buyers by the end of the year will be higher than it is now.

Continue reading Is the Window Closing?

Housing Statistics Reports for San Diego County and North San Diego County March 2014

homedex logo housing statistics
The housing statistics reports for San Diego County and North San Diego County are showing a slowing of the rate at which prices are increasing, but are still indicating tight inventory for buyers and a strong market overall.

While the median price for all North County home sales remained the same, countywide single-family detached homes saw a one percent decrease in their median prices from January 2014 to February 2014 and single-family attached homes dropped 1.64 percent. Year-over countywide detached homes had a median price increase of almost 16 percent, and attached homes saw an increase of 20 percent.

The number of sales and listings countywide increased from January 2014 to February 2014 as is typical this time of year, but the greater increase in sales is still keeping inventory tight as shown below.

To read the full housing statistics reports, please click on the links below.

FULL COUNTY REPORT    NORTH COUNTY REPORT

Continue reading Housing Statistics Reports for San Diego County and North San Diego County March 2014

What Do You Want in a Neighborhood?

When looking at this recent survey of what people want in a neighborhood, I thought it was interesting how important walkability and public transportation are to people buying a home. Since Southern California is so car dependent, these are issues for many of our communities.

Even with our excellent weather and wonderful communities, Walk Score does not rank San Diego County highly on their walkability scale. We have no cities scoring 50 or above on their scale of 0 to 100. The city of San Diego scores the highest in the county at a still car-dependent score of 49.

Continue reading What Do You Want in a Neighborhood?

Making Room in Your Rooms

making room retain or removeThe more things you have, the more you have to take care of.  And in this case, the more that you have to store that gets in the way of finding the things that you actually use.  Periodically, you need to go through every closet, drawer, cabinet and storage area to get rid of the things that are just taking up space in your home and your life.

Continue reading Making Room in Your Rooms

Housing Statistics Report for San Diego County and North San Diego County February 2014

homedex logo housing statistics

The January numbers from the housing statistics report for San Diego County and North San Diego County show continued year-over rising prices along with possible easing and seasonal slowing. This is not surprising since January closings usually represent homes that went under contract in November and December and the market is typically less active during these months due to the holidays. Most real estate analysts also predict a slowing down of the rapid price increases we have experienced in San Diego County over the past 18 months.

While the median price for all North County home sales decreased slightly, the median price for North County single-family detached homes increased by 5.46 percent compared to December 2013 and 22.47 percent over the last 12 months. Median prices for detached homes in all of San Diego County dropped by 1.45 percent from December to January, but were still up by 21.48 percent compared to January 2013.

The median price on single-family attached homes in North County dropped by 0.59 percent in January 2014 compared to December 2013, but were still up by 18.25 percent compared to the previous year. Attached homes in all of San Diego County saw an increase of 1.67 in their median price compared to December 2013 and an increase of 24.49 percent over January 2013.

To read the full housing statistics reports, please click on the links below.

FULL COUNTY REPORT    NORTH COUNTY REPORT

Continue reading Housing Statistics Report for San Diego County and North San Diego County February 2014

California Median Home Prices

Here are the California median home prices by county as of November 2013. I post a detailed breakdown of San Diego County home prices monthly, but thought you might want to see the big picture and how we compare to other counties in California.

Califonia Median Home Prices

Housing Statistics Report for San Diego County and North San Diego County January 2014

The December 2013 housing statistics show prices continuing to increase with a 17 month trend of year-over price gains for North County detached homes and a 21 month trend for non-North County homes.

As is typical around the holidays, activity slowed down with listings of North County detached homes decreasing by 13 percent and sales dropping by 3 percent compared to November. Hopefully the new year will bring enough of an increase in inventory to maintain a healthy market. To read the full housing statistics reports, please click on the links below the snapshot.
Continue reading Housing Statistics Report for San Diego County and North San Diego County January 2014

Expect Increases in Mortgage Rates and Housing Prices

crystal ballThe two most frequently quoted constants in life are death and taxes.  Two more things would-be homeowners can expect in the near future are increases in mortgage rates and housing prices.

Interest rates have been kept artificially low for several years by the Federal Reserve in an effort to strengthen the economy. Policy is shifting to allow them to seek their own natural level and that will surely result in higher mortgage rates.  Rates on 30 year fixed mortgages are up over 1% from January, 2013.

Continue reading Expect Increases in Mortgage Rates and Housing Prices