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Los Angeles home sales, prices jump in December

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Home sales in Southern California area ended 2015 on a high note, with sales rising in December from a year ago while the median sale price reached its highest level in more than eight years, according to figures from CoreLogic.
Sales of new and existing homes and condominiums in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties surged 33 percent in December from November and rose 9.8 percent from a year ago to 20,890 homes sold.
Sales of new and existing homes and condominiums in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties surged 33 percent in December from November.
Sales of new and existing homes and condominiums in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego,… more

The December annual gain was the highest for any month since July 2015, when sales rose 17.3 percent year over year, CoreLogic said.

The median price paid for all Southern California homes sold in December 2015 was $443,000, up 1 percent from $438,500 in November and up 6.7 percent from $415,000 in December 2014. The December 2015 median was the highest for any month since October 2007 when it was $445,000 and surpassed the previous high of $442,000 in June.
For Los Angeles County, home sales rose 8.2 percent in December from a year ago to 7,196 units. The median price of a home grew 8.1 percent to $500,000.
In Orange County, home sales soared 13.8 percent in December from a year earlier, while the median price of a home grew 8.2 percent to $630,000.
Riverside County saw home sales grow 8.3 percent and the median price also rose, by 6.7 precent to $320,000. San Bernardino County sales were up 11.4 percent while the median price increased 6.9 percent to $272,000
“While it’s normal for home sales to rise between November and December, the 33 percent gain between those two months in 2015 was more than double the typical, historical increase of about 14 percent,” said Andrew LePage, research analyst with CoreLogic.

But LePage said the strong sales growth comes with a caveat.
“December home sales, which were the highest for that month in six years, got a boost from a batch of transactions that normally would have closed in November but were delayed by days or weeks as the industry adjusted to new federal mortgage rules that took effect in October,” he said.
For the full-year 2015, Southern California home sales rose 8.1 percent from 2014, but they were still about 14 percent below the region’s average annual sales over the past quarter century.

Home sales of $500,000 or more accounted for 41.6 percent of all sales in December, up from 40.3 percent of sales in November and from 36.7 percent in December 2014. The number of homes that sold below $500,000 in December increased 0.6 percent year over year, and there was a 23.7 percent gain for sales of $500,000 or more. The number of homes selling for $800,000 or more rose 22.6 percent year over year and sales of $1 million or more rose 19.5 percent over the same time.


Mortgage Rates Fall Further in U.S.

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According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), U.S. mortgage rates moved lower with the 30-year fixed-rate declining for the second straight week.

Sean Becketti, chief economist at Freddie Mac says, “Long-term Treasury yields continue to drop, dragging mortgage rates down with them. Turbulence in overseas financial markets is generating a flight-to-quality which benefits U.S. Treasury securities. In addition, sagging oil prices are capping inflation expectations. The net effect on the 30-year mortgage rate was a 5 basis point drop to 3.92 percent.”

Freddie Mac News Facts

30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.92 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending January 14, 2016, down from last week when it averaged 3.97 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.66 percent.
15-year FRM this week averaged 3.19 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from 3.26 percent last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.98 percent.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.01 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.09 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.90 percent.
– See more at: http://www.worldpropertyjournal.com/real-estate-news/united-states/current-mortgage-rate-2016-freddie-mac-primary-mortgage-market-survey-pmms-mortgage-rates-sean-becketti-mortgage-news-mortgage-data-9607.php#sthash.Y3NNCpBo.dpuf


​California housing affordability grows worse in third quarter

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Home prices may have steadied, but higher interest rates reduced the number of Californians who could buy a home in the third quarter, says the latest report from the California Association of Realtors.
The percentage of home buyers who could afford to purchase a $487,420 median-priced home slipped to 29 percent in the third quarter, from 30 percent in second-quarter 2015 and unchanged from 29 percent in third quarter 2014, according to C.A.R.’s Traditional Housing Affordability Index.
Home prices may have steadied, but higher interest rates reduced the number of Californians who could buy a home in the third quarter.
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Home prices may have steadied, but higher interest rates reduced the number of… more

PHOTO BY SCOTT BRIDGES

California’s housing affordability index hit a peak of 56 percent in the third quarter of 2012.
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In the third quarter, home buyers needed to earn a minimum of $98,350 a year to make monthly payments of $2,460, including principal, interest, and taxes on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 4.16 percent interest rate.
The median home price was $485,910 in second quarter, when an annual income of $96,140 was needed to purchase a home at that price. The effective composite interest rate in the second quarter was 3.95 percent.
The affordability of condominiums and townhomes also slipped in the third quarter, but were more affordable than single-family homes. About 38 percent of home buyers were able to buy a median-priced condo or townhome at $390,740. An annual income of $78,840 was required to make a monthly payment of $1,970.

The median home price in Los Angels County was $506,780 in the third quarter, with home buyers needing to make a minimum of $102,260 a year with monthly payments of $2,560. Only 24 percent of Los Angeles residents could afford to buy a median-priced home, down from 30 percent in the second quarter and 25 percent last year.
In Orange County, the median home price was $715,250, with a minimum annual income of $144,320 to make monthly payments of $3,610. Twenty percent of Orange County residents could afford to buy a median-priced home, down from 21 percent in the second quarter and flat from a year ago.
Compared with the previous year, housing affordability declined in all regions except Marin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz, which improved, and held steady in five regions (Napa, Orange, Monterey, Merced, and Placer).
The remaining 19 regions (Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura, Fresno, Kings, Madera, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tulare) saw declines in housing affordability from the previous year.
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