45 Places to go in 2012

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Congress Restores FHA Loan Limits

YOU DID IT! Last night Congress restored the loan limits for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for two years. As you know, in late September the FHA, Fannie Mae; and Freddie Mac loan limits were reduced in 42 states pricing potential home buyers out of the American Dream of home ownership and holding back the housing recovery. NAR immediately went to work with the goal to get the loan limits restored in Congress. For weeks that goal seemed unlikely. You, and countless other REALTORS® like you along with YOUR leadership and YOUR management team worked to educate Congress that well-qualified buyers didn’t need yet another hurdle to access affordable mortgage financing. They finally listened. Because we were persistent. And because we were right. The reinstated FHA loan limit formula and cap change will help make mortgages more affordable and accessible for hard-working, middle-class families in 669 counties in 42 states and territories, where the average loan limit reduction after the reset last month was more than $68,000. The provision reinstates the FHA loan limits through 2013 at 125 percent of local area median home prices, up to a maximum of $729,750 in the highest cost markets, the floor will remain at $271,050. However, Congress chose not to apply the loan limits restoration to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fannie-and-Freddie-backed mortgages will remain at 115 percent of local area median home prices up to $625,500. The bill also provides for a short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program through December 16, 2011. NAR will continue to press Congress to use the additional time to complete their work on a five-year reauthorization of the program, which ensures access to affordable flood insurance for millions of home and business owners across the country. I know that when we work together we can accomplish anything we set our minds to in order to preserve, protect and defend the American Dream of Home Ownership. Because of your excellent work, I am continually reminded that “REALTORS® are the Heart of the Deal.”

Short Sale Delays Drive First-Time Buyers From Market: Survey

Processing delays have taken their toll on first-time homebuyer interest in short sales, according to the latestHousingPulse Tracking Survey released by Campbell Surveys and Inside Mortgage Finance Monday.

First-time homebuyers were a part of 39.7 percent of the short sale transactions completed in August, theHousingPulse survey found. That tally marks a three-month slide in the share of short sales that went to first-time buyers, and is the lowest percentage for this buyer segment ever recorded by the survey.

The first-time homebuyer share of short sales hit a peak of 54.1 percent of all short sale transactions in November 2009, just before the originally-scheduled expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credit, according to Campbell Surveys.

Short sale transactions have garnered a reputation for being problematic for buyers and sellers alike, with typical approval times of several months after a homebuyer first submits an offer.

Campbell Surveys has found that factors slowing down short sale approvals include lost paperwork, coordination with multiple investors, slow appraisals, and mortgage servicer understaffing.

With average time-on-market for short sales stalled at 16.6 weeks – with the majority of that time spent waiting

for approval of the transaction – short sale transactions are becoming less popular with first-time homebuyers, according to the polling firm

Still, for some first-time homebuyers, average short sale prices of 27 percent less than non-distressed properties compensated for the wait time, Campbell Surveys said.

Short sales are just one type of distressed property, with foreclosed REO homes also a significant component of today’s housing market.

In August, the HousingPulse survey found that short sales accounted for 17.1 percent of the home purchase market, with damaged REO and move-in ready REO accounting for 13.2 percent and 15.6 percent, respectively.

Real estate agents responding to the August survey indicated that homebuyers frustrated with short sale delays are resorting to placing offers on multiple properties, with the intention of closing on only one. This practice can further bog down the short sale approval process.

The state of California is a hotbed of short sale activity, with these sales accounting for 31 percent of home purchases in the month of August, according to theHousingPulse survey.

“Short sales buyers/investors were generally looking at several properties and if one already had first and second approval, buyers would move towards the property that had a better chance of closing sooner. They would get tired of waiting on the short sale process,” commented one California agent.

“I feel that selling agents are telling the buyers it’s okay to write multiple offers because they can walk away with no risk, especially on short sales,” reported another agent.

The HousingPulse Tracking Survey from Campbell Surveys and Inside Mortgage Finance polls approximately 2,500 real estate agents nationwide each month to assess market trends surrounding homes sales and mortgage lending.

 

– Carrie Bay 

What Legal Docs Can and Can’t do for Gay Couples

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http://www.365gay.com/news/culhane-what-legal-docs-can-do-for-gay-couples-and-what-they-cant/

Alameda County Market Report

Alameda City

Q2 2010 Q2 2011 % Change
Number of Sales 95 96 1%
Average Price ($000) $607 $596 -2%
Average DOM 40 91 128%
Months of Inventory 2.8 2.4 -14%

 

Albany

Q2 2010 Q2 2011 % Change
Number of Sales 20 20 0%
Average Price ($000) $631 $603 -4%
Average DOM 21 57 171%
Months of Inventory 1.6 2.5 56%

 

Berkeley

Q2 2010 Q2 2011 % Change
Number of Sales 153 146 -5%
Average Price ($000) $831 $713 -14%
Average DOM 27 30 11%
Months of Inventory 1.7 1.8 6%

 

Castro Valley

Q2 2010 Q2 2011 % Change
Number of Sales 130 100 -23%
Average Price ($000) $493 $464 -6%
Average DOM 40 52 30%
Months of Inventory 3.0 4.0 33%

 

Dublin

Q2 2010 Q2 2011 % Change
Number of Sales 97 90 -7%
Average Price ($000) $648 $614 -5%
Average DOM 23 33 43%
Months of Inventory 1.9 1.8 -5%

 

Fremont

Q2 2010 Q2 2011 % Change
Number of Sales 425 365 -14%
Average Price ($000) $657 $624 -5%
Average DOM 28 46 64%
Months of Inventory 2.3 3.3 43%

 

Hayward

Q2 2010 Q2 2011 % Change
Number of Sales 326 312 -4%
Average Price ($000) $336 $302 -10%
Average DOM 37 53 43%
Months of Inventory 2.8 3.0 7%

 

Livermore

Q2 2010 Q2 2011 % Change
Number of Sales 286 259 -9%
Average Price ($000) $506 $484 -4%
Average DOM 33 44 33%
Months of Inventory 2.0 2.8 40%

 

Newark

Q2 2010 Q2 2011 % Change
Number of Sales 82 85 4%
Average Price ($000) $435 $374 -14%
Average DOM 37 65 76%
Months of Inventory 2.1 2.6 24%

 

Oakland

Q2 2010 Q2 2011 % Change
Number of Sales 203 180 -11%
Average Price ($000) $727 $692 -5%
Average DOM 36 46 28%
Months of Inventory 2.5 3.3 32%

 

Piedmont

Q2 2010 Q2 2011 % Change
Number of Sales 25 42 68%
Average Price ($000) $1,412 $1,539 9%
Average DOM 13 13 0%
Months of Inventory 4.6 2.2 -52%

 

Pleasanton

Q2 2010 Q2 2011 % Change
Number of Sales 216 177 -18%
Average Price ($000) $877 $854 -3%
Average DOM 35 187 434%
Months of Inventory 2.3 3.8 65%

San Leandro

Q2 2010 Q2 2011 % Change
Number of Sales 184 193 5%
Average Price ($000) $357 $313 -12%
Average DOM 59 102 73%
Months of Inventory 2.8 3.1 11%

 

San Lorenzo

Q2 2010 Q2 2011 % Change
Number of Sales 57 59 4%
Average Price ($000) $316 $275 -13%
Average DOM 42 76 81%
Months of Inventory 3.8 3.6 -5%

 

Union City

Q2 2010 Q2 2011 % Change
Number of Sales 129 113 -12%
Average Price ($000) $493 $435 -12%
Average DOM 24 62 158%
Months of Inventory 2.1 2.3 10%

News Regarding Sewer Lateral in Oakland

EPA and EBMUD have agreed that the Private Sewer Lateral Inspection Program will begin in Oakland on January 16, 2012. The Private Sewer Lateral Inspection Program requires that sewers leading from buildings to City sewer mains be inspected, repaired and reinspected if necessary, and that a Compliance Certificate confirming that the laterals are leak free be obtained from EBMUD when: 1. The property is sold; 2. The size of the water meter is changed; or 3. Remodeling costing more than $100,000 takes place. All three “triggers” will become effective on January 16, 2012, for properties within the City of Oakland. EBMUD will be in touch with you as part of their outreach to the realtor community.

New Sewer Lateral Implementation Dates

 
 
Regional PSL Program Implementation Dates
Agency
Start Date (2011)
 
City of Emeryville
 
City of Piedmont
 
 
 
August 22
 
 
Stege Sanitary District
 
 
October 17
 
City of Oakland
 
 
December 19
 
 
Regional PSL Program Public Meetings
Agency
Meeting Date, Time, Location
 
City of Emeryville
 
 
 
August 3, 2011
7:00 pm
City Hall, Council Chamber
1333 Park Avenue, Emeryville
 
 
City of Piedmont
 
August 4, 2011
7:00 pm
City Hall, Council Chambers
120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont
 
 
Stege Sanitary District
 
 
TBD
 
City of Oakland
 
 
TBD