The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index improved to 64.5 (1985=100) in December, up from 55.2 in November. The Present Situation Index increased to 46.7 from 38.3, and the Expectations Index rose to 76.4 from 66.4.
Consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved in December. Those stating business conditions are “good” increased to 16.6 percent from 13.9 percent, while those stating business conditions are “bad” declined to 33.9 percent from 38.0 percent.
Consumers’ assessment of the job market also was more positive. Those claiming jobs are “plentiful” increased to 6.7 percent from 5.6 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” decreased to 41.8 percent from 43 percent.
More information at: http://www.conference-board.org/press/pressdetail.cfm?pressid=4370
More news from the “Sierra Foothills” of El Dorado, Placer, Amador and Sacramento Counties of California at: www.sierraproperties.com or www.dougandbudzeller.com
A new report by Real Capital Analytics shows the number of distressed commercial properties is plateauing and expected to continue to do so in the new year. Distressed properties — which include commercial properties that are in default, foreclosure, or repossessed by lenders — had totaled $171.6 billion in October 2011, a decrease from topping off at $191.5 billion in March 2010, according to Real Capital Analytics.
The real test of commercial propertiesis likely to be seen in 2012 and 2013, when about $300 billion in loans comes due each year,” according to a recent article in the Washington Post.
At $41.9 billion, the office sector continues to have the largest number of distressed commercial properties. But that number has been steadily declining — about 11.8 percent less than its peak reached in October 2010.
More information at source: “Amount of Distressed Real Estate Could be on Way Down,” Washington Post (Dec. 26, 2011)
More news about “Commercial and Income Properties” from the El Dorado, Placer, Amador or Sacramento Counties of California regions at: www.sierraproperties.com or www.dougandbudzeller.com
The multifamily market continues to post gains.
“Rents are rising, vacancies are falling, household formations are growing and rental supply is limited,” according to a recent report, “2012: The Year of the Landlord,” issued by Morgan Stanley. “We believe the demand for rental properties will continue to grow.”
Vacancies of rental properties dropped to 9.8 percent in the third quarter of this year compared to 10.3 percent earlier this year.
Led by strong gains in multifamily housing, groundbreaking for new-housing market soared 9.3 percent in November. Construction of multifamily homes of at least two units increased 25.3 percent in November, the Commerce Department reported last week. Starts for structures with five or more units has increased more than 30 percent from October and is nearly double year-over-year levels, Reuters reports.
Rental costs are also on their way up, increasing 2.4 percent over last year compared with an increase of 0.6 percent in 2010, Reuters reports.
Source: “America Becoming a Nation of Renters,” Reuters (Dec. 27, 2011)
More news from the “Sierra Foothills” of El Dorado, Placer, Amador, Sacramento Counties of California at: www.sierraproperties.com or www.dougandbudzeller.com
In their most recent report, the Census Bureau reported that the new-home market continued its rebound, with sales of new houses once again inching up last month. New-home sales rose 1.6 percent from October to November to an annualized rate of 315,000, and sales were up nearly 10 percent compared to November 2010.
The median sales price of a new home in November was $214,100, the Census Bureau reported, and the inventory of new houses nationwide decreased to a six-month supply at the current sales pace.
“Inventories of new homes are very low: There’s nothing on the shelf, so any increase in new home sales will translate directly into new housing starts,” Bob Denk, senior economist at the National Association of Home Builders, told CNNMoney. “That means putting people back to work.”
Other recent good news for the housing market: November sales of existing homes increased 12 percent year-over-year, new-home building starts were up nearly 21 percent year-over-year, and mortgage rates reached new record lows last week, pushing housing affordability even higher.
Source: “New Home Sales Edge Up,” CNNMoney (Dec. 23, 2011)
More news from the El Dorado, Placer, Amador or Sacramento Counties of California regions at: www.sierraproperties.com or www.dougandbudzeller.com
The latest monthly data shows total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, increased 4.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.42 million in November from 4.25 million in October, and are 12.2 percent above the 3.94 million-unit pace in November 2010.
Full article at: http://bit.ly/trTuv9 via @AddThis
More news from Placerville and the El Dorado, Placer, Amador or Sacramento Counties regions of California at: www.sierraproperties.com or www.dougandbudzeller.com
A survey of 109 economists released this week by Zillow Inc. forecasts that U.S. home prices may fall further under the weight of foreclosures, bouncing back no sooner than 2013 even with mortgage rates at historic lows.
Zillow researchers say U.S. home values probably registered their smallest drop in four years in 2011, with prices expected to hit bottom in late 2012 or the first quarter of 2013 and begin rising by 3 percent a year through 2016.
“Negative equity, unemployment, and low consumer confidence remain the key factors delaying a true recovery,” Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries says.
Source: “Foreclosures Weighing on Prices May Push Housing Rebound to 2013,” Bloomberg (Dec. 22, 2011)
More news from the “Sierra Foothills” regions of El Dorado, Placer, Amador and Sacramento Counties, California at: www.sierraproperties.com or www.dougandbudzeller.com
Economic growth, an improving job picture, greater consumer spending, and slight improvements in the housing market are all recent indicators that 2011 is ending on a much brighter note, Fannie Mae reports in its fourth-quarter report.
“It’s important to recognize that we’re ending 2011 on a stronger note than we’ve seen throughout the year,” Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan said in a statement. “Unfortunately, however, our 2012 outlook is not as rosy as our forecast for the fourth quarter of 2011.”
Fannie Mae’s Economics & Mortgage Market Analysis Group predicts that despite recent improvements, the housing market will remain “subdued next year — a reflection of the winter season, an expected slowdown in economic activity, and a potential increase in distressed sales.” The nation’s fiscal problems as well as the European debt crisis are also expected to threaten the nation’s economic recovery in 2012.
Source: Fannie Mae
We hope your activity has picked up like ours has here in the Sierra Foothills regions of Placerville, El Dorado County, California.
Fixed mortgage rates dropped even more this week, continuing the trend in reaching new record lows this year, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.94 percent this week while 15-year rates sank to 3.21 percent — both all-time lows from their previous record lows set on Oct. 6. The 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage also set a new record this week.
The Federal Reserve at a meeting this week reaffirmed its commitment from this summer that it would keep interest rates low for the next two years.
Here’s a closer look at rates for the week ending Dec. 15.
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.94 percent — a new record low — with an average 0.8 point, dropping from last week’s 3.99 percent average. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.83 percent.
- 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.21 percent — also a new record low — with an average 0.8 points, a drop from last week’s 3.27 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 4.17 percent.
- 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.86 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 2.93 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.77 percent.
- 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.81 percent with an average 0.6 point, inching up slightly from last week’s 2.80 percent average. Last year at this time, 1-year ARMs averaged 3.35 percent.
Source: Freddie Mac
More financing news from El Dorado, Placer, Amador or Sacramento Counties of California at: www.sierraproperties.com or www.dougandbudzeller.com
When it comes to remodeling, exterior replacement projects have routinely rewarded home owners with more bang for their buck. This year is no different: REALTORS® recently rated many exterior improvements as among the most valuable home investment projects as part of the 2011-12 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report.
“This year’s Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report shows the value of putting your home’s best façade forward, so to speak,” said National Association of REALTORS® President Moe Veissi. “Inexpensive exterior replacement projects are not only crucial to a home’s regular upkeep, but are also expected to recoup close to 70 percent of costs. Specific exterior projects such as siding, window and door replacements are part of regular home maintenance, so many homeowners are already undertaking them. These projects also do not require expensive materials and they have the added bonus of instantly adding curb appeal.”
HouseLogic.com, NAR’s consumer Web site, includes dozens of remodeling projects, from kitchens and baths to siding replacements, which indicate the recouped value of the project based on a national average. According to the Cost vs. Value, seven of the top 10 most cost-effective projects nationally in terms of value recouped are exterior replacement projects. REALTORS® judged an upscale fiber-cement siding replacement as the project expected to return the most money, with an estimated 78 percent of costs recouped upon resale.
More information at source: NAR http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2011/12/16/which-home-improvement-projects-offer-best-returns or visit our Placerville blog site www.sierraproperties.com
The government isn’t doing enough to help home owners at risk of default, foreclosure, and underwater on their homes, a majority of Americans say in the Home Horizons 2012 study, a survey conducted by Yahoo! Real Estate of 1,500 current and aspiring home owners.
Fifty-one percent of home owners say the government needs to pass more legislation to help home owners who are at risk of losing their house. About two-thirds of Americans surveyed say the government needs to offer more assistance like low-cost loans to help home owners more.
Four out of five adults polled say the 2012 presidential election will have a small or large influence on the housing market, with 43 percent predicting it will have a large impact. However, one-third of those surveyed doubt either party — Republican or Democrat — will have either a positive or negative impact on the real estate market.
“A large-scale government policy that’s going to fix all of this — no one has seen such a thing,” Stan Humphries, chief Yahoo! Study, told Yahoo! Real Estate.
Source: “Yahoo! Study: Home Owners Want Political Action,” Yahoo! Real Estate (Dec. 12, 2011)
Other information from El Dorado, Placer, Amador or Sacramento Counties of California at: www.sierraproperties.com or www.dougandbudzeller.com