5/11/2006

Direction of Housing Market

It's official -- the federal funds rate has been upped another quarter point to 5 percent, the rate at which banks borrow money from each other. Usually, the mortgage rate has already risen in anticipation of that increase. Apparently, our gas price increases are not enough to counteract inflation, and the housing market's slower activity, among other things, is cited as having a cooling effect on the economy. It's not the end of the world, but something to think about if you're thinking of buying or selling this year. The NAR's May forecast predicts a rise to 7 percent this summer in 30-year-fixed rates, but is still holding to the prediction of a rise in the national median home price by 5.7 percent, California’s price was expected to appreciation about 5-6 percent over 2005 prices, and we now have “equilibrium” in the housing market, price vs. supply. Over all, locally, residential properties including condos, houses and income properties up to 4 units are selling, since 3/10/2006, on average, in 52 days within 2 percent of the list price at time of beginning escrow.

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