CAR's Annual Expo and Tradeshow

You've probably read in the news headlines by now that the median price in California is projected to fall by about 4% overall in 2008, a figure presented by Leslie Appleton-Young in her Wednesday 2008 forecast (112 slides linked).

Having heard presentations on Wednesday and Thursday by Leslie Appleton-Young, CAR's chief economist, Jack Kyser of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, Frank Nothaft from Freddie Mac, and Richard Green of George Washington University, one consistent message was that the impact of borrowers taking negative amortization and other subprime loans they could not handle has affected certain states much more severely than was ever thought. Although these economic experts differed somewhat in their market recovery time projections, all agreed that 2008 would probably not be a year for the bottom of the foreclosure market impact, and that it could take 1-2 years beyond to see the end of this issue. Markets where borrowers did not enter the subprime loan arena are actually seeing a price stabilization or increase in home values--these include Idaho and Texas. In spite of the subprime loan issues (and all the media attention), the first reason people experience foreclosure is still due to loss of employment. Los Angeles County is more stable than other areas of the state. The buyers having the most difficult time are those in the $500,000 and lower price range--the loan picture has tightened and a 5% down loan and 100% financing is reviewed very stringently by lenders, although the softening in prices in many areas is helping first time buyer affordability.

It also should not be surprising that this year's seminars included foreclosures and short sales, and how they should be handled by agents, buyers and sellers. Buying opportunities are out there, and sellers who want to sell should present their homes and price them to sell, not to sit. Please remember that there are buyers buying and sellers selling right now, so if you'd like to consider how to be one of these, or for a free professional evaluation of your home's current market and selling price, please contact me.

For an MLS search, please go to http://www.juliahuntsman.com to see 3 choices in finding houses, condos, and up to 4 units. For a commercial property search, please contact me.

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