1/02/2016

Top Concerns for the 2016 Market



Although the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau states "no problem", many REALTORs are experiencing delayed closing with the new TRID (TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure) rules implemented October 3rd.  For about half of those responding to a survey, closings took up to 40 days to close.  While this may not be of concern to all-cash buyers, buyers obtaining financing and sellers in contract with those buyers may have to be prepared for taking extra time to close, at least while the industry is in the earlier phase of these new mortgage/escrow rules.

Some years ago FHA revised their rules on eligible condo HOAs--Since an entire association was required to become "FHA-approved", and for only two years at a time, the number of approved condos has declined severely.  This reduces the number of eligible buyers for a condominium severely and is a factor everywhere for FHA condo buyers.  Association members are advised to take up this issue with their boards -HUD provides a resource for current status - and apply for renewal.  Some lenders are willing to provide this service without cost, especially if there is an  active buyer for that complex.  Contact me for more information.  VA approvals for condos are also required for VA buyers, and these are another important source of condo buyers.   However, for buyers obtaining FNMA loans there are no restrictions on percent of owner-occupied units, a major qualifier on FHA loans. 

Tight inventories are still a factor nationwide, as buyers can attest to after they have experienced multiple offer situations.  Buyers who are fully approved and prepared to make realistic offers have more success, although the price range under $500,000 in many Southern California cities is competitive.  Below is a trend chart for "months of inventory" for Long Beach.  Neighboring cities are similar.  A 6-month supply (how long the inventory would last at the current rate of sale) is considered the norm, but has not been the norm for several years. The chart shows 1.5 months.


Tight credit standards continue to affect sales.  There was a time when a 700 FICO score meant smooth sailing, but the average FICO score on all closed loans in the third quarter was 723, the lowest level in at least four years, according to Ellie Mae. Two years ago, the average score for denied applications was 729.  In other words, keep up your credit score but minimizing debt and no delinquencies.

Low appraisals continue to be problematic.  This is a large subject by itself, but the short summary is: Find a good REALTOR to work with, whether you're a buyer or a seller, and avoid over-inflated pricing.

More Trends:

Cash sales continue to decrease; buyers are interested in walkable areas (check the WalkScore for your neighborhood), "green" homes, or older homes with upgraded environmental efficiency, are on the buyer lists in many areas, new home sales are up in some areas (however, older Southern California cities are less impacted by this demographic), rents may increase by as much as 8% in some areas, so buying at today's lower interest rates will still be cheaper than renting.

For a free property search, go to www.juliahuntsman.com Property search page.

Please contact me for a more specific home analysis for your property.  As a licensed REALTOR for over 20 years, I can help whether you have a home or investment property sell.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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