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Leticia & Associates


Displaying blog entries 281-290 of 315

2nd Annual Chino Hills Wine Walk

by Leticia & Associates

2nd Annual Chino Hills Wine Walk
OCTOBER 13, 2012
CHECK-IN: 3 - 5 P.M. EVENT TIME: 4 - 7 P.M.

Swirl, sip, and shop while raising money for a great cause!
20 wines and appetizers will be featured at participating retailers at The Shoppes at Chino Hills.
Enter to win raffle prizes and enjoy live music on the Promenade throughout the evening.
Experience the many shops and restaurants that The Shoppes at Chino Hills has to offer.
Proudly benefiting the Chino Hills Community Foundation whose mission is to “promote and support the cultural, educational, and
recreational needs of the City of Chino Hills.” The Foundation’s Endowment Fund is the primary recipient from event proceeds. (909) 364-2736

Registration will be accepted at the following sites:

City Hall Recreation Division
14000 City Center Drive, Chino Hills

The Shoppes at Chino Hills
Guest Services on the Promenade
13920 City Center Drive, Chino Hills
*On site registration will be accepted based on availability.

Participants must be 21 years or older to attend and must provide a valid ID at check-in on the day of the event .

4 Strong Reasons to Buy a Home Now

by Leticia & Associates

“It’s hard to argue against buying a house now, assuming you can get a loan,” writes John Waggoner, a columnist with USA Today. Sure, Waggoner says that getting a credit check for approval of a mortgage can be a “only slightly less intrusive than a CIA background check,” but for those who are able to qualify, a lot of analysts say that now can be a good time to purchase a home.

1. The price is right. The median single-family home price hit its lowest in more than a decade when it reached $154,600 in January, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. That was the lowest since October 2001. During the height of the housing market in July 2006, the median home price for a single-family home was $230,900.

2. It’s cheaper to buy than rent. In nearly every major metro market, it is cheaper to buy a home than rent. Rents have been on the rise the last few years and are predicted to continue to rise. Meanwhile, home affordability is at record highs, which means that buying a home is more within reach to the median income family.

3. Inventories of for-sale homes are shrinking. Ned Davis Research estimates that excess inventories of homes to be eliminated by the end of next year. “When excess supply dries up, people start building more new houses, which has the virtuous effect of reducing the unemployment rate and increasing the economy generally,” according to the USA Today article.

4. Mortgage rates are at record lows. Mortgage rates have hovered near record lows for weeks, which has helped pushing housing affordability higher. For example, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which is the most popular among home buyers, is 3.59 percent, according to Freddie Mac—just above its record low set on July 26 of 3.49 percent average. “It’s conceivable that at some point in the next 30 years, your interest rate would be less than the rate of inflation,” writes Waggoner for USA Tod

8 Signs Housing Is on the Mend

by Leticia & Associates

Some Americans are still jittery over the housing market, but here are eight positive signs that should quell some of their fears. 

  1. Housing prices are on the rise across the country.
  2. Foreclosures have slowed. Analysts suggest that as the supply of distressed homes slows, buyers will be forced into higher-price properties too.
  3. Inventories of for-sale homes on the market are decreasing. In fact, inventories of for-sale homes have dropped 24 percent from a year ago.
  4. Mortgage rates are at ultra record level lows, for those who can qualify
  5. Housing starts rose 6.9 percent in June. Also, existing-home sales were up 4.5 percent higher in June compared to one year ago. 
  6. Home building stocks are on the rise.
  7. For investors who are buying homes, rents are soaring, allowing them to cash in on their investments. Rental prices are at a 10-year high as median units rent for $710 a month.
  8. Home affordability is at record highs for the median income family, due to falling home values and super low mortgage rates. In fact, a recent study found that it is cheaper to buy a home than rent in basically ever major city in the U.S. For those who buy, you can save the cost of renting by owning the home for five years or less.

But while the signs point to a housing market on the mend, some Americans still remain hesitant. Many Americans are still underwater on their mortgage, owing more on their home than it is currently worth. Also, the economy continues to weigh on the recovery, particularly a dampening employment outlook, which analysts see as tied to housing. 

Still, The Wall Street Journal concludes in a recent article that if you take into account all the positive signs lately in the housing market, “housing presents an attractive long-term investment that should hold steady or even have upside surprise in the short term.


Inventories Hover at Historic Lows

by Leticia & Associates
  • Inventories Hover at Historic Lows

    While buyer demand is picking up, many consumers increasingly are finding fewer choices in housing these days. The number of homes for sale continues to remain at record lows with the nationwide inventory of for-sale single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops is about 19 percent below inventory levels from a year ago, reports in its analysis of July housing data of 146 markets. 

    “Low inventories, combined with rising list prices and lower times on market, are positive signs that the overall market is in a stabilization mode,” reports. 

    Median asking prices were 2.63 percent above list prices in July, and the median age of the housing inventory has fallen about 9 percent in that time period, reports. 

    California cities have seen some of the largest drops in inventory levels in the past year, as well as some of the largest price increases. 

    13 Metros With Largest Inventory Drops

    The following metro areas have seen the largest drops in inventories of for-sale homes in the past year (July 2012 compared to July 2011): 

    1. Oakland, Calif.: -59.30 percent

    2. Fresno, Calif.: -47.81 percent

    3. Bakersfield, Calif: -44.71 percent

    4. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.: -42.23 percent

    5. San Jose, Calif.: -41.76 percent

    6. San Francisco, Calif.: -40.26 percent

    7. Stockton-Lodi, Calif.: -40.24 percent

    8. Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.: -40.03 percent

    9. Atlanta, Ga.: -38.27 percent

    10. Sacramento, Calif: -36.43 percent

    11. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.: -34.89 percent

    12. San Diego, Calif.: -34.55 percent

    13. Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.: -34.37 percent


Experts Expect to See Broad Improvements, Home Prices to Rise in 2013

by Leticia & Associates

The Urban Land Institute released its Real Estate Consensus Forecast Wednesday morning, and overall, the 38 real estate economists and analysts surveyed projected broad improvements for the economy.

With signs of improvement in the housing sector already emerging, participants expect to see housing starts nearly double by 2014 and project home prices will begin to rise in 2013.

The average home price, which has declined somewhere between 1.8 percent and 4.1 percent over each of the past three years, according to FHFA data, is expected to stabilize in 2012, followed by a 2 percent increase in 2013, and a 3.5 percent increase in 2014.

Single-family housing starts are expected to rise from 428,600 starts in 2011 to 500,000 in 2012, and jump to 800,000 in 2014.

The unemployment rate is expected to continue falling, with the rate dropping to 8 percent by the end of 2012, 7.5 percent by the end of 2013, and 6.9 percent by the end of 2014.

GDP is expected to grow by 2.5 percent in 2012 and grow to 3.2 percent in 2014.

But, with the improving economy is inflation and higher interest rates. These rising rates will increase costs for investors, and those surveyed do not expect substantial increases in real estate capitalization rates for institutional-quality investments (NCREIF cap rates), which are expected to remain steady at 6 percent in 2012 and 2013 and then rise slightly to 6.2 percent in 2014.

By property type, National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) total returns in 2012 are expected to be strongest for apartments (12.1 percent), followed by industrial (11.5 percent), office (10.8 percent), and retail (10 percent).

By 2014, returns are expected to be strongest for office (10 percent) and industrial (10 percent), followed by apartments (8.8 percent) and retail (8.5 percent).

ULI CEO Patrick L. Phillips advised that while the ULI Forecast suggests that economic growth will be steady rather than sporadic, it must be viewed within the context of numerous risk factors such as the continuing impact of Europe’s debt crisis; the impact of the upcoming presidential election in the U.S. and major elections overseas; and the complexities of tighter financial regulations in the U.S. and abroad.

“While geopolitical and global economic events could change the forecast going forward, what we see in this survey is confidence that the U.S. real estate economy has weathered the brunt of the recent financial storm and is poised for significant improvement over the next three years.,” said Phillips.

Non-housing sector growth, according to the ULI Forecast, which was conducted from February 23 to March 12, 2012

-For the apartment sector, year-end vacancy rates are expected to decline further in 2012 to 5 percent, and then rise slightly to 5.1 percent in 2013 and to 5.3 percent in 2014.

-Apartments are expected to show strong rental rate growth, rising 5 percent in 2012, then slowing down to 4 percent in 2013, and 3.8 percent in 2014.

-Issuance of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) is expected to increase from $33 billion in 2011 to $40 billion in 2012, $58 billion in 2013, and $75 billion in 2014.

-Ten-year treasury rates are projected to rise to 2.4 percent by the end of 2012, 3.1 percent for 2013, and 3.8 percent for 2014.

-Future equity REIT returns are expected to rise to 10 percent in 2012, then drop to 9 percent in 2013, and 8 percent in 2014.

-Returns for institutional-quality direct real estate investments are expected to trend lower, with returns of 11 percent in 2012, 9.5 percent in 2013, and 8.5 percent in 2014.

-Hotel occupancy rates are projected to increase to 57 percent by 2012, 58.2 percent by 2013, and 59.2 percent by 2014.

-For the industrial/warehouse sector, vacancy rates are expected to decline steadily over the next three years to 12.8 percent by the end of 2012, 12.1 percent in 2013, and 11.5 percent by the end of 2014.


Short Sales Rise, More Banks View it as a Better Option

by Leticia & Associates
  • Short Sales Rise, More Banks View it as a Better Option

    Banks are more willing to agree to a sale at a lower cost than a home owner’s mortgage balance in order to avoid having the property fall into foreclosure, which can be more costly for a lender. 

    In the fourth quarter of 2011, there were more than 88,000 short sales, a rise of 15 percent compared to a year prior. In all, short sales made up 10 percent of all home sales sold in the fourth quarter, according to recent data released by RealtyTrac.

    On the other hand, bank-owned homes dropped 12 percent year-over-year (to 116,000), making up 13 percent of all home sales during the fourth quarter.

    The average short sale in the fourth quarter sold for $184,221, according to RealtyTrac. The average foreclosure, on the other hand, sold for $149,686. 

    Banks are now more willing to do short sales and that trend will likely “show up in more local markets in 2012 as lenders recognize short sales as a better option for many of their non-performing loans," said RealtyTrac CEO Brandon Moore.

    Meanwhile, during the fourth quarter, 24 percent of homes sold — nearly one in four — were in some stage of foreclosure, either already bank-owned or already winding through the process, RealtyTrac reports. The number is slightly down compared to a year prior when foreclosures accounted for 26 percent of all home sales, RealtyTrac reports. 

    However, Moore says he expects foreclosure sales to rise this year, "particularly pre-foreclosure sales, as lenders start to more aggressively dispose of distressed assets held up by the mortgage servicing gridlock over the past 18 months.”


Buffett: 'I'd Buy Up a Couple Hundred Thousand' Homes

by Leticia & Associates
  • Buffett: 'I'd Buy Up a Couple Hundred Thousand' Homes

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Chino Hills, Foreclosure in Chino Hills, Investment Properties in Chino Hills  |  March 13, 2012 9:28 AM  |  1 view  |  No comments

    Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO, said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" recently that he'd "buy up a couple hundred thousand" single-family homes if it was practical. 

    Buffett said that's because he believes purchasing a home with ultra-low mortgage rates and holding it for the long-term has become a better investment than stocks right now. 

    "Housing will come back, you can be sure of that," Buffett wrote in his annual letter to shareholders recently. 

    Buffett forecasts an increase in household formations, as more people who moved in with their parents or family members during the recession look to move out and get their own home soon. 

    "People may postpone hitching up during uncertain times, but eventually hormones take over. And while 'doubling-up" may be the initial reaction of some during a recession, living with in-laws can quickly lose its allure," Buffett said.

    Buffett said the recovery in the housing market could vary quite a bit among local housing markets, however. He did not provide a timeline of when he expected a full housing recovery, admitting that his prediction last year that a housing recovery will take shape within the year turned out to be "dead wrong."


Fannie Mae's First Bulk Offering of REO-to-Rental Pilot Is Open for Bids

by Leticia & Associates
  • Fannie Mae's First Bulk Offering of REO-to-Rental Pilot Is Open for Bids

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Chino Hills, Foreclosure in Chino Hills, Investment Properties in Chino Hills  |  March 13, 2012 9:30 AM  |  1 view  |  No comments

    Fannie Mae has put a block of 2,490 REOs up for sale. It’s the first pilot transaction of the federal government’s Real-Estate Owned (REO) Initiative announced in August 2011, which aims to sell homes repossessed by government agencies to private investors for the purpose of turning the properties into rental units.

    The properties are concentrated in the hard-hit metropolitan areas of Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and parts of Florida. Nearly a quarter are located in L.A., 21 percent in Atlanta, and 15 percent in Southeast Florida.

    Of the 2,490 single-family properties up for grabs, only 429 are vacant. The remainder are currently occupied by tenants, giving the winning bidder an established line of rental income already.

    Only investors who have completed the pre-qualification process, as stipulated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will be able to bid on the portfolio. Interested bidders must submit applications to demonstrate their financial capacity, experience, and specific plans for purchasing pools of Fannie Mae foreclosed properties with the requirement to rent the purchased properties for a specified number of years.

    Any investors interested in the pilot program who have not prequalified may still do so by completing the appropriate forms available online through the FHFA REO Initiative page of the agency’s website.

    Credit Suisse is Fannie Mae’s financial advisor on the pilot transaction and has issued a high-level prospectus on the assets up for sale. Investors who post a security deposit and sign a confidentiality agreement will be privy to more detailed information about the properties.

    “This is another important milestone in our initiative designed to reduce taxpayer losses, stabilize neighborhoods and home values, shift to more private management of properties, and reduce the supply of REO properties in the marketplace,” said Edward DeMarco, FHFA’s acting director.


FHA Raises Insurance Premiums

by Leticia & Associates
  • FHA Raises Insurance Premiums

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Chino Hills, Foreclosure in Chino Hills, Investment Properties in Chino Hills  |  March 13, 2012 9:30 AM  |  1 view  |  No comments

    The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has seen its capital reserves quickly dissipate over the past few years amid a growing number of mortgage defaults and payouts on insurance claims. In an effort to bolster its capital cushion, the federal agency has announced a new premium structure for FHA-insured single-family mortgage loans.

    FHA will increase its annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) by 0.10 percent for loans under $625,500, effective for new loans insured by FHA beginning in April. The agency is increasing the annual MIP by 0.35 percent for loans above that amount, effective in June. Upfront premiums (UFMIP) will also increase by 0.75 percent, beginning April 1. Existing borrowers who are already part of an FHA insurance program will not be impacted by the pricing changes.

    Acting FHA Commissioner Carol Galante says the agency’s premium increases will help to encourage the return of private capital to the housing market, as well as protect FHA’s capital reserves.

    FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund slipped below the congressionally mandated threshold in 2009 for the first time in the agency’s history (going back to 1934), and it has fallen farther and farther ever since. The FHA insures lenders against defaults on home mortgages, and this fund pays for any losses the agency may have to cover.

    “These modest [premium] increases are one of several measures we are taking towards meeting the congressionally mandated two percent reserve threshold, while allowing FHA to remain a valuable option for low- to moderate-income borrowers,” Galante said.

    FHA estimates that the increase to the upfront premium will cost new borrowers an average of approximately $5 more per month.

    HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan stood before a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday and presented testimony on deficiencies in the foreclosure process and the recently announced settlement between state and federal officials and the nation’s largest mortgage servicers.

    Inevitably, questioning from lawmakers turned to FHA’s financial state and Donovan was asked directly if the federal mortgage insurer would be the next big bailout shouldered by taxpayers.

    Donovan assured the senators that the agency was taking steps to avert such action. He said the new premium changes for FHA insured mortgages would allow the agency to increase revenues and contribute more than $1 billion to the depleted Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund through fiscal year 2013.


California Short Sales Reach Highest Level in 3 Years

by Leticia & Associates

Pending homes sales in California were higher for January compared to the previous month and year, and short sales rose to the highest level in three years, according to the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.).

Based on signed contracts, C.A.R.‘s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) climbed from a revised 91 in December to 102.4 in January and was also up from last year when the PHSI was 93.1 in January 2011. Pending home sales are indicators of future home sale activities, providing information on where the market might be heading.

Of all distressed properties sold in California, 23.8 percent were short sales, the highest level in three years since C.A.R. has kept record. Previous month’s data was at 22.2 percent and also 22.2 percent a year ago.

The share of REO sales were higher in January as well at 25.9 percent compared to the previous month of December, which stood at 24.6 percent. A year ago the numbers were higher at 30.8 percent.

Overall, the share of distressed property types that sold went up to 50.1 percent in January, an increase from 47.3 percent in the previous month, but a decrease from 53.5 percent a year ago in January 2011.

Non-distressed sales made up 49.9 percent of home sales in January, a decrease from the previous month, which stood at 52.7, but up from 46.5 percent last year.


Displaying blog entries 281-290 of 315

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Leticia & Associates
Keller Williams Vision
15325 Fairfield Ranch Rd Ste 100
Chino Hills CA 91709-8834
(909) 731-8187
(909) 731-8187 cell/text

We can assist buyers, sellers, investors, first time home buyers, relocations, and is a certified short sale specialist in todays real estate market. We provide real estate services in Chino Chino Hills and the surrounding communities of Corona, Diamond Bar, Fontana, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, and Upland, Yorba Linda, Brea, La Habra. 

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Kim Hughes - Real Estate Virtual Assistant

CA BRE No. 01885348