Intero Real Estate Services today was honored by the San Francisco Business Times as a top corporate philanthropist in the San Francisco Bay Area.Read More
Efi Luzon, senior vice president of Intero Commercial was recently named the number two individual sales agent for transaction volume in the nationwide REAL Trend’s “The Thousand” announced on June 23, 2017.Read More
With more than 6,000 potential investors over the 3 day conference, having a large presence at LPS strengthens Intero’s commitment to providing global exposure for it’s luxury property collection.Read More
With 2016 coming to an end and 2017 just getting off the ground, I thought it would be a good time to take a look back on the past year and provide my take on what I see happening in the year to come.Read More
If you’re a buyer and you’re waiting for the pendulum to swing your way, you’re going to have to wait a little longer. Like a continuing trend of 2016, October was a seller’s market in eight of the nine Bay Area counties. The most southern Monterey County was the only county that shifted from a seller’s to a neutral market last month.Read More
If you’ve lived in the Bay Area for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that when we hit the late summer and early fall months, we can’t seem to make heads or tails of what the weather is going to be like. Some days it’s as hot as Death Valley in the middle of summer and other times it feels like we’re stuck in the middle of Alaska in the dead of winter.Read More
As we started ramping up the summer-selling season back in April of this year, we were predicting a hot market. Little did we know that it was going to be RED HOT! In fact, Intero saw the best month ever in units sold and dollar volume in its 14-year history during the month of June.Read More
Summer is full of images of friends, family and fun. In regards to the real estate market, summer is traditionally the time of year that sees a huge level of activity, especially in the Bay Area. In June 2016, this tradition of increased summer housing activity continued and is showing no sign of cooling off any time soon.Read More
Last month saw a flood of inventory hit the market like we hadn’t seen in a while. Listings were up in every part of the Bay Area, with most areas seeing double digit increases month over month. But that excess inventory didn’t last long and May saw the listing inventory drop drastically in almost every part of the Bay Area.Read More
Like in years past, Spring seems to be the time when the gas pedal gets pushed down to the floor with regards to the Bay Area housing market. With kids getting out of school for the summer and families looking to make a move before the next school year starts, April tends to be the tipping point of the “red hot” real estate season.Read More
Home seekers from San Francisco down to the South Bay came out strong in March following the typical winter slowdown in the real-estate sector and should see increased opportunities to purchase a single-family house in the next few weeks.Read More
The market is constantly shifting in small yet meaningful ways; these reports will utilize MLS market data to illustrate these changes. These reports aim to provide readers with valuable information about their respective areas, giving them the knowledge they need to make informed decisions when it comes to buying and selling, or to just stay up to date on coming changes in their neighborhoods.Read More
Tom Tognoli, CEO of Intero Real Estate Services, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, says it perfectly: "I tell people it's always a good time to buy or sell a house. There may be better times, but unfortunately you never know when the best time is until you see it in the rear view mirror."Read More
The number of pending home sales was up substantially in May from April, but remained below average for the same month a year ago. What this means is the housing market is gaining steam as the year goes on, but we're still in a slower market compared with last year. The numbers came out in the National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index this week. The index, which tracks contract signings and provides a forecast of sales to come, increased 6.1% to 103.9 in May from 97.9 in April. It was 5.2% below May 2013.
Of note was that pending sales saw the largest monthly gain in May since April 2010.
More good news was that pending sales were not isolated in certain regions. The pending sales index in the Northeast climbed 8.8% to 86.3 in May, and increased 6.3% in the Midwest to 105.4. Meanwhile, the index was up 4.4% in the South to 117, and up 7.6% in the West to 95.4.
Where will this lead us at the end of the year and going into 2015?
NAR's economist believes the market will continue to gain steam, though not enough to offset the sluggish beginning of the year. So while we may see a year with overall fewer home sales, we will see a market that's likely gaining steam at a faster pace by early 2015.
We of course, also know that the most relevant market activity is the most local. This means that some of our local markets – like those in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley – will likely end the year on some record highs. But at the same time, other local markets through the Midwest and South, will be in good shape but potentially below last year's levels.
It's all in where you sit.
A growing number of homeowners who are looking to move are choosing to hang onto their homes and rent them out instead. Call it the rise of the accidental landlords. In many cases, they either purchased or refinanced in the last few years and snagged an incredibly low interest rate. Redfin reports that 19% of current homeowners either purchased or refinanced homes between 2011 and 2013, when rates were historically low around 3.4%
And when the going market rate for rent can cover your monthly mortgage and tax payments with profit to boot – well, what an amazing way to put extra money down to pay off your mortgage!
Or, as noted in this CNN Money story, some homeowners who are still underwater on their mortgages are finding that renting at least helps soften the financial blow while enabling them to move to a bigger house.
Being a landlord indeed seems like it's working out for many homeowners.
There are considerations in being a landlord, though. Tenants can be demanding. You have to be comfortable shelling out money for regular maintenance and repairs. You're on the hook, even when your property is vacant and not providing income.
Being a landlord also will impact your income taxes, which is why it's a good idea to check in with an accountant or tax preparer before jumping in.
Another thing to think about: If you're moving out of the area it can be a challenge to manage a second property, creating the need to hire someone to help.
It's definitely not for everyone.
The Big Picture
With more owners deciding to hang onto their properties instead of selling, you have to wonder about the impact on the overall housing market.
For-sale inventory is affected for sure. For every owner who decides to become a landlord, there's one less home on the market for eager buyers.
On the other hand, this is good for renters, who in some areas are a growing demographic.
We don't anticipate huge changes in housing inventory due to the rising landlord trend. If anything, it's a wonderful thing for those owners who can profit or help close their equity gap in the next couple of years. And who knows – they'll either love being landlords or they'll be more than eager to sell after a couple years playing Mr. Furley.
Boomerang buyers. It's a nickname we're seeing in the news lately that implies potentially good things for former homeowners and lenders alike. A boomerang buyer is one who either went through foreclosure or a short sale during the housing downturn – and, thanks to a government program launched last year by the Federal Housing Administration, now may be able to buy a home again.
About 7.2 million homes have been lost to foreclosure since the downturn began about eight years ago. Many speculated that the dent in those homeowners' credit and the sour taste of homeownership left in their mouths would leave them renting for decades.
But that seems to be changing already. And FHA's Back to Work program is certainly a big help. The program enables former homeowners to qualify for low interest rates and a minimum of 3.5% down if they meet certain qualifications like proving their foreclosure or short sale was due to at least a 20% drop in income for a six-month period. They also need to show that they've taken steps to improve their credit histories in the last year.
While some may criticize the program and question why a lender would risk lending to a borrower with such a large stain on their mortgage history, others have said just the opposite. Many still believe that this pool of buyers who experienced a major housing setback actually includes some of the best candidates for homeownership. In many cases, they want to own a home again and are willing to do what it takes to get it.
Matt Weaver, a lender with PMAC Lending Services in Florida, told NBC News that about 20% of his current clientele either suffered a short sale or foreclosure in the past and are now looking to buy back into the market.
While the FHA program is helping to lift some of these buyers, it remains to be seen how much of a difference it will make in the overall demand for homes. But even if it's not a significant overall boost, the good news is that foreclosure and short sale no longer mean the homeownership door is closed and locked forever for these buyers. And that's worth noting.