Housing woes spur Bay Area residents to ponder exodus

Housing woes spur Bay Area residents to ponder exodus: poll

The new Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies Poll determined that 65 percent of the Bay Area’s registered voters and 48 percent of voters in California describe the issue of housing affordability as an “extremely serious” problem.

“Housing is a huge problem in the Bay Area — that is 200 percent true,” said Bob Barksdale, a Lafayette resident who owns a home and has to battle constant traffic jams in the East Bay because skyrocketing home prices have forced so many people into lengthy, challenging commutes.

The poll also found that 51 percent of Bay Area residents have considered moving out of the nine-county region, compared with 56 percent statewide who have considered relocating.

“These are very dramatic findings,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Berkeley IGS Poll. “In every region of California, the rising cost of housing has crept into the consciousness of voters.”


August home sales and price report

August home sales and price report

California housing market defies tight inventory as sales and median price propel higher

- Existing, single-family home sales totaled 427,630 in August on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, up 1.5 percent from July and 1.3 percent from August 2016.
- August’s statewide median home price was $565,330, up 2.9 percent from July and 7.2 percent from August 2016. 
- At the regional level, the San Francisco Bay Area, Inland Empire, and Los Angeles metro area all registered year-to-year sales increases of 6.5 percent, 8.2 percent, and 4.4 percent, respectively.

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 18) – California’s housing market defied gravity as existing home sales and median home price registered increases on both a monthly and an annual basis in August, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today. 

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California remained above the 400,000 benchmark for the 17th consecutive month and totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 427,630 units in August, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2017 if sales maintained the August pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

The August sales figure was up 1.5 percent from the 421,460 level in July and up 1.3 percent compared with home sales in August 2016 of a revised 422,190. Year-to-date sales are running 2.7 percent ahead of last year’s pace, but have curtailed since the first quarter.

“While August’s strong housing market performance is encouraging, it’s really a tale of two markets. Despite sales growth across all segments of the market, lower-priced homes are particularly inventory constrained, which leads to weaker sales growth, faster rising prices, and fierce competition for the few homes that are listed,” said C.A.R. President Geoff McIntosh. “These homes are selling faster than historically and for top dollar, adversely impacting entry-level buyers who are already struggling to afford to buy their very first home."

The statewide median price reached its highest level in a decade and remained above the $500,000 mark for the sixth straight month. The median price rose 2.9 percent from $549,460 in July to $565,330 in August and climbed 7.2 percent from the revised $527,490 recorded in August 2016. The median sales price is the point at which half of homes sold for more and half sold for less; it is influenced by the types of homes selling, as well as a general change in values.

“A shortage of available homes for sale continues to stoke robust growth in home prices,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie-Appleton-Young. “August marked the third straight month that the median price gained 7 percent or more year-over-year, indicating that prices are not only growing, but are accelerating into the end of the year. For the most inventory constrained segment of the market – the bottom 20 percentile – home prices rose even higher with a double-digit gain (10.7 percent).”

Other key points from C.A.R.’s August 2017 resale housing report include:

• All of the major regions experienced robust month-to-month and annual gains, with Inland Empire jumping 8.2 percent from a year ago, the San Francisco Bay Area rising 6.5 percent, and the Los Angeles metro region increasing 4.4 percent from August 2016.
• San Francisco overtook San Mateo as the most expensive market in the state.
• With consistent home price growth, even the most affordable markets are facing rising prices. California is no longer home to a single county with a median price below $200,000, and only 10 of 58 counties have a median price lower or equal to the national median price of $258,300.
• Statewide active listings continued to decline, dropping 11.9 percent from a year ago.
• With strong sales growth and little new inventory to replenish the housing supply, C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index fell from 3.2 months in July to 2.9 months in August. The index measures the number of months needed to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate. The index stood at 3.4 months in August 2016.
• Housing supply remained tight throughout the state as every single county in both the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California saw a reduction in unsold inventory, as did most parts of the Central Coast and Central Valley.
• The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home was 18 days compared with 16 days in July and 28 days in August 2016. 
• C.A.R.’s sales price-to-list price ratio* was 99.5 percent statewide in August, 100 percent in July, and 98.9 percent in August 2016. At the county level, San Francisco had the highest ratio at 114.8 percent and Mono had the lowest at 93.8 percent.
• The average price per square foot** for an existing, single-family home statewide was $268 in August, $270 in July, and $250 in August 2016.
• San Francisco had the highest price per square foot in August at $871/sq. ft., followed by San Mateo ($863/sq. ft.), and Santa Clara ($668/sq. ft.). Counties with the lowest price per square foot in August included Siskiyou and Lassen (both at $129/sq. ft.), Kern ($135/sq. ft.), and Tulare ($136/sq. ft.).
• Mortgage rates declined further in August as the 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 3.88 percent in August, down from 3.97 percent in July but was up from 3.44 percent in August 2016, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable-rate mortgage interest rates ticked down in August to an average of 3.15 percent from 3.22 percent in July but was up from 2.74 percent in August 2016.

Graphics (click links to open):
• Calif. historical existing home sales.
• Calif. historical median home price.
• Sales performance by price range.
• Calif. price per square foot.
• Calif. sales to list price ratio.

Note:  The County MLS median price and sales data in the tables are generated from a survey of more than 90 associations of REALTORS® throughout the state, and represent statistics of existing single-family detached homes only. County sales data are not adjusted to account for seasonal factors that can influence home sales.  Movements in sales prices should not be interpreted as changes in the cost of a standard home.  The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical than average prices, which are skewed by a relatively small share of transactions at either the lower-end or the upper-end. Median prices can be influenced by changes in cost, as well as changes in the characteristics and the size of homes sold.  The change in median prices should not be construed as actual price changes in specific homes.

*Sales-to-list price ratio is an indicator that reflects the negotiation power of home buyers and home sellers under current market conditions. The ratio is calculated by dividing the final sales price of a property by its last list price and is expressed as a percentage.  A sales-to-list ratio with 100 percent or above suggests that the property sold for more than the list price, and a ratio below 100 percent indicates that the price sold below the asking price.
**Price per square foot is a measure commonly used by real estate agents and brokers to determine how much a square foot of space a buyer will pay for a property.  It is calculated as the sale price of the home divided by the number of finished square feet.  C.A.R. currently tracks price-per-square foot statistics for 39 counties.

Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with more than 190,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

# # #

August 2017 County Sales and Price Activity
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

August-17 Median Sold Price of Existing Single-Family Homes Sales
State/Region/County Aug-17 Jul-17   Aug-16   Price MTM% Chg Price YTY% Chg  Sales MTM% Chg  Sales YTY% Chg
CA Single-family (SAAR) $565,330 $549,460 R $527,490 R 2.9% 7.2% 1.5% 1.3%
CA Condo/Townhomes $446,760 $443,160   $419,260 R 0.8% 6.6% 9.7% 1.8%
Los Angeles Metro Area $499,970 $508,810 R $473,300 R -1.7% 5.6% 11.5% 4.4%
Inland Empire $341,340 $344,040 R $316,630 R -0.8% 7.8% 10.8% 8.2%
San Francisco Bay Area $856,200 $898,880   $777,160   -4.7% 10.2% 9.4% 6.5%
San Francisco Bay Area                  
Alameda $867,500 $875,500   $775,000   -0.9% 11.9% 12.9% 6.4%
Contra-Costa  $627,860 $633,250   $570,000   -0.9% 10.2% 16.6% 11.0%
Marin $1,207,120 $1,224,000   $1,200,000   -1.4% 0.6% -15.7% 9.6%
Napa $654,000 $695,000   $625,000   -5.9% 4.6% 5.0% -4.5%
San Francisco $1,380,000 $1,428,000   $1,257,500   -3.4% 9.7% 1.0% 9.7%
San Mateo $1,375,000 $1,500,000   $1,250,000   -8.3% 10.0% 6.1% -7.7%
Santa Clara $1,150,000 $1,165,000   $975,000   -1.3% 17.9% -2.0% 11.9%
Solano $410,000 $420,000   $410,000   -2.4% 0.0% 21.9% -2.5%
Sonoma $625,500 $645,000   $585,000   -3.0% 6.9% 24.2% 8.8%
Southern California                  
Los Angeles $575,130 $573,190 R $524,420 R 0.3% 9.7% 14.8% 3.4%
Orange  $789,000 $785,000   $749,000   0.5% 5.3% 6.1% 0.5%
Riverside  $388,500 $385,500   $355,000   0.8% 9.4% 6.3% 3.3%
San Bernardino $269,950 $266,250   $240,500 R 1.4% 12.2% 18.0% 16.1%
San Diego $605,000 $613,000   $563,000   -1.3% 7.5% 11.0% 4.9%
Ventura $640,000 $648,500 R $609,000 R -1.3% 5.1% 11.4% -0.2%
Central Coast                  
Monterey $580,500 $629,000   $515,000   -7.7% 12.7% 20.0% 9.6%
San Luis Obispo $599,000 $590,000   $535,000   1.5% 12.0% 12.5% 6.1%
Santa Barbara $631,000 $611,000   $775,000   3.3% -18.6% 24.0% 21.9%
Santa Cruz $825,000 $815,000   $824,000   1.2% 0.1% 24.8% -11.6%
Central Valley                  
Fresno $259,000 $258,000   $239,000   0.4% 8.4% 12.5% 13.8%
Glenn $225,000 $205,000   $230,500   9.8% -2.4% -4.8% 42.9%
Kern $235,100 $235,000   $220,000   0.0% 6.9% 4.3% -0.7%
Kings $225,000 $222,000   $209,220   1.4% 7.5% 5.7% 18.1%
Madera $263,500 $279,250   $245,000   -5.6% 7.6% -26.1% -28.6%
Merced $250,000 $260,000   $220,000   -3.8% 13.6% 22.9% 19.3%
Placer $462,000 $453,000   $430,000   2.0% 7.4% 16.3% 12.8%
Sacramento $348,000 $353,000   $323,500   -1.4% 7.6% 5.0% -4.2%
San Benito $600,000 $535,000   $538,380   12.1% 11.4% 28.8% 34.0%
San Joaquin $355,000 $350,000   $325,000   1.4% 9.2% 21.1% 12.0%
Stanislaus $294,290 $297,000   $272,750   -0.9% 7.9% 12.3% 7.8%
Tulare $224,900 $219,950   $204,900   2.3% 9.8% 6.4% 3.6%
Other Counties in California                  
Amador $334,500 $320,000   $257,500   4.5% 29.9% -9.4% 4.3%
Butte  $291,000 $299,900   $264,120   -3.0% 10.2% 4.6% 1.0%
Calaveras $345,000 $324,500   $310,000   6.3% 11.3% 40.0% 8.6%
Del Norte $214,950 $204,900   $174,500   4.9% 23.2% 36.8% 44.4%
El Dorado  $485,000 $480,500   $425,000   0.9% 14.1% 29.2% 9.2%
Humboldt $316,750 $307,500   $290,000   3.0% 9.2% 2.6% -11.1%
Lake $241,500 $265,000   $234,500   -8.9% 3.0% 29.7% -7.7%
Lassen $215,000 $171,000   $185,000   25.7% 16.2% 0.0% -13.8%
Mariposa $280,000 $262,500   $311,500   6.7% -10.1% 45.5% -20.0%
Mendocino $402,500 $370,000   $362,500   8.8% 11.0% -5.3% -15.6%
Mono $386,500 $578,000   $532,500   -33.1% -27.4% -36.8% -50.0%
Nevada $375,000 $398,500   $343,000   -5.9% 9.3% 2.4% -13.4%
Plumas $325,000 $325,000   $275,000   0.0% 18.2% 45.7% 21.4%
Shasta $252,450 $255,000   $248,000   -1.0% 1.8% 12.2% 10.9%
Siskiyou  $212,000 $215,000   $204,500   -1.4% 3.7% 7.0% -11.5%
Sutter $289,000 $280,300   $267,410   3.1% 8.1% 38.6% 18.3%
Tehama $225,000 $206,750   $202,000   8.8% 11.4% 28.1% -19.6%
Tuolumne $292,000 $292,500   $266,450   -0.2% 9.6% 47.8% 18.6%
Yolo $445,000 $426,750   $410,480   4.3% 8.4% 17.6% -9.4%
Yuba $265,000 $266,890   $249,900   -0.7% 6.0% -3.6% -16.5%

r = revised
NA = not available


August 2017 Unsold Inventory and Time on Market
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)

August-17 Unsold Inventory Index Median Time on Market
State/Region/County Aug-17 Jul-17   Aug-16   Aug-17 Jul-17   Aug-16  
CA SFH (SAAR) 2.9 3.2   3.4   18.0 16.0 r 28.0 r
CA Condo/Townhomes 2.2 2.4   2.7 r 14.0 14.0 r 29.0 r
Los Angeles Metro Area 3.1 3.6   3.7   22.0 20.0 r 44.0 r
Inland Empire 3.3 3.7   4.1   25.0 23.5 r 45.0 r
S.F. Bay Area 1.9 2.1   2.5 R 15.0 14.0 r 20.0 r
S.F. Bay Area                    
Alameda 1.6 1.8   2.1   13.0 13.0 r 14.0 r
Contra Costa 1.9 2.2   2.4   13.0 12.0 r 13.0 r
Marin 3.0 2.3   3.6   39.0 31.0 r 39.0 r
Napa 4.6 4.7   4.8   49.5 45.0 r 41.0 r
San Francisco 1.7 1.4   2.2   15.0 15.0 r 25.0 r
San Mateo 1.7 1.7   2.0 r 11.0 11.0 r 14.0 r
Santa Clara 1.5 1.5   2.4 r 9.5 10.0 r 15.0 r
Solano 2.2 2.7   2.8   34.0 31.5 r 38.0 r
Sonoma 2.6 3.3   2.9   37.0 38.0 r 48.0 r
Southern California                    
Los Angeles 2.8 3.3 R 3.3   18.0 17.0 r 40.0 r
Orange  3.1 3.4   3.7   22.0 17.0 r 53.0 r
Riverside  3.2 3.5   4.1   26.0 24.0 r 48.5 r
San Bernardino 3.4 4.0   4.0 r 24.0 23.0 r 38.0 r
San Diego 2.6 2.9   3.3   14.0 13.0 r 17.0 r
Ventura 4.4 5.0 R 4.5 r 46.0 43.5 r 52.0 r
Central Coast                    
Monterey 4.2 5.0   4.9 r 26.0 21.0 r 18.0 r
San Luis Obispo 3.9 4.6   4.4   23.0 16.0 r 31.5 r
Santa Barbara 3.7 4.7   4.6   26.0 25.0 r 32.0 r
Santa Cruz 3.3 4.2   3.0 r 20.0 14.0 r 21.0 r
Central Valley                   r
Fresno 2.9 3.2   3.5   16.0 13.0 r 20.0 r
Glenn 4.2 3.5   6.9   47.5 17.0 r 22.5 r
Kern 3.3 3.4   3.8   19.0 18.0 r 23.0 r
Kings  2.4 2.9   3.2   21.0 28.0 r 19.5 r
Madera 4.9 3.8   4.1   33.0 30.0 r 51.0 r
Merced 2.6 3.2   2.8   15.0 13.0 r 34.0 r
Placer  2.5 2.9   3.0   14.0 11.0 r 17.0 r
Sacramento 2.4 2.3   2.5   11.0 9.0 r 12.0 r
San Benito 2.6 3.5   4.2 r 28.0 23.5 r 21.5 r
San Joaquin 2.5 2.9   3.1   14.0 13.0 r 15.0 r
Stanislaus 2.4 2.8   3.1   14.0 12.0 r 15.0 r
Tulare 3.7 3.8   3.5   23.0 24.0 r 25.0 r
Other Counties in California                    
Amador 6.0 5.2   5.8   39.0 32.0 r 47.0 r
Butte  2.5 2.7   3.3   17.5 11.0 r 21.5 r
Calaveras 4.8 6.8   4.9   27.5 38.5 r 30.0 r
Del Norte 7.2 9.5   9.6   90.5 94.0 r 117.5 r
El Dorado  3.5 4.7   3.8   38.0 27.0 r 34.0 r
Humboldt 4.9 4.8   3.3   19.0 14.0 r 16.0 r
Lake  5.1 6.5   4.6   24.0 34.5 r 92.5 r
Lassen 8.1 7.5   NA   91.0 70.0 r 85.0 r
Mariposa 4.8 7.6   4.3   66.5 32.5 r 82.5 r
Mendocino 6.6 6.2   6.0   66.0 71.0 r 72.5 r
Mono 9.2 6.0   6.5 r 74.0 93.0 r 95.0 r
Nevada 3.9 4.3   3.3   19.0 18.0 r 23.0 r
Plumas 8.0 11.5   10.3   94.0 99.0 r 94.5 r
Shasta 4.1 4.6   4.5   21.0 21.0 r 34.0 r
Siskiyou  6.9 7.2   6.0   52.0 40.0 r 37.0 r
Sutter 2.8 3.6   2.8   21.0 14.0 r 15.0 r
Tehama 6.4 7.4   4.7   60.0 48.5 r 47.0 r
Tuolumne 4.4 7.0   5.4   29.0 30.5 r 42.5 r
Yolo 2.4 2.9   2.1   13.5 10.0 r 15.0 r
Yuba 3.0 2.8   2.4   13.0 12.5 r 13.0 r

 r = revised
NA = not available


Live in Silicon Valley? Check out this new first-time homebuyer grant | 2017-09-08 | HousingWire

Live in Silicon Valley? Check out this new first-time homebuyer grant | 2017-09-08 | HousingWire

First-time homebuyers in the infamously tough California housing market are in luck thanks to a new closing cost grant from local Realtors.

The Santa Clara County Association of Realtors and the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors secured a $100,000 grant from the California Association of Realtors Housing Affordability Fund to financially aid first-time homebuyers in the area.

Through the grant, first-time homebuyers will be eligible for awards of up to $5,000 per grantee for customary non-recurring closing costs paid by the buyer.

Plus, the Santa Clara County Realtor Foundation and the Silicon Valley Realtor Charitable Foundation are contributing the necessary operational funds to implement the grant. The Housing Trust Silicon Valley is the administrator for this program.

This is welcomed news for a housing market that is consistently one of the most unaffordable in the country.

In Silicon Valley, especially, HousingWire previously covered a story about how even a housing official in Silicon Valley couldn’t afford to live there. Needless to say, the market is tough.

"I've seen many young families say they just can't make it work here and we end up losing folks to areas where they can purchase that starter home," said Rick Smith, president of SCCAOR. "This closing cost grant can make the difference for buyers just on the edge of affordability."

While there are three requirements to get approved for the grant, two of the requirements shouldn’t be too difficult to adhere to.

Buyers looking to qualify need to meet these three standards before applying:

  • They must use a Realtor in the transaction
  • They must be considered a first-time homebuyer under federal tax rules
  • They must meet the income requirement of earning up to 120% of area median income.

"We must address the housing needs of hardworking families who live in our communities," said Denise Welsh, president of SILVAR. "This program will aid first-time homebuyers in their efforts to attain homeownership."



Don’t Disqualify Yourself… 52% of Approved Loans Have A FICO® Score Under 750 | Real Estate with Michael Devlin

Don’t Disqualify Yourself… 52% of Approved Loans Have A FICO® Score Under 750 | Real Estate with Michael Devlin

Don’t Disqualify Yourself… 52% of Approved Loans Have A FICO® Score Under 750 | Simplifying The Market

Don’t Disqualify Yourself… 52% of Approved Loans Have A FICO® Score Under 750

The results of countless studies have shown that potential home buyers, and even current homeowners, have an inflated view of what is really required to qualify for a mortgage in today’s market.

One such study by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania revealed that many millennials have not yet considered purchasing homes simply because they don’t believe they can qualify for a mortgage.

A recent article about millennials by Realtor.com explained that:

About 72% of aspiring millennial buyers said they’re waiting because they can’t afford to buy…

The article also explained that 29% of millennials believe their credit scores are too low to buy.The problem here is the fact that they think they will be denied a mortgage is keeping them from even attempting to apply.

Ellie Mae’s Vice President Jonas Moe encouraged buyers to know their options before assuming that they won’t qualify for a mortgage:

“Many potential home buyers are ‘disqualifying’ themselves. You don’t need a 750 FICO® Score and a 20% down paymentto buy.”

So, what credit score is necessary?

Below is a breakdown of the FICO® Score distribution of all closed (approved) loans in July from Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Report.

Don’t Disqualify Yourself… 52% of Approved Loans Have A FICO® Score Under 750 | Simplifying The Market

Over 52% of all approved loans had a FICO® Score under 750. Many potential home buyers believe that they need a score over 780 to qualify.

Bottom Line

If owning a home of your own has always been your dream and you are ready and willing to buy, or if you are a homeowner who wants to move up, find out if you are able to! Let’s get together to determine if your dreams can become a reality sooner than you thought!


San Francisco’s most and least expensive homes this week – Curbed SF

San Francisco’s most and least expensive homes this week - Curbed SF

Friday is time for the High & the Low, a Curbed column chronicling the most and least expensive homes sold in San Francisco in the last seven days. Here’s this week’s pageant of extremes.

Perched on a Cow Hollow hillside like a gleaming white block of glacial ice deposited right into the middle of San Francisco, the circa 1928 building at 2100 Green makes quite a statement.

And in this case that statement is, “I know I’m worth a ton of money these days.” It’s one thing that the two-bed, two-bath co-op condo marked number 406 listed for $2.95 million back in June. That extraordinary sum is really perfectly normal in the context of the neighborhood.

The remarkable thing is that this was a price hike from its earlier spring listing of $2.75 million. Guess it pays to know what you’re worth—or at least to trend upward when trying to make an educated guess—because that condo is indeed the priciest sale in the city this week, at least among those homes publicly listed.

Back in 2011 when this same home listed most recently, the ads emphasized the building’s glorious tile floors, millwork, and stained glass, plus home details like the “limestone slab mantelpiece” over the fire and “backsplashes of subway-set, beveled-edge limestone.”

The pitch this time around was much more straightforward, referencing only the “amazing workmanship” but leaving the details to speak for themselves. It seems it did the trick though, as the final price came out to more than $3.17 million, up from that $2.19 million sale in 2011.


Study: The income needed to buy a home in the Bay Area has doubled in five years

Study: The income needed to buy a home in the Bay Area has doubled in five years - SFGate

The most arresting data point in a new report from the California Association of Realtors reveals that the income needed to buy a median-priced single-family home in the Bay Area has nearly doubled in five years.

Back in 2012, a minimum annual income of $90,370 was needed to purchase a Bay Area home at the median price of $447,970. Now, a home buyer needs to be bringing in $179,390 to afford a mean-priced house at $895,000, the report looking at second-quarter 2017 home sales data concludes.

This reality of skyrocketing real estate prices might seem rather unfair to those of us who haven't seen our salaries shoot through the roof. If you're trying to save for a home, it can be difficult to keep up with the rising prices unless you're receiving significant raises at work.

Before you house-hunt, you've got to answer two questions. How much house can you afford, and how much house should you actually buy?

Media: Money Talks News

And even if you do achieve that golden salary of $179,390, don't expect it to get you anything within San Francisco city limits where the median-priced home costs a staggering $1.45 million and requires a salary of $290,630.


 In fact, according to the report, only 12 percent of buyers in the city can actually afford a median-priced single-family home.


Pocket Listings may short-change sellers

Pocket Listings may short-change sellers (sponsored) - SFGate

The fast pace of Bay Area real estate, where homes are snapped up as soon as they hit the market, is fueling an interesting trend: pocket listings, homes not listed on a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), are on the rise.

An off-MLS listing strategy may seem appealing on the surface – your agent sells your house quickly to a buyer he or she already knows about without having to inconvenience you with excessive showings. But sellers beware.

The MLS provides tremendous exposure for your home. Properties on the MLS are immediately available to nearly 200,000 real estate professionals throughout California and their clients. Plus, they are automatically shared with online consumer portals, like realtor.com, Redfin, and Zillow (unless you request otherwise).


By limiting your property to your agent and a buyer he or she may have in mind, you'll never know if you're getting the most money possible in the sale. By limiting exposure of your home you're also limiting the number of prospective buyers. In fact, MLSListings data shows that homes listed on the MLS sell for 30% higher, on average, than those sold off the MLS.


Agents Sell Homes For More Than FSBOS: Study

Agents Sell Homes For More Than FSBOS: Study

  • Agents tend to achieve higher sales prices for properties than comparable FSBO listings, enough to offset their commission fee, according to a recent analysis.

Academic research has often cast doubt on the value of real estate agents, but a new study will come as music to their ears.

It suggests that homeowners will net roughly the same proceeds whether they sell through a real estate agent or take the FSBO (for-sale-by-owner) route.

That’s because agents tend to achieve higher sales prices for properties than comparable FSBO listings — enough to offset their commission fee, according to an analysis released by automated valuation model (AVM) provider Collateral Analytics.

This makes a strong case for hiring an agent, considering that agents allow homeowners to reduce the work, risk, and time of selling a home, said Dr. Michael Sklarz, the CEO of Collateral Analytics and a co-author of the study.

“Overall it is clear that FSBOs have a low probability of selling, and if they do they will likely net the same or less after closing issues, plus they are more likely to screw up on disclosures which may lead to lawsuits after the fact, when buyers discover material facts not disclosed,” added Norman Miller, who produced the study with Sklarz and is a real estate professor at the University of San Diego.


Bay Area adds 21,000 jobs in July, strongest month of 2017

Bay Area adds 21,000 jobs in July, strongest month of 2017

Led by Santa Clara County and the East Bay, the Bay Area’s job market powered up to its strongest showing of the year in July, erasing worries that the region’s economy could swerve into a downturn, a new state report indicated Friday.

Santa Clara County added 7,400 jobs during July, while the East Bay gained 6,600 jobs, according to a report from the Employment Development Department. The San Francisco-San Mateo region added 3,500 positions. All the numbers were adjusted for seasonal changes.

“The hiring was awesome in July,” said Stephen Levy, director of the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy. “We are having some very good gains now, and we are hearing about more companies planning to expand, to lease office space, to buy land.”

The nine-county Bay Area added 21,000 jobs in the single strongest month of hiring for the region so far this year. Santa Clara County’s gains were also the best for that region in 2017.

“The expansion will continue,” said Mark Vitner, senior economist with San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Bank.

The upswing in Santa Clara County offered a welcome counterpoint to economic setbacks in the first third of 2017. During three of the initial four months of 2017, the South Bay lost jobs, but the area has now added jobs for three consecutive months.

“The economy in the Bay Area is still strong and healthy, yet the pace of expansion is inevitably slowing down,” said Jeffrey Michael, director of the Stockton-based Center for Business and Policy Research at University of the Pacific, noting that job gains in prior years have been greater than much of 2017. “There is no concern of a slowdown or recession in our near-term forecast.”

California added 82,600 jobs during July, the EDD reported. But the statewide unemployment rate worsened and increased to 4.8 percent in July compared with 4.7 percent in June. The figures for payroll jobs and unemployment are derived from two different surveys and can sometimes move in different directions.

“We are effectively at full employment both in the Bay Area and in California,” said Robert Kleinhenz, director of economic research with Beacon Economics and UC Riverside’s School of Business.

The technology industry was a major factor in the employment boom in Santa Clara County. Tech companies added 2,000 jobs in the South Bay during July, according to a Beacon Economics analysis of seasonally adjusted EDD figures. The tech industry, however, shed 300 jobs in the San Francisco-San Mateo area and 1,200 in the East Bay.

In addition to the robust tech gains, Santa Clara County also added 2,300 hotel and restaurant jobs and 1,200 health care positions. Retail also was sturdy, adding 700 jobs in July, the Beacon analysis showed.

The East Bay’s strongest employment sectors in July were hotels and restaurants, which added 2,300 positions; construction, which gained 1,300; and health care, up 1,000.

The strongest industry in the San Francisco-San Mateo area was hotels and restaurants, which added 1,100 positions, according to the Beacon assessment.

Experts believe the East Bay has benefited from overflows of companies that have fled from San Francisco, the Peninsula and the South Bay.


Average US Mortgage Rates Edge Lower; 30-Year at 3.89 Pct

Average US Mortgage Rates Edge Lower; 30-Year at 3.89 Pct. | Business News | US News

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged lower this week.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages slipped to 3.89 percent from 3.90 percent last week. While historically low, that's still above last year's average of 3.65 percent. The benchmark rate stood at 3.43 percent a year ago.

The rate on 15-year, fixed-rate home loans, popular with homeowners who are refinancing their mortgages, fell to 3.16 percent from 3.18 percent last week.

Record-low interest rates have helped spur home purchases and boosted the housing market. Yet despite the low mortgage rates to lure prospective homebuyers, the housing market has remained hampered by tight mortgage credit, rising home prices and tight supply of homes on the market.

In the latest indication of low inventory constraining home purchases, real estate brokerage Redfin reported Thursday that sales in July declined 3.5 percent from a year earlier. The number of homes for sale fell 11 percent, marking 22 straight months of year-over-year declines in inventory, according to Redfin. There was a three-month supply of homes in July, higher than June's record-low 2.5 months but well below the six months that represents a market balanced between buyers and sellers.


To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was 0.4 point, down from 0.5 point last week. The fee on 15-year loans was unchanged at 0.5 point.

Rates on adjustable five-year loans rose to 3.16 percent from 3.14 percent last week. The fee declined to 0.4 point from 0.5 point.