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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Clarification of LA Times Mortgage Debt Forgiveness article

Clarification of LA Times Mortgage Debt Forgiveness articleA recent article in the Los Angeles Times discussing the expiration of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act may have caused some confusion for homeowners and REALTORS®.

The article stated, “Some Californians won’t face higher taxes…because a state law enacted in 2010 shields homeowners from paying taxes on any benefit from a short sale...” This may imply that not all California short sales are exempt from taxes. The article clarifies in subsequent sentences that only those who received a loan modification would be hurt by the expiration of the debt forgiveness law.

Specifically, ALL California homeowners who sold their home in a short sale will not pay taxes on the mortgage deficiency, but those who received a loan modification are not exempt from taxes.

Late last year, in a letter to California Sen. Barbara Boxer, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognized that the debt written off in a short sale does not constitute recourse debt under California law, and thus does not create so-called “cancellation of debt” income to the underwater home seller for federal income tax purposes. Following the IRS’s clarification, C.A.R. sought a similar ruling by the California FTB. Now with the FTB’s clarification, underwater home sellers also are assured that they are not subject to state income tax liability, rescuing tens of thousands of distressed home sellers from California tax liability for debt written off by lenders in short sales.

The IRS guidance is limited to California short sales only.
The IRS guidance did not specifically address other types of real estate transactions such as non-judicial foreclosures and mortgage loan modifications.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Housing Markets Continue to Show Gradual Improvement

Housing Markets Continue to Show Gradual ImprovementMarkets in 56 out of the approximately 350 metro areas nationwide returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI). This represents a net gain of two from the previous month. The index’s nationwide score of .86 indicates that, based on current permits, prices, and employment data, the nationwide average is running at 86 percent of normal economic and housing activity.

Baton Rouge, La., tops the list of major metros on the LMI, with a score of 1.42—or 42 percent better than its last normal market level. Other major metros at the top of the list include Honolulu, Oklahoma City, Austin, and Houston, Texas, as well as Harrisburg, Pa., and Pittsburgh—all of whose LMI scores indicate that their market activity now exceeds previous norms.

Looking at smaller metros, both Odessa and Midland, Texas, boast LMI scores of 2.0 or better, meaning that their markets are now at double their strength prior to the recession. Also at the top of the list of smaller metros are Casper, Wyo.; Bismarck, N.D.; and Grand Forks, N.D., respectively.

Friday, January 17, 2014

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices Rose In October

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices Rose In OctoberData through October 2013, released by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, showed that the 10-City and 20-City Composites posted year-over-year gains of 13.6 percent. This is their highest gain since February 2006 and marks the 17th consecutive month that both Composites increased on an annual basis.

In October 2013, the two Composites showed a small gain of 0.2 percent for the month. Eighteen cities posted lower monthly rates in October than in September. After 19 months of gains, San Francisco showed a slightly negative return. Phoenix held onto its streak and posted its 25th consecutive increase.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Fast Facts about California Housing Market

Fast Facts
Calif. median home price:November 2013:
  • California: $422,210
  • Calif. highest median home price by region/county November 2013: Marin, $942,070
  • Calif. lowest median home price by region/county November 2013: Del Norte, $135,000
Calif. Pending Home Sales Index:
November 2013: Decreased 13.6 percent from 108.6 in October to 93.8 in November.

Calif. Traditional Housing Affordability Index: Third Quarter 2013: 32 percent (Source: C.A.R.)

Mortgage rates: Week ending 1/2/2014 (Source: Freddie Mac)
  • 30-yr. fixed: 4.53% fees/points: 0.8%
  • 15-yr. fixed: 3.55% fees/points: 0.7%
  • 1-yr. adjustable: 2.56% Fees/points: 0.5%

Thursday, January 9, 2014

More Than a Quarter of Homes Sold in Two Weeks or Less in November

More Than a Quarter of Homes Sold in Two Weeks or Less in November
Market speed remained stable for the third consecutive month in November, according to a report by Redfin. Across 23 metro areas, 27.2 percent of homes went under contract in two weeks, up slightly from 26.9 percent in October.

 While the percent of homes selling in two weeks or less remained steady, homes overall took a bit longer to sell in November than in October. For all homes across the 23 metros, the median number of days a home spent on the market before going under contract grew to 34 from 31 days in October.

 Buyers in San Jose, Calif., scooped up homes the quickest in November, with 48.6 percent of listings going under contract within two weeks, up from 48 percent in October. Homes in San Jose sat on the market for a median of just 12 days.
 Las Vegas saw the biggest month-over-month increase in market speed, with a 5.7-point increase in the rate of homes going under contract in two weeks. Ventura, Calif. followed closely behind with a 5.6-point increase.

Median Number of Days on Market Until Pending, November 2013
Speed RankingMarketCurrentLast MonthLast Year
#1San Jose, CA141412
#2San Francisco, CA161415
#3Washington, D.C.211721
#4Los Angeles, CA222023
#5San Diego, CA232020
#6Seattle, WA242029
#7Sacramento, CA252222
#8Riverside, CA252124
#9Ventura, CA261823
#10Austin, TX272441
#11Denver, CO282332
#12Phoenix, AZ292518
#13Dallas, TX302742
#14Chicago, IL313044
#15Houston, TX323248
#16Baltimore, MD343643
#17Portland, OR352840
#18Atlanta, GA403835
#19Boston, MA424155
#20Miami, FL494791
#21Las Vegas, NV676491
#22Raleigh, NC696382
#23Philadelphia, PA716984
23 Markets343142
Note: Fastest Markets data is preliminary and subject to change.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Grass Valley Home Prices & Values

Grass Valley Home Prices & Values

The median home value in Grass Valley is $280,300. Grass Valley home values have gone up 21.6% over the past year. The median list price per square foot in Grass Valley is $198, which is lower than the Truckee Metro average of $211. The median price of homes currently listed in Grass Valley is $379,000 while the median price of homes that sold is $260,050.
Foreclosures will be a factor impacting home values in the next several years. In Grass Valley 3.2 homes are foreclosed (per 10,000). This is lower than the national value of 5.1
Mortgage delinquency is the first step in the foreclosure process. This is when a homeowner fails to make a mortgage payment. The percent of delinquent mortgages in Grass Valley is 4.9%, which is lower than the national value of 8.0%. With U.S. home values having fallen by more than 20% nationally from their peak in 2007 until their trough in late 2011, many homeowners are now underwater on their mortgages, meaning they owe more than their home is worth. The percent of Grass Valley homeowners underwater on their mortgage is 20.5%.
Grass Valley Zillow Home Value Index

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