June 2009 Price Report

Here is our latest sales report for all homes sold within the city of La Quinta as well as all Golf Course homes in La Quinta through May 2009.

Here are the latest sales numbers for all homes sold within the city of La Quinta as well as all Golf Course homes in La Quinta through June 2009.

The blue lines represent 2008 data and the orange lines represent 2009 data.

The chart above shows Monthly sales of homes within the city of La Quinta. When looking at “sold” data, you have to remember that the numbers are generated on the date that the sale is recorded with the county but that the decision to buy was made about 45 – 60 days earlier.

Although the sales in June are still lagging behind the same period in 2008, the number is  very close to May’s number and continues to be leading this years recovery. We continue to notice an improvement in consumer confidence and an increase in activity in the higher priced homes brought on by two factors. The continued improvement of the markets on Wall Street and the falling prices of homes. An interesting statistic this month is that the decline in price per square foot of “all” LQ homes increased slightly. This is directly related to the scarcity of distressed properties – foreclosures and “short sales” – that tend to bring down the market value of the homes being sold. Earlier this spring, the government sponsored a moratorium on banks releasing foreclosures to moderate their downward affect on the housing market. That moratorium has been lifted but we still haven’t seen the expected flood (or even a wave) of distressed property hit the local market yet and, in fact, the “distressed” inventory currently remains very low.

The number of homes sold in golf course communities in La Quinta has decreased since this time last year but continues its steady climb upwards. While the lower end of the market has been extremely active ($400,000 and below), the upper-end (which contains many of the golf properties in the chart above) continues to be sluggish but is improving. June and July have been the 2 best months of the year.

Because of the sluggishness of this higher end market there are many really good deals available. If buying a golf property is something on your list, why not take advantage of the incredible prices and seller incentives now, when sellers will work with you, instead of in the future, when the demand starts to catch up with the supply? Especially if you’re buying and planning to hold for 5+ years.

The bottom line…

Unit sales in 2009 are lagging behind the same period last year reflecting the downward trend of the general housing market. Please remember that the decline of the real estate market greatly accelerated in September 2008 when our economy went into crisis and consumer confidence disappeared. We are now, 8 months later, beginning to see increased activity; a trend that many economists believe will continue to grow in the next several months. With home prices as low as they are now (pre 2004), and capital starting to flow back into the banking system, tremendous opportunity exists right now for buyers in all spectrums of the market.

Also, we all hear about “the Bottom”, where is it, when will we hit it etc. We think that it may be closer than you may guess. See my entry: Click here to read “In Search of the Bottom…”
Here are some yearly sales figures (units) for the City of La Quinta from 2002:

Year        All LQ      Golf Course
2002        1,354          259
2003        1,565          652
2004        1,931          813
2005        1,553          657
2006        1,098          491
2007           935          447
2008        1,063          416
2009 YTD    532          205 (June)

Freddie Mac mortgage refinancing is now available with up to 125% loan-to-value ratios

Major Change Opens Door to Refinance Relief for More Borrowers in Hard Hit Markets

McLean, VA – To help borrowers who have seen significant home price declines refinance their existing loans, the Obama Administration today announced the availability of loan-to-value (LTV) ratios up to 125 percent for Home Affordable Refinance mortgages, including Freddie Mac’s Relief Refinance MortgageSM. The previous maximum LTV ratio for Relief Refinance Mortgages had been 105 percent.

As a result of this change, qualified borrowers will be able to obtain Relief Refinance Mortgages with loan amounts up to 125 percent of the current value of their property. The higher LTV ratio is expected to give homeowners – especially those in markets that have experienced sharp declines in home values – more options to refinance into mortgages with terms that better position them for long-term homeownership.

“This is a change that will put affordable refinancing opportunities within reach of performing borrowers who have suffered the effects of local home price erosion,” said Freddie Mac Executive Vice President Don Bisenius. “Today’s announcement also underscores Freddie Mac’s commitment to make the Obama Administration’s Making Home Affordable program a gateway to successful long-term homeownership for as many borrowers as possible.”

To encourage borrowers with 30-year fixed rate mortgages to consider a shorter 25-year term, Freddie Mac is providing a special price incentive to lenders. The incentive only applies to Relief Refinance Mortgages with LTV ratios between 105 percent and 125 percent. The 25-year term will result in borrowers paying less interest over the life of their loan and improving their overall equity position over time (something one faces when dealing with 1 hour payday loans).

Freddie Mac’s Relief Refinance Mortgage is available to borrowers who are current on mortgages that are owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac. Borrowers should visit https://www.freddiemac.com/corporate/ and complete the online form to determine if Freddie Mac owns their mortgage.

Freddie Mac’s Relief Refinance Mortgage allows borrowers to finance closing costs, financing costs and prepaids/escrows up to $5,000 or 4 percent of the current unpaid principal balance of the mortgage being refinanced, whichever is less. Mortgage insurance (MI) is not required if the existing mortgage does not require MI. Otherwise, MI coverage on the new loan must be the same as on the original mortgage.

Borrowers who apply for Relief Refinance Mortgages through their current servicer will not need to be re-underwritten in most cases. When borrowers apply for Relief Refinance Mortgages through lenders other than their current servicer, the lender must re-underwrite the borrower through Loan Prospector®, Freddie Mac’s automated underwriting service.

The expanded LTV ratios are available now when borrowers apply for Relief Refinance Mortgages through their current servicer and will become available on October 1 when borrowers apply through any lender affiliated with Freddie Mac.

Freddie Mac also said the resulting impact on prepayments for certain Freddie Mac Mortgage Participation Certificates, or PCs, may vary, depending on borrower response and other factors.

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation’s residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Over the years, Freddie Mac has made home possible for one in six homebuyers and more than five million renters.

Market Update For July 6, 2009

The big story last week was the poor jobs report. The Labor Department reported 467,000 jobs lost in the month of June, far worse than expectations of 365,000. The Unemployment rate rose to 9.5%, its highest level since August of 1983 and up from last month’s 9.4% reading. And unlike Job creations, the Unemployment Rate is an actual telephone survey of approximately 60,000 households, which makes this number more reliable. But something to consider, is the growing number of individuals who are employed by temporary or part-time means. The US has lost about 6.5 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, which is the biggest drop seen in any post-World War II economic slump.

Consumer Confidence also came in worse than expected. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which improved considerably in May and was up for the third straight month, retreated in June. The Index now stands at 49.3, down from 54.8 in May. Although the poor jobs and consumer sentiment numbers pushed the stock market down, mortgage rates remained unchanged for the week. We have certainly make back a good portion of the losses we had in mortgage rates several weeks ago, but the sentiment continues to be that the best in mortgage rates may be behind us. Nonetheless, rates are very low and the next six months may present excellent refinancing opportunities if you have not done so already.

This report is provided by one of our mortgage partners, Austin Andruss, who can be reached at 415-869-6135.