More buyers, few sellers, push up King County home prices

  On the last day of November 2011, 158 houses were listed for sale in Bellevue east of Interstate 405. And on the same date this year? Just 62, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Inventory — or a lack of it — is driving King County’s residential real-estate market, brokers and industry observers say. Statistics released Wednesday by the listing service underscore the impact. Countywide, just 3,720 houses were on the market as of Nov. 30, 14 percent fewer than at the end of October and 43 percent fewer than a year ago. Inventory always dips in winter. But it hasn’t […] Click To Read More

Sustained home price gains show strength of recovery

Consistent home price gains demonstrate that the housing recovery is on solid ground, the publishers of a leading home price index and other industry experts say. The S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index — which tracks single-family home prices in all nine U.S. Census divisions on a quarterly basis — was up 3.6 percent from a year ago during the third quarter, and 2.2 percent from the second quarter. The 10- and 20-city S&P/Case-Shiller home price indices posted month-to-month gains for the sixth month in a row, both rising 0.3 percent in September. The composites also posted annual gains for the […] Click To Read More

Strong sales and tight inventory boosts home prices

A combination of rising sales and the lowest inventory in six years helped existing-home prices post annual gains for the eighth month in a row in October, the National Association of Realtors said today. Sales of existing homes were up 2.1 percent from September to October and 10.9 percent from a year ago, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million. Also released today, a survey by the National Association of Home Builders showed builder confidence rose in November for the seventh month in a row to its highest point since May, 2006. Rising home prices are boosting home […] Click To Read More

More Cash Sales, Shrinking Time on Market Show Changing Buyer Dynamics

All-cash buyers have surged since the housing downturn while the typical amount of time it takes to sell a home is shrinking, revealing the changing dynamics of today’s home buyers and sellers. “We’ve seen a tremendous increase in cash buyers since the housing downturn that we haven’t seen before in history,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®. Yun said a decade ago all-cash home purchases were less than 10 percent of the market but have increased steadily since 2008, to as much as 30 percent of sales. Yun said the increase in more buyers paying […] Click To Read More

New Credit Risk Scoring Promises to Qualify More Borrowers

Evidence is growing that more borrowers will be approved for a mortgage without increasing risk to lenders through more sophisticated credit risk scoring that uses alternative data, such as unsecured credit and property history in consumer credit report analysis, according to a new report by the CEB TowerGroup. CEB TowerGroup evaluated data from a joint analysis conducted by CoreLogic and FICO that compares the FICO┬« Score used by most lenders today with a new score launched in July that evaluates the traditional credit data from national credit data repositories and the unique alternative credit data contained in the recently launched […] Click To Read More

Housing Starts, Permits Post Big Gains in September

Nationwide production and permitting of new homes rose sharply in September to their highest levels in more than four years, according to newly released figures from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. A 15 percent gain brought the pace of new housing construction to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 units, while an 11.6 percent gain brought the pace of permit issuance to 894,000 units. These were the strongest numbers seen in both categories since July of 2008. Locally we are seeing the same kind of growth as the limited inventory has also created a new construction vacuum as […] Click To Read More

King County home sales, median prices up from year ago

The Seattle area real-estate market’s strong summer stretched into September, statistics released Thursday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service indicate the median sale price, $375,000, was 7 percent higher than the same month last year. The median has been in the $375,000-$380,000 range since June. But analysts said sales activity would be even more robust if more homes were available. “There are more buyers than sellers,” said Seattle real-estate economist Matthew Gardner. “Buyers are getting frustrated with their agents, because they can’t show them what they want.” The total number of houses for sale in King County in September was […] Click To Read More

STOP NOW! Investors MUST READ!!!

Fannie Mae Expands Investor Financing Options . . Fannie Mae recently announced expansion of it’s Homepath Mortgage product that provides home buyers and investors financing for the purchase of Fannie Mae-owned properties. The new product will allow eligible individual and LLC borrowers to finance up to 20 properties using the Homepath Mortgage. NAR has long called for expansion of financing opportunities for investors as a way to increase the absorbtion of REO properties. Fannie Mae will offer flexible lending terms and will not require appraisals of the properties. Visit for more information and we can send you local participating […] Click To Read More

New FHA Plan Which Can Help A Troubled Homeowner

Under its Distressed Asset Stabilization Program, on Sept. 12, HUD will be selling about 9,000 defaulted loans. The housing market “has momentum not seen since before the crisis,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan in a statement. But some metro areas “are still under pressure and some FHA borrowers remain seriously behind on their loans and stand to lose their homes in a matter of months.” To help avoid unnecessary foreclosures and further stabilize communities, HUD is increasing its original goal of selling 5,000 loans per quarter to approximately 9,000 this quarter. “Providing the opportunity for borrowers to potentially stay in […] Click To Read More