Archive for May, 2011

Down Payment Data – Pie Chart

Based on information from the May Realtors® Confidence Index, 66 percent of Existing Home Sales purchasers had a down-payment of less than 20 percent in their home purchase transaction.

Dave & David Warner


Early signs of a real-estate rebound

May 24, 2011 1 comment
10 Cities Where Rents Are Rising the Most

It’s not usually welcome news when the landlord hikes your rent. But a surge in rents this year represents a counter intuitive bit of good news for the economy and perhaps even for the beleaguered housing market.

[See the 10 weakest rental markets.]

Like home prices, rents fell nearly everywhere during the recession, as millions of people moved in with parents or found roommates to cut their housing costs. But with the gradual improvement in the job market and the overall economy, grown kids are finally waving goodbye to their parents and many others are moving into a place of their own. That’s pushing high vacancy rates back down, toward levels they were at before the recession—and sending rents back up. Research firm REIS estimates that rents will rise an average of 3.6 percent in 2011. In a few hot areas, like parts of Washington D.C., and New York City, rent hikes could exceed 10 percent.

That sounds like bad news for tenants, but it indicates that more people can afford the added expense, and that parts of the economy are getting back to normal. Eventually, higher rents could turn many tenants into buyers, since purchasing a home will start to seem like a bargain compared with sending a monthly check to a landlord. So rising rents today could signal a pickup in home purchases in the near future. Here’s where rents are likely to rise by the most in 2011, according to REIS:

San Jose, Calif. Average rent: $1,635; annual increase: 6.8 percent; unemployment rate: 10.6 percent.

Proximity to Silicon Valley and a tight supply of real estate make San Jose the market where rents are likely to rise the most in 2011. Hot companies like Google and Facebook are priming the local economy, and the high cost of homes means renting is the only option for younger or lower-income workers. That’s pushing rents up.

[See how buying a home is likely to change.]

New York. Average rent: $3,038; annual increase: 6 percent; unemployment rate: 8.4 percent.

The financial industry is recovering and the overall economy in New York City is relatively strong, which has kept the city’s unemployment rate below the national average. Plus, the high cost of owning makes New York a prime rental market, with about two-thirds of city residents renting their home. New York remains one of the few places in the United States where people are willing to pay a steep premium to live.

District of Columbia. Average rent: $1,521; annual increase: 5.4 percent; unemployment rate: 5.8 percent.

There’s been no recession to speak of in the nation’s capital, where the federal government is a huge industry of its own. In addition to federal workers, D.C. is filled with contractors, lobbyists, and trade groups that feed off the government sector. That has kept demand for all kinds of housing strong.

Greenville, S.C. Average rent: $677; annual increase: 5 percent; unemployment rate: 8 percent.

A low cost of living and a healthy concentration of companies like BMW, Michelin, IBM, Bank of America, and Bausch & Lomb have kept the economy humming in and around this “upcountry” city in northwestern South Carolina. Rents are cheap, so a fairly small hike is enough to land Greenville on the list of biggest percentage increases. That reflects an economy regaining strength throughout the south.

[See what it will take to fix the housing market.]

Portland, Ore. Average rent: $879; annual increase: 4.8 percent; unemployment rate: 9.6 percent.

Portland is known as a green city, and in recent years local officials have cleaned up the Willamette River and gentrified other parts of the city, making it more attractive to young professionals and other urban dwellers likely to rent. A regional economy driven by a blend of technology, service companies, and big employers like Nike seems to be on the mend.

Chattanooga. Average rent: $659; annual increase: 4.7 percent; unemployment rate: 8.2 percent.

Tennessee’s fourth-largest city got a shot in the arm when Volkswagen decided to locate its sole American factory here in 2009, with the first cars rolling off assembly lines this year. A smattering of other companies has helped keep unemployment below the national average. And with a low cost of living to start with, a small boost in rents is enough to land Chattanooga on our top 10 list.

Orange County, Calif. Average rent: $1,586; annual increase: 4.6 percent; unemployment rate: 9.1 percent.

This affluent area south of Los Angeles got crushed in the real-estate bust, but rising rents may be an early sign of a rebound. Home prices remain relatively expensive, so for many younger people, renting is the only option. And since the county borders the Pacific Ocean, there’s not much room for new building, which limits the supply of rental properties.

[See why gas and food prices are likely to drop.]

Houston. Average rent: $822; annual increase: 4.4 percent; unemployment rate: 8.3 percent.

Texas’s biggest city follows the fortunes of the energy industry, which has been booming thanks to the surge in oil prices and the economic recovery, both here and overseas. Houston is also a growing city that’s still attracting migrants from the north. There’s plenty of room to build, but new rental units haven’t caught up with demand yet, which is pushing rents higher.

Seattle. Average rent: $1,080; annual increase: 4.3 percent; unemployment rate: 9.2 percent.

Nearby Microsoft anchors the local economy, but Seattle also hosts a diverse set of technology and industrial companies that are leading a local recovery. There’s also a fairly limited supply of properties—since Seattle sits on the coast—which should help push rents up. In some ways, Seattle is a subdued version of San Jose, the top city on our list.

Hartford. Average rent: $1,021; annual increase: 4.2 percent; unemployment rate: 9.3 percent.

The insurance companies that still drive Hartford’s economy are recovering thanks to the strong stock market and a broader rebound in the financial industry. The housing market is still tepid, but rising rents suggest that a more pronounced turnaround may be coming for Connecticut’s biggest city.

Notes: Rent figures are projected averages for all of 2011 and represent “asking” rent, which is the amount a landlord requests. That may be slightly higher than actual rent paid. Annual increases are full-year projections for 2011. Figures for the suburbs surrounding Washington, D.C. have been omitted but are similar to the D.C. figures. Unemployment rates are for metro areas, except for Orange County, which is county-wide.

Dave & David Warner


The Foreclosure Report – California

May 23, 2011 2 comments
Foreclosure activity slowed in April. Foreclosure filings were down in Arizona, California, Nevada and Washington, with Oregon being the sole exception where filings were up. California filings were down to levels not seen since late 2008, when governmental intervention caused a temporary but massive drop in activity. Foreclosure sales saw similar declines throughout our coverage area, except Washington. Notably, cancellations were up significantly across the board, leaving fewer properties scheduled for trustee sale.”The drop in filings, and the rise in cancellations, is surprising,” says Sean O’Toole, CEO and Founder of “Banks have had time to resolve robo-signing issues, so we should be seeing exactly the opposite results, with lenders starting to catch up from recent delays.”

Foreclosure filings in California fell to lows not seen since the fall of 2008. Notice of Default filings dropped 25.8 percent, and Notice of Trustee Sale filings fell 10.9 percent from March. On a year-over-year basis foreclosure filings were down as well, with Notice of Default filings down 28.0 percent and Notice of Trustee Sale filings falling 31.2 percent from April 2010. Foreclosure sale cancellations rose 27.0 percent from March. Acivity on the courthouse steps slowed from the prior month, with 17.2 percent fewer sales Back to Bank and a 15.8 percent drop in properties purchased by 3rd Parties, typically investors. The average Time to Foreclose continued to climb, increasing 3.3 percent to 312 days.
View all California stats by state, county, city or ZIP

Dave & David Warner


Weekly Mortgage Rates – 5/19/2011

May 19, 2011 1 comment

May 19, 2011

Regional Breakdown 30-Yr FRM 15-Yr FRM 5/1-Yr ARM 1-Yr ARM
Average Rates 4.61 % 3.80 % 3.48 % 3.15 %
Fees & Points 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.6
Margin N/A N/A 2.74 2.76

Dave & David Warner


Moving Up? Doing It Now May Make Sense

The looming change to the conforming loan limit is finally taking center stage in conversations around the country.  In Southern California it will make a big impact.  It’s decision time for those that need that extra room in their loan to reach the home of their dreams.  Our friends at Keeping Current Matters brings us some additional insight today.   The clock is ticking… Moving Up? Doing It Now May Make Sense.

An issue that may have a gigantic impact on the housing market later this year is the lowering of the conforming loan limits. Without an act of Congress, these limits will return to the lower limits that existed prior to 2008. Today, we want to shed light on this issue and what it means to someone thinking about buying either a first home or move-up home valued over $400,000 in certain markets in the country.

What is the ‘Conforming Loan Limit’?

The ‘conforming loan limit’ sets the maximum loan amount, which either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are allowed to purchase individual loans. If a loan is larger than this limit, it is considered a ‘jumbo’ loan and is automatically disqualified from being sponsored by Fannie and Freddie. It would have to be handled by the private market.

A Little History

Prior to 2008, the loan limit was $417,000. When prices started to rapidly escalate in certain regions of the country, the limit was increased. In some counties, that limit jumped to over $700,000. These new limits are scheduled to expire this October. If this happens, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may no longer be involved in these loans.

What Impact Will This Have on a Buyer?

It will cost more in mortgage payments if buyers are purchasing a home over the limit in a region where the limit changed. The Mortgage Market Note explains

For the affected borrowers, because mortgage rates for jumbo mortgages tend to be higher than rates for conforming loans, financing costs may be higher… Over the latest year, the difference between mortgage rates for jumbo loans and jumbo-conforming mortgages has varied between about ½ and ¾ of a percentage point.

Just a ½ point increase in mortgage rate on a $500,000 mortgage means an additional $154.84 in your monthly mortgage payment; a difference greater than $55,000 over the life of a 30 year mortgage.

Which Counties are Impacted and to What Degree?

Below is a map of the regions affected from the Mortgage Market Note. You can get a breakdown of each impacted county in this report also.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking about buying a home in the near future, you should know how this issue may impact you. Sit down with Dave & David, real estate professionals, familiar with your area for further advice.

Dave & David Warner


More Fly Fishing Pictures – Situk River , Alaska

May 14, 2011 1 comment

The first picture is where we launched in the morning.  I guess I didn’t get any pictures of the outside of the cabin.  Then you’ll see our first fish on of the morning.  Then we take a mid day break !


Morning launch from 9 mile cabin. The green raft is our supply boat. We took turns towing it as we floated the river.


Fish on!


Paul & Gary on the mid day break





Weekly Mortgage Rates – 5/12/2011

May 12, 2011 1 comment

May 12, 2011

Regional Breakdown 30-Yr FRM 15-Yr FRM 5/1-Yr ARM 1-Yr ARM
Average Rates 4.63 % 3.82 % 3.41 % 3.11 %
Fees & Points 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.5
Margin N/A N/A 2.74 2.76

Dave & David Warner