Monday, September 27, 2010

California home sales drop in August compared with last year

from The Sacramento Bee:

The median home price of an existing, single-family home in California rose 1.2 percent compared with July and 8.6 percent from a year ago, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported this week. Following two months of consecutive month-over-month declines, California home sales edged up 1.8 percent in August compared with July, but were down 14.9 percent compared with August 2009.

According to C.A.R. President Steve Goddard, home buyers who are waiting on the sidelines should consider the opportunities available in today’s market. Favorable home prices and interest rates at or near historic lows make housing affordability the best in recent years. Anyone who is in a position to buy a home should do so before either of these key factors rise.
The statewide median home price posted its 10th consecutive year-over-year gain in August, according to C.A.R.’s report. The median price of an existing, single-family detached home sold in California during August 2010 was $318,660, an 8.6 percent increase from the revised $293,400 median price recorded in August 2009. The August 2010 median price was up 1.2 percent compared with July’s $314,850 median price.

C.A.R. Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young says California’s housing market is transitioning from the conclusion of the federal home buyer tax credit and that home sales are strongest in the higher-price range. The strength in the upper-end market combined with inventory levels that are higher, but still lean by average, has led to home prices holding steady.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Home Values on Appraisal Sites Often Not Valid

From the Sacramento Bee:

Appraisal sites on Net often fail to pin down accurate pricesOver the last five years, one of the newest developments in real estate is the ability for home buyers and sellers to search online for a home’s value. Popular Web sites such a,, and offer free home estimates, but some consumers and real estate industry professionals say the values calculated often are inaccurate and misleading.

Online home appraisal Web sites assign home values without knowing the features or upgrades of a home or the neighborhood in which it is located. Some Web sites offer a price range of $20,000 - $40,000 more or less than the actual value of the home.

Since housing markets are local and not every home of a certain size is the same value, consumers can be misled into believing a home is worth more or less than the actual value. Working with a local REALTOR® can help minimize inaccuracies in home values. REALTORS® can provide local housing market data and show homeowners and buyers recent sales of comparable homes in the area, to help determine an accurate list or offer price.

While some agents report that Web estimates can educate clients and provide a reasonable assessment of market conditions and the home-buying process, working with a local REALTOR® is the best option.