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Most recent articles

Bidding-War Registration

At least somebody is doing something – hat tip to swm:

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/blogs/balance-sheet/new-ontario-housing-rules-to-take-some-of-the-181354074.html

Stop me if this sounds familiar: You scour MLS for the semi that will rescue you from a life in a high-rise. Mortgage pre-approval in place, you bid well above asking, because you live in Toronto and that’s how it works. The selling agent comes back and says there’s another stronger bid, and couldn’t you do a bit more? You swallow hard and cough up another $10,000, sealing the deal, and only later wondering if there really was a competing offer in the first place.

It’s tough to know how often this happens, but with interest rates still rock-bottom and bidding wars turning post-war bungalows into million-dollar properties, the Ontario government is bringing in new rules to crack down on unethical real estate agents that try to pump up housing prices with “phantom” offers.

Read More

Posted by on Mar 26, 2015 in Bidding Wars, Jim's Take on the Market | 4 comments

Market Check

The month of March is wrapping up next week, and we’re heading into the Easter/Spring Break period.  Local buyers who might take some time off will be offset by the out-of-towners coming in for a look.

The market seems very balanced currently, and our ‘market health’ gauge is supportive.

Historically, we’ve called it a healthy market when Active Listings-to-Pendings have been at a 2:1 ratio, and here’s the count today in North SD County’s coastal region:

Actives: 781

Pendings: 440

Ratio = 1:78:1

It’s the lower end of the market that is really hot.  Of the 440 pendings, 71% of them are listed under $1,500,000.

Only 37% of the actives are priced under $1,500,000!

While there has been a steady flow of new pendings, I haven’t seen many that were a surprise.  I think buyers are being patient, and are hoping that there will be better offerings later – much like sellers are hoping there will be higher-payers later.

Mortgage rates are holding steady too, which means April could be the month that those buyers and sellers who are in tip-toe mode come closer together!

rate check

Posted by on Mar 26, 2015 in Actives/Pendings, Spring Kick | 0 comments

Flipper Crowdfunding

crowd

Remember last time? When you don’t have mortgage underwriters being strict with the money, you are entering bubble territory:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102537364

Chicago-based Ben Walhood used to sell brain surgery equipment; on the side, he flipped a few houses.

“When I had the W2 and a good income, getting a mortgage was relatively straightforward,” he said.

But when the flipping profits grew, Walhood, 33, decided to go into it full time. Without the sales job, though, he had no W2, and that’s when the money dried up.  “At that point it was essentially impossible to get funding from the big banks,” he said.

Walhood turned to San-Francisco-based RealtyShares, one of a growing breed of crowdfunding platforms. Essentially, it is an online marketplace for real estate investing, where individual investors can open a free account and access investments in properties across the country. They need a minimum of $5,000 to invest and must be accredited, which includes either an annual income exceeding $200,000 or a net worth of over $1 million.

Walhood would get his property purchases funded by this “crowd” of investors, who would lend him the money. As with a mortgage, he pays interest on the loan, and the investors get about a 9 percent return. Once each property is sold, the loan and the investors are paid off.

“This gap has been left by banks that now crowdfunding platforms, like RealtyShares, are able to fill,” said Nav Athwal, CEO of RealtyShares. “They are able to provide quicker, more efficient capital that helps meet the needs of these investors who are looking for speed of execution and the ability to be flexible with their terms as well as with the underwriting standards. Banks just aren’t meeting that need.”

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102537364

Posted by on Mar 26, 2015 in Flips, Market Buzz | 2 comments

Zillow vs. Realtor.com

Have you seen or heard the realtor.com ads?

I heard this 30-second ad on sports-talk radio and thought it was standard fare:

http://www.realtor.org/audio/consumer-advertising-campaign-real-people-2015-radio-ad

Then I saw this ad today on the C.A.R. website:

move ad

This claim is from the National Association of REALTORS®, Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, Addendum Questions, 2014, so I guess they can say it’s legit.

But isn’t it too early for realtor.com to be saying they are better than Zillow at anything? It could be a regional thing, but I never hear any consumers talking about using realtor.com, so to me it all sounds far-fetched.

Meanwhile, Zillow is crushing it with their TV ads, and probably pulling ahead:

Realtor.com needs to be producing better advertising than Zillow if they think they are going to catch up.

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in The Future | 4 comments