Another Southern California home-price boom is cooling. Is a crash looming?

The Southern California housing market has been on a nearly seven-year tear, with prices in many communities reaching all-time highs. But now, as mortgage rates rise, the boom appears to be fading. Sales are dropping; inventory is swelling; more sellers are scaling back their ambitious asking prices.

The annals of postwar Southern California real estate history are full of boom-and-bust cycles, with periods of sharp price appreciation that suddenly skid to a halt. Whether those ups and downs offer any guidance — or hope — for today’s homeowners is a subject for debate.

Some of those who study the housing market predict annual price increases will slow. Others think values could dip. But there is general agreement that a meltdown is not in the offing, given a healthy economy and dearth of home building. The current slowdown, said Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics, “is a bump in the road.”

The article is written by Andrew Khouri for LA Times. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

Mortgage rates slide the fastest in four years, but it may be too late for the housing market

Rates for home loans tumbled as turmoil rocked global financial markets, but any reprieve in rates may come too late for would-be home buyers or refinancers.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.81% in the November 21 week, down 13 basis points, mortgage liquidity provider Freddie Mac said Wednesday. That’s the biggest weekly decline since January 2015 and the lowest level for the popular product since early October. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.24%, down 12 basis points during the week. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 4.09%, down from 4.15%.

The article is written by Andrea Riquier for MarketWatch. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

7 Reasons Home Buying Shows Like ‘House Hunters’ Remain Popular

HGTV renewed a trio of house hunting shows, offshoots of its hugely popular House Hunters series that follow people as they search for homes in paradise—beachfront and island locations.

The renewals were hardly a surprise. House Hunters, which debuted in 1999, remains one of the most consistently popular shows on cable, thriving through the Great Recession (as some other house hunting shows became passé) and inspiring loads of spinoffs.

Nielsen has estimated some 25 million people watch House Hunters each month. It’s rare to find a program that can last more than a decade; House Hunters and its spinoffs are closing in on two.

What is the secret to the show’s success? Here are seven of them.

The article is written by Toni Fitzgerald for Forbes. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

Home Buyers Growing Attached To Thought Of Townhome Living

Soaring land and building costs, higher median single-family home prices, growing preference for dense, walkable environments and the need for a bridge between renting and first-home purchases are all helping bring back a staple of the 19th Century. That Victorian-era essential is the townhome.

National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) analysis of the most recent census data of “Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design” found townhouse construction starts continuing to grow. Over the four quarters ending with the first quarter of 2018, townhouse starts nationally totaled 105,000, seven percent higher than the prior four quarters. Employing a one-year moving average, new townhome market share is at 12.3 percent of all single-family starts.

The article is written by Jeffrey Steele for Forbes. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

How Stock Trading Inspired This Startup’s Approach To Real Estate

The real estate startup REX, a 3-year old company has made its foray in to the real estate disruption landscape by charging only 2% of the final sales price when listing a home and by not put their listings on the Multiple Listing Service. If a client buys a home outside of their network, such as one listed on the MLS, REX refunds 50% of the buyer agent’s commission two days before closing.

REX has already attracted $30 million in two funding rounds from investors such as Amit Singhal, former senior vice president of search, Google; Jack Greenberg, former chief executive officer, McDonalds; Dick Schulze, founder, Best Buy (and formerly #722 on Forbes billionaires list); Gordon Segal, founder, Crate and Barrel; and Scott McNealy, co-founder and former chief executive officer, Sun Microsystems.

The article is written by Amy Dobson for Forbes. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

Are These Three C’s The Key To The Real Estate Revolution?

For an industry that has historically remained stagnant, the pace at which technology is evolving will expedite change at an unprecedented rate. As such, this is an exciting time for consumers and agents alike, but we need to adjust our mentality and approach to real estate transactions accordingly.

You’ve likely heard of the four C’s of buying a diamond. in order to directly address consumer demands, the real estate industry needs to modernize real estate by embracing three pillars: certainty, convenience and cost-effectiveness — it’s very own three C’s, if you will.

The article is written by Sean Black for Forbes. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

Real Estate Markets Cooling Across The Country, And It’s Not Just The Winter Effect

Real estate markets nationwide are seeing a slowdown in completed transactions on existing-home sales. This is common across the single family, townhome, condo and co-op market. All of which declined 3.4% in September over August, and were down 4.1% year over year. Part of this is because affordability continues to be a challenge with home price growth outpacing wage increases. We’ve reached a level of unaffordability in certain markets and prices have shot up far above what household incomes have gained in the same time period.

The article is written by Caroline Feeney for Forbes. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

 

Mortgage Debt Nears A Pre-Crash High, But That’s No Cause For Concern

Rising home prices have forced consumers to routinely take on higher home mortgage debt, which is set to surpass the amount of borrowing that occurred 10 years ago—right before the housing market crash. According to the Federal Reserve, outstanding mortgage debt totaled $10.2 trillion in the second quarter of this year, an increase of 2.7% over the past year. During the easy subprime bubble lending days, the total debt hit $10.7 trillion. In addition, consumers have been taking on increasingly higher non-mortgage debt, as they purchase new cars with borrowed money and pay college tuition with student loans. The growth in these non-mortgage debt areas has been rising at a faster pace of 4.6% from one year ago. In all, the total combined household debt stood at an all-time high of $15.7 trillion.

Should such trends be a source of worry for consumers and for the broader economy? What is the proper perspective? Read on to learn more.

The article is written by Lawrence Yun for Forbes. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

Is Another Market Crash Coming? How To Protect Personal Investments If It Is

One of the main causes of the last big recession in 2008 was subprime mortgages. In this case, mortgages were being handed out to borrowers with far-less-than-perfect credit, income that didn’t warrant a loan of the size they were approved for (in some cases, no income at all) and a job history that was spotty (or no job at all). Sounds like the perfect cocktail for a foreclosure fiesta, right? It was. Since then, subprime loans have all but disappeared. Or have they?

The article is written by Dani Lynn Robison for Forbes. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

This Is The Best Time To Buy Your First Home

If you want to buy a home, why is that? Here are some common answers:

  • Because I’m throwing money away on rent.
  • Because we want to start a family and owning provides more stability than renting.
  • Because I want a place of my own.
  • Because buying is always a good investment

Buying a home is fine if you can afford it, actually want to do it, and it doesn’t limit your ability to do other things that you truly value. But renting is fine, too. Don’t assume buying a house is a must, a requirement to be an “adult,” or a necessary milestone to hit before you can call yourself successful.

The article is written by Eric Roberge for Forbes. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.