Southern California suffers its worst housing slump in over a decade

Higher mortgage rates and overheated home prices hit Southern California home sales hard in September.

The number of new and existing houses and condominiums sold during the month plummeted nearly 18 percent compared with September 2017, according to CoreLogic. That was the slowest September pace since 2007, when the national housing and mortgage crisis was hitting. Sales have been falling on an annual basis for much of this year, but this was the biggest annual drop for any month in almost eight years. It was also more than twice the annual drop seen in August.

The article is written by Diana Olick for CNBC. 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.

Southern California, home to nation’s most overvalued housing — at least, by this math

Los Angeles County homes are the most overpriced in the nation, according to a curious new study. And Orange County and the Inland Empire don’t score much better.
By one Fed researcher’s math, Los Angeles County had the most overvalued U.S. homes, an eye-catching 68.6 percent above what research showed was normal. That was ahead of Miami (64.6 percent overvalued) and San Francisco (61.9 percent overvalued).

Bill Emmons, a researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, looked at the changing relationship between state incomes and regional home pricingbetween 2000 and 2018’s first quarter to determine a “fair value” for local housing in 41 major metropolitan areas. Then Emmons considered how far current pricing deviated from each area’s norm. By his math, Los Angeles County had the most overvalued U.S. homes, an eye-catching 68.6 percent above what research showed was normal. That was ahead of Miami (64.6 percent overvalued) and San Francisco (61.9 percent overvalued).

The article is written by Jonathan Lansner for TheOCR. 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.

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.

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.

Decoding The Great Real Estate Bubble – Loan Limits

If the Fannie and Freddie conforming loan limit in 1980 had only been increased by the rate of inflation, the limit at the peak of the bubble in 2005 would have been $280,000 instead of the actual limit which was $450,000 (in 2017 dollars).

Would the real estate boom have gotten as large as it did, if the loan limits weren’t increased significantly more than inflation over all those years? More stable real loan limits would have likely led to more stable home prices and a smaller real estate bubble.

The article is written by John Wake 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.

3 Best Places Where It’s Cheaper To Own A Home Than Rent

If you’re currently renting because you don’t think you can afford a home in your city, you might be surprised — in many major U.S. cities, it’s actually cheaper to pay for a mortgage than to pay rent for any home, according to data from Zillow. A recent financial study determined the cost of renting versus owning a typical house in America in the 100 largest cities by looking at how rent prices compared to estimated mortgage payments based on median home list prices.

The article is written by Andrew DePietro 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 rates soar to 7-year highs

According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average climbed to 4.72 percent with an average 0.5 point. Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount. It was 4.65 percent a week ago and 3.83 percent a year ago.

The 15-year fixed-rate average jumped to 4.16 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 4.11 percent a week ago and 3.13 percent a year ago. The five-year adjustable rate average rose to 3.97 percent with an average 0.3 point. It was 3.92 percent a week ago and 3.20 percent a year ago.

The article is written by Kathy Orton for The Washington Post. 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.

The Most Essential Advice For A First-Time Homebuyer

The idea of buying a home for the first time can seem like a daunting task with the pages of documents that will cross your path. It’s essential to stay on top of emails and requests from your real estate agent, escrow officer and lender in order to have the smoothest possible escrow and close your home purchase on time.

A bit of preparedness can make the process much less scary than it may initially seem, and well worth the labor in the end. Following this advice will help you with buying your first home.

The article is written by Beatrice de Jong for Forbes Online. 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.