Saturday, July 4, 2009

California Real Estate Fast Facts

(As of July 1, 2009)

  • California median home price - May 09: $267,570 (Source: C.A.R.)

  • California highest median home price by C.A.R. region April 09: Santa Barbara So. Coast $875,000 (Source: C.A.R.)

  • California lowest median home price by C.A.R. region April 09: High Desert $106,210 (Source: C.A.R.)

  • California First-time Buyer Affordability Index - First Quarter 2009: 69 percent (Source: C.A.R.)

  • Mortgage rates - week ending 6/25/09 30-yr. fixed: 5.42% Fees/points: 0.7% 15-yr. fixed: 4.87% Fees/points: 0.7% 1-yr. adjustable: 4.93% Fees/points: 0.7% (Source: Freddie Mac)

Foreclosures Pose Problems for Neighborhood

Uninsured foreclosed properties, particularly condominiums, can be risky for property owners in nearby homes.

Vacant houses are vulnerable to vandalism, theft, and accidental fires. If the property has an adjoining wall, the damage can be significant.

Another issue is that insurers can be very reluctant to offer insurance in condominiums or neighborhoods where there are empty buildings.

"Some [condo] buildings have such a stigma from the number of vacant units that insurers will not insure occupied units for fear of increased claim and assessment costs if a loss were to occur," says Robert Friedman, a West Palm Beach, Fla., attorney specializing in property issues.

Source: South Florida Sun Sentinel, Julie Patel (06/12/2009)

Top 10 Places to Start Over

Some parts of the United States have been less affected than others by the economic downturn.

"If people are looking for a job and they're in Detroit, they're in the wrong place. They need to be considering geographic mobility," says Ernie Goss, professor of economics at Creighton University in Omaha.

BusinessWeek magazine, with help from staffing firm Manpower, has examined job opportunities all across the country, ranking metropolitan areas based on the percentage of companies planning to hire in the third quarter.

Here are the top 10 places it identified as offering the best opportunities for anyone looking for a fresh start:
  1. Anchorage, Alaska
  2. Provo-Orem, Utah
  3. Kennewick-Richland-Pasco, Wash.
  4. Yakima, Wash.
  5. Omaha, Neb.-Council Bluffs, Iowa
  6. Richmond, Va.
  7. Winston-Salem, N.C.
  8. Colorado Springs
  9. Amarillo, Texas
  10. Washington, D.C., Arlington-Alexandria, Va., plus areas in Maryland and West Virginia

Source: BusinessWeek, Prashant Gopal (06/09/2009)