San Diego Real Estate Trends

Over the past couple of weeks, there are all kinds of numbers coming out of San Diego.

Downward trends showed that San Diego County homes decreased 8.7% in the month of January from what was seen in the month of December. The home prices and sales in Southern California from a month over month basis also dropped. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate in the Unite States dropped to 5% with a previous 5.05% reported only a week before. Rates are still very low historically.

Upward trends in San Diego County showed that sales of million-dollar homes in the county in 2010 increased marking the first annual increase since 2005. The most-expensive sale was in Coronado, at $10.5 million. The homes in the million-dollar range increased in Southern California, which has not been seen in practically five years.

Looking to the next week
DataQuick will release their January foreclosure figures on Tuesday. The U-T announced that mortgage defaults and foreclosures for San Diego County decreased to the lowest level seen in the past three years. On the other hand, economists are expecting to see more foreclosures this year than last.

Freddie Mac will release their weekly average for mortgage rates on Thursday. The long-term rate dropped to 5% last week.

Bjarke Ingels, Danish architect will be giving an invite only lecture to NewSchool of Architecture and Design students at the Museum of Natural History in Balboa Park on Friday. According to, Bjarke Ingels is among The 100 Most Creative People in Business 2010 and will discuss how “the evolution of political, economic, and social issues in today’s society is manifested in architecture designs,” stated Maria Velez, a spokeswoman for the design school.“ Bjarke’s architectural style is inspirational and mind-stretching,” said Steve Altman, president of the design school that is hosting the function. Ingels also will discuss “Yes Is More: An Archicomic on Architectural Evolution,” his new comicbook-style book that weaves humor into design.

How to Raise a Credit Score

Millions of Americans are now among the list of those with falling credit ratings due to house prices falling, foreclosures, bankruptcies, and long-term unemployment. There are a few factors that will affect your credit rating along with the steps to improve your rating.

Bankruptcy – both Chapter 13 or 7 – is the worst thing that can be placed on your credit report and once it is there it will take somewhere between 7 to 10 years to fall off the report. If you are involved in a foreclosure, deed-in-lieu, tax lien, or short sale, this will also lower your credit score. If you are in a rough patch and you are pay a bill thirty days late your credit score will drop quite a bit and if the payment is 90 to 120 days late you will notice a larger decline.

In order to improve your credit rating, you need to pay your bills on time. The last two years reports are the most important which will be calculated as 35 percent of your credit score. Do not apply for credit if it is not absolutely necessary. This will also lower your credit score, as it is a sign that you are taking on more debt.

When you have credit cards or other forms of credit, do not use more than 50 percent for any current account as well as focusing on reducing the credit card balances before paying off the installment debt such as car loans and student loans. Credit scores track the oldest account along with the average age of all the accounts combined. Longer credit history will help raise your credit score, so do not close out accounts that have a long history, as they are the most important.

The credit scored is a fluid number that changes often. Consider using an online credit monitoring service that will provide you with access to your credit score and credit history at any given time.

Imperial Beach Receiving Grant

Caltrans is providing Imperial Beach with a $100,000 grant to start planning for a safer, more walkable community.

The grant which was attained through a partnership with WalkSanDiego, will “promote safety around local schools while educating residents basic transportation concepts so they can identify needed improvements for safe routes to school,” as reported by city officials.

In the South Bay Union School District, six elementary schools along with one high school in the Sweetwater Union High School District will be involved. The school will create a Walkability Coalition comprised of school staff, PTA, and other parents.

“The city of Imperial Beach continues to strive toward improving the safety of the children of the community, and this generous grant will greatly benefit that effort,” stated Public Works Director Hank Levien.

To learn more about this program, please call (619) 544-WALK.

This Weeks Featured Properties

This Weeks Featured Properties

Welcome to our featured homes in the San Diego Area!

This 8 bedroom, 7-bathroom home in La Jolla is 10000, which is perfect for the growing family. The lot size is .5 to 1 acre and has enough parking space for eight vehicles. The three story home has magnificent views of evening lights, the ocean, and panoramic views that will certainly make every member of the family happy with their new home.

If you are looking for room, the master bedroom is 32×15, while other bedrooms measure 34×30, 18×25, 30×23, and 22×11. Looking for a very nice sized kitchen? Then you will love the 30×19 space. Other great features of this home include six fireplaces, above ground pool, patio, central forced air-cooling system, electric, natural gas, and a laundry room.

Our next featured home is in Del Mar offering six bedrooms, eight bathrooms with 6551 square feet built in 1984. The views from this home are wonderful ocean views and panoramic views. The lot size is .5 to 1 acre. You will love the two story with plenty of room for all kinds of family activities. The master bedroom is 21×15 with other bedroom measuring 10×15, 12×11, 15×12, and 11×15. The family room measures 21×20, living room is 20×25, dining room is 15×11, and kitchen is 22×25. You will love the below ground pool offering private and lap and fireplaces in the family room, living room, and master bedroom. It even offers a detached guesthouse.

If you would like a tour of the home in La Jolla or Del Mar you can contact a realtor to see if either could be your dream home. Of course, we have a wide array of homes that may just be your dream home. Just by contacting one of our real estate agents, you will begin your search for the perfect home within your price range.

Mortgage Applications Increased

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week that ended on January 28 increased 11.3 percent, refinancing applications rose 11.7 percent, and purchase volume increased 9.5 percent.

First claims for unemployment benefits decreased 42,000 to 415,000 for the week that ended on January 29, while continuing claims for the week that ended on January 22 decreased by 84,000 to 3.9 million. The unemployment rate decreased to 9 percent in the month of January from 9.4% in the month of December.

The Institute for Supply Management released the monthly composite index of manufacturing activity increased to 60.8 in January after seeing a 58.5 in the month of December. A reading above 50 signifies expansion. This was the 18th straight month of expansion and the highest reading seen since May of 2004.

Factory orders increased 0.2 percent in the month of December to a seasonally adjusted $426.8 billion, after seeing a revised 1.3 percent rise in November. Not including the volatile transportation sector, orders rose 1.7 percent.

The Institute for Supply Management released the monthly composite index of non-manufacturing activity, which increased to 59.4 in the month of January from 57.1 in the month of December. A reading above 50 signals expansion. This was the 13th straight month of expansion in the services sector and the fastest pace seen since August of 2005.

Total construction spending decreased 2.5 percent to $787.9 billion in the month of December, after seeing a 0.4 percent increase in the month of November. Economists had believed to see an increase of 0.2 percent in the month December.

Retail sales decreased 1 percent for the week that ended on January 29, reported ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 1.6 percent.

Economic Calendar Reports Upcoming
February 7 – consumer credit
February 10 – wholesale trade
February 11 – consumer sentiment

46% of Refinancing Homeowners Pay Down Debt

Forty Six percent of homeowners that refinanced their first line mortgage lowered the principle balance during the 4th quarter of 2010 via paying in additional money at closing. This figure happens to be the highest “cash in” share seen since Freddie Mac started keeping records in 1985 on refinancing patterns. During the 3rd quarter, the revised cash in share was 35%.

Those that increased their home loan balance, cash out borrowers, by around 5% were 16% of all refinance loans. This is the lowest cash out share seen since the records began in 1985. During the 3rd quarter, the revised cash in share was 18%. The average cash out share seen over the last 25 years has been 62%.

The low cash-out refinancing movement united with higher cash-in share brought the net dollars of home equity converted to cash to the lowest level in more than a full decade. During the 4th quarter, around $6.8 billion in net home equity was cashed out during the refinance of conventional prime-credit home mortgages, which is down from $8.2 billion in the 3rd quarter. After this figure is adjusted for inflation, the cash-out volume was the lowest seen since the first quarter of 1997. Over the entire year of 2010, about $32 billion was cashed out of home equity on net when compared with $318 billion during the peak period of 2006. The 2010 volume was the smallest inflation-adjusted annual amount seen since 1997.

Both regular rate and term refinancings have been harder in refinancing in the last few years while cash out refinancing brought on by tighter underwriting standards and declines in home values. According to Freddie Mac’s analysis, the median appreciation of the collateral property for refinanced loans was a negative 3% over the median prior loan life of 4.1 years.

The median interest rate decline was about 1.25 percentage points, or a savings of 22% in interest costs. During the first year of the refinance loan life, these borrowers will save over $1,850 in principal and interest payments on a $200,000 loan. Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist stated, “Early in the fourth quarter mortgage rates on 30-year fixed-rate conforming loans were at very low levels, the likes of which haven’t been seen in more than 50 years. This encouraged borrowers who could do so to refinance, and many looked at their other investment options and chose to pay down a bit of their mortgage at the same time.”

“Consumers are generally shedding debt, and mortgages are just another way they’re doing it. Between 2007 and the third quarter of 2010, mortgage debt declined more than $400 billion, according to the Fed. The estimated volume of net equity cashed out in our report do not account for the homeowners who have paid off their mortgages in their entirety.”