What’s Happening???????

By: Mark Wisterman

My 2013 Photo-Web-Revised

 

So do you ever wonder how a real estate agent reacts to a weekly market report like this one after being through 7 years of career challenges like the Lake Oroville real estate market  has presented?

The answer lies in the 1982 movie “Poltergeist” Click on the image to get the answer.

Continue reading

Look Ma, No REO’s!

By: Mark Wisterman

My 2013 Photo-Web-Revised

 

Well, well, well what do we have here in the Lake Oroville area? The end of the Oroville foreclosure market?

Looking at this week’s home sales data for the Greater Oroville area you might draw such a conclusion being  there was not ONE foreclosed property that sold in the past week. (see the red highlighted stat).  To bolster your conclusion you may also point to the fact  that this is the first week since I have been tracking this number dating back to October 2009 that there has not been at least one bank-owned Oroville home that has sold.

As I prepared to share this week’s Oroville real estate information with you my plan was to caution you that we should certainly expect to see more foreclosure sales take place and that it is a little early to say the foreclosure market in the Oroville area has met with extinction.  However, as I was typing the first paragraph of this weekly editorial, and because I am such a great multitasker, I began think that I may be…..yes, wrong!

Maybe the “foreclosure market” IS over! Oh sure, there are still bank-owned homes for sale, but does the current inventory of Oroville bank-owned homes (19 homes, or less than 10% of the available inventory) actually constitute a “market?”  I wonder?

Here is another interesting fact this week: Continue reading

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

By: Mark WistermanMy 2013 Photo-Web-Revised

 

Wow! Now that was quite a week in the Lake Oroville real estate market and beyond!!!!!!!!

The events of the week brought back a memory or two of the past when I worked with Bob Beever. Bob had a lot of favorite little sayings. One of them was, “It was like being on Mr. Toad’s

Wild Ride!” Now, I can’t really remember in what instance he used it, but I know what he meant, because I have been on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. And, even if you have never been to Disneyland,  you have just experienced it for yourself  if you are currently attempting to buy a home, or sell a home right now.

Mr Toad Wild Ride

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, or camping out on Lake Oroville with no contact with the outside world, you know that mortgage rates took off faster than a speeding bullet this week. It is interesting, and somewhat disappointing  to me to see the reaction to what transpired this week.

Just a month ago, on this very Lake Oroville real estate market  blog site, we discussed the potential for rates to jump like this See my post of May 23, 2013. So what happened to make interest rates move like they did. If you listen to the media, you would think it was all Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s fault. Bernanke was quoted as saying that if the economy continues to improve as the Fed is projecting, that there could be reduction in the amount of bond purchases that that the Fed is making sometime towards the end of this year and it is possible that by mid-2014 they will discontinue the bond purchases all together. Remember, these bond purchases, of over $1 TRILLION per year, are being used to artificially keep interest rates low in an effort to help the economy improve.

I have wondered for a while now how Bernanke is going to extract the Fed from this bond buying without tanking the housing market and the economy. Taking a trillion dollars out of the economy without sending it spirally out of control is going to take more magic that even David Copperfield can conjure up.

Here is my take on this: 

There is NO WAY that Bernanke can just come out one day, cold turkey, and say that the Fed has actually begun to pull back.  He has to ease into this. To do otherwise would be an utter disaster. In my view the stock market would probably drop 20% in a day if he just announced the end without any warning.  His testimony to Congress last month and his press conference this week is his way of  trying to avoid a meltdown.

Which brings me back to my comment about my disappointment with the reaction to all of this.

It seems that everyone is blaming Bernanke for the jump in rates and the drop in the stock market. Now, although I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, I am not smart enough to know if Bernanke has handled this absolutely correctly. But you could have stayed at a Motel 6 last night and still figured out that this program has to end sometime and the end was getting closer. But no!! Wall Street’s reaction was like that of a spoiled kid having his allowance taken away!  In reality Bernanke didn’t change anything with regards to the bond buying, but the market absolutely ignored the “facts on the ground” and reacted with pure emotion sending rates on an upward spiral that still continues today, yet at a much smaller pace.

As with all reactions of this magnitude you should expect to see rates moderate in the coming few weeks and may even back track a bit as the market sees that the economy, while stronger, is far from strong and may even weaken in the 2nd half of the year which, in my opinion, will keep rates in the 4.25%-4.75% range.

 

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A Taxing Situation

By: Mark Wisterman

 

Here is an illustration of how the assessed valuation calculation works when you have been awarded a reduction in your assessment.

We are going to assume the following:

1. Joe Homeowner has just had the assessed valuation on his Lake Oroville home reduced from $300,000 to $225,000
2. For the sake of keeping this discussion as straightforward as possible, Mr. Homeowner will make no improvements to his Lake Oroville home.
3. Over the next 5 years  the value of his Lake Oroville home rises 10% per year

Under Prop 13 rules Mr. Homeowner’s assessed valuation, before the reduction can only increase a maximum of 2% per year. Without the reduction, under Prop 13, in the next tax year, Mr. Homeowner’s assessed valuation could be no more than $306,000 ($300,000 + the 2% increase of $6,000).

While still enjoying the benefits of the reduced assessment, the  2% Prop 13 limitation does not apply. In the tax year following the reduction a reassessment is done to reflect the 10% valuation increase. The new assessment becomes $247,500 ($225,000 + 10%).

The following year the assessment will be increased to $272,250 ($247,500 + 10%)

Year 3 will be $299,475 ($272,250 + 10%)

Which now brings us to year 4. And here is the twist:

Notice that the year 3 value is still below the $300,000 pre-reduced assessment. Does this mean that the county can increase the assessment another 10% to $329,423 ($299,475 +10%), or do they assess it at the $300,000 from 3 years ago.

The answer is: Neither.

During the time that the reduced assessment is in place there is a running calculation kept of what the assessed valuation would have been WITHOUT a reduction ever taking place. This is called the Factored Base Year Value. The current assessment cannot exceed this Factored Base Year Value. In our case, the year 4 assessed value can be no more that $324,730. Which is the equivalent to adding 2% per year to Mr. Homeowner’s $300,000 original assessment.

If you are now thoroughly confused, I do not blame you. Here are a couple of websites for you to visit that have more detailed information. But, with values on the rise, it is important for you to know how it will affect you in this regard.

 

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Almost Weekly Sales Report

By: Mark Wisterman

 I know, I know, I can’t keep calling it the weekly Lake Oroville housing report if I don’t actually report WEEKLY.  So, my phrase of the day is: Better late than never.

On the whole, there is not anything too earth-shattering in the Oroville real estate numbers over the past couple of weeks.  Unit sales are remaining fairly steady and the inventory of homes for sale in the Oroville market is sustaining the low levels that we have seen for a few months now. Oroville buyers are still having a tough time dealing with these low inventories in the face of rapidly rising interest rates, while sellers continue to hold back from listing their homes for sale waiting for the market values to climb higher.

And speaking of sellers: Continue reading

A Recap of Lake Oroville Market Activity for April 2013

By: Mark Wisterman

Here is a short slide show recapping the activity in the Lake Oroville real estate market for the month of April 2013.

The number of homes that were sold in the months of March and April are the two largest back to back monthly sales of Oroville homes since I have been tracking monthly sales dating back to October 2005. However, there has been a noticeable slowdown of closed sales so far during the month of May. Lack of inventory appears to be threatening to slow the sale of Lake Oroville homes for sale. As usual I will keep an eye on the market and continue to keep you informed of any trends that develop.

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Are We Sitting On Another Powder Keg?

By: Mark Wisterman

I have tried to do my best to refrain from watching too much TV news in the morning over the past few months.

For a news junkie like me, as my wife will attest, it has been very difficult to do this. After all, if I don’t watch all the depressing, ridiculous, and almost always inaccurate news reporting of the day, how am I supposed feed my own depression and anxiety. (I am ALMOST kidding). Continue reading

Weekly Sales Review is Back

By: Mark Wisterman

Here we are once again, meeting to review the past week’s market activity of Oroville home sales in the Lake Oroville real estate market.

There is not much out of the ordinary to report this week.  The only interesting statistic in this chart concerns the number “distressed” sales (bank owned or short sales) that have taken place 2 of the last 3 weeks. With only one of these sales last week and just 2 of them 2 weeks ago it will be interesting going forward to see if this is an early sign of a trend developing in the sale of Oroville homes or if it is just a temporary slowdown. The next few weeks will tell.

In a recent post on our office Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/RealtyWorld.CA  I commented about the perception some buyers, and quite frankly their agents, have about prices in today’s Lake Oroville real estate market.  The comment being that there is no factual basis for anyone to make a blanket statement that everything is selling for more that asking price.  In fact for the 4 years that I have been tracking Oroville home sales there have been only 4 weeks where the average sales price has exceeded the average listing price. And not one, I repeat, NOT ONE of those weeks has occurred in 2013. In fact, the average sales price to listing price ratio is pretty much within historic norms. That is certainly not to say that some homes have not sold for more that asking price, because they have. My point here is that, as a buyer in the Oroville real estate market, you need to be sure you are fully informed about what the market is actually doing. It is easy to get sucked into the real estate hype. But do not feel bad if you do because many who work in the industry get sucked into it to. The reason: They do not take time to actually look at the numbers.

Lucky for you, you have this Lake Oroville real estate market blog site to help you stay on top of the numbers.

 

MLS Stats for Oroville Area Week Ending Week Ending Week Ending % Change
5/2/2013 5/9/2013 5/16/2013 Previous Week
# of Total Sales 10 13 10 -23.08%
# REO/Short Sales Sold (SS) 2 7 1 -85.71%
% Sales that are REO/SS 20.00% 53.85% 10.00% -81.43%
Avg. List Price $132,430 $141,500 $138,350 -2.23%
Avg. Sold Price $127,195 $130,244 $132,445 1.69%
Sold Price % of Listing Price 96.05% 92.05% 95.73% 4.01%
Avg. Days On The Market 57 96 94 -2.08%
Total Sales Volume $1,271,950 $1,693,169 $1,456,900 -13.95%
# of Single Family Listings 151 158 156 -1.27%
# Foreclosed On Market 17 21 20 -4.76%
% of Foreclosed on Market 11.26% 13.29% 12.82% -3.54%
# Short Sales on Market 9 6 8 33.33%
% Short Sales on Market 5.96% 3.80% 5.13% 35.04%
Days of Inventory Left 106 85 109

 

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My Latest Market Minute

By: Mark Wisterman

Here is the second installment of the newest feature that was recently added to this Lake Oroville real estate market blog.

I call this video feature “Mark’s Real Estate Minute (or 2). Why the “or 2?” Because I have quickly found that I talk to darned much and there is NO WAY that I will every be able to limit these spots to 1 minute!!!! The latest and greatest of these spots will always be on the sidebar of this site for easy access.

I will periodically produce these spots to provide my perspective and advice on a wide array of topics including those you may like to hear about. A lot of changes are once again taking place in the Oroville real estate market and I think it is absolutely essential that you have as much information about Oroville market conditions, as well as market conditions in the greater Butte County real estate market area.

As the old saying goes, “Information is Power.”  And this is exactly what I want to provide to you; the power to make the right decision regarding your real estate needs.  It is my hope that I can pack enough info into each one of these ‘minutes’ to make a difference.

To make this little corner of  this blog site work I am going to need your help. Please e-mail or text or IM me at my Facebook page with any questions or topics that you would like to have addressed.

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News Flash: More Completed Transactions To Report

By: Mark Wisterman

Congratulations to our agents who worked so hard to complete these transactions in the Lake Oroville real estate market. View the video for details.

 

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