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OC REALTORS® Blog

News and Information to Keep You a Step Ahead!

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The Federal Housing Administration today released its 2015 Actuarial Review, a financial assessment of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, and the review shows that the fund has strongly rebounded, achieved greater overall health, and seen increased access to safe mortgage financing as cuts to FHA's annual mortgage insurance premium have taken hold.

The fund report found that since 2012, delinquency rates fell 40 percent, there was a 28 percent improvement in recovery rates, and there was a $40 billion increase in the value of the fund.

FHA undertook a series of administrative measures over the past few years to mitigate credit risk, including raising premiums. However, according to NAR estimates, nearly 250,000 creditworthy borrowers were priced out of the housing market in 2013 alone because of these increases. This represents another hurdle for borrowers, including first-time buyers. Earlier this month, NAR released its annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showing that the share of first–time buyers declined for the third consecutive year, remaining at its lowest point in nearly three decades.

In addition, FHA's 2014 actuarial assessment showed dramatic improvement through falling delinquency rates and improved recoveries on dispositions.

Recognizing the challenge that increasing mortgage insurance premiums posed to potential homeowners, FHA announced a 50 basis point cut to the premiums in January 2015. At the time, FHA estimated this would result in an average annual savings of $900 for nearly 2 million FHA homeowners. FHA also estimated that an additional 250,000 homebuyers would be spurred to purchase their first home within three years as a result of the cuts.

 

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

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C.A.R. members now can access the Legal information using a new smartphone app. Through the free app, C.A.R. members can access the following:

  • Recent laws 
  • Legal Q&As – sorted alphabetically or by category
  • The standard forms area of car.org
  • Custom mobile video player featuring the latest Legal Live and Everyday Ethics webinars
  • Access to zipForm® Mobile 
  • Detailed click-to-call contact us list featuring essential C.A.R. phone numbers and contact information
  • Push notification area

The push notifications will be used to alert members to Calls-to-Action, Red Alerts, and other critical legal issues. Future enhancements will include predicted wait times for the C.A.R. Legal hotline to help members gauge when the best time is to call.

Get more information and download the app

 

Source: California Association of REALTORS® 

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The RPA is the cornerstone of every successful real estate transaction. REALTORS® should be extremely well-versed with the principles and applications of this form. Receive step-by-step instruction from the expert! California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) Assistant General Counsel Gov Hutchinson will show you how to properly complete the RPA.

Even if you’ve previously taken an RPA course, you will benefit from this training:

  • Get familiar with the numerous changes made to the contract in 2014
  • Receive instruction on forms related to the RPA such as the Residential Listing Agreement (RLA), Requests for Repairs (RR), and more
  • Understand all mandatory and recommended disclosures Learn how to create, modify, cancel, or close a transaction
  • Ensure all commissions are paid-in-full and on-time
  • Better serve and protect your clients 

Cost:

$55 for OCAR REALTORS®
$80 for Non-Members

Registration:

Members, register via My Account

Non-Members, please send us your information here (we'll contact you to complete registration).

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Existing–home sales rebounded strongly in September following August's decline and have now increased year–over–year for 12 consecutive months. All four major regions experienced sales gains in September.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says a slight moderation in home prices in some markets and mortgage rates remaining below 4 percent gave more households the confidence to close on a home last month. "September home sales bounced back solidly after slowing in August and are now at their second highest pace since February 2007 (5.79 million)," he said. "While current price growth around 6 percent is still roughly double the pace of wages, affordability has slightly improved since the spring and is helping to keep demand at a strong and sustained pace."

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

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On Thursday, October 22, 2015, the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will begin consideration on the surface transportation reauthorization legislation.

One proposal would use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s credit risk guarantee fees (g-fees) to fund transportation programs.  Take action now to prevent Congress from placing an unnecessary long-term burden on American homeowners with a new Transportation Tax.

NAR strongly believes that a new tax on homeowners would also prevent Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from effectively managing their risk.

Tell Congress to STOP the the Housing Tax for Transportation!

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The overall tempo of real estate potential is benefitting from a number of positive factors. The job market has shown continual improvement, jobless rates are down, real average hourly and weekly earnings have been up and there has been good news in new household formation.

With positive economic news coming from many angles, there are no imminent factors to prepare for beyond the typical seasonal drop-off. From the mouths of market-analyzing pundits, we are in the midst of one of the healthiest housing markets in the past 15 years. The one thing we were anticipating in September, an increase in interest rates, did not happen. It most likely will before year's end. Until then, get out and enjoy the season... before El Nino comes!

Local Trends

New Listings were up 3.6 percent for detached homes and 1.3 percent for attached properties.

  • Pending Sales increased 4.6 percent for detached homes and 17.7 percent for attached properties.
  • The Median Sales Price was up 4.4 percent to $715,000 for detached homes and 11.3 percent to $425,000 for attached properties.
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 21.4 percent for detached units and 32.4 percent for attached units.

For the latest news on what's happening in your individual communities (in both Orange County and Long Beach), grab the OC FastStats Market Reports.

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The California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) has recently issued an alert advising that they are taking notice of salespersons who may be acting as or advertising themselves as "independent" real estate licensees. Under California's licensing system, salespersons must always "hang" their license with and work under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker. It is unlawful for a salesperson to conduct licensed real estate activity of their own.  Further, a real estate broker is required to supervise all salespersons licensed under them.

CalBRE is primarily concerned with two activities:

1. Property Management
A question that is often heard on the C.A.R. Legal Hotline is can a salesperson operate a property management business on their own?  The answer is NO!  A property management business must always be operated under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker.  

2. Branding as Independent Licensees 
Beginning this year, salespersons have been able to use "Team Names" and to obtain and use "Salesperson-owned Fictitious Business Names."  Perhaps due to this change in the law, CalBRE is noticing an upsurge in salespersons branding themselves as independent real estate professionals and acting as such, which is a real estate law violation.  CalBRE is also alerting brokers that facilitating such activity by a salesperson is likewise a real estate violation. 

Salespersons can use team names and own and use fictitious business names, but only when following the legal requirements and when affiliated with and operating under the supervision of a broker. C.A.R.'s Legal Q&A "Fictitious Business Names and Team Names", will help you make sure that you are following the law. CalBRE has also issued guidance on this.

 

Source: California Association of REALTORS®

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OCAR’s endorsed benefit administrator, The Benefits Store, has extended open enrollment for Kaiser plans through November 20, 2015 with an effective coverage date of December 1, 2015. OCAR REALTOR® and Affiliate Members are able to purchase group coverage. To speak with an agent, call (800) 446-2663 or visit them online.

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It's become something of a tradition to feature our veteran members in the November issue of the OC REALTOR®. We'd like to thank you, so email us your name, service information, and a photo of you in uniform (unless we already have one). Submission deadline is October 9.

Questions? Please contact Albert Ornelas at 949-586-6800 ext. 123.

 

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We encourage you to share this video on your social media and/or website. It's yet another tool that OCAR provides you to help your clients.

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UPDATED: Do you use the Supra eKEY app with an Apple product? Please read this before updating to iOS 9!

Apple released iOS 9 on 9/16 for iPhones and iPads. Version 2.1.0 of Supra’s eKEY app will not communicate with an iBox BT LE keybox. Instead of doing so, the eKEY will return to the home screen. This issue is specific to the iBox BT LE; the eKEY app on iOS 9 communicates properly with the iBox BT and iBox.

Supra has updated the eKEY app to work with iOS 9.  Please do not update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 9 until you have updated the eKEY app to version 2.2.1 which is available now.

This version of eKEY may prompt you for information related to the new end of showing notification feature scheduled for later this year. You may notice the following differences as you use the eKEY application:

  • For Apple device users, if Location Services is not enabled for eKEY, you will be prompted to do so when you open the eKEY app.
  • Approximately 30 minutes after performing an Obtain Key the eKEY app may display a “Showing Ended?” prompt with the option to select yes or no. This prompt only appears when the system cannot automatically detect the showing has ended.

For updates, visit Supra's website, here.

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When it comes to defending private property rights and protecting the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID), REALTORS® are a home owner's ally.  NAR is launching a dynamic, consumer-facing advocacy website called Home Ownership Matters.  Share the content with your clients. Let them know how REALTORS® and are on their side.

The website will feature:

  • Topical, high-quality videos
  • An “Ask the Expert” feature
  • Articles and stories about real estate-related news
  • Targeted content based on the visitor’s geography
  • Communication tools to help consumers take action on state and federal policies that matter to them
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C.A.R. has issued a statewide Call for Action asking California REALTORS® to contact their Member of Congress to oppose a proposal to tax mortgages to pay for highways. This provision was included in the Senate version of the long-term Transportation bill. While the U.S. Senate has already passed the bill, the House has not passed its version of the legislation. REALTORS® are asked to call their Congressional Representative to ask that the tax not be included in the House version of the bill.

Please look for an email from C.A.R. with the subject line, “Call for Action.”  This has personalized information in it for you to reach your Member of Congress. 

Didn't receive your email? Go to C.A.R.'s Red Alert message here

 

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In her first-ever video message, 2015 OCAR President Rita Tayenaka recaps the success of OCAR Palooza, discusses important safety training during REALTOR® Safety Month, and notes upcoming changes to RESPA-TILA (TRID).

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We’re collecting food for the OC Food Bank. Here’s How You Can Help:

Food Donations  

  • Fill your bag with the food list of items noted below.
  • Bag(s) are available at the Marketing Meetings and at both OCAR offices. 
  • Bag(s) need to be signed out at pick-up.
  • Return filled bags to either OCAR office no later than Friday, Sept.18 by 4:00 pm. 

Packing the Food 

Come to the Packing Party. If you are interested in helping to sort and pack-up the food donations, please join us at OCAR’s Laguna Hills office on Wednesday, September 23 from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm. Email Joanne Frank with your availability. 

Compassion Bag Food Items Needed

  • 2 - regular size boxes of breakfast cereal
  • 4 - regular size cans of vegetables
  • 2 - regular size cans of fruit
  • 2 - cans tuna
  • 2 - cans chili
  • 1 - jar peanut butter
  • 1 - 1 lb. bag of beans 
  • 1 - 1 lb. bag of white rice

 Download the flyer to share with your colleagues

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released a new online toolkit to help real estate professionals understand the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule (often referred to as TRID) and how to explain those changes to clients. 

Access the CFPB's Real Estate Professionals Guide

 

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According to the U.S. Census, homeownership is at 63.4 percent for the second quarter of 2015, down 1.3 percent from the second quarter of 2014. This is the lowest rate of homeownership since 1967. To put that in greater context, homeownership peaked at 69.2 percent in 2004, and the 50-year average is 65.3 percent.

Get the full scoop:

 

Access OC FastStats

 

 

 

 

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The California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) applauds Governor Brown for signing into law AB 345, a C.A.R.-sponsored bill that earmarks three hours of a real estate broker's existing mandated continuing education (CE) for a course on the management and supervision of real estate licensed activity. Governor Brown signed the bill into law on Monday, July 13, and the bill becomes effective Jan. 1, 2016.

AB 345 also permits salespersons to elect to take a course containing relevant information to assist them in understanding how to be effectively supervised by a responsible broker or branch manager.

“C.A.R. commends Governor Brown for signing AB 345 into law,” said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey. “Since the California Bureau of Real Estate can hold a manager accountable for failure to supervise, C.A.R. believes it important that a real estate broker understand how to properly manage real estate offices, salespersons, and broker associates, in order to minimize risk for all parties involved.”

Current law requires a real estate broker to exercise reasonable supervision over the activities of his or her salespersons. Existing law also requires real estate licensees renewing a license to complete 45 hours of California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) approved CE. Currently, 15 hours of that CE requirement are earmarked for specified courses, while 18 hours are dedicated to consumer protection courses, with the remaining 12 hours of CE being elective.

 

Source: California Association of REALTORS®

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Sustained job and income growth gave home buyers the confidence in July to jump into the California housing market, pushing home sales to their highest level in nearly three years, according to a report released today by the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). Home sales have risen year-over-year for six straight months.

According to C.A.R.’s newest housing market indicator, which measures the sales-to-list price ratio*, properties are again generally selling below the list price, except in the San Francisco Bay Area, where a lack of homes for sale is pushing sales prices higher than original asking prices.  The statewide measure suggests that homes are selling at a median of 98.8 percent of the list price, slightly up from 98.5 percent at the same time last year. The Bay Area is the only region where homes are selling above original list prices due to constrained supply with a ratio of 105.2 percent, up from 103.4 percent a year ago, but down from 106.3 percent in June.

Report Highlights:

  • Existing, single-family home sales totaled 449,530 in July on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, up 2.7 percent from June and 12.7 percent from July 2014
  • Statewide sales were above the 400,000 mark for the fourth straight month
  • July statewide median home price was $488,260, down 0.3 percent from June but up 5.4 percent from July 2014
  • Available housing supply remains constrained at 3.3 months of inventory
  • The median number of days it took to sell a single-family home rose slightly in July to 35.1 days compared with 33.4 days in June but was down slightly from 35.9 days in July 2014 

Read the full report here.

 

Source: California Association of REALTORS®

*Sales-to-list price ratio is an indicator that reflects the negotiation power of home buyers and home sellers under current market conditions.  The ratio is calculated by dividing the final sales price of a property by its last list price and is expressed as a percentage.  A sales-to-list ratio with 100 percent or above suggests that the property sold for more than the list price, and a ratio below 100 percent indicates that the price sold below the asking price.

    

 

 

 

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A promising climb in home sales throughout the country amidst insufficient supply caused home prices to steadily rise in most metro areas during the second quarter, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of REALTORS®.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the housing market has shifted into a higher gear in recent months. "Steady rent increases, the slow rise in mortgage rates and stronger local job markets fueled demand throughout most of the country this spring," he said. "While this led to a boost in sales paces not seen since before the downturn, overall supply failed to keep up and pushed prices higher in a majority of metro areas."

Adds Yun, "With home prices and rents continuing to rise and wages showing only modest growth, declining affordability remains a hurdle for renters considering home ownership — especially in higher-priced markets."

Orange County is one of those higher priced markets (in the top 5 to be exact).

Read the Quarterly Report here.

 

Source: National Association of REALTORS®, "Home Prices Rise in Nearly All Metro Areas in Second Quarter"

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