The Collected Works of Author and Blogger Larry Roberts

Archive for 2014

Mel Watt receives criticism from both political parties, demonstrating he balances the competing ends, a competent replacement for Ed DeMarco. I was wrong about Mel Watt. Despite my concerns he would use his position to advance a left-wing agenda, at least so far, he's proven a capable administrator of the GSEs. I am a big fan of Ed DeMarco, the man Mel Watt replaced, and perhaps I was not open to change at the GSEs because of my admiration for Mr. DeMarco, but so far Mel Watt has surprised me. Prior to taking over as head of the Federal Home Finance Agency (FHFA), the overseer of the GSEs, Mel Watt pandered to left-wing constituents, promoting principal reductions and other destructive…[READ MORE]

Many borrowers spent their home equity during the housing bubble, and now they want income tax relief on the money they spent as income. Mortgage equity withdrawal feels like free money. When this money comes from home-price appreciation on a primary residence, the borrower did nothing to earn this money, and since a primary residence has a large capital gains tax exclusion, the borrower won't pay any taxes, income or capital gains, on free money they extract from their house. Obviously, this makes mortgage equity withdrawal a very desirable source of spending money. Of course, borrowed money is not free money, and it must be repaid. Most HELOC abusers expected the house to pay off this bill for them, but…[READ MORE]

Shevy Akason, exclusive agent for OC Housing News, is named a Top Producer for his great work with OC Housing News customers and others. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Shevy Akason, exclusive agent for OC Housing News, is named a Top Producer in Orange County, California, real estate sales. Shevy Akason earned Top Producer status at his 1,200 agent brokerage through representing OC Housing News clients and many others. This is the sixth consecutive year Mr. Akason has been awarded this prestigious and coveted award. IRVINE, Calif., November 24, 2014 – Shevy Akason consistently delivers results for his many clients. Starting from scratch in 2007, he quickly developed a growing group of satisfied clients by delivering more than expected and always putting…[READ MORE]

Historically, properties in this market sell at a 18.5% discount. Today's discount is 21.8%. This market is 3.2% undervalued. Median home price is $291,500 with a rental parity value of $375,000. This market's discount is $83,500. Monthly payment affordability has been improving over the last 4 month(s). Momentum suggests improving affordability. Resale prices on a $/SF basis declined from $166/SF to $165/SF. Resale prices have been falling for 2 month(s). Over the last 12 months, resale prices rose 13.7% indicating a longer term upward price trend. Median rental rates increased $0 last month from $1,696 to $1,697. The current capitalization rate (rent/price) is 5.6%. Rents have been rising for 5 month(s). Price momentum signals rising rents over the next three…[READ MORE]

Plagued by affordability problems, the Western US endured a 5% decline in home sales in October 2014. Ever since mortgage interest rates suddenly and unexpectedly rose from 3.5% to 4.5% in May of 2013, the market has been weak. For almost a year prices were flat while sales volumes declined. The spring rally of 2014 pushed prices a little higher, driven mostly by rising rents, but resale volume was very low, suggesting the gains do not represent fundamentally strong demand from an improving economy. For the housing market to really improve, the fundamentals underpinning the market must improve because manipulating inventory and interest rates are short-term market props, not fundamental drivers of demand. The house price rally in 2012 and…[READ MORE]

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