San Diego’s homebuilding slump

San Diego County is on track to build fewer homes than it did last year, said permit records released this week.

Residential building permits for all homes — condos, apartments and single-family homes — are down 18 percent in the first nine months of 2017 compared to the same time last year, said the Real Estate Research Council of Southern California.

The only county with slower building was Orange County, which had a 21 percent reduction. All other Southern California counties had an increase in building in the first three quarters.

The findings come at a time when local and state politicians are adopting policies aimed at increasing residential construction as a way to slow rising prices or limit commute times for environmental reasons. A San Diego Housing Commission report in September, produced along with two city councilmen, said the city needed to triple its yearly housing production.

San Diego County had 6,054 permits issued, down from 7,412 permits from the same time in 2016. The county had produced roughly 10,000 units by the end of 2015 and 2016. To reach that number, the county would have to build nearly 4,000 homes in the last quarter of the year.

The slowdown is led by a drop in permits for multifamily construction, down by 2,209 permits, or 40 percent, compared to the same time last year.

Real estate analyst Russ Valone, president of MarketPointe Realty Advisors, said fewer new builders are coming to town because of land costs. He also noted that some lenders are wary of new projects because rent increases for high-end apartments has slowed.

“As those newer projects’ rents push into the mid-$2,000 a month range, we started to see a slowdown in the rate of increases,” he said. “I think you may have some lenders looking at the slowed increases and starting to take a cautious view of the marketplace.”

However, he said many of the large apartment and condo projects being built right now had permits pulled at the end of 2016, so its possible the data isn’t as significant. The county has been building more apartments than traditional homes since the end of the Great Recession.

But one increase so far this year? Single-family homes are up, producing 851 more homes than the same time last year.

Read the rest HERE.

FHFA increases conforming loan limits: San Diego County to $649,750

Last year, the Federal Housing Finance Agency increased the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for the first time since the housing crisis.

For the second year in a row, and the second time since 2006, the FHFA is increasing the conforming loan limits for Fannie and Freddie in 2018.

The FHFA announced Tuesday that it is increasing the conforming loan limits from $424,100 to $453,100 for 2018.

The conforming loan limits for Fannie and Freddie are determined by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which established the baseline loan limit at $417,000 and mandated that, after a period of price declines, the baseline loan limit cannot rise again until home prices return to pre-decline levels.

Fannie and Freddie’s conforming loan limits stayed at $417,000 until last year, when the FHFA finally increased the loan limit to $424,100.

But, as the FHFA noted Tuesday, home prices are on the rise, which necessitates a second straight yearly increase in the conforming loan limit.

The FHFA’s third quarter 2017 House Price Index report, which includes estimates for the increase in the average U.S. home value over the last four quarters, showed that house prices increased 6.8%, on average, between the third quarters of 2016 and 2017.

Therefore, the FHFA said that the baseline maximum conforming loan limit in 2018 will increase by the same percentage – from $424,100 to $453,100.

Loan limits will also be increasing in what the FHFA calls “high-cost areas,” where 115% of the local median home value exceeds the baseline loan limit.

Under HERA, the maximum loan limit in those “high-cost areas” is calculated as a multiple of the area median home value, while setting a “ceiling” on that limit of 150% of the baseline loan limit.

According to the FHFA, median home values “generally increased” in high-cost areas in 2017, which drove up the maximum loan limits in many of those areas.

Therefore, the new ceiling loan limit for one-unit properties in most high-cost areas will be $679,650 (which is 150% of $453,100) for one-unit properties in the contiguous U.S.

Read the rest HERE.

Here are the changes to California’s Homeowner Bill of Rights you need to know

Riddled throughout California’s Homeowner Bill of Rights are the words “repealed” effective “Jan. 1, 2018.” Unfortunately, many loan servicers assume that means the entire HOBR will be repealed and that all they have to worry about going forward is complying with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Loss Mitigation Rules.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. Many sections of HOBR are being replaced by new rules that automatically go into effect Jan. 1, 2018. In many instances, the new provisions are less onerous than their predecessors.

But, in some very key areas, the new provisions can cause servicers more problems. The key is to understand what provisions are being changed and how they impact your compliance procedures.

For starters, “HOBR II” attempts to remove the distinction between servicers conducting more or less than 175 annual foreclosures. In most respects, all servicers are treated the same going forward.

Civil Code Section 2923.55 will be history in 2018. Going forward, Section 2923.5 sets forth the pre-NOD contact requirements for Servicers of all sizes. The two statutes are substantially similar, except that the written notice regarding service members and the statement that the borrower may request a copy of the note, deed of trust, assignment, or payment history will no longer be required starting in 2018.

Read the rest HERE

Mortgage Rates Bounce Up

Home loan mortgage rates increased this week. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked up 6 basis points, while the 30-year mortgage rate jumped 5 basis points to 3.95 percent. Today’s survey rate is the highest rate in nearly four months.

 

GOP tax plan: What does it mean for San Diego housing?

A tax plan introduced by House Republicans on Thursday could have a bigger impact on affluent San Diego County homebuyers than in the rest of the nation.

Why it matters: The plan would lower the annual mortgage interest deductions to newly issued loans totaling no more than $500,000, down from $1 million right now. Homes cost more in Southern California than much of the nation.

Impact locally: In September, the San Diego County median home price was $535,000. Typical buyers put 10 to 20 percent down, so most San Diegans would not have a loan affected by the new plan. However, luxury buyers with higher loans will see less of a tax benefit.

More details: There have been 17,862 homes out of 32,900 sold over $500,000 this year, said real estate tracker Reports on Housing.

Some examples: Matthew Shaver, a San Diego senior mortgage consultant at Finance of America, said he was processing 10 loans at the moment and all were under $470,000. He noted that the tax plan still would allow people with bigger loans to write off deductions up to $500,000.

“You still are going to get the bulk of the reduction,” he said.

For example, take a San Diego couple who decides to buy a home for $750,000. They would probably take out a fixed-rate loan and put 20 percent down. With a $600,000 loan at current interest rates, they would lose out on a $4,250 annual mortgage rate deduction under the proposed tax plan.

Read the rest HERE.

Printing a House

In December 2016, the Apis Cor company in cooperation with PIK proceeded to print the building using a mobile 3D printer. Construction took place at the Apis Cor company’s test facility in the town of Stupino, on the territory of the Stupino aerated concrete factory. Printing of self-bearing walls, partitions and building envelope were done in less than a day: pure machine time of printing amounted to 24 hours.