Brentwood, CA Condominium Sales Are Active In 2011

Brentwood, CA Condominium Sales Are Active In 2011

Despite the economic rollercoaster ride everyone seems to be on these days, the Brentwood, California real estate market has been very active this year having seen 109 condominiums sold to date.

There are currently about 72 Brentwood condominiums available with a median price of $595,000. In addition, there are also 34 condominiums currently in Escrow which only reaffirms the premise that people are buying because of the extremely low interest rates.

Out of the 34 condominiums under contract, 24 of those are priced at $599,000 or less and demographically speaking are 1st time home buyers.

One bedroom condominiums now are available in the low 300’s and entry level two bedroom condominiums could be purchased starting in the high 300’s.

We have not seen Brentwood, CA condominium prices as affordable as these in many years.

Five Tips for Mortgage Rate Shopping Today

Here are five tips for those shopping for a mortgage today, especially if you need to refinance an existing loan:

1. Do the Paperwork Early

Once you’ve found the mortgage professional you’d like to work with, get started on the necessary paperwork. Rates move regularly,
and if paperwork has been started your file can be processed more quickly when rates hit a low. When you start the application process, your credit score will be pulled and you’ll need to submit support documentation including W-2 forms and pay stubs. You might be asked for updated documents nearer to closing.

2. Shape Up Your Credit

Check credit reports and fix problems as soon as possible.  Even seemingly small charges can haunt a borrower: A forgotten, unpaid parking ticket, for example, can noticeably affect a credit score, she said.

3. Decide the Rate Point You Want

If you have a 7% rate now, rates would have to hit 6% or lower for it to make financial sense to refinance.  Talk with your mortgage
professional about what’s best for your particular situation.

4. Don’t Waver on the Rate

Once you determine the rate you need, it’s wisest to stick to that decision. Consumers sometimes gamble that rates will go lower, and the plan can backfire if rates reverse course.

5. Remember, Rates are Still Good

Yes, rates could fall and create another record low as a result of a deepening of a recession, but it isn’t likely that many consumers would crave lower rates at the cost of economic shocks.


Mortgage Rates Influenced by China & Obama

Mortgage Rates Influenced by China Economy Slowing, Obama Administration Restrictions

In the last week, China’s announced that it will endeavor to slow its economic growth; at the same time the Obama Administration’s proposed new restrictions on the activities of financial institutions, as originally proposed by economic adviser and former Federal Reserve Chairman under the Reagan Administration, Paul Volker.  Both measures are expected to lead to slower economic growth in the US.  While these actions may hurt the stock market, they do benefit fixed income markets. As a result, mortgage rates ended a little lower.

As to China, it released a report showing that its GDP grew at an 8.7% pace in 2009. In a move to avoid inflation that normally accompanies such growth, China announced that it is going to curb bank lending. Any intentional slowdown by China will be felt around the world, including here in the US.

The Obama Administration proposed limiting the size and activities of large banks in order to reduce the risks to the financial system as a whole, namely re-instituting some variance of the Glass Steagall Act, and referred to as the ‘Obama-Volcker’ Proposal. If passed by Congress, this too would lead to slower growth for the financial sector. The potential for slower economic growth and the resulting reduction in inflationary pressures was ultimately favorable for mortgage rates.  Hence, the adjustment in rates.

The benefit for home buyers from the continued lower interest rates will obviously have a positive influence on the housing market.


Update on Real Estate Interest Rates

Fixed mortgage rates followed bond yields lower

For the third consecutive week, pushing 30-year mortgages below 5 percent once more. Similarly, ARM rates eased along with shorter-term rates, as the federal funds futures market indicates no increase in the Federal Reserve’s target rate following its upcoming committee meetings on January 26th and 27th.

Because of reduced sample sizes and work disruptions that occur with severe weather, housing starts tend to be more volatile during winter months. And, indeed, housing starts declined 4.0 percent in December, falling short of the market consensus of no change. Building permits, which are less vulnerable to weather interruptions, unexpectedly jumped 10.9 percent.

Conforming Loan Limits ($417,000 and Under)

Loan Program Interest Rate Points
30 Year Fixed 4.750% 1.000
10/1 ARM 4.250% 1.000
5/1 ARM 3.625% 1.000

Jumbo Loan Limits ($729,751 and Over)

Loan Program Interest Rate Points
10/1 ARM 5.375% 1.000
7/1 ARM 5.125% 1.000
5/1 ARM 4.750% 1.000

Agency Jumbo Limits ($417,001 – $729,750)

Loan Program Interest Rate Points
30 Year Fixed 5.000% 1.000

Money Rates

M11  M21
10 Yr Bond  3.61
Prime  3.25
6 Month Libor  0.42969

Any home buyers are looking at very good numbers right now.