SMK Capital Management LLC
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Housing Inventory Disappears in California – November 2013

For most of the year, housing inventory was steadily increasing across the nation.  In California, it appeared that inventory hit a bottom in February of this year.  At that point, there were 109,000 homes available for sale.  The latest figures going out to October showed 127,000 homes available for sale and this was down from 134,000 reached in August.  There has also been a steady decline of homes available for rent…Read the full article.

Mortgage Rates Move Higher Again – November 2013

Mortgage rates will likely rise above 5 percent in 2014 and average 5.3 percent by the end of 2015, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s forecast. That would mark a big jump over where mortgage rates stand now. The MBA reported this week that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.33 percent, the lowest average since June…Read the full article.

Economy Added 204,000 Jobs – November 2013

The U.S. job market finally seems to be picking up — but for a shrinking share of the population.  The Labor Department reported Friday that the nation’s economy added 204,000 jobs in October, defying analysts’ expectations of weak results even as the federal government shutdown bumped up the unemployment rate to 7.3 percent. Businesses in retail, hospitality, manufacturing and health care expanded their payrolls significantly. Estimates of hiring for the previous two months were revised upward…Read the full article.

More Sellers Having to Reduce List Prices – November 2013

It’s a little early for annual look-backs, but 2013 will probably be recognized as the year of the buying frenzy… until it wasn’t. Nearly every month, headlines reported home prices hitting or surpassing five-year highs, and fierce bidding wars made some sellers question whether they should have listed their home for an even higher price. But increasingly, market indicators suggest that sellers are losing control of the market…Read the full article.

Better Lock in Your Mortgage Rate. Now! – September 2013

Real estate stocks rallied, and mortgage rates fell, as fears of Fed “tapering,” at least in the short term, evaporated.  The Federal Reserve will continue to buy U.S. Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities, both of which have kept mortgage rates well below historical norms for the past few years. Fed governors cited the recent rise in mortgage rates in their list of concerns that kept them from pulling out of asset purchases…Read the full article.

California Home Price Increases Most in 33 Years – June 2013

The median price of a previously owned house in California soared 31.9 percent in May, the largest year-over-year increase in more than three decades as sales of more expensive properties increased and inventory remained tight, a trade group said Monday. Last month, the state’s median home price increased to $417,350 from $316,460 in May 2012, according to Los Angeles-based California Association of Realtors…Read the full article.

Home prices across the US defy gravity, despite rising rates – August 26 2013

Home prices are going up, up, up, but it’s not a bubble just yet. The surge in housing prices over the past year may have some homebuyers wondering if the market has gotten ahead of itself. Rising interest rates aside, however, prices in most parts of the country appear to have plenty of room to move higher if the wider economic recovery remains intact…Read the full article

Chinese buyers flee Hong Kong for overseas property markets – June 25, 2013

On the seventh floor of a luxury hotel in the heart of Hong Kong, a Chinese couple listens carefully as an agent takes them on a virtual tour of an upmarket property development for sale – not in the former British colony, but in London. Cash-rich mainland Chinese, who some in Hong Kong blame for pushing property prices to record highs, have fled the city’s real estate market, scared off by cooling measures that have sent them scouring overseas for better options…Read the full article

California Home Price Increases Most in 33 Years – June 18, 2013

The median price of a previously owned house in California soared 31.9 percent in May, the largest year-over-year increase in more than three decades as sales of more expensive properties increased and inventory remained tight, a trade group said Monday. Last month, the state’s median home price increased to $417,350 from $316,460 in May 2012, according to Los Angeles-based California Association of Realtors.  The association reported that the year-over-year price increase is the biggest since February 1980, when it rose 29.1 percent to $94,4890 from $75,520 a year earlier…Read the full article

Pending home sales at highest point in at least nine years – June 13, 2013

There were more than 9,000 homes put under agreement in Massachusetts last month, the most for any month since the Massachusetts Association of Realtors began tracking data in 2004. Pending sales of condominiums also hit their highest point in the nine years of tracking. “May was a tipping point as increasing prices and interest rates pushed qualified buyers to make offers that sellers accepted in great numbers,” MAR President Kimberly Allard-Moccia, broker-owner of Century 21 Professionals in Braintree, said in a statement. “However, we still need more homes on the market and hopefully this activity will spark potential sellers to list their homes to help meet the demand.”…Read the full article