Morning Briefing: Sales up, competition cools in The Golden State

by Steve Randall23 Aug 2016
Sales up, competition cools in The Golden State
California’s real estate agents were busy in July with pending sales up 3 per cent from June and 3.5 per cent from July 2015; but they also reported signs that competition in the market is cooling.

The California Association of Realtors’ data shows that pending home sales were led by Southern California which increased 1.6 per cent year-over-year with notably strong increases in Orange and San Diego counties.

In the Bay Area, pending sales were down 3.5 per cent year-over-year and 3.8 per cent from June.

However, San Francisco county remained strong with a 20.6 per cent rise in pending sales year-over-year.
Realtors reported slower growth in floor calls, listing appointments and open house traffic in July.

There was also an easing of the proportion of homes selling for above asking price (34 per cent in July v 38 per cent in June) and the premium for those home slipping to 7.8 per cent from 11 per cent a month earlier.

Sixty-six per cent of homes received multiple offers in July compared to 72 per cent in June and 26 per cent of homes sold with a discount in July compared to 23 per cent in June.
Massachusetts sales dip after 14 months of gains
Massachusetts has seen more than a year of strong home sales but real estate agents report that sales slipped in July amid tight inventory.

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors sold 5,799 single-family homes, down 14 per cent from a year earlier; and 2,093 condos, down 18.1 per cent year-over-year.

“Buyers finally took a break for the first time since May 2015,” said 2016 MAR President Annie Blatz, branch executive at Kinlin Grover Real Estate in Brewster. “So much of this year’s activity came early when the market typically is slow. We also know some buyers are getting priced out of the market, and the only way we can fix this is with more inventory.”

Prices increased to a median $376,750 for single-family homes (up 3.5 per cent year-over-year) and to $360,000 for condos (up 5.9 per cent) while inventory fell 29.2 per cent y-o-y for single-family homes and 18.1 per cent for condos.
Foreclosure homeowners in FL targeted in fake lawyer scam
Struggling homeowners in Coral Springs, FL were targeted by two men posing as lawyers.

The Sun-Sentinel reports that Joseph Anton Hilton, 56, and Adam Forman, 46 set up The Asset Protection Law Firm with offices in the city and convinced 300 homeowners at risk of foreclosure that they could help them keep their properties.

However, neither of the men were licensed to practice law in the state and the Florida Attorney’s Office said they “deceived homeowners into paying hefty upfront and monthly fees for legal services not supervised or approved by licensed attorneys."

Both men have been charged with the 3rd-degree felony of practicing law without a license.


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