Category Archives: Uncategorized

Do Real Estate Prices Influence Super Bowl Appearances?

The 10 NFL teams that have appeared in the Super Bowl the most, seven are from cities with high median home prices, when compared to the national median home price. The opposite is also true; the 10 teams that have been to the Super Bowl the least, if they have even gone at all, generally come from cities with low median home prices.

The following question begs to be asked: Is there a correlation between the real estate prices of the city an NFL team comes from and the number of times that team has been to the Super Bowl?

NFL teams From Cities with High Real Estate Prices Tend to Succeed
The following facts support the existence of a correlation between Super Bowl appearances and high real estate prices:

The 10 teams that have been to the Super Bowl the most come from cities with an average median home price (i.e., the average of the median home prices for all 10 cities) of $339,800.
The 10 teams that have been to the Super Bowl the least come from cities with an average median home price of $212,450.

The average median home price of the 10 teams that have been to the Super Bowl the most is significantly higher than the national median home price ($216,700) and the average median home price of all the cities that host NFL teams ($243,341).

Consider some examples of teams and cities that adhere to this possible correlation. San Francisco’s median home price, $751,600, is one of the highest in America. The city also hosts a team that has been to five Super Bowls. The median home price in Washington, D.C., $443,700, is twice that of the national median, and the Redskins have made five trips to the big game. One of New York’s two teams, the Giants, has been to the Super Bowl five times as well; the Big Apple has the high median home price of $517,900.

Real Estate Prices Not Always an Indicator. There are significant exceptions to this hypothetical correlation, however. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, and Green Bay Packers, three of the NFL’s most illustrious teams, come from cities with low median home prices. Pittsburgh, for example, has a median home price of $92,500, which is a whopping 57.3 percent lower than the national median.

There are also exceptions at the opposite end of the table. Some teams that have rarely been to the Super Bowl come from cities with very high real estate prices. Two of America’s most expensive housing markets, San Diego and Seattle, have only been to the Super Bowl once. If there really were a correlation, the Chargers and Seahawks would consistently be two of the best teams in the NFL.

Did this Correlation Exist in the 2012-2013 NFL Season? Partially. San Francisco has high real estate prices, but Baltimore does not; its median home price of $168,400 is 22.3 percent lower than the national median. If real estate prices always determined who made it to the big game, teams like the Giants, Seahawks, or even the Raiders would be playing on Feb. 3.

The teams from the cities with higher real estate prices won exactly half of the playoff games they played in. In the quarterfinals, New England and San Francisco advanced while Denver and Seattle were felled. New England then succumbed to defeat in the semifinals, yet San Francisco was able to produce a last-minute victory and advance to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl Statistics
Real estate prices aside, impress your friends and family with your knowledge of America’s most popular sporting event by sharing these fun facts with them.

First Super Bowl: 1966, Green Bay Packers 35, Kansas City Chiefs 10.
Most wins: Pittsburgh Steelers, six wins (out of a total of eight appearances).
Most popular Super Bowl venue: Louisiana/Mercedes-Benz Superdome, seven Super Bowls.
Most-viewed Super Bowl: Super Bowl XLVI (2012), 111.3 million viewers.
Cost per second for commercials during upcoming Super Bowl: $133,333.
Most money bet on a Super Bowl with Vegas bookies: $94.5 million, Super Bowl XL (2006).
Average number of calories consumed per person watching the Super Bowl: 1,200.

By: Andy Fulton Jan 29, 2013


Leave a comment

February 2, 2014 · 12:59 am

Real estate experts say local ‘mini-bubble is over’

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The real estate market in Bakersfield is “in recovery” and trending toward “stabilizing prices.” That’s the view of long-time analyst Gary Crabtree. He said the market is changing from a sellers’ advantage to a buyers’ advantage, though others see opportunities for both.

“You might say the mini-bubble is over,” Crabtree told Eyewitness News on Monday. “We should see some transition back into a normal market.”

From Affiliated Appraisers, he’s been tracking the local market since 1993.

The last few years have been anything but normal, starting with the real estate bubble and then the effects of the bust of 2006-07.

Now, Crabtree said he sees prices coming down and starting to level off.

He said August saw a peak, with the median home price at $199,400. As of October, was $185,000.

Crabtree said that’s a drop of 7.2 percent, but the October median price is still 19.4 percent higher than a year before.

He admitted prices do dip in winter, but he sees a trend.

“We’re seeing a little more decline in prices this winter than we have in the last two winters,” Crabtree explained.

Also, the number of homes on the market is up. On Monday, he saw 1,001 homes for sale, saying that’s about 70 percent more than a year before.

More houses for sale and lowering prices make things better for buyers, he said.

But, Realtor Scott Tobias also sees good news for sellers.

“Right now, it’s a window of opportunity,” Tobias said.

For buyers, the interest rates are good.

“They’re still low,” Tobias said. “And, I believe they’ll go higher by the end of the year.”

He said there are “great” opportunities for buyers to get loans while prices are still reasonable, and thinks buyers with good credit should be able to buy.

Tobias said for sellers, prices are better than a year ago, and many owners now have more equity in their homes.

Both Tobias and Crabtree said investors are no longer in the market, snapping up homes in foreclosure to rent out.

“Investors pulled out of the market three months ago,” Crabtree said.

But, those people who lost homes to foreclosure or short sales are now more likely to be back in the market as buyers.

“Now we have cleared that three-year barrier that the government set, and now they can buy again,” Crabtree said. He called these the “boomerang buyers.”

“Now they’ll be able to leave the rental market,” Crabtree said.

While that means more buyers, Crabtree said another trend spells fewer homes for sale. He said residential construction appears to be declining, because the number of building permits is down.

“(The builders) were averaging a little over 100 permits a month for 2013,” Crabtree said. “In September, they only pulled 57.”

But, the buyers also face challenges because of the current economy.

“It’s still rather weak,” Crabtree said. “Unemployment is rather high, we don’t have meaningful job creation.”

Winter is the “off peak” period for real estate, but Crabtree said there are some special changes in the latest local data.

“It leads me to believe that going forward into the year 2014, it is not going to be anything like what we’ve experienced in 2013 and the latter part of 2012,” he said.

By Carol Ferguson, Eyewitness News Nov 11, 2013

Leave a comment

Filed under Local Real Estate News, Real Estate News

Is FHA able to endorse single-family loans if the government shuts down?


20131001-091454.jpgThe mortgage market took the time to dig through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s contingency plan for dealing with a government shutdown last week.

And industry professionals did a nice job reading the fine print, because the fine print changed over the weekend, creating some confusion as to whether HUD will be able to endorse single-family loans in the wake of a government shutdown.

The simple answer: They can endorse single-family loans, but this is a major change from what was reported by HUD on Friday.

HousingWire, along with other news outlets, discovered on pg. 42 of the contingency plan — underneath frequently asked questions — that as apart of HUD’s shutdown plan, the Federal Housing Administration would be unable to endorse any single-family loans. Furthermore, the report said FHA staff will not be available to underwrite and approve new loans. However, all of this was reported Friday, and the contingency plan changed over the weekend.

When I arrived at my desk Monday morning, I received various phone calls and emails informing me that HUD has updated its contingency plan from what was originally reported.

The truth is FHA will be able to endorse single-family loans during the shutdown. In addition, a limited number of FHA staff will be available to underwrite and approve new loans.

This change was quite abrupt, with many industry analysts shaking their heads saying, it’s “kind of important, don’t you think?”

After reaching out to HUD, staff from its Office of Public Affairs confirmed the plan currently on its website is the correct, updated version.

While it’s clear the former and current plans caused quite a few of us to scratch our heads, the housing agency has taken more steps than it did in 2011 when a similar government shutdown challenged the agency.

However, it’s no joke that any sort of government shutdown will require federal employees to cease working.

When put into perspective, of the roughly 9,000 HUD employees, only 350 employees will continue working after a shutdown — that’s only 3.8% of its staff.

Since everything with the government is still up in the air, we’ll cut HUD some slack because let’s face it, the possibility of a shutdown is enough to leave any entity uneasy.

The takeaway: Always read the fine print. The smallest change can make a world of difference.

Article by: Christina Mlynski

Leave a comment

Filed under Real Estate News

All-Cash Offers: Healthy for Real Estate Market, or a Hindrance?


With many pointing to the housing market as the backbone of the economic recovery, investors are flooding the market with all-cash offers and it’s squeezing out many traditional homebuyers.

“People are worried about the returns on alternative investments,” says Karen Dynan, vice president and co-director of economic studies at the Brookings Institute. “There is still a lot of uncertainty about bonds and the stock market, which makes the housing market look good.”

According to the National Association of Realtors May 2013 Confidence Report, all-cash offers account for 33 percent of home sales, with international buyers taking the lead. In addition, 87 percent of surveyed Realtors say they are expiring constant or increasing home prices. Homebuyers, particularly first-time homebuyers, are already battling low inventory and rising home prices, but the added pressure from investors creates stiff competition.

William Delwiche, investment strategist at Baird Research & Insights, says cash buys are being bolstered by investor pools snapping up real estate, and less so by individuals looking to live in the home. “These are investment pools paying cash for houses to hopefully get returns,” he says. “It’s not necessarily a trend among individual homeowners because most people going to buy houses don’t have that kind of cash sitting around.”

And for sellers, an all-cash deal is ideal since is cuts down on complications, says Patrick Newport, U.S. economist at IHS Global Insights. “If you own a home and are selling yourself, it’s probably easier if someone pays you cash — it cuts out the messiness and having the homebuyer get approved for a loan.” Typical cash buyers are either young people who come into a lot of cash, or international investors, he says.

Cash buys signal a housing market that people are more willing to invest in, says Delwiche, but the market’s attractiveness may also be due to a lack of other solid investment options. “The housing market is recovering, but people are also looking to diversify their portfolios,” he says. “They don’t’ want to put it all in stocks and bonds.”

It’s a sign that people are under the impression the market is turning around, says Dynan, which may be a self-fulfilling prophecy if enough investors follow. “A lot of those cash investors are looking for a return,” she says. “If a lot of people think home prices will rise, they will put money into the market, and that increases demand and pushes up prices.”

The cash-buying trend also gives the overall economy a short-term boost, according to Delwiche.
“This helps to bid up asset values for houses, and is good for homeowners who already own houses,” he says. “There is also a benefit to state and local government finances because of the taxes associated with these purchases.”

Dynan says the trend will reinforce the momentum in the housing market, but will impact hopeful first-time homeowners negatively in the future. “It just makes the housing market less affordable,” she says. “It’s good for the overall economy, but not for every person in the economy.”

Delwiche agrees, and says it may prevent more people from getting into the market in the future.
“Home prices go up and it affects housing affordability,” Delwiche says. “You can’t have first-time homeowners who are seeds for long-term growth, because they are then crowded out of the market. So short term it’s something of a positive, but is a headwind for first-time homeowners.”

Delwiche says he’d be surprised to see the trend continue, as well. “It’s just a reflection of poor alternatives for investment dollars,” he says.

By Kate Rogers

Leave a comment

Filed under Real Estate News

Spring Home Improvements: Repair, Replace, Enjoy!

Spring Home Improvements: Repair, Replace, Enjoy!.

With memories of snow and cold fading, it’s time to remind home owners to take stock of important work to be done for themselves and potential buyers down the road. Keeping on track with seasonal maintenance will lower costs and raise value.

   April 2013 | By Barbara Ballinger

Besides cleaning closets and planting flowers and cool-weather vegetables, spring should involve scrutinizing the condition of a house following the rough winter. Repairs and replacements won’t just help owners enjoy their properties more; they’ll also keep energy costs down as hot weather rolls in and attract more buyers, many of whom have become meticulous about inspecting roofs, appliances, and HVAC bills.

While most home owners need to prioritize costs, these 10 improvements are at the top of many contractors’ lists. Some of them are even more affordable than ever before, thanks to rebates from local communities, utility companies, and the federal government.

1. Replace windows

If home owners’ houses felt drafty this past winter and they have single-pane windows, there’s a good chance those were one of the culprits. But replacing them all can be costly — $400 to $500 per window, plus $100 to $150 for installation, according to home improvement expert Tom Kraeutler of The Money Pit. Whether that’s the place to spend dollars should depend on how long home owners plan to stay put or what houses listed in their neighborhood offer if they’re selling. “If they’re the last ones with old, rotting-wood windows, that negative may affect buyer attention,” Kraeutler says. This year’s “Cost vs. Value” report from Remodeling magazine pegs the payback for vinyl windows at 71.2 percent and for wood windows at a similar 73.3 percent. A less costly alternative can be to add storms, caulk, weather strip, or rim joists in a basement. Contractor Paul Eric Morse of Morse Constructions Inc. in Somerville, Mass., suggests gradually replacing windows in any room that owners remodel to make the cost less prohibitive.

2. Install a new heating system and change filters If a seller’s furnace and boiler were on their last legs this past winter, it may be time to install a new one, or at least provide sellers with a credit toward new equipment. Any choice should carry an EnergyStar label for best results. Existing systems still in good condition should have filters checked monthly and replaced when dark and clogged, a DIY project. For great energy efficiency, Morse is installing more heat exchanges that provide both heat and air conditioning and can be less costly than a new central air system with new ducting and a new furnace.

3. Clean air conditioning units

Before summer temperatures rise and HVAC pros are swamped, advise home owners to clean coils and change filters so their system doesn’t have to work as hard. They should also have drain lines cleaned, so moisture is eliminated, says Douglas Tompkins, with Pro-Air Heating and Cooling in Newburgh, N.Y. If they haven’t had air conditioning, now’s the time to weigh choices of a central system, heat exchange, or room units.

4. Install more insulation

A home’s first line of defense to stop cold or hot air — depending on the season — should be the attic, according to most contractors. An energy audit can determine how much more is needed, if they already have some. Seattle-based contractor Ron Rice, of Your House Matters, suggests adding more than the minimum 8 inches required by most local codes — up to 16 inches. For cold climates, installing electric or hydronic radiant heat under bathroom and kitchen floors will provide comfort next season.

5. Switch out inefficient appliances

Sometimes appliances are no longer smart to repair. The determining factors for that should be their age and the cost of repair versus replacement. Here, too, top choices carry an EnergyStar label. If home owners need to replace most of their kitchen equipment and have a limited budget or plan to move, Rice suggests they prioritize and first switch out the range, followed by the refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave — in that order.

6. Repair or replace roofs, gutters, and downspouts

Because of the tough hurricane season last fall and the winter blizzards, roofing contractors in many parts of the country have been busy. Morse recommends that those needing new roofs consider architectural asphalt shingles because of their long warranties (often 50 years), affordable prices, and attractive appearances that work with many house styles. In addition, many contractors have the equipment and experience to install roofs of this material, as opposed to metal. He also recommends that home owners have gutters and downspouts cleaned come spring so that water can flow through them; gutters should be angled away from a house to stop water pooling around a foundation and seeping into the basement. Gutter covers can be helpful but often don’t eliminate all debris.

7. Paint

Damage often shows up at this time of year, especially in climates where there’s been a lot of snow melting or winter rains, Morse says. Use the time to reassess your color choice for better curb appeal. Even changing the front door’s color can make a difference.

8. Prune trees

Cutting limbs that may have been damaged during winter and that might fall on a roof or allow squirrels to enter a house is smart, and it can be a cost savings later on. Called “thinning out,” this method gets excess foliage trimmed to allow more natural light into a house—and cut down on artificial illumination, says Sacramento, Calif.-based landscape designer Michael Glassman. “It opens the tree so you don’t have dead spots in the interior and lets the tree take advantage of air flow rather than chop off the top,” he says. A certified arborist will know the best ways to do this without removing too much of a canopy, which is useful for privacy and shade.

9. Mulch plantings

Along with fall, spring is a key mulch time. Mulch helps plants thrive by holding back weeds, retaining moisture so soil doesn’t dry out, and adding a tidy look, Glassman says. Use bark, shredded fir, leaves, straw, or grass clippings.

10. Replace lightbulbs

When it comes to artificial light, most contractors recommend switching burned-out bulbs to LEDs, which last longer than incandescents, consume less energy, and have come down in price — now often just $10. Quality has improved, too, and they’re dimmable and available in colors.

One more thing: Before you hire anybody to take on work, get a written estimate. Better to be safe than sorry.


Leave a comment

Filed under Real Estate News

California Foreclosure Uptick Doesn’t Indicate Long-term Trend

Foreclosures are declining in most of the Western states tracked by ForeclosureRadar , California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington—but some experienced anomalous upticks over the month of February.


For example, in California notices of default and notices of trustee sale together increased 10 percent in February, according to the analytics firm. This is quite a change from the previous month’s 43.3 percent decline.

The firm anticipates a return to the recent trend of declining foreclosure activity in the state, which it suggests are driven by the National Mortgage Settlement and the passage of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights . Together these actions have led to increased foreclosure alternatives such as short sales.

While seen as positive for homeowners, ForeclosureRadar points out an unintended consequence of recent market conditions: decreased REO inventory, which is “still very much a part of the California real estate landscape,” the firm said.

“While policy makers state that the purpose of government intervention is to help homeowners by delaying foreclosures, instead they have created an artificial shortage in bank-owned ( REO ) inventory,” ForeclosureRadar stated.

California’s foreclosure timeline increased 6.14 percent in February.

Arizona also experienced an increased foreclosure timeline in February, rising 11.28 percent from the previous month.

However, notices of trustee sale in Arizona declined over the month in February, falling 36.51. Notices were down 65.51 percent year-over-year.

Similarly, notices of trustee sale in Nevada fell both monthly and yearly—by 14.19 percent and 41.68 percent, respectively.

Time to foreclose in Nevada decreased 4.69 percent in February.

Oregon’s notices of trustee sale increased 3.12 percent over the month of February but decreased 94.81 percent year-over-year.

Oregon’s foreclosure timeline decreased 3.03 percent over the month of February.

Washington experienced a decline in notices of trustee sale in February—a decrease of 23.53 percent. However, year-over-year, notices were up 89.12 percent, and the state’s foreclosure timeline increased 3.23 percent over the month of February.

Author: Krista Franks Brock • Date: 03/15/2013

Leave a comment

Filed under Real Estate News

Crabtree Report Bakersfield home prices set to rise 18 percent in 2013

Bakersfield home prices are on track to rise 18 percent this year — an average increase of $30,000 per house — according to a widely read monthly report released Thursday.
Local appraiser Gary Crabtree based his forecast on dual sets of data: one on the city’s monthly price changes over the 12 months ending in January, the other on price changes over the previous two years.
His report said Bakersfield median home sale prices are on track to reach $195,000 or $196,000 by the end of this year, up from January’s $164,490 median. (The median is the point at which half the homes sold for more money and half went for less.)
Between January 2012 and last month, he noted, the city’s median sales price rose 26.5 percent.
“The forecast is a function (of) median price change ONLY,” Crabtree wrote in an email. “It assumes that conditions in the past will remain the same into the future, thus it does not take into consideration other factors that may influence price such as interest rates, availability of credit, employment, job growth, inflation (including materials or labor costs) or population growth or loss.”
He added that factors underlying the market’s improvement are lack of supply, low interest rates, realistic loan underwriting and a declining inventory of distressed properties on the market.


Leave a comment

Filed under Real Estate News