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Economic Predictions from National Association of Realtors Economist


Speaking at the 2013 Realtors Conference & Expo Friday, National Association of Realtors (NAR) chief economist Lawrence Yun predicted steadiness in existing-home sales over the next year as prices continue to ascend.

Looking over the past year, Yun said he expects existing-home sales to be up about 10 percent in 2013 to 5.13 million. Sales in 2014 are expected to hold fairly even at about 5.12 million.

Reviewing price movements, he said the national median existing-home price should end this year about 11 percent higher than 2012, climbing to $197,000. Next year’s growth is expected to be cut nearly in half at about 6 percent.

Over the past two years, Yun says existing-home sales have shown a 20 percent cumulative increase, while prices have gained 18 percent. Meanwhile, incomes have only barely risen, coming up somewhere between 2-4 percent.

“We’ve come off of record high housing affordability conditions in the past year, and are now at a five-year low, but conditions are still the fifth best in the past 40 years,” Yun said, noting that the median-income family should still be “well-positioned” to buy a home in 2014 in many areas.

Aside from affordability, ongoing headwinds include limited inventory conditions and stringent mortgage standards, both of which are expected to continue as housing starts struggle and business costs remain elevated for lenders.

On housing production, Yun forecasts 917,000 starts through the end of 2013 and 1.13 million in 2014, which still falls short of the underlying demand of about 1.5 million.

Sales of new homes are expected to total 429,000 in 2013 and 508,000 next year.

Based on his forecasts, Yun says the top 10 markets to watch for a housing turn around in 2014 are Salt Lake City, Utah; Naples and Tampa, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Boise, Idaho; Houston, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Denver, Colorado; Seattle, Washington; and Tucson, Arizona.

Who is a REALTOR?


Why use a REALTOR® ?

All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR "®" logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.

For more information visit:

Looking Back 5 Years : Closed Sales


Closed Sales in Units for the last five years:

Through the end of September 2009: 4033

Through the end of September 2010: 4488

Through the end of September 2011: 4453

Through the end of September 2012: 4919

Through the end of September 2013: 5758


September 2013 Market Overview


September 2013  In the month of September 2013, there were 962 new listings that came on the market and a total 5060 listings available. Compared to last year September 2012 there were 836 new listings that came on the market and a total of 5496 listings available. So we have 436 less listings; that is an 8% decrease in listings that are now available for buyers over last year at the same time. The average prices continue to climb and days on the market are about the same. 

Refinance Changes!!


The Federal Home Finance Agency announced big changes to its Home Affordable Refinance Program . More commonly called HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program is meant to give underwater homeowners opportunity to refinance. With average, 30-year fixed rate mortgages still hovering in the 4s, there are more than a million homeowners in Oregon and nationwide who stand to benefit from the program overhaul.
To qualify for the re-released HARP program, you must meet 4 basic criteria :

1. Your existing home loan must be guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac

2. Your home must be a 1- to 4-unit property

3. You must have a perfect mortgage payment history going back 6 months

4. You may not have had more than one 30-day late payment on your mortgage going back 12 months

Most notable about the new HARP refinance program, though, is that the government is waiving loan-to-value requirements on a HARP loans. Homeowners participation in the program are no longer restricted by their homes appraised value. In fact, the new HARP doesnt even require an appraisal, in most instances.

With the new HARP program, underwater mortgages can be refinanced without LTV limit or penalty.

If you think you may be eligible, first confirm that either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac is backing your loan. Both groups provide a simple, online lookup.

Fannie Mae loan lookup :

Freddie Mac loan lookup :

If your loan cannot be located on either of these two sites, your current mortgage is not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and is not HARP-eligible.

A GREAT Time to Buy!


Yes, it is a great time because prices have come down over the past two years. Therefore, you may feel disappointed in the price that you can get for your current home if you are comparing it to the price you could have gotten a few years ago. However, all things are relative. If you have been waiting to buy a different home, maybe a dream home, this is the time. You may not have as much equity from your current home to use in your down payment, but you will pay much less for the new home than you would have several years ago. If you feel you could have gotten $250,000 for your home a few years ago and you are now able to get $200,000, you will find the same is true for the dream home you wanted that was $350,000 then is now $275,000. The important thing is to look ahead, not back.

Byron Hendricks Thoughts on Foreclosures


Here are some thoughts from our Principal Broker Byron Hendricks that help shed some light on foreclosure concerns.

With the media reporting almost daily on problems with foreclosures throughout America, it can be difficult for Buyers/Investors to understand what this means to them if they wish consider a purchase of a foreclosed home.  Simply put, most want to know if it is safe for them to purchase a foreclosed home or would they be in danger of having the transaction rescinded in the future.


While it is impossible to give a single answer to this question, context about foreclosures in the State of Oregon can satisfy most concerns.


Media reports have focused on what has become to be known as robo-signing.  Certainly, this is an issue, but it applies mostly to states that have judicial foreclosure.  The issue with robo-signing is that the people signing these documents were making a representation to the judge in a judicial foreclosure proceeding that they had reviewed the documents and the filings were correct.  Turns out they hadnt reviewed the documents and they lied to the judge about this.  Understandably, this earned the displeasure of the judge(s) and everything came to a halt.


In Oregon, almost all mortgage foreclosures are non-judicial.  Simply put, the lender and borrower agree in advance to use this procedure in the event of a default by the borrower.  This allows the lender to institute the proceeding without a judicial hearing and conduct the foreclosure themselves by selling the property to the highest bidder on the courthouse steps.


Prior to the foreclosure, the lender gets a pre-foreclosure policy from a title company that shows all recorded liens against the property and insures the title for the lender as long as they follow the process.  Once the lender owns the property (they are usually the highest bidder at the foreclosure sale), they in turn place it back on the market and sell the property to a buyer and in almost all cases a new title policy, guarantying the title to the property is properly vested, is issued to the new buyer.  This almost eliminates all risks to the buyer on title for this purchase (make certain you understand the standard exceptions).


If you plan on buying on the courthouse steps, your risk does increase.  Often this is due to the limited ability to inspect the property prior to closing and not directly tied to the title.  Again, this is because the lender took out a pre-foreclosure policy with the title company.  But you must recognize your risk is increased and you should consult legal counsel to understand this completely.


Simply put, foreclosures do create opportunity for home buyers and investors.  Working with a knowledgeable REALTOR can help in this process.

Fall Tour of Affordable Homes

Don't miss Prudential's 2010 Fall Tour of Affordable Homes, sponsored by Prudential Real Estate Professionals and Wells Fargo.  October 24 from 12-4 pm.  Many homes in the Salem-Keizer area under $250,000!
Tour Magazines are available at Wells Fargo branches at and Prudential.   Call me for your copy!

First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Extended For Armed Service Members


Service members who were on official extended duty outside of the United States for at least 90 days between Jan.1, 2009 and May 1, 2010, may qualify for a one-year extension.
The expiration date of the $8,000 first-time homebuyer may have already passed for most, but there are some potential homebuyers who can still take advantage of this great opportunity.

For those who are qualified service members, you have an extra year to cash in on the credit. Your new deadline is April 30, 2011. The government defines "qualified service member" as a member of the uniformed services of the U.S military, a member of the Foreign Service of the U.S., or an employee of the intelligence community."

The reasoning behind this extension is simple. National Association of Home Builders Chairman, Bob Jones, says, "Congress recognized that many service members may have missed out on the home buyer tax credit due to being posted overseas. It is only fitting that they be given another year to take advantage of this opportunity in appreciation of the sacrifices they have made serving our country."

There has been another modification to the credit for members of the armed service. Currently, a buyer must repay the credit if they move out of their new home within three years. This particular contingency has been waived if the move is due to government ordered extended duty service.

Buyers must meet the other qualification for the credit, however, including the income limits. These limits are set at $125,000 for single taxpayers and $225,000 for married taxpayers filing joint returns.

You must be a first-time home buyer, which is defined as "a buyer who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase. For married taxpayers, the law tests the homeownership history of both the home buyer and his/her spouse."

If you don't fit under this definition, then be sure to check into the $6,500 repeat buyer tax credit.

For those interested in the credit, you can visit to find out more information.

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