Homelessness Rising Among Families

Daily Real Estate News:

Total homelessness has fallen 10 percent in the country since 2010, but among one segment, homelessness is on the rise. A new blog post from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies notes that homelessness among families remains persistently high.

More than a third of the total homeless population is made up of people in families, and more than 60 percent of this segment have children who are under the age of 18.

The number of homeless families living in shelters – such as emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, or safe havens – is growing. Nearly nine in 10 homeless people in families were staying in shelters in 2014.

In some pockets across the country, the number has risen to the highest on record, JCHS notes. For example, in New York City, homeless families are estimated to comprise the majority of homeless shelter residents, rising by 67 percent alone between January 2005 and January 2015, according to the advocacy group Coalition for the Homeless.

“Since the end of the recession, the affordable housing shortage has continued to play a major role in rising rates of family homelessness,” JCHS research assistant Irene Law notes on the Housing Perspectives blog. “Between 2010 and 2014, in high-cost locations where affordable rentals are in short supply, the number of homeless people in families increased substantially: by 50 percent in the District of Columbia, 41 percent in Massachusetts, and 22 percent in New York.  The problem is acute in urban areas across the country.”

Indeed, 45 percent of all homeless families lived in major cities in 2014. Nearly 20 percent lived in New York City, which had the highest concentration of homeless families nationwide at 41,633, followed by Los Angeles City and County at 6,229.

“The current inventory of permanent supportive housing largely targets single adults, especially those with chronic patterns of homelessness,” notes Lew at the JCHS blog. “Although the number of permanent supportive housing beds has increased significantly since 2007, a substantial share of permanent supportive housing beds are set aside for individuals rather than families.  The limited availability of subsidies for the services component, as well as higher operating expenses compared to affordable housing, present challenges for expanding the supply of permanent supportive housing.”

Redding too has experienced an increase in the homeless population over the past few years. Some of those folks would have qualified for affordable housing. However Redding ranks low in affordable housing when compared to other American cities. If you read the local paper or watch the local nightly news there are horror stories of the low rent and budget motels that cater to the lowest income segment of the local population.

Good news for Redding. There is a proposed 55 unit affordable housing project located in South Redding. There will be 1,2 and 3 bedroom units. Rent rates will range from $260—$850 per month. It is a step in the right direction.


Fannie Freddie and Pornography

I’m often asked by clients and friends how the recent “Housing Market Bubble Burst” originated. Simple answer is bad loan practices. Lending money to  Buyers who would not have qualified if the qualifying conditions were not lowered by the Government and Lending Institutions. Watch and listen to the video. It’s humorous and at the same informative.


Foreclosure Rate Drops to 2007 Levels

Daily Real Estate News

The foreclosure rate continues to recede, with foreclosure inventories nationwide falling nearly 30 percent and completed foreclosures dropping nearly 15 percent in the past year, according to CoreLogic’s June 2015 National Foreclosure Report, released Tuesday

The number of foreclosures nationwide fell 63 percent from their September 2010 peak of 117,119. Completed foreclosures are the total number of homes that are actually lost to foreclosure. Since September 2008, about 5.8 million completed foreclosures have occurred across the country.

More home owners are staying current on their mortgage payments. The number of mortgages in serious delinquency (those that are 90 days or more past due) fell by 23 percent in June year-over-year. Seriously delinquent mortgages now comprise 3.5 percent – or 1.3 million – of mortgages nationwide, which represents the lowest rate since January 2008.

“The foreclosure rate for the U.S. has dropped to its lowest level since 2007, supported by a continuing decline in loans made before 2009, gains in employment, and higher housing prices,” says Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “The decline has not been uniform geographically, as the foreclosure rate varies across metropolitan areas. In the Denver and San Francisco areas, the foreclosure rate has fallen to 0.3 percent, whereas in the Tampa market the rate is 3.5 percent and in Nassau and Suffolk counties it is an elevated 4.8 percent.”

Five states alone accounted for nearly half of all completed foreclosures nationally. The following five states had the highest number of completed foreclosures in June:

  1. Florida: 102,000
  2. Michigan: 46,000
  3. Texas: 33,000
  4. California: 29,000
  5. Ohio: 27,000

On the local front foreclosures are scarce compared to the previous years inventory. I have a few clients that can’t find reasonably priced foreclosed listings. When they do appear multiple offers are often entertained. I expect foreclosed properties prices to increase about 3%—5% over the next 10 years.


56% of Agents Call Open Houses ‘Pointless’

Open houses are a polarizing topic in the real estate industry when it comes to judging their effectiveness. Fifty-six percent of real estate professionals recently surveyed by RISMedia called open houses “pointless,” while 44 percent said they were “powerful” in the marketing of a home.

Regardless, nearly 72 percent of agents claimed to host one to six open houses per month. Yet, nearly a quarter of agents said they avoid open houses completely.

Real estate professionals said the main reason for holding an open house is because their clients expect it. Thirty-five percent of agents said that their sellers “frequently” want to include open houses in marketing plans, while 41 percent say sellers only “sometimes” expect open houses.

Some real estate professionals argue that open houses can provide a big benefit to their business. Gaining leads and referrals led the pack as far as benefits to real estate agents, followed by gaining invaluable buyer feedback about the home as well. Fifty percent of agent surveyed credited open houses for 1 to 25 percent of their business, the survey found.

Personally I think it’s OK to do 1-2 Open Houses in the first 30 days. This is a critical period. It exposes a new listing to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and an opportunity to get very important feed back from the consumers that can be passed along to your Seller. What I have encountered more often than not are stubborn Sellers who don’t agree with the consumer and the with selling Agents who previewed the home with or without their clients. Thus the new listing becomes another one those difficult to sell listing.


Whole Foods vs. Trader Joe’s on Home Values

A new study pitted two rival grocery store chains – Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s – against one another to find out which grocery store increases the value of nearby homes the most.

To determine if it’s better to buy near Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, RealtyTrac looked at home values, appreciation, and property taxes across the country in ZIP codes with these grocery chains.

There’s good news for home owners living near a Trader Joe’s, according to the study. Home owners near a Trader Joe’s have seen an average 40 percent increase in home values since they purchased compared to home owners living near Whole Foods who have seen a 34 percent appreciation.

Homes near a Trader Joe’s tend to have a higher value on average at $592,339 – 5 percent greater than the $561,840 average value for homes near Whole Foods. For comparison, the average value of homes nationwide is $260,068 across all ZIP codes nationwide.

In property taxes, home owners living near a Trader Joe’s pay an average of $8,536 in property taxes each year, 59 percent more than the $5,382 average for home owners living near a Whole Foods. That is also much higher than the national average for property taxes, which is $3,239 across all ZIP codes, according to the analysis.

Don’t you just love scientific studies and data gathering. Simply stated people who have $$$ wouldn’t be caught dead in a Whole Foods Store. People who shop Whole Foods are less fortunate or bargain hunters.