For May, 2011



据S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices三月份的数据显示,与二月份相比,全国20个城市中,Non-Seasonal-Adjustment指数,只有Seattle和Washington D.C.房价略微上涨,上涨幅度分别为0.1%和1.1%。

如果与一年前相比,全国20个城市中只有Washington D.C.房价仍在上涨,幅度达4.3%。Seattle地区则大幅下降7.5%,下降幅度在20个城市中名列第5,其他四个下降幅度超过Seattle的城市分别是:

  • Minneapolis: -10.0%
  • Phoenix: -8.4%
  • Chicago: -7.6%
  • Portland: -7.6%

Home-price index at lowest point since 2006 bust


WASHINGTON (AP) — Home prices in major areas have reached their lowest level since the housing bubble burst in 2006, driven down by foreclosures, a glut of unsold homes and the reluctance or inability of many to buy.

Prices fell from February to March in 18 of the metro areas tracked by the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city index. And prices in a dozen markets have reached their lowest points since the housing crisis began. Prices in March rose only in the Seattle and Washington, D.C., metro areas.

The nationwide index fell for the eighth straight month.

A record number of foreclosures are forcing prices down, and they are expected to keep falling through this year.

74.6% of homes affordable to median-income households, trade group finds


Housing affordability hit a new high in the first quarter, surpassing the previous high set in fourth-quarter 2010, according to the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo.

The Housing Opportunity Index found that 74.6% of new and existing homes sold in the first quarter were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,400. That’s up from 73.9% in the fourth quarter of 2010, and it’s the highest level in the more than 20 years the index has been measured.

The Seattle metropolitan area also became more affordable with 67.5% of homes within reach of those earning the median income of $85,600. That number is the highest recorded since the index started in the first quarter of 1999.

Before 2009, the national index rarely topped 65%, the association said. Last quarter was the ninth straight quarter the index was above 70%.

In other cities in Washington state, Spokane was the most affordable with 82.2% of homes within reach of those earning the median income of $60,300. Olympia recorded 81.8%; Tacoma, 78.5%; Bremerton-Silverdale, 70.1%; Bellingham, 69.7%; and Mount Vernon-Anacortes, 60.5%.

Pending home sales slump 11.6% in April


WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Pending home sales fell 11.6% in April, the National Association of Realtors said Friday. The pending home sales index reading of 81.9 in April came after a downwardly revised 92.6 in March, from an initial reading of 94.1. The big drop came after two monthly gains, and the NAR cited unusual weather and economic softness. “The economy hit a soft patch in April from sharply rising oil prices, widespread severe weather with the heaviest precipitation in 20 years, and a sudden rise in unemployment claims,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Nonetheless, the magnitude of the fall in pending home sales is larger than can be implied by broad economic factors, so we need to see if it’s just a one-month aberration.” The index is 26.5% below its April 2010 peak, when buyers were rushing to beat a contract deadline for the homebuyer tax credit. The data reflects contracts but not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.



据今天刚刚发布的S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices显示,到今年二月份为止,西雅图房价还在持续下跌。与去年同期相比,二月份房价下降幅度达7.5%,在全国20个城市中,下降幅度排名第四。下降幅度超过西雅图的城市是Chicago, Minneapolis, Phoenix。



Report: Sales of foreclosed homes fell in 1Q


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sales of homes in some stage of foreclosure declined in the first three months of the year, but they still accounted for 28 percent of all home sales — a share nearly six times higher than what it would be in a healthy housing market.

As a slice of all home purchases, foreclosure sales peaked two years ago at 37.4 percent. In the first quarter, they rose from 27 percent in prior quarter, but fell from 29 percent a year earlier, according to RealtyTrac.

Sales of foreclosure properties didn’t fare much better than other types of homes, however.

In all, 158,434 homes in some stage of foreclosure were sold in the first quarter, down 16 percent from the last three months of 2010 and down 36 percent versus a year ago. Sales of all other types of homes also declined sharply, according to RealtyTrac’s figures, which differ from other home-sales estimates.

While the number of bank-owned properties sold declined, they grew as a share of all home sales. Bank-owned homes accounted for nearly 19 percent of all sales, up from 17 percent in the fourth quarter and up from 18 percent a year ago, the firm said.

Foreclosures for sale: Big supply, low prices


There’s a three-year inventory of homes in foreclosure for sale, and that’s devastating home prices.

Las Vegas has so many foreclosures that 53% of all the homes sold in Nevada are in some stage of foreclosure, according to a report from RealtyTrac, the online marketer of foreclosed properties.

Foreclosures represent 45% of sales in California and Arizona, and 28% of all existing home sales during the first three months of 2011.

“This is very bad for the economy,” said Rick Sharga, a spokesman for RealtyTrac.

What’s more, the homes are selling at steep discounts, especially so-called REOs, bank-owned homes that have been taken in foreclosure procedures.

The average REO cost on average about 35% less than comparable properties, according to RealtyTrac.

But in some areas, the discounts were ever greater: In New York State, the discount for REOs was 53% during the first quarter. And it was nearly 50% in Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Also weighing on market prices are “short sales,” homes where the selling price is less than what is owed by the borrowers. These sales sold at an average 9% discount.

April new home sales at 4-month high


The Commerce Department said sales increased 7.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted 323,000 unit annual rate, the highest level since December, from a slightly upwardly revised 301,000-unit pace in March.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales unchanged at a previously reported 300,000-unit rate. All four regions recorded gains in sales, with the West reporting a 15.1 percent rise.

However, compared to April last year sales were down 23.1 percent.

An oversupply of used houses and a relentless wave of foreclosed properties are curbing the market for new homes, even as builders are keeping lean inventories. There were a record low 175,000 new homes available for sale last month, down 2.8 percent from the prior month.

Data last week showed a steep drop in new home construction in April and a dip in sales of previously owned homes.

The Commerce Department report the median sales price for a new home rose 1.6 percent last month to $217,900. Compared with April last year, the median price increased 4.6 percent.

Troubled home market creates generation of renters


The proportion of U.S. households that own homes is at its lowest point since 1998. When the housing bubble burst four years ago, 31.6 percent of households were renters. Now, it’s at 33.6 percent and rising. Since the housing meltdown, nearly 3 million households have become renters. At least 3 million more are expected by 2015, according to census data analyzed by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and The Associated Press.

All told, nearly 38 million households are renters.

Demand is driving up rents. The median price of advertised rents rose 4.1 percent between the end of 2009 and the end of 2010, census data shows. Few expect the higher prices to stem the flood of renters, though. One reason: Younger adults don’t value homeownership as earlier generations did and many prefer to rent, studies show.

As Lenders Hold Homes in Foreclosure, Sales Are Hurt


They own more than 872,000 homes as a result of the groundswell in foreclosures, almost twice as many as when the financial crisis began in 2007, according to RealtyTrac, a real estate data provider. In addition, they are in the process of foreclosing on an additional one million homes and are poised to take possession of several million more in the years ahead.

Five years after the housing market started teetering, economists now worry that the rise in lender-owned homes could create another vicious circle, in which the growing inventory of distressed property further depresses home values and leads to even more distressed sales. With the spring home-selling season under way, real estate prices have been declining across the country in recent months.

Over all, economists project that it would take about three years for lenders to sell their backlog of foreclosed homes. As a result, home values nationally could fall 5 percent by the end of 2011, according to Moody’s, and rise only modestly over the following year.

One in nine mortgages at risk of foreclosure


据Center for Responsible Lending数字显示,今年第一季度,1/9的房屋贷款者处于失去房屋的风险中。在2003年的第一季度,这个数字只有1/32。





昨天NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS发布了四月份的房屋销售数据。包括Washington州的西部地区,seasonally adjusted annual rate与上个月比较,下跌了1.6%。但是与一年前相比,则略微上涨了0.8%。

No seasonally adjusted则更为鼓舞人心,与上个月相比,西部地区的房屋销售数量大幅上涨了14.7%,与一年前持平。





根据Freddie Mac的每周跟踪调查数据显示,30年从4.63%降到了4.61%,15年从3.82%降到了3.80%。虽然下降幅度不大,但积少成多,与一个月前的3.91%相比,30年已经下降了0.3%。


Home sales dropped in April, foreclosures declined


The National Association of Realtors says sales of previously occupied homes fell 0.8 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million units. That’s far below the 6 million homes a year that economists say represents a healthy market.

In April, sales of homes at risk of foreclosure fell 3 percent to 37 percent of all purchases. Purchases made by first-time homebuyers rose 3 percent to 36 percent.

Annual sales hit a record high of nearly 7.1 million homes in 2005. Since then, sales have fallen in four of the past five years before hitting a 13-year low last year.



根据Northwest MLS四月份的房屋销售数据分析,Eastside的房屋中间价与三月份比较,不同地区互有涨跌:

King County东部




Mercer Island




I-90 南边
















Bellevue 东边




Juanita, Woodinville




Bellevue 西边




U.S. Mortgage Applications Rose 7.8% Last Week on Refinancing


Mortgage applications in the U.S. increased last week to the highest level since December as cheaper borrowing costs made refinancing more attractive.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index of loan applications rose 7.8 percent in the week ended May 13. The group’s refinancing measure advanced 13 percent, while the purchase gauge fell 3.2 percent.

Construction of new homes plummeted in April


Builders broke ground on 10.6 percent fewer new homes last month. The seasonally adjusted rate fell to 523,000 homes per year, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That’s less than half the 1.2 million homes per year that economists consider a sign of a healthy market.

The median price of a new home was about 34 percent higher in March than the median price for a re-sale. That’s more than twice the markup in healthy housing markets.

Still, the April decline was largely because apartment and condominium construction plunged more than 28 percent. Single-family home construction, which makes up roughly 80 percent of the market, fell about 5 percent.

Building permits, a gauge of future construction, fell 4 percent.

How to save $50,000: Chop your mortgage


The strategy: Refinance a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year loan.

Years to $50,000: Nine

You’ll save 60% more in interest by refinancing to a 15-year rather than a 30-year loan at recent rates — 4.3% for a 15-year vs. 5.1% for a 30-year loan. But your monthly payments will also rise, as you pay back more of the principal over a shorter term.



  • 提高deductible: 将deductible从$500提到$1000有时可以节省到大约25%
  • 捆绑保险:如果你从同一家保险公司买几个保险,可以节省5%到15%
  • 对房屋加以适当的改进:比如说换上新的屋顶,改善供暖系统,改善供水和电力系统,加上报警器等安全装置,给后院的蹦蹦床或游泳池围上栅栏
  • 保持很高的Credit Score
  • 经常查看最新的保险政策:比如说如果你所在的地区最近刚刚从乡村划归到城市,并且提供防火保护,那么你可能节省60%到70%

US builders see little to like in housing market


WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. homebuilders are concerned that the struggling housing market won’t recover in the near future.

The National Association of Home Builders says its index of industry sentiment for May was unchanged at 16. It has been at that level for six of the last seven months. Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the market. The index hasn’t been above that level since April 2006.

Last year was the worst in more than a decade for sales of previously owned homes and the worst for new-home sales in nearly a half-century.

Fewer homes mean fewer jobs. Each new home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes, according to the builders’ trade group.

什么是7/1 ARM

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什么是7/1 ARM


  • LIBOR Index:大部分的银行都采用LIBOR的one year rate作为Index,你可以在中查到现在的Index是0.736%
  • Margin:这是在你贷款时就固定的,30年都不会变化,一般在2%至3%之间
  • Caps:一般有三个数字组成,分别表示浮动的第一年,第二年和Lifetime的cap。Cap加上起始利率,就等于你的最高利率
  • Maximum Rate:等于最开始的利率加上你的cap

比如说,你的7/1 ARM 利率是3%,term是5/2/5 cap,margin是2.250%。这就表示头7年,你的贷款利率一直是3%。7年以后你的利率将根据市场进行浮动。如果市场利率低,你的利率也会低。如果市场利率变高,你的利率也会高,但最高不会超过3%+5%=8%。


现在的7/1 ARM利率很低,比30年/15年固定利率好。但是7年以后市场情况可能变差,利率可能会变高。所以你必须要仔细计算自己的得失。一旦决定选7/1 ARM,你一定要一直保持很好的credit和较低的负债比,在适当的时候能重新贷款到30年/15年的固定利率。

5/1 ARM

5/1 ARM的性质和7/1 ARM几乎一样,只是开始的利率只在5年内固定。5/1 ARM的开始利率一般要比7/1 ARM好一点,风险也大一点。

Renters finding landlords have upper hand in this market


As vacancy rates dip below 5 percent, landlords are raising rents and offering fewer concessions or perks.

According to Apartment Insights, a web-based information service, the vacancy rate in the Seattle metro area hasn’t been this low since the latter part of 2007, and rental incentives are drying up in downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill and downtown Bellevue.

In contrast, rental markets with vacancy rates above 6 percent include SeaTac, Federal Way and Kirkland, according to Apartment Insights.

Foreclosures at 40-Month Low


NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Foreclosure activity decreased by 9 percentage points to a 40-month low in April, according to new data released Thursday by Realty Trac, a firm that monitors the foreclosure market.

Mortgage rates at 2011 low, but many won’t benefit


This week, a qualified buyer could expect to finance a home over 30 years at an average fixed rate of 4.63 percent, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. That’s the lowest average rate in five months. In November, the rate hit a four-decade low of 4.17 percent.

The 15-year fixed mortgage, popular with refinancers, is down to 3.82 percent. That’s also the lowest point since December.

Mortgage rates have fallen for four straight weeks, tracking the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. The 10-year yield has dropped as investors have snapped up Treasurys and other safe securities because of uncertainties about the global economy and the volatile prices of oil and other commodities.



今天稍晚的时候我将重新计算今天的利率,包括7/1 ARM。以下是5/13,即上星期五的利率:

5月13日 RATE APR Closing Cost 贷款额
15年固定 3.875% 4.162%           $730  $200,000
5/1 浮动 2.625% 3.022%           $480
5/1 浮动 2.75% 3.066%           $230

*Terms and Conditions – Rates referenced above are guidance based on available rates from lenders as of May 13, 2011 for refinance, at least 40% equity for single-family house in the subject property, primary residence, minimum 740 credit score and verifiable income for the borrowers. Specific rates and terms may vary. Rates are subject to change daily without notice.

BofA to give away houses


That’s what Bank of America plans to do with as many as 150 vacant and abandoned properties in and around Chicago through a new “collaboration” with the city that’s intended to address the problem of abandoned properties.

Foreclosures crush home prices; down 30% from 2006 peak


Home prices continued to plummet during the first three months of 2011, falling 4.6% from a year earlier.

The U.S. median price, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), dropped to $158,700 for a single family house. Condo prices fell even harder — 10.4% to $152,900.

The median home price has now slumped 30% from its 2006 high of $227,100, and prices have fallen nearly 7% so far this year.

NAR blamed much of the latest price drop on sales of foreclosed properties. These “distressed” property sales accounted for 39% of the market, up from 36% from a year earlier.

One-third of home sellers in March lost money


Sellers lost money on one-third of homes sold in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties in March, according to online real-estate marketplace and database Zillow.

That’s a big jump from the same month last year, when 22 percent of homes in the Seattle metropolitan area sold for a loss, the Seattle-based company said.

5/1 ARM跌到了2.625%!


从4月14日的那一周开始,利率已经连续跌了3周。5/1ARM更是跌到了2.625%!如果是同样的closing cost,今天你能拿到的30年/15年利率将会比3周前要少几乎0.25%!


  • 上涨:33%
  • 下跌:28%
  • 不变:39%

King County homes prices, sales in April slip from year ago


Buyers closed on 1,533 houses in King County last month, 6.6% fewer than in April 2010, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service said. Last month’s median sale price, $349,950, was down 6.7% from April 2010′s $375,000.

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