Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Household Debt a Key Factor in Texas Mortgages

According to the Texas A&M Real Estate Center, a Texas real estate buyer making $37,351 annually today can qualify for a 30-year, 80 percent loan in the amount of $150,000. 

Even with favorable interest rates and increased mortgage flexibility, the path to home ownership in Texas may still be a difficult one. In the article Dialing Down Debt: The Road to Recovery Begins at Home, real estate expert Gerald Klassen examines the impact of individual household debt levels on the real estate market. His findings paint a cautionary picture for the mortgage industry, the key to which may be shifting to focus on the deleveraging of debt prior to mortgage approval.

Deleveraging means that households reduce their liabilities by making balloon payments to reduce account balances or liquidate assets to reduce their number of monthly payments. In the past, deleveraging may have been considered a tactic of last resort in pursuing mortgage approval. However, as banks begin to focus more on the viability of mortgage applicants, debt-to-income ratio as a factor for mortgage approval stands to gain in importance.

If you are considering a home purchase, contact the Claus Team by phone at 210.566.6474 and speak to one of our buyers' agents about Texas' debt-to-income ratio requirements and actions you can take to help facilitate approval of your mortgage loan. 

You can also visit us online at www.theclausteam.com and use our mortgage calculator to estimate payments and begin exploring financing options. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

San Antonio home sales way up in June

The San Antonio Board of Realtors recently released June sales numbers, and they included nothing but good news for the local real estate market. Take a look at this press release from SABOR for details about the good news!

Sales, average and median prices highest in four years
San Antonio – July 11, 2012 – San Antonio home shoppers went on a buying spree in June, sending sales volume and pricing up accounting for the highest sales, average and median price in four years. Average and median prices broke records while volume of sales reached the highest level since June 2008. Sales of single-family homes increased 4 percent compared to the same month last year according to the June 2012 Multiple Listing Service report by the San Antonio Board of REALTORS® (SABOR).
"Both buyers and sellers are reaping the benefits of an extremely healthy and robust real estate climate in San Antonio, driven largely by continued job gains that have been responsible for drawing many new consumers to this market," said Liza Reyes, Chairman of the Board. "Buyers are able to take advantage of the lowest interest rates in history as they shop for homes, and we're also hearing accounts of sellers receiving the asking price for their homes and even multiple offers."
Strong sales activity among homes from $200,000 and up pushed average and median pricing. The June single-family home median price —the figure at which half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less —rose 8 percent year-over-year to $168,800, the highest level since 2007 in San Antonio. The average price rose 9 percent to $209,820, the highest since 2007.

June 2010
June 2011
June 2012
Total Month Sales
Average Price
Median Price

The number of available properties, or active listings, at the end of June declined nearly 15 percent from June 2011. The inventory of single-family homes dipped to 6.9 months compared to 8.3 months one year earlier. That means that it would take nearly 7 months to sell all the single-family homes on the market based on sales activity over the past year. The figure is aligned with the national inventory of single-family homes of 6.6 months reported by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
"We credit the strength of the housing market to San Antonio’s continued job growth, affordability and low interest rates" SABOR President and CEO Angela Shields said.
The San Antonio Board of REALTORS

Friday, July 20, 2012

Foreclosures in San Antonio down for year

The San Antonio Express-News reported today on findings recently released by RexReport.com that show the number of foreclosure's are still down significantly from this time last year.

A San Antonio-based foreclosure tracking firm, RexReport's data shows that San Antonio-area foreclosures for the time period between January 2012 and August 2012 total 9,477, down from 10,042 and 11,095 in 2011 and 2010 respectively. In August 2012, lenders will foreclose on 1,160 properties in the greater San Antonio area, down slightly from August 2011 (1,171) and August 2010 (1,255).

Why the improvement? Well, several factors play a role. The first is a general increase in sales price and listing success that has allowed homeowners to sell successfully rather than succumb to foreclosure. Job growth in San Antonio has helped to grow the market's buyer base and helped mitigate foreclosures caused by unemployment situations. Lenders are also thinking outside the box and offering alternative resolutions for distressed properties that allow owners to avoid foreclosure.

If you're interested in information about buying or selling a distressed property, contact the Claus Team and let us discuss your options.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Texas tops job growth list

Newly released statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics show that Texas tops the list of states successfully bouncing back and regaining jobs lost during the height of the recession. 
With a gain of 410,400 non-farm jobs between May 2007 and May 2012, Texas is one of only nine states and the District of Columbia to have achieved pre-recession job levels. What does this mean for the real estate market? Well, without a doubt, statistics like these paint an optimistic picture.  More jobs can mean more qualified buyers and fewer distressed property sales. And job growth is a self-perpetuating cycle; the more jobs are gained, the more other employers are attracted to an area. 
Perhaps the best news for Texas--the race to grow jobs wasn't even a close one. New York earned its second-place standing with 88,600 net jobs added since May 2007, less than one-quarter of the number of jobs added in Texas, followed by North Dakota; Washington, D.C.; Louisiana; Oklahoma; Alaska; Nebraska; South Dakota; and West Virginia. The state with the largest job shortfall is California, having lost 891,200 jobs since the start of the recession.
Positive economic growth can create opportunities in real estate. If you would like to discuss real estate investment opportunities that may be available to you, or if you've been waiting to make a personal real estate change, contact the Claus Team by phone at 210.566.6355 and speak with a Realtor who can help guide you in determining if now is the right time for you to enter the market.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Marching We Will Go!

The Claus Team had a wonderful time marching in the Schertz, Texas Fourth of July Jubilee parade on Saturday. Here we are with our beautiful blue Mustang convertible! Happy Independence Day, everyone!