Monday, August 17, 2009

Oakland Berkeley real estate trends in rates and inventory

Expect surges in Housing Inventory. With the foreclosure moratorium finally lifted, Notices of Default are up, and Notices of Trustee Sales are WAY up. For example, Notices of Trustee Sales were up over 300% in Contra Costa County in July (compared to last year), and they were up almost 200% in Alameda County. This should result in a sizable increase in the number of listings coming to market this fall.

One more thing:

The New York Federal reserve purchased $20.4B in Mortgage Backed Securities in the latest week bringing the total to approximately $742B since the program began back in January. Home loan rates have stayed historically low during this period in the 4 3/4% to 5 1/2% range. We can't drive home the point enough that rates are going eventually higher - With September upon us, there is only a few months left in the Fed Bond purchase program - hopefully you are seeing the opportunity in rates that may only last just a few more months.

Something else to consider in the not to distant future, while the Fed is scheduled to purchase Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) through the end of the year, they are only purchasing Treasuries through the end of October. The reason the Fed is buying long-term Treasuries is to maintain the spread between the 30-year Treasury and MBS. Once the Fed stops buying Treasuries, their yields should rise...and that would force yields on mortgage rates to move up so they can stay competitive and attractive.

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