Housing Recovery to Pick Up Steam in 2016

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Steady employment and economic growth, pent-up demand, affordable home prices, and attractive mortgage rates will keep the housing market on a gradual upward trend in 2016. However, persistent headwinds related to shortages and availability of lots and labor, along with rising materials prices are impeding a more robust recovery, according to economists who participated in a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Fall Construction Forecast Webinar.


Highlights from the forecast include:

  • Home equity has nearly doubled since 2011 and now stands at $12.5 trillion.
  • Mortgage interest rates are expected to rise over the near-term, averaging 4.5 percent in 2016 and 5.5 percent in 2017.
  • Single-family starts are projected to rise 11 percent by year end to 719,000.
  • Single-family production is projected to increase an additional 27 percent in 2016 to 914,000 units.
  • Multifamily starts are expected to rise 9 percent to 387,000 units this year and post a modest 3 percent decline to 378,000 units in 2016.
  • Residential remodeling activity is forecasted to increase 6.8 percent in 2015 over last year and rise an additional 6.1 percent in 2016.

Source: CAR Newsline

Category : Blog

Housing Forecast

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IMG_3702C.A.R. releases its 2016 California Housing Market Forecast

California home sales to increase slightly, while prices post slowest gain in five years

LOS ANGELES (Oct. 8) – California’s housing market will continue to improve into 2016, but a shortage of homes on the market and a crimp in housing affordability also will persist, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) “2016 California Housing Market Forecast,” released today.

The C.A.R. forecast sees an increase in existing home sales of 6.3 percent next year to reach 433,000 units, up from the projected 2015 sales figure of 407,500 homes sold.  Sales in 2015 also will be up 6.3 percent from the 383,300 existing, single-family homes sold in 2014.

“Solid job growth and favorable interest rates will drive a strong demand for housing next year,” said C.A.R. President Chris Kutzkey.  “However, in regions where inventory is tight, such as the San Francisco Bay Area, sales growth could be limited by stiff market competition and diminishing housing affordability. On the other hand, demand in less expensive areas such as Solano County, the Central Valley, and Riverside/San Bernardino areas will remain strong thanks to solid job growth in warehousing, transportation, logistics, and manufacturing in these areas.”

C.A.R.’s forecast projects growth in the U.S. Gross Domestic Product of 2.7 percent in 2016, after a projected gain of 2.4 percent in 2015.  With nonfarm job growth of 2.3 percent in California, the state’s unemployment rate should decrease to 5.5 percent in 2016 from 6.3 percent in 2015 and 7.5 percent in 2014.

The average for 30-year, fixed mortgage interest rates will rise only slightly to 4.5 percent but will still remain at historically low levels.

The California median home price is forecast to increase 3.2 percent to $491,300 in 2016, following a projected 6.5 percent increase in 2015 to $476,300.  This is the slowest rate of price appreciation in five years.

“The foundation for California’s housing market remains strong, with moderating home prices, signs of credit easing, and the state continuing to lead the nation in economic and job growth,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “However, the global economic slowdown, financial market volatility, and the anticipation of higher interest rates are some of the challenges that may have an adverse impact on the market’s momentum next year. Additionally, as we see more sales shift to inland regions of the state, the change in mix of sales will keep increases in the statewide median price tempered.”

2016 California Housing Market Forecast

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015p 2016f
SFH Resales (000s) 416.5 422.6 439.8 414.9 383.3 407.5 433.0
% Change -12.30% 1.40% 4.10% -5.90% -7.60% 6.30% 6.30%
Median Price ($000s) $305.0 $286.0 $319.3 $407.2 $447.0 $476.3 $491.3
% Change 10.9% -6.2% 11.6% 27.5% 9.8% 6.5% 3.2%
Housing Affordability Index 48% 53% 51% 36% 30% 31% 27%
30-Yr FRM 4.70% 4.50% 3.70% 4.00% 4.20% 3.90% 4.50%

p = projected
f = forecast

Leading the way …® in real estate news and information for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® ( is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States, with more than 175,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

Category : Blog

For Renters, A Bleak Future

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Source: The Atlantic

As more people move into rentals and fewer people move out, low vacancy rates have meant skyrocketing prices. Add in years of stagnant wages, and it’s easy to comprehend why affording rent is becoming a more difficult prospect for many families. And according to a new report, things may only get worse in the decade to come. The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and Enterprise Community Partners report that the rental population in the U.S. will climb by about 4 million people. They also expect the number of severely rent-burdened Americans (those paying 50 percent or more) to increase by 11 percent over the decade, to over 13 million people in 2025. That does not bode well for Americans trying to build their savings so that they can afford a down payment on a home.

Read the full story

Category : Blog

Conserving Water

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Helping Home Buyers with Water Conservation

WaterWater is at a premium throughout drought-stricken California, and home buyers will no longer be able to “go with the flow” as residents are tasked with conserving more. Typical U.S. households use approximately 260 gallons of water every day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And as mandatory water restrictions require residents to reduce their water usage by 25 percent, a water-efficient home can help play a large role.

REALTORS® eager to help clients lessen their aqua-footprint may want to consider the water conservation features that new home construction can offer. New homes are generally equipped with more state-of-the-art options to help protect this precious resource and create a viable point of differentiation for concerned citizens.

Here are some common features of new construction that can help conserve our “liquid gold”:

  • 1. “Green” landscaping: The average suburban lawn consumes a whopping 10,000 gallons of non-rain water each year. That’s why some of today’s most coveted gardens utilize the principles of “xeric” or drought-tolerant landscaping. Native plants, such as lavender, ice plant and succulents are well-suited to drought-like conditions and drier soil, thereby helping to reduce water usage. Also, consider a smart “weather-sensing” irrigation system to automatically adjust the water schedule based on weather, seasonality and even zone type. After all, no one wants to see sprinklers running during an unexpected rain.
  • 2. Efficient plumbing lines: New homes generally employ efficient plumbing lines including pressure-regulating valves, which can limit water usage to 60 pounds per square inch (psi). This reduction helps with leaks, saves water and money, and can lessen the possibility of pipes bursting. New homes may also include well-insulated hot water pipes, which speed hot water to the user, reducing the amount of water wasted in warming it up.
  • 3. Improved water heaters: New choices including tankless heaters, heat pumps, or solar hot water heaters save both water and energy.
  • 4. Low-flow plumbing fixtures: Faucets and showers account for 15 and 17 percent of household water use respectively. Improved low-flow options save water (about 30 percent for sinks and 25 to 60 percent for showerheads) without sacrificing quality, appearance or functionality.
  • 5. Dual-flush toilets: Toilets are the number one source of water usage in the home, accounting for nearly 30 percent of residential indoor water consumption. Low-flow models are a step in the right direction, but dual-flush options are even better, offering a full flush volume for solids and a reduced flush for liquids.
  • 6. Energy-efficient dishwashers: On average, dishwashers earning the ENERGY STAR label are 15 percent more water efficient than standard models. These newer-model dishwashers can save up to 1,600 gallons of water over the lifetime of the appliance.
  • 7. Updated washing machines: Take a brand new washing machine for a spin and save on the second-highest water demand in the house. Models manufactured and sold since March 7 are required to use even less water than previous energy-saving models. Even as capacities have expanded, maximum water usage has decreased, helping to save as much as eight gallons more per cycle than older models.

As this severe drought continues to challenge California, REALTORS® can help clients look for new homes that have taken water conservation into account and that have the potential to save money for prospective homeowners in the future. We can all do our part to contend with the Golden State’s water scarcity.

Category : Blog

U.S. Home Prices Are Surging

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Source: Bloomberg

In yet another troubling sign regarding the affordability of homeownership, new data shows that the growth in U.S. home prices is beating wage increases 13 to 1. RealtyTrac found that home price appreciation has outpaced wage growth in 76 percent of U.S. housing markets during the past two years.


Making sense of the story

  • Wages climbed by 1.3 percent from the second quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2014, compared to a 17 percent increase in home prices during that time.
  • “Home prices in many housing markets across the country found a floor in 2012 and since then have rapidly appreciated, particularly in markets attracting institutional investors, international buyers or some other flavor of cash buyer not constrained by income as much as traditional buyers,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
  • Among the 184 metro areas analyzed, the average wage growth over the two years ending Q2 2014 was 3.7 percent while the average home price appreciation in the two years ending in December 2014 was 13.4 percent.
  • Metropolitan statistical areas with the highest ratio of price appreciation to wage growth included Merced, Calif. (141:1), Memphis, Tenn. (99:1), Santa Cruz, Calif. (94:1), Augusta, Ga. (78:1), and Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla. (62:1).
  • Other metro areas where home price appreciation has outpaced wage growth by a wide margin during the housing recovery included Sacramento, Calif. (17:1 ratio), Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. (15:1 ratio), Las Vegas, Nev. (14:1 ratio), and Detroit (12:1 ratio).
  • Among the 140 markets where home price appreciation has outpaced wage growth during the housing recovery, 45 metro areas (32 percent) with a combined population of 63 million had a median home price in December that required more than 28 percent of the median income for monthly mortgage payments.
  • Experts believe those markets with the biggest disconnect between price growth and wage growth during the last two years are most likely to see plateauing home prices in 2015 until wages catch up.

Category : Blog

Does Staging a Home Really Work?

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Category : Blog

Spring Buying Tips

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An Economist’s 3 Tips for Spring Home Buying in a Sellers’ Market


In many parts of the country (OK, not Boston), the busy spring home-buying sea

son is already underway—March typically ushers in a significant increase in home searches online. This year, even more people than last year are jumping into the search process as a result of improving financial circumstances, like a new job, or life events, like a new baby.


That said, many users of this website report that it’s still difficult to find a home that fits their needs and budget. That means this process may take longer than you expect. So, like the Fed keeps telling us, be patient. And be prepared.

1. Consider your alternatives

Mortgage rates are low for now, but they’ll be moving up, and likely remain volatile, in the months ahead. In any case, the average interest rate you see in the news is not necessarily the rate that will apply to you.

The specific rate you get is a product of several factors, including the lender, the loan type, when you applied, the home and its location, the nature of the purchase, and, of course, your credit history and financial circumstances.

What you can afford to buy is significantly affected by the specific mortgage options available to you. A 10-basis-point difference on a mortgage rate has a 1.2% impact on your monthly payment, so what seems like a minor difference from one rate to another can really add up. Plus, if you can’t afford a 20% down payment, you’ll also face mortgage insurance premiums that get added to the monthly payment.

Due to recent changes by housing agencies, you now have more options for low-down-payment programs and even lower mortgage insurance premiums than were available just a few months ago. But that also means you need to think through what is best for you and your circumstances. Our Mortgage 101 crash course is an excellent way to quickly learn the basics about mortgages.

2. Consider new construction

If you are shopping in an area where new homes are being built, don’t assume a brand-new home is out of your price range. While new-home prices have indeed increased at a faster rate than existing-home prices in recent years, that’s partly because low demand from first-time buyers encouraged builders to feature bigger and more expensive homes. In some parts of the country, we are seeing builders open up more affordable communities.

For example, in markets like the greater Cincinnati; Chicago; Washington, DC; and Raleigh, NC, areas, substantial portions of new homes for sale are within budget for households earning the median income for the area.

Having a new home built for you is one way to solve the problem of not being able to find a home on the market that fits your needs. That’s exactly what I did 20 years ago when I bought my first home.

3. Consider an expert local Realtor

The single best piece of advice I can give anyone looking to buy a home is simple: Find an expert local Realtor® to help you through the home-buying journey. All three of those words are important.

When I say “expert,” I mean a professional with substantial experience and insight. This is critical to helping you find the right neighborhood and home, negotiating the best deal for you, and completing the process as smoothly as possible.

“Local” means someone who knows your real estate market, neighborhood, and streets intimately.

And finally, “Realtor” should not be taken for granted as just another name for a real estate agent. A Realtor is a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors® and subscribes to its strict code of ethics. That standard of professionalism is important.

Congratulations on making it to this point! You may have weathered an economic storm, but now you’re able to consider buying a home. Buying a home is a journey, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way.

As chief economist of®, Jonathan Smoke leads its efforts to develop and translate real estate data and trends into accurate and relevant consumer and industry insights on housing.

Category : Blog

Dreaming Big

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3688 Foothill 1

Source: Trulia

Do boomers have different house-size preferences than their younger counterparts, and just what size homes do Americans really want? Trulia set out to determine the answers to these questions in a new survey that examined the discrepancy between people’s ideal residence size and the current size of the residences, among other factors.

Making sense of the story


  • Only 40 percent of respondents said they are living in the size home that’s ideal. Over 43 percent answered that the size of their ideal residence is somewhat or much larger than their current digs.
  • Only 16 percent said that their ideal residence is smaller than their existing home.
  • In contrast to expectations that baby boomers want to downsize, the survey found that more boomers would prefer to live in a larger home than a smaller one. Twenty-one percent said their ideal residence is smaller than their current home, while 26 percent wanted a larger home – a 5-percentage-point difference.
  • Just over half (53 percent) of boomers said they’re already living in their ideally sized home. Nonetheless, members of this generation are more likely to want to downsize than millennials and GenXers.
  • Millennials are much more likely to want to upsize than downsize. Just over 60 percent of millennials said their ideal residence is larger than where they live now – the largest proportion among the generations in the survey sample.
  • Only a little over 13 percent of millennials said they’d rather have a smaller home than their existing one, which is also the smallest among the generations in the survey sample.
  • GenXers are hitting their peak earning years and many in this group may be in a position to trade up. Just 38 percent of this generation said where they live now is a dream-sized residence. Nearly a majority (48 percent) said their dream home is larger, while only 14 percent of GenXers would rather have a smaller home.

Category : Blog


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Source: NAHB

It is hoped that job growth will help the housing industry this year and a stellar January jobs report only bolstered that expectation. However, a cause for concern is that many of America’s fastest growing careers (in terms of numbers of workers) have average or below average homeownership rates. Professions with homeownership rates above the national average, like engineers, lawyers, doctors, and computer and math professionals, are seeing only average job growth.

Making sense of the story

  • Some experts suggest that acceleration in job growth, along with an ongoing expansion of consumer confidence, will help support housing demand and residential construction during 2015.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that payroll employment expanded by 257,000 in January, with an additional 147,000 jobs reported in November and December after data revisions. The unemployment rate inched up to 5.7 percent in January from 5.6 percent in December, which is in fact, a positive development as this change was due to more individuals seeking work.
  • A separate BLS survey of job openings and turnover suggests additional hiring ahead. For the overall economy, the job opening rate (number of unfilled jobs as a percent of total employment) reached 3.5 percent in December, the highest rate for the post-recession period.
  • In December, total private residential construction spending increased 0.3 percent, driven by a large increase in the single-family component of private residential construction. Single-family spending increased 1.2 percent over the revised November estimate, while multifamily spending increased 0.3 percent.
    One of the factors holding back housing demand (rental and owner-occupied) has been weak household formation, particularly among young adults. New research by BLS economists found that for those born between 1980 and 1984, 90 percent moved out of their parents’ household by age 27. Of those moving out, however, over 50 percent returned.
  • This lack of robust household formation, combined with weakness in existing home inventory, has placed a ceiling on growth for the home resale market.
  • In contrast, the 55+ market continues to do well. NAHB’s 55+ Housing Market Index was higher year over year for all segments of the senior market—single-family homes, condominiums, and multifamily rental. The single-family index increased six points from the fourth quarter of 2013, to 54—the highest fourth-quarter reading since the inception of the index in 2008.

Category : Blog

Sellers Needed

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Sellers needed! As of today there are only 206 active single family homes on the market in the following combined cities: Pleasanton, San Leandro, Castro Valley, Dublin, San Ramon & Danville.

Buyers are anxiously waiting for new properties to hit the market. If you’re thinking about possibly selling your home please don’t hesitate to contact us. This is a great time to get your house on the market.

Category : Blog

About Us

Since 1970 Rinetti & Co. Realtors has been selling residential and commercial real estate throughout the greater East Bay. We are boutique real estate company with a single focus, exceptional customer service from start to finish. Rinetti & Co. Realtors has the experience and practical knowledge to adapt to changing market conditions while providing our clients expert advise when buying or selling a home. If you’re considering making a move please contact us and see the difference Rinetti & Co. Realtors can make for you.


The only realtors in San Leandro...You will not meet two finer or more ethical realtors. The best! - Gary S.

Rinetti & Co. turned out to be the perfect place for me to do business...I would not hesitate to recommend their services to anyone buying or selling property. - Mary K.

...As I am sure you are aware, a house is stucco, wood and nails, but a home is where a lifetime of memories are created. Our mother was very proud of her home, it meant so much to her.

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...Thanks for your patience, guidance & professionalism, you made this experience a great one that we will never forget...We can’t thank you enough, thanks a bunch!!! - Rocio R.

If anyone in the East Bay is looking to buy or sell a home, please consider my friends and agents Tianne Rinetti-Vittoria and Perry Vittoria! They helped us buy our house and did an amazing job! They go above and beyond.”

- Chris S.

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