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The latest news in the world of real estate:

A bill to combat neighborhood blight was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday.

AB 2314 provides additional tools to local government and receivers to fight neighborhood blight caused by vacant homes.
The new law is part of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, which builds upon and extends reforms first negotiated in the recent national mortgage settlement between 49 states and leading lenders.

Home prices rose in second quarter

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices shows that all three headline composites ended the second quarter of 2012 with positive annual growth rates for the first time since the summer of 2010. The national composite rose 1.2 percent in the second quarter of 2012 compared with the second quarter of 2011 and was up 6.9 percent compared with the first quarter of 2012. The 10- and 20-City Composites posted respective annual returns of 0.1 percent and 0.5 percent in June 2012.
Month-over-month, average home prices in the 10-City Composite were up 2.2 percent and in the 20-City Composite were up 2.3 percent compared with May. For the second consecutive month, all 20 cities and both Composites recorded positive monthly gains. Eighteen of the 20 MSAs and both Composites posted better annual returns in June as compared with May 2012 – only Charlotte and Dallas saw a deceleration in their annual rates.

New home sales rise in July

Sales of new single-family houses rose 3.6 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 372,000, according to estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 25.3 percent above the July 2011 estimate of 297,000.The median sales price of new houses sold in July 2012 was $224,200; the average sales price was $263,200. The seasonally adjusted estimate of the number of new houses for sale at the end of July was 142,000. This represents a supply of 4.6 months at the current sales rate.

FHFA reports home prices rose in Q2

U.S. house prices rose 1.8 percent in the second quarter compared with the first quarter, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) seasonally adjusted purchase-only house price index (HPI). The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages. Seasonally adjusted house prices rose 3.0 percent from the second quarter of 2011 to the second quarter of 2012. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for June was up 0.7 percent from May.
“Although some housing markets are still facing significant challenges, house prices were quite strong in most areas in the second quarter,” said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis.
The strong appreciation may partially reflect fewer homes sold in distress, but declining mortgage rates and a modest supply of homes available for sale likely account for most of the price increase.”
FHFA’s expanded-data house price index, a metric introduced in August 2011 that adds transactions information from county recorder offices and the Federal Housing Administration to the HPI data sample, rose 2 percent compared with the latest quarter. Over the latest four quarters, the index was up 2.4 percent.
While the national, purchase-only house price index rose 3 percent from the second quarter of 2011 to the second quarter of 2012, prices of other goods and services rose 1.7 percent over the same period. Accordingly, the inflation-adjusted price of homes rose approximately 1.3 percent over the latest year.

Tip of the Week: Consumers warned about paying up-front fees to contractors

The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is alerting California consumers who are considering hiring a painter, landscaper – or any other type of construction contractor – that it is illegal to ask for or accept a down payment of more than 10 percent of the total home improvement contract price of $1,000, whichever is less.
Many consumer victims who file complaints with CSLB tell investigators they were unaware that there is a legal limit for down payments.  Many unlicensed operators also are not familiar with this aspect of California contracting law, which should serve as a red flag for homeowners.  If someone asks for a large amount of money up front, the person might not have a license or the necessary project skills.  Many times, unlicensed operators take a homeowner’s down payment and never start the project.

Category : Blog

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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.


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