Real Estate Roundup: Most California Renters Hope to Become Homebuyers

Here’s a look at recent news of interest to homebuyers, home sellers, and the home-curious:

Illustration of a person in front of a for-sale signSURVEY: MOST CALIFORNIA RENTERS WANT TO BUY HOMES
Most renters hope to become homeowners someday, according to a just-released survey by the California Association of Realtors, with nearly three-quarters of renters rating homeownership “important” and 52 percent planning to buy a home in the future.

Among renters who said they hope to own a home, 44 percent said they were renting only out of financial necessity.

Renters mentioned a lack of building equity (24 percent), the inability to make changes to their living environment (14 percent), and unpredictable rent increases (15 percent) as the top three things they dislike about renting. A clear majority (77 percent) prefer to buy single-family homes over condominiums, townhomes, and other types of residences.

The number of underwater homes in the Bay Area fell at the fastest rate in more than two years during the third quarter, according to a story last week in the San Jose Mercury News, which cited data from real estate classified-ads website operator Zillow.

Zillow’s Negative Equity Report found that rising home prices helped pull 42,000 homes in the East Bay, the Peninsula, and the South Bay into the black, so that the properties are worth more than the mortgages on them. The Bay Area performed far better than the national average.

Home sold at a “significantly” faster pace in October than one year earlier, according to’s monthly National Housing Trend Report, with the median age of the U.S. homes inventory down 11.3 percent.

“Instead of the usual seasonal slowdown, October data show the 2013 fall market moving at a fast pace,” said Errol Samuelson, president, in a statement accompanying the Housing Trend report. “Inventory has returned to last year’s levels, but prices continue to strengthen and homes are moving significantly faster compared to this time last year.”

“This demonstrates that the overall strength of the national housing market is determined partly by inventory availability,” said National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.  “We expect rising home price conditions to continue through the balance of the year.”

Homes in Oakland stayed on the market for the shortest number of median days in the U.S., at 30 days. San Francisco and San Jose tied two other regions for the shortest number of days on the market — 48.

New forms simplifying the paperwork that borrowers receive when applying for loans will go into effect in August 2015.

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that it has finalized rules for the “Know Before You Owe” mortgage forms, which are intended to make it easier for consumers to shop for a mortgage, as well as clearly lay out the terms and costs of loans for homebuyers so they know the risks and their financial obligations to repay the loan at the forefront.

(Photo: Flickr/Scott Maxwell)

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