Have You Dreamed of Owning A Home In San Francisco?

Have You Dreamed of Owning A Home In San Francisco?

If you’ve dreamed of owning a home in San Francisco that you can really call your own, then now might just be the time to take a serious look at making that dream come true.

Benefiting from magnificent views of the city’s stunning skylines, luxury San Francisco real estate offers exuberant lifestyle homes with great access to exceptional dining, renowned galleries, great shopping, and  a myriad of popular public festivals and events.

With great offerings in exquisite luxury real estate properties available for sale and rent throughout San Francisco, with its many unique neighborhoods.

Its proximity to Silicon Valley and its cultural appeal help make the Bay Area one of the highest priced markets in the country. These factors help keep property values in the region and also buffered it against the downturns that hit most other areas.

According to The Wall Street Journal, home prices in San Francisco have risen more over the last year than in almost any other metro. Between July 2011 and July 2012, home prices rose more than 10 percent in San Francisco, sources report. Additionally an increased population of surging local tech market workers with sizeable incomes has contributed to a rise in the cost of housing overall, ranging from rental properties to San Francisco luxury real estate, the San Francisco Examiner reports.

An influx of high-income workers anxious to find housing near the city continues to increase rental and home prices.  San Francisco has earned a reputation as a great place to live for people in higher income brackets an attract some of the state’s most affluent citizens.

The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies is predicting strong gains in remodeling and home improvement activity over the rest of 2012 and 2013.  The Center’s Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity believes that the seeds of a recovery in the remodeling industry have been planted and there could be double digit growth in home improvement spending over the next eight months.

LIRA is designed to estimate home improvement spending for the current quarter and the following three quarters using the Department of Commerce’s Value of Construction. Put in Places series or C-30 to project the value of residential improvements.  This annual or moving four-quarter rate of change compares total spending in any given four-quarter period to the total spending that occurred in the four quarters prior to that period.

“Strong growth in sales of existing homes and housing starts, coupled with historically low financing costs, have typically been associated with an upturn in home remodeling activity some months later,” says Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center.  “While the housing market has faced some unique challenges in recent years, this combination is expected to produce a favorable outlook for home improvement spending over the coming months.”

Seventy-two percent of respondents in a survey view this as a good time to buy a home, a number that has risen only four points over the last year.  However, the percentage who view the present as a good time to sell has risen 9 points to 19 percent in the same time frame.  Tying the June 2012 level for the all-time high, 69 percent of participants said they would buy if they were going to move.

Rental prices are expected to increase with 47 percent of those responding with an average increase of 3.1 percent.  Price increase expectations have moderated a bit since early summer when respondents were looking for increases averaging 3.9 percent.

The wave of foreclosures hitting the nation’s housing market has been much less severe than anticipated, with foreclosure filings at their lowest level in five years last month, according to a report out Thursday. Foreclosure filings were reported on 180,427 properties in September, a 7% decline from August and down more than 16% from a year earlier, according to a report released Thursday by RealtyTrac. That’s the lowest number since September 2007.  Blomquist had been waiting for a new wave of foreclosures to hit the housing market since the $25 billion mortgage settlement in April.

Lenders put the brakes on many foreclosures as their procedures were put under the microscope after the robo-signing scandal came to light in September 2010. The mortgage settlement had cleared the way for them to proceed again by laying out clear guidelines on how they could pursue borrowers who had missed payments and clear their backlogs of delinquent loans. As a result, Blomquist and other industry experts expected the market to be flooded with repossessions. “That’s not the way it’s playing out,” he said. “It has been a much more managed flow.”

The decline in foreclosures has been especially strong in California and these “non-judicial” foreclosures are handled relatively quickly once the banks started to process foreclosures again.  Part of the reason for the overall improvement is that the government’s and the banks’ efforts to prevent homeowners from falling into foreclosure have taken hold. The government sponsored Home Affordable Modification Program has helped more than a million borrowers obtain more affordable mortgages.

Banks too, are looking for ways to keep delinquent borrowers from falling into foreclosure, opting to either refinance their loans or agreeing to more short sales where the lender agrees to a sales price that is less than what is owed on the mortgage. Lenders prefer short sales over foreclosures because they lose less money on the transactions and they involve fewer legal costs and other expenses.

Record low mortgage rates have definitely helped struggling borrowers hold onto their homes, said Mike Larson, an analyst with Weiss Research. Many borrowers have refinanced their mortgages to lower rates and sharply reduced their payments, helping them to avoid default, he said.

The improving economy has also meant fewer job losses. “That takes some pressure off,” said Larson. “Fewer people are falling behind on their loans.” As a result, the number of distressed properties that threaten to come onto the market is starting to shrink and Blomquist expects fewer bank repossessions going forward. Foreclosure starts, homes in the first stage of the foreclosure process, were down 15% in September compared with 12 months earlier.  “Foreclosures are still a headache, but they’re less of a headache than they were,” added Larson.

remodel kitchenThe outlook for technology is bright and home prices here in San Francisco will precede the overall  housing markets, as the well heeled younger buying market is on the rise. Your local agent, Gary Belk, is acutely knowledgeable and prospects the city and its neighborhoods for those golden homes in need of recovery.

When reconstructing today’s treasures with our modern lifestyle needs, distressed and/or outdated becomes a very relevant consideration in almost every home purchase made, other than the real move in readies, where someone else’s tastes prevail.

So, if you really have that dream of your house on the hill and waiting for that opportune time. Well with the housing markets poised for strong gains, low rates with easier financing, and still diamonds in the rough to be found. It’s a good time to ‘stake your claim’.

Have You Dreamed of Owning A Home In San Francisco?