Californians deleverage mortgage debt

Consumer debt decreased by 0.5% nationwide in the second quarter (2Q) of 2012. Much of this reduction is due to decreased mortgage balances. This overall decrease is achieved through the continued high numbers of short sales and foreclosure sales.   Non-mortgage debt actually increased by 0.4% in 2Q 2012. The increase came from consumers taking…

Buyers want better customer service

34% of potential homebuyers said they would be willing to pay a higher interest rate if it came with superior lender service, per a recent survey by Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group.   The most common lender complaints were: slow service; impossible-to-track loan status; hard-to-reach  representatives; and untrustworthy conduct. Lenders say they are responding to these…

The rising trend in California construction starts

SFR and apartment/condo construction starts increased over the last six months compared to the same period last year. The trend in construction starts continues to give mixed signals with September 2012 numbers. SFR starts decreased by 10% from August 2012 to 2,239 starts. However, apartment/condo starts increased by 25% from the prior month to 3,101…

Is Homeownership Overrated?

Should homeownership be encouraged? The Economist wants you to join the debate! The proponents of renting argue that homeownership should not be promoted since it slows the economy by tying the work force to one location. To encourage a fluid, adaptable economy, people must be able to pick-up and move to find jobs. Evidence from…