Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 31-40 of 40

Homes under contract up 62%

by Harold Powell

Homes under contract or homes in escrow for Ventura County has increased 62% from a year ago. Fueled by historic lows in interest rates, demand for housing has been incredible. This helps to explain the increase in today's home prices.

Tax tips for Homeowners

by Harold Powell



With the tax season is underway, and homeowners gearing up to meet the April 15 filing deadline can find the tax tips and insights they need at, the award-winning comprehensive website for homeowners from the National Association of Realtors®.

HouseLogic’s “Homeowner’s Guide to Taxes” can help filers take advantage of the tax benefits that come with homeownership while avoiding common home-related tax mistakes.

Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report

by Harold Powell

Homeowners looking for the most return on their investment when it comes to remodeling should consider exterior replacement projects. According to NAR’s 2013 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, REALTORS® rated exterior projects among the most valuable home improvement projects.

Median asking price up 45%

by Harold Powell

Yes, it’s true prices are going up.  The median sale or asking price has risen 45% over the past year while the median sold price has risen 15% for Ventura County.



Today I wanted to show you a couple things that will help you see what happened over this past year in regards to median pricing and where the largest percentage of buyer demand took place.

Let’s start with the median pricing. The median price is the half way point of the inventory.  As you look at the graph you can see (red bars) median for sale price or asking price of those homes on the market has risen 45% over the last year. December of 2011 the median asking price was $379,949. Today its is $550,000!


This means that there are a lot fewer lower priced homes on the market and consequently there are a greater percentage of more expensive homes on the market.
It does not mean, however, that the price of one’s home has gone up 45% in the last year.

Meanwhile, the median sold price(green bars) for the county has risen 15% over the past year. A year ago the median sold price for the county was $329,000.  Today the median sold price is $379,000.  The fact that both the median for sale and sold prices are trending up tells us the market pricing will continue to trend the upwards direction for 2013.

Most of the increase in pricing this past year was found where the demand was the greatest. As you look at the price distribution graph you can see exactly where the largest pool of buyers bought last year.


The green bars reflect the number of properties sold over the last year. The largest percentage of sales between 300,000 to 400,000 closely followed by 200,000 to 300,000 price point.   The 400,000 to 500,000 price range also saw very strong buyer demand. You can see as you move up in price above $600,000 the demand diminishes significantly compared to the other price points.

I expect that the demand in this market above 600,000 to improve significantly this year. As sellers equity improves in the 400-500k range it allows for an easier  transition to a larger or  or higher priced property.  Consequently, I expect the homes over 600,000 to see greater appreciation this year.

To get more specifics about what your home is worth or about how you can benefit from buying or selling in today’s market call me at 339-3516.

California Appreciation and the job market

by Harold Powell

California has the biggest demand/supply imbalance in the country:

  • Demand is strong and new home supply is low: California is adding more than four jobs for every home built (see chart below)
  • There are very few homes for sale (see second chart below)
  • Monthly housing costs as a percentage of income are near the lowest they have been in 30+ years

In summary, what happens when demand is strong, supply is low and affordability is the best in decades? Pretty easy math.

Prices go up.














On January 1, 2013, as part of the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations, Congress passed an extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act. This extension of this act, which has saved homeowners more than $1 billion dollars in taxes, is great news for struggling homeowners nationwide, and for the agents that represent them.

The extension is now only awaiting President Obama’s signature.

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act was originally passed in 2007 to aid the millions of homeowners who suddenly found themselves in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure following the housing market crash.

Under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, debt forgiven in a short sale, foreclosure, or loan modification, is exempt from federal taxes on primary residences. For homeowners facing foreclosure, this exemption saves them from paying thousands, or even tens of thousands, in taxes on top of losing their homes.

Now for another year, homeowners can take advantage of this exemption and avoid foreclosure without the fear of an impossible tax liability.

And with banks recognizing the significance of short sales as an effective loss mitigation tool, they’re ramping up for business. Short sales will be the key loss mitigation tool used by mortgage servicers in 2013.

“Housing markets with higher-priced homes performed better in November compared with lower-priced areas. The negative impact of a lean housing supply on home sales is becoming more apparent, especially in markets with more distressed properties,” said C.A.R. President Don Faught.

The statewide median price of an existing, single-family detached home increased 2.3 percent from October’s $341,370 median price to $349,300 in November.  November’s price was up 24.8 percent from a revised $279,910 recorded in November 2011, marking the ninth consecutive month of annual price increases and the fifth consecutive month of double-digit annual gains.  The year-to-year percentage increase was the largest since June 2004.

Capital gains rate change for 2013

by Harold Powell

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Jobs Creation Act of 2010 extends the Bush-era tax cuts until the end of 2012. Beginning January 1, 2013, the tax rate will revert from the current 15 percent rate back to the former 20 percent capital gain tax rate that was in effect prior to 2003.
This will affect sellers who decide to cash out and decide not to do a 1031 exchange. Consult with your CPA for further questions.

The holiday secret......

by Harold Powell

Look at the 4th quarter every year the supply of homes decreasing 20-25% every year while the demand only pulls back 5%.

As a homeowner that means you are competing with fewer homes for about the same number of buyers.

Check out the 3 year chart which shows the number of new properties by quarter. You'll see a pull back of new inventory in the 4th quarter.  Call me to discuss how we can take advantage of this season.


Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Harold Powell

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates go up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

Displaying blog entries 31-40 of 40

Contact Information

Photo of Harold Powell Real Estate
Harold Powell
RE/MAX Gold Coast Realtors
5720 Ralston St. Ste. 100
Ventura CA 93003
(805) 339-3516