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Carole Schiffer

has been recognized as one of Coldwell Banker's Top 500 agents in the United States -- out of 41,000 agents nationwide according to Bruce Zipf, president and CEO of NRT, Coldwell Banker's parent company. "This is a tremendous honor," Carole stated, "and I am so proud to be a member of the Coldwell Banker family since 2000." Carole has always been one of Coldwell Banker's premier agents in their Brentwood Office. She specializes in the sale of luxury homes in West Los Angeles including gated communities. A dynamic, intensely dedicated agent, she is respected by peers and prides herself on providing the ultimate professional service and intimate real estate knowledge. .

About Carole Schiffer

Call Carole at (310) 442-1384

SchifferLine 1 December 2014

Timely Real Estate News………………………………………………….1 December 2014

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Good signs on the real estate highway….2015 sales expected to be higher
According to the National Associate of Realtors (NAR), while home sales in 2014 got off to a slow start, the national real estate market has been showing signs of improvement in inventory, slower price gains, and pent-up demeconomic forecast 12-1-2014 copyand). While this is a “national story”, this is surely a good trend for us in Southern California as well as on the Westside.

According to a new economic forecast by the NAR, existing-home sales are expected to be higher in 2015, and prices will remain at a healthier level of growth that benefits both buyers and sellers according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist. “The improving job market has consumers feeling more confident, and the rebound in home prices is building household wealth for homeowners and giving them the ability to sell after waiting the last few years,” said Yun.

Existing-home sales this year are expected to fall slightly below the level of 2013 (5.1 million) to 4.9 million, and then are forecasted to increase to 5.3 million next year and 5.4 million in 2016. Yun expects the national median existing-home price to rise 4 percent both next year and in 2016.

Despite the forecasted higher pace of sales in the next two years, Yun said headwinds which are projected to remain will likely hold back the housing market from reaching its full potential. Citing NAR’s monthly Realtors Confidence Index, which has decreased this year while consumer confidence has risen, Yun said Realtors are generally optimistic, but certain factors such as inventory shortages in parts of the country and tight lending standards may be playing a role in their recent dip in confidence.

“Multi-family housing starts have rebounded back to normal since the downturn mostly due to the strong demand for renting,” said Yun. “On the other hand, single-family housing starts are still lagging as smaller homebuilders continue to face difficulty obtaining NAR 12-1-2014construction loans, and some have even gone bankrupt. Single-family construction still needs to increase to alleviate supply shortages and keep up with the pent-up demand.”

Yun said renter households have increased by 4 million since 2010 while homeowner households have decreased by 1 million. “The typical homeowner today has a household net worth of around $200,000. Meanwhile, renters aren’t benefitting from the rise in prices and are facing annual increases of their own in the form of higher rents.”
In addition to lagging inventory and rising rents, Yun said tight credit standards, an increase in multi-generational households, and student debt are contributing to a decrease in first-time buyers to a low not seen since 1987. He recognized the new credit scoring calculation recently announced by Fair Isaac Corp., or FICO, as a positive for first-time buyers, but added that mortgage insurance premiums are too high in relation to default rates.

On the topic of access to credit, there are creditworthy borrowers who have enough income to afford monthly mortgage payments but not a large down payment and closing costs. He said FHFA will offer programs to help this situation.

“This story bodes well for our real estate industry, which has certainly taken a ‘hit’ since the recession of 2007 began. We’re still not out of the woods, yet,” Carole Schiffer stated, “however we have seen a steady increase in sales and median sales prices on the Westside, and especially in the five communities I report on — Beverly Hills, BH Post Office, Bel-Air, Westwood/Century City, and Brentwood. We’re up over 8% for sales activity through the first nine months of 2014.”

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Sales surge for high-end home sales….that’s good
While the real estate market seems to be in the recovery mode according the National Association of Realtors, we are seeing
another trend that is sure to make many homeowners on the Westside very happy: Sales of homes selling for $2 million or more are ‘selling like hotcakes’, as one analyst commented. In some markets (Dallas, Atlanta and Phoenix for example), sales of higher-priced homes have at least two times more listings for sale in the top tier than the bottom tier.Sales surge 12-1-2014

In a national survey of 350 local metropolitan markets, it was found that the number of for-sale listings rose 68 percent in the bottom price-tier of these markets compared to a year ago. In the top tier, however, listings rose in over 82 percent of the markets. Nationwide, inventory is up about 16 percent in all tiers from a year ago.

What is happening is that individual buyers in the higher-end range are able to walk in with an all-cash offer and then they re-finance after the close of escrow to take advantage of lower rates. According to Carole Schiffer, “In some cases, the all-cash offer gets them to the head of the line. “ Because we attract pre-approved clients who are searching to make the best deal in a very completive market we have been seeing this happening on the Westside for some time. Frankly, we’re a very popular market to buyers from inside and outside of Southern California.”

According to a report this pRows of housesast week from the National Association of Realtors, sales of existing homes rose 2.5 percent in October from a year ago. Sales of homes priced above $1 million, however, soared 16 percent. If you look at the five communities I report on, the median sales price for homes in Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills Post Office, Bel-Air and Brentwood are all over $2 million and prices have continued to rise over the past year.

Freddie Mac also says that mortgage originations of single-family homes will likely slip by an additional 8 percent, which can be attributed to a steep drop in refinancing volume. Re-financings are expected to make up only 23 percent of originations in 2015; they had been making up more than half in recent years.

The good news appears to be much more fundamental for our economy — more and better-paying jobs….improving financial health for many families, and more housing activity which allows families entry into the home-buying market.

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Mixed news on home loans: Interest rates are down, but not for long
Better grab’em while you can. Right now, interest rates have dropped below 4%, but analysts predict that low mortgage ratesmixed news 12-1-2014 are on their way out for homebuyers next year as also reported by Freddie Mac (above). However, mortgage rates were at an average of 3.97%, down from 3.99% the previous week so if you’re considering making your move now, it’s a good time to get your loan locked in.

According to Freddie Mac, which has published weekly reports on the 30-year loan since 1971, the average 30-year rate, which started 2014 at 4.5%, has been below 4% for five of the last seven weeks,. Home loans rates remain near an 18-month low as we are seeing an increase in existing home sales, going from 5.03 million in June, 2014, to 5.26 million in October, 2014.

Fears that the improving economy would drive rates higher were tempered by expectations of slower expansion this quarter and by sluggish growth in other major countries. Moderate economic growth in the U.S., minimal inflation, and few profitable places for investors to park their funds are all helping American mortgage borrowers obtain fantastic rates according to Freddie.

Freddie Mac acredit history 12-10-2014sks lenders each month about the terms of loans they are offering to borrowers who have 20% down payments and who pay half of 1% of the loan amount in upfront lender fees and discount points. Payments for such services appraisals and title insurance are not included. The survey provides a consistent gauge of mortgage trends, but actual rates
adjust constantly and are influenced by many factors.

In addition to borrowers’ credit histories and debt loads, the factors include whether the borrowers opt for zero-cost loans at higher rates or pay extra to lenders initially to lower the rates.

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Freddie Mac is optimistic about home-purchase market…..
Yes, Freddie does have “feelings”, perhaps not all the time, but Freddie appears to be very up on the prospects for 2015, too. Like the NAR in the story above, Freddie Mac in their U.S. Economic and Housing Outlook for November, expects the home-purchase market to strengthen along with the economy in 2015.

The good news for 2015 is that the U.S. economy appears well-poised to sustain about a 3 percent growth rate in 2015 — only the second year in the past decade with growth at that pace or better,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

“Governmental fiscal drag has turned into fiscal stimulus; lower energy costs support consumer spending and business investment; further easing of credit conditions for business and real estate lending support commerce and development; and consumers are more upbeat and businesses are more confident, all of which portend faster economic growth in 2015. With that, the economy will produce more and better-paying jobs, providing the financial wherewithal to support household formations and housing activity.”Freddie Mac 12-1-2014

Here is what else Freddie had to say about next year:

1) Interest rates will likely be on the rise next year. In recent weeks, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has dipped below 4 percent. By next year, Freddie projects mortgage rates to average 4.6 percent and inch up to 5 percent by the end of the year; and,

2) By the time 2014 wraps up, home appreciation will likely have slowed to 4.5 percent this year from 9.3 percent last year. Appreciation is expected to drop further to an average 3 percent in 2015. “Continued house-price appreciation and rising mortgage rates will dampen affordability for home buyers,” according to Freddie economists. “Historically speaking, that’s moving from ‘very high’ levels of affordability to ‘high’ levels of affordability.”

3) Freddie Mac also says that mortgage originations of single-family homes will likely slip by an additional 8 percent, which can be attributed to a steep drop in refinancing volume. Re-financings are expected to make up only 23 percent of originations in 2015; they had been making up more than half in recent years.

The good news appears to be much more fundamental for our economy — more and better-paying jobs….improving financial health for many families, and more housing activity which allows families entry into the home-buying market.

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Coldwell Banker continues #1 ranking on Westside
It’s always nice to play on the first team — Coldwell Banker remains the dominant residential real estate broker by a substantial margin. Analyzing the sales statistics through the past 12 months, on the Westside, ending in October, 2104, Coldwell Banker came out on top by a substantial margin in every category!

In Bel-Air, Coldwell Banker has 24.8% of the market of all residential sales (single-family and condo sales) compared to 8.8% for the next ranking realtor. In Beverly Hills, CB has 25.8% market share compared to 12% for the next; in Brentwood, we have 18.4% market share, as compared to 14% for number two; and in Westwood/Century City, CB had 14.4% market share vs. 7.7% for the next real estate company.

“This is a testament to the strength of Coldwell Banker in both condominium and single-family residential sales,” Carole Schiffer said. “We bring to the table the strongest, broadest, most experienced sales team in all of Southern California — and
it shows in our market share strength, our online presence, international reach, and especially in training and mentoring, which I regard as exceptionally strong.”

training 12-10-2014Every new agent to CB who is new to the business must complete an extensive training and mentoring program which Carole has been involved in for more than 15 years. “We work with new agents in all aspects of real estate sales — and we expect above-the-bar performance before they graduate to become full-time agents on Coldwell Banker’s team.” “In addition, we offer continuous training both in the office and on line. We have classes in our office every week.”

One of the major competitive advantages that buyers and sellers have in choosing Coldwell Banker is that it reaches deeper into the community — “…we attract and retain the top agents. They want to be associated with the best!” Carole points to the integrity and trust agents and clients of Coldwell Banker have for the company — without that, we wouldn’t be as successful as we have been. Our clients trust us to perform at a very high level, she said.

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thanskgivingHow was your Thanksgiving? Ours was sensational! Because we were not able to go to our home in Coronado, my sister and brother in law who live in Vancouver BC came to Los Angeles. We all had a great time turning my house into Carole’s hotel as our Mom moved in with us also! We laughed a lot. I would love to hear some of your holiday stories. For Christmas, Mom & I will be traveling north to Vancouver.

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Be the first to know 12-1-2014

Please be sure to check out my facebook page and my web site to see the photos and information on my new listing in Mountaingate. It is a wonderful 5 4.5 home with a great yard, move in condition and VIEWS!!! Priced at $2,885,00

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