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San Diego resident, Anne Hunter reported saving $700 after paying off variable rate credit cards with a refinance mortgage that encouraged debt consolidation. At the National Association of Home Builders, analysts said this week that rising interest rates and subprime loan failures had reduced builder confidence to the lowest level in 16 years. Both associations recently revised their forecasts for a home-price recovery from mid-2007 to early 2008. That doesn't mean the sky is falling, said Steve Doyle, San Diego area president for Brookfield Homes. “Historically speaking, rates under 7 % are still fantastic,” Doyle said.
Northern San Diego County's home prices continued to rise in June even as buyers for them became harder to find, according to data released Tuesday. In a recent article, Ann Perry Illustrates the area's topsy-turvy real estate market, the median price of single-family homes sold last month hit a record high of $667,000, even as industry experts bemoaned what they saw as a declining market. The median sales price for San Diego homes was up 1.83% from $655,000 in May, and up by 2.62% from the $650,000 reported in June 2006, according to the Home Dex report, which is updated monthly by the North San Diego County Association of Realtors.
However, the 807 North County single-family detached homes sold in June marked a 4.19% decline from a year ago, and that total was off 32% from June 2005, according to the report. "It's a buyer-seller standoff," said Michele Williams, a real estate broker, as she sought to reconcile higher prices with lower sales numbers. "Nothing's really selling." Williams, who owns ERA Ranch & Sea in Oceanside, La Costa, and Carlsbad and also ERA Sterling in Encinitas and Poway, said that buyers are waiting for prices to fall, while sellers are convinced that they won't. "If sellers would drop their price a bit more, we'd see a lot more activity," she said. "Houses are selling when they're priced aggressively." Her analysis of aggressive pricing seems to explain one of the trends in the report. The median price per square foot, another way of measuring price, was $305 in June, down from $330 in June 2006. So those homes that do sell are selling for less than they might have a year ago. She continues to elaborate about the variances between higher prices and slower sales is that higher-priced homes are moving more briskly than lower-priced homes. "People who have money, good credit and down payments are still buying," said Pat Hunter, a broker associate with Century 21 Award in Escondido and a 30-year veteran of the business. Sales of lower-priced homes are hampered by tighter lending standards that have all but eliminated no-down payment financing, or 100% financing of a home, along with many mortgage loans to bad credit borrowers, or borrowers with past bankruptcies or low credit scores. Also hindering homeowners has been an increase in mortgage interest rates, from 5.77% for a 30-year, fixed-rate home mortgage in June 2005 to 6.73% for the same kind of mortgage last month, according to HSH Associates Financial Publishers of Pompton Plains, New York.
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