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e-Edge Newsletter v.18 n. 34 – Released August 25, 2014

By August 25, 2014 No Comments

v.18 n. 34 – Released August 28, 2014

This Week’s Headlines:

California Home Sales and Median Prices in July

The California Association of Realtors released their report on California existing home sales and median prices in July. The statewide median price rose over the 12 months ending in July by 7.1% to $464,750. Although June marked the end of 23 months of double-digit prices increases, the median single-family home price in California has now risen on a year-over-year basis for 29 months.

CAR Report

On the other hand, California home sales continued to decline, falling by 10.0% to 398,940 units (seasonally adjusted, annualized rate) compared with the same period last year. As of July, home sales across the state have declined on a year-over-year basis for a full year. On a more encouraging note, compared with June, sales in July were up by 1.2% making the sales rate in July the fastest since October 2013.

With the run up in prices over the past two years, affordability is playing a significant part in holding back home sales. In spite of recent improvements in bank lending practices, underwriting standards remain relatively strict and are also acting as a brake on sales. It also seems plausible that the unsettled state of the housing market and slow wage growth are leaving many potential buyers feeling now is not the right time to buy a home. On the positive side, inventories have improved and mortgage interest rates have been edging down again.

In July, there was a 3.8-month supply of unsold homes in California compared with 2.9 months a year ago. The inventory situation in Los Angeles County mirrored statewide conditions. Last month the supply of unsold homes in the county was also 3.8 months versus 2.9 months a year ago.

Mortgage interest rates slipped again in July. The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 4.13% in June, down from 4.16% in June. A year ago, the rate was 4.37%.

Here is a year-over-year summary of sales and price activity in Southern California by county. Sales were down across the region; prices continue to climb, but the rate of increase is slowing.

  • Los Angeles County: unit sales declined by 7.3% over the year in July while the median price increased by 9.5% to $461,290.
  • Orange County: sales dropped by 16.4% last month and the median price rose by just 3.0% to $695,270.
  • Riverside County: sales of existing homes were down by 3.6%; the median price rose by 8.7% to $319,960.
  • San Bernardino County: sales fell by 2.5% in July, but San Bernardino was the only Southern California county to post a double-digit increase in median price, which rose by 20.1% to $216,570.
  • San Diego County: unit sales plunged by 18.8%, while the median price increased by 8.1% to $523,070.
  • Ventura County: existing home sales declined by 8.3% but the median price rose by 7.3% to $585,830.

(Kimberly Ritter-Martinez)

Source: California Association of Realtors

U.S. Household Debt and Credit

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York publishes a quarterly report on household debt and credit. After a solid year of accumulating higher levels of debt, American household debt declined by $18 billion (or 0.2%) during the second quarter of this year compared with the first quarter. As of June 30, 2014, total consumer indebtedness was $11.6 trillion. Total consumer debt is still 8.3% below the peak level reached in the third quarter of 2008.

Home mortgages, which are the largest component of household debt accounted for most of the decline. During the second quarter, home lending fell by 0.8% to $8.1 trillion. Balances owed on home equity lines declined by $5.0 billion (-1.0%). New mortgage originations dropped to $286 billion, the lowest level since 2000.

Auto loan balances increased by $30 billion, buoyed by $101 billion in new auto loan originations recorded during the second quarter. This was the highest volume of originations since the third quarter of 2006.

Student loan balances were up by $7 billion and were $124 billion higher than a year ago. Currently, about 10.9% of student loan debt is 90 days delinquent or in default.

Credit card balances rose by $10 billion, while other types of nonmortgage debt increased by $9 billion. Credit card limits have been rising steadily and were up by 1.0% over the first quarter of this year.

Consumer Debt Balance

Overall, delinquency rates improved during the second quarter. As of June 30, 6.2% of outstanding debt was in some stage of delinquency, compared with 6.6% at the end of the first quarter. Additionally, only 1.2% of current mortgage balances transitioned into delinquency. That was the lowest rate since 2000. The cure rate, that is the share of balances that transitioned from 30-60 days delinquent to current, improved slightly to 35.2% versus 35.1% in the first quarter.

Another positive in this report was the increase in the level of total credit inquiries, which serve as an indicator of loan demand. Credit inquiries rose for the fourth consecutive quarter at a 2% year-over-year rate. Taken together with declining delinquency rates, the rising demand for credit is a signal the lending markets are poised for continuing improvement, which should lead to an uptick in consumer spending. (Kimberly Ritter-Martinez)

Source: Federal Reserve Bank New York


Events of Interest


October 8, 2014: LAEDC Economic Forecast

L.A. Hotel Downtown; 333 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles 90071

Introducing a long-term look at the regional economy and innovation in education. Featured guest speakers: Timothy White, Chancellor California State University system and Dr. Robert A. Kleinhenz, Chief Economist, LAEDC.

October 9-10, 2014: Southern California Energy Summit

Palm Springs, CA (see event website for locations)

Join regional leaders from the Counties of Riverside, San Bernardino, Imperial, Inyo, Mono, Kern and Los Angeles to discuss the opportunities, challenges and solutions facing the various energy industries of Southern California. Learn from private and public sector leaders about how new programs, policy and trends that will affect your business and community. Explore interactive exhibits and discover new energy efficient and sustainable technologies.

October 30, 2014: 26th Annual Southern California Visitor Industry Outlook Conference

Hilton Anaheim; 778 W. Convention Way, Anaheim CA 92802 | 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Please join us for the 26th Annual Southern California Visitor Industry Outlook Conference to be held at The Hilton Anaheim. Hear from noted experts, representing a range of travel sectors, offer their best assessment of the southern California economic situation and how it may affect your business.

All attendees receive an electronic copy of PKF Consulting’s 2015 Lodging Forecast. Parking is complimentary and attendees will be able to enjoy a continental breakfast buffet before the conference begins.

Attendees will also hear from our keynote speaker, Mr. Ed Fuller, the President and CEO of Orange County Visitors Association (OCVA) who will discuss the major industry changes in the world today focusing on the new Global market and why it is valuable. He will also offer insight on strategies for increasing Global Visitors and the challenges in this segment.


November 13, 2014: 19th Annual Eddy Awards Gala

The Beverly Hilton; 9876 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210| 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm

The Eddy Awards® is one of the most prestigious awards programs to recognize leadership in economic development in business and government throughout Los Angeles County. The Eddy Awards®, a cocktail, dinner, and awards gala, also supports fulfillment of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation’s mission to attract, retain, and grow businesses and jobs for the regions of Los Angeles County.

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