Santa Clarita Real Estate Update
November, 2009 - Issue #61
What's Really Going on in the SCV Real Estate Market

by Joshua Suess

There seem to be many opinions floating around about the current market, but here are the facts:

Our housing inventory (number of homes for sale) has continued to shrink drastically. We have more buyers available than there are homes to sell them. Couple this with the last-minute rush of buyers who are trying to take advantage of the $8,000 credit and we are seeing an all-out frenzy! This is making it one of the best times to sell in many years, so if you're thinking of selling, do it before we see the market shift again.

Will the market shift again? If the predictions come true and the "shadow inventory" hits the market, we will undoubtedly see the inventory rise quickly, home prices fall drastically and we will experience a market similar to the few years where homes sat for extended periods of time and buyers remained on the sidelines.

"Shadow inventory" refers to the REO or bank-owned listings being held by banks that will at some point need to come on the market. It also represents the foreclosures in process; the homeowners who were unsuccessful in loan modifications who will need to either short sell or foreclose; and the homeowners who are/were waiting for a better market to sell.

All of these properties will at some point need to be brought out onto the marketplace and, until then, will continue to stockpile. This surplus of homes is essentially lurking over the real estate market and as such is referred to as "shadow inventory." There are no exact numbers, but some estimates indicate that California alone has nearly 80,000 of these properties.

While no one has a crystal ball, the safe bet is to sell now if you are thinking of making a move within the next few years. As for buying, prices are already attractive enough, so if you see something that you will be happy living in, jump on it! Will there be better buying opportunities ahead? Only time will tell.

Joshua Suess is with the Suess Home Selling Team at Re/Max 702-4640

Homeowners Beware of Foreclosure Rescue Scams
by Jennifer Thompson

If you are faced with the possibility of losing your home to foreclosure, please beware! There are several scams out there offering to assist homeowners, but, in reality, are just out to make money at the homeowner's expense.

The California Association of Realtors has published red flag alerts. Here is a list of some to watch out for: paying money up front prior to services being provided; requests mortgage payments to be made directly to their company and not your lender; requests payments to be made in cash or cashier's check; advises you to transfer your property deed or title to their company; asks for power of attorney, signatures on a grant deed or deed of trust; promises to stop the foreclosure process, no matter the circumstances.

There are many organizations and government enforcement agencies that are out there to assist homeowners who may have been a victim to a foreclosure-related scam artist.

Jennifer Thompson is a Realtor® with Regal Realty of California 295-8715
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