New TRID Rules Depress Sales and Distort Median Prices
Cash is King in Low Sales Volume Market
November Cash Sales Jump 34.3 Percent Y-o-Y
CALIFORNIA, DECEMBER 16, 2015 – California single-family home and condominium sales fell 22.0 percent in November to 27,105, down from a revised 34,760 in October. On a year-ago basis, sales were down 3.1 percent from 27,961 in November 2014.
“ November 2015 sales marked the lowest November sales volume since 2007 ,” said Schnapp, Director of Economic Research for PropertyRadar. “It appears the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules that went into effect October, 3, 2014 are artificially depressing sales due to the delay in closing.”
The November median price of a California home was $415,000 up 2.5 percent from $404,750 in October. Prices are just shy of the July 2015 peak of $416,000, which was an 8-year high.
“It was a surprise to see median prices jump in November considering the low sales volume,” says Schnapp. “ TRID is likely delaying the closing of lower priced homes which artificially changes the mix of homes sold thus pushing median prices higher .”
Median prices increased in 21 of California’s 26 largest counties. Counties with the largest price increases were Santa Barbara (+21.1 percent), Contra Costa (+8.2 percent), Monterey (+6.3 percent) and Marin (+4.8 percent).
On an annual basis, the median price was up 6.4 percent from $390,000 in November 2014. Annual price gains were five percent or more in 18 of California’s 26 largest counties.
The counties with the largest annual price increases were San Francisco (+12.5 percent), Contra Costa (+11.7 percent), Merced (+11.4 percent) and Marin (+11.3 percent).
“ The TRID effect will likely impact the real estate market for another month or so ,” said Schnapp. “In the meantime, artificially depressed sales and higher median prices may be with us through January 2016.”
Cash sales increased 12.2 percent in November to 8,372 up from 7,348 in October. On a year ago basis, cash sales were up 33.4 percent from 6,233 in November 2014.
“ Cash sales were off-the-hook in November ,” said Schnapp, Director of Economic Research for PropertyRadar. “A bump in cash sales at year’s end is normal, but a jump of 34.3 percent from 2014 was quite a surprise.”
Cash sales were 30.9 percent of total sales up from an average of 20.7 percent over the past six months.
Of the 26 largest counties in California, the counties with the highest percentage of cash sales were San Luis Obispo (+40.1 percent), Marin (+39.0 percent), Riverside (+38.5 percent), Kern (+37.9 percent), Monterey (+36.1 percent) and Orange (+34.7 percent).
“Multiple factors may be driving cash sales,” said Schnapp. “Silicon Valley cashing out, stock market volatility, and increased foreign investment all likely combined to move cash towards the perceived safety of the California real estate market.”
In other California housing news:
- Flip sales fell 15.2 percent in November but were up 4.2 percent over the past 12 months. Flip sales peaked in July, coincident with a peak in median prices.
- The number of homeowners in a negative increased 0.5 percent in the month of November. Approximately 6.7 percent of homeowners, or 585,000, owed more than their home was worth . To put the current negative equity level in perspective, in January 2015 there were just under one million California homeowners underwater, or one in nine. Today, one in 15 California homeowners are underwater.
- Institutional Investor (LLC and LP entities) November purchases fell 16.3 percent to 1,092 for the month and were down 3.5 percent from November 2014. Since reaching a peak in December 2012, institutional investor demand has declined 52.8 percent.
- Trustee Sale purchases by LLC and LPs fell 22.1 percent to 211 for the month and were down 17.3 percent from November 2014. Trustee sales were down 87.9 percent from their October 2012 peak but have trended mostly sideways since May 2014.
- Institutional Investor sales were down 18.9 percent for the month and down 23.0 percent from November 2014. Investor sales have been on a downward trend since March 2015.
- Foreclosure Notices of Default and Notices of Trustee Sale fell 16.3 percent and 23.0 percent , respectively for the month. Both Notices of Default and Notices of Trustee Sale reached their lowest levels in our records dating back to January 2007.