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San Francisco Has the Nation’s Fewest Delinquent Mortgage Holders

  • The U.S. mortgage-delinquency rate dipped to 4.3 percent in March, the lowest since March 2007.
  • In the San Francisco metropolitan area, 1.5 percent of homeowners are delinquent on their mortgages, the fewest of any large U.S. housing market.
  • Mortgage delinquencies rose in the Santa Rosa and Napa metro areas from one year earlier, likely a result of October’s wildfires.

Contemporary homes in San FranciscoA thriving economy and rising home equity have helped pushed mortgage delinquencies to the lowest point since before the Great Recession, with San Francisco claiming the best late-payment rate of any large U.S. city.

That’s according to CoreLogic’s latest Loan Performance Insights report, which says that 4.3 percent of Americans with a mortgage were delinquent on their payments by more than 30 days as of March, the lowest number in 11 years. Mortgage delinquencies decreased in 47 states from one year earlier — including in California, where they dropped to 2.5 percent.

In a statement accompanying the report, CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft pointed to the U.S. unemployment rate, which fell to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent in May, as helping most Americans avoid mortgage delinquency. He also said that rising home equity plays a factor in the trend, with the average mortgage holder gaining $16,300 in equity between March 2017 and March 2018.

Of the 10 largest core-based statistical areas in the country, San Francisco — which includes Marin, San Mateo, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties — boasts the nation’s lowest mortgage-delinquency rate, at 1.5 percent. Mortgage delinquencies are even more scarce in San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, where just 1.1 percent of homeowners are more than 30 days late on their payments. The number of delinquent mortgages declined year over year in both areas.

By contrast, mortgage delinquencies rose from March 2017 in the Santa Rosa and Napa metro areas, to a respective 2.1 percent and 2.2 percent. This is likely due to the devastating October wildfires, with CoreLogic CEO and President Frank Martell referencing last year’s natural disasters as a factors affecting current mortgage-default rates.

California and the Bay Area serve as prime examples of the two trends that Nothaft referenced as helping fewer Americans to be tardy on their mortgage payments. The state’s unemployment rate fell to a record-low 4.2 percent in April, with jobless claims in San Francisco and San Mateo counties dropping to 2.1 percent. And according to a separate recently released CoreLogic report, Golden State homeowners gained an average of $51,000 in equity between the first quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, the most in the country.

(Photo: iStock/canbalci)

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Shared with permission from the Pacific Union Blog

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Labor Shortages, Materials Costs Increases to Drive Up Home-Remodeling Costs

  • A recent survey found that remodeling firms expect labor shortages to worsen this year, while worker and materials costs will increase.
  • More than nine in 10 remodeling businesses report a shortage of carpenters.
  • About 70 percent of home-improvement companies will pass increased labor and materials costs on to customers.

While most American homeowners and prospective buyers probably do not ponder the construction sector on a regular basis, current trends in that industry could affect their wallets in the coming months.

Houzz’s new State of the Industry 2018 report, which coincides with National Home Improvement Month, found that respondents from all seven construction and remodeling subsectors it tracks expect the availability of skilled workers to tighten this year. General contractors, designers, and builders are projected to be the most in-demand types of workers, with about half of those polled expecting the labor market to get tighter.

All seven subsectors also project that labor costs will increase, again led by general contractors (56 percent) and designers and builders (57 percent). About half of architects and specialty renovators and landscapers think that the aforementioned lack of skilled workers will cause job costs to rise in 2018.

That trend again persists when it comes to the cost of remodeling and building materials, which are expected to increase across the board. The number of remodeling professionals who believe that materials costs will be higher this year than last ranges from 60 percent of general contractors to 47 percent of landscaping firms.

Houzz’s survey dovetails with research published earlier this week by the National Association of Home Builders, in which more than 90 percent of home renovators reported a shortage of carpenters, with about half calling the situation serious. Other types of remodeling professionals that are in the highest demand include framers, bricklayers, drywall installers, and concrete workers.

About three-quarters of remodeling businesses told NAHB that a lack of skilled workers is leading them to pay higher wages. The impact on homeowners is nearly the same, with 71 percent of firms reporting that they pass their increased costs along to clients.

Bay Area homeowners who are considering a home-improvement project should check out Remodeling’s 2018 Cost Versus Value report, which estimates average costs for 21 popular jobs in 149 U.S. metropolitan areas, including San Francisco, San Jose, and Santa Rosa. The report also offers information on home-renovation returns, which are particularly sunny in Silicon Valley, with 18 of the 21 tracked jobs expected to turn a profit this year.

(Photo: iStock/Worawee Meeepian)

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Shared with permission from the Pacific Union Blog

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