1- So Cal rents are likely to remain flat according to USC study: The steep declines in rent that were seen the past few years are beginning to ebb and places to rent on the Westside are becoming difficult to find. We believe renters on the Westside and in areas like Manhattan Beach should expect a 1-3% increase over the next 12 months. Here is an article about the broad So Cal rental market from the LA Times: Southern California rents are likely to remain flat, study says

2- Changes in mortgage finance rules will hurt housing recovery: Some of the requirements that federal agencies and the Obama administration are proposing will prove troublesome for consumers as you would need to spend no more than 28% of your gross monthly income on housing-related expenses, and you couldn’t have total monthly household debt that exceeds 36% of your income. There would be not flexibility beyond these ceilings. This is just one of the myriad of changes proposed that you can read about in this article from the LA Times.

3- Experienced appraisers getting priced out by banks: Accurate appraisals are extremely important in the current market and can be deal breakers when inexperienced appraisers get assigned to areas they do not know how to valuate. Lenders are not paying experienced appraisers enough ($200-$250) to cover their overhead costs yet they are charging the consumer $450. Less-experienced appraisers who sometimes have to travel long distances from their home markets tend to be more willing to work for the lower amounts and can create nightmare scenarios for transactions on the Westside and Manhattan Beach where the sale price can change 150-300K one street over. LA Times article: Are you getting your money’s worth with appraisal?

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