Thursday, August 28, 2008

Santa Maria Purchase Loans Outnumber Refinances, WOW!

I am not quite sure how to interpret the fact that in July the number of Purchase Loans recorded in Santa Maria outnumbered the Refinance Loans.

Let me compose myself and think this through. Here are some of the facts.
  • The purchase market in Santa Maria has been going gangbusters
  • The median home price has been declining
  • Lending standards have increased significantly
  • Interest rates remain low
O.K. I think I've come to my senses. Refinancing is not possible in this area for a number of reasons. A couple of the biggest reasons are that there is no equity in their homes and documenting of income has made it more difficult to qualify.

With respects to the purchase market, I don't think I'm saying anything too awfully revealing when I say "The market is back!". Even though many of the sales are properties that are bank owned, the buyers have figured out that they are a bargain. I know investors are stepping in and buying property in Santa Maria as well as folks who are looking for a roof over their heads.

Will we see refinancing come back? I think it will pick up some, but it won't be the boom we saw a couple of years ago. Lenders just aren't going to allow people to qualify as easily as they once did. This is good for everyone, especially those folks that are buying properties now. It protects their investment from the huge swing in prices we have experienced recently.

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