The residential real estate market is poised for major change. Technology, changing demographics, increased government regulation, and growing pressures on brokerage profitability are just a few items impacting the industry. Join us on this special Game Changers webinar on Tuesday, November 11 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. featuring Steve Murray (Bio), co-founder and president of Real Trends. Steve will discuss with attendees the industry game changers and their implications for the real estate industry overall. Space is limited so please Register Now
2014 Broker Conference
Thank you to those who attended this year's Broker’s Conference, a day devoted entirely to your brokerage.
Housing Affordability Index C.A.R.'s Traditional Housing Affordability Index (HAI) measures the percentage of households that can afford to purchase the median priced home in the state and regions of California based on traditional assumptions. C.A.R. also reports its traditional and first-time buyer indexes for regions and select counties within the state. The HAI is the most fundamental measure of housing well-being for buyers in the state.More information
Market Snapshot – Market Outlook for the Second Half of 2014 The California housing market had a very slow start in sales activity in 2014, as many investors left the market because of the lack of bargain properties. The double-digit increase in home prices and the surge in mortgage rates since mid-2013, meanwhile, curbed sales growth in the market as affordability for primary home buyers declined.
2014 California Housing Market Update The California housing market has been underperforming in the first half of 2014. So, what’s going on? Is it tight supply or lack of affordable housing? Get the latest update on the California’s housing market. C.A.R.’s senior economist, Selma Hepp, also shared her insights on demographic and economic changes that may be impacting California’s housing market. C.A.R.’s preliminary results of the 2014 Annual Housing Market Survey were also be introduced.
Legal Update Revised RPA-CA Classes The newly revised California Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) will be released in November, 2014. The release comes after two years of work by a special RPA Study Group and the C.A.R. Standard Forms Committee, and with input from C.A.R. directors and other REALTORS® over that same period. In anticipation of the release, C.A.R. attorneys have started to present CalBRE continuing education credit classes on the revised RPA and related addenda.
The basic format of the RPA remains the same but there are many important changes to the RPA and to its related addenda. REALTORS® should consider taking advantage of C.A.R.'s attorneys’ knowledge and expertise of the RPA-CA by taking C.A.R.’s RPA-CA courses. Courses are being offered at many local Associations and are also available online through C.A.R. utilizing LearnMyWay® .
Legislative Update AB 1513 (Fox), C.A.R.'s sponsored legislation which creates a pilot program to deal withsquatters, was approved by the legislature and is waiting on the Governor's desk for his signature. Under California law it can take 60-120 days to evict a squatter. There are currently no statutes designed to assist homeowners and law enforcement officials with preventing occupancy of, or removing unauthorized residents (squatters) from, vacant properties. AB 1513 creates a pilot program, limited to the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale in L.A. County and Ukiah in Northern California, which will be in place through December of 2017. This program will permit the owner of a vacant property to register it with local law enforcement and file a "Declaration of Ownership" with the District Attorney. Upon notification that "squatters" are on the property local law enforcement will respond and require them to provide written evidence within 48 hours that they are legally entitled to be there. AB 1513 also provides that occupants who are unable to provide such verification can be subject to a restraining order and injunction prohibiting them from trespassing; as well as possible arrest for failure to adhere to such orders.
AB 2018 (Bocanegra), C.A.R.'s sponsored legislation creating regulation for "team names," was approved by the legislature and is waiting on the Governor's desk for his signature. The use of “team” names in advertisements and marketing materials has become a popular practice among real estate professionals. The California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) in its Spring 2013 Real Estate Bulletin suggested it was considering adopting regulations that would only permit salespersons to work under “team” names if the name was bona fide fictitious business name that was registered with the County by the employing broker. The lack of clear regulation has created confusion throughout the real estate industry on what is and what is not a fictitious business name. AB 2018 will resolve this ambiguity by statutorily defining how a salesperson, with their brokers permission, can use a fictitious business name, while also establishing clear standards for the use “team” names that are
not fictitious business names.
AB 2039 (Muratsuchi), C.A.R.'s sponsored bill dealing with liability and shill bids in auction company transactions, was approved by the legislature and is waiting on the Governor's desk for his signature.Some lenders have begun to make approval of short sale contracts contingent upon the short seller allowing the home to be put out to auction to validate the home's value, and in doing so limiting the listing agents' control over the sales transaction and exposing them to potential liability. This measure would prohibit a lender or auction company that takes over management of a sales transaction from a listing agent from requiring the homeowner or listing agent to defend or indemnify the auction company for any liability resulting from the auction company's actions. AB 2039 also prohibits the use of "shill" bids (bids not from a bona fide purchaser that are used in auctions to drive up the sales price during the auction process), while permitting "credit bids", and seller bids with full disclosure.
AB 2540 (Dababneh), C.A.R.'s sponsored bill allowing email address collection by CalBRE, was approved by the legislature and is waiting on the Governor's desk for his signature. Under current law the Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) is empowered to require licensees to provide a valid business or mailing address as part of the license process. However, the current law is silent on email addresses and phone numbers. This measure will empower CalBRE to collect and maintain valid contact information from licensees, including an email address and phone number. This will allow CalBRE to reliably communicate with licensees in a more cost-effective and efficient manner.
SJR 19 (Correa), C.A.R.'s sponsored resolution pertaining to federal loan limits, was adopted by the legislature. Existing federal law provides for standard and "high-cost" conforming loan limits. High-cost loan limits provide residents in regions with high housing costs access to safe and affordable mortgages. The current cap for high-cost and standard loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is $625,500, and $417,000 respectively. In December of 2013 the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, requested comments on a proposal to decrease national conforming loan limits from $417,000 to $400,000 and to lower the existing cap for high-cost loan limits from $625,500 to $600,000. The FHFA ultimately decided to maintain existing loan limits. However, C.A.R. sponsored SJR 19 as an affirmative statement of the California Legislature that any reductions in federal loan limits will have a negative impact on California's housing market, which is still struggling to recover from the economic downturn. This measure makes legislative findings that lowering loan limits would be harmful to California's housing market and declares the California State Legislature's support for preserving existing federal loan limits.
Due to a sustained red alert effort by C.A.R., AB 2416 (Stone), the bill creating employee lien rights for wage disputes that C.A.R. opposed, was defeated on the Senate Floor. Under current law, an individual who works on the creation or improvement of a property can record a mechanic’s lien against the property to ensure payment. AB 2416 would have authorized an employee to record a new kind of lien for unpaid wages against their employers real or personal property. C.A.R. opposed this measure because it jeopardized financing of properties by the creation of a new lien "clouding" title without due process for property owners.
The Public Policy Forum will host a broad based discussion on Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans and solar lease programs Wednesday, October 8 at 2:00 p.m. during the Fall Board of Directors Meetings in Anaheim. Invited panelists include representatives from Solar City, Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Program, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAETFA). The invited panel will discuss a variety of issues surrounding energy efficiency improvements, PACE liens, and financing options. Please join us for a valuable discussion on energy efficiency financing.
Product Spotlight Train now for the new RPA Classes are filling up quickly. The most widely used purchase agreement is CHANGING dramatically this November, encourage your agents to learn the many changes coming with the new RPA that will affect you, your agents and their clients. The course will cover all of the RPA clauses step-by-step with detailed instructions about how to properly complete and use the entire RPA in every transaction. Every class is taught by a C.A.R. Hotline Attorney and includes 4 hours of CE credits (CalBRE Sponsor #0001). To find an upcoming course near you, visit C.A.R. Education’s Calendar.
Or grab your copy of the newly updated “Your Guide to the RPA” to get the latest information about 2014 changes along with the current November 2014 drafts. For more information, visit store.car.org.
Visit on.car.org/rpa2014 for additional information about the 2014 RPA, including the latest draft, supporting materials, free classes, CE courses, Certified Forms Trainer classes and more.