Home price gains bringsellers off the sidelines
SAN DIEGO — Robert and EmeraldOravec were itching to sell their con-dominium late last year to move clos-er to a favorite surﬁng spot, but theywere stuck. They owed the bank$194,000 and ﬁgured the most theycould get was $180,000.When they put their San Diegohome up for sale a few months later,they fielded five offers within twoweeks. It sold for $260,000 in May,allowing them to invest proﬁts in anew home that’s more than twice thesize on a large lot and 40 minutes clos-er to the surﬁng beach.“We’re stoked,” said Robert, 50, afacilities engineer at Solar TurbinesInc., a maker of gas turbines that hasemployed him for the last 22 years. “Itwas better to be patient and wait itout.”Soaring prices are leaving fewerhomeowners owing more money thantheir properties are worth, bringingthem off the sidelines of the nation’ssurging housing market and offeringrelief to buyers who are frustrated bybidding wars. As more homes are putup for sale, price increases are expect-ed to moderate.Mark Fleming, chief economist atreal estate data provider CoreLogicInc., calls it “a virtuous circle.”“The fact that house prices haveincreased so dramatically ... hasunlocked a lot of that pent-up supply,”said Fleming, whose ﬁrm found thatmarkets with the largest percentage of “underwater” or “upside down” mort-gages often have the lowest supply of homes for sale.At the end of March, 19.8 percent of the nation’s mortgaged homes wereunderwater, down from 23.7 percent ayear earlier and 25 percent during thesame period of 2011, according toCoreLogic. Gains spread across thecountry, though regions that rosehigh and crashed hard remained saddledwith homeowners who bought near thepeak.Nevada had a nation-high 45.4 per-cent of mortgages underwater, fol-lowed by Florida at 38.1 percent,Michigan at 32 percent and Arizona at31.4 percent. Montana had a nation-low 5.6 percent.Among major metropolitan areas,Tampa Bay had a nation-high 41.1percent of mortgaged homes underwa-ter, followed by Miami at 40.7 per-cent. Dallas had a nation-low 8.3 per-cent.San Diego, at 19.5 percent, wasslightly better than the national rateand California’s 21.3 percent. Theregion’s median home sale price hit$406,500 in May, up 21.3 percentfrom a year earlier amid brisk sales,according to DataQuick.Housing inventories remain unusu-ally low. There was a 5.2-month sup-ply of existing, single-family homesfor sale in May, compared to 6.4months a year earlier, according to theNational Association of Realtors.California had only a 2.6-month sup-ply, compared to 3.6 months a yearearlier and well below the six monthsthat is considered a balanced market.San Diego broker Colleen Cotterbegan knocking on doors this yearafter scouring property records to ﬁndhomeowners who didn’t owe money. If someone answers, she makes an all-cash bid on behalf of investors whodon’t even visit.Nearly one of three homes sold inSouthern California is paid for incash, putting borrowers at a disadvan-tage. Some buyers write sellers abouthow they would cherish a home, hop-ing to spark a personal connection.Josh Martin, 26, discovered homeshe and wife considered buying hadchanged hands less than a year earlierat much lower prices. The ﬁrst-timehomebuyers lost nine bids sinceAugust— many to cash buyers — untilﬁnally landing a home in May for$250,000 in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista.“It was very stressful because theprices just kept going up,” saidMartin, who recently left the MarineCorps. “Our lease was about to end andwe didn’t want to sign another year.”Economists expect many homeown-ers will continue to resist sellingbecause they think they can profitmore by waiting.
FOR THE RECORD2
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Actor Kevin Baconis 55.
This Day in HistoryThought for the Day
Col. John Nixon gave the ﬁrst publicreading of the Declaration of Independence, outside the State Housein Philadelphia.
“Fools are more to be feared than the wicked.”
— Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689)
Performer Rafﬁis65.Actor Jaden Smithis 15.
Air travelers sleep on the bench in the international terminal at San Francisco International Airport Sunday.Air travel was heav-ily congested the day after Asiana Airlines ﬂight 214 with 307 people on board crashed and burst into ﬂames as it landedon the runway after a ﬂight from Seoul,killing two people and sending more than 180 to local hospitals.
Cloudy in the morning thenbecoming partly cloudy. Patchy fog inthe morning. Highs in the lower to mid60s. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph.
Mostly cloudy. Patchyfog after midnight. Lows in the lower50s. West winds 5 to 10 mph.
Cloudy in the morning thenbecoming partly cloudy. Patchy fog in the morning. Highsin the mid 60s. West winds around 5 mph.
Partly cloudy in the evening then becom-ing cloudy. Patchy fog after midnight. Lows in the lower50s. West winds 5 to 10 mph.
Cloudy in the morning then becoming partlycloudy. Patchy fog. Highs in the lower 60s.
Wednesday night through Sunday:
Local Weather Forecast
(Answers tomorrow)ODDLYFAULTINVESTISLANDSaturday’sJumbles:Answer:No matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’tkeep his boat-building business — AFLOATNow arrange the circled lettersto form the surprise answer, assuggested by the above cartoon.
THAT SCRAMBLED WORD GAME
by David L. Hoyt and Jeff Knurek
Unscramble these four Jumbles,one letter to each square,to form four ordinary words.
©2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.All Rights Reserved.
J u m b l e p u z z l e m a g a z i n e s a v a i l a b l e a t p e n n y d e l l p u z z l e s . c o m / j u m b l e m a g s
On this date:In 1663
, King Charles II of England granted a RoyalCharter to Rhode Island.
, an expedition led by Commodore Matthew Perryarrived in Yedo Bay, Japan, on a mission to seek diplomaticand trade relations with the Japanese.
, The Wall Street Journal was ﬁrst published.
, Florenz Ziegfeld staged his ﬁrst “Follies,” on theroof of the New York Theater.
, President Woodrow Wilson received a tumultuouswelcome in New York City after his return from theVersailles (vehr-SY’) Peace Conference in France.
, demolition work began in New York City to makeway for the new permanent headquarters of the UnitedNations.
, President Harry S. Truman named Gen. DouglasMacArthur commander-in-chief of United Nations forces inKorea. (Truman ended up sacking MacArthur for insubordi-nation nine months later.)
, President Dwight D. Eisenhower began a visit toCanada, where he conferred with Prime Minister JohnDiefenbaker and addressed the Canadian Parliament.
, just after midnight local time, Alitalia Flight771, a DC-8, crashed as it was approaching Bombay(Mumbai), India, killing all 94 people on board.
, President Gerald R. Ford announced he would seeka second term of ofﬁce.
, Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s communist leadersince 1948, died at age 82.
Ten years ago:
In Senegal at the start of a ﬁve-nation tourof Africa, President George W. Bush called American slaveryone of history’s greatest crimes as he stood at the very spotwhere hundreds of thousands of Africans had been boughtand sold like cargo.Singer Jerry Vale is 83. Singer Steve Lawrence is 78.Actress Kim Darby is 66. Actress Anjelica Huston is 62.Writer Anna Quindlen is 61. Actor Robert Knepper is 54. Rockmusician Andy Fletcher (Depeche Mode) is 52. Country singerToby Keith is 52. Rock singer Joan Osborne is 51. Writer-producer Rob Burnett is 51. Actor Rocky Carroll is 50. ActorCorey Parker is 48. Actor Billy Crudup is 45. Actor MichaelWeatherly is 45. Singer Beck is 43. Christian rock musicianStephen Mason (Jars of Clay) is 38. Rock musician TavisWerts is 36. Actor Lance Gross is 32. Actress Sophia Bush is31. Rock musician Jamie Cook (Arctic Monkeys) is 28.
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