Monthly Archives: August 2012

For Third Week, Mortgage Rates Inch Higher

Fixed-rate mortgages once again inched up this week, the third consecutive week of increases after reaching all-time lows, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. 

"The latest economic indicators point toward low inflation but gradually stronger economic activity which placed further upward pressure on long-term Treasury yields and, in turn, fixed mortgage rates,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said about why mortgage rates have been reversing course in recent weeks.

Here’s a closer look at mortgage rates for the week ending Aug. 16: 

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.62 percent, with an average 0.6 point, this week, increasing from last week’s 3.59 percent average. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.15 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.88 percent, with an average 0.6 point, rising from last week’s 2.84 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.36 percent. 
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.76 percent, with an average 0.6 point, falling slightly from last week’s 2.77 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.08 percent.
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.69 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 2.65 percent average. A year ago at this time, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.86 percent.  

Source: Freddie Mac


Rising Home Prices Put a Dent in Housing Affordability

While housing bargains can still be found, home buyers are increasingly finding that home prices are on the rise in many markets. As such, housing affordability is being pushed lower, according to the second quarter Housing Opportunity Index by the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo. Still, by historical standards, housing affordability remains high. 

According to the latest index, 73.8 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the second quarter were affordable to families who earn the national median income of $65,000. A record high in housing affordability was reached in the first quarter, in which 77.5 percent of homes were affordable to median-income earners. 

The index showed that 92 percent of the metros included in the index saw their median home prices rise in the second quarter compared to the first quarter. 

"While interest rates and overall housing affordability remain very favorable on a historic basis, the decline in the latest HOI is a positive development because it is another signal that the housing recovery is starting to take root, and it lends needed confidence to prospective buyers and sellers who have been reluctant to move forward in the current marketplace," says NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg.

Most, Least Affordable Markets

Overall, the top five most affordable housing markets for the second quarter were: 

  1. Youngstown-Warren-Boardsman, Ohio, Pa. (where 93.4% of the homes sold were affordable to the area’s median-income earners)
  2. Dayton, Ohio
  3. Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.
  4. Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind.
  5. Modesto, Calif. 

On the other hand, the least affordable major housing markets in the second quarter were:

  1. New York- White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. (29.4% of the homes sold there were affordable to the area’s median income family earners)
  2. San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.
  3. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn. 
  4. Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif. 
  5. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.

Source: National Association of Home Builders

Read More

Workforce Housing: Overcoming Affordability Obstacles
Low-income Renters Struggle to Find Affordable Housing


SPECIAL ISSUE: Attend City Council meeting about 710 Freeway

WPRA med logoWPRA
Neighborhood Update


Attend City Council meeting about
710 freeway

Attend City Council meeting
on SR-710 alternatives

Monday August 13, 6:30 pm 

Pasadena City Council will meet on Monday, August 13 at 6:30 pm in the Pasadena Convention Center, Room 105, to discuss Metro’s plans to complete the 710 freeway.

The WPRA encourages you to attend, either as a speaker or simply to support your neighbors!

Background: Metro and Caltrans are considering 12 alternatives for closing the gap in the 710 freeway between Alhambra and Pasadena.

  • Three of the alternatives [F-5, F-6 and H-2 in the current planning documents (Click here or go to to see diagrams)] would devastate well-established and historically protected residential neighborhoods and landmarks.
  • A fourth alternative [F-7] is so vague that we cannot even evaluate it, but as presented, the idea of a 4.5-mile tunnel with no entrance or exit portal along the entire length causes us considerable concern.

The 12 alternatives will be reduced to five in late October.


Getting the outrageous Pasadena alternatives  
dropped from the list depends on you!



Send and email to: 

Just address your email to and our email system will automatically forward it to all members, just as if you sent individual emails to each one. Remember: Your email will go directly to over 30 Metro Board members, Caltrans officials and their staff!  

Speak up at other Pasadena City and Metro meetings.

Check out these neighborhood websites:

Virtutile berii – bauta, desigur, cu masura, berea este un aliment si medicament.

De multa vreme sint cunoscute virtutile berii – bauta, desigur, cu masura, berea este un aliment si medicament.

Inca din secolul al XII-lea, stareta unei manastiri din Germania recomanda sa se bea bere. De fapt, stareta Hildegarda i-a inchinat acestei bauturi un intreg tratat medical.

In secolul al XVIII-lea, un intat din Cracovia – Simon Syrenski – scria despre bere ca este placuta la gust, potoleste setea, face singe bun; pielea devine sanatoasa si fata capata o culoare placuta, daca se bea bere. Mai mult, autorul din Cracovia lauda berea, care ne fereste si ne scapa de pietre la rinichi, iar femeilor care alapteaza le da lapte pentru a-si hrani sugarii.

De fapt, nici Hildegarda, nici Simon din Cracovia nu au descoperit America: virtutile si berea, ca atare, erau cunoscute inca in anticul Sumer!

Alte virtuti terapeutice

Berea este cu aderat un remediu: in litiaza renala se recomanda, pe linga ceaiurile diuretice, si berea.

Dar berea este recomandata si ca lotiune pentru ingrijirea pielii! In secolul al XVI-lea, medicul german Johann Kasimir Sangfus recomanda femeilor sa-si maseze in mod regulat fata, gitul, pieptul si miinile cu spuma de bere, pentru a avea o piele fina ca de bebelus.

De asemenea, berea este recomandata si in ingrijirea parului – intareste firul de par si coafura rezista mai bine.

Ce contine berea

Compozitia berii este complexa. In primul rind, este o bautura cu un continut mare de minerale – 1-2 mg/litru, ceea ce este abil cu cele mai bogate ape minerale! In al doilea rind, in bere gasim vitamina B1 (tiamina), B2 (riboflavina), PP (niacina). Iata de ce berea a fost scoasa de cercetatorii germani din categoria bauturilor alcoolice si inclusa intre alimente.

Pe linga vitamine si minerale, berea are un continut bogat in acizi organici, care regleaza echilibrul acizi-baze din organism. De fapt, daca se elimina componenta gazoasa din bere, proprietatile acesteia o apropie de kefir sau humis (lapte de iapa fermentat – bautura-minune din deserturile asiatice).

In plus, berea favorizeaza acumularea de vitamina C la nivelul rinichilor, ficatului si splinei, contribuind la fortificarea organismului (daca bem cel mult o jumatate de bere, adica doar cite inghitituri).


Berea bauta in cantitati moderate (maximum 100 ml pe zi) elimina pericolul formarii de edeme si depunerea de albumine la gravide, datorita virtutilor sale diuretice. De asemenea, favorizeaza lactatia la femeile care alapteaza – atit cantitativ, cit si calitativ.

Berea favorizeaza digestia, creste pofta de mincare, normalizeaza ritmul cardiac si tensiunea arteriala, previne spasmele. Dar cei ce sufera de hipertensiune trebuie sa se limiteze la berea fara alcool.

Iar cei ce au exagerat cu bautura si sint mahmuri a doua zi, vor bea un leac infailibil: putina sare dizolta intr-un pahar de bere. Dupa ce ies gazele din bautura, se inghite mixtura, si mahmureala dispare miraculos.

Deci, berea bauta cu masura nu ingrasa, ci aduce numai foloase.

8 Signs Housing Is on the Mend

Daily Real Estate News | Monday, August 06, 2012

Some Americans are still jittery over the housing market, but here are eight positive signs that should quell some of their fears. 

  1. Housing prices are on the rise across the country.
  2. Foreclosures have slowed. Analysts suggest that as the supply of distressed homes slows, buyers will be forced into higher-price properties too.
  3. Inventories of for-sale homes on the market are decreasing. In fact, inventories of for-sale homes have dropped 24 percent from a year ago.
  4. Mortgage rates are at ultra record level lows, for those who can qualify
  5. Housing starts rose 6.9 percent in June. Also, existing-home sales were up 4.5 percent higher in June compared to one year ago. 
  6. Home building stocks are on the rise.
  7. For investors who are buying homes, rents are soaring, allowing them to cash in on their investments. Rental prices are at a 10-year high as median units rent for $710 a month.
  8. Home affordability is at record highs for the median income family, due to falling home values and super low mortgage rates. In fact, a recent study found that it is cheaper to buy a home than rent in basically ever major city in the U.S. For those who buy, you can save the cost of renting by owning the home for five years or less.

But while the signs point to a housing market on the mend, some Americans still remain hesitant. Many Americans are still underwater on their mortgage, owing more on their home than it is currently worth. Also, the economy continues to weigh on the recovery, particularly a dampening employment outlook, which analysts see as tied to housing. 

Still, The Wall Street Journal concludes in a recent article that if you take into account all the positive signs lately in the housing market, “housing presents an attractive long-term investment that should hold steady or even have upside surprise in the short term.”

Source: “Finally, It Is Time to Buy a House,” The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 1, 2012

Housing Market Lifts Off From the ‘Bottom’

Recent housing indexes have shown single-family home prices are on the rise, providing more evidence that the “bottom” of the market is already behind.

"We’re wiping out just about all of the decline,” Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors, told about recent housing data showing home prices inching up. “It indicates the market has turned the corner on the pricing side.” 

Some recent housing indexes suggest that the “bottom” of the market was reached in January 2012. Since that time, housing prices have been picking up in many housing markets. 

But "the turnaround in home prices was unexpected," says Patrick Newport, an economist with IHS Global Insight. "The conventional wisdom in February, following that landmark agreement [of the $26 billion mortgage settlement with the nation’s five largest banks], was that we would see a surge in foreclosures of some size that would lead to lower home prices. This surge never materialized and home prices have turned.”

Newport points to several signs of a housing market on the mend. For one, housing starts are up, after reaching a low in the fourth quarter of 2011. Also, he says the FHFA monthly House Price Index shows a 3.7 percent increase in May year-over-year, which he notes is higher than inflation and “means that real housing wealth, a consumer spending driver, was also up.” 

The increase in home prices is also leading to a fewer number of home owners who are underwater on their mortgages, owing more on their mortgage than their home is currently worth. The number of underwater home owners fell from 12.1 million at the end of 2011 to 11.4 million at the end of the first quarter this year, according to CoreLogic data. 

Source: “Evidence Mounts that Home Prices Hit Bottom Last Winter,” NBC News (July 31, 2012)

Read More

Wanted: Builders Building Homes
Fewer Home Owners Late on Mortgage Payments