Real estate trends in the West have some analysts calling a real estate bubble in the Golden State. Prices continue to increase despite existing home sales volume falling 7 percent in the Wester U.S. in October from the previous month.
The whammy factor is the cost of credit -- which is more expensive now than in previous cycles, despite the fact that mortgage rates are at all all time low. CNBC's Diana Olick has more:
Mortgage rates may be lower on the 30-year fixed, but that wasn't the product used during the boom. Adjustable rate loans with no down-payment requirement and 1-percent "teaser" rates were popular. Those are gone today. Now, most loans are fixed-rate products that require larger down-payments and higher credit scores.
"Bottom line, on a monthly-payment basis and relative to income needed to qualify for a loan, a house in California is far more 'expensive' than from 2004 to 2008, even though house prices are not back to peak levels," said Mark Hanson, a California-based housing analyst. "Put another way, it costs a lot more today to pay for a house using a mortgage than it did from 2004 to 2008. Thus, if 2004 to 2008 was a "bubble," then this must be, too."