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published on January 27, 2017 - 9:26 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Santerra, the first neighborhood of the new Riverstone master-planned community in southeast Madera County, hosted a grand opening this weekend.
Builder McCaffrey Homes will feature four new floor plans for the community, located just west of Highway 41 and Avenue 12.


Starting in the low $300,000s, the Santerra collection features one and two-story floor plans that range in size from 1,598 to 2,880 square feet and go up to 5 bedrooms and 3 ½ baths. Each home comes with expansive covered patios or “outdoor rooms” for combining indoor and outdoor entertaining.
“These homes feature fresh, new designs with features that homebuyers have been seeking, like options to expand your living space with a casita or idea room, the next big thing in home design,” said Shelly Hogan, vice president of sales for McCaffrey Homes.  “With its own bathroom and walk-in closet, the casita is great for relatives or guests. The idea room is a separate room behind the main residence that can be used as an art studio, office, pub room, and more.”
Riverstone is a new 2,000-acre community that will feature more than 6,500 homes at full build-out. Planned amenities include walkable neighborhoods, parks and open space, multiple resort-style community clubhouses, hiking and biking trails, a dog park, a community farm, historic olive and citrus groves, and on-site schools. It will include commercial and mixed-use space including office, service, and retail.
“McCaffrey definitely thought outside the box in their design approach for Santerra,” said Riverstone’s Nick Bruno. “In imaginative and innovative ways that you just have to see for yourself, these new homes offer a fresh spin on informal California living. We believe homebuyers will simply love this new collection of creative, family-oriented homes.”
For more information on McCaffrey Homes’ Santerra collection at Riverstone, please visit McCaffreyHomes.com or call (559) 673-7533.

Patterson bill would allow tax deduction of mortgage closing costs
Assembly member Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) has introduced legislation he says would make the dream of homeownership a reality for California families.
Assembly Bill 198 would allow first-time homeowners to deduct several of the closing costs of a mortgage — usually 2-3 percent of the final loan amount — on their taxes.
The measure is meant to counteract increasing hurdles faced by young people in purchasing a home. A recent Federal Reserve found that millenials earn 20 percent less than the previous generation, leading them to rent instead of buy, according to Patterson.
“Buying a home was a lot easier and less expensive for my wife Sharon and me than it was for our kids,” Patterson said. “The cost of living in our state is now pricing the middle class out of the dream of homeownership. This deduction will help California families get into their first home to start building equity.”
 Taxes, fees and the lack of new housing has driven up the average cost of buying a home in California to $459,000, more than double the national average. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the affordable housing crisis has even spread to the middle class, those making between $35,000 and $75,000.

Foreclosures fall in the Valley
According to the latest data from real estate information firm CoreLogic, Central Valley foreclosure and mortgage delinquency rates continued to drop in October 2016.
CoreLogic data reveals that the rate of Fresno area foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans was 0.40 percent for October 2016, a decrease of 0.21 percentage points compared with October 2015.
Also in Fresno, the mortgage delinquency rate decreased. According to CoreLogic data for October 2016, 1.83 percent of mortgage loans were 90 days or more delinquent compared with 2.37 percent for the same period last year.
Madera area foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans were 0.43 percent for October 2016, down 0.39 percentage points from October 2015. The mortgage delinquency rate in Madera also decreased in October 2016 to 2.02 percent, compared to 2.83 percent in October 2015.
The rate of Visalia-Porterville area foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans was 0.40 percent for October 2016, a decrease of 0.25 percentage points compared with October 2015. Also in Visalia-Porterville, the mortgage delinquency rate decreased in October 2016 to 1.97 percent compared with 2.54 percent for the same period of 2015.
The rate of Hanford-Corcoran area foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans was 0.59 percent for October 2016, a decrease of 0.27 percentage points compared with October 2015. The mortgage delinquency rate also decreased in October 2016 to 2.35 percent, compared with 3.10 percent for the same period last year.
The national foreclosure rate was 0.85 percent in October 2016, compared to 1.23 percent in October 2015. The October 2016 mortgage delinquency rate in the U.S. was 2.61 percent, compared to 3.4 percent in October 2015.

Fresno Cash sales down
The cash sales share of home transactions in Fresno was down for the month of October 2016 over the same period of 2015 and sits at 21.0 percent, a 1.8 percentage point decrease compared with October 2015. The cash sales share in Fresno was lower than the 31.8 percent national rate.
Cash sales in the U.S. accounted for 31.8 percent of total home sales in October 2016, down 2.7 percentage points year over year from October 2015. The cash sales share peaked in January 2011 when cash transactions accounted for 46.6 percent of total home sales nationally. Prior to the housing crisis, the cash sales share of total home sales averaged approximately 25 percent. If the cash sales share continues to fall at the same rate it did in October 2016, the share should hit 25 percent by mid-2018.


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