Feature Articles

Affordability constraints, low inventory played roles

California home sales eased slightly in May as a shortage of homes and housing affordability concerns held back would-be home buyers, the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) announced on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the median home price posted higher from both the previous month and year for the third consecutive month and remained at its highest level since December 2007.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3211 (The Mortgage Choice Act of 2013) on June 10. According to the National Association of Realtors the act “importantly redefines a provision in the ability-to-repay rule that requires lenders to make good-faith efforts to determine that their borrowers can repay their mortgages before initiating the loans.

Freddie Mac’s June 12 Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that the 30-year fixed mortgage rose 6 basis points to 4.20 percent. This marked the the second consecutive week that rates have risen. In the second week of June 2013, the 30-year fixed averaged 3.98 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also rose, averaging 3.31 percent, up 8 basis points from June 5 when it averaged 3.23 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.10 percent.  

 

Boller’s one of 117 original prints chosen

Alameda artist Bonnie Randall Boller’s “Evolving,” a clay monotype, was one of 117 original prints selected to become part of a permanent collection at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. 

Curator Katherine Blood selected the prints from the recently published book, California Society of Printmakers, 100 Years, 1913-2013. 

Ship captain James D. Farwell arrived in San Francisco in the spring of 1850. He had safely captained the steamboat Tehama from Panama. Farwell, who hailed from Maine, opened a chandlery on Clay Street in San Francisco. As a chandler he supplied the ships in port with their wares.

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