We’re gearing up for the monthly slew of housing data from DataQuick and RealtyTrac; the first group expects to release its housing price and sales data for San Diego County tomorrow. And we’ll check in tomorrow with RealtyTrac for an update on the region’s foreclosure activity.

(For a peek into the inner workings of the voiceofsandiego.org world HQ: Around this office, we like to call this story the “DataParty,” spelled just like that, with the words squished together and the second word capitalized to Signify that we can Hang with the hip real estate tracking firms. And my editor, Andrew Donohue, sings a little ditty he made up for the occasion. Maybe he’ll sing it for you sometime.)

But here’s the reason for the teaser post. Remember last month’s DataParty, when DataQuick’s Andrew LePage told me we ain’t seen nothin’ yet? Here’s a bit to jog your memory:

The investors who once clamored to purchase bits of mortgages packaged into bonds have pulled back. Without that backing, lenders have spiked their rates on loans for more than $417,000. Those so-called jumbo loans make up about 20 percent of loans nationwide and a much larger share in regions like San Diego, where home prices for middle-class buyers reach well past the $417,000 threshold. Some analysts expect the rate spike to be temporary, until investors get their bearings about the tumult in the market.

But even a temporary spike in rates further restricts the pool of people able to qualify for loans, which dries up demand, slowing house sales further, said Andrew LePage, DataQuick analyst.

“That’s not going to show up in the numbers until next month,” LePage said. “I would anticipate a very weak August. Even if things loosen, there will have been a long pause.” …

“With the market continuing to post the weakest sales in 10, 11, 12 years and growing, those who aren’t already in the market are just parking [themselves] on the sidelines,” LePage said. “They’re seeing more and more reasons to wait to see if the pendulum swings even more in their direction. There’s growing evidence that there’s more pain out there.”

So, that’s what we’ll be watching for tomorrow — the effect of the tightened mortgage market on the August home sales data, as tallied by DataQuick. Stay tuned.

And, if that DataParty isn’t raging enough for you, check back also tomorrow for some new Census data that calculates home affordability for San Diego County residents.


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