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Survey: Mortgage costs motivate sellers

67% of sellers cite difficulty making payments

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About two-thirds of Californians who sold their homes did so because of difficulty making their mortgage payments, according to a report released by the California Association of Realtors on Thursday."Tighter underwriting standards and a decline in equity continued to impact the market in 2009," said Steve Goddard, the association's president. "Many homeowners chose to sell last year because their adjustable-rate mortgage reset at the same time home prices were experiencing an unprecedented decline, leaving them with little equity and difficulty in qualifying for a refinance." When asked whether they sold their home because they had difficulty making their mortgage payments, 67 percent of sellers said yes, compared to 62 percent in 2008. First-time sellers were more likely to say yes than experienced sellers (72 percent vs. 62 percent); in 2008, those figures were 63 percent vs. 61 percent. In a separate, multiple-choice question, 30 percent of sellers in t...