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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Today’s Real Estate News 7-30-2010


Today’s news that may be of interest to you:

 Falling U.S. Mortgage Rates May Aid Economy Outside Housing
Bloomberg | July 29, 2010
Mortgage rates for U.S. homes set a record low for the sixth straight week, potentially freeing up money for consumers to spend elsewhere.

Congress to Try to Recoup Fannie, Freddie Costs
The Associated Press | July 30, 2010
Lawmakers plan to study ways to get back some of the $145 billion the government has pumped into giant mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

New Coalition Urges Federal Government to Stop Dangerous Wall Street Home Resale Fees
RisMedia | July 30, 2010
A wide array of organizations including the American Land Title Association, the National Association of Realtors, AFSCME, Vote Vets, the Center for Responsible Lending, the Property Rights Alliance and the Institute for Liberty recently launched The Coalition to Stop Wall Street Home Resale Fees with an appeal to United States Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner to ban dangerous Wall Street Home Resale Fees (also known as “private transfer fee covenants”), which have already been restricted in 17 states because of their adverse impact on homeowners and home buyers.

US Fed’s Balance Sheet Shrinks in Latest Week
Reuters | July 30, 2010
The U.S. Federal Reserve’s balance sheet decreased in the latest week, Fed data released on Thursday showed. The balance sheet — a broad gauge of Fed lending to the financial system — was $2.308 trillion on July 28 versus $2.315 trillion on July 21.

Later Than Expected, 4.5 Percent Fixed-rate Mortgage Arrives
The Philadelphia Inquirer | July 30, 2010
The 4.5 percent fixed-rate mortgage is here, although more than 14 months late.

Fannie Mae’s CEO Lauds ‘New Realism’ of Better Underwriting
DSNews | July 29, 2010
Fannie Mae is building the “strongest book of business we’ve seen in the last decade,” the GSE’s president and CEO, Michael Williams, proclaimed to a group of industry professionals this week.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Congress Restores Rural Mortgage Help
Popular mortgage help for buyers who live outside of urban areas goes to President Obama for signature.

Fannie Mae: No More Overly Easy Loans
Tougher lending standards are crucial for getting mortgage financing back on a strong, healthy footing, says secondary mortgage market company head.
 
33,000 Media Outlets to Promote HAMP
The federal government’s home loan modification program stands to get a big boost in awareness.

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Anthony V. Carollo / President
Stewart Title of Spokane
606 W. 3rd Ave.
Spokane, WA  99201
Telephone: 509.328.7171
Direct Line: 509.321.3939
Direct Fax: 866.652.8834
acarollo@stewart.com

Please remember to choose Stewart Title of Spokane on your next transaction!

www.StewartSpokane.com

 

Today’s Real Estate News 7-28-2010


Today’s news that may be of interest to you:

U.S. MBA Mortgage Applications Index Decreased 4.4% Last Week
Bloomberg | July 28, 2010
An index of mortgage applications in the U.S. decreased last week as refinancing cooled after borrowing costs jumped from a record low.

‘Systemic Risk’ Theory Gains in Stature as Way to Prevent the Next Bubble
The Washington Post | July 28, 2010
Americans might be counting on the day when home and retirement-fund values start to rise again, but anyone expecting to benefit from a future boom in prices should take note: Economic policymakers around the world are looking for ways to make sure that doesn’t happen, or at least not with such intensity that it risks the kind of bust that usually follows.

FHA’s Mortgagee Review Board Cracks Down on Hundreds of Lenders
DSNews | July 27, 2010
So far this year, the MRB has taken action against almost 1,500 FHA-approved lenders who failed to meet its requirements, according to a notice published Monday in the Federal Register.

Rules Set for Reverse-mortgage Lenders
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | July 28, 2010
Two state agencies have announced new guidelines for reverse-mortgage lenders aimed at protecting older homeowners from getting bad advice or being duped by fraudulent operators.

Home Ownership Falls to Lowest Level in 11 Years
CNNMoney | July 27, 2010
The number of Americans who own homes fell in the second quarter of the year to the lowest level since 1999, said a government survey released Tuesday.

Warren Debate May Prod White House On Watchdog Post
CNBC | July 27, 2010
With Wall Street and Congressional Republicans trying to scuttle the possible nomination of Elizabeth Warren as the director of the powerful new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, there’s growing speculation that the White House will announce its choice for the post in August, after Congress has adjourned for its summer recess.

U.S. Plans Talks on ‘Broken’ Housing-Finance System
Bloomberg | July 27, 2010
The Obama administration plans an Aug. 17 conference to discuss ways to fix the country’s “broken” housing-finance system and intends to submit a proposal by January to overhaul Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Check out Ted Jones’ excellent commentary on a recent WSJ article regarding the chicken vs egg role of housing demand vs. job recovery in our economy.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

New Home Sales Climb in June
The U.S. Commerce Department announced a 24 percent rise in new home sales in June, a positive sign for the housing market.

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Anthony V. Carollo / President
Stewart Title of Spokane
606 W. 3rd Ave.
Spokane, WA  99201
Telephone: 509.328.7171
Direct Line: 509.321.3939
Direct Fax: 866.652.8834
acarollo@stewart.com

Please remember to choose Stewart Title of Spokane on your next transaction!

www.StewartSpokane.com

 

Today’s Real Estate News 7-26-2010


Today’s news that may be of interest to you:

Geithner: U.S. Should Retain a Mortgage Backstop
Wall Street Journal | July 25, 2010
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Sunday the government should retain “some type” of federal guarantee to ensure that Americans can easily finance home loans, in what could be the latest salvo between the Obama administration and Republicans over the future role of the public sector in the housing market.

Sales of New U.S. Houses Probably Rose in June to Second-Lowest on Record
Bloomberg | July 26, 2010
Sales of new U.S. homes rose in June to the second-lowest level on record, indicating the industry that sparked the recession is having difficulty sustaining a recovery following the end of a government tax credit, economists said before a report today.

Regulators Shut Down Seven More Banks, as 2010 Failures Surpass 100
DS News | July 26, 2010
The number of U.S. banks to go under this year surpassed the 100-mark over the weekend, as regulators closed the doors on community-based lenders in Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, and South Carolina.

Outlook Dims For Popular Energy-Efficiency Loans
NPR | July 26, 2010
A White House-backed program that allows property owners to pay for energy improvements like solar panels or efficient furnaces through an additional assessment to their property taxes may soon be shut down.

Financial Overhaul has been Signed, but Lawyers’ Work on Law is Far from Over
The Washington Post | July 26, 2010
There will be no rest for the weary as the very lawyers and lobbyists who spent the past two years preparing for the passage last week of the game-changing financial regulatory overhaul now turn to both deciphering the immediate impact of the behemoth law and influencing its implementation.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Financial Industry Calls for GSE Support
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association argues that withdrawal of support for government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could hurt consumers.

California Foreclosures Drop to 3-Year Low
Experts say the state’s decline in foreclosures is due to greater willingness from banks to do loan modifications and short sales, as well as improvements in home values.

HUD and VA to Prevent Homeless Vets
The two departments will jointly invest in communities near military installations to keep veterans, especially those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, off the streets.

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Anthony V. Carollo / President
Stewart Title of Spokane
606 W. 3rd Ave.
Spokane, WA  99201
Telephone: 509.328.7171
Direct Line: 509.321.3939
Direct Fax: 866.652.8834
acarollo@stewart.com

Please remember to choose Stewart Title of Spokane on your next transaction!

www.StewartSpokane.com

 

 

Today’s Real Estate News 7-23-2010


Today’s news that may be of interest to you:

Existing-Home Sales Drop for Second Month; End of Tax Credit Seen as a Cause
The Washington Post | July 23, 2010
Sales of previously owned homes dipped in June for the second consecutive month and are expected to keep dropping at least through the rest of the summer, now that a lucrative homebuyer tax credit has expired. (Anthony’s Note: While it is true that homes sales dipped from May to June, they were still higher than they were a year ago according to the next article in DSNews.)

Existing-Home Sales Slip 5.1% in June but Levels Remain Elevated: NAR
DSNews | July 22, 2010
Sales of existing homes fell further in June but still remained notably higher than year-ago levels, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Thursday.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Unfinished Business
The Economist | July 23, 2010
The hefty financial overhaul that Barack Obama signed into law on July 21st (pictured) left behind one big piece of unfinished business. In 2008 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, mortally wounded from losses on loans acquired during the bubble, were placed in “conservatorship”, a halfway house between bankruptcy and outright nationalisation. There they remain, their losses duly covered with new injections of capital by the Treasury – $145 billion so far.

Mortgage Securities It Holds Pose Sticky Problem for Fed
The New York Times | July 22, 2010
The Federal Reserve provided most of the money for new mortgages in the United States last year, effectively lending more than $1 trillion to American homeowners.

Mortgage Rates Fall, Extend Record Lows
The Wall Street Journal | July 23, 2010
Mortgage rates fell in the past week, with the average rates on 30- and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages further extending record lows, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey.

Dodd-Frank Legislation Extends Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act
DSNews | July 22, 2010
Renters who find themselves indirect victims of foreclosure were not forgotten in the financial reform legislation signed by President Obama on Wednesday.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Green Building to Balloon to $173.5 Billion
Growth in green sector will more than double because of savings from increased energy efficiency and government incentives.

Commercial Real Estate Said to Turn Corner
Prices show modest gains over two straight months.

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Anthony V. Carollo / President
Stewart Title of Spokane
606 W. 3rd Ave.
Spokane, WA  99201
Telephone: 509.328.7171
Direct Line: 509.321.3939
Direct Fax: 866.652.8834
acarollo@stewart.com

Please remember to choose Stewart Title of Spokane on your next transaction!

www.StewartSpokane.com

 

Today’s Real Estate News 7-22-2010


Today’s news that may be of interest to you:

The Wall Street Journal put out a quarterly housing report (click here) on 28 major market areas that pretty interesting.  You can sort the list by months supply, jobless rate, price change, and other criteria.

Obama Signs Overhaul of Financial System
The New York Times | July 22, 2010
President Obama signed a sweeping expansion of federal financial regulation on Wednesday, signaling perhaps the Democrats’ last major legislative victory before the midterm elections in November, which could recast the Congressional landscape.

HUD to Investigate Mortgage Loan Denials
The New York Times | July 21, 2010
The Department of Housing and Urban Development said Wednesday that it would investigate the lending practices of certain mortgage lenders to see if any prospective borrowers had been illegally denied a mortgage because they were pregnant or on short-term disability.

S&P/Experian Index Shows Mortgage Defaults Down 45% from 2009
DSNews | July 21, 2010
Data through June 2010, released Tuesday by Standard & Poor’s and Experian points to a declining trend in consumer default rates, with a reduction in first mortgage past dues leading the drop.

Bank Reform Brings Mortgage Aid for the Unemployed
MarketWatch | July 22, 2010
More help is on the way for unemployed homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments, thanks to funding tucked into the financial reform legislation signed by President Obama on Wednesday.

Fannie Subpoenas to Show $30 Billion Bad Mortgages, Rosner Says
Bloomberg | July 22, 2010
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s regulator may identify as much as $30 billion of debt included in mortgage bonds that the companies can force sellers to repurchase, according to Joshua Rosner, an analyst who in 2007 predicted the collapse in the market for the securities.

GM Agrees to Buy Lender AmeriCredit for $3.5 Billion
Bloomberg | July 22, 2010
General Motors Co., the automaker 61 percent owned by the U.S., is buying subprime lender AmeriCredit Corp. for $3.5 billion to help it reach more customers with leases and loans to borrowers with faulty credit records.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Single-Family Home Starts Edge Down
Partly due to continued, widespread unemployment, single-family home starts were down in June.

Post-Downturn Changes Affect Practitioners
Even the most dedicated and expert real estate pros have had to cope with new challenges.

BP Spill Takes a Toll on Coastal Property
Values have plummeted for properties along the coastal area stretching from Louisiana to Clearwater, Fla., in the aftermath of the BP oil spill.

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Anthony V. Carollo / President
Stewart Title of Spokane
606 W. 3rd Ave.
Spokane, WA  99201
Telephone: 509.328.7171
Direct Line: 509.321.3939
Direct Fax: 866.652.8834
acarollo@stewart.com

Please remember to choose Stewart Title of Spokane on your next transaction!

www.StewartSpokane.com

 

Today’s Real Estate News 7-21-2010


Today’s news that may be of interest to you:

Thanks to faithful reader Greg Britton (MetLife Home Loans) for the following:

On July 15th HUD has given notice that several changes to FHA guidelines are proposed.  There is a public comment period open for 30 days from the posted date.  One key change proposed is to lower the allowable seller contribution from 6% to 3%.

Interested parties should go to the press release here, and if you want to comment, click on the link in the middle of the page (Anthony’s note: it’s a little tough to spot and follow what to do next, if you can’t find it call me). 

US Home Loan Demand Jumps; Purchase Demand Rises
Reuters | July 21, 2010
U.S. mortgage applications jumped last week as demand for loans to purchase homes rose for the first time in five weeks, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.

Obama’s Next Focus of Reform: Housing Finance
The Washington Post | July 21, 2010
After President Obama signs into law an overhaul of financial regulation at a ceremony set for Wednesday, his administration will turn to reforming an area at the root of the financial crisis: the U.S. housing market.

Housing Market Stumbles
The Wall Street Journal | July 21, 2010
The housing market, whose collapse pulled the economy into recession in late 2007, is stalling again.

U.S. Treasury’s Allison Calls Financial Bill ‘Major Watershed’
Bloomberg | July 21, 2010
President Barack Obama’s signing today of the biggest U.S. financial-rules overhaul since the Great Depression will be a “major watershed” for the government’s bailout programs, a Treasury Department official said.

U.S. Mortgage Brokers Get Criminal Check, Tests Under New Rules
Bloomberg | July 21, 2010
California mortgage brokers face closer scrutiny as the state adopts a federal law aimed at curbing the fraud and abuse that helped decimate the housing market.

Bankruptcy Can Save your House from Foreclosure
CCNMoney | July 21, 2010
Slick TV commercials and online ads tell delinquent borrowers that they can save their homes by filing for personal bankruptcy. But is it true — or just too good to be true? 

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Rentals Are a Booming Business
As home owners seek to avoid foreclosure, many are utilizing Web sites and rental listing services to help lease out their properties.

Home Builder Confidence Declines
The weak job market and an increasing number of foreclosed properties caused the National Association of Home Builders monthly confidence reading to fall to a March 2009 level. But improvement is predicted.

Seller Financing Can Have Tax Advantages
An installment sale can help spread taxability out over time, and could produce a higher profit for the seller.

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Anthony V. Carollo / President
Stewart Title of Spokane
606 W. 3rd Ave.
Spokane, WA  99201
Telephone: 509.328.7171
Direct Line: 509.321.3939
Direct Fax: 866.652.8834
acarollo@stewart.com

Please remember to choose Stewart Title of Spokane on your next transaction!

www.StewartSpokane.com

 

Today’s Real Estate News 7-20-2010


Today’s news that may be of interest to you:

Housing Starts in U.S. Decrease More Than Forecast
Bloomberg | July 20, 2010
Housing starts fell in June to the lowest level since October as a slump in sales following the expiration of a government tax incentive caused U.S. builders to cut back.

Need a Mortgage? Don’t Get Pregnant
The New York Times | July 19, 2010
Mortgage lenders are taking a harder look at prospective borrowers whose income has temporarily fallen while they are on leave, including new parents at home taking care of a baby. Even if a parent plans on returning to work within weeks, some lenders are balking at approving the loans.

Real Estate Doldrums on Gulf Coast Beaches
The New York Times | July 20, 2010
Nick Wilmott bent down on the beach near the high-tide mark and touched one of the reddish-brown pads of oil. It had washed up overnight from the BP spill off Louisiana and had yet to be cleaned up by the machines that sweep the beaches here every night.

FHA Raising FICO Floor, Reducing Seller Concessions
Inman News | July 20, 2010
FHA borrowers will soon need a 580 FICO score in order purchase a home with the minimum 3.5 percent downpayment, and won’t qualify for the program at all if they have a score below 500.

Why Housing Data Are Misleading: The Tax Credit Angle
The Wall Street Journal | July 20, 2010
There’s no question that the home-buyer tax credit juiced home sales over the past year. Since the credit expired at the end of April, we’ve seen new home sales plummet, prompting some to see the drop as one indicator of a double-dip recession.  (Anthony’s note: The commentator quoted in this article is, in my opinion, out of touch with the reality of the effect of the tax credit.  Whether you were for it or against it, there is no doubt in my mind that the tax credit stimulated home sales among folks that were not already planning to buy.)

Bank of America’s Dark Cloud: Wall Street Reform
CNNMoney | July 20, 2010
Bank of America’s fears about Wall Street reform are giving the whole banking industry a case of the jitters.

Consumer Post Prospect Has Democrats in Knots
The Wall Street Journal | July 20, 2010
Democrats agonized Monday over whether President Barack Obama should pick Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Warren to be the nation’s first consumer-finance regulator, an indication of the intense fight to come.

PMI Slashes Home Sales Forecast by More Than 50%
DSNews | July 19, 2010
Mortgage insurer PMI has cut its growth projections for 2010 home sales by more than half. The company’s analysts now expect sales of existing homes to rise a modest 2.9 percent for the year to 5.31 million units. That’s a sharp downgrade from a mere month ago, when they were predicting we’d see a 6.1 percent annual gain.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

New 1099 Rules Aimed at Curbing Tax Cheaters
Business owners will be required to file a lot more 1099s under new tax rules set to take effect in 2012.

A Light at the End of the Commercial Tunnel
A senior economist with the UCLA Anderson Forecast foresees non-residential construction increasing after the California commercial market bottoms out later this year.

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Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  Follow acarollospok on Twitter  

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Anthony V. Carollo / President
Stewart Title of Spokane
606 W. 3rd Ave.
Spokane, WA  99201
Telephone: 509.328.7171
Direct Line: 509.321.3939
Direct Fax: 866.652.8834
acarollo@stewart.com

Please remember to choose Stewart Title of Spokane on your next transaction!

www.StewartSpokane.com

 
 
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