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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Today’s Real Estate News 9-20-2010


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

Escaping Double Dip to Growth Recession Means No Job Relief
Bloomberg | September 19, 2010
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke pulled out all the stops to avert a depression last year. Now he and his colleagues must decide how to respond to the risk of a growth recession in 2011.

FHA May Slash Upfront Costs of Some Reverse Mortgages
Los Angeles Times | September 19, 2010
The Federal Housing Administration isn’t talking publicly about it, but the agency may be getting ready to cut the upfront costs of reverse mortgages for some borrowers.

Home Sales, Goods Orders Probably Rose: U.S. Economy Preview
Bloomberg | September 20, 2010
Home sales probably increased in August, a sign the U.S. real estate market is stabilizing after the expiration of a tax credit caused demand to plunge, economists said before reports this week.

As TARP Fades, a Look at Its Flaws and Its Success
The New York Times | September 17, 2010
The Congressional Oversight Panel for the government’s $700 billion banking bailout has issued an assessment of the Troubled Asset Relief Program on the eve of its expiration that gives it a mixed review.

That Nest Egg is Feeling Fragile
The Washington Post | September 19, 2010
For decades, Americans have largely counted on the stock markets and real estate to finance life’s biggest expenses, from their children’s college to retirement.

Housing ‘Expectations’ Shifting Due to Stimulus
CNBC | September 18, 2010
I’m not sure if it’s politics alone or the politics of economic prediction, but I’m seeing an awful lot of “revised” housing expectations as we head into fall.

Surplus Housing?
The Boston Globe | September 20, 2010
When Tom Kinch bought a home once occupied by a colonel at Fort Devens, he envisioned the old Army base soon becoming a bustling community.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

CoreLogic Predicts Days On Market Could Double
The real estate analysts at CoreLogic believe that with the tax credit expiring and inventory levels high, properties could take twice as long to sell.

Where Is the Shadow Inventory?
Alan Mallach of the Brookings Institution throws in his two cents about what’s happening with high number of distressed properties owned by banks.

Home Buying and Selling Tips for Fall
The change of season can mean a change in how buyers and sellers operate.

Number of Price Reductions Rise in Some Cities
According to real estate Web site Trulia.com, more home owners are cutting prices.

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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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Today’s Real Estate News 9-17-2010


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

In this US News & World Report article, Best Places to Launch a Second Career, our own burg of Richland WA, makes the list!

Survey: 78% of Americans Believe Home Prices Have Bottomed
DSNews | September 16, 2010
Fannie Mae has conducted a poll of both homeowners and renters to gauge consumers’ attitudes toward housing in the U.S. The results indicate that Americans have become more cautious about buying a home, though most believe the market has bottomed out. Rents are expected to increase more than home prices, and Fannie says mortgage borrowers, and even underwater borrowers, are less discouraged about homeownership than delinquent borrowers and renters.  (Anthony’s note: I’d love to hear what you think about whether home prices have bottomed out and also on the article below about this being a good time to buy a home- feel free to comment on my blog.)

Elizabeth Warren to be Appointed White House ‘Consumer Czar’
The Washington Post | September 16, 2010
The White House will announce Friday that Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren will be appointed to be an assistant to the president and oversee the creation of a new consumer financial protection bureau.

Why Household Wealth Is Expected to Ebb
The Wall Street Journal | September 17, 2010
For U.S. households, the economic recovery has been a frustrating case of two steps forward, one step back.

70% of Americans Surveyed Tell Fannie Mae it’s a Good Time to Buy a Home
HousingWire | September 17, 2010
According to the Fannie Mae national housing survey, 70% of Americans believe it is a good time to buy a home, up from 64% in a survey conducted in January. But there may not be enough willing sellers as 83% believe it’s a bad time to sell a home.

Reluctant Realtors: Fannie, Freddie
The Wall Street Journal | September 16, 2010
Two years after they were taken over by the federal government, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac face a new challenge: The mortgage-finance giants are becoming two of the nation’s largest home sellers at a time when the housing market shows new signs of softening.

Low Rates Make 15-year Mortgages Feasible for Many Refinancers
The Los Angeles Times | September 17, 2010
Monthly payments are higher but those who can afford it welcome the peace of mind of knowing that their home will be paid off in half the time of a standard, 30-year loan.

Foreclosures Keep Rising: How Bad Is the Housing Market?
CBS MoneyWatch | September 17, 2010
Foreclosures spiked in August, with banks seizing 95,364 homes, according to RealtyTrac, a housing research firm. They were up 25 percent from August 2009 and at their highest level since the company started tracking this data in 2005.

New NAR, Move Deal Sets Stage for Realtor.com Changes
Inman News | September 16, 2010
Realtor.com operator Move Inc. and the National Association of Realtors have updated the 14-year-old agreement governing the operation of the Internet’s most popular real estate portal with the goal of allowing more rapid innovation of the site.

Average Mortgage Rates Rise to 4.37 Percent
Associated Press | September 16, 2010
Rates on 30-year mortgages climbed for the second straight week, but remain near the lowest level in decades. 

From the National Association of Realtors®:

10 Reasons to Buy a Home
Clear away today’s problems and you see a fundamentally strong market that makes as much sense today as always.

Most Large Metros See Economic Improvement
In a good sign, many of the top areas saw growth in manufacturing jobs.

Repossessions Rise as Defaults Drop
Lenders took possession of about 100,000 houses last month.

Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  

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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 9-16-2010


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

Bernanke, Fed Face Tough Choices as Economic Recovery Lags
The Washington Post | September 15, 2010
Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his colleagues at the Federal Reserve are facing their biggest decision since the end of the financial crisis, confronting a fateful choice this fall whether to take new, exceptional steps to boost the flagging economic recovery.

Fannie Mae says Americans Cautious on Home Owning
Reuters | September 16, 2010
70 pct think it is good time to buy a house. 33 pct say they would be more likely to rent. 67 pct continue to believe housing is a safe investment.

Foreclosures Down for Third Straight Month as Lenders Manage Backlog: RealtyTrac
HousingWire | September 16, 2010
Foreclosure filings in August fell 5% from a year ago, the third straight month of declines, according to RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure marketplace.

Fannie, Freddie Adjust Plan to Wind Down Holdings, DeMarco Says
Bloomberg | September 16, 2010
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are paying more attention to the price of mortgage bonds as the government-controlled companies start to wind down their $1.5 trillion portfolios of housing assets, their regulator said.

U.S. Housing Slump will Continue, Expert Says
San Francisco Chronicle | September 16, 2010
3 years. That’s how much longer the U.S. housing slump is expected to last, dragged down by another 12 million distressed properties hitting the market.

Freddie Mac Expands First Look Initiative for REO Homes
DSNews | September 15, 2010
Freddie Mac said Wednesday that it is expanding its First Look Initiative to allow any home shopper to buy a HomeSteps REO home as their primary residence during the first 15 days of the property’s listing, without competition from investors. The new policy takes effect Friday, September 17.

CoreLogic’s July Home Price Index Shows No Movement
DSNews | September 15, 2010
CoreLogic released its Home Price Index (HPI) Wednesday, which showed that residential property values in the United States remained flat in July as transaction volumes continued to decline.

Pew: 36% of Public Approves Strategic Default as an Option
HousingWire | September 15, 2010
According to a Pew Research Center survey, 36% of Americans said it is acceptable to stop making mortgage payments, even if it is affordable. 

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Fannie and Freddie May Not Survive Overhaul
A top Treasury official says the mortgage giants will not exist in their present form following the revamp of the U.S. housing finance system.

Home Purchase Applications Decline
Total mortgage volume, including refinancings, fell 8.9 percent last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

BofA: Mortgage Business Is on the Mend
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan says borrowing is rebounding, but the pain of bad loans is still significant.

Real Estate Pros Are Fourth in Car Crashes
For every 1,000 practitioners, 102 are involved in vehicle accidents and 39 receive speeding tickets on an annual basis, according to study.
 

Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  

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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 9-14-2010


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

Freddie Mac Estimates Home Sales to Fall Another 23% in 3Q
HousingWire | September 14, 2010
Freddie Mac expects 4 million new and existing home sales the third quarter of 2010, a possible a 20.7% decline from last year and a 23% drop from the previous quarter. 

Analysis: Unusual Uncertainty Strikes U.S. Economic Forecasters
Reuters | September 13, 2010
U.S. economists are having an unusually tough time predicting the path of a recovery that doesn’t seem to fit neatly into a bullish or bearish box.

Market Forecasts for Home Prices Continue to Darken
DS News | September 14, 2010
Home prices have hit upon relatively stable ground in recent months – a welcome reprieve from the freefall days most markets had grown acutely accustomed to after the reverberating bursting of the housing bubble.

Economy 101: Who Benefits from New Banking Rules?
The Associated Press | September 14, 2010
At the core of an international agreement to head off future financial meltdowns is a requirement that banks keep more money on hand in case of trouble. 

Elizabeth Warren’s Latest Buzz: Maybe ‘Interim Director’ of Consumer Bureau
The Washington Post | September 13, 2010
Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren set the political blogosphere abuzz once again Monday, this time with speculation that the White House might appoint her as an “interim director” of the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, in order to avoid a messy Senate confirmation battle.

Wall Street Banking on Republicans to Push Legislative Goals
Bloomberg | September 14, 2010
Wall Street is preparing for a Republican surge in Congress that could help it block proposed taxes on banks and investments, blunt new financial regulations and regain some of the lobbying firepower it lost during the financial crisis.

Report Examines Private-Sector Lending in Housing Boom
The Wall Street Journal | September 14, 2010
A new report by the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shows that mortgage securities packaged by Wall Street firms and mortgage banks have had substantially worse outcomes than securities backed by the two mortgage titans.

Refinancing Obstacles: Solving the Refinance Puzzle
The Chicago Tribune | September 13, 2010
The lowest mortgage rates in decades have homeowners flocking to lenders, but tough housing and credit markets provide plenty of obstacles. 

From the National Association of Realtors®: 

Wave of Foreclosure Sales Could Hurt Prices
Analysts warn that home prices are in jeopardy if loan modifications fail and a large number of homes go into foreclosure. 

Study: Shady Short Sales on the Rise
Scam artists claiming to be “foreclosure rescue specialists” are using straw buyers to obtain low-priced properties to resell. 

Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL   

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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 9-13-2010


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

LendingTree Sues Zillow and Three Others over Internet Loans
DSNews | September 12, 2010
LendingTree has filed a lawsuit against the online real estate marketplace Zillow Inc. and three other competitors, which alleges the companies stole LendingTree’s method for providing borrowers with a comparison shopping experience for home mortgage products. The North Carolina-based online lending exchange claims its four rivals all infringed on LendingTree’s 2002- and 2003-patented formulas for competitively matching borrowers with lenders based upon a single loan application from the consumer.

Fate of Tax Cuts is Key Issue as Congress Returns
The Washington Post | September 12, 2010
Congress is returning for a final pre-election legislative session on Monday to confront the thorny issue of potentially raising taxes during an economic downturn, with neither party showing clear consensus on a solution.

HUD Sees Stabilization, but Frailty, in Housing Market Conditions
DSNews | September 10, 2010
Housing conditions continued to show signs of stabilizing during the second quarter of this year, following a downward trend that began to reverse itself in mid-2009, HUD says in a new report.

GSEs’ Short Sales and Deeds-in-Lieu up 27% in Q2
DSNews | September 10, 2010
Nearly 31,000 borrowers with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans forfeited their homes through a short sale or deed-in-lieu during the second quarter of this year.

Resisting Lenders’ Misleading Spiels
The Philadelphia Inquirer | September 13, 2010
Arden Hander of Meadowbrook, like thousands of homeowners who had their mortgages originated by ABN Amro, now has his loan serviced by Citimortgage, which took over the Netherlands-based lender’s portfolio a few years back.

Officials Agree on Global Measures to Safeguard Banks
The Washington Post | September 12, 2010
Regulators meeting in Basel, Switzerland, on Sunday agreed to take new steps to immunize the financial system from the sort of crisis that pushed the world into recession two years ago.

The Loneliest Analyst
The New York Times | September 13, 2010
Richard X. Bove is a bank analyst who likes to take what he calls “extreme positions.” He occasionally moves the stock market, which has earned him a certain amount of prestige and notoriety – but has also gotten him fired several times.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Jones Lang LaSalle CEO: No Double-Dip
The head of the global real estate services company says wealthy investors seeking properties will prevent another downturn in the industry.

Recipients of First Tax Credit to Begin Payback
The nearly one million borrowers who participated in the first home buyer tax credit in 2008 are supposed to start paying it back this year, but the IRS may not be able to find them all.

Expert Proposes Rewarding Good Borrowers
A mortgage financing consultant advises the government to guarantee the amount borrowers are underwater on their homes, if they keep making payments.

Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  

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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 9-10-2010


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

Thirty-Year Mortgage Rises for First Time Since June
The Wall Street Journal | September 9, 2010
After weeks of falling, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate home mortgage rose slightly this week, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of conforming mortgage rates, released on Thursday. And the average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage remained unchanged from last week. (Maybe we’ve touched bottom?  What do you think?  Feel free to comment below!)

Top Adviser to Lead Panel on Economy
The New York Times | September 10, 2010
President Obama on Friday will promote a longtime economic adviser, Austan D. Goolsbee, to chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers, signaling continuity even as a high unemployment rate has left much of the public dissatisfied with administration policies.

Upcoming FHA Insurance Premium Increases Modeled on 7-year Expectations
HousingWire | September 9, 2010
Whether or not the increases in Federal Housing Administration premiums will bring its insurance fund back to good health is dependent on the borrower paying the higher fees for at least seven years of the mortgage, according to data provided by the FHA to HousingWire.

FHA Chief Risk Officer Expects Better Performance from Newer Mortgages
HousingWire | September 9, 2010
Bob Ryan is the first chief risk officer of the Federal Housing Administration. He was hired in October 2009. A recent increase in the FHA insurance premiums is stirring some controversy in the market as to when the policy changes will help the insurance fund.

TARP Dividend Payments Total $16 Billion, Treasury Figures Show
Bloomberg | September 9, 2010
The U.S. Treasury Department has received about $16 billion in dividends and interest on its investments in banks, insurance companies and automakers through the Troubled Asset Relief Program, a report showed.

Zillow Says Fewer Home Sellers Are Cutting Asking Prices
DSNews | September 9, 2010
For the first time in five months, fewer home sellers cut the asking price of their home in August, according to the online real estate marketplace Zillow.

Reports: Distressed Commercial Real Estate Equals $187B
DSNews | September 9, 2010
The total value of distressed commercial real estate (CRE) in the United States right now is $186.9 billion, including properties in default, foreclosure, and lender REO, according to data from the research firm Real Capital Analytics.

Freddie Mac Plans to Sell Bonds Backed by Apartment Loans
Bloomberg | September 9, 2010
Freddie Mac, the mortgage-finance company under U.S. government control, plans to sell about $1 billion of securities backed by loans on apartment buildings.

Consumer Watchdog Candidate Elizabeth Warren Pays Another Visit to White House
The Washington Post | September 8, 2010
Elizabeth Warren slipped quietly into Washington on Tuesday to talk with President Obama about the possibility of leading the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, according to people familiar with the meeting.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Fed Beige Book Sees Mixed Housing Activity
Seven of the 12 regions tracked by the Fed see an uptick in economic growth.

Builders Resuscitate Stalled Projects
Lower prices increase the feasibility of projects that weren’t panning out.

Builders Back Away from Ready-to-Build Property
Slower sales reduce the need for more land acquisitions.

Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  

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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 9-9-2010


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

Do You Live in a High-Debt City?  The linked US News & World Report article lists the top 10 indebted cities in the US (we’re talking household/consumer debt, not municipal debt).

Fed Sees ‘Widespread’ Signs US Economy is Slowing
AFP | September 8, 2010
The US economic recovery is showing “widespread” signs of slowing, the US Federal Reserve warned Wednesday, as it gears up for a key policy meeting later this month.

Double Dip in Home Prices Coming in 2011: Clear Capital
HousingWire | September 8, 2010
Home prices gained 5.7% over the three months ending in August, according to real estate data provider Clear Capital. But analysts added price growth has slowed and will drop to a new low in 2011.

U.S. Needs Up to Four Years to Absorb Excess Homes, Duncan Says
Bloomberg | September 8, 2010
The U.S. housing market will take three to four years to stabilize and absorb an estimated seven million homes that are vacant or in the process of foreclosure, said Douglas Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist.

Making Mortgage Payments on an Underwater Loan? You Deserve a Break Too.
The Washington Post | September 9, 2010
The government has bailed out Wall Street firms, giant banks, creditors of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – and is trying to bail out people who’ve defaulted or are about to default on their mortgages.

As Recovery Boosts Big Banks, Smaller Lenders Are Still Struggling
The Wall Street Journal | September 9, 2010
While large banks are showing signs of recovering from the financial crisis, many of the country’s small banks are still in big trouble.

Bankers Urge Government to Pull Plug on Fannie, Freddie
ABC | September 8, 2010
The federal government should take mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac off life support sooner rather than later, the Mortgage Bankers Association urged on Wednesday.

Builders Brief Land Buying Spree Gets Grounded
The Wall Street Journal | September 8, 2010
Several months ago, builders were so convinced that the real-estate market was set to turn positive, they went on a land buying spree. Alas, following the home buyer tax credit’s April 30 expiration, the residential market has only soured.

In Some Markets it’s Now Cheaper to Build than Buy
MultifamilyExecutive.com | September 7, 2010
Like many multifamily firms, the Altman Cos. has had a difficult time finding bargains on the acquisition front.  Earlier this year, the Boca Raton, Fla.-based developer bid about $13 million for a Class C asset in a Class B location. The eventual winning bid was $17 million, about 25 percent higher than Altman’s price point. “When you have 20 or 30 people bidding, somebody’s going to be the bigger fool,” says Joel Altman, the company’s chairman and CEO. “And having been in business 42 years, sometimes I think we know too much.”

BB&T Ditches FHA and VA Adjustable-Rate Mortgages
HousingWire | September 8, 2010
The financial services giant BB&T announced that it no longer provides adjustable-rate mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration or the department of Veteran Affairs.

Obama Plan is Latest Rescue Effort for Economy
Reuters | September 8, 2010
President Barack Obama on Wednesday will propose tax breaks for businesses and spending on public works programs in a package the White House says will eventually cost $180 billion. It is the latest in a series of plans to rescue the U.S. economy.

FHA Commissioner: GSE’s Considering Principal Forgiveness in Short Refi’s
CNBC | September 8, 2010
Let the principal reduction begin. The new FHA “Short Refi” program, announced earlier this year, went into operation yesterday. It allows borrowers who are current on their mortgages now to refinance into FHA-backed loans, if and only if their lenders agree to write down the principal balance on the loan by at least 10 percent. After the refi, the primary loan must have a loan-to-value ratio of no more than 97.75 percent.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

LEED Certification Takes the Lead
Green building now accounts for one-third of new construction in the United States, up from 2 percent in 1995.

Inventories Climb in ZipRealty’s 26 Markets
Natrionwide housing supply rose 0.4 percent in August for the eighth straight month with steepest jumps on the West Coast.

California Movers Are Nation’s Busiest
Outbound moves from the Golden State rose 10.3 percent while incomers increased 9.4 percent. Texas gained 50 percent more people than it lost.

Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  

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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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