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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Today’s Real Estate News 1-31-2011


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

Fed Publishes Guidance on Loan Officer Compensation
DSNews | January 29, 2011
Heeding pleas from industry players and trade groups across the country, the Federal Reserve issued additional guidance this week to help smaller mortgage lenders and loan brokers comply with the agency’s new loan officer compensation rules that take effect April 1, 2011.

Home Prices Sink Further
The Wall Street Journal | January 31, 2011
Declines Reported in All 28 Major Metropolitan Areas; Unsold Inventory Piles Up

U.S. Consumer Spending, Incomes Probably Increased in December
Bloomberg | January 31, 2011
Consumer spending in the U.S. probably accelerated in December, capping its strongest quarter in more than four years, economists said before a report today.

FHA Extends ‘Anti-Flipping Waiver’ to Speed Sales of REO Homes
DSNews | January 29, 2011
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced Friday that it is extending the suspension of its ‘anti-flipping rule’ through the remainder of 2011.

Small Business Regulatory ‘Burden’ Is Tough to Quantify
The Wall Street Journal | January 30, 2011
When President Barack Obama announced a review of U.S. regulations last week, he said one important goal was to reduce “the burden regulations may place on small business.” But the basis for the widely repeated notion that small firms face undue regulatory obstacles appears flimsy, some researchers say.

Banks Grip on Prime Shadow Inventory Growing: Morgan Stanley
HousingWire | January 29, 2011
Whether they like it or not, the nation’s banks control most of the country’s shadow inventory, according to a report Friday from Morgan Stanley.

Foot-dragging on Fannie Mae Reform
The Boston Globe | January 31, 2011
When is a deadline not a deadline? When you are the US government. At least that’s the message from the Treasury Department, which today was supposed to submit a recommendation for restructuring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government mortgage giants.

Hotels Rates to Start Rising in 2011
The Washington Post | January 30, 2011
Consumers contemplating a getaway may want to book a hotel room sooner rather than later, as room rates are set to rise this year. Substantial increases of $10 or more are at least another year or two away, but the lodging industry plans to take advantage of improving market conditions.

In America’s Richest Small Towns: Big Sales Stall
Bloomberg BusinessWeek | January 21, 2011
Want to buy Billy Joel’s Sagaponack home? Last month the piano man dropped the price on his oceanfront house on Long Island’s East End again, this time from $19.9 million to $18.5 million. It started out at $22.5 million when he first listed the property in 2009.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

10 Cities Where Home Prices Will Rise in 2011
Clear Capital released its list of cities expected to see a rise in property values in the new year. The city that topped the list is expected to see a 6.5 percent increase in home values. Can you guess where?

Is Inexperience Hampering the Short Sale Process?
“Many short sales are lost to foreclosure because of the inexperience of the listing agent,” said one real estate practitioner who specializes in distressed sales.

Late Video Rental Fees? No Mortgage!
If you plan to refinance or buy a home, you might think twice about being late on paying a video rental fee ever again. Thousands of customers of Hollywood Video and Movie Gallery are learning that the hard way.

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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 1-28-2011


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

For those of you in our beautiful state of Washington, the Department of Revenue is seeking business input on tax simplification in this online survey.
From the State’s press release “ Revenue Director Suzan DelBene said the goal is to lay a strong foundation for the private sector to grow and create family-wage jobs.”

Report Details Wall Street Crisis
The Wall Street Journal | January 28, 2011
Twelve of the 13 largest U.S. financial institutions “were at risk of failure” at the depth of the 2008 financial crisis, while at least 50 hedge funds tried to capitalize on it, according to a report released Thursday by a U.S. panel investigating how the financial system unraveled.

Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities to Rebound in 2011
HousingWire | January 27, 2011
This year is positioned to be a stronger year for commercial mortgage-backed securities, as industry analysts say the sector hit bottom in 2010. Although, the market still remains far short of its highest point.

National Association of Mortgage Brokers asks Fed for Reg Z delay
HousingWire | January 27, 2011
The National Association of Mortgage Brokers sent a letter to the Federal Reserve asking for a 12-month delay in enforcing changes to Regulation Z and for further clarification to loan originator compensation.

Pending Sales of Existing Homes Rise 2%: NAR
DSNews | January 27, 2011
The number of contracts signed for purchases of previously owned homes rose again in December, according to data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Thursday.

Fannie, Freddie Got $20.9 Billion From Loan Buybacks, FCIC Says
Bloomberg | January 27, 2011
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have received about two-thirds of the $34.8 billion they’ve demanded from lenders for mortgages that failed to meet quality standards, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission reported.

Rate on 30-year Fixed Mortgage Rises to 4.80 Pct.
BusinessWeek | January 27, 2011
The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose slightly this week, following increases in bond yields.

Consumer Spending Seen Helping Quarterly Growth
Reuters | January 28, 2011
The U.S. economy probably gathered speed in the fourth quarter, with the biggest gain in consumer spending in four years offering the clearest signal yet that a sustainable recovery is under way.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Foreclosures Jump in Unexpected Cities
Cities that were not severely affected by the initial foreclosure crisis now are reporting some of the highest jumps in foreclosure rates in the country.

Global Survey: U.S. Homes Are Most Affordable
Real estate in the United States is a good deal: Homes in the Untied States are the cheapest relative to incomes among English-speaking nations. So which country is the most expensive then?

GOP Blames Housing Bubble on Financial Crisis
Following the release of a mostly Democratic congressional panel report detailing the reasons behind the financial crisis, the Republicans will release their own minority report, citing the housing bubble as one key factor.

Distressed Properties Spur Remodeling Rebound
A rebound is looming for the remodeling industry, but the traditional market for home improvement isn’t expected to generate the uptick, a new report shows.

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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 1-27-2011


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

Falling Home Prices Reveal Limits of Recovery
The Wall Street Journal | January 26, 2011
U.S. home prices declined in November, falling to new lows in a handful of cities and underscoring that the housing sector has yet to join the nation’s broader economic recovery.

Google to Take Down Real Estate Listings
HousingWire | January 26, 2011
Massive search engine, Google , will take down real estate listings from Google Maps on Feb. 10.  Brian McClendon, vice president Google Earth and Maps, broke the story on the company’s LatLong blog Wednesday and said the real estate listing feature is simply not popular enough to justify its existence.

Sales of Apartments in 2010 Jumped 96%
MultiFamily Executive | January 21, 2011
It was the year of the apartment transaction resurgence, and 2010 ended with a bang with $6.1 billion sold in December, making it the most active month for sales since October 2007 (when Denver-based Archstone was taken private), according to New York-based Real Capital Analytics (RCA). Overall, the commercial research group said that sales of significant apartment properties jumped to $33.7 billion in 2010, which was an astounding 96 percent jump over 2009.

Boxer Introduces Bill to Lower Barriers to Refinance
HousingWire | January 26, 2011
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced a bill into the Senate this week aimed at making refinancing more accessible to homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments.

Foreclosure Flood Spreads Beyond Hardest Hit Markets: RealtyTrac
HousingWire | January 27, 2011
Metro areas with the 10 highest foreclosure rates saw filings decrease in 2010, but for nearly everywhere else activity was on the rise, according to RealtyTrac, which tracked activity in 206 cities across the country.

Fed Faulted for Lax Mortgage Regulation Before Financial Crisis
The Washington Post | January 27, 2011
The Federal Reserve failed to forestall the housing bubble or prevent the abusive lending practices that contributed to it, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission said in a report, embracing a lesson that legislators have already tried to correct with new laws.

Subprime Loans by Fannie, Freddie Performed ‘Better’, FCIC Says
BusinessWeek | January 26, 2011
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s portfolio of subprime loans “performed significantly better” than those packaged into mortgage-backed securities by private issuers, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission found in a report.

Two Mortgage Servicers Get Aggressive on Principal Writedowns in January
HousingWire | January 27, 2011
Mortgage servicers began aggressively writing down the principal on delinquent nonagency mortgages and even second liens in January, analysts at JPMorgan Chase said in a report Wednesday, yet the amount of foreclosed properties continues to rise.

Banking’s ‘Toxic Cocktail’ is Too Big to Forget: Simon Johnson
Bloomberg | January 26, 2011
As a senator from Delaware in 2009- 10, Ted Kaufman fought long and hard against the systemic dangers posed by large, highly leveraged U.S. banks. When he left the Senate, at the end of the last Congress, there were some who supposed that his arguments would now get less attention at least from mainstream thinking.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Appraisals Increasingly Becoming ‘Deal Killers’
The seller has accepted the buyer’s offer but then the appraisal comes in lower than the accepted offer. The scenario is now common for real estate professionals.

New Home Sales Surge
The Commerce Department reported that new U.S. single-family home sales in December reached their highest level in eight months and that prices were the highest since April 2008.

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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 1-26-2011


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

State of the Union 2011: ‘Win the Future,’ Obama Says
The Washington Post | January 26, 2011
President Obama sought to rouse the nation from complacency in his State of the Union address Tuesday, urging innovation and budget reforms that he said are vital to keep the United States a leader in an increasingly competitive world.

  • A Call to Overhaul Corporate Taxes
    The Wall Street Journal | January 26, 2011Moody’s Says Keeping Fannie, Freddie Intact is Lose-Lose
    HousingWire | January 25, 2011
    Moody’s Investors Service is throwing its hat into the ring, arguing that the current model is not only unsustainable, but against government vision.

    Sales of New Homes in U.S. Likely Rose for Second Month
    Bloomberg | January 26, 2011
    Purchases of new houses in the U.S. probably rose in December for a second month as the industry struggled to stabilize near record lows, economists said before a report today.

    S&P Case-Shiller Index Points to Double-Dip in Home Prices
    DSNews | January 25, 2011
    The latest Case-Shiller figures released by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Tuesday signal home prices across the United States continue to weaken.

    Panel Blames All for Meltdown
    The Wall Street Journal | January 26, 2011
    The 2008 financial crisis was “avoidable” and brought on by the actions of government officials and private-sector players, according to a blue-ribbon panel’s draft report that spreads blame broadly for the meltdown. 

    Housing Analysts Expect Home Price Declines Through 2011
    HousingWire | January 25, 2011
    Data firm Radar Logic and consultant Capital Economics said Tuesday that they expect home prices to decline further this year.

    Outside D.C., a Grim Housing Market
    The Washington Post | January 26, 2011
    While home prices continue to tumble in many major metropolitan areas, the Washington region is one of the few bright spots where prices are rising, according to two reports released Tuesday.

    Bernanke Gets 66% Approval From Investors Disapproving of QE2
    Bloomberg | January 26, 2011
    Investors love Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke. It’s just his policies they don’t like so much.

    From the National Association of Realtors®:

    Buyers Get Picky When Home Shopping

    Buyers nowadays want perfection in homes and they’re not willing to settle, say real estate professionals. 
    (Anthony’s Note: Is this news?  It seems to me buyers have always been really choosy.  Has it gotten worse lately?  Let me know what your experience has been on my blog.)

    Low-Tax States Lure New Residents
    The change in taxes from state to state can be drastic. And as some states hike their taxes, more home owners ponder tax-motivated moves.

    Neugebauer: Foreclosure Aid Hurting, Not Helping
    Housing panel chair Randy Neugebauer calls the government’s foreclosure-prevention efforts “Band-Aids” that are prolonging the recovery of 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 1-25-2011


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

    If you don’t mind giving the US Federal Gov’t a little access to your phone (is Big Brother watching you?), this is a story about the new IRS app that you can download and follow your refund.  Wow, my dreams have finally come true.  (:-)

    Mortgage Fees on the Rise Again
    MarketWatch | January 25, 2011
    Rising mortgage fees announced by Fannie Mae are beginning to affect costs for borrowers – even those with good credit scores.

    Home Prices in U.S. Probably Dropped, Consumer Confidence Rose
    Bloomberg | January 25, 2011
    Residential real estate prices probably dropped in November by the most in a year, signaling housing has yet to join the U.S. rebound, economists said before a report today.

    Commercial Property Prices Rise for Third Straight Month: Moody’s
    DSNews | January 24, 2011
    Word on the street is that recovery is taking hold in the commercial real estate sector. Vacancy rates are starting to decline; delinquencies, although still elevated, are beginning to moderate; and property values are steadily increasing.

    Index of Distressed Property Sales Surges in December: Report
    DSNews | January 24, 2011
    Sales of distressed properties surged in December as many banks resumed foreclosures following the suspensions prompted by robo-signing issues last fall, according to an industry study conducted by Campbell Surveys.

    Churches Find End Is Nigh
    The Wall Street Journal | January 25, 2011
    Residential and commercial real-estate owners aren’t the only ones losing their properties to foreclosure. The past few years have seen a rapid acceleration in the number of churches losing their sanctuaries because they can’t pay the mortgage.

    Reverse Mortgage Defaults Prompt Changes to Counseling Services
    Reuters | January 24, 2011
    Federal regulators and lenders are moving to address a growing problem with defaults on reverse mortgages.

    Ten Indicted in California Mortgage Fraud Scheme
    HousingWire | January 24, 2011
    A newly unsealed 56-count indictment charges 10 people in California in a $20 million mortgage fraud scheme in Bakersfield, Calif., said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.

    From the National Association of Realtors®:

    Cities Where It’s Cheaper to Buy Than Rent
    A new survey reveals that buying a home makes more financial sense in 72 percent of the largest U.S. cities than renting. Find out where buying vs. renting really pays off.

    Speed Up Foreclosures to Stabilize Housing?
    Some real estate experts say the shadow inventory from the foreclosure crisis is threatening the recovery of the housing market and scaring buyers off.
    (Anthony’s Note: There are certainly two sides to this discussion!  The other side is looking at those cases of mistaken foreclosure, or where the borrower is attempting to do a workout and they lose the home anyway.  I’m not sure that speeding things up is the answer, but stopping them altogether can’t be the answer either.)

    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 1-24-2011


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

    FDIC Hotline Lets Builders Voice Concerns on Credit Availability
    NAHB | January 24, 2011
    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) has opened a new channel through which small business owners can weigh in directly with the agency about concerns and problems they have had with regard to specific lending institutions and the scarcity of credit available for housing production. 
    (Anthony’s Note: This is your chance to weigh in on the AD&C credit crisis!)

    FHA Suspends Anti-Flipping Rule for Another Year
    HousingWire | January 22, 2011
    The Federal Housing Administration will suspend its anti-flipping rule for a second year in 2011, a spokesman confirmed to HousingWire Friday.
    (Anthony’s Note: Keep in mind when flipping houses that your title company will have underwriting requirements above and beyond anything FHA does.  Communication with your title company is critical before you write up a deal!  One key restriction for most title underwriters?  The end buyer’s money cannot be used to make the initial {middle man} purchase, thus each transaction will need to stand on it’s own.  Questions?  Call me at 509-328-7171.)

    Slow Loan Resolutions Extend Shadow Inventory’s Staying Power: S&P
    DSNews | January 21, 2011
    The volume of distressed residential properties in the United States is the primary factor hindering a full recovery in the country’s housing market, according to Standard & Poor’s (S&P).

    Texas Passes Florida for Second Most Reverse Mortgages in U.S.
    HousingWire | January 22, 2011
    The amount of reverse mortgages originated in Texas is growing, passing Florida for the second most nationwide but still behind California, where 13% of these loans are located.

    Upgrades on Foreclosed Homes Help Improve Neighborhoods
    The Washington Post | January 23, 2011
    Torrey Warship had never owned a home – until the mortgage foreclosure crisis. Through a federal program to renovate foreclosed homes, the 34-year-old public works laborer bought his first house in Waukegan, Ill., for $138,000.

    Fitch: $23 Billion in Commercial Mortgages Coming Due in 2011
    DSNews | January 21, 2011
    Fitch Ratings says approximately 2,000 commercial mortgage loans are due to mature over the next 12 months, representing an outstanding balance of $22.5 billion.

    Future of GSEs Uncertain, Many Lobbying for Their End
    DSNews | January 21, 2011
    For decades the GSEs have made it possible for many people to achieve their homeownership goals by reducing the cost of credit and making it more readily available.

    Global Price Fears Mount
    The Wall Street Journal | January 24, 2011
    Inflation fears – fueled by spiraling food, oil and raw material prices – are mounting around the globe, prompting the head of the European Central Bank to signal that it could raise interest rates in the future even though some countries have been weakened by the Continent’s debt crisis.

    From the National Association of Realtors®:

    Courthouse Auctions Bring Out Bid-Rigging
    The FBI is investigating whether some investors are purposely keeping bids low at auctions for foreclosure properties in California.

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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 1-21-2011


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

    Size Matters-How Americans are downsizing their homes and what that means for the future of the Inland Northwest
    The Pacific Northwest Inlander | January 20, 2011
    It’s hard to remember this – mainly because so many homebuyers nowadays weren’t even alive then – but in the 1950s and ’60s, most people thought it was normal to have one bathroom in a house, or to have kids share a bedroom. Remember the Brady Bunch, where all three girls were in a room, and the boys were in another? (And this is considering that the Brady home was quite grand by their contemporary standards. Mr. Brady was an architect, after all.)
    (Anthony’s Note: This is a good reflection on the downsizing of America.  It’s written in a local {Spokane} paper, but it could have been written in any city.  My favorite paragraph is the one above.  I remember thinking the Brady kids were rich.  They even had a housekeeper.  Thanks to Michelle Nichols for passing along the article.)

    Banks Want Pieces of Fannie-Freddie Pie
    The New York Times | January 20, 2011
    As the Obama administration prepares a report on the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, some of the nation’s largest banks are offering a few suggestions.

    Fannie Mae Delays Foreclosures 45 Days for Hardest Hit Fund Programs
    HousingWire | January 20, 2011
    Fannie Mae directed its mortgage servicers to delay scheduled foreclosure sales 45 days for borrowers that have been approved for assistance through the Hardest Hit Fund.

    Federal Reserve Leaders Face Encouraging Yet Unnerving Picture Ahead of Meeting
    The Washington Post | January 20, 2011
    As the Federal Reserve gears up for its first policy meeting of 2011, its leaders face the challenge of making sense of an economic picture that is encouraging – including upbeat reports Thursday on housing and unemployment – yet still unnerving.

    U.S. Economy: Home Sales, Leading Index Show Gains
    Bloomberg | January 20, 2011
    Sales of previously owned U.S. homes and the index of leading indicators exceeded forecasts, signs the expansion is gaining momentum at the start of 2011.

    A National Gauge of the Housing Market
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch | January 21, 2011
    Home prices are dropping in the nation’s largest cities and are expected to keep falling in 2011 as fewer people purchase homes and millions of foreclosures come on to the market. Explore a heat map of the month-to-month percent change in the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, including the most recent figures of New Home Sales and Existing Home Sales.

    Gains in Private Sector Employment an Encouraging Sign for Industry
    DSNews | January 20, 2011
    The unemployment rate, while still languishing at a discouraging 9.4 percent, has seen improvement in recent months that is encouraging for many sectors of the industry.

    LPS: 6.87 Million Mortgages Delinquent or in Foreclosure
    DSNews | January 20, 2011
    As of the end of December, 6.87 million mortgages in the United States were delinquent or in the process of foreclosure, according to Lender Processing Services (LPS).

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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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