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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Today’s Real Estate News 3-31-2011


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

California Estate Sold for $100 Million
The Wall Street Journal | March 31, 2011
A Russian billionaire investor paid $100 million for a French chateau-style mansion in Silicon Valley, marking the highest known price paid for a single-family home in the U.S.

Buffett Jolted as Aide Quits Berkshire
The Wall Street Journal | March 31, 2011
David Sokol, widely seen as the leading contender to succeed billionaire Warren Buffett at the helm of Berkshire Hathaway, resigned unexpectedly amid surprising revelations about his personal stock trading.

Geithner: Inflexible Currencies are Biggest Monetary Problem
Reuters | March 31, 2011
Tightly controlled exchange rate regimes are the main flaw in the international monetary system and the solution is simple, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told a G20 meeting on Thursday.

FHA Taps Bob Ryan as Acting Commissioner
The Wall Street Journal | March 30, 2011
Bob Ryan, the chief risk officer of the Federal Housing Administration, will become the agency’s acting commissioner, the agency said on Wednesday.

Treasury Now Sees Profit From Bailouts
The New York Times | March 31, 2011
When it comes to calculating the bill for the government’s bailout of banks, insurers, automakers and the ailing housing market, the numbers have been all over the map.

Shadow Inventory Drops but Supply to Remain High for Extended Period
DSNews | March 30, 2011
The industry’s shadow inventory of repossessed and soon-to-be repossessed homes that aren’t visible as properties for sale has contracted, according to CoreLogic.

Republicans and Democrats Begin Negotiating Possible Budget Agreement
The Washington Post | March 31, 2011
After weeks of arguing, Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill began negotiations Wednesday on a possible budget agreement that would slash federal spending by as much as $33 billion and avert a government shutdown.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

NAR Opposes High Down Payment Requirement
Federal regulatory agencies are proposing a 20 percent down payment requirement for the qualified residential mortgage exemption, which NAR says could hold back housing recovery.

Vacation-, Investment-Home Shares Hold Even
According to NAR’s 2011 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, vacation- and investment-home market shares held steady in 2010 despite tight lending conditions.

7 Great Places to Retire
Forbes releases its top picks for the best places to retire, taking into account such factors as tax burden and cost-of-living. See which cities made the list.

Millennials: ‘The New Lifeblood’ for the Industry
About 51.5 million millennials born between 1979 and 1991 are reaching prime home buying age. Are you ready for them?


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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Today’s Real Estate News 3-30-2011


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

Role of Fannie Mae May Be Reinforced by U.S. Risk-Retention Rule
Bloomberg | March 30, 2011
Just as the Obama administration seeks to reduce the government’s role in housing, reliance on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may be reinforced by a rule growing out of the Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul.

Industry Readies Pushback Against Mortgage Risk Retention Proposal
HousingWire | March 29, 2011
Hours after federal regulators released the new proposal on what mortgages will be exempt from risk retention rules, the industry began to push back.

Divisions Emerge in Congress on Fannie, Freddie Overhaul
The Wall Street Journal | March 29, 2011
Divisions among U.S. lawmakers about how soon to overhaul the mortgage market emerged Tuesday, as Senate lawmakers in both parties cautioned against moving too fast, even as House Republicans introduced a slew of new bills that would start to overhaul the sector.

Republicans Introduce Eight Bills to Wind Down Fannie and Freddie
HousingWire | March 29, 2011
Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee unveiled their plans to reform the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Tuesday with eight bills aimed at ending taxpayer bailouts, adding transparency and reducing costs.

Consumer Bureau’s Richard Cordray, From State Regulator to Federal Enforcer
The Washington Post | March 30, 2011
Just months ago, Richard Cordray was Ohio’s attorney general. Today, he is the chief enforcement officer for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

U.S. Mortgage Applications Fell 7.5% Last Week on Refinancing
Bloomberg | March 30, 2011
Mortgage applications in the U.S. fell last week by the most since the period ended Feb. 11 as higher interest rates discouraged home buying and refinancing.

Drop in Home Prices in January Raises Fear of Double Dip
The Washington Post | March 30, 2011
Home prices dropped in nearly all major housing markets in the country in January, according to price index numbers released Tuesday. Analysts said the decrease might be a harbinger of a double-dip recession in the housing market.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Top 6 Cities Where Buying Is Better Than Renting
A new report from Deutsche Bank offers a list of the cities with some of the best buys in real estate. In one city topping the list, it costs 24 percent less to buy a home than it does to rent there.

‘Worst’ Trashed House Attracts Lots of Offers
It’s moldy, cement was poured down the drains, and a Jacuzzi tub was left running for months, but the badly trashed $1.1 million foreclosed home in Huntington Beach, Calif., attracted five offers after being on the market for less than two weeks

More Builders Offer Extra Safety Net to Buyers
Home builders are offering buyers insurance programs that will make borrowers’ mortgage payments for up to six months in case they lose their job.

Banks Suggest Changes to Mortgage Servicing
As part of a settlement into lending abuses, banks have drafted their own proposal of new mortgage-servicing standards, including timelines for processing loan modifications and a “borrower portal.”


Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. 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 3-29-2011


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

Home Prices, Consumer Confidence in U.S. Probably Fell
Bloomberg | March 29, 2011
Residential real estate prices probably dropped in January by the most in more than a year, raising the risk that home sales will keep slowing, economists said before a report today.
But wait, check this out from NAR~Anthony
February Pending Home Sales Rise
Pending home sales have moved up fairly steadily since bottoming out last June in the wake of the home buyer tax credit’s expiration, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says.

Cash-Paying Vultures Feast on U.S. Housing as Mortgages Dry Up
The Washington Post | March 29, 2011
As lenders tighten mortgage standards and consumers stay on the sidelines amid a five-year slide in home prices, all-cash purchases are surging. The deals are done mostly by investors who can get properties for less than buyers needing loans, fix them up and resell or rent them. 

Dying Banks Kept Alive Among Secrets Fed Data Will Reveal
Bloomberg | March 29, 2011
U.S. regulators closed Chicago- based Park National Bank in October 2009 when it owed $345 million to one of the lowest-cost lenders in town: the Federal Reserve’s discount window. Park National had been a constant customer at the window for more than 18 months before it failed, records show.

LPS: Foreclosure Backlog Stands at 30x Foreclosure Sales Volume
DSNews | March 28, 2011
New data released by Lender Processing Services (LPS) Monday show that while delinquencies continue to decline, an enormous backlog of foreclosures still exists with overhang at every level.

Mortgage Brokers Decry Loan Payment Reforms
NPR | March 29, 2011
New federal rules go into effect on April 1 that will change the way mortgage brokers across the country can make money. They will no longer be allowed to earn a bigger commission for giving a customer a loan with a higher interest rate.

Consumer Spending Keeps Rising
The Wall Street Journal | March 29, 2011
U.S. consumer spending rose 0.7% in February, the largest increase since October and the eighth straight month of gains, easing some worries about the economic recovery.

Million-Dollar Homes Face More Audits
The Wall Street Journal | March 25, 2011
Some people who owe more than $1 million on their homes are coming under the microscope at the Internal Revenue Service over how much of their mortgage interest they can deduct on their tax returns.

Mortgage Reform Storm Is Brewing
CNBC | March 29, 2011
When it rains, it pours, but we’re looking at a hail storm in housing finance this week, as government starts the business of taking itself out of the housing business. Tomorrow morning the FDIC will release and vote on proposed risk retention rules for the mortgage market. This includes the “Qualified Residential Mortgage” definition. A QRM would be exempt from risk retention, where the banks have to hold on to 5 percent of the risk when securitizing loans.

HUD’s 2012 Budget will Assist 86,000 More Families
HousingWire | March 29, 2011
Shaun Donovan, secretary for the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, said Monday the agency’s 2012 budget will assist 5.5 million families, 86,000 more than last year.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Where Did All the First-time Buyers Go?
With low interest rates and falling housing prices, why are first-time home buyers sitting on the sidelines? A USA Today article offers some reasons.  (One of the reasons the author gives is the expiration of tax credits.  Those tax credits are no longer available, so buyers will wait on the sidelines.  However, I don’t think they take that discussion far enough.  It seems to me that with the tax credit we pulled many of those buyers forward that would have otherwise waited to buy.  I think we picked up the 2011  buyers and closed them in 2009 and 2010 instead.  Thanks to my friend Larry for the convincing argument a year ago! ~Anthony)

Mortgage Delinquencies Continue to Decline
For the third consecutive month, Freddie Mac reports that fewer home owners were delinquent on their mortgages.

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 3-28-2011


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

The Incredible Shrinking City: Detroit Is Becoming a Ghost Town (Includes an article and a video)
Yahoo! Finance | March 25, 2011
The Motor City’s engine is dying. Detroit’s population shrank by more than 25% in the last decade, according to Census statistics reported in the New York Times. The city’s population fell to 713,777 in 2010, a drop of almost 240,000 residents. That’s 100,000 more than Katrina-ravaged New Orleans lost.

13% of All U.S. Homes are Vacant
CNN Money | March 28, 2011
High residential vacancies are killing many housing markets, as foreclosed homes sit on the market and depress sale prices and property values.

New Loans Could Raise The Price Of Homeownership
NPR | March 28, 2011
Since the housing bubble collapsed, it’s been harder for many Americans to qualify for a home loan. But soon, it might get even more difficult.

FHA Slow to Flag Problem Lenders, Stop Them
USA Today | March 28, 2011
When the Federal Housing Administration stopped a New York mortgage company from making FHA loans in June, the move came nearly three years after agency records flagged the company’s lending practices as potentially fraudulent.

FHA Loans Get Pricier
The Wall Street Journal | March 28, 2011
The Federal Housing Administration is raising the annual insurance premium on new loans it insures starting April 18.

HUD ‘Guidance’ Irking Industry
The Philadelphia Inquirer | March 27, 2011
Philip J. Sutcliffe is a consultant who helps builders, lenders, lawyers, and homeowners associations work through the Federal Housing Administration and Fannie Mae approval processes for condo projects. Navigating the choppy waters of government bureaucracy has never been particularly easy, but Sutcliffe is finding the going slower and tougher.

Wells Fargo Study Finds New Kind of Homebuyer on the Way: Millennials
HousingWire | March 25, 2011
The still struggling housing industry might actually be scraping the surface of the largest home-buying opportunity in generations: the Millennials.

Mortgage Servicers Resist but Cut Debts
The Wall Street Journal | March 28, 2011
U.S. banks are resisting efforts by state attorneys general to force them to cut the amounts owed by some borrowers facing foreclosure. Yet mortgage companies already have reduced home-loan balances for more than 100,000 borrowers.

For Habitat, Foreclosures Small Issue
The Wall Street Journal | March 28, 2011
At a time when most lenders are overwhelmed by crushing caseloads of delinquent home loans and foreclosures, Habitat for Humanity International is telling a different story.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Real Estate Web Site Traffic Jumps 27%
More Web visitors were eyeing real estate Web sites last year. Find out the most popular keyword searches when it comes to real estate.

Proposal Would Pay Defaulters to Leave Homes
The nation’s five largest mortgage service providers were asked by regulators this week to consider an industry-wide “cash-for-keys” program, in which banks would pay delinquent borrowers up to $21,000 each to leave their home.

Questions Raised Over Good Faith Estimates
The lack of clarity in the revamped disclosure reforms for home buyers and borrowers can lead to delayed closings or the loss of a locked-in interest rate, says a spokeswoman for the Mortgage Bankers Association.


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 3-25-2011


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

Survey: Nearly Half of Economists See Double-Dip Before Year End
DSNews | March 24, 2011
Almost half of the 111 economists and real estate experts polled this month by an investment and financial technology firm are forecasting a double-dip in home prices to happen this year, and not a single panelist expects property values to recover to the pre-bubble trend for at least the next five years.

Warren Says Consumer Bureau Foes Should Look at Bank ‘Behemoths’
Bloomberg | March 25, 2011
Elizabeth Warren, the Obama administration adviser assigned to set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said lawmakers looking to limit the agency’s authority should focus instead on the Wall Street “behemoths” aiming to undermine its mission.

Fannie Report Warned of Foreclosure Problems in 2006
The Wall Street Journal | March 25, 2011
Fannie Mae was warned in a 2006 internal report of abuses in the way lenders and their law firms handled foreclosures, long before regulators launched investigations into the mortgage industry’s practices.

Freddie Mac Tells Servicers Not to Foreclose in MERS Name
HousingWire | March 25, 2011
Freddie Mac told servicers managing its loans this week that they can no longer foreclose in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems.

Mortgage Rates Increase; 30-Year Fixed at 4.81%
The Wall Street Journal | March 25, 2011
Mortgage rates increased in the latest week, with the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages edging closer to 5%, though it remained lower than a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of mortgage rates.

Bernanke to Speak Out More to Explain, Bolster Policies
The Wall Street Journal | March 25, 2011
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in April will start holding quarterly, televised news conferences, in the central bank’s latest effort to better explain its actions.

U.S. Commercial Rents to Reach Previous Peak by 2015, RREEF Says
Bloomberg | March 25, 2011
U.S. commercial rents will reach their former peak levels by 2015, with growth in office and warehouse rates surpassing the apartment sector in two years, according to a forecast by RREEF.

Paving the Way for an Indian Fannie Mae
The Wall Street Journal | March 25, 2011
As the U.S. thinks about how to phase out the two mortgage finance firms it took over in 2008, India is getting ready to open its first mortgage guarantee company, which an official says could eventually pave the way for an Indian Fannie Mae.

Lenders Rush to Meet Fed’s Reg Z Rules on Loan Officer Pay
HousingWire | March 24, 2011
Mortgage brokers and lenders are running in a deep fog as they scramble to comply with broker and loan officer compensation rules that take effect April 1.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

What Is a ‘Safe’ Mortgage?
Is it a loan with a 20 percent down payment? Or 10 percent down payment with mortgage insurance? Next week, the FDIC will consider new rules that will define what a “safe” mortgage is.

Bunker Sales Soar Amid Japan Crisis
Add a bunker to your backyard? Sales of luxury doomsday bunkers have jumped 1,000 percent in some cases as fear prompts more U.S. residents to seek protection from earthquakes, wars, or nuclear meltdowns.

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 3-24-2011


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

New-home Sales Plunged in February to Record Low
The Washington Post | March 23, 2011
Buyers of new homes plunged in February to the fewest on records dating back nearly half a century, a dismal sign for an already-weak housing market.

US Stocks Look Glum With Overseas Worries, Poor Housing Data
The Wall Street Journal | March 23, 2011
U.S. stocks fell to session lows after data showing that February new home sales in the U.S. hit a record low, underscoring the continued weakness of the housing market.

Freddie Pushes Servicers to Contact Borrowers by 3rd Day of Delinquency
DSNews | March 23, 2011
The nation’s second largest mortgage company says early workouts are central to its game plan for 2011.

Mortgage Insurers are No Substitute for 20% Down: Institutional Risk Analytics
HousingWire | March 23, 2011
Allowing private mortgage insurance to function as a substitute for federal guarantees on loans would be a huge mistake, according to analysts working for Institutional Risk Analytics.

Jobless Claims in U.S. Fell by 5,000 Last Week to 382,000
Bloomberg | March 24, 2011
Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, signaling the labor market is mending.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Homes Near Nuclear Plants Face New Challenges
Experts say buyers likely will have a new question for their real estate professionals amid the Japan crisis: “How far is this home from a nuclear reactor plant?”

Vacation Home Sales on the Rebound
Vacation home hotspots were among some of the hardest hit areas in the country from the housing downturn, but now many are seeing a surge in sales.

Detroit’s Population Plunges by 25% in a Decade
Once the nation’s fourth largest city, Detroit has faced a steep population drop in the last decade that has many worried.

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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 3-23-2011


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

Cash Is King in Today’s Distressed Marketplace
DSNews | March 22, 2011
Evidence of constricted mortgage credit was highlighted in the latest HousingPulse report from Campbell Surveys and Inside Mortgage Finance as cash transactions set a new record, accounting for 33.7 percent of home purchases in February.

Higher Mortgage Down Payments May Cramp Homebuilder Recovery
HousingWire | March 22, 2011
As regulators stiffen mortgage underwriting requirements, some homebuilders stand to lose more business than others.

Sales of New Homes in U.S. Probably Climbed in February
Bloomberg | March 22, 2011
A projected February increase in sales of U.S. new homes probably failed to make up for the ground lost the prior month, adding to evidence the industry is floundering, economists said before a report today.

Discounts Expected in Spring Housing Market
The Wall Street Journal | March 22, 2011
Sales of previously owned homes fell sharply in February, setting the stage for steep discounting in the spring market.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Buyers Ready to Snatch Bargains This Spring
Deep discounts in housing mixed with low interest rates may offer real estate its busiest spring season in years, economists say.

Celebrities’ Worst Real Estate Mistakes
Business Insider reveals some of the biggest real estate blunders of the stars.

Law Students Help Foreclosed Home Owners
A new program at Ohio’s Capital University, which may soon serve as a model across the country, has law students helping home owners who are facing foreclosure learn how to stay in their homes.

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. Join My List

Find me on:   Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. LinkedIn   Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.  Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. Facebook

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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