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Today’s Real Estate News 3-8-2011

08 Mar

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

Dr. Ted Jones (Senior Vice President-Chief Economist, Stewart Title Guaranty Company) has a good blog today on consumer spending:
Light at the End of the Tunnel and It’s Not Another Train

Research Firm Says U.S. Housing Has Never Been This Undervalued
DSNews | March 7, 2011
The continuing depreciation of residential property values at the end of last year has made housing look more undervalued relative to income than ever before, according to analysts at the research firm Capital Economics.

Home Sales Accelerate as Prices Decline on Sustainable Rebound
Bloomberg | March 7, 2011
The third decline in U.S. home prices in three years is driving a pickup in sales as bargain hunters rush to buy before mortgage rates rise, even as values may slump further.

State Attorneys General Negotiate With Mortgage Servicers
The Washington Post | March 8, 2011
The state attorneys general investigating abuses in the mortgage servicing industry said Monday that as they hammer out details of a massive settlement with banks, their main objective remains fixing a system that has subjected consumers to confusion and financial strife.

Credit Unions Push For Small-Business Lending
The Wall Street Journal | March 8, 2011
Credit unions – nonprofits that offer basic banking services – want to double the amount they lend to small businesses. And they may get some help from the government.

JPMorgan Analysts: Steepening of GSE Prepayment Curve Now Complete
HousingWire | March 7, 2011
Prepayment speeds on mortgages sold to or insured by government-sponsored enterprises are down 40% from their peak in December, according to JPMorgan Chase (JPM: 45.19 0.00%) analysts.

DataQuick Finds Increase in Sales of High-End Homes in 2010
HousingWire | March 7, 2011
Home sales in 2010 remained weak around the nation, but one sector in particular forged a turn around. According to San Diego-based DataQuick Information Systems, sales on homes $1 million or more rose 18.6% last year after four consecutive years of decline.  (See also the article below from NAR “Wealthy Buyers Re-emerge in Real Estate”.  Interestingly, the two articles suggest two different things  The NAR article states “When Wall Street goes up, rich people buy homes.”  The HousingWire article quotes an opposing view: “Much of the market in high-cost areas such as California and New York is $1 million or more…. Therefore, buyers aren’t necessarily rich.” ~Anthony)

Higher Down Payments will Stifle Mortgage Market, CRL Says
HousingWire | March 7, 2011
Policy proposals suggesting a 10% to 20% hike in mortgage down payments could derail the housing recovery, the Center for Responsible Lending said in a new report.

Freddie Mac to Require More Equity in Purchased Loans
DSNews | March 7, 2011
Freddie Mac said last week in a bulletin to lenders that performance of loans with loan-to-value ratios of less than 5 percent has been “unacceptable,” and starting June 1, the GSE will no longer purchase them.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Wealthy Buyers Re-emerge in Real Estate
Sales of million-dollar homes and condos increased last year in all 20 major metro areas.

Man Pleads Guilty to Bid Rigging at Auctions
A Northern California man is the fifth person in the Sacramento area to plead guilty in recent months to rigging bids at foreclosure auctions.  (We had a case of bid-rigging in Spokane in the late 90’s that was prosecuted.  In today’s article, the guy got 40 years.  It’s a good reminder that just because a scheme looks appealing and profitable doesn’t mean it is legal.
~Anthony)

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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