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 V. Carollo / President
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