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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Today’s Real Estate News 5-31-2011


Are we now in a market where buyers looking for a home are competing more than ever before with buyers looking for an investment?  I am also curious if investor buyers are more frequently paying cash in today’s market than what we are used to.  Let me know your thoughts on my blog or on Facebook (http://on.fb.me/jOieJB)

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

America’s Best Affordable Places, 2011
Yahoo! Real Estate | May 27, 2011
As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Unfortunately in real estate, value is a trade-off. Someone in Manhattan is willing to pay $2,200 per month to rent a studio apartment so as to be near jobs and cultural amenities, sacrificing square footage. For someone in Las Vegas, where housing is inexpensive—the city’s median home value is about $115,000, according to real estate site Zillow.com—and the labor market is tough, the reverse is true. What if you could have both proximity to work and quality of life at an affordable cost?

Home Prices in U.S. Probably Kept Falling as Housing Absent From Recovery
Bloomberg | May 30, 2011
U.S. home prices probably slumped in March by the most in 16 months, indicating residential real estate will keep weighing on the expansion, economists said before a report today.

More than 500 Cities see more homes become rentals
USA Today | May 30, 2011
Nationally, 34.9% of occupied homes were rented in 2010 compared with 33.8% in 2000, according to Census data. (In Spokane, we were parallel with the national average increase as we saw an increase of 1.2%.  Check out the list to see if your city is on there. ~Anthony)

April pending home sales down 26.5% from year earlier
HousingWire | May 27, 2011
Pending home sales fell substantially in April with unusual weather and continued economic softness hindering a recovery in the housing market, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Real estate market anticipates 25% rise in hotels transactions
Business Day | May 31, 2011
The property market in the past six to 12 months has seen increased activities in its commercial segment with a significant rise in capital investment hovering between 10 and 20 percent.  Investors, especially institutional ones, see rising demand and high yield on investment in this segment contrary to the residential segment where demand is relatively low at the upper end of the market.

Home Loans: A Call to ARMs?
Wall Street Journal | May 28, 2011
One of the signature loans of the housing boom—the adjustable-rate mortgage—is looking more attractive than it has in years. For some buyers, it may be an even better deal than a fixed-rate mortgage.

Foreclosure Activity Tumbled in April
Wall Street Journal | May 28, 2011
Banks initiated fewer foreclosures in April than in any month since late 2008, even though the number of loans in foreclosure remains near records, offering the latest evidence that banks are struggling to repair hobbled foreclosure processes.

Report: Investment Buyers Strengthen Foreclosed Home Sales
DSNews | May 27, 2011
While home sales have slowed from the typical pace seen at the start of the spring buying season, the foreclosure market is performing better than the market for all other homes, according to the RPX Housing Market Report from Radar Logic Incorporated, a real estate data and analytics company based in New York.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Investors to Dominate Market for Next 2 Years
Real estate investors are expected to outnumber the typical home buyer three to one for the next 24 months, and investors say they’re ready to compete against first-time home buyers for the best property deals, according to a new study by Move Inc.

Buyers Better Hurry: Rates Reach New Lows
The purchasing power for home buyers got even better this week. For the sixth straight week, fixed mortgage rates inched down, reaching new lows for the year.

Top Places for Oldest, Youngest Residents
Florida doesn’t boast the oldest population, as most people assume. Can you guess which state does? Also, find out what states have the youngest populations.



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 5-27-2011


Short sales:  What is your single biggest hurdle in getting them CLOSED?  Send me an email or let me know on Facebook http://on.fb.me/jOieJB We’re the best in town at getting them done!

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

HAMP disappoints most homeowners, housing counselors say
HousingWire | May 26, 2011
More than three-fourths of housing counselors responding to a survey conducted by the Government Accountability Office said borrowers hold a “negative” or “very negative” experience with the Home Affordable Modification Program.

Fannie Expands ‘Imminent Default’ Test, Issues Short Sale Value Rules
DSNews | May 26, 2011
Fannie Mae has issued a notice to servicers detailing changes to how they should apply “imminent default” evaluations and determine the market value of properties for pre-foreclosure sales.  The GSE is requiring servicers to apply the evaluation methods now used only for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) in determining whether a borrower faces imminent default to all non-HAMP modifications secured by owner-occupied properties.

Survey: Next two years is prime time for real estate investors
Inman News | May 26, 2011
Real estate investors are likely to be three times more active than other types of homebuyers in their local markets within the next two years, according to a nationwide survey from Realtor.com operator Move Inc.

Wages Poised to Rise in U.S. as Paychecks for Temps Get Bigger
Bloomberg | May 25, 2011
Staffing agencies are charging companies more for temporary workers, a possible harbinger of a bump up in salaries for permanent employees later this year.  The bill rate at Calabasas, California-based On Assignment Inc. (ASGN), which places temporary staff primarily in the information technology and health-care fields, climbed 6.3 percent in the quarter ended March 31 from the same time last year, the largest 12-month gain since 2008.

Prices Post Biggest Drop in Two Years as Foreclosures Depress Market
DSNews | May 26, 2011
Home prices in the U.S. continue to tumble. In recent months, that path of descent has become more precipitous as foreclosures claim a larger share of the market.  Residential home prices slipped 2.5 percent during the first quarter of this year when compared to the previous quarter, according to a national index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which is calculated using sales price information from mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Big Discounts on Foreclosures in These States
In some states, average discounts on foreclosed homes in the first quarter were more than 35 percent below the average prices of non-distressed homes. Find out where discounts are the highest.

Affordability Reaches Highest Level in 20 Years
“With interest rates remaining at historically low levels … home ownership is within reach of more households than it has been for more than two decades,” says the chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.

In 7 States, Foreclosures Make Up 32% or More of Sales
Where are foreclosures making up the largest percentage of sales? In one state topping this list of seven, foreclosures are making up 53 percent of its overall home sales.

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 5-26-2011


What other states (outside of WA) are your out of town buyers coming from?  I’d love to hear you answer on Facebook (http://on.fb.me/jOieJB) or on my blog below!

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

IRS Scrutinizes Gifts of Real Estate
The Wall Street Journal | May 26, 2011
The Internal Revenue Service has a low-profile but sweeping effort under way to use state land-transfer records for evidence of omissions in reporting gifts of real estate to family members.  Beth Shapiro Kaufman, a partner in the private-client group at law firm Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, D.C., said many tax advisers may not be aware of the IRS effort. She added that as the agency gets records from more states, “we can expect additional examinations.”  (Washington is one of the states that has already handed over land records.  This one is worth reading. ~Anthony)

Mortgage Industry Fights to Keep 3.5% Down Payments
HousingWire | May 26, 2011
A litany of mortgage industry players spoke in Washington Wednesday about the challenges of doing business in the current housing market.  Additionally, they told the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity, new regulations are doing more to kill their line of work, than to preserve it.

Small Businesses Fight IRS Over Data
The Wall Street Journal | May 26, 2011
The Internal Revenue Service, moving aggressively to collect more taxes from small businesses, is telling companies being audited to turn over exact copies of the electronic records kept in their business-software programs, according to a letter from an agency official to the American Institute of CPAs.

2 Attorneys General Subpoena Companies in Foreclosure Probes
The Washington Post | May 26, 2011
Attorneys general in Illinois and California expanded their investigations into problems within the mortgage servicing industry Wednesday, issuing subpoenas to companies that help manage the flow of troubled loans.

Debt Ceiling Threatens ‘Economic Pain’ and High Foreclosure Rates
DSNews | May 25, 2011
The U.S. housing market could experience a severe double-dip contraction marked by lower home sales and depressed house prices if Congress fails to raise the federal debt ceiling, according to a statement from the Center for American Progress, a nonprofit research and educational institute that focuses on government policy.

Short Sale Fraud to Cost Banks $375 Million in 2011
HousingWire | May 25, 2011
Analysts found one in every 52 short sales conducted in the first half of 2010 were “suspicious,” meaning the lender may have incurred unnecessary losses from fraud. Over the first six months of last year, banks showed $150 million in losses from these suspicious transactions. By the end of 2011, banks could face $375 million in losses from short sale fraud, according to CoreLogic.

Geithner Criticizes GOP’s Questioning of Elizabeth Warren
The Boston-Globe | May 25, 2011
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner suggested yesterday that House Republicans were engaging in ”political theater” instead of true oversight in their questioning of Elizabeth Warren, the Obama administration adviser setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Where Homes Are Selling in 2 Months Or Less
Spring buying season is heating up. Last month, several cities saw homes being sold in less than two months on average. Find out where homes are selling the fastest.

Military Members Seek Housing Help
“Military families are being caught in this situation where they can’t afford to sell their home, but they have orders to relocate,” says a spokesperson for the National Military Family Association.

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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 5-25-2011


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

Lenders Slash Loan Loss Reserves as Credit Quality Improves
DSNews | May 24, 2011
Data released by the FDIC Tuesday show that lenders’ are seeing considerable improvement in the quality of loans and becoming more confident that fewer borrowers will default.

Analysis: Number of Renters Rising as Housing Market Struggles
The Hill | May 24, 2011
The number of homeowners has tumbled to its lowest level since 1998, a recent analysis shows.  The percentage of renters has increased to 33.6 from 31.6 when the housing market began its decline four years ago. 

Small Retailers Take Advantage of Smartphone Boom
The Wall Street Journal | May 25, 2011
With cafes on nearly every corner in Vancouver, British Columbia, Ethical Bean Coffee Co. needed a way to stand out. The answer was an odd bar code with a maze of black boxes instead of the usual straight lines.  (This is a good article is about using QR codes, or Quick Response codes, in advertising.  If you don’t know what QR codes are, it’s worth a read.  The best app I’ve used for reading QR codes on my Blackberry is ScanLife.  Are there any other good QR code apps out there I should look at? ~Anthony)

GOP Proposes Increase in FHA Down Payments
The Washington Post | May 24, 2011
A Republican-led proposal circulated Monday would boost the down payment requirement for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration, a move some industry experts said would shut potential home buyers out of the market.

Tempers Flare With Consumer Ally Warren in Hot Seat
Reuters | May 24, 2011
Testimony by White House consumer adviser Elizabeth Warren before a House subcommittee broke down into acrimony when the panel’s Republican chairman accused her of lying about the terms of her appearance.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Commercial Markets Stabilizing, Demand Growing
Job creation and the improving economy are the biggest contributing factors to declining vacancy rates in the office, industrial, retail, and multifamily markets, according to NAR’s Commercial Real Estate Outlook.

7 Cities Where Home Prices Are Rising
In Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Fla., the median list price has increased 25 percent in the past year. See what other cities are seeing list prices on the rise.

Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  

Join My List

Find me on:   LinkedIn     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

 

Today’s Real Estate News 5-24-2011


What do you think is the single best reason a consumer would choose to buy a house right now? 

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

April New Home Sales Rose 7.3%
HousingWire | May 24, 2011
Sales of new single-family homes rose 7.3% in April from a month earlier, easily topping most analyst estimates.  The Commerce Department said the seasonally adjusted rate of 323,000 units last month was up from 301,000 for March, which was revised upward slightly. April new home sales were down 23.1% from 420,000 a year earlier.  (By comparison, in the Spokane MLS we had 42 new home sales in April compared to March when we had 29.  That’s about a 44% increase! ~Anthony)

Mortgage Defaults do not Predict Poor Credit Behavior: TransUnion
HousingWire | May 24, 2011
Troubled borrowers who default on their mortgages are less likely to develop long-term poor credit behavior, when compared to those who default on other kinds of loans, according to a new study from TransUnion.

Will Banks be Held Accountable for Fraud and Misbehavior?
The Chicago Sun-Times | May 23, 2011
It isn’t clear what is worse: the housing crisis that keeps deepening or the reports of pervasive banking fraud that keep getting exposed.

CMBS Issuance to Top $40 billion in 2011
HousingWire | May 24, 2011
Commercial mortgage-backed securities are gaining steam with $9 billion issued in the first four months of the year and $40 billion expected by the end of 2011, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Will REOs Hamper a Housing Recovery?
The glut of foreclosures across the country has sparked banks to take ownership of more than 872,000 homes. How will this affect a real estate recovery?

10 Most Searched Real Estate Markets
Which real estate markets were most searched for on the Web last month? See if your market made the list.

Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  

Join My List

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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 5-23-2011


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

Fannie Mae Sees Modest Improvement Ahead for Housing
DSNews | May 20, 2011
Fannie Mae’s latest market outlook continues to call for a “modest improvement” in housing activity this year, although the prevalence of distressed properties on the market has led to renewed weakness in home prices and the industry’s shadow inventory looms large.

As Lenders Hold Homes in Foreclosure, Sales Are Hurt
The New York Times | May 22, 2011
The nation’s biggest banks and mortgage lenders have steadily amassed real estate empires, acquiring a glut of foreclosed homes that threatens to deepen the housing slump and create a further drag on the economic recovery.

Service Members Ordered by Military to Relocate Grapple with Housing Market
The Washington Post | May 22, 2011
Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Ballek thought the four-bedroom house bordered by sage bushes and mountain roads on the edge of Las Vegas was a good deal when he purchased it for his growing family in 2007. Nevada’s skyrocketing home prices had dipped slightly that year, and the so-called experts all assured him he was getting in at the bottom of the market.

Many Homeowners are Refinancing Their Mortgages to Shorter Terms
Los Angeles Times | May 22, 2011
Borrowers who can afford the higher payments, and who meet lenders’ tougher requirements, often opt to replace their 30-year mortgages with shorter-term loans at near-record low rates.

Officials Heighten Mortgage Scrutiny
The Wall Street Journal | May 22, 2011
State attorneys general are stepping up their investigations of mortgage-industry practices by probing for potential misdeeds when banks originated home loans and packaged them into securities, according to people familiar with the examinations.

Foreclosures Also Hurting Commercial Market
The Minneapolis Star Tribune | May 22, 2011
Much like the housing market, commercial real estate has been divided into the haves and have-nots.

Properly Pricing Houses Helps Get Deals Done
The Boston Globe | May 22, 2011
In polls listing the least trusted professions, real estate agents regularly top the list. But that doesn’t bother longtime broker Gail Green of Bedford, who has been selling houses for almost three decades.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Mortgage Rates Reach Another Low for 2011
Buyers haven’t been able to snag rates like this since last year. This week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.61 percent and the 15-year rate averaged 3.80 percent.

More Home Owners Late on Mortgage Payments
Despite a rise in mortgage delinquencies during the first quarter, one Mortgage Bankers Association economist is optimistic that the market on the mend with a decline in foreclosures.

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 5-20-2011


The most active question the past week on our Facebook page has been  What is the best Social Media tool you have used in your business?  The response so far has surprised me, I would not have guessed the results we’re seeing.

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

Significant Declines Seen in Late-Stage Delinquencies and Foreclosures
DSNews | May 19, 2011
Industry data released Thursday shows a sharp drop in the percentage of home loans 90 or more days past due or in foreclosure — signs of a mortgage market that is on the mend, according to officials at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

First-time Homebuyers are Too Few in Number to Absorb Inventory Overhang
HousingWire | May 19, 2011
The number of first-time homebuyers coming to market this spring is not enough to absorb the amount of housing inventory on the market.

Existing-home Sales Fall in April
The Washington Post | May 19, 2011
Sales of previously owned homes dropped in April, falling short of many analysts’ expectations for this key month of the spring selling season.

Regulators Concentrate on Commercial Real Estate Risks
HousingWire | May 19, 2011
Federal banking regulators spent the past few years encouraging banks to lend to creditworthy borrowers in the commercial real estate segment while also enforcing rules to ensure commercial real estate concentration levels do not reach dangerous levels at community banks.

Cost-Cutting Ideas You Might Not Have Thought Of
The Wall Street Journal | May 16, 2011
Small-business owners have always tried to pinch pennies – but now keeping costs down is a bigger priority than ever. The Entrepreneurs’ Organization offers some money-saving tips.

Calif. Supreme Court Denies Plaintiff Petition for Review in MERS Case
HousingWire | May 19, 2011
The California Supreme Court denied a petition for review from a homeowner who lost his property through foreclosure.

Anthony Carollo 2007 EMAIL  

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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