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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Real Estate News Today 11-30-2011


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

Las Vegas notary public guilty in robo-signing scheme found dead
HousingWire | November 29, 2011
A Las Vegas notary public who was scheduled to be sentenced for her part in a foreclosure robo-signing scheme was found dead in her home Monday after she failed to show up for sentencing.

Jump in Confidence Suggests Consumers Tuning Out Washington
The Wall Street Journal | November 29, 2011
Consumer confidence rose sharply in November, the Conference Board reported, in a sign that recent gains in the labor market and modest momentum in the recovery may be starting to lift Americans’ gloomy spirits.

Central Banks Expand System of ‘Swapping’ Money to Ease Credit Crunch
The Washington Post | November 30, 2011
The world’s major central banks unveiled a new strategy Wednesday morning to try to create a wall of money to try to prevent Europe’s financial woes from undermining the stability of the global banking system.

When Home Is Where the Hotel Is
The Wall Street Journal | November 29, 2011
Luxury hotels are hoping more guests will check in and stay awhile – a very long while.

Housing Recovery Hinges on Household-Formation Gain, Case Says
BusinessWeek | November 29, 2011
U.S. home prices won’t recover until the economy improves enough to boost the number of households and clear an oversupply of properties, said economist Karl Case, co-founder of the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index.

A New Shot at Mortgage Relief
The New York Times | November 29, 2011
Like millions of other homeowners, William D. Compton would like to refinance his mortgage so that he pays less each month for his three-bedroom house in Gulf Breeze, Fla. With the savings, he figures he could afford a few extra movies and restaurant dinners or he could buy a new stove and brakes for his car, purchases he has postponed because finances are so tight.

Housing Slump Continues – But the Momentum is Slowing
Time | November 29, 2011
September housing prices, as measured by the S&P/Case-Shiller Housing Index, are out, and they’re down 3.6% year-over-year. This continues a trend that we’ve seen since the summer: Housing prices continue to fall, but more slowly than before. (The prior month, they had fallen at a 3.8% year-over-year rate.) While the continuing deceleration is good news, it’s a trend that doesn’t portend a recovery in 2012. More likely it’ll be 2013.

OCC proposes moving credit rating duties to banks
HousingWire | November 29, 2011
National banks must be able to determine on their own that the risk of default is low and a full, timely repayment of principal and interest is expected on an underlying loan before issuing the “investment grade” security, according to a new rule proposed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Tuesday.  (While I understand what they are trying to accomplish, this doesn’t seem like a good idea. ~ Anthony)

From the National Association of Realtors®:

New-Home Sales Post Biggest Gains in Months
“Builders have been seeing some marginal improvement in sales activity over the past few months, particularly in select markets where consumer confidence is higher due to improved economic conditions,” the National Association of Home Builders chairman says.

Don’t Let Foreclosure Buyers be Tempted by Price Alone
Buyers may be swayed by the big bargain prices that foreclosures often offer. But before they jump in, some housing experts say they need to be warned that it may not be as big of bargain as they believe.

Could Property Managers Help the Market Recover?
As more real estate practitioners make the move into property management, experts say their skills and thoughtfulness in managing real estate portfolios could help the housing market recovery.

 

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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Real Estate News Today 11-29-2011


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

Here is a great article on the newest HARP Program which kicks in this Thursday (HARP 2.0).
Can HARP 2.0 save you money on the mortgage?
Gaston Gazette | November 27, 2011
Home values continue to fall in the wake of the nation’s housing crisis. Millions of homeowners are underwater — owing more on mortgages than their homes are worth.  Recently announced changes to the Home Affordable Refinancing Program are part of a last-ditch effort by the federal government to help struggling homeowners. The refinancing program is aimed at those who have spent the years since the recession keeping up with mortgages as other walked away from debt. The plan: Save those folks some money on their house payments by helping them take advantage of today’s historically low interest rates.

Barney Frank’s Retirement: What it Means for House Financial Services Panel
The Washington Post | November 28, 2011
The news that Rep. Barney Frank will retire at the end of his term in 2012 sets off an internal scramble among Democrats to succeed the longtime Massachusetts lawmaker as the ranking member on the Financial Services Committee.

New-Home Sales Rise; Prices Fall
The New York Times | November 28, 2011
Americans bought slightly more new homes in October, the Commerce Department said Monday, but the median sales price fell to its lowest level of the year.

U.S. City Home Prices Probably Fell More Slowly
Bloomberg | November 29, 2011
Home prices in 20 U.S. cities probably fell at a slower pace and consumer confidence rose from a two-year low, showing the economy is stabilizing, economists said before reports today.

NAR Expects Some Commercial Real Estate Growth Next Year
HousingWire | November 28, 2011
The commercial real estate segment could experience some growth in 2012, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.

Once ‘Ugly’ Property Management Grows as U.S. Home Rentals Surge
Bloomberg | November 28, 2011
Just as the U.S. housing boom gave birth to such homebuyer websites as Zillow Inc. and Redfin Corp., services for rental properties are thriving following a surge in foreclosures and stiffening of mortgage standards.

Hispanic Households Grow, Accounting for More Than Half of New Homeowners
HousingWire | November 28, 2011
Hispanic households accounted for more than half of the nation’s homeowners in the third quarter, evidence of the potential purchasing power of Latinos during the housing recovery.

Fitch revises outlook on US to  negative from stable
HousingWire | November 28, 2011
Fitch Ratings affirmed several U.S. credit ratings at AAA on Monday, while also revising the nation’s overall long-term outlook to negative from stable.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

10 Cities Where Home Construction Is Taking Off
In many areas across the country, housing starts and permits are starting to level off. In these 10 metro areas, though, they’re rising.

Housing Inventories Shrink to Four-Year Lows
Is the competition getting less fierce? For the fifth straight month, the number of homes listed for sale nationwide continued to fall.

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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Real Estate News Today 11-28-2011


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

PMI Files For Chapter 11, Unable To Write New Policies
The MReport.com | November 23, 2011
Embattled mortgage insurer The PMI Group, Inc., caved in to state-imposed roadblocks by voluntarily filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday.

Stronger Lure for Home Buyers
The Wall Street Journal | November 26, 2011
Home prices and mortgage rates have fallen so far that the monthly cost of owning a home is more affordable than at any point in the past 15 years and is less expensive than renting in a growing number of cities.

Dealers See Fed Buying $545B Mortgage Bonds
Bloomberg | November 28, 2011
The biggest bond dealers in the U.S. say the Federal Reserve is poised to start a new round of stimulus, injecting more money into the economy by purchasing mortgage securities instead of Treasuries.

S&P: 45 Months to Clear Shadow Inventory
HousingWire | November 23, 2011
Changing default and liquidation rates in various regions prompted Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services to reduce its projection of how many months it will take to clear the nation’s shadow inventory.

Secret Fed Loans Gave Banks Undisclosed $13B
Bloomberg | November 27, 2011
The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing.

Banks Tap Government for Security Against Hackers
Wall Street Cheat Sheet | November 26, 2011
The National Security Agency has begun providing Wall Street banks with intelligence on foreign hackers, a sign of growing U.S. fears of financial sabotage.

Drop In Rates Pushes Borrowing Costs To Historic Low
The MReport.com | November 23, 2011
Mortgage rates continue to drop and recent statistics show that the price of long-term lending is approaching historically low numbers. Results of this week’s survey from Freddie Mac show that an unexpected rise in home sales coupled with low rates have brought the cost of borrowing to its second-lowest level ever recorded.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

6 Cities Where Foreclosures Are Soaring
Some housing markets are still battling high numbers of foreclosures. You may be surprised at where foreclosures have increased by 30 percent or more recently.

Mortgage Scams Rise on Online Search Engines
Investigators have launched an investigation into three of the most popular search engines as they try to uncover con artists who are using the sites to dupe troubled home owners.

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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Real Estate News Today 11-23-2011


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

Banks Chip Away at REO Inventory
HousingWire | November 22, 2011
The inventory of foreclosures held by private banks dropped for the fourth straight quarter to $50.4 billion worth of properties at Sept. 30, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Fed Seeks to Boost Banks with Stress Tests
Bloomberg | November 23, 2011
The Federal Reserve sought to bolster confidence in the U.S. banking system as concerns over the European sovereign-debt crisis roil financial markets and pose risks to the economic expansion.

Broad Tax Cut and Long-term Unemployment Benefits Still Up in the Air for 2012
The Washington Post | November 22, 2011
A tax cut that reaches 160 million Americans and government aid for the long-term unemployed will expire at the end of the year – sucking $165 billion out of the economy next year – unless Congress takes action.

Revised GDP Figures Offer Hope for Final Three Months of 2011
The Washington Post | November 22, 2011
The U.S. economy grew more slowly in the summer than earlier thought, according to new data. But the reason could bode well for the final months of the year.

The Fannie Mae Quagmire
CNN Money | November 22, 2011
Lower interest rates are supposed to spur the economy and give homeowners a break, but instead they’re causing more losses at the government’s troubled mortgage giants.

Loan Limits Steady, Except in Connecticut
The Wall Street Journal | November 22, 2011
The maximum size of loans that can be purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be unchanged next year in every U.S. county, except Fairfield County, Conn.

FDIC: Bank balance sheets stronger, earnings up 48% in 3Q
HousingWire | November 22, 2011
Earnings at financial institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. continue to strengthen on lower loan-loss provisions with 63% of the banks reporting higher third-quarter results.

Take advantage of expiring tax deductions
Inman News | November 22, 2011
There are several tax credits and deductions set to expire at the end of the year, and given the federal deficit problem, there’s a good chance they won’t be extended. If you want to take advantage of them, you need to act before Jan. 1, 2012.

HomeSteps® Adds Six States to Winter Sales Promotion With Closing Cost Assistance, Selling Agent Bonuses
PRNewswire | November 22, 2011
HomeSteps, the real estate sales unit of Freddie Mac (OB: FMCC), is expanding its winter sales promotion to include Alaska, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Oregon and Washington.  The HomeSteps Winter Sales Promotion is now active in 33 states and the District of Columbia.  (Many thanks to Mark for passing this along! ~Anthony)

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Does Your Client Want to Dump You?
A home seller or buyer may no longer think you’re the right person for the job. Here’s what likely went wrong, and how you might be able to still salvage the relationship.

More Agents Report Deals Falling Through
One-third of real estate professionals say they’ve had at least one contract that has been canceled in October, up from 18 percent in September.

Solar Powered Homes Becoming Standard in SoCal
KB Home is making solar power a standard home feature in almost all of its Southern California developments starting next year, the company announced.

The 32 Rules of Thanksgiving Touch Football
WSJ | November 21, 2011
Thanksgiving is Thursday and there’s no avoiding it—make the drive, eat the turkey, pass the cranberry goo, and try not to say something you regret. If you can survive until dessert without crying at the table or sticking a fork in someone’s arm, you’re home free—just inhale the pecan pie, hit the couch, and pass out watching the NFL.  But for the love of Lombardi, go outside and play some Thanksgiving touch football.
(We have an annual game at our house with friends and every eyar on Black Friday I am so sore!  But it’s worth it.  This article is worth a read.  (:-) ~Anthony)

This year we raised 10 turkeys on our little ranch, and this one got a Presidential pardon.  “Pollyanna” now resides with the chickens and has started to lay eggs.  She wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving, and asks that you please travel safely.  (:-)  Thanks to Debbie Carollo for the picture!
Pollyanna

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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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Real Estate News Today 11-22-2011


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

Housing Inventories Fall to New Four-Year Low in October
The Wall Street Journal | November 21, 2011
The number of homes listed for sale fell for the fifth straight month in October, hitting the lowest level in more than four years.

Existing Home Sales Rise, Contracting Issues Prevent Full Rebound
HousingWire | November 21, 2011
Existing home sales increased 13.5% in October when compared to a year earlier and would be even higher if contract failures and cancellations plaguing the loan application process could subside, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.

What Panel’s Failure Could Mean for Economy
The Washington Post | November 21, 2011
Because the supercommittee could not agree on a budget plan, the tax cut, as well as unemployment benefits, could expire at the end of the year.

Housing Market at Bottom, Few Borrowers Qualify for HAMP: John Burns
HousingWire | November 22, 2011
Housing starts, sales and prices have been flat for months, suggesting housing has hit its bottom, John Burns Real Estate Consulting said Monday.

Freddie: HARP Changes to Boost Originations Nearly $300 Billion
HousingWire | November 21, 2011
Changes to the Home Affordable Refinancing Program could add between $200 billion and $300 billion mortgage originations over 2012 and 2013, according to Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft.

House bill establishes watchdog of bank examiners
HousingWire | November 21, 2011
A bill recently introduced in the House of Representatives would establish an independent office charged with investigating banks’ complaints about regulatory examiners.  (I included this article because it amazes me that we now think we need a new government office to watch over the regulatory folks who watch over the banks.  I’m not suggesting whether it isn’t or it isn’t needed, it’s just amazing to me! ~Anthony)

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Housing Affordability Hovers Near Record Levels
Low interest rates and stabilizing home prices continue to push housing affordability near its highest levels in more than 20 years.

Freddie Issues Rule Changes on Short Sales
As of Jan. 1, Freddie Mac will require all parties involved in a short sale to sign affidavits that will make them liable for any negligent or intentional misrepresentations in the transaction.

 

Anthony Carollo

 

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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

 

 

Real Estate News Today 11-21-2011


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

Existing-Home Sales Rise Unexpectedly in October
DSNews.com | November 21, 2011
Sales of previously owned homes got an unexpected boost last month while the number of homes on the market continued to decline, according to data released Monday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Country Grammar: The Value of a Poshly Named Street
The Wall Street Journal | November 20, 2011
Two University of Georgia professors, Velma Zahirovic-Herbert and Swarn Chatterjee, recently set out to quantify the effect of street-naming and subdivision-naming on housing values.

Freddie Clamps Down on Short Sale Fraud
HousingWire | November 19, 2011
Freddie Mac will force parties involved in a short sale to sign affidavits making them liable for their negligent or intentional misrepresentations in the deal, an effort to be sure it’s an arms-length transaction, according to guidance released Friday.

Is the Housing Crash Fueling Suburbanization?
The Wall Street Journal | November 20, 2011
The suburbanization of America is not new, but a report from the real-estate website Trulia suggests that dramatic drops in home prices could be opening the way for buyers to find homes on their favorite cul-de-sac.

30% of FHA Mortgage Modifications Redefault Within a Year
HousingWire | November 19, 2011
More than 30% of the nearly 282,000 modifications completed on Federal Housing Administration mortgages in 2010 redefaulted within a year, according to an independent study sent to Congress this week.

$1B Homeowner Program Mainly Benefited 3 States
USA Today | November 20, 2011
A $1 billion federal program to help distressed homeowners in much of the country mainly helped people in just three states and very few in some others, government data show.

Fitch Expects Commercial Properties to Fare Better in 2012
HousingWire | November 19, 2011
Fitch Ratings expects commercial property performance to stabilize slowly and ultimately improve slightly from 2010 and going into next year.

The government can’t fix Fannie and Freddie
HousingWire | November 18, 2011
The recent clash between the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the House Financial Services Committee highlighted precisely why the government can’t fix the government-sponsored enterprises.

Past Due Mortgages=6,298,000
DSNews | November 18, 2011
There were 6,298,000 mortgages going unpaid in the United States as of the end of October, according to Lender Processing Services (LPS).  It’s a daunting number, but the data show that it’s actually been on a fairly steady decline for nearly two years now. 
(I spoke with a friend of mine this weekend who told me that they “are so far behind on their mortgage it’s not even funny”.  I think it’s important to stress to folks that we talk with that are behind on payments to call their lender (as with any creditor) when they get behind.  Make an effort to communicate with them.  Generally they don’t want to take the house back, they would much prefer to hear that an effort is being made to make some form of payment.  This effort will can slow or stop the foreclosure.~Anthony)

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Congress Restores FHA Loan Limits to NAR-Backed Levels
In a bipartisan effort, the U.S. House and Senate agreed to reinstate the FHA loan limit formula and maximum cap to the level they were at before they were allowed to expire at the end of September.

Recovery Taking Hold in New-Home Market?
Housing production and permits have been gradually rising since spring, and economists are predicting a solid recovery for the new-home market to finally take hold in 2012.

8 Most Affordable College Towns
Find out where you can get the best housing deals among the nation’s college towns.

 

I want each of you to know how thankful I am that I can call you a friend this holiday season.  I’m also so very thankful and humbled by the opportunity we have to help buyers find a home where they can live, raise a family, and to love one another.  I leave you today with my favorite quote from my favorite real estate industry movie, “It’s a Wonderful LIfe” ~Anthony V. Carollo

Pa Bailey: “You know, George, I feel that in a small way we are doing something important. Satisfying a fundamental urge. It’s deep in the race for a man to want his own roof and walls and fireplace, and we’re helping him get those things in our shabby little office.”

 

from The Internet Movie Database

 

 Anthony Carollo

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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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Real Estate News Today 11-18-2011


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

Lawmakers to Restore Higher FHA Loan Limits
The Washington Post | November 17, 2011
U.S. lawmakers moved Thursday to increase the maximum size of loans that can be guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, even as a top Obama administration official expressed doubt about the need for the change.  (Do we need the higher loan limits?  Yes? No?  Your thoughts on my blog?)

Nevada AG Files Criminal Charges for Robo-Signing
DSNews | November 17, 2011
Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto filed criminal charges against two title officers Wednesday for alleged robo-signing.

Foreclosures in U.S. Rise for First Time in a Year as Lender Backlogs Ease
Bloomberg | November 17, 2011
U.S. lenders started foreclosures on more properties in the third quarter, the first increase in a year, as a backlog stemming from claims of faulty home seizures began to ease.

Housing Starts in the U.S. Rose 5.1% in October
Los Angeles Times | November 18, 2011
The West, with a 16.5% drop, was the only region without an increase in construction of single-family homes. One analyst says the overall gain is a sign that numbers will be good the rest of the year.

Fewer Mortgages Going Bad but Foreclosures Expected to Increase
Los Angeles Times | November 17, 2011
The Mortgage Bankers Assn. says it could take three or four years to return to a normal pattern of delinquencies and foreclosures.

House Approves Bill Averting Government Shutdown
San Francisco Chronicle | November 17, 2011
A weekend government shutdown that neither party wants would be averted under a compromise spending bill the House approved Thursday despite complaints from lawmakers left and right about provisions ranging from school lunch standards to the size of federally backed loans. 

Europe Debt Crisis Keeps Mortgage Rates At Record Lows
The MReport.com | November 17, 2011
Mortgage rates ran a tepid streak started three weeks ago by hovering at around 4 percent this week, according to Freddie Mac, largely because investors continue to flee European sovereign bonds for the safe haven of U.S. Treasury debt.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Housing Picture Expected to Brighten in 2012
Better times are ahead for the real estate market in the new year, according to several forecasts and a recent survey.  (Can I hear you say Wahhoooooo!?!  OK, no cheering yet, but it’s good to hear there is some sense of hope out there. ~Anthony)

Gov’t Announces More Refinancing Program Details
Spread the word to your clients: The HARP program is opening its doors to more home owners who want to refinance their mortgage and take advantage of ultra-low mortgage rates.

Students Swap Dorms for McMansions?
An answer to one city’s foreclosure crisis? Move in more college students.
 

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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