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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Real Estate News Today 11-17-2011


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

Homebuilders Target The In-Laws — and Dogs
Bloomberg | November 17, 2011
There is a growing line of new homes marketed to multigenerational families, a category that increased by 30 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

As New Graduates Return to Nest, Economy Also Feels the Pain
The New York Times | November 16, 2011
With the poor job market and uncertain recovery, hundreds of thousands of Americans have tabled their moves.

One Antidote to Foreclosures: Good Schools.
The Wall Street Journal | November 16, 2011
Highly ranked school districts may have been spared the worst of the foreclosure crisis, according to a new analysis, showing that the housing crash was akin to a tornado that tore through wide swaths, but hit with particular force in certain areas.

Real Estate: Why Home Prices Won’t Bottom Out
Reuters | November 16, 2011
Watching the U.S. home market struggle to rebound is like listening to children in the back of a car. No, we’re not there yet.  (I love this analogy!  It made me smile. ~Anthony)

Allied Home Mortgage’s FHA Privileges Reinstated by Judge
BusinessWeek | November 15, 2011
Allied Home Mortgage Corp. can originate and underwrite Federal Housing Authority-insured home loans, a judge said, reversing a U.S. agency’s suspension of those privileges.

Why Wall Street’s Layoffs Are More Serious Than You Think
Forbes | November 16, 2011
Bank of America has reportedly started the first phase of a massive layoff plan by notifying some of its employees that they no longer work for the company. The layoffs are part of a larger cutback plan that is intended to save the bank $5 billion over the next couple of years.

Lower Mortgage Rates Help Homebuilders Feel Less Pessimistic but Housing Market Remains Weak
The Washington Post | November 17, 2011
U.S. homebuilders are feeling a little less pessimistic about the struggling housing market. But their mood hasn’t changed enough to signal a recovery anytime soon.

Homebuilder confidence highest since 2010
The MReport.com | November 16, 2011
Homebuilder confidence shot up over November, revisiting a high previously seen in May 2010, according to a recent index.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Midwest’s Hot Land Boom: 25% Jump in Values
It’s a good time to own farmland: Farmland prices in the Midwest are reaching new records, and some analysts say the peak hasn’t been reached yet either.

Foreclosures Are Selling Quicker, BofA Says
Bank of America says in several markets it’s moving through its inventory of foreclosed homes at a much faster pace than it has in the past.

Construction Soars for Rental Apartments
A tight supply of apartments and an upsurge in demand has allowed landlords to raise rents for seven straight quarters. But a boom in new apartment construction may help change that.

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!

 

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Real Estate News Today 11-16-2011


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

Federal Prosecution Of Financial Fraud Falls To 20-Year Low, New Report Shows
Huffington Post | November 15, 2011
Public mistrust for banks may be at an all-time high, but federal prosecution for certain financial crimes is down to a 20-year low.

A State-by-State Look at Long Road to Jobs Recovery
The Wall Street Journal | November 14, 2011
When it comes to jobs, it’s going to take a long time to get over the Great Recession. How long depends on where you live. (Another one of those maps that I enjoy so much! ~Anthony)

Freddie Mac launches Winter REO promotion
HousingWire | November 15, 2011
Homesteps, the real estate sales unit of Freddie Mac, launched a sales promotion Tuesday for its inventory of foreclosed homes in select states. (Washington isn’t included in the list, but othr nearby states are like Idaho and Utah.  Check it out. ~Anthony)

Freddie Mac Raises Bar for Refinancing with Home-Equity Debt
BusinessWeek | November 15, 2011
Freddie Mac, the government- supported mortgage company, made it harder for some borrowers with second-lien home equity debt to refinance as it released guidelines for its version of the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

More Home Owners Try ‘Reluctant Landlord’ Role
The number of single-family homes turned into rentals post-housing boom has sharply risen over recent years as more home owners who can’t sell are trying on the challenging role of becoming a landlord.

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 11-15-2011


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

CFPB reveals larger prototype mortgage form for public scrutiny
HousingWIre | November 8, 2011
After collecting feedback from thousands of members of the industry on its prototype mortgage disclosure forms, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is ready to accept public opinions on the documents.  The new federal agency is proposing a five-page form, codenamed “Hornbeam” and an alternative six-page disclosure document, known as “Ironwood” to function as the final mortgage disclosure form for consumers. The alternative mortgage disclosure forms, which are available for review online, cover all of the details of a mortgage loan, while also spelling out closing costs for borrowers.  (Do you believe borrowers are generally confused about the home closing process?  Check out the new proposed closing statement forms above that replace the current HUD-1.  We’re now looking at a 5 page or a 6 page form.  If you or your borrower/client want to offer feedback, now is your chance on their feedback page! ~Anthony)

Lawmakers Near Deal on Raising FHA Loan Limits
The Wall Street Journal | November 14, 2011
U.S. lawmakers are near a deal to increase the maximum size of mortgage loans that can be insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a crucial source of mortgages for first-time home buyers, congressional aides said Monday. The likely agreement between House and Senate lawmakers to lift the loan limits is being hashed out as part of a spending bill for several federal agencies that is expected to clear Congress by Thursday, aides said.

How to Figure the Fuzzy Math of Internet Home Values
The Wall Street Journal | November 15, 2011
Jason Gonsalves worked hard to turn his 6,500-square-foot stucco-and-stone home in the suburbs of Sacramento into the ultimate grown-up party pad, complete with game room, custom wine cellar and an infinity-edge pool overlooking Folsom Lake. When interest rates fell recently, Mr. Gonsalves, who runs a lobbying firm, looked into refinancing his $750,000 mortgage. That’s when he got startling news—the home had dropped more than $200,000 in value while he was renovating.  Or at least, that’s what one real-estate website told him.

FHA Undercapitalized By Up to $100 Million: Wharton Report
HousingWire | November 14, 2011
The Federal Housing Adminstration‘s insurance program is materially undercapitalized and will require a capital infusion of $50 billion to $100 billion in the next few years even if housing markets do not deteriorate further. (The headline says $100 million, but if you read into the article, it’s $100 billion. Bit of a difference there.  ~Anthony)

Fed Economists: 2012 Recession Odds Top 50%
Bloomberg | November 15, 2011
The odds of a U.S. recession in early 2012 exceed 50 percent as a result of Europe’s debt crisis, according to researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Freddie Mac Sells Record-Number REO at 94% of Market Value
HousingWire | November 14, 2011
Freddie Mac sold a record number of real estate owned properties in 2011 and got pretty decent pricing on most of them, according to Tracy Mooney, senior vice president of single-family servicing and real estate owned properties at Freddie.

Lender Liability Rule Key to Mortgage Refi Due Tuesday
Chicago Tribune | November 14, 2011
The reach of a government effort to help distressed homeowners refinance their mortgages could be largely determined by details on lender liability that will be announced Tuesday.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Modest Volume, Price Gains Seen Next Year
The housing recovery will continue on its slow but steady pace over the next couple of years, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said Friday morning at the 2011 Conference & Expo in Anaheim.

Measured Improvement in Commercial Sectors Expected
Despite sluggish economic growth and continuing concerns, modest but steady improvements in commercial real estate in 2011 are expected to continue into 2012.

 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 11-14-2011


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

How Many Homes Are in Trouble?
The Wall Street Journal | November 11, 2011
Call it what you will—the “shadow inventory,” the “distressed inventory,” the “foreclosure pipeline”—but if you ask five researchers how many houses or mortgages we should worry about, you’ll probably get at least five completely different answers. (We’ve all seen the wide variety of opinions regarding “shadow inventory”.  This is a great illustration of how dramatically the opinions vary. ~Anthony)

Gen X Takes The Housing Hit; Boomers Only Grazed
NPR | November 14, 2011
At this time five years ago, the white-hot U.S. housing market was starting to cool. Before long, it would slip into a deep freeze.  The thaw still hasn’t come. The latest statistics show residential real estate prices are continuing to drop — a trend that could have a long-lasting impact on the net wealth of younger homeowners who bought property during the housing bubble.

Housing to Gradually Improve in 2012, NAR Economist Says
HousingWire | November 11, 2011
Gradual improvement in the housing market is expected next year, with existing-home sales edging up 4% to 5% and new home sales getting an even bigger boost off this year’s record lows, the chief economist of the nation’s largest real estate group said Friday.

Condo Associations Struggle to Meet Stricter FHA Guidelines
HousingWire | November 12, 2011
Time is up for many condo associations to benefit from borrowers using mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Fewer than 10% of the nation’s condominiums received recertification nearly two years after a change in requirements.  (This is worth the read.  I can’t tell you how much the new FHA rules have affected the condo market, but anecdotally I can tell you we’ve had plenty of cases here in Spokane where the condo sale didn’t go through for one of the reasons listed in the article.  It’s definitley a problem. ~Anthony)

Need to Bank? Phone It In
The Wall Street Journal | November 14, 2011
Small-business owners are starting to do their banking on the go.  A growing number of entrepreneurs are tapping into smartphone apps from lenders that let them do a range of jobs, from checking their balances and paying bills to depositing checks.

Mortgage Scams in a Weak Housing Market
The Wall Street Journal | November 14, 2011
Fraudsters will always finds ways to scam lenders and homeowners. And in recent years, they’ve shifted their tactics to profit from the market’s downturn.  Today, there’s less identity fraud and misrepresentation of income or employment to obtain a mortgage, mainly because of stricter validation criteria, says David Johnson, vice president of fraud and consortium solutions for CoreLogic, a provider of financial, property and consumer information.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Foreclosures Reach 7-Month High
“The October foreclosure numbers continue to show strong signs that foreclosure activity is coming out of the rain delay we’ve been in for the past year,” says a RealtyTrac spokesperson.

NAHB to Appraisers: Stop Using Distressed Sales in Comps
The National Association of Home Builders is speaking out against the use of foreclosures, short sales, and other distressed properties used as comparables to new-home in appraisals.  (I can see and have debated both sides of this issue, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts.  On the one hand, those properties are certainly a large portion of what is selling right now.  On the other hand, you cn debate that a brand-new home is different than a distressed property.  Thoughts? ~Anthony)

Tips for Selling a Home in the Winter
It can be a challenge to sell a home in the winter but certainly not impossible. Here are a few tips to make sure the home shows in the best light, no matter the season.  (If you are a home seller right now, this is a must-read! ~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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Real Estate News Today 11-11-2011


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

Mortgage Rates Fall Below 4% for Second Time: Freddie
The MReport.com | November 10, 2011
Ongoing trouble in Europe meshed with low home prices to keep a heel on mortgage rates this week, with Freddie Mac offering up news that interest rates for loans fell below 4 percent for the second time this year.

Wells Fargo forms new group to finance REITs
HousingWire | November 9, 2011
Wells Fargo & Co. announced the creation of a new business segment Wednesday that will provide financing for real estate investment trusts.  Wells Fargo REIT Finance Groupwill offer banking services, lines of credit, term loans and construction loans to REITs.

Why you can’t get the lowest mortgage rates
MarketWatch | October 31, 2011
Mortgage rates are near historical lows, but the rates lenders are quoting you aren’t as eye-popping as those you see in the news.  Why is that?

S&P says mistakenly announced French downgrade
Yahoo! News | November 10, 2011
Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s said Thursday that it had mistakenly announced to some clients a downgrade of France’s top “AAA” credit rating, amid speculation of just such a move.  “As a result of a technical error, a message was automatically disseminated today to some subscribers of S&P’s Global Credit Portal suggesting that France’s credit rating had been changed,” S&P said in a statement.

Key lesson from Iceland crisis is ‘let banks fail’
Yahoo! News | November 5, 2011
Three years after Iceland’s banks collapsed and the country teetered on the brink, its economy is recovering, proof that governments should let failing lenders go bust and protect taxpayers, analysts say.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Survey Reveals Why Buyers Are Waiting on Sidelines
“Perceptions as much as the realities of home ownership are standing in the way of boosting demand for housing,” says a spokesperson for Move Inc. about new survey findings.  (It seems to me that the “younger generation” is misinformed or misguided about the cost of housing-or on what it should cost.  We need to educate them!  Read for yourself and you decide. ~Anthony) 

Falling Rates Send Mortgage Apps Soaring 10%
More borrowers took advantage of lower interest rates this past week to buy homes and refinance existing loans.

Federal Gov’t Properties Hit the Auction Block
The federal government is trying to unload some real estate, and your buyers can now start the bidding in online auctions on various government properties, including residential homes in sought-after areas.

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!

 

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Real Estate News Today 11-10-2011


Corker Introduces Senate Bill to Wind Down Fannie, Freddie
BusinessWeek | November 9, 2011
U.S. Senator Bob Corker has introduced legislation to unwind Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage companies that have drawn more than $150 billion in taxpayer aid since the 2008 subprime lending collapse.

Americans Consider Housing Policy in 2012 Election
DSNews | November 9, 2011
As Americans consider the best candidates for the 2012 presidential and congressional elections, housing is at the forefront of the debate for many.

GOP Candidates Offer Their Cure for What Ails Housing
HousingWire | November 9, 2011
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, whose firm represented Freddie Mac at the height of the housing bubble, advocated abolishing Freddie and Fannie Mae during a Wednesday night GOP debate focused largely on the economy.

Monthly Mortgage Payment Almost 40% Cheaper Than 2006
HousingWire | November 9, 2011
Housing affordability improved dramatically because of declines in both prices and mortgage interest rates, according to Fiserv’s chief economist.

Foreclosure Activity Increases for Third Straight Month
DSNews | November 9, 2011
Foreclosure filings in October rose 7 percent from the previous month, RealtyTrac reported Thursday.

Home Prices Fall in Nearly 75% of Metros.
The Wall Street Journal | November 9, 2011
U.S. home prices fell in nearly 75% of metropolitan areas in the third quarter and the national median price dropped as the housing market showed renewed weakness in the second half of the year.

Lawmakers Target Fannie, Freddie Pay
The Wall Street Journal | November 9, 2011
U.S. lawmakers are seeking to rein in pay for executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, arguing that taxpayer funds shouldn’t be spent on bonuses at the two government-controlled mortgage firms.

Ginnie Mae Calls 2011 ‘Best Year Yet’
HousingWire | November 9, 2011
Ginnie Mae reported $1.18 billion in net income for the fiscal year 2011, more than double the $541 million the year before.

Looking to Buy Property? Check With the Postal Service
The Washington Post | November 9, 2011
Two weeks ago it quietly launched USPSPropertiesforSale.com, a site listing more than 90 post offices and mail distribution centers the U.S. Postal Service is hoping to sell to generate some revenue and cut operational costs.

Debt-Reduction Talks Sputter Along
The Washington Post | November 9, 2011
A Democrat sees a “breakthrough” in talks, but the panel remains apart on the shape of a blueprint.

 

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 11-9-2011


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

MetLife originates $1.6 billion in agricultural mortgages
HousingWire | November 8, 2011
Insurer MetLife which runs its own agricultural investment unit, originated $1.6 billion in agricultural mortgages this year to support farms, ranches, timberland and agribusiness facilities.  The firm’s recent originations included a $75 million contribution towards a $90 million senior secured loan on Aurora Cooperative out of Aurora, Neb. The loan is secured by grain handling and storage facilities.  (It’s great to see positive news of investment into the breadbasket of America.  If you are a Spokanite and you haven’t yet visited our local breadbasket and supported the folks at Green Bluff or the farmers market, it’s worth the trip!  I believe there is real value in teaching the younger generation where their food comes from.  http://www.greenbluffgrowers.com/  or http://www.spokanefarmersmarket.org/ )

CFPB Reveals Larger Prototype Mortgage Form for Public Scrutiny
HousingWire | November 8, 2011
After collecting feedback from thousands of members of the industry on its prototype mortgage disclosure forms, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is ready to accept public opinions on the documents.

Designing the Mortgage Form of the Future.
The Wall Street Journal | November 8, 2011
Buying a home produces enough documents to make your head hurt – or your hand from signing all of them.

Mortgage Applications Jump 10.3% as Interest Rates Decline
HousingWire | November 9, 2011
Mortgage applications increased 10.3% this past week as more homeowners refinanced existing mortgages or took advantage of lower interest rates to buy homes.

Housing Market Looks Fine From Here
The Wall Street Journal | November 8, 2011
The number of housing markets showing signs of improved economic health grew from 23 to 30 nationwide, according to a market index produced by a housing industry trade group and a national title insurance firm.

Foreclosure Backlogs Could Take Decades to Clear Out
USA Today | November 9, 2011
Foreclosure sales are moving so slowly in half the states that at the current pace, it will take more than eight years on average to clear the 2.1 million homes in foreclosure or with seriously delinquent mortgages, new research shows.

Wealthy Qualifying for Loans Intended for Low-Income Borrowers
Bloomberg | November 8, 2011
Congress is weighing a proposal to restore higher loan limits that expired on Oct. 1. The measure, already adopted by the Senate, would allow the FHA and government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to insure single-family mortgages for as much as $729,750, up from the current $625,500, in high-cost parts of the country.

Governments on the Prowl
The Wall Street Journal | November 9, 2011
Municipalities in many parts of the U.S. are buying properties rather than renting or building them to take advantage of the weak sales markets.

Holiday Travelers Should Expect Higher Airfares and Packed Planes
The Los Angeles Times | November 9, 2011
Because airlines have reduced thousands of available seats, low-fare airline tickets for the busiest days surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas will go quickly, experts say, leaving only high-priced seats or fares for flights several days before or after the holidays.

Green Bluff 2011-small
Green Bluff 2011  

 

 

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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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