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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Real Estate News Today 12-30-2011


You didn’t see a Today’s News yesterday because my wife and I enjoyed a wonderful night at the historic and beautiful Davenport Hotel in Spokane and then a day of downtown leisure supporting the local economy.  (:-)

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

Jobless Claims in U.S. Hit Three-Year Low in Past Month
Bloomberg | December 29, 2011
Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits over the past month than at any time in the past three years, a sign the U.S. labor market is on the mend heading into the new year.

36% of Public Approves Strategic Default as an Option
HousingWire | December 29, 2011
According to a Pew Research Center survey, 36% of Americans said it is acceptable to stop making mortgage payments, even if it is affordable.

Economists Don’t Foresee Home Price Appreciation Until After 2013
DSNews | December 23, 2011
Home prices in the U.S. are expected to post a decline of 1.57 percent for the fourth quarter of 2011, after falling 0.4 percent through September, according to more than 100 economists and housing experts surveyed by Zillow.

Sales of U.S. Homes Beat the Forecasts
Bloomberg | December 29, 2011
The number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes rose more than forecast in November as falling prices and low borrowing costs boosted demand.

Economy Gaining Momentum, Housing Shows a Pulse
Reuters | December 30, 2011
New U.S. claims for jobless benefits rose last week but the underlying trend pointed to an improving labor market, while regional factory data showed the economy gaining momentum as the year ended.

Buyers, Sellers Continue to Butt Heads on Home Prices
HousingWire | December 30, 2011
Most Americans feel now is a good time to buy a home, but those who want to sell are having difficulty finding buyers at desired prices, causing seller sentiment to fall to record lows.

FHA Says: Flip that House
CNNMoney | December 29, 2011
Flippers, the real estate investors who buy homes on the cheap and quickly resell them at a profit, just got a reprieve from the Federal Housing Administration.

Fannie, Freddie to Raise G-fees in April
HousingWire | December 30, 2011
The Federal Housing Finance Agency will increase guarantee fees on single-family mortgage-backed securities charged by the government-sponsored enterprises by 10 basis points effective April 1, 2012, in response to the new funding mechanism for the payroll tax cut extension passed by Congress.

How Low Can Rates Go?
The New York Times | December 29, 2011
IF your New Year’s resolutions include buying a house or refinancing, the Federal Reserve has you covered. It has committed to keep long-term interest rates low through next year, so a 30-year mortgage will be pegged about where it is now – 4.32 percent in New York – at least through spring, said Frank E. Nothaft, the chief economist at Freddie Mac.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Gov’t Reviews Proposals for Foreclosure-Rental Program
The Federal Housing Finance Agency received more than 400 proposals on suggestions of what it should do with the high number of foreclosures that are plaguing many markets.

Distressed Commercial Properties Level Off
Are better days ahead for commercial real estate? A new report shows the number of distressed commercial properties is flattening out.

Rental Boom Takes Shape
“Rents are rising, vacancies are falling, household formations are growing and rental supply is limited,” according to a new report showing bright days ahead for the multifamily housing market.

Safest Places to Live
Find out where the most “secure” big and mid-size cities are in the country.

 Anth_Deb at the Davenport  

 

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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 12-28-2011


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

No Relief in Report on Housing
The New York Times | December 27, 2011
The latest housing report indicates that further declines are in store for the weak American market, or at best a period of long, slow recovery.

Year Is Marked by Big Start, Shaky Finish
The Wall Street Journal | December 28, 2011
Highlights Include Battle for Archstone, Brookfield’s ‘Occupy’ Dilemma, Blackstone’s Bargains; Funding Woes Loom

‘Slow, Plodding’ Economy Stalled By Housing Market
NPR | December 27, 2011
This month, consumer confidence jumped to its highest level since April, a sign that the U.S. economy is starting to mend. But the housing market isn’t going along yet with this cheerier mood: Home prices were down 3.4 percent for the year as of October, according to a new report released Tuesday.

Many Offer Strategies for Renting Foreclosed Homes
The San Francisco Chronicle | December 27, 2011
Fortress Investment Group and Deutsche Bank, whose executives played roles in the housing bubble, are among the hundreds of firms that responded to a U.S. government request for proposals to rent out foreclosed homes.

Top 10 Markets for Real Estate Bargains
Inman News | December 27, 2011
If you’ve been watching TLC’s “Extreme Couponing,” then you know that it is very possible to buy a thousand dollars worth of groceries and household supplies for mere pennies with coupons.

Employers to add jobs and boost pay in 2012
HousingWire | December 28, 2011
Employers expect to add new jobs in the new year, but are still cautious about their businesses, according to CareerBuilder‘s annual job forecast. Nearly one of every four hiring managers plans to hire full-time, permanent employees in 2012, similar to 2011 and employers said they expect to raise salaries.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Some Good Signs for the Real Estate Market
Several recent indicators for the real estate market are pointing to a housing market that may finally be entering recovery mode and starting to bounce back.

Take Advantage of the Winter Market
“There’s a misunderstanding that winter is quiet,” says one agent. Real estate pros report that the weeks between the holidays and the Super Bowl can be prime time in getting a head-start on the busy spring season.

‘Blockbuster Sales’ Abound in 2011
For wealthy home buyers, 2011 was a great time for purchases. Here’s a recap of some the biggest housing buys of the year.

U.S. Population Growth Slows to WWII Levels
Newly released Census data show that the population expanded less than 1 percent during the 12 months ending on July 1, 2011, the lowest pace since the 1940s.

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 12-27-2011


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

Decrying Wall St. greed is the easy part
The Boston Globe | December 26, 2011
FOR MOST Americans, Friday afternoons are filled with positive anticipation of the weekend. In Washington, it’s where government officials dump stories they want to bury. Good news gets dropped on Monday so bureaucrats can talk about it all week. When the Securities Exchange Commission chose a recent Friday to announce a lawsuit against six former Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives, it wasn’t because the Obama administration wanted to draw attention to the action. (This is an excellent editorial written by John E. Sununu ~Anthony)

Study Finds 38% of Homes Purchased in 2011 Bought with Cash
DSNews | December 23, 2011
Despite record low mortgage rates, 2011 has seen a surprisingly high level of cash home purchases, according to the real estate research firm Hanley Wood Market Intelligence.

Tax Revenue: Housing Bust Hits Home for Cities
The Seattle Times | December 25, 2011
The nation’s housing crisis is 5 years old, but the worst of the reckoning for local governments might only now be at hand.

Banks Still Waiting on Most Dodd-Frank Rules
The Washington Post | December 25, 2011
A year and a half has gone by since the Dodd-Frank financial reform act was signed into law, but barely a quarter of the rules in the legislation have been finalized, though federal regulators are rolling out key components of the bill.

Home Loan Options Abound, Despite Lack of Info About Availability
The Los Angeles Times | December 25, 2011
Looking beyond gloomy popular assumptions probably will yield multiple options for qualified applicants with little or no cash to put down, credit scores as low as 580 or high debt levels.

Payroll Tax Cut May Hurt Housing Market
The Los Angeles Times | December 23, 2011
To pay for the two-month payroll tax cut, a small fee will be levied for a decade on all mortgages sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That also makes it harder to overhaul the housing finance system.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Banks Lay Groundwork for Commercial Comeback
With demand for commercial real estate looking up, financial institutions are preparing for an improved market next year.

23% Off? 8 Cities With Big Housing Discounts
Home buyers can snag big bargains on houses in some markets. Find out which cities offer the biggest markdowns.

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

 

Real Estate News Today 12-23-2011


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

Payroll Tax Deal Represents GOP Capitulation
The Washington Post | December 22, 2011
Facing withering criticism from across the political spectrum and abandoned by Senate allies, House Republicans bow to political reality and agree to a two-month extension of a payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans.

Initial Jobless Claims Go Down Despite Jobs Being Scarce
The Washington Post | December 22, 2011
There has been some good news for job-seekers in recent weeks: A steep drop in the unemployment rate in November and fewer people filing for unemployment insurance benefits than at any other time in more than three years.

Fannie Mae Removes ‘Ability to Repay’ from HARP 2.0 Guidelines
DSNews | December 22, 2011
Fannie Mae has updated its Selling Guide to reflect the recently announced changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).

Fed Watch 2012: What Does Ben Have Up His Sleeve Now?
Forbes | December 22, 2011
The U.S. Federal Reserve has pulled out all the stops in recent years, leaving the U.S. with a near zero interest rate policy since December 2008. With U.S. economic growth remaining lackluster, the debate rages on whether the Fed will embark upon another round of bond-buying in 2012, widely known as quantitative easing.

Will E.U. Banking Crisis Hit U.S.?
The Washington Post | December 22, 2011
Experts are trying to determine the effect that ailing European banks could have on the U.S. economy.

Mortgage Rates for 30-Year U.S. Loans Decline to Record Low
The Washington Post | December 22, 2011
Mortgage rates for 30-year U.S. loans dropped to the lowest level on record amid signs the housing market may be set for a turnaround.

Fitch: US could lose AAA rating by end of 2013
HousingWire | December 22, 2011
The United States could lose its AAA sovereign debt rating by the end of 2013 if policymakers fail to make inroads in cutting the federal deficit in the next year and a half, Fitch Ratings said Thursday.

When Should a Small Business Hire a Finance Chief?
The New York Times | December 22, 2011
A reliable financial officer can free a chief executive to focus on other parts of the firm once a company’s revenue reaches a certain point, some C.E.O.’s say.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

10 Cities Where List Prices Soared Last Month
Fewer cities are reporting year-over-year list price declines, “suggesting a growing optimism on the part of sellers about 2012 market conditions,” according to Realtor.com.

Distressed Properties Continue to Hamper Other Sales
Distressed sales are making it difficult to appraise non-distressed properties, a new survey finds.

From our house to yours, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a joyous and prosperous 2012!

  Deb and I at Ecola

 

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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 12-22-2011


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

Today in the “just for fun” category we bring you video of Coach Mark Few from Gonzaga University making a shot from half court in practice before the game against Butler last night.  It was a great shot and it was caught by ESPN on camera.  (:-)  Few is ‘Money’ From Half Court

The “Existing-Home Sales article below was passed on to me by a reader.  If you see something you think might be worth including in my Today’s News, please email it to me!  I can’t use everything I get from readers, but I sure use a lot of it.

Top 4 Multifamily Business Strategies for 2012
Multifamily Executive | December 13, 2011
Thanks to strong fundamentals and an unbeatable demographic outlook, the apartment industry is poised to enter a period of historic growth through 2014. As a result, progressive operators are looking ahead, setting their dials, and trying to determine which of four strategic channels—IPOs, development, acquisition funds, or value-add—they will immediately tune in to.

Signs Point to Economy’s Rise, but Experts See a False Dawn
The New York Times | December 21, 2011
As the fourth quarter draws to a close, a spate of unexpectedly good economic data suggests that it will have some of the fastest and strongest economic growth since the recovery started in 2009, causing a surge in the stock market and cheering economists, investors and policy makers.

Foreclosures Weighing on Prices May Push Housing Rebound to 2013
BusinessWeek | December 22, 2011
The two-bedroom Denver row house that Kyle and Jennifer Zinth bought in 2005 is a tight fit now that they have an 18-month-old son, Max, and a coonhound named Beauregard. They plan to put it up for sale next month, hoping to at least break even so they can buy a larger home.

Housing Starts in U.S. Increase to Highest Level in a Year
BusinessWeek | December 20, 2011
Builders broke ground in November on the most houses in over a year, a sign that the market is stabilizing heading into 2012.

Demand for Rentals Drives Big Rise in Home Building
The Wall Street Journal | December 21, 2011
Residential construction surged in November, sparking cautious hope that the U.S. housing market is gaining traction.

Decline in U.S. Home Values to Be Smallest in Four Years, Zillow Reports
Bloomberg | December 22, 2011
U.S. home values probably will have their smallest decrease in four years in 2011 after the decline in property prices slowed, Zillow Inc. said today.

For Every Two Homes for Sale, There’s One in the Shadows
DS News | December 21, 2011
The number of distressed properties not currently listed on multiple listing services stood at 1.6 million as of October 2011, according to CoreLogic.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Existing-Home Sales Continue to Climb in November
Existing-home sales rose again in November and remain above a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Also released today were periodic benchmark revisions with downward adjustments to sales and inventory data since 2007, led by a decline in for-sale-by-owners.

Americans Eager to Buy, Sellers Aren’t Happy?
Nearly 80 percent of Americans say that it’s a good time to buy a home. But while buyers are happy, sellers are far from it, according to a new study.

Record $88 Million Sale for NYC Condo
The recent sale of a Manhattan condo works out to about $13,000 per square foot, the highest on record for New York City.

 

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 12-21-2011


The 4 minute video link below from Inman News shows you how to find the “hidden inbox” for your Facebook page messages.  If you do much Facebook communication with clients, it’s worth a peek.
How to Access Your Hidden Facebook Inbox

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

As Congress Exits, Payroll Tax Hike Nears
The Washington Post | December 21, 2011
The House’s rejection of a Senate compromise on the payroll levy leaves 160 million Americans facing a tax increase in two weeks, President Obama hoping for a deal and Republicans facing political risks.  (Good or bad?  You decide.  But if passed, the Senate version is the one that would increase fees on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans while keeping the payroll tax cut in place. Here is another view on the same issue: Trade Groups Criticize Payroll Tax Extension Bills from The MReport~Anthony) 

Small Employers Fret Over Payroll-Tax Uncertainty
The Wall Street Journal | December 20, 2011
Smaller take-home paychecks could hurt employee morale in 2012, several small-business employers say.

What if Santa Wanted to Relocate?
The Wall Street Journal | December 20, 2011
Santa Claus – who will again this year handwrite a letter full of curlicues to my kids to prove his existence – famously lives and works at the North Pole.

California Suing Fannie and Freddie
The Wall Street Journal | December 21, 2011
California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris filed suit against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Tuesday, seeking to force the firms to answer a detailed list of questions after the firms’ federal regulator sought to block an open-ended inquiry by the state.

Homebuilders Push Stocks Up 3%, Dow Above 12,000
HousingWire | December 20, 2011
Stocks jumped Tuesday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average back above 12,000, driven in part by news of an increase in housing starts.

Is Housing Bouncing Back?
The Washington Post | December 20, 2011
The deeply depressed housing sector finally seems to have found its bottom – and may even be starting to bounce back.

Housing Market’s Foundation Looking More Stable
The Wall Street Journal | December 20, 2011
Builders were busier than expected in November, and many are more upbeat heading into 2012. In recent years, housing was supported by temporary help from government tax rebates. Now, the sector looks as if it can stand on its own.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Beware of Down Payment Gift-Giving Rules
More than a quarter of first-time home buyers are coming up with the down payment through gifts from family and friends, but they need to make sure they follow the IRS and banks’ gift-giving rules.

Which Seller Incentives Tempt Buyers?
Sellers are trying to get buyers’ attention, so they’re offering more incentives to entice — everything from remodeling credits and closing-cost assistance to even cars.

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 12-20-2011


In the “10 Most Searched” article at the bottom, I was really surprised that Detroit made the list. Folks must be curious to discover if it’s as truly inexpensive as we keep hearing.  There were a couple of other surprises in there as well. 

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

Already Low, Housing Inventory Drops More
The Wall Street Journal | December 20, 2011
The number of homes listed for sale in the U.S. fell for the sixth straight month in November to the lowest level since the housing bust began in 2006.

Housing Starts Hit 1.5 Year High in November
Reuters | December 20, 2011
Housing starts surged to a 1-1/2 year high in November and permits for future construction were the highest since March 2010 as demand for rental apartments rose, offering hope for the weak housing market.

Will Home Prices Pop After They Hit Bottom? (Hint: Probably Not)
The Wall Street Journal | December 19, 2011
For anyone taking comfort in the fact that home prices could hit bottom in the next year or two, there’s this reminder: Home prices aren’t likely to rise quickly once they do find a floor.

Counseling Lowers Redefault Rate: Study
DSNews | December 19, 2011
Homeowners who receive counseling through the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) Program are at least 67 percent more likely to be current on their loans nine months after a loan modification than those who do not, according to NeighborWorks America.

Gen X and Gen Y Saving More Than Boomers
Reuters | December 19, 2011
The younger generations, which came of age in a more economically turbulent time than their parents or grandparents, have been more active on the saving front, according to a new survey from TD Ameritrade about retirement planning.

Home sales up for fifth-straight month
HousingWire | December 19, 2011
November home sales in the 53 largest metro areas rose 8.1% from last year, the fifth-straight month of increases from a year earlier, according to the real estate network RE/MAX.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Neighborhood Blogs Offer New Way to Reach Buyers
It’s not just about selling the home but also the neighborhood in reaching today’s buyers, real estate agents say. Here’s how some are doing it through blogging.

Which Home Improvement Projects Offer the Best Returns?
Real estate pros participating in this year’s Cost vs. Value Report say that exterior replacement projects provide more bang for the buck.

10 Most-Searched Real Estate Markets Online
Which housing markets do potential home buyers research most often? Realtor.com releases its top search rankings.

Are you viewing this email on your mobile device?  Check out the Stewart Title of Spokane mobile site at: m.ordertitleonline.com

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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