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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Real Estate News Today 1-31-2012


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

You may have seen the article I included yesterday about Freddie Mac betting against homeowners.  The first article up to bat today is a counter viewpoint on the same subject from Forbes.

Freddie Mac Bets Against Refinancing?  Or Just Higher Rates?
Forbes | January 30, 2012
It’s an eyecatching, holy-vampire-squid headline: Freddie Mac Bets Against American Homeowners! And the story details how our national mortgage company has invested heavily in securities that would lose value if homeowners refinanced their mortgages. This time, instead of Goldman Sachs, it’s a federal agency thrusting its blood funnel into the pockets of American homeowners!

Home Prices to Fall 1% in 2012, Rebound in 2013: Fiserv Case-Shiller
HousingWire | January 30, 2012
The double-dip in home prices that began two years ago continued through the third quarter of 2011, according to the Fiserv Case-Shiller Indexes released Monday. However, there are signs of a recovery for 2013.

Housing Will Soon Help the Economy, but Not by Much: Report
DSNews | January 30, 2012
The analysts at Capital Economics are holding fast to their forecast that the downturn in the housing market is drawing to a close.

Washington State Considers Borrower Short Sale Protections
HousingWire | January 30, 2012
Banks could soon be barred from pursuing deficiency judgments against Washington state borrowers after a short sale. (Good for the market, or bad for the market?  What about the effect on the bank vs the consumer?  One observation from the article states that “the bill if passed, does not require the lender to accept a short sale offer.”  It seems like this would cause the lender to be LESS motivated to cooperate. ~Anthony)

Tower Rises, And So Does Its Price Tag
The Wall Street Journal | January 30, 2012
The price tag for One World Trade Center, the signature skyscraper under construction at Ground Zero in New York, has risen to more than $3.8 billion, making it by far the world’s most expensive new office tower, according to people familiar with the matter.

Homeowner Satisfaction Rate at 72%, Highest for Short Sale Purchasers
DSNews | January 30, 2012
Seventy-two percent of homeowners say they are satisfied with homeownership, according to a recent survey of more than 1,400 homeowners conducted by HomeGain.

Obama’s Housing Plan Draws Fire, Impact Seen Small
Reuters | January 30, 2012
President Barack Obama’s latest plan to help homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages drew fire on Monday as an election year ploy, and even supporters said it was likely to help only at the margins.

Foreclosures Draw Private Equity as U.S. Sells Homes: Mortgages
BusinessWeek | January 31, 2012
Private equity firms are jumping into distressed housing as the U.S. government plans to market 200,000 foreclosed homes as rentals to speed up the economic recovery.

New Home Sales in 2012 Reach All-Time Low Since 1963
Stewart Blog – Ted C. Jones | January 31, 2012
The number of new home sales in the U.S. hit an all time low since data collection commenced in 1963.   This now tallies to six consecutive years of declines in new home sales. 

It may be a good time to buy, but not to sell
MarketWatch | January 30, 2012
Many Americans say now is a good time to buy a home, thanks to record-low mortgage interest rates and bargain home prices that are boosting affordability. But is it a good time to sell a house? That’s a different story.

Anthony Carollo

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Anthony V. Carollo / President
Stewart Title of Spokane
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Spokane, WA 99201
Telephone: 509.328.7171
Direct Line: 509.321.3939
Direct Fax: 866.652.8834
acarollo@stewart.com

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Real Estate News Today 1-30-2012


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

Michigan, Ohio Lawmakers Propose Large-Scale Demolition
DSNews | January 27, 2012
With vacant and deteriorating properties taking a toll on communities throughout Ohio and Michigan, lawmakers from the two states are proposing large-scale demolition as a means of easing the burden of these problematic properties. (Is this the answer?  I don’t know what the answer is, but it’s incredible to me that communities would pay to have these homes ripped down.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand the reasons why they’re looking at demolition, it’s just amazing to me that this is what we’ve come to. Check out our Stewart Title Spokane Facebook page or my discussion on LaunchPad for more of my thoughts on this. ~Anthony)   

Housing Remains a Buyer’s Market
The Wall Street Journal | January 29, 2012
A majority of Americans recently surveyed say now is a good time to buy a home. That’s no surprise, given that record-low mortgage interest rates and bargain home prices are boosting affordability.

Processing Delays Manifested: 39% Fewer Foreclosure Starts in 2011
DSNews | January 27, 2012
The number of foreclosure actions initiated in 2011 was down 38.7 percent compared to 2010, according to a new report from Lender Processing Services (LPS).

American Economy isn’t Truly Healthy Yet, But it’s Healing
The Washington Post | January 27, 2012
The American economy may not be truly healthy yet, but it’s healing.

Consumer Bureau Reviewing Real Estate Appraisal Fee Disclosure
Los Angeles Times | January 26, 2012
Some appraisers are being paid less than half the fee, while the balance flows to an appraisal management company.

The Housing Recovery that Wasn’t
CNN Money | January 30, 2012
The evidence for a recovery is compelling, but optimists should actually be watching rising interest rates.

Freddie Mac Betting Against Struggling Homeowners
NPR | January 30, 2012
Freddie Mac has invested billions of dollars betting that U.S. homeowners won’t be able to refinance their mortgages at today’s lower rates, according to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom.

It Has a Fancy Name, but Will It Get Tough?
The New York Times | January 29, 2012
President Obama told the nation last week that he was convening a task force to investigate the abusive practices in the mortgage industry that led to our economic woes. Both lending and the practice of bundling loans into securities will come under scrutiny, he said, adding: “This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans.”

Obama Administration Expands Aid for Delinquent U.S. Homeowners
Bloomberg | January 28, 2012
The Obama administration, seeking to help more homeowners lower their interest rates and shed mortgage debt, will relax the rules on a federal loan-modification program and triple its incentives to banks.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

First-Time Buyers More Willing to Compromise
First-time home buyers are coming with a big wish list to their home shopping, but when it comes down to it, they’d rather live small than large.

Will High Rents Push People to Buy Homes?
As rents rise, housing analysts believe more apartment tenants will look to own.

 

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 1-27-2012


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

Old mortgages rise from the dead, haunt homeowners
MSN | January 26, 2012
In July 2009, Roy and Sheila Bowers refinanced the mortgage on their suburban ranch home in Topeka, Kansas. The couple wanted to take advantage of the low interest rates that were all the rage at the time.

Homes Backing GSE Mortgages Post 1% Price Gain in November
DSNews | January 26, 2012
Data released this week by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) show purchase prices of homes backing mortgages that have been sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac rose 1.0 percent between October and November.

Gallup Poll on Housing Foreclosures: Most Americans want Government to Help
Politico | January 26, 2012
Most Americans want the government to step in and help stop housing foreclosures, according to a new poll Thursday.

Markets Fall as Bank Shares and Home Sales Decline
The New York Times | January 26, 2012
Banks had the biggest drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index amid concern about their ability to increase profits.

Much Heat, Little Light on Housing in Florida Debate
Reuters | January 26, 2012
Republicans presidential candidates have taken a hands-off policy on the U.S. housing crisis. At a debate on Thursday in Florida, it devolved into finger pointing.

Sharp Divide Exists Between Dems, Repubs on Gov’t Help in Foreclosures
HousingWire | January 26, 2012
The majority of Americans, 58%, want government action to prevent foreclosures, whereas 34% prefer the housing market resolve its problems on its own, according to a new Gallup poll that shows a sharp divide between Democrats and Republicans on the issue.

On Troubleshooting
The New York Times | January 26, 2012
Those who have issues with their mortgage lenders now have another place to take them: the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, which began accepting such complaints and inquiries this month.

Housing Help Will Run Up Against Lending Standards
The Wall Street Journal | January 26, 2012
Both monetary and fiscal policymakers share one mutual problem: housing’s drag on the economy. The lack of new construction is cutting economic growth and payrolls. Falling home prices are reducing household wealth, a drag on consumer confidence and spending.

What Percent Are You?
The New York Times | January 26, 2012
See how your household income ranks in 344 zones across the United States.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

10 Cities Where List Prices Soared in the Last Year
Find out where list prices have jumped the most in the past year — even by 32 percent in one state.

Foreclosure Sales are Down, Average Discount 34%
In the third quarter of 2011, homes that were in foreclosure accounted for 20 percent of all residential sales in the country. While still high, that number has dropped from previous quarters, RealtyTrac reports.

 

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 1-26-2012


 

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

Here is a fun one I found today.  I think I may be guilty of a couple of these (ask my wife)! ~Anthony
5 signs you’re real estate-obsessed
InmanNews | January 23, 2012
After many years of living and breathing the stuff of what real estate users care about, I can probably take a guess at what the real estate-related online search obsessions are, and can even categorize them into syndromes in the same vein as my own personal Google tic:

Housing Crisis to End in 2012 as Banks Loosen Credit Standards
DSNews | January 24, 2012
Capital Economics expects the housing crisis to end this year, according to a report released Tuesday. One of the reasons: loosening credit.

Obama proposes new mortgage refinance program, fraud task force
HousingWire | January 24, 2012
President Obama said in his State of the Union address Tuesday that he will submit to Congress a plan that gives responsible homeowners the chance to refinance and save roughly $3,000 a year on their mortgage.

National REO rental program becoming “most popular idea”
HousingWire | January 24, 2012
Support for a government-led program to rent out foreclosed Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Federal Housing Administration homes is the most popular disposition strategy among panelists at the American Securitization Forum.

Wells Fargo Launches pilot programs to clear LA, Atlanta inventory
HousingWire | January 25, 2012
Wells Fargo
will launch two multibillion-dollar programs this February to clear housing inventory in Los Angeles and Atlanta. The San Francisco-based bank is calling the program Neighborhood Lift.

Finding the positives in Economic and Housing Conditions in 2012
RISMedia
While 2011 was clearly a challenging year, there is a lot to be positive about looking ahead. Economically, while buffeted by natural disasters and fiscal policy indecisiveness at home and a European sovereign debt crisis abroad, the U.S. economy was able to stave off economic stagnation in 2011 and is likely to continue to do so in 2012.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

6 Most Stressful American Cities
Sperling’s Best Places takes into account unemployment, divorce rate, commute times, crime, cloudy days, and other factors to rank the most stressful cities. The study finds: It’s not always sunny in the Sun Belt.

6 Charged in ‘Builder Kickback’ Scam
Six Charlotte, N.C., residents were charged with working with a home builder in a mortgage scheme that involved offering “builder kickbacks” to fake buyers, resulting in hundreds of sales, prosecutors say.

 

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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Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Real Estate news

 

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Real Estate News Today 1-25-2012


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

State of the Union 2012: Full Text of President Obama’s Speech
The Washington Post | January 24, 2012

Obama Takes Aim at Housing Bust in State of the Union Speech
Los Angeles Times | January 24, 2012
President Obama outlined steps that could affect the nation’s housing market in a State of the Union address that focused heavily on economic issues.

Zandi: President’s Refinancing Plan Would Help Lift Housing, Economy
The Washington Post | January 24, 2012
President Obama spent very little time on housing related policies in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. While disappointing, it’s not surprising as the problems are complex, extraordinarily difficult to tackle, and very costly. In his brief remarks, he focused on the right thing: facilitating more mortgage refinancings.

Tips to Help You Claim a Home-Office Deduction .
The Wall Street Journal | January 24, 2012
About 52% of all businesses are run from home. The number of teleworkers is growing annually. It’s good to know that some tax savings can result from this work arrangement. A portion of personal expenses for your home can be turned into a business deduction — if you meet certain rules.

Fannie’s Multifamily MBS Issuance Grew 45%
HousingWire | January 24, 2012
Fannie Maeissuance of securities backed by multifamily properties grew 45% in 2011, with the government-sponsored enterprise issuing $23.8 billion of MBS, up from $16.4 billion in 2010.

U.S. Consumer Bureau Mulling Rule Exemptions for Smaller Banks
Bloomberg | January 24, 2012
The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may weigh size or market share in exempting community banks from its rules to shield them from the greater regulatory burdens facing their larger rivals.

Housing Inventory Down 22% From Year-Ago Levels
DSNews | January 24, 2012
At the national level, the inventory of for-sale single-family homes, condominiums, townhouses, and co-ops dropped by 22.29 percent over the last year, according to new statistics released by Realtor.com.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

More Buyers Ready to Get Off the Sidelines?
Falling home prices, record low interest rates, and rising rents are making more Americans take a closer look at home buying.

Agent, Buyer Robbed at Gunpoint During Open House
A REALTOR(R) association in California is warning its members to be on alert after a real estate agent and a potential home buyer were robbed at gunpoint during a recent open house.

2 Big Banks Slash Foreclosure Sale Timelines
JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo have cut their foreclosure timelines by as much as 100 days, helping the major lenders move through a huge backlog of foreclosures, according to a new report.

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 1-24-2012


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

Consumer Agency: We Won’t ‘Double-team’ Businesses
CBS MoneyWatch | January 23, 2012
Two government watchdogs that oversee consumer finance have inked a deal to avoid burdening businesses with overlapping regulations.

Loan Modifications Are on the Decline: Moody’s
DSNews | January 23, 2012
As robo-signing reviews reach completion, servicers are beginning to work through some of their foreclosure backlogs, according to a third-quarter report from Moody’s Investors Service.

ASF Panel: Expect Bulk Sales and GSE Longevity
HousingWire | January 23, 2012
A panel on the future of mortgage financing in the United States predicts a government-led initiative to sell distressed properties in bulk. Also, they say Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be around for quite some time despite congressional efforts to wind down the government-sponsored enterprises.

Federal Reserve to Disclose More Details on Plans for Low Interest Rates
The Washington Post | January 23, 2012
The Federal Reserve, which took aggressive action in response to the U.S. financial crisis and more recently to help keep European banks in good health, has been divided for months over whether to take major new actions to bolster the nation’s slow economic recovery.

Foreclosures: America’s Hardest Hit Neighborhoods
CNNMoney | January 23, 2012
The housing collapse has dramatically changed the nation’s foreclosure landscape.

Homeowners who bought at low-end most happy: HomeGain
HousingWire | January 23, 2012
Homeowners who acquired properties for less than $75,000 remain the most satisfied with their home-buying selections, according to a new study from online appraisal firm HomeGain.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

6 Housing Markets Gear Up for a Rebound
Job creation and population growth contributes to the housing recovery. Find out which markets have the numbers that point to a real estate rebound, according to a recent Forbes/Local Market Monitor survey.

What Buyers, Sellers Want From Real Estate Agents
Want to peek inside the mind of buyers and sellers? At a recent Real Estate Connect conference, consumers shared their advice to agents.  (One of the services on the list is paperless closings.  Did you know Stewart Title is the industry leader in this arena?  If you have a recent transaction with us and want to check out our system, ask one of our staff for your username and password.  Then go to www.stewartspokane.com and click on the “View my Transactions” button. ~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 1-23-2012


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

Housing Values Down Steeply in 2012 Battleground States
HousingWire | January 20, 2012
As Republican presidential candidates remain mostly silent on what they would do to fix housing, a think tank notes that homes values dropped an average of 16% since the financial crisis in 15 of 16 battleground states.

Mortgage Principal Cuts Don’t Help Homeowners, Says Credit Suisse
Bloomberg | January 20, 2012
Reducing mortgage balances is a risky idea that hasn’t been shown to keep borrowers who owe more than their property’s worth in their homes, according to Credit Suisse Group AG.

Rise in Home Sales Signifies Strengthening Market: Economists
DSNews | January 20, 2012
The long-awaited housing recovery is beginning to blossom, according to industry experts taking a look at recent existing-home sales.

Navigating a Tight Rental Market
The Washington Post | January 22, 2012
Demand and rents are up as the housing crisis and tighter lending standards have left many people unable to or wary of purchasing a home. So finding a deal requires compromise and negotiation.

Fed Begins an Effort to Remove All Doubt on What It’s Doing
The New York Times | January 21, 2012
Communications changes that the Fed plans to introduce this week include sharing officials’ predictions about the level at which they intend to set short-term rates over the next three years.

For Small Business, Loan Well is still Dry
The Star Tribune | January 21, 2012
One by one, three banks put the kibosh on Michael Kelner’s plans to expand Hardcoat Inc., a decades-old St. Louis Park company that puts protective finishes on aluminum. One of them had him see two loan officers, he said, before packing him off to Chicago to see a third.

U.S. Housing more Affordable than Other English Countries
The Chicago Tribune | January 22, 2012
Would-be American home-buyers can take heart: U.S. housing is more affordable than in other English-speaking countries, according to a study of metropolitan areas around the world.

Investors buying with cash pressure home prices
HousingWire | January 23, 2012
Investors are gobbling up residential real estate with cash, pushing national home prices lower, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. (Though I don’t have the statistics to back up my opinion, I would guess that the same story could be told of commercial properties right now.  It seems to me we are seeing more cash buyers in every market segment which will put pressure on prices across the board.  Am I right or wrong? ~Anthony)

Shopping for the Best Rates
The New York Times | January 12, 2012
The lowest interest rates in decades sound enticing enough, but they are often out of borrowers’ reach. Mortgage lenders adjust their rates based on perceptions of risk, so unless you can show you’re a low-risk borrower, you are unlikely to qualify for a rate that matches those seen in all the advertisements or headlines. (This is a good overview on some of the factors that impact the interest rate you qualify for. ~Anthony)

From the National Association of Realtors®:

 

Appraisers: Don’t Blame Us
Appraisers have been under fire in recent months, blamed for low home valuations that are prolonging a real estate recovery. But appraisers have a message for the real estate industry: “Don’t shoot the messenger.”

Rising Rents Make Home Buying a Better Choice
Rental prices are soaring, while home prices have fallen. Thus, buying has become a better option than renting in many areas in the country, a new report from a rental listing service acknowledges.

‘Vanilla Ice’ Serves Up Home Makeover Advice
“Even during an uncertain economy, it’s about inspiring people to get out there and get to work and make their houses a real home,” says Robert Van Winkle, better known as 1990s rapper “Vanilla Ice.”

 

 

 

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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