Real Estate News Today 1-23-2012

23 Jan

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.”




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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

Please remember to choose Stewart Title of Spokane on your next transaction!



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