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Real Estate News Today 4-26-2012


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

How the Web Is Ruining Real Estate
RealtorMag | April 2012
Experts in real estate technology argue that online media is causing real problems for practitioners and consumers and how they connect with each other. What are these issues, and what can you do about them? (Agree or disagree?  Let me know at acarollo@stewart.com Many thanks to the Spokane Association of Realtors for passing along this gem! ~Anthony)

Stunned Home Buyers Find the Bidding Wars Are Back
The Wall Street Journal | April 26, 2012
A new development is catching home buyers off guard as the spring sales season gets under way: Bidding wars are back. From California to Florida, many buyers are increasingly competing for the same house. Unlike the bidding wars that typified the go-go years and largely reflected surging sales, today’s are a result of supply shortages.

Donovan: No Fannie, Freddie Reform ‘Any Time Soon’
HousingWire | April 26, 2012
Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said the Obama administration doesn’t plan to introduce Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac reform “any time soon.”

Fed Cuts U.S. Growth Forecast for 2013 and 2014
The New York Times | April 26, 2012
The Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, on Wednesday dismissed proposals to escalate the Fed’s economic stimulus campaign as “reckless,” arguing that the costs would be high and the benefits uncertain.

Facing Scrutiny, Builder Horton Changes Course on Mineral Rights
The Wall Street Journal | April 26, 2012
Home-builder D.R. Horton has ended a policy of keeping mineral rights in North Carolina. As we’ve written, the company, the nation’s largest builder, has been keeping the right to drill for natural resources under homes it sells nationwide for years.

Costco: Want a mortgage with your 60 rolls of toilet paper?
HousingWire | April 26, 2012
Costco the one-stop-bulk-shop haven, offers everything you need in a home: Furniture, flooring, groceries and 60-roll toilet paper packs. Now Costco is going to help you finance your home, too. (Be assured I’m not a fan of doing business this way. But if Costco is hopping into the mortgage business, that’s certainly newsworthy. My favorite line? “And while grocery store banking is certainly convenient (car loan with your granola bar, anyone?) there are definitely some drawbacks. Namely, the complete lack of personal service.” ~Anthony)

Mortgage Rates Hover Near Record Lows…Still
The MReport | April 26, 2012
Debt crises in Europe once more left interest rates for mortgage loans near record lows.

Private Island Homes
Yahoo! Real Estate | April 25, 2012
Taking up residence in the middle of an ocean, lake or river isn’t for everybody. But for anyone who yearns for a property line that laps to shore, options abound. Architecturally expressive abodes for the aesthetically inclined, secluded dwellings for the nature-loving set, spacious compounds for the party minded, and unforgettable retreats for families are just the beginning. (This contribution comes to you courtesy of my 15 year old daughter Emily.  She’s a peach.  (:-)  I love you Emily! ~Dad)

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 4-4-2012


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

We topped 300 likes to our Stewart Title Spokane Facebook page this week, check it out!  Facebook

Tips for First-Time Home Sellers
FOX Business | April 3, 2012
Selling a home is one of the biggest financial transactions most people ever do in their lives. And the current real estate market, still plagued with a record number of foreclosures and short sales, can be a challenge for anyone.  (Some GREAT advice here.  It’s certainly worth the read if you’re considering selling your home. Choose to use a real estate agent, and choose Stewart Title!  ~Anthony)

Fed Sees Improving Economy Reducing Need for Stimulus
Bloomberg | April 4, 2012
Federal Reserve policy makers see the improving economy reducing the need for new stimulus even as they stick to a plan to hold the benchmark interest rate near zero at least through late 2014.

Foreclosure ‘Starts’ Fall in February
The Wall Street Journal | April 3, 2012
Housing pundits have warned that banks were likely to jumpstart the foreclosure process after finalizing their $25 billion settlement with the federal government and 49 state attorneys general. But so far, there’s little indication of a lift in foreclosures.

Time to Sell Penthouse. The Russians Have Cash
The New York Times | April 3, 2012
The high-end real estate market is enjoying a remarkable rise, fueled largely by wealthy Russians.

U.S. Home Market Pulls in More Chinese Buyers
USA Today | April 3, 2012
China’s great wall of cash is pouring into the struggling U.S. property market, from multi-million-dollar mansions on the West Coast to venerable hotels on the East Coast.

IRS Already Gearing Up for Health-Care Crackdown
FOX Business | April 1, 2012
The rest of the country may be waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the fate of President Barack Obama’s health-care law, but the Internal Revenue Service is wasting no time.

Lenders’ Risk Managers Expect Mortgage Delinquencies to Drop
DSNews | April 3, 2012
FICO’s quarterly survey of bank risk professionals found a reversal in the sentiment of U.S. lenders, with expectations for loan repayments more upbeat in the first quarter of 2012 than they had been during the previous quarter. 

Will Housing Prices Soar By 2014?
Realtor Magazine | April 3, 2012
Find out what real estate economists and analysts predict for the housing market over the next two years.  (Soar?  That may be a bit of an exageration, I’d be thrilled if the market were simply up.  Maybe I’ll put this article in my calendar for two years from now and see if I’m right or they are. (:-) ~Anthony)

Canada’s housing bubble exists, and it’s stretched thin
HousingWire | April 3, 2012
The hot housing market in Canada seems all too familiar. More mortgages without down payments, rising home costs without matching rises in income, and an extremely high ratio of house prices to rents. It all spells a bubble waiting to burst. 
 

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 3-29-2012


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

Breaking news from HousingWire: Freddie Mac mortgage rates back below 4%

Realtor Referrals Supply One-Third of Business for Lenders: Survey
The MReport | March 28, 2012
Referrals from real estate agents guide about one-third of mortgage-financing decisions for today’s homebuyers, according to a recent survey.  (Read on to find out the biggest reason why buyers DIDN’T use their agents recommended lender. ~Anthony)

Cordray to Chamber: I Come In Peace
The Hill | March 29, 2012
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray offered an olive branch Wednesday to one of his agency’s more fiery critics, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Banking Regulator Calls for End of ‘Too Big to Fail’
The New York Times | March 29, 2012
An official at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said that despite the financial crisis of 2008, a cartel of megabanks still hinders economic recovery.

Bernanke Says Too Early for Victory on U.S. Recovery
Bloomberg | March 28, 2012
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said unemployment remains too high, the recovery in the U.S. economy isn’t assured and policy makers don’t rule out any further options to boost growth.

Forecast Upbeat on Housing Recovery
The Wall Street Journal | March 28, 2012
The housing market may finally be on the path to a sustainable recovery, according to a new report, but it’s not the cork-popping celebration many under-water homeowners may have hoped for.

Trump Makes Return to Risk
The Wall Street Journal | March 28, 2012
Donald Trump’s appetite for real-estate risk has returned. He is doubling-down his bet on the Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago, the second-tallest building in the city.

Combat Deal-Killing Low Appraisals
Realtor Magazine | March 28, 2012
About one in three real estate contracts were canceled in January, up from 9 percent the previous year. Lowball appraisals are mostly to blame, agents say.

Poll: Renters Want to Buy
Realtor Magazine | March 28, 2012
Fannie Mae’s quarterly national housing survey shows that renters want to purchase a home, but one thing has them spooked. (I was actually surprised at the “one thing” that’s keeping renters from moving toward a purchase. ~Anthony)

 

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 3-14-2012


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

15 of 19 Major U.S. Banks Pass Fed’s Stress Tests
The Washington Post | March 13, 2012
Federal Reserve says 15 of the 19 largest U.S. banks would remain healthy in a severe crisis, demonstrating the scope of the recovery of the nation’s financial system since it nearly collapsed in 2008.

And this next headline is for the “Glass-is-half-empty” crowd  J 

Four of 19 bank holding cos. Fail portion of stress tests
HousingWire | March 13, 2012

Four of 19 banks failed to meet at least one of the minimum capital ratios in the Federal Reserve‘s stress tests.

Bernanke says community banks strengthening
Yahoo! News | March 14, 2012

U.S. community banks are gaining strength even though the economy is improving only moderately, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday.  (Bankers: Take a look at the very last line that quotes Mr. Bernanke regarding new regs. ~Anthony)

Mortgage Purchase Demand Rose Last Week: MBA
Reuters | March 14, 2012
Demand for home purchases picked up for the third week in a row last week, though applications for refinancing sagged, an industry group said on Wednesday.

New Rules Easing HARP Refinances
NASDAQ | March 13, 2012
There’s a big change coming in the HARP 2.0 program that will make it easier and faster for homeowners to refinance their underwater mortgages, and possibly save them several hundred dollars as well.

Nasdaq Finishes Above 3,000, Its Best Since Dot-Com Bubble
The New York Times | March 13, 2012
Stocks climbed to new heights in part on rosy retail sales data, pushing the broad market to levels last seen in June 2008 and the Nasdaq composite index past the 3,000 milestone for the first time since 2000.

Report: Investors Buying Foreclosures on West Coast
DSNews.com | March 13, 2012

For West coast states, the foreclosure wave is reported to be dying down as third parties, who are typically investors, snatch up foreclosed homes, according to the February 2012 ForeclosureRadar report, which only includes Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

Apartment Loans by Agencies Creating Bubble, Chandan Says
Bloomberg | March 14, 2012

Low-cost financing backed by the U.S. government is inflating the values of apartment buildings and threatening threatening to create a bubble, according to a report by Sam Chandan, a real estate economist.

Seniors, Young Adults Will Influence Housing
Realtor Magazine | March 13, 2012
Aging Baby Boomers and their “Echo Boomer” children will significantly impact trends in the nation’s housing market over the next 20 years, according to a new report released by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

A ‘Mega Force’ Emerging in Housing?
Realtor Magazine | March 13, 2012
This growing segment of home buyers continue to flood the market and are expected to “have an exponential impact on housing sales,” according to a new housing report.

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 2-21-2012


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

Fed Housing Blueprint Lost Amid Partisan Politics
Reuters | February 21, 2012
In its search to for fixes for the battered housing market, the Fed has run headlong into a culture clash between its own cerebral, deliberative norms and the sound-bite driven, polarized election-year political environment on Capitol Hill.

Senate Bill Requires Response to Short Sale Requests Within 75 Days
HousingWire | February 20, 2012
A new Senate bill aims to speed up the short-sale process by requiring mortgage lenders or servicers to respond within a mandated timeline or face potential fines.

Treasury Increases Incentives for Principal Reductions
DSNews | February 20, 2012
A recently released Supplemental Directive from Treasury increases incentives for second lien investors when loans receive principal reductions.

Home Prices Fall, But Inventory Levels Improve
HousingWire | February 17, 2012
The national inventory of single-family homes, condos and townhomes declined 23.2% in January from a year earlier, as more markets benefited from an influx of investors and buyers looking for deals, Realtor.com said.

Economists Are Unconcerned By a Rise in Consumer Prices
New York Times | February 17 2012
Consumer prices rose in January for only the second time in four months, pushed up by higher costs for food, gas, rent and clothes. In addition, a gauge of future economic activity rose in January for the fourth-straight month, providing evidence that the economy is strengthening.

Housing Rebound Comes Too Late for Many Smaller Builders
FOX Business | February 20, 2012
A funny thing happened on the way to the housing recovery: The public homebuilders got bigger, and the private construction firms disappeared.

Tax Cut Extension Passes; Everyone Claims a Win
New York Times | February 17, 2012
With each party saying it pocketed an election-year victory, Congress voted to extend payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits and sent the legislation to President Obama.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Housing Affordability Reaches New Records
It’s a good time to buy. In fact, according to a nationwide housing index, a home buyer’s purchasing power has never been better.

FSBO Site Founder Reaches Out to Real Estate Pros
“I want to have warm relations with agents,” says the founder of ForSaleByOwner.com, who just launched a new online venture.

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 1-24-2012


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 1-13-2012


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

Inside the Fed in 2006: A Coming Crisis, and Banter
The New York Times | January 12, 2012
As the housing bubble entered its waning hours in 2006, top Federal Reserve officials marveled at the desperate antics of home builders seeking to lure buyers.

Six Questions on Foreclosure-to-Rental Programs
The Wall Street Journal | January 12, 2012
Federal policy makers could roll out pilot programs for renting out single-family homes acquired through foreclosure. Here’s a look at what’s in the works.

Voters Oppose Policies That Threaten American Homeownership
DSNews | January 12, 2012
A group convened on the steps of the South Carolina State House Thursday to express their support of homeownership and their opposition to policy changes that might threaten American homeownership.

Rare Residential Mortgage Bond Tests Dormant Market
The Wall Street Journal | January 11, 2012
Redwood Trust Inc., the only company to issue so-called private label mortgage bonds since the housing market collapsed three years ago, is preparing its fourth such deal, according to bond marketing materials obtained by Dow Jones Newswires.

Obama Seeks $1.2 Trillion Debt Limit Rise
Reuters | January 12, 2012
President Barack Obama formally notified Congress on Thursday that he plans a $1.2 trillion increase in the U.S. debt limit, prompting Republicans to level election-year charges that deficits are out of control.

A Real Estate Agent’s 5 Worst Practices
FOX Business | January 13, 2012
In these desperate times, some real estate brokers are using dubious tactics to sell more homes. They can vary from rushing you into an agreement to overpromising on prices.

CFPB Unveils Mortgage Examination Proceedures
The MReport | January 12, 2012
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offered examiners – and the mortgage originators they will examine – a comprehensive guide to examination rules and procedures Thursday that covers the underwriting process, appraisals, and subprime loans.  (I know I included a similar article yesterday, but it seems worth repeating. ~Anthony)

Biggest Risk for RMBS Investors? Strategic Defaults
DSNews | January 12, 2012
The credit performance of private-label residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) in the U.S. continues to face many challenges in 2012, with the biggest risk posed by strategic defaults, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

From the National Association of Realtors®:

Builders Prepare to Work on New Developments in 2012
Although 2011 was an overall slow year for single-family starts, builders are confident they’ll see a steady pick-up in construction activity this year. Find out which regions they’re eyeing.

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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