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Real Estate Today 8-23-2012


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You’ll find some great reading this morning including Ted Jones’ view of real estate investing in college towns, a couple of good articles on the effect of short sales on home prices and the overall market, and a warning on the coming fiscal cliff from the Washington Post.  The article that most surprised me?  Fannie Mae REOs not getting to market. 

Fannie and Freddie Short Sale Change; LO-Realtor Comments; Specified Pool Primer
Mortgage News Daily | August 22, 2012
Statistics can be useful, sometimes not. On the “useful” side, the MBA will release its weekly mortgage applications index for the prior week. But how many of those retail applications actually close?

College Towns for Investing
Ted C. Jones Blog | August 23, 2012
With an estimated 14.4 million college students, University and College towns are fertile rental markets. But with the housing bubble and the lowest interest rates in 50 years, investing in rental housing in these locales can be lucrative.

New FHFA Short Sale Cap May Equal Big Losses on Some Second Liens
HousingWire | August 22, 2012
The new $6,000 limit Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage servicers will be allowed to pay out to second-lien holders is on par with some values but well below others.

CBO: Recession Likely if ‘Fiscal Cliff’ not Averted
The Washington Post | August 22, 2012
The U.S. economy is hurtling toward a recession if Congress fails to avert a series of tax hikes and budget cuts by January, the Congressional Budget Office said, warning that a fiscal impasse would have consequences even more dire than previously forecast.

Will Short Sales Hit Home Prices?
The Wall Street Journal | August 22, 2012
A new relief program for distressed homeowners may have unintended consequences.

Analysis: Investors Driving Recovery as Activity Surges
DSNews.com | August 22, 2012
A recent analysis from John Burns Real Estate Consulting suggests that investors may be the biggest driving force in the housing recovery.

Nearly half of Fannie Mae REO unable to reach market
HousingWire | August 22, 2012
Only half of the previously foreclosed homes owned by Fannie Mae are either on the market or being prepared for sale. The remaining properties are currently locked away in some step of the foreclosure system.
‘Luxury’ Foreclosures Soar
RealtorMag | August 22, 2012
For the past two years, foreclosure activity has been increasing on higher-end homes at a faster pace than lower-end homes, says Daren Blomquist with RealtyTrac, a company that tracks foreclosure housing data.

Based on the lead article (second paragraph), I have a reader who asks: Do real estate agent readers feel that 40% of their contracts do not close?  If it’s not 40%, what is the number?  What about lenders and
purchase applications vs. refi applications? (In the just for fun category,
I also enjoyed the very first paragraph of that same article.  It made me smile. ~Anthony)

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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Real Estate news

 

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Real Estate News 8-6-2012


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Company dedicated to hiring veterans
KXLY | August 5, 2012
Nearly 14 percent of veterans after September 11 are unemployed in Washington state. But a Spokane company is working hard to change the statistic. (Great story about a local company doing what they can to put these folks to work.  I love it. ~Anthony)

How Long Does It Take To Close A Mortgage?
Mortgage Report | August 5, 2012
The influx of new loans has not just lenders at capacity, but title companies and appraisers, too. It’s rendered the “30-day close” somewhat of a rarity. It’s tough to close a loan in 30 days anymore — especially with the amount of paperwork that can be required.  (Some good insight here for a consumer.  I’d like to know if you think it’s an accurate picture of what it takes for a 30 day close. ~Anthony)

Wealthy Home Sellers Capitulate, High End Prices Drop
USA Today | August 4, 2012
Even the rich aren’t immune to the pressures of the housing market. Prices for homes listed at $1 million or more have fallen 20% this year, according to RealtyTrac.

Jobless States: The Top 10
The Washington Post | August 3, 2012
Here’s a look at the top 10 states with the highest unemployment rates.

Why Buffett Is Betting Big on Housing
The Wall Street Journal | August 3, 2012
What does Warren Buffett see that no one else does? He just made an outsize bid on ResCap loans, the latest example of his bet that the housing market represents a great investment opportunity.

Is the Real-Estate Rebound for Real?
The Wall Street Journal | August 3, 2012
The numbers point to a lasting recovery in the housing and commercial-property markets. Here’s how to invest wisely.

Zillow and Other Sites Broaden Their Mission to Include Businesses
The New York Times | August 5, 2012
For the first few years of its existence, the only thing Zillow cared about was getting people to come to its real estate Web site to snoop on the market value of neighbors’ homes and other properties. Over 34 million visitors a month now do so.

To Rent or Own: How Consumers Decide Between the Two
DSNews.com | August 3, 2012
In a study to examine what factors would drive a person to rent or own in their next move, Fannie Mae found that a mix of demographics and attitudinal drivers were key, while negative housing events appears to do little to thwart would-be buyers.

 

 

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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Real Estate news

 

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Real Estate News Today 7-25-2012


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RealtyTrac: Houses Purchased for Investment Rise 65%
HousingWire | July 24, 2012
Homes purchased for investment purposes rose 65% in 2011 as investors looking for a place to park their cash sought out bank-owned properties, according to the latest Foreclosure News Report for RealtyTrac.

Massachusetts email constitutes binding real estate agreements
HousingWire | July 24, 2012
Massachusetts real estate agents and lawyers should now be careful about what they put in emails: They could come back to bite you. Or, at least, contractually bind you to something you didn’t want to be contractually bound to.  (While this a Massachusetts court decision it seems to open the door to the possibility of similar decisions around the country. The lesson? The more clearly you communicate the better. ~Anthony)

Home Equity Protection Insurance Yanked Off the Market
Inman News | July 24, 2012
Known as “Home Value Protection,” the plan was featured on CNBC, FOX Business and publicized in news articles across the country. 
(Hindsight is 20/20 isn’t it? Could they really not see this coming? ~Anthony)

Positive Housing News Keeps Rolling In
The Wall Street Journal | July 24, 2012
The gradual recovery in the housing market continues amid more upbeat news this morning.

Health, Housing Get Greatest Federal Subsidies
Associated Press | July 25, 2012
A study of federal subsidies of various sectors of the economy says that health care and housing combined to reap almost $1 trillion in support in the most recent year for which data was available.

TARP Funds for Housing Relief 90 Percent Unspent, Auditor Says
Bloomberg | July 25, 2012
Distressed homeowners have received only 10 percent of nearly $46 billion in federal aid since the money was allocated in 2009 under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, a U.S. auditor’s report said today.

4 Home Showing Tips in the Hot Weather
RealtorMag | July 24, 2012
Sizzling 100 degree temperatures have been blanketing the country in recent weeks, but some potential buyers may be more reluctant to go house shopping in the heat. How can you still draw the buyers out?

Buying a Foreclosure: Is the Stigma Gone?
RealtorMag | July 24, 2012
“Once considered damaged goods, fit for only the bravest investors, foreclosures have not only lost their stigma, they’ve become hot properties,” according to a recent article in The Christian Science Monitor.

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 7-20-2012


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Fore Sale: The Golf Housing Bust
The Wall Street Journal | July 19, 2012
Prices at luxury private golf communities are crashing, done in by rampant overdevelopment, the economic downturn and waning national interest in the sport. Golf courses are being shrunk and some home lots are being sold for $1.

U.S. Banks Haunted by Mortgage Demons That Won’t Go Away
Reuters | July 19, 2012
Lenders like Bank of America Corp and Wells Fargo & Co say they are facing mounting pressure to buy back bad mortgages they sold to investors, signaling that banks’ home-loan headaches could continue for years.

Behind the Numbers: Home Sales Fall, Led By Cheapest Homes
The Wall Street Journal | July 19, 2012
Most of the housing news lately has been positive, so Thursday’s news of a 5.4% drop in June’s existing home sales was a bit of a surprise.

Zuckerberg is Not the Only One Who Can Get Super Low Mortgage Rates
CNBC | July 19, 2012
After seeing Mark Zuckerberg has scored a 1.05 percent mortgage rate on his $6 million California home, we have just two questions: Why does he need a mortgage? And where can I get one like that? (I would LOVE to hear a mortgage loan officer’s thoughts on this one. ~Anthony)

Are the Real Estate Bellwethers Finally Ringing? Check out the Numbers
Forbes | July 19, 2012
In case you’re still a nonbeliever that housing has finally crawled its way into recovery mode, ask yourself: What are the bellwether indicators of the early stages of a rebound? You can probably rattle them off.

U.S. Housing Poised to Boost Economy
Reuters | July 20, 2012
The U.S. housing sector is poised to boost economic growth. While existing home sales fell 5.4 percent in June from May, other indicators suggest a recovery is under way. A flip to a positive impact after dragging on GDP for five years will give lawmakers a chance to change distorting housing market policies.

Personal Information, Password Theft on the Rise
RealtorMag | July 19, 2012
Hacked personal information online, including stolen passwords, has soared 300 percent during the first four months of 2012, according to a study by Experian CreditExpert and Opinion Matters. 

Short sales more rewarding than REO: RealtyTrac
HousingWire | July 20 2012
The market is trending towards short sales as lenders lean more heavily on disposition methods that aid distressed homeowners while making it easier for lenders to resell homes that have spent less time in a state of distress, RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist told HousingWire Thursday.
 

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 6-15-2012


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A Happy Father’s Day to all of you amazing Dads out there!  Keep investing time and energy into your kids and grandkids.

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

Sheila Bair tackles the European debt crisis, Jamie Dimon and regulators – Fast Forward
Reuters | June 14, 2012
Sheila Bair, the former FDIC chairwoman who heads the newly formed Systemic Risk Council, explores whether U.S. banks can handle the European banking crisis and whether the attention on JPMorgan‘s trading loss is distracting regulators from a looming crisis. (This is a video worth watching, though I must admit to being distracted by the employee that keeps checking her cell phone for text messages in the background.  ~Anthony)

Market Hinges on Sustained Increase in Employment: Harvard Study
DS News | June 14, 2012
Sales are down, then they’re up. Home prices are up, then they’ve fallen. Clearly, it has been an unstable journey for the housing market, with hopeful reports dashed by disappointing data a month later.

Foreclosure Spike Is Positive Sign For Housing
CNBC | June 14, 2012
Foreclosure starts, the first phase of the process, rose 9 percent in May month-to-month, the first increase in over two years, according to a new report from RealtyTrac. Bad news, right? Only if you are the one losing your home.

Housing Market Shows Hints of Recovery, but Economic Troubles Remain
The Washington Post | June 14, 2012
A growing body of data in recent months has suggested that better days are on the horizon for the nation’s battered housing market, though it remains clear that a turnaround won’t come quickly.

Foreign Buyers Rush to Prop Up U.S. Housing Market: NAR
The MReport.com | June 14, 2012
The combination of low housing prices and the comparative weakness of the dollar continues to push foreign buyers to the United States, raising international home sales to $82.4 billion up from $66.4 billion last year, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2012 Profile of International Home Buying Activity.

Multifamily Attracting Foreign Investors
RealtorMag | June 14, 2012
Though it’s a good time to buy a house considering the rock-bottom prices and interest rates, strict lending guidelines are driving more would-be home owners to go the rental route. Enter overseas investors, who are well aware of the rising need for rental units and the low number of vacancies nationwide. These properties are drawing attention from investors across the globe, industry insiders say.

Meet Agent X: The man who rappelled down a cliff to sell a house
HousingWire | June 15, 2012
The Agent X awards ceremony at REO Expo provided a $100,000 marketing package from HousingWire. And, believe me, our winner’s unique story truly deserved it.

Regarding my “inventory/activity” question from yesterday, I got this response: “The market activity has picked up which means sellers are asking a little more for their homes  and maybe even getting offers that reflect higher prices—-BUT the appraisers are using comparables of 3-6 months ago when the prices were still distressed and deals are falling apart all over the place because sellers feel they can wait to sell and get their price.” 

Agree or disagree?  Let me know. ~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 6-14-2012


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

Foreclosures Up for First Time in 27 Months
Reuters | June 14, 2012
Foreclosure starts rose year-over-year in May for the first time in more than two years – though they fell on a month-to-month basis – as banks resumed dealing with distressed properties after a mortgage abuse settlement earlier this year, data firm RealtyTrac said on Thursday.

Short-sale Fraud a Problem for Investors, Mortgage Servicer Says
HousingWire | June 13, 2012
More effort should be made to prevent short-sale fraud so that investor returns are maximized, said Gagan Sharma, chief executive of Titusville, Pa.-based servicer BSI Financial.

Housing Shows Glimmers of Hope
Chicago Tribune | June 14, 2012
Though some might consider it one of those “when pigs fly” moments, homebuilders have begun raising their prices.

Housing Recovery Seen; Will Credit Be The Spoiler?
NPR | June 13, 2012
Amid all the economic uncertainty over the credit crisis in Europe and slow job growth in the U.S., one sector may be looking up. The U.S. housing market is finally showing more signs of recovery, according to a report being released Thursday by Harvard University.

Americans See Biggest Home Equity Jump in 60 Years: Mortgages
Bloomberg | June 14, 2012
Home equity in the first quarter rose to the highest level since 2008 as homeowners taking advantage of record-low borrowing costs to refinance their loans brought cash to the table to pay down principal.

Housing Prices May Soon Start to Increase
The Boston Globe | June 13, 2012
Harvard center forecasts uptick across country.

U.S, economic outlook darkens ahead of vote
Reuters | June 13, 2012
The U.S. elections in November will be contested against the backdrop of an economy growing more slowly and creating fewer jobs than thought only a month ago, a Reuters poll of economists suggests.

Can Eminent Domain be Used to Take Over Mortgages
RealtorMag | June 13, 2012
In a controversial move, a mortgage firm on the West Coast is pushing lawmakers in California and other states to use eminent domain to take over underwater mortgages. Eminent domain is a power that can be used by government to get a court order to seize property — not loans — for the public’s interest, like to extend a highway or construct a school. (One can only imagine the repercussions if this were to be allowed. ~Anthony)

Inventory of For-Sale Homes Falls 20% From Year Ago
RealtorMag | June 13, 2012
The number of homes on the market continues to become a shrinking pool. Inventory of for-sale single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops dropped 20 percent in May compared to year-ago levels, according to data from REALTOR.com of 146 markets.

Realtors: Where’s the data?  Is our local inventory up or down?  Listing prices?  Closed sales prices?  What is YOUR market doing?

 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 June 14, 2012 in Real Estate news

 

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Real Estate News Today 4-20-2012


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

Voters in Spokane County appear to have passed Measure 1 to expand the Convention Center and the Spokane Arena seating.  Check out the Measure 1 website to see what the Convention Center will look like when done.

Multifamily Building to Beef Up 30% in 2012
HousingWire | April 19, 2012
Fannie expects multifamily housing starts to jump 30% from 178,000 in 2011 to 231,000 in 2012. And then to 278,000 the following year.

Mortgage-Tax Break Curbed by Housing Slump
Bloomberg | April 19, 2012
The cost of one of the country’s most expensive individual tax breaks is shrinking as the number of Americans who own homes declines and mortgage rates hover near historic lows.

Bank of America Leads Banks in Short Sales of U.S. Homes
Bloomberg | April 19, 2012
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank approved 5,276 short sales in January, topping JPMorgan Chase & Co., with 2,976, and Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest home-loan originator, with 2,788, according to a report today by RealtyTrac Inc. (I’m not harping on BofA since they in fact did the most, but these numbers they give us for short sales still seem incredibly low.  I would have thought the number of short sales approved in a month would be 10x as high. ~Anthony)

Fears Rise That Economic Recovery May Falter in Spring
The New York Times | April 19, 2012
Global finance leaders are meeting in Washington to discuss oil prices, unemployment and other issues putting a cloud over the global economic picture.

Cities With Least Realistic Home Prices
The Wall Street Journal | April 19, 2012
Home sales are down, Thursday’s data shows. Oddly, sellers seem to be raising their asking prices. (This is interesting in that they determined the most realistic asking prices based soley on the gap between the median list prices and the median sales prices for the market.  Is that the right measure? I suppose it’s as good as any? ~Anthony) 

Chicago Loosens Vacant Property Restrictions on Banks
HousingWire | April 19, 2012
City officials in Chicago, with an ear to mortgage lenders and servicers, decided that maybe its pre-foreclosure requirements for vacant buildings were a bit too strict.

New Figures Stoke the Home Inequity Debate
The New York Times | April 19, 2012
A little more light is being shed on a type of loan that has been stinking up bank balance sheets.

Big Banks: Now Even Too Bigger to Fail
BusinessWeek | April 19, 2012
Two years after President Barack Obama vowed to eliminate the danger of financial institutions that are too big to fail, the nation’s largest banks are bigger than they were before the financial meltdown.

Short Sales Start to Outpace Foreclosures
Realtor Magazine | April 19, 2012
Banks are agreeing to more short sales, and for the first time,  short sale transactions are exceeding foreclosure deals, according to the most recent housing data from Lender Processing Services (LPS) Inc. (Check out this quote from the article:  “Banks are realizing that short sale transactions usually sell for higher prices than foreclosures.”  No kidding?  Who knew? ~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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