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Real Estate Today 9-20-2012


10 best states for first-time homebuyer help
MSN Real Estate | September 2012
Achieving the American dream has long been associated with owning a home. Yet for many of today’s would-be homebuyers, economic uncertainty has called that dream into question.  (OK experts, here is your chance to shine!  What great programs do we have available to first-time homebuyers in the Northwest? ~Anthony)

Some Markets See Inventories Cut Nearly in Half
RealtorMag | September 19, 2012
The number of homes for sale in the last year is falling the most in California, with eight of the top 10 biggest drops in inventories in the last year from metro areas in the Golden State. Many California metros are also seeing asking prices on the rise in the last year, too. (One NW area metro makes the list – which one is it?)

U.S. Banks on High Alert for Cyberattacks
Columbus Dispatch | September 19, 2012
A financial-services industry group warned banks yesterday to be on heightened alert for cyberattacks after Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. experienced unexplained outages on their public websites.

U.S. May Have Paid $1B in False Claims
The Washington Post | September 19, 2012
Report finds HUD may have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgage aid to homeowners who did not qualify for the help.

Housing Recovery Nuanced at the Local Level
The Wall Street Journal | September 19, 2012
Today’s existing-home sales numbers from the National Association of Realtors, paired with today’s Census data on housing starts and a boost in builder confidence from earlier this week, paint a picture of housing on the mend.

Meet the New Boss: Big Data
The Wall Street Journal | September 20, 2012
At more and more companies, the hiring boss is an algorithm, as jobs that were once filled on the basis of work history and interviews are left to personality tests and data analysis.

Incomes Fell or Stagnated Last Year
The Wall Street Journal | September 19, 2012
The income of the typical U.S. family fell or was flat in almost every state last year, with the drop particularly steep in places where the economy has been hit hard by the housing bust.

Real Estate Investors Plan to Purchase More Homes in U.S.
BusinessWeek | September 20, 2012
Almost two-thirds of U.S. residential real estate investors plan to buy as many as or more homes in the next 12 months than they have in the past year even as prices rise, according to a survey released today.  

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Today I’d like to hear from real estate investors (or their agents):  What sectors provide the best opportunities?  What advice do you have for a prospective first-time investor?  What your personal market outlook for investment real estate?  (Both residential real estate and commercial real estate) 

  

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2012 in Real Estate news

 

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Real Estate Today 8-28-2012


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Lots of great information brought to you by the humble crew at Stewart Title of Spokane.  The distressed home market is trending down, the apartment boom may be ending, and check out the two good homebuyer articles at the bottom.  Plus today you get bonus reader feedback!  Thanks for reading and feel free to forward to a friend.

Return of the Jumbo Mortgage
The Wall Street Journal | August 27, 2012
For home buyers eager to snap up luxury homes at low interest rates, lenders are bringing back the supersized loan.

Why Home Prices Are Rising: The ‘Distressed Share’
The Wall Street Journal | August 27, 2012
Tuesday’s measure of June home prices from the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index is likely to turn positive when compared with one year ago for the first time in two years, according to a forecast by Zillow Inc. (The S&P Case-Shiller did in fact turn positive, see S&P Case-Shiller: Home prices up across the board ~Anthony)

Consolidation of Small Banks on Rise
The Washington Post | August 27, 2012
Shrinking profit margins, tepid loan demand and low interest rates are placing pressure on small and medium-sized banks to merge. (This it true, but sad to see.  We need both the large and the small to serve all sectors.  Consider this quote from the article: “Whereas large national banks have little trouble hiring more accountants and lawyers to manage compliance with new regulations, community banks find it difficult to absorb those costs.” While we are in a recovery, that doesn’t mean it’s a recovery for all.  Still rough seas out there. ~Anthony)

California Enacts Law to Levy Heavy Fines for Blight
HousingWire | August 27, 2012
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday forcing owners of foreclosed and vacant homes to maintain the property or face up to a $1,000 fine per day of violation.

Trulia vs. Zillow: The Battle for Online Real Estate
CNBC | August 27, 2012
Trulia is the latest website daring the public to buy its shares, hoping to raise $75 million in the very competitive world of real estate listings.

As Housing Recovers, Will Apartment Boom End?
CNBC | August 27, 2012
The latest reports on new and existing home sales seem to indicate that the housing market is beginning to find its footing again. While most believe the recovery will be slow, U-shaped, and bumpy, the free fall appears to be over for both sales and prices.

Homebuyers: Do you know what you are buying?
Real Estate Settlement Observer | August 27, 2012
While this would seem to be obvious, purchasers should pay close attention to exactly what they are buying.  I am not referring to inspection issues, I am referring to something that seems obvious, but does occasionally come up as a problem. Here are some real scenarios where an individual bought something that was not exactly what they were expecting. (Worth noting: The author is in the East Coast market and mentions the buyer getting a location survey.  We don’t get many home buyers in Spokane wanting to pay for a location survey but it’s not a bad idea. All solid advice here. ~Anthony)

Top 5 homebuyer regrets
Inman News | August 27, 2012
In life, and in real estate, there are decisions that, if we had them to do over again, we might do x, y or z differently. But all in all, we are not too upset about how things turned out. “C’est la vie,” as they say.

Feedback from a local mortgage broker on yesterday’s edition:

Survey article about disclosure and privacy – It is IMPOSSIBLE to provide an accurate quote to an online request.  Yes, I know plenty of online lenders keep providing quote forms and replies but that’s solely a marketing gimmick. Consumers demand online and anonymous (the privacy issue) quotes but it’s not possible.  Even with a full loan application and credit report it is sometimes difficult to provide an accurate quote. 

The truth? We can provide 100% guarantee on the FEES involved with a transaction because those don’t change (per law) – but there is FULL flexibility in rate and points until such time as the loan is locked. And that doesn’t happen until full application. 

So the trouble consumers get themselves into is relying upon the low fee, low rate quote from Zillow or other online lead generator and then the rate changes once the application is submitted and approved.  That rate change often times far outweighs any fee differential between two lenders. 

Truth – consumers can’t get a valid and accurate quote unless they have made a full loan application and paid for the credit report. And that’s the law.  And the process of applying is so painful that it’s rare anyone does fully apply at more than one lender.

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Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Real Estate news

 

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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 Today 8-21-2012


The real estate today news for 8-21-2012 is out provided by Stewart Title Spokane! Like us on Facebook to keep up to date with the daily news.
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RE/MAX: Inventory Poses Biggest Threat to ‘Year of Recovery’
DSNews | August 20, 2012
Looks like the dragon will have to step aside: 2012 is now “The Year of the Housing Recovery,” according to RE/MAX.

HomeGain: Home Sellers More Successful With Real Estate Agent
HousingWire | August 20, 2012
Some homeowners may have a strong preference for selling their own properties, but a new poll by HomeGain suggests having a real estate agents improves a person’s odds of offloading their home.

Expectation for Prices to Rise Deters Would-Be Sellers: Survey
DSNews | August 20, 2012
After surveying more than 1,800 active home sellers, Redfin found that some of its customers are holding back from selling now because they believe patience will pay off in the form of higher offers for their home.

Going in Circles: The Merry-Go-Round Economy
The Wall Street Journal | August 21, 2012
Since the recession ended three years ago, the U.S. economy has felt at times like a roller coaster, ready one moment to fly off into full-blown recovery, then taking a sudden, gut-wrenching plunge back toward recession.

New Jersey looks to speed foreclosures on abandoned homes
HousingWire | August 20, 2012
A New Jersey state senate bill that would allow financial firms to expedite the foreclosure process on abandoned, vacant homes is advancing after making it out of committee. (This seems to me like it could be a great idea, as long as it’s uncontested and vacant. Your thoughts? ~Anthony)

Exclusive: New Bill Brings Better Housing Benefits for Veterans
DSNews.com | August 20, 2012
While the bill, passed by the House and unanimously by the Senate, has a primary focus to extend healthcare to those affected by Camp Lejeune’s drinking water, it also makes breakthrough changes that provide much needed reform to the VA Loan program, a program that has been in service since 1944.

Housing Update from Ashley Garner
The KCM Blog | August 21, 2012
The good news is the recovery of the Real Estate Market is unfolding exactly as it should and exactly as we have predicted.

The Spokane Association of Realtors Annual “Fill the Fridge” Food Drive is coming up (Sept. 6-7) to benefit Second Harvest.  Check out the SAR Food Drive Map showing the Albertsons locations and the store captains.  Volunteer now to fill a shift, or Second Harvest always accepts cash donations.

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in Real Estate news

 

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Real Estate Today 8-10-2012


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Q&A: House Flipping Still at Home on Reality TV
The Wall Street Journal | August 9, 2012
Boom or bust, flipping never really goes out of style, particularly on reality TV. (There are lots of risks involved in flipping houses.  I strongly recommend against it unless you have lots of experience AND lots of cash so you won’t need to borrow.  But if you believe everything you see on tv, the toughest thing a flipper might deal with is bees. ~Anthony)

In Real Estate Deal, Romney Made His Loss a Couple’s Gain
The Washington Post | August 9, 2012
Look closely and it is there, sandwiched between Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund Partners II and D3 Family Bulldog Fund: the mortgage on Timothy and Betty Stamps’s modest home on Gentle Bend Drive here.

Median Home Price Takes Biggest Jump Since 2006
The Wall Street Journal | August 9, 2012
Fewer deeply discounted foreclosures are being sold these days, and that means the median price of homes sold in the U.S. is on the rise.

LPS: Refinancing Surge for High-interest, Underwater Borrowers
HousingWire | August 9, 2012
High-interest borrowers in negative equity are refinancing – or prepaying out of their bonds – at a rate four times higher than at the end of last year, according to Lender Processing Services.

Paulson’s Latest Housing Bet: $17 Million of Las Vegas Land
The Wall Street Journal | August 9, 2012
John Paulson is betting on a U.S. housing industry recovery, and he just raised the stakes.

Builder confidence in older homeowners more than doubles
HousingWire | August 9, 2012
Builder confidence in the single-family housing market for mortgage borrowers aged 55 and older improved in the second quarter from a year ago, according to the National Association of Home Builders.  (We’d love your thoughts on how you think this demographic will affect your market area.  In Spokane, we have a higher percentage of retirees than the average American community. How will that affect new construction here, if at all? ~Anthony)

Entire Crounty’s Tax Foreclosures Bought Up
RealtorMag | August 9, 2012
The municipal government in Macomb County, Michigan, sold off its entire “inventory” of tax-foreclosed properties — 650 total — to a single buyer for $4.8 million.

Two great articles below on the “Eminent Domain” issue:

FHFA Pushes Back on Eminent Domain Policy in California
The MReport.com | August 9, 2012
FHFA issued a notice Wednesday to warn of the controversial use of eminent domain recently proposed in San Bernardino County.

Eminent domain, wrongly redefined
HousingWire | August 9, 2012
Eminent domain is supposed to be used for putting in a highway, building a bridge, benefiting everyone by promoting growth and driving jobs. In San Bernardino, they’re hoping that if they can just reset values, people will start paying taxes again and generate the revenue they need to pay civil servants. You don’t want to live where there is limited police, garbage collectors or firemen, trust me.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Real Estate news

 

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Real Estate News 8-7-2012


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

Housing Market Shows Improvement Across All Regions
The Hill | August 6, 2012
Dozens of the nation’s largest housing markets continue to show improvement, according to an index released on Monday.

Housing Recovery Could Lift Jobs, Spending
CNN Money | August
After years of depressed activity, home prices and new construction have started to pick up in recent months as foreclosures have slowed, suggesting the housing market may have finally bounced off the bottom.

Is This the End of the Housing Bust? Not So Fast, Says Shiller
The Wall Street Journal | August 6, 2012
Housing expert Robert Shiller isn’t convinced we’ve crossed into safe territory just yet. Here’s why.

23 Federal Laws that Apply to Real Estate Sales
Realtor Mag | August 2012
Residential real estate has become more complex over the years as a result of laws enacted to protect consumers’ welfare.

Hispanics Make Up Majority of New Owner Households
HousingWire | August 5, 2012
In spite of high unemployment, economic uncertainty and tighter credit conditions, homeownership among Hispanics continues to act as a stimulant to the country’s anemic household formation rate.

Chase Offers No Doc Refis, Principal Reduction
HousingWire | August 5, 2012
JPMorgan Chase went from fast-tracking foreclosures to rubber stamping and pre-approving some borrowers for refinances and even principal reduction.

Court of Appeals Upholds Dismissal in MERS Case
DSNews | August 5, 2012
MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., announced that a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a complaint against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., (MERS) and two other defendants.

Banks Ease Lending Terms to Meet Mortgage Demand
TheMReport | August 6, 2012
Commercial banks eased standards for residential mortgage loans to meet a sharp increase in demand in the second quarter, the Federal Reserve reported Monday in its quarterly survey of bank lending standards.

 
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Posted by on August 7, 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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Stewart Title of Spokane
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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Real Estate news

 

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