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Daily Real Estate News | Thursday, June 28, 2012

The number of home owners with severely delinquent mortgages — 90-plus days past due or in foreclosure — fell 37 percent in May compared to its peak in January 2010, according to a new report out by Equifax. Seventy percent of those delinquencies are loans opened between 2005 through 2007, Equifax notes in its May National Consumer Credit Trends Report.

“That severe mortgage delinquencies are trending downward is not surprising given generally improving economic conditions,” says Amy Crew Cutts, Equifax chief economist. “What is surprising is that even with the foreclosure moratoriums and the slow resolution of foreclosure backlogs, the downward trend has been a steady, consistent drumbeat of recovery. If this pace continues, we expect the volume of severely delinquent mortgage balances to return to mid-2007 levels by the end of 2014.”

According to the report, severely delinquent non-agency loans have seen the largest drops. Non-agency severely delinquent loans fell 45 percent in May to $320 million compared to its peak in January 2010 of $580 million. Meanwhile, agency-sourced mortgages — those that are backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration, and Veterans Administration — declined 9 percent in May to $130 billion compared to its peak in January 2010 of $142 billion.

The report also showed that mortgage write-offs have dropped 28 percent in May from their peak in 2010. Also, home mortgage balances have fallen 12.5 percent to $8.6 trillion compared to its record-setting $9.8 trillion reached in October 2008.

Source: Equifax

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Real Estate Median Prices Increase

Jun 14
Uncategorized


The median national list price of for-sale homes is inching upward, increasing 3.17 percent last month compared to May 2011, according to newly released data from May of 146 markets tracked by Realtor.com.

“Signs of recovery are evident in a growing number of markets that were once the epicenter of the housing crisis,” Realtor.com reports. “For example, the recovery process that began in Florida approximately one year ago has since spread to Phoenix and most recently California.”

The following are the metro areas that have seen the largest month-over-month increases in median list prices in May:

  1. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.: 19.08 percent increase in May over April
  2. Oakland, Calif.: 10.15 percent
  3. South Bend, Ind.: 7.01 percent
  4. Detroit: 5.56 percent
  5. San Jose, Calif.: 5.20 percent
  6. Washington, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va.: 5 percent
  7. Salt Lake City-Ogden, Utah: 4.55 percent
  8. Sacramento, Calif.: 4.50 percent
  9. Wilmington-Newark, Del.-Md.: 4.25 percent
  10. Reno, Nev.: 4.17 percent

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Daily News


 

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Building Something Different

Apr 17
Uncategorized

Aseem Agarwala and Elke Van de Velde have a 2,600-square-foot, three-bedroom ultramodern Seattle house that looks somewhat like a giant robot. Nancy Keates has details on Lunch Break. Eirik Johnson for The Wall Street Journal

A research scientist for Adobe who invents new algorithms for products, Aseem Agarwala said he’s paid to think beyond the obvious. His wife, Elke Van de Velde, a photographer, is practiced in seeing visual potential. Both of them are experts in graphics and the Internet.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Bidding Wars for Housing is Back

Apr 6
Uncategorized

Some real estate markets are reporting that home buyers are having to pay more than asking price to get the home they desire, as the supply of for-sale homes has shrunk, Bloomberg News reports.

Bidding wars were a common part of real estate in 2006. But when the market turned from a “seller’s market” to “buyer’s market,” more sellers started seeing lowball bids than high bids. Now times are slowly changing, and bidding wars are being reported in several markets, such as in Seattle, Boston, Silicon Valley, Miami, and Washington, D.C., Bloomberg reports.

The inventory of homes for-sale is near a six-year low. Mixed with the low inventory, the job market has been improving and buyers are being lured to the record level of affordability in the housing market. Existing-home sales and pending home sales are up more than 8 percent compared to a year earlier, the National Association of REALTORS® recently reported. Trulia Inc. also reported that falling home values and low mortgage rates have made home buying a better deal than renting in 98 of the 100 largest metro areas.

“The housing crash is finally giving way to recovery in an increasing number of markets across the country,” Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, told Blommberg. “The decline in unsold listings and vacant homes and the increase in rents presage better times ahead for single-family housing.”

Source: “Bidding Wars Erupt as Supply of Available Homes Shrink,”

 

 

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Acceptance marks displayed on top left of this...

Acceptance marks displayed on top left of this sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Americans are prioritizing their debt payments by opting to pay their car loans before mortgages and credit cards, according to an analysis by credit reporting bureau TransUnion.

TransUnion analyzed the payment patterns of 4 million consumers who had at least one car loan, bank card, and mortgage payment.

“With unemployment remaining high and real estate values remaining stagnant or further depreciating, consumers continued to pay their credit cards ahead of their mortgages,” says Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting in TransUnion’s financial services unit. “However, the importance of their auto loans appears to have trumped even the value they place on their credit cards.”

TransUnion found in its analysis:

  • Nearly 40 percent who were delinquent on their mortgage were still current on their auto loans and credit cards.
  • 17.3 percent who were delinquent on their credit cards were still current on their auto loans and mortgages.
  • 9.5 percent who were behind on their auto loan were still current on their credit card and mortgage payments.

Becker speculates that car loans have become more important to Americans because often Americans need a car to get to work or to look for employment, and “the fact that an auto loan is not a revolving loan — the impact of repossession is greater than the loss of a credit card.” Becker also says that the drop in home values may also be shifting Americans’ payment preferences in putting their car loans first.

Source: TransUnion

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An example of a real estate owned property in ...

An example of a real estate owned property in San Diego, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


 

 

 

 

C.A.R.’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* rose from a revised 102.3 in January to 127.8 in February, based on signed contracts.  The index also was up from the 111.8 index recorded in February 2011, marking the tenth consecutive month that pending sales were higher than the previous year.

“A lack of inventory in the bank-owned (REO) and short sale market was a contributing factor to the decline in share of distressed sales in February,” said C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold.  “In fact, REO inventory declined 24 percent in February from the previous year, while short sale inventory dropped 17 percent during the same period.”

  • After declining for two straight months, equity sales increased in February, making up 51.1 percent of home sales in February.  Equity sales made up 49.9 and 44.8 percent of all sales in January 2012 and February 2011, respectively.
  • Meanwhile, the total share of all distressed property types sold statewide decreased in February to 48.9 percent, down from January’s 50.1 percent and from 55.2 percent in February 2011.
  • The share of short sales dipped slightly in February.  Of the distressed properties sold statewide in January, 23 percent were short sales, down from the previous month’s share of 23.8 percent but up from last February’s share of 22.9 percent.
  • The share of REO sales also edged down in February to 25.2 percent, down from January’s 25.9 percent and down from the 31.9 percent recorded in February 2011.

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The Life of flowers (Жизнь цветов) from VOROBYOFF PRODUCTION on Vimeo.

A little change from real estate today. Gorgeous pictures in time lapse photography taken over several days to show flowers blooming.

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Image representing Craigslist as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase


 

 

Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Scammers are increasingly taking actual online listing ads of homes for sale from real estate agents’ sites and reposting them on sites such as CraigsList as rentals, duping a growing number of renters.

Tug Pierson, a RE/MAX real estate professional in Indiana, says he learned of one of his for-sale listings being used in a rental scam, reposted online several times throughout the Internet.

Another real estate agent, whose listing was also reposted as a rental, says he learned of it when an unsuspecting renter contacted him to say he was at the house with a truck of furniture ready to move in.

Usually scammers repost the for-sale listing as a rental and ask would-be renters to wire a deposit and advance rent to secure the rental. The scammers usually claim they can’t be met in person because they are out of the country working as missionaries. They also sometimes tell the would-be renters that the real estate agent who was handling the property was fired so they should disregard any signs posted in front of the house with the agent’s information.

Real estate agents who have learned of their postings being used in rental scams say they have contacted the police once they learned of the fraudulent repostings. But scammers can be tough to trace. The agents say it’s important for real estate professionals to educate the public about such online scams and teach them how not to rent a property so renters can guard against such scams online.

Source: “Rental Scams Continue to Grow Online,” The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, Ind.) (March 27, 2012) 

 

 

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Tate George Photo Courtesy of Courantblogs.com

Tate George Photo Courtesy of Courantblogs.com

Tate George, a former player for the National Basketball Association‘s New Jersey Nets and Milwaukee Bucks, was indicted on charges of running a $2 million Ponzi scheme that targeted ex-professional athletes.

George, 43, raised more than $2 million for his company, the George Group, after telling investors his real-estate development portfolio was worth $500 million, according to a four-count wire-fraud indictment in federal court in Newark, New Jersey.

George, a Newark resident, told prospective investors that their money would fund the George Group’s development of real estate projects in New Jersey and Connecticut, prosecutors charged.

“Instead of using investments to fund real estate development projects as promised, George used the money from new investors to pay existing investors in Ponzi scheme fashion,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement.

“He also used some of the money for home improvement projects, meals at restaurants, clothing and gas,” Fishman said. “The George Group had virtually no income-generating operations.”

George appeared in a Newark federal court and spoke briefly when he was asked if he knew understood the charges against him. His bond was set at $250,000.

George is best remembered by college basketball fans for his last second shot in the 1990 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regional semifinal game that defeated Clemson University. George is a member of the UConn All Century Team as voted by fans and experts in 2001.

George was drafted in the first round of the 1990 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets and he played four season with the Nets and Milwaukee Bucks.

George faces as many as 20 years in prison on each count. His attorney, Thomas Ashley, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the indictment.
Read more SF Gate

 

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Homeowners considering finding a new job and refinancing a house may be wondering which task to take on first.  According to mortgage experts, homeowners should complete their refinancing before making any major career changes, especially if they are planning to start their own business or become an independent contractor, in which case, income may fluctuate.

  • During the refinancing process, homeowners may find that actively looking to leave their current job may impact how the bank views giving them a mortgage.  The search will raise a question mark about their future employment and their ability to pay the mortgage.
  • In addition to checking employment at the start of the application process, many lenders will verify such information as late as the last 72 hours before mortgage closing.  If they learn a borrower is starting a new job in the very near future, the mortgage can be delayed or even derailed.  And borrowers who withhold such information could be committing income fraud.  Other lenders, however, say they make loans based on a moment-in-time snapshot of a borrower’s finances.
  • An advantage to refinancing first is that the borrowers are freeing up additional cash flow by reducing their monthly payment.
  • All that said, however, there are advantages to refinancing later, especially for those who might have to relocate when they change jobs.
  • A person may get a new job with more income, which may help him or her qualify for a larger mortgage, or even better terms.
  • Source:  The New York Times

Thinking of buying or selling?
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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
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(530) 263-1091
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