Thursday, January 31, 2013

Is the Refi 'Apocalypse' Really Upon Us?

Mortgage rates today are very low, but U.S. borrowers have a very short memory. They forget that the rate on the 30-year fixed, which sits around 3.6 percent today, was a full percentage point higher a year ago, and above 5 percent in January of 2010. The purchasing power gained through today's low rates have arguably helped fuel the recovery in home sales. Low rates have also sparked a boom in mortgage refinancing, which in turn has put more spending money in consumers' pockets.

Read more: Is the Refi 'Apocalypse' Really Upon Us?

Is the Refi 'Apocalypse' Really Upon Us?

Mortgage rates today are very low, but U.S. borrowers have a very short memory. They forget that the rate on the 30-year fixed, which sits around 3.6 percent today, was a full percentage point higher a year ago, and above 5 percent in January of 2010. The purchasing power gained through today's low rates have arguably helped fuel the recovery in home sales. Low rates have also sparked a boom in mortgage refinancing, which in turn has put more spending money in consumers' pockets.

Read more: Is the Refi 'Apocalypse' Really Upon Us?

Peaks and Valleys of House Hunting Online

In general, the most popular times of year for online home searches are at the start of the year and in the summer, according to the Trulia Real Estate Search Report released Wednesday.  Read more....  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/popular-months-for-online-housing-hunting-among-states-2013-01-30

Peaks and Valleys of House Hunting Online

In general, the most popular times of year for online home searches are at the start of the year and in the summer, according to the Trulia Real Estate Search Report released Wednesday.  Read more....  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/popular-months-for-online-housing-hunting-among-states-2013-01-30

RealtyTrac Ranks Best Metros to Buy Foreclosures in 2013

While the national trend shows home prices are rising and the supply of foreclosures is shrinking, on a more microscopic level, there are still metros where investors can find foreclosures are steep discounts and in greater abundance.  Read more... http://www.dsnews.com/articles/realtytrac-ranks-best-metros-to-buy-foreclosures-in-2013-2013-01-31

RealtyTrac Ranks Best Metros to Buy Foreclosures in 2013

While the national trend shows home prices are rising and the supply of foreclosures is shrinking, on a more microscopic level, there are still metros where investors can find foreclosures are steep discounts and in greater abundance.  Read more... http://www.dsnews.com/articles/realtytrac-ranks-best-metros-to-buy-foreclosures-in-2013-2013-01-31

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Report: Remodeling Projects that Yield the Greatest ROI

A lot of homes can use a facelift, especially properties in distress, but some projects may not be worth the sweat and dollars when considering the return on investment (ROI).  Read more...
http://www.dsnews.com/articles/report-remodeling-projects-that-yield-greatest-roi-2013-01-29

Report: Remodeling Projects that Yield the Greatest ROI

A lot of homes can use a facelift, especially properties in distress, but some projects may not be worth the sweat and dollars when considering the return on investment (ROI).  Read more...
http://www.dsnews.com/articles/report-remodeling-projects-that-yield-greatest-roi-2013-01-29

NYT: U.S. Economy Unexpectedly Cont

The United States economy contracted unexpectedly in the final quarter of 2012, hurt by weaker exports, a drop in military spending and a slower buildup in inventories.  Read more....  http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/business/economy/us-economy-unexpectedly-contracted-in-fourth-quarter.xml

NYT: U.S. Economy Unexpectedly Cont

The United States economy contracted unexpectedly in the final quarter of 2012, hurt by weaker exports, a drop in military spending and a slower buildup in inventories.  Read more....  http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/business/economy/us-economy-unexpectedly-contracted-in-fourth-quarter.xml

Remember the Yen Carry Trade? Well, It’s Back

As confidence returns to global markets, investors appear to be using the cheap yen once again to fund investments in risky assets – a trade that is likely to give the battered Japanese currency another boot lower in the months ahead, analysts said.  Read more...  http://m.cnbc.com/us_news/100414231

Remember the Yen Carry Trade? Well, It’s Back

As confidence returns to global markets, investors appear to be using the cheap yen once again to fund investments in risky assets – a trade that is likely to give the battered Japanese currency another boot lower in the months ahead, analysts said.  Read more...  http://m.cnbc.com/us_news/100414231

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Case-Shiller Indexes Show Sharp Annual Gain in November

Despite seeing a month-over-month drop, the 10-and 20-city Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes registered their strongest year-over-year improvement in two and a half years on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Standard & Poor's reported Tuesday.  Read more...  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/case-shiller-index-shows-sharp-year-year-gain-in-november-2013-01-29

Case-Shiller Indexes Show Sharp Annual Gain in November

Despite seeing a month-over-month drop, the 10-and 20-city Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes registered their strongest year-over-year improvement in two and a half years on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Standard & Poor's reported Tuesday.  Read more...  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/case-shiller-index-shows-sharp-year-year-gain-in-november-2013-01-29

Plan for casino near Glendale led to flurry of lobbying

A prospective tribal casino near Glendale drove the most lobbying in Washington by Arizona groups last year, federal records show.  Read more....  http://www.azcentral.com//news/politics/articles/20130124glendale-casino-plan-led-flurry-lobbying.html

Plan for casino near Glendale led to flurry of lobbying

A prospective tribal casino near Glendale drove the most lobbying in Washington by Arizona groups last year, federal records show.  Read more....  http://www.azcentral.com//news/politics/articles/20130124glendale-casino-plan-led-flurry-lobbying.html

Monday, January 28, 2013

Research Points to Strong Multifamily Sector This Year

The industry seems to agree the multifamily housing market is recovering well and will continue to show positive signs this year. Both Fannie Mae and the National Association of Home Builders report low vacancies and climbing rents for 2012 and anticipate a strong market in 2013.  Read more...  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/research-points-to-strong-multifamily-sector-this-year-2013-01-25

Research Points to Strong Multifamily Sector This Year

The industry seems to agree the multifamily housing market is recovering well and will continue to show positive signs this year. Both Fannie Mae and the National Association of Home Builders report low vacancies and climbing rents for 2012 and anticipate a strong market in 2013.  Read more...  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/research-points-to-strong-multifamily-sector-this-year-2013-01-25

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Real-estate investor pleads guilty to count of wire fraud in Ponzi scheme

A Valley real-estate investor accused of running a home-renovation Ponzi scheme pleaded guilty to a count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court on Thursday.

Jere Parkhurst was indicted in 2011 on 27 counts of money laundering and wire fraud after a group of middle-class Valley investors gave prosecutors information indicating Parkhurst could not maintain his promised 20 percent return after the housing market collapsed, nor the court-ordered payments they were to receive when the scheme fell apart.

Read more: Real-estate investor pleads guilty to count of wire fraud in Ponzi scheme

Real-estate investor pleads guilty to count of wire fraud in Ponzi scheme

A Valley real-estate investor accused of running a home-renovation Ponzi scheme pleaded guilty to a count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court on Thursday.

Jere Parkhurst was indicted in 2011 on 27 counts of money laundering and wire fraud after a group of middle-class Valley investors gave prosecutors information indicating Parkhurst could not maintain his promised 20 percent return after the housing market collapsed, nor the court-ordered payments they were to receive when the scheme fell apart.

Read more: Real-estate investor pleads guilty to count of wire fraud in Ponzi scheme

The death of the mortgage broker? - MarketWatch

The mortgage broker’s days may be numbered.

Starting next year, mortgage brokers, who serve as middlemen between homebuyers and lenders, will be subject to new rules that experts say could push many to leave the business. Issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last week, the new rules prohibit brokers from raking in more compensation in exchange for placing borrowers in more expensive mortgages; they also disallow brokers from getting paid by both the borrower and the lender on a mortgage transaction. While the rules will make working with a broker safer for consumers, experts say they may also leave them with fewer brokers to choose from. “It certainly does put some of the more marginal players on the fence,” says Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at mortgage-info website HSH.com.

Read more: The death of the mortgage broker? - MarketWatch

The death of the mortgage broker? - MarketWatch

The mortgage broker’s days may be numbered.

Starting next year, mortgage brokers, who serve as middlemen between homebuyers and lenders, will be subject to new rules that experts say could push many to leave the business. Issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last week, the new rules prohibit brokers from raking in more compensation in exchange for placing borrowers in more expensive mortgages; they also disallow brokers from getting paid by both the borrower and the lender on a mortgage transaction. While the rules will make working with a broker safer for consumers, experts say they may also leave them with fewer brokers to choose from. “It certainly does put some of the more marginal players on the fence,” says Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at mortgage-info website HSH.com.

Read more: The death of the mortgage broker? - MarketWatch

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Freddie Mac's New Short Sale Process ‘Beginning to Take Hold’

Freddie Mac's Standard Short Sale program has been in effect for close to three months, and the GSE continues to work to publicize the program and inform borrowers of their options, most recently in a blog post Tuesday on Freddie Mac's website.

Read more... http://www.dsnews.com/articles/freddie-macs-new-short-sale-process-beginning-to-take-hold-2013-01-23

Freddie Mac's New Short Sale Process ‘Beginning to Take Hold’

Freddie Mac's Standard Short Sale program has been in effect for close to three months, and the GSE continues to work to publicize the program and inform borrowers of their options, most recently in a blog post Tuesday on Freddie Mac's website.

Read more... http://www.dsnews.com/articles/freddie-macs-new-short-sale-process-beginning-to-take-hold-2013-01-23

Fed President: Dodd-Frank Made 'Too Big To Fail' An Even Bigger Problem - The Huffington Post

After spending the last few years taking a wait-and-see approach to financial reform, several banking regulators in the U.S. and Europe kicked off 2013 by putting "too big to fail" banks firmly in their crosshairs. These regulators suggest rules devised since the financial crisis to curb the risk posed by such institutions have been a failure, and they are now willing to lobby for the break-up of the big banks.  Read more...  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2013/01/22/too-big-to-fail-bank-regulation_n_2527799.html

Fed President: Dodd-Frank Made 'Too Big To Fail' An Even Bigger Problem - The Huffington Post

After spending the last few years taking a wait-and-see approach to financial reform, several banking regulators in the U.S. and Europe kicked off 2013 by putting "too big to fail" banks firmly in their crosshairs. These regulators suggest rules devised since the financial crisis to curb the risk posed by such institutions have been a failure, and they are now willing to lobby for the break-up of the big banks.  Read more...  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2013/01/22/too-big-to-fail-bank-regulation_n_2527799.html

Home Values See Largest Annual Gain Since 2006

S. home values in 2012 rose 5.9 percent over 2011, according to data in Zillow's latest Home Value Index (HVI).

The 5.9 percent appreciation rate is the largest annual gain since August 2006, near the peak of the housing bubble.

While the market still has some ground to cover before it's completely healthy again, Zillow said in a release that 2012's appreciation rate "far exceeded yearly rates of appreciation typically associated with healthy markets," which "can expect annual home value appreciation of roughly 3 percent on average."   Read more...  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/home-values-see-largest-annual-gain-since-2006-2013-01-22

Home Values See Largest Annual Gain Since 2006

S. home values in 2012 rose 5.9 percent over 2011, according to data in Zillow's latest Home Value Index (HVI).

The 5.9 percent appreciation rate is the largest annual gain since August 2006, near the peak of the housing bubble.

While the market still has some ground to cover before it's completely healthy again, Zillow said in a release that 2012's appreciation rate "far exceeded yearly rates of appreciation typically associated with healthy markets," which "can expect annual home value appreciation of roughly 3 percent on average."   Read more...  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/home-values-see-largest-annual-gain-since-2006-2013-01-22

Monthly Drop in Home Sales No Cause for Despair

As the National Association of Realtors reported, home sales dropped in December.

However, Capital Economics warns this should be no cause for despair. Additionally, while cash buyers and investors continue to make up a large portion—about half of all sales—Capital Economics suggests rising prices lifting many homeowners above water will lead to increased activity from owner-occupants.  Read more...  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/monthly-drop-in-home-sales-no-cause-for-despair-2013-01-22

Monthly Drop in Home Sales No Cause for Despair

As the National Association of Realtors reported, home sales dropped in December.

However, Capital Economics warns this should be no cause for despair. Additionally, while cash buyers and investors continue to make up a large portion—about half of all sales—Capital Economics suggests rising prices lifting many homeowners above water will lead to increased activity from owner-occupants.  Read more...  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/monthly-drop-in-home-sales-no-cause-for-despair-2013-01-22

Rebound: Building a More Resilient World - The Huffington Post

Financial crises, floods, hurricanes, epidemic disease.

In these early decades of the 21st century, we are witnessing stresses and shocks that come with a new intensity. The long held fundamentals of a strong economic system --globalization and free trade -- have increased efficiency, but they have created challenges for the stability of markets. Industrialization in the last century has accelerated human progress but has given us a rapidly growing global population and a warming world in this century. It's not that the 20th century was devoid of significant challenges. What distinguishes today's threats from those of the past are the escalating rate at which they are occurring, and the growing interconnectedness of our planet.  Read more...  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/judith-rodin/rebound-building-a-more-r_b_2526870.html?utm_hp_ref=daily-brief?utm_source=DailyBrief&utm_campaign=012313&utm_medium=email&utm_content=BlogEntry&utm_term=Daily%20Brief

Rebound: Building a More Resilient World - The Huffington Post

Financial crises, floods, hurricanes, epidemic disease.

In these early decades of the 21st century, we are witnessing stresses and shocks that come with a new intensity. The long held fundamentals of a strong economic system --globalization and free trade -- have increased efficiency, but they have created challenges for the stability of markets. Industrialization in the last century has accelerated human progress but has given us a rapidly growing global population and a warming world in this century. It's not that the 20th century was devoid of significant challenges. What distinguishes today's threats from those of the past are the escalating rate at which they are occurring, and the growing interconnectedness of our planet.  Read more...  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/judith-rodin/rebound-building-a-more-r_b_2526870.html?utm_hp_ref=daily-brief?utm_source=DailyBrief&utm_campaign=012313&utm_medium=email&utm_content=BlogEntry&utm_term=Daily%20Brief

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Decrease on Lack of Supply - Bloomberg

Sales of U.S. existing homes unexpectedly dropped in December as the lowest supply in more than a decade cut into the industry’s best year since 2007. Purchases fell 1 percent to a 4.94 million annual rate last month, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. The reading was still the second-highest since November 2009. The median forecast of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called an increase to a 5.1 million rate.

Read more: Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Decrease on Lack of Supply - Bloomberg

Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Decrease on Lack of Supply - Bloomberg

Sales of U.S. existing homes unexpectedly dropped in December as the lowest supply in more than a decade cut into the industry’s best year since 2007. Purchases fell 1 percent to a 4.94 million annual rate last month, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. The reading was still the second-highest since November 2009. The median forecast of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called an increase to a 5.1 million rate.

Read more: Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Decrease on Lack of Supply - Bloomberg

DFW Real Estate Investments: Bank of America Looking to Decrease Amount of Short Sale Transactions as of 1/15/2013

For homeowners considering a short sale with Bank of America, this is extremely important to take note of. The summary of this announcement is that Bank of America is going to continue through the foreclosure process if a homeowner files for a short sale until all parties have a contractual agreement to perform a short sale. While that may not be difficult for a buyer and a seller to agree upon, the approval of the assigned "short sale specialist" representing BofA can and will take 3-9 months to sign an approval.  Read more...  http://dfwinvestmenthomenews.blogspot.com/2013/01/bank-of-america-looking-to-decrease.html?m=1

DFW Real Estate Investments: Bank of America Looking to Decrease Amount of Short Sale Transactions as of 1/15/2013

For homeowners considering a short sale with Bank of America, this is extremely important to take note of. The summary of this announcement is that Bank of America is going to continue through the foreclosure process if a homeowner files for a short sale until all parties have a contractual agreement to perform a short sale. While that may not be difficult for a buyer and a seller to agree upon, the approval of the assigned "short sale specialist" representing BofA can and will take 3-9 months to sign an approval.  Read more...  http://dfwinvestmenthomenews.blogspot.com/2013/01/bank-of-america-looking-to-decrease.html?m=1

Monday, January 21, 2013

CFPB's New Rules Ban Incentives for Risky Mortgages

While the foreclosure crisis has more than one culprit, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) pointed to the significant role of predatory lending practices in a report on the state of lending.  Read more...  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/cfpbs-new-rules-ban-incentives-on-risky-mortgages-2013-01-18

CFPB's New Rules Ban Incentives for Risky Mortgages

While the foreclosure crisis has more than one culprit, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) pointed to the significant role of predatory lending practices in a report on the state of lending.  Read more...  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/cfpbs-new-rules-ban-incentives-on-risky-mortgages-2013-01-18

CFPB Announces Rules for Appraisals and Higher-Priced Loans

Starting in January 2014, mortgage lenders will work under new rules governing the handling of appraisals and other home value estimates.  Read more...  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/cfpb-announces-rules-for-appraisals-and-higher-priced-loans-2013-01-18

CFPB Announces Rules for Appraisals and Higher-Priced Loans

Starting in January 2014, mortgage lenders will work under new rules governing the handling of appraisals and other home value estimates.  Read more...  http://www.dsnews.com/articles/cfpb-announces-rules-for-appraisals-and-higher-priced-loans-2013-01-18

Mortgages - Loans for Fixer-Uppers - NYTimes.com

BARGAIN hunters ought not to overlook properties in need of extensive repairs. A federally backed lending program enables buyers to roll the cost of necessary fixes into their mortgage, which can sometimes yield a quick return on their investment.

Read more: Mortgages - Loans for Fixer-Uppers - NYTimes.com

Mortgages - Loans for Fixer-Uppers - NYTimes.com

BARGAIN hunters ought not to overlook properties in need of extensive repairs. A federally backed lending program enables buyers to roll the cost of necessary fixes into their mortgage, which can sometimes yield a quick return on their investment.

Read more: Mortgages - Loans for Fixer-Uppers - NYTimes.com

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Home building surges 12% - Jan. 17, 2013

The pace of home building surged in December, as the market bounced back from the impact of Superstorm Sandy.

Builders started construction at an annual pace of 954,000 home last month, the Census Bureau reported, up more than 12% from November's pace. That's a nearly 37% leap from December of last year.  Read more...  http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/17/real_estate/housing-starts/index.html

Home building surges 12% - Jan. 17, 2013

The pace of home building surged in December, as the market bounced back from the impact of Superstorm Sandy.

Builders started construction at an annual pace of 954,000 home last month, the Census Bureau reported, up more than 12% from November's pace. That's a nearly 37% leap from December of last year.  Read more...  http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/17/real_estate/housing-starts/index.html

Resort owners bring in Parker

The owners of the Mountain Shadows resort in Paradise Valley have recruited a former mayor in hopes of revitalizing the landmark, which has been shuttered since 2004.

Owner Crown Realty and Development has tapped Vernon Parker, also a longtime resident of an adjacent Mountain Shadows residential neighborhood, as a community liaison to help facilitate the redevelopment of the resort.

Read more: Resort owners bring in Parker

Resort owners bring in Parker

The owners of the Mountain Shadows resort in Paradise Valley have recruited a former mayor in hopes of revitalizing the landmark, which has been shuttered since 2004.

Owner Crown Realty and Development has tapped Vernon Parker, also a longtime resident of an adjacent Mountain Shadows residential neighborhood, as a community liaison to help facilitate the redevelopment of the resort.

Read more: Resort owners bring in Parker

Lenders will get help from taxpayers

WASHINGTON - Consumer advocates have complained that U.S. mortgage lenders are getting off easy in a deal to settle charges that they wrongfully foreclosed on many homeowners.

Now it turns out the deal is even sweeter for the lenders than it appears: Taxpayers will subsidize them for the money they're ponying up.

Read more: Lenders will get help from taxpayers

Lenders will get help from taxpayers

WASHINGTON - Consumer advocates have complained that U.S. mortgage lenders are getting off easy in a deal to settle charges that they wrongfully foreclosed on many homeowners.

Now it turns out the deal is even sweeter for the lenders than it appears: Taxpayers will subsidize them for the money they're ponying up.

Read more: Lenders will get help from taxpayers

Goldman, Morgan Stanley settle foreclosure suit

WASHINGTON - Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will pay a combined $557 million to settle federal complaints that they wrongfully foreclosed on homeowners who should have been allowed to stay in their homes.

The agreements with the Federal Reserve announced Wednesday were similar to deals struck earlier this month with 10 other major banks and mortgage lenders. Combined, the 12 firms will pay more than $9 billion.

Read more: Goldman, Morgan Stanley settle foreclosure suit

Goldman, Morgan Stanley settle foreclosure suit

WASHINGTON - Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will pay a combined $557 million to settle federal complaints that they wrongfully foreclosed on homeowners who should have been allowed to stay in their homes.

The agreements with the Federal Reserve announced Wednesday were similar to deals struck earlier this month with 10 other major banks and mortgage lenders. Combined, the 12 firms will pay more than $9 billion.

Read more: Goldman, Morgan Stanley settle foreclosure suit

Decision on Phoenix Frank Lloyd Wright house delayed

A decision to make a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in east Phoenix a historical landmark likely will be delayed for at least a month, or possibly more, to better determine the owner’s intention for the house, city officials said.

Attorney Grady Gammage Jr., who represents the new owner of the David and Gladys Wright House, said he requested a continuance to delay historical designation of the house. He would not comment further.

Read more: Decision on Phoenix Frank Lloyd Wright house delayed

Decision on Phoenix Frank Lloyd Wright house delayed

A decision to make a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in east Phoenix a historical landmark likely will be delayed for at least a month, or possibly more, to better determine the owner’s intention for the house, city officials said.

Attorney Grady Gammage Jr., who represents the new owner of the David and Gladys Wright House, said he requested a continuance to delay historical designation of the house. He would not comment further.

Read more: Decision on Phoenix Frank Lloyd Wright house delayed

Social Security checks soon will be obsolete

It's an electronic world, and holdouts will be dragged into it -- kicking and screaming if necessary.

The latest sign is the pending elimination of paper Social Security checks, which could affect several million beneficiaries nationally and an estimated 50,000 or so in Arizona. The deadline for signing up for either direct deposit or a debit card is March 1.

"Switching to an electronic payment is not optional -- it's the law," said David Lebryk, commissioner of the Treasury Department's financial-management service, in a statement.

Read more: Social Security checks soon will be obsolete

Social Security checks soon will be obsolete

It's an electronic world, and holdouts will be dragged into it -- kicking and screaming if necessary.

The latest sign is the pending elimination of paper Social Security checks, which could affect several million beneficiaries nationally and an estimated 50,000 or so in Arizona. The deadline for signing up for either direct deposit or a debit card is March 1.

"Switching to an electronic payment is not optional -- it's the law," said David Lebryk, commissioner of the Treasury Department's financial-management service, in a statement.

Read more: Social Security checks soon will be obsolete

Housing Recovery Bailed Out 1.4 Million Underwater Homeowners in 2012 - The Home Front (usnews.com)

One of the most significant effects of the nation's housing bust has been the swelling ranks of underwater borrowers trapped in homes worth far less than they are worth.

But thanks to sustained rises in home prices, the number of homeowners stuck in the negative equity trap is dwindling. According to analytics firm CoreLogic, 100,000 borrowers edged into the positive equity territory in the third quarter of 2012, adding to the more than 1.3 million borrowers that rose above water on their mortgages through the second quarter of last year.

Read more: Read more: Housing Recovery Bailed Out 1.4 Million Underwater Homeowners in 2012 - The Home Front (usnews.com)

Housing Recovery Bailed Out 1.4 Million Underwater Homeowners in 2012 - The Home Front (usnews.com)

One of the most significant effects of the nation's housing bust has been the swelling ranks of underwater borrowers trapped in homes worth far less than they are worth.

But thanks to sustained rises in home prices, the number of homeowners stuck in the negative equity trap is dwindling. According to analytics firm CoreLogic, 100,000 borrowers edged into the positive equity territory in the third quarter of 2012, adding to the more than 1.3 million borrowers that rose above water on their mortgages through the second quarter of last year.

Read more: Read more: Housing Recovery Bailed Out 1.4 Million Underwater Homeowners in 2012 - The Home Front (usnews.com)

Metro Phoenix housing prices continue to rise

Metro Phoenix’s housing prices continue to rise, but the supply of affordable homes for sale also needs to climb for the market to continue its recovery.

The median price of a house in the region reached $162,500, up 3 percent from October, according to the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Compared with November 2011, the Valley’s median home prices is up 35 percent.

Home sales fell 9 percent between October and November, to 8,009. November’s home sales total is only 1 percent below the pace in November 2011.

Read more: Metro Phoenix housing prices continue to rise

Metro Phoenix housing prices continue to rise

Metro Phoenix’s housing prices continue to rise, but the supply of affordable homes for sale also needs to climb for the market to continue its recovery.

The median price of a house in the region reached $162,500, up 3 percent from October, according to the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Compared with November 2011, the Valley’s median home prices is up 35 percent.

Home sales fell 9 percent between October and November, to 8,009. November’s home sales total is only 1 percent below the pace in November 2011.

Read more: Metro Phoenix housing prices continue to rise

Reinventing retirement community

Housing developments in Arizona, including Del Webb's first Sun City, redefined retirement for the entire country nearly 50 years ago.

Now, Scottsdale-based real-estate firm DMB wants to reinvent retirement living for Baby Boomers on 1,200 acres in its Buckeye community of Verrado.

The developer doesn't have a plan for building a new type of retirement community yet.

Read more: Reinventing retirement community

Reinventing retirement community

Housing developments in Arizona, including Del Webb's first Sun City, redefined retirement for the entire country nearly 50 years ago.

Now, Scottsdale-based real-estate firm DMB wants to reinvent retirement living for Baby Boomers on 1,200 acres in its Buckeye community of Verrado.

The developer doesn't have a plan for building a new type of retirement community yet.

Read more: Reinventing retirement community

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Metro Phoenix bankruptcies post double-digit dip in 2012

The metro Phoenix bankruptcy picture ended 2012 the same way it started the year, with a double-digit decline in the number of filings.

Helped by a stronger job market, better economic growth and rising real estate prices, fewer consumers and businesses resorted to bankruptcy last year. The 20,156 bankruptcies in 2012 were down from 26,262 in 2011 and 31,207 the year before, reported the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Phoenix.

Filings have fallen for 23 straight months on a year-over-year basis. The last 18 decreases have been at double-digit rates.

Read more: Metro Phoenix bankruptcies post double-digit dip in 2012

Metro Phoenix bankruptcies post double-digit dip in 2012

The metro Phoenix bankruptcy picture ended 2012 the same way it started the year, with a double-digit decline in the number of filings.

Helped by a stronger job market, better economic growth and rising real estate prices, fewer consumers and businesses resorted to bankruptcy last year. The 20,156 bankruptcies in 2012 were down from 26,262 in 2011 and 31,207 the year before, reported the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Phoenix.

Filings have fallen for 23 straight months on a year-over-year basis. The last 18 decreases have been at double-digit rates.

Read more: Metro Phoenix bankruptcies post double-digit dip in 2012

Bank of America reaches $11.6 billion settlement with Fannie Mae - The Denver Post

NEW YORK — Bank of America reached an $11.6 billion settlement with government mortgage agency Fannie Mae to settle claims resulting from mortgage-backed investments that soured during the housing crash, bringing it a step closer to clearing up its legacy of bad home loans.

Under the deal announced Monday, Bank of America will pay $3.6 billion in cash to Fannie Mae and buy back $6.75 billion in loans that the bank and its Countrywide Financial unit sold to the agency from Jan. 1, 2000, through Dec. 31, 2008. That includes about 30,000 loans.

The bank is also paying $1.3 billion to the agency for failing to deal with foreclosures fast enough.

Read more: Bank of America reaches $11.6 billion settlement with Fannie Mae - The Denver Post

Bank of America reaches $11.6 billion settlement with Fannie Mae - The Denver Post

NEW YORK — Bank of America reached an $11.6 billion settlement with government mortgage agency Fannie Mae to settle claims resulting from mortgage-backed investments that soured during the housing crash, bringing it a step closer to clearing up its legacy of bad home loans.

Under the deal announced Monday, Bank of America will pay $3.6 billion in cash to Fannie Mae and buy back $6.75 billion in loans that the bank and its Countrywide Financial unit sold to the agency from Jan. 1, 2000, through Dec. 31, 2008. That includes about 30,000 loans.

The bank is also paying $1.3 billion to the agency for failing to deal with foreclosures fast enough.

Read more: Bank of America reaches $11.6 billion settlement with Fannie Mae - The Denver Post

Banks out $8.5 bil for loan abuse

WASHINGTON - Ten major banks agreed Monday to pay $8.5 billion to settle federal complaints that they wrongfully foreclosed on homeowners who should have been allowed to stay in their homes.

The banks, which include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, will pay billions to homeowners to end a review process of foreclosure files that was required under a 2011 enforcement action. The review was ordered because banks mishandled people's paperwork and skipped required steps in the foreclosure process.

The settlement was announced jointly by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve.

Read more: Banks out $8.5 bil for loan abuse

Banks out $8.5 bil for loan abuse

WASHINGTON - Ten major banks agreed Monday to pay $8.5 billion to settle federal complaints that they wrongfully foreclosed on homeowners who should have been allowed to stay in their homes.

The banks, which include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, will pay billions to homeowners to end a review process of foreclosure files that was required under a 2011 enforcement action. The review was ordered because banks mishandled people's paperwork and skipped required steps in the foreclosure process.

The settlement was announced jointly by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve.

Read more: Banks out $8.5 bil for loan abuse

El Monte Plaza sells for $9.9M

Thanks to the Valley’s revived retail real-estate market, developer Michael Pollack closed two deals just before the end of 2012, selling one property in central Phoenix and buying another in Tempe.

Pollack, CEO of Michael A. Pollack Real Estate Investments, sold Phoenix’s El Monte Plaza on Dec.21 for $9.9million. The shopping center is near 19th and Dunlap avenues. Three days later, he bought the smaller Tempe shopping center, near Scottsdale Road and Hancock Avenue, for $2.6million.

Pollack said fiscal-cliff fears motivated him to close the deals before Jan.1.

“It felt like a race against the clock,” he said.

Read more: El Monte Plaza sells for $9.9M

El Monte Plaza sells for $9.9M

Thanks to the Valley’s revived retail real-estate market, developer Michael Pollack closed two deals just before the end of 2012, selling one property in central Phoenix and buying another in Tempe.

Pollack, CEO of Michael A. Pollack Real Estate Investments, sold Phoenix’s El Monte Plaza on Dec.21 for $9.9million. The shopping center is near 19th and Dunlap avenues. Three days later, he bought the smaller Tempe shopping center, near Scottsdale Road and Hancock Avenue, for $2.6million.

Pollack said fiscal-cliff fears motivated him to close the deals before Jan.1.

“It felt like a race against the clock,” he said.

Read more: El Monte Plaza sells for $9.9M

Friday, January 18, 2013

Will Added Competition Threaten First-Time Homebuyers?

First-time homebuyers, as any agent knows, are one of the most important demographics to a healthy real estate market, and the increasing market share of first-time homebuyers has been one of the many positive developments of the housing recovery heading in to 2013.  Read more...  http://chicagoagentmagazine.com/will-added-competition-threaten-first-time-homebuyers/?om_rid=AADuC-&om_mid=_BQIKEB8wXBjN4&om_ntype=REBACHSWeekly

Will Added Competition Threaten First-Time Homebuyers?

First-time homebuyers, as any agent knows, are one of the most important demographics to a healthy real estate market, and the increasing market share of first-time homebuyers has been one of the many positive developments of the housing recovery heading in to 2013.  Read more...  http://chicagoagentmagazine.com/will-added-competition-threaten-first-time-homebuyers/?om_rid=AADuC-&om_mid=_BQIKEB8wXBjN4&om_ntype=REBACHSWeekly

Thursday, January 17, 2013

US homebuilder confidence steady near 7-year high

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Confidence among U.S. homebuilders held steady in January at the highest level in nearly seven years, but builders are feeling slightly less optimistic about their prospects for sales over the next six months. Read more....  http://news.yahoo.com/us-homebuilder-confidence-steady-near-7-high-150239351--finance.html

US homebuilder confidence steady near 7-year high

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Confidence among U.S. homebuilders held steady in January at the highest level in nearly seven years, but builders are feeling slightly less optimistic about their prospects for sales over the next six months. Read more....  http://news.yahoo.com/us-homebuilder-confidence-steady-near-7-high-150239351--finance.html

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