News Archives: May 2011

Homeownership Declines as Prices Continue to Fall

It is universally expected that today’s housing index report will confirm the double-dip recession in the housing market when housing prices officially fall below the bottom of March, 2009. It seems that the government’s zeal to give more people the American Dream of homeownership has backfired, leading the nation instead from Generation X and Y to “Generation Rent.” The falling prices are a sign of falling homeownership, which will soon dip to levels of the …

 
Foreclosures Provide the Bargains; Rising Rents & Interest Could Spark the Sales

Whenever I start thinking that the housing market can’t go any lower, I read the day’s news on foreclosure sales and remind myself that the real bottom, in terms of home values, lies at the bottom of the glut of bank-owned properties. RealtyTrak reported yesterday that 28 percent of U.S. homes sold in the first three months of 2011 were in foreclosure or already owned by the bank, and the price of these homes was …

 
May 26, 2011 Housing Market News Updates

National Association of Realtors president Ron Phillips fights to keep FHA down payment levels at 3.5%.  Full Story… Strong demand for single-family rental properties propel investor confidence.  Full Story… Foreclosures still represent 28% of home sales in the U.S.  Full Story… Five major banks facing $17billion in civil lawsuits overforeclosure practices.  Full Story…

 
Bankrupt the Economy, or Increase Foreclosure Rate?

We’ve been hearing an awful lot of political banter about raising the debt ceiling in recent weeks, but now we’re starting to see some articles, all spawned by a report from the Center for American Progress, telling us that failure to raise the debt ceiling will “torpedo the housing market” and result in “economic pain and a high foreclosure rate.” Possible, I suppose – but continuing to borrow boatloads of money could sink the whole …

 
Easier Short Sales Could Speed Up Recovery

Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geitner, told Politico yesterday that the recovery of the housing market has “several more years to go.” Confirmation of what is obvious to most observers still begs the question of how we can fix it faster. Some insiders are pointing more and more to short sales – selling the home for less than the mortgage balance owed to the lender – as a good way to reduce the growing inventory of foreclosed …

 
Housing Is Stalling U.S. and World Economic Recovery

The U.S. housing market – once the crown jewel of the economy in those glorious bubble years – is now holding back the recovery of the broader economic picture, both domestically and globally. Bloomberg is reporting today that the yield on 10-year Treasuries is already within 5 basis points (five hundredths of one percent) of the year’s low, and that was before the government released a report forecasting a continued and difficult struggle for the …

 
Positive Indicators Don’t Abound…But They Do Exist!

I was looking for a ray of sunshine in the housing market to start off the week – no easy task – and I may have found it. While the national ivory tower gurus are still focused on foreclosures and declining values, some of the local realtors who are actually in the trenches battling the monsters see signs of hope. Of course, every locality and region is different, but you can still look for these …

 
Housing Values Down… Property Taxes Up

It seems counter-intuitive at first, but as our homes become worth less and less the property taxes we are required to pay keep increasing. Housing prices have been decreasing at a rate of 18 percent a year since 2006, according to Fox Business, but during the same period property taxes have been going up at a rate of 7 percent a year.  And the 2010 census shows that revenues from property taxes increased from $365 …

 
Cost of Living Higher for Renters

So, here’s the dilemma for millions of Americans: The general economic crisis has left them with no cash for a down payment, and bouts of unemployment or job insecurity have left them with poor credit and an uncertain income. Those are the main reasons people give for being shy of the housing and mortgage markets – but families still need somewhere to live. The problem is that it is generally much more expensive to rent …

 
Is the Housing Crisis Changing America?

The lengthy housing market downturn combined with a severe credit crunch may change the complexion of the housing market, the economy, and the state of the American middle class for decades to come. The first symptom of this is the huge fall-off in first time buyers. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to figure out that people who sell one house and buy another do nothing to reduce the inventory of homes on the market; …

 
Fannie Pushing to Increase Loan Quality

You can sleep well. Fannie Mae is undertaking a push toward better quality loans! Well, let’s not break out the champagne quite yet, as it might take a while longer to completely restore America’s confidence in the quasi “private” agency that (together with Freddie Mac) buys up about 90% of America’s mortgages on the secondary market. After all, it was just a few months ago that they relaxed their lending standards to included applicants with …

 
Housing Market in a Double-Dip Recession

A double dip is great for ice cream cones and pool parties, but it’s not so good for recessions. We’ve been hearing the term kicked around for a few years now, and last week one big property valuation outsourcing firm, Clear Capital, reported that the U.S. housing market was officially in double-dip territory. The broader economy may or may not follow suit, but a second wave of steep declines in home prices indicates that the …

 
Housing Market Confusion: Recovering or Declining?

Whether you open a newspaper, magazine, or turn on the TV news it’s hard to avoid the mixed signals and just plain contradictory headlines regarding the state of the housing market that greet us daily. One guru tells us that there’s nothing but roses from now on while the next expert is spewing gloom and doom that he sees lasting into the next decade. So, what’s the truth – and what difference does it make …