gregorylnewton

A Site For All Your Needs

Archive for the tag “real estate”

Housing improves in hard-hit swing states

By Tami Luhby @CNNMoney

Housing gains may not register with voters, especially in swing states, ahead of the election.

At long last, the housing market is improving in Nevada, Florida and other important swing states that were some of the hardest hit during the downturn.

But that probably won’t win President Obama a lot of points at the election polls, according to some experts.

On the national front, home pricesand home sales are up, whileforeclosures are down. The swing states are also seeing some positive results.

In Nevada, there were just over 14,000 foreclosure filings in the second quarter, less than half the amount the year before, according to RealtyTrac. Foreclosure sales are on the decline after a state law last year cracked down on loan servicers’ practices, while short sales are on the rise. Short sales are better for neighborhoods because the homes are often maintained better and command higher prices.

Get a home in one of Money’s Best Places to Live for as much as $94,000 off.

The median price of a single family home in the Las Vegas area, by far the largest market in the state, has climbed 9% over the past year, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

And in Florida, foreclosures are creeping up again as banks recover from their paperwork fiasco, which forced them to greatly slow the number of delinquent homeowners they brought to court. But it’s still down by about a third from 2010 figures.

The typical single family home is selling for 7.8% more than it did a year ago, according to Florida Realtors. Median sales prices are the highest they’ve been since 2009.

Home prices are up thanks to a rebound in employment and in the stock market, said John Tuccillo, chief economist for the Realtors group. Investors, particularly from abroad, are once again realizing the Sunshine State is a good place to buy, he said.

In Ohio, prices rose 4.9%, according to the Ohio Association of Realtors. Foreclosures, however, are on the upswing.

Related: Obama’s economy: A snapshot

But rising home prices don’t mean there aren’t any dark clouds hovering over the swing states. The good news about housing doesn’t seem to be trickling down to voters, who still view their states as being stuck in a real estate slump with little improvement.

“The housing market is starting to recover in most areas of the country, but most consumers don’t realize it,” said John Burns, head of John Burns Real Estate Consulting. “The word hasn’t gotten out that home prices are appreciating again.”

One main concern that’s dampening homeowners’ enthusiasm is the number of homes that are underwater, or worth less than the mortgage. Nearly 31% of homeowners nationwide are in this predicament, a disproportionate number of them younger than 40, according to Zillow.

That problem is amplified in some of the swing states.

In the metro Las Vegas area, more than two-thirds of borrowers are underwater. More than half of Orlando borrowers owe more than their homes are worth, while in the Miami-Fort-Lauderdale market nearly 44% do. In Cleveland and Columbus, one-third are underwater.

Also, many would-be buyers are finding it tough to get approved for mortgages, while homeowners seeking to refinance to lower interest rates are also being stymied by bank bureaucracy.

“We’re significantly better off than we were two years ago, but there are still enough problems remaining for people to be concerned about their housing situation,” Tuccillo said.

Will it be enough to sway swing state voters?

For the most part, the presidential candidates are largely ignoring the housing market.

While Obama launched a series of efforts to try to fix housing since he first took office in 2009, they were mostly viewed as ineffective. Not many new ideas have been included in his 2012 campaign either.

His challenger, Mitt Romney, does not list any housing fixes in his economic proposal. And the Republican platform unveiled last week talks only of dismantling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and curtailing the Federal Housing Administration.

Ultimately, many voters will tie the recovery of the housing market to the recovery of the job market, Burns said. So they will pick the candidate they think can best boost the economy.

Housing improves in hard-hit swing states

Advertisements

New home sales surge to 2-year high; prices rising

New home sales, prices rise

New sales of single-family homes soared to their highest point since April 2010, according to the government.

By Tiffany Hsu

New sales of single-family homes soared to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 369,000 in May, reaching their highest point since April 2010, according to the government.

Sales were 7.6% above April’s 343,000 rate and 19.8% above the 380,000 level reached in May 2011, according to the Commerce Department. The measure had dipped 1.1% last month from March.

The median sales price of new homes sold in May was $234,000, up nearly 2% from April and a 5.6% boost from last year.

Compared with last year, sales in all regions were up. From April, the Northeast enjoyed 36.7% more sales, but the Midwest slumped 10.6% while the West tumbled 3.5%.

The housing market has been squeezed by more demand than supply. Inventory of new homes for sale rose for the first time in more than a year to 145,000.

The new data add another layer to the ongoing debate over the status of the real estate recovery. Last week, research showed builders breaking ground on fewer homes in May but requesting the most permits in nearly four years. Home-builder confidence is still weak but home prices are turning around. Mortgage rates are at record lows.

RELATED:

Median home price in Southland climbs

Shortage of homes for sale creates fierce competition

Building permits at 4-year high, single-family housing starts up

 

Newton Real Estate Services – What Do Full Service Real Estate Brokers And Agents Do To Earn All That Money?

Newton Credit Card Blog – Find the best Credit Card for you. “Customers and credit card issuers aren’t always on same page when it comes to understanding the terms of the deal.”

gregorylnewton – Welcome to Newt1956

Gregory L Newton – My Tumblr

Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Rise as Market Stabilizes: Economy

Previously occupied homes represent 80 per cent of the overall home market.

By Shobhana Chandra

Sales of existing U.S. homes rose in April, driven by broad-based gains in demand that signal the market is stabilizing.

Purchases, tabulated when a contract closes, increased 3.4 percent to a 4.62 million annual rate, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. The median price jumped by the most in six years.

Owner-occupied properties are taking over from all-cash deals by investors snapping up distressed houses, the agent’s group said. Employment gains, depressed prices and record-low mortgage rates may bring more dwellings within reach of Americans, eliminating a source of weakness for the world’s largest economy just as risks from Europe’s debt crisis climb.

“We are making incremental progress,” said Millan Mulraine, a senior U.S. strategist at TD Securities Inc. in New York, who correctly forecast the sales pace. “People are becoming more confident about job prospects and about taking on mortgages. This is all positive for the economy.”

Stocks climbed after the report. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.5 percent to 1,322.63 at 12:04 p.m. in New York. The S&P Supercomposite Homebuilder index jumped 2.4 percent.

The April sales pace was in line with the 4.61 million median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Estimates of the 73 economists ranged from 4.47 million to 4.8 million. The prior month’s pace was revised to 4.47 million, from a previously reported 4.48 million. April’s total was just shy of the 4.63 million reached in January that was the highest in almost two years.

Europe and Asia

Elsewhere, U.K. consumer prices climbed 3 percent in April from a year earlier after a 3.5 percent gain in the 12 months ended in March, the Office for National Statistics said today in London. The rate is within the government’s boundaries for the first time since February 2010.

Japan’s foreign investments and assets, meantime, grew to the second-highest level on record as companies used the stronger yen to make acquisitions abroad.

The U.S. real estate market’s improvement has been slow to evolve. Existing-home sales climbed to 4.26 million last year from 4.19 million in 2010. Demand peaked at 7.1 million in 2005 during the housing boom. In 2008, sales totaled 4.11 million, the least since 1995. Resales may rise to a 4.6 million to 4.7 million range this year and reach as much as 4.8 million in 2013, the Realtors group projected this month.

“We are breaking out,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in a news conference today as the figures were released. “With each passing month, there is job creation. Affordability has been very high. This is a very good combination.”

Median Price

The median price of an existing home climbed 10 percent to $177,400 from $161,100 in April 2011, today’s report showed. It was the biggest year-to-year gain since January 2006 and reflected a seasonal mix in demand toward bigger houses and fewer distressed sales, Yun said.

Families return to the market at this time before the start of a new school year, pushing up demand, he said. Cash transactions, distressed properties and investors accounted for a smaller share of all purchases last month, he said.

Purchases improved in all four regions, led by a 5.1 percent gain in the Northeast.

The number of previously owned homes on the market climbed 9.5 percent to 2.54 million. At the current sales pace, it would take 6.6 months to sell those houses compared with 6.2 months in March. April is usually the peak, or close to the peak, month for inventory for the year, Yun said.
Single-Family Homes

Sales of existing single-family homes increased 3 percent to an annual rate of 4.09 million, while those of multifamily properties, including condominiums and townhouses, rose 6 percent to a 530,000 pace.

The group’s affordability index, which is based on a combination of resale prices, household income and mortgage rates, reached a record high in the first quarter, a report this month showed.

Borrowing costs remain attractive. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to an all-time low of 3.79 percent in the week ended May 17, according to data from Freddie Mac going back to 1971. The average 15-year rate dropped to 3.04 percent, also a record low, the McLean, Virginia-based mortgage- finance company said.

Rising employment and incomes may provide more support for housing. The unemployment rate fell in April to a three-year low of 8.1 percent as employers added 115,000 jobs, according to Labor Department figures.

Pulte Orders

PulteGroup Inc., the largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue, said orders rose 15 percent to 4,991 homes in its first quarter, and backlogs increased 12 percent to 5,798 homes.

“It was the first quarter in several years that fundamental demand came in stronger than expected,” Richard Dugas, chief executive officer of the Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based company, said during an April 26 conference call with analysts. “We are pleased with how the year has started off, including a continuation of better sales activity thus far in April.”

Foreclosure filings fell to a five-year low in April as lenders sought to avoid seizing property. The number of default, auction and seizure notices sent to homeowners totaled 188,780 last month, down 14 percent from a year earlier and 5 percent from March, according to RealtyTrac Inc.

Read more: 

Real-Estate-Services – Real-Estate-Services

Newton Real Estate Services – What Do Full Service Real Estate Brokers And Agents Do To Earn All That Money?

Your Insurance Journal – Get Daily Updates From The Insurance News Authority

Credit-Cards – Credit-Cards & Credit Debt

Bank of America Getting Into the Landlord Business

By: Diana Olick

Bank of America, the nation’s second-largest lender, is launching a pilot program this week that will offer a limited number of customers behind on their mortgages to transition from owner to renter.

The bank, which was saddled with thousands of delinquent loans when it took over mortgage giant Countrywide, says that beginning this week “in targeted hard-hit markets,” it will offer a limited number of mortgage customers who are facing foreclosure an opportunity to remain in their homes, and transition to tenant status. The program is called “Mortgage to Lease.”

“This pilot will help determine whether conversion from homeownership to rental is something our customers, the community and investors will support,” said Ron Sturzenegger, Legacy Asset Servicing executive at Bank of America in a statement. “This program may have the potential to further round out the broad set of solutions we offer our customers in need of assistance.”

Watch Video Here!

Borrowers will not be able to apply for the program, rather it is through “invitation” only, and the pilot will be less than 1,000 customers. It will be tested in Arizona, Nevada, and New York.

Sell your Home By Owner and Save Thousands!

“Pilot participants will transfer title to their properties to the bank and have their outstanding mortgage debt forgiven. In exchange, they may lease their home for up to three years at or below the current market rental rate,” according to a statement. The rent will be less than the mortgage payment and the (former) homeowner will have no financial obligations to the property, like taxes and insurance.

Bank of America [BAC] will work through property management companies to handle the pilot. This announcement comes just after FHFA, the regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, last month launched a pilot program for investors to buy Fannie Mae properties in bulk, as long as they rent them for a number of years.

A Bank of America spokesman tells CNBC, “We’ll own the properties only in the pilot and only initially. If a decision is made to roll out a full program, Bank of America would not be in the ownership position at all.”

Bank of America Getting Into the Landlord Business

Sell your home on ForSaleByOwner.com and pay 0% Real Estate commissions

Purchases of New Houses in U.S. Decrease for Second Month

By Timothy R. Homan

Purchases of new homes in the U.S. unexpectedly fell in February for a second month, a sign the recovery in the housing market may be uneven.

Sales dropped 1.6 percent to a 313,000 annual pace, the slowest since October, from a 318,000 rate in January that was weaker than previously reported, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 78 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for 325,000.

Sales of new homes are struggling to gain momentum amid increasing competition from foreclosures, which are hurting all property values. Nonetheless, a pickup in hiring, growing incomes and mortgage rates near a record low are making all houses more affordable, which may help underpin the market.

Are you missing mortgage payments? Become a tenant in your home and pay 40-60% of your current payments. Click here to find out how!

“There are signs of life in the market in certain regions, but we’re not seeing a broad-based recovery,” said Michelle Meyer, a senior U.S. economist at Bank of America Corp. in New York, who forecast a 310,000 sales pace. “Builders are still competing with existing inventories. The spring selling season should show some modest improvement, but it will be limited.”

Stocks dropped after the report. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.4 percent to 1,387.71 at 10:13 a.m. in New York.

Economists’ estimates ranged from 310,000 to 350,000. The rate for January was previously reported at 321,000.

Taking Longer

The recent slowdown in demand has pushed up the amount of time it takes to sell a new house. There were 150,000 new houses on the market at the end of February, matching the prior month’s record low. The supply of homes at the current sales rate climbed to 5.8 months’ worth from 5.7 months in January.

Purchases, tabulated when contracts are signed, fell in two of the four U.S. regions, led by a 7.2 percent drop in the South. Sales fell 2.4 percent in the Midwest and rose 14 percent in the Northeast and 8 percent in the West.

The regional breakdown affected prices as demand fell in the South and Midwest where homes are less expensive and rose in the Northeast and West where they are costlier.

Don’t pay full price for your home. Visit RealtyTrac for homes at half price.

The median sales price increased 6.2 percent in February from the same month last year to $233,700, today’s report showed.

New-home sales have lost their ability to forecast the broader market as demand shifts to previously owned houses. Purchases of existing homes are calculated when a deal closes about a month or two later. New properties made up almost 7 percent of the market last year, down from a high of 15 percent during the last decade’s housing boom.

Existing Homes

Existing-home purchases eased to a 4.59 million annual rate last month from a 4.63 million pace in January, the National Association of Realtors reported this week. Even with the decline, January and February sales marked the strongest start to a year since 2007.

Home foreclosures remain a concern for builders. Filings fell 8 percent in February, the smallest year-over-year decrease since October 2010, as lenders began working through a backlog of seized properties, RealtyTrac Inc. said last week.

RealtyTrac is your destination for housing foreclosures.

“February’s numbers point to a gradually rising foreclosure tide,” Brandon Moore, RealtyTrac’s chief executive officer, said in the statement. “That should result in more states posting annual increases in the coming months.”

To hold down borrowing costs like mortgage rates, Federal Reserve policy makers last week said they will continue to swap $400 billion in short-term securities with long-term debt to lengthen the average maturity of the central bank’s holdings, a move dubbed Operation Twist.

More Affordable

The NAR’s affordability index climbed to a record high in January, underpinning demand. That may be why builders are gaining confidence.

Builders this year have broken ground on homes at the fastest pace since October-November 2008, according to Commerce Department figures released this week. Permits for construction climbed to the highest level since 2008, the same report showed.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence in March held at the highest level since June 2007. Sales expectations climbed for a sixth month, according to the March 19 report.

Free List of Foreclosures!

Ryland Group Inc. (RYL), which builds homes with an average price of $255,000 in 13 states, said it has a positive outlook for 2012.

“We finished the year on a strong note, entered the year optimistic and still feel fairly optimistic today,” Larry Nicholson, president and chief executive officer at the Westlake Village, California-based company, said March 6 at an investor conference. “The good thing about the traffic we are seeing is it’s new traffic. We feel a lot better than we did a year ago. Hopefully, we can keep this trend up.”

Purchases of New Houses in U.S. Decrease for Second Month

Newton Real Estate Services

Newton Real Estate Services

Newton Real Estate Services.

Post Navigation