June 18th, 2010
The U.S. Senate voted to extend the home buyer tax credit closing deadline to Sept. 30 on Wednesday. This would give an estimated 180,000 buyers who met the contract deadline of April 30 extra time to close the transaction.
The extension was added to a bill to pay for jobless benefits. One-third of qualified applicants have been notified that they will be unable to close by the deadline, estimates the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. The Mortgage Bankers Association says delays are caused largely by the volume of transactions. The measure still must be approved by the House.
June 17th, 2010
The market retracted after the government tax credits expired leaving the home builder confidence to fall.
The market index slid to 17 in June, down five points to the lowest level since March says the National Association of Home Builders. Any number below 50 is considered negative.
Many analysts saw it as an omen of more bad news to come when the post-tax credit slowdown. Even though it came as no surprise. According to Paul Dales, an economist with Capital Economics, this is a wakeup call to the fact that the market will struggle to stand on its own two feet without the tax credit. “The double-dip in both activity and prices that we have been expecting for some time appears to have begun”, he added.
June 16th, 2010
Beijing-based Century 21 China announced that it is buying 11 real estate brokerages in the Bao’an district of Shenzhen on Monday.
The Chinese government has been cooling housing to avoid a possible boom-and-bust cycle. The company is positioning itself to expand when housing normalizes, says Century 21 China CEO Donald Zhang.
Century 21’s China network covers 35 major cities with more than 1,200 sales offices, more than 17,500 sales professionals and staff, and more than 5.6 million property listings as of March 31, 2010.
June 15th, 2010
According to a new study released by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, some recovery in the labor market and record low mortgage rates could help offset some of the pressures on the housing market.
Eric Belsky, executive director of the center, said in a statement that right now economists expect the unemployment rate to stay high, but if employment growth surprises on the upside or downside, housing numbers could too.
The center added that the home owners’ level of debt relative to equity stood at a record 163 percent at the beginning of the year, and housing costs have become a severe burden for more borrowers.
June 14th, 2010
According to RBS Securities Inc, the number of U.S. borrowers failing to pay their mortgages has fallen significantly in the last few months.
An average of 2.6 percent failed to pay at least once in March, April or May among the borrowers with subprime loans wrapped into bonds issued in 2007 who had never previously missed a payment. This indicates a drop from 3.7 percent in February and a 15 percent decline after seasonal adjustments, calculates RBS.
Paul Jablansky, Desmond Macauley, and Ying Wang, analysts at the Royal Bank of Scotland, wrote in a June 8 report that the last few months’ performance points to a fundamentally positive shift in borrower behavior.
June 10th, 2010
According to real estate and legal experts, the housing crisis will spark a wave of lawsuits filed by lenders seeking to recoup loses on home sales and foreclosure auctions that do not return enough money to pay the mortgages in full.
The companies will begin to sue home owners in the next two years, including borrowers who ransack a house that has been lost to foreclosure and those who walk away from “underwater mortgages,” with hopes of discouraging others from such behavior.
Lenders are unlikely to target borrowers who negotiate in good faith or have defaulted on their home due to job loss or other unforeseen circumstances; other borrowers could be hounded by collection agencies that have purchased their mortgage debt from their lender.
June 9th, 2010
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke predicted a slow economic recovery, with unemployment rates in the double digits for the near term during a question-and-answer session at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on June 7.
“Even though technically we’ll be in recovery and the economy will be growing, unemployment will still be high for a while and that means that a lot of people will be under financial stress,” he explained. The interest rate increases likely would resume before the job market fully recovers, Bernanke added.
June 8th, 2010
The number of delinquent home mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration has declined for the third consecutive month. The delinquency rate which was 8.5 percent in April is still high. However the rate was down from 9.4 percent in January.
According to David Stevens, the FHA’s commissioner, they are not declaring victory by any stretch. “There’s plenty of room for caution,” he added. The FHA was unwilling to applaud this as good news.
But outside analysts were more positive. “It’s a very important trend to the extent that we’re not continuing to get worse,” says Thomas Lawler, an independent housing economist in Leesburg, Va.
June 7th, 2010
The real estate practitioners are among the people trying to collect compensation from BP for income loss caused by the oil spill.
Claim centers have been opened in four states namely Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida where residents who lost income due to the spill can request compensation.
Only Florida is reporting its numbers. BP has paid $75,725 to begin settling 446 claims against it for income lost from rental properties, over the last three weeks. It paid another $5,000 to begin settling losses due to stalled real estate sales.
BP CEO Tony Hayward said in a TV commercial, “We will honor all legitimate claims, and our clean-up efforts will not come at any cost to taxpayers.”
June 4th, 2010
Take a look at china if anyone thinks that the US housing bubble was bad.
According to Standard & Poor’s the Official Chinese data shows real estate prices in 70 cities climbing 12.8 percent in April, an unsustainable rise for the country.
A typical 970-square-foot apartment in Beijing cost $278,160 in 2009, 111 times the average household annual income in the city of $2,514. In comparison, the average U.S. home sold for $316,800 in 2007, 5.4 times the median household income of $58,480.
Li Daokui, a member of China’s Central bank monetary policy committee, told the Financial Times that the housing market problem in China is actually much, much more fundamental, much bigger than the housing market problem in the U.S. and U.K. before the financial crisis