Industry News

Homeownership Decline Outpaces All but Great Depression

The national homeownership rate fell by 1.1 percentage points between 2000 and 2010. The U.S. Census Bureau says it’s the steepest drop since the period from 1930 to 1940, when the rate plummeted by 4.2 percentage points.

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Mortgage Delinquencies Rise as Home Retention Actions Drop:

Report Data released Thursday by a federal banking regulator provides a snapshot of mortgage performance over the second quarter of this year – both early stage and serious delinquencies increased slightly compared to the previous three-month period while new modification actions fell nearly 20 percent.

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Survey: Home Prices Expected to Increase 1.1% Over Next Five Years

Home prices are expected to grow at an average annual rate of just 1.1 percent through 2015, according to a survey released Wednesday by New Jersey-based MacroMarkets LLC.

The Home Price Expectations Survey, conducted by Pulsenomics LLC on behalf of MacroMarkets, is based on the S&P/Case-Shiller index over the next five years.

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10 million More Mortgages Set to Default, Expert Says 

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011, 10:39 am

Roughly 10.4 million mortgages, or one in five outstanding home loans in the U.S., will likely default if Congress refuses to implement new policy changes to prevent and sell more foreclosures, according to analyst Laurie Goodman from Amherst Securities Group.

At the end of the second quarter, more than 2.7 million long-delinquent loans, others in foreclosure and REO properties sat in the shadow inventory, more than double what it was in the first quarter of 2010 (Click to expand the chart below). With the market averaging roughly 90,000 loan liquidations per month, it would take 32 months, nearly three years, to move through the overhang.

And that number is contingent on no other loans going into default.

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Fannie, Freddie refi market set to enter housing Twilight Zone

Friday, September 2nd, 2011, 12:24 pm

U.S. residential mortgage lending volume will struggle to reach the mid-$800 billion range in 2012, according to market research, as the recent boom in refinancings dries up at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Furthermore, the report from iEmergent, paints a picture of a housing market floating in its own Twilight Zone — a reality where “the distribution and location of local lending opportunities will continue to re-shape and reset the long-term home financing prospects and projections for most U.S. communities.”

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Short Sales Rising

Short sales are increasing as a percentage of home sales in many states, helping some neighborhoods and homeowners avoid the more devastating impacts of foreclosures.

Short sales — when lenders allow financially strapped borrowers to sell homes for less than their unpaid mortgage — accounted for 12% of home sales nationwide in the second quarter. That’s up from 10% in the same period last year, says researcher RealtyTrac.

The increases were sharper in some states, including California, Nevada, Michigan, Georgia and Colorado, the data show.

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S&P: Shadow inventory levels begin to improve

The amount of time it would take for the housing market to move through properties lingering in the foreclosure system is finally improving.

Standard & Poor’s analysts estimate it would take 47 months for the housing market to work through the shadow inventory, according to their second quarter research note. They revised that down from 52 months in the first quarter, the first decline since the middle of 2009.

At the end of last year, S&P said the market would need 44 months to move through the inventory and at the end of September 2010, analysts estimated it at 40 months.

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Delinquent mortgage borrowers 25% above pre-crash levels

Friday, August 12th, 2011, 8:36 pm

There are 25% more borrowers paying their mortgage 60 days late than before the financial crisis in 2007, according to the consumer credit company Experian.

Researchers took a look at borrower behavior on credit cards and mortgages at a city-by-city level from the second quarter of 2006 to the second quarter of 2011. They found more borrowers are making an effort to bring cards current that hasn’t been seen for home loans (see the chart below).

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Fannie Mae Requests $5B in Taxpayer Support After Q2 Loss

Fannie Mae’s second-quarter loss narrowed significantly from the previous quarter, but still in the red, the GSE says it needs to draw another $5 billion from Treasury, bringing its tally of taxpayer-funded support to $104.8 billion since the company was placed into conservatorship.

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Survey: Realtors Dislike Working with Lenders During Short Sale Process

Realtors are having trouble working with lenders during the short sale process, according to a California Association of Realtors survey.

In the June survey distributed to Realtors in California’s Central Valley to determine their satisfaction with lenders, more than half characterized a short sale transaction as either “difficult” or “extremely difficult to close.” Most of the Realtors that responded to the survey dealt with Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase.

“Despite assurances by lenders in recent months that they would improve their short sale processes, clearly, not enough is being done,” said Don Faught, treasurer of the California Association of Realtors. “Lenders are out of touch with the realities of the market and the consequences to struggling homeowners, and the result is unnecessary foreclosures that only make California’s economic problems worse, hindering a desperately needed recovery.”

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Foreclosure activity in the first half of 2011 dropped in 84%

Thursday, July 28th, 2011, 6:38 am
Foreclosure activity in the first half of 2011 dropped in 84% of the 211 metropolitan areas surveyed by foreclosure data firm RealtyTrac.

Despite foreclosure rates improving in most major markets, RealtyTrac analysts believe the slowdown is a side effect of numerous legislative and judicial decisions that are slowing the process as opposed to a genuine clearing of excess inventory.

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Colorado ranked No. 8 in foreclosures

It’s the top 10 list that Colorado never wanted to be on, but it can’t seem to get off.

Colorado was ranked No. 8 in the nation for its foreclosure rate in August, according to a report by Irvine,  Calif.-based RealtyTrac.

Colorado showed a 17.93 percent increase in all foreclosure activity – from initial filings to REOs, or Real Estate Owned, when the bank takes over a property – from July, far out-pacing the national average of a mere 0.47 percent month-to-month increase, according to RealtryTrac.

And from August 2008 to last month, Colorado experienced a 30.69 percent increase, more than double the overall national increase of 17.97 percent, according to the company, which tracks and sells foreclosure data. But that was largely because of a change in a state law.

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Short sale fraud plagues the housing market

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Just as the housing market began to collapse near the end of 2007, a real estate agent in Bridgeport, Conn. asked Regions Bank if it would accept a $102,375 bid on a home that was underwater on its mortgage. Under the impression that this was the best offer on the home, Regions agreed to the short sale and released the mortgage it owned on the home.

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Amherst Analyst: Home Price Stabilization May be Short Lived

The Home Affordable Modification Program has succeeded in limiting the supply of distressed properties to hit the market and, as a result, has helped stabilize prices. That success may be short-lived.

Laurie Goodman, a senior managing director at Amherst Holdings LLC’s Amherst Securities Group LP, warned in a research note this week that the massive shadow inventory of homes waiting to go into foreclosure will inevitably lead to a double dip in home prices.

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Investors Plead Guilty to Bid-Rigging at California Foreclosure Auctions

Eight California real estate investors have agreed to plead guilty for conspiring to rig bids at public foreclosure auctions in Northern California.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the investors face felony charges for conspiring to fix bids by agreeing to refrain from bidding against one another.

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Report: Slow Foreclosures and Oversupply Fuel Market Declines


Backlogged foreclosures, severe oversupply, and negative equity triggered a further decline in home prices in April, according to the latest RPXMonthly Housing Market Report from Radar Logic.

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The Million Dollar Question: Have Home Prices Bottomed?

June 28, 2011

Woohoo! The April P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showed a monthly increase* in home prices for the first time in eight months today.

On a month-over-month basis, the 10- and 20-City Composites were up 0.8% and 0.7% in April versus March. The chart below illustrates the annualized returns of the 10-City and the 20-City Composite Home Price Indices.  In April 2011, the 10-City and 20-City Composites recorded annual declines of -3.1% and -4.0%, respectively.

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More consumers forced to rent due to foreclosure

Friday, June 24th, 2011, 12:33 pm

The ranks of apartment dwellers have grown as homebuyers lose homes to foreclosure, according to property managers.

TransUnion surveyed more than 1,100 property managers across the country in early June to identify trends in the rental space. The credit reporting agency polled about 1,000 small property managers with 200 units or less and 167 large property managers with more than 200 units.

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