The Norris Group Real Estate News Roundup 3/22/12

Today’s News Synopsis:

In a big story in the news, mortgage rates are slowly but surely continuing to increase and are now above 4%.  Prices of homes had the smallest decrease in two years last January at 0.8%.  The Labor Department reported claims of unemployment decreased to 348,000 last week.

In The News:

DS News“Mortgages Rates Up, With 30-Year Fixed Above 4 Percent” (3-22-12)

“Moving along side higher yields on bonds, mortgage rates continued to climb upwards, with the 30-year fixed rate mortgage above the 4 percent benchmark for the first time since October 27, 2011, according Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.”

Realty Times“Two-Study Mashup Reveals Rental Market Boom Towns” (3-22-12)

“There’s a mother lode of single-family home investment opportunities popping up around the nation, with big, fat, shiny veins snaking through the Golden State and the Sunshine State.  In a first quarter 2012 ranking of top rental property investment markets, California, from San Diego to Sacramento, yielded 12 markets.”

Bloomberg“U.S. Home Prices Have Smallest Decline in More Than 2 Years” (3-22-12)

U.S. home prices fell 0.8 percent in January from a year earlier, the smallest decline in more than two years, as the U.S. property market begins to stabilize.”

Housing Wire“FHFA: Home prices level off in January” (3-22-12)

“Home prices remained unchanged in January from a downwardly adjusted December level, but fell 0.8% from a year earlier, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s index.”

DS News“New York Foreclosure Firm Settles With State for $4M” (3-22-12)

“New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced a $4 million settlement with a New York foreclosure law firm due to abuses in its foreclosure-related legal work.”

San Francisco Chronicle“Buying a home cheaper than renting in most places” (3-22-12)

“Purchasing a home is cheaper than renting in 98 out of the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, a survey by real estate site Trulia showed.”

Bloomberg“Insurance Upstart Signals U.S. Housing Rebound: Mortgages” (3-22-12)

“Reports of the U.S. mortgage- insurance industry’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.  NMI Holdings, a new home-loan guarantor, has hired investment bank FBR & Co. (FBRC) to help it raise $550 million after record homeowner defaults felled three competitors and left all but one of the survivors with junk credit grades, according to two people familiar with the company’s plans. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) are among the backers of another upstart, Essent Guaranty Inc.”

Housing Wire“Weekly jobless claims fall 5,000 to 4-year low” (3-22-12)

“Initial jobless claims fell to 348,000 for the week ended March 17 from an upwardly adjusted 353,000 a week earlier, according to the Labor Department.”

CNN Money“Job challenges loom for war vets” (3-22-12)

“Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan face unique hurdles in an already tough job market.”

Los Angeles Times“Federal judge shuts down Santa Ana mortgage-relief operation” (3-22-12)

“A judge has shut down a Santa Ana mortgage-relief operation after federal officials accused it of falsely promising help for struggling homeowners to avoid foreclosure or get their mortgage payments reduced.”

Bloomberg“Mortgage Rate-Yield Gap Eases Selloff in Bonds: Credit Markets” (3-22-12)

“Interest rates on new U.S. home loans are rising slower than yields on the mortgage securities they’re packaged into, helping to contain an increase in borrowing costs across debt markets.  The gap between the cost of 30-year loans and benchmark Fannie Mae yields, a measure of lenders’ profit margins called the primary-second spread, has tightened to about 0.8 percentage point, compared with a two-year high of more than 1.3 percentage points in January, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”

Hard Money Loan Closed

Riverside, California hard money loan closed by The Norris Group private lending. Real estate investor received loan for $118,000 on a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home appraised for $188,000.

California Real Estate Investor Events:

The Norris Group posted a new event. Bruce Norris of The Norris Group will be at the Bigger Pockets REI Summit on Friday, March 23, 2012.

The Norris Group posted a new event. Bruce Norris of The Norris Group will be at the Inland Empire Investors Forum on Tuesday, March 27, 2012.

Looking Back:

The CBIA reported home production dropped 41% from the previous year. MacroMarkets believed a double dip in housing prices would soon occur. Fannie Mae said mortgage applications decreased by 7.9% in January 2011. U.S. home prices fell 3.9% year over year, according to FHFA.

For more information about The Norris Group’s California hard money loans or our California Trust Deed investments, visit the website or call our office at 951-780-5856 for more information. For upcoming California real estate investor training and events, visit The Norris Group website and our California investor calendar. You’ll also find our award-winning real estate radio show on KTIE 590am at 6pm on Saturdays or you can listen to over 170 podcasts in our free investor radio archive.

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