The Norris Group Real Estate News Roundup 3/23/12

Mortgage Rates Up, With 30-Year Fixed Above 4 Percent
U.S. Home Prices Have Smallest Decline in More Than 2 Years
Buying a home cheaper than renting in most places
Weekly jobless claims fall 5,000 to 4-year low
Federal judge shuts down Santa Ana mortgage-relief operation
Average 30-year mortgage rate edges up, above 4%, Bankrate says
Existing home sales dip 0.9% in February
Interest Rates Highest Since December, Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Homebuilding permits returning in top foreclosure states
U.S. Housing Heals as Starts Near Three-Year High: Economy
Taylor, Bean & Whitaker CFO pleads guilty in mortgage fraud scheme
Builder Confidence Unchanged in March
Treasury Announces a $25B Return Through its MBS Portfolio
Federal Reserve to fine eight more banks on foreclosure violations

Today’s News Synopsis:

This week’s video is a slideshow of the news of the week in the world of real estate and other big news of the week.  Sales of new homes decreased 1.6% last month according to the Commerce Department.  30-year fixed rate mortgages are now up to 4.08%.   As a way to help homeowners facing foreclosure, title on the property will be transferred to the bank, who in turn will turn the home into a rental.

In The News:

Housing Wire“February new home sales fall 1.6%: Commerce Dept.” (3-23-12)

“New home sales dipped 1.6% in February to 313,000 from January, but rose 11.6% from the same period a year earlier.  The seasonally adjusted annual measure, released by the Commerce Department Friday, fell from a downwardly revised January estimate of 318,000 from 321,000.”

Realty Times“30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Averages 4.08 Percent” (3-23-12)

“In Freddie Mac’s results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey®, mortgage rates continued to follow bond yields higher amid improving economic data. The average 30-fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.08 percent for the week clearing the 4 percent barrier for the first time since October 27, 2011, when it averaged 4.10 percent.”

DS News“Moody’s: Foreclosure Timelines on the Rise; More Losses to RMBS” (3-23-12)

Foreclosure timelines are on the rise, and the increase is resulting in greater losses to residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS), according to Moody’s Investor Service’s Servicer Dashboard for the fourth quarter 2011, released Thursday.”

Los Angeles Times“Bank of America turns foreclosure-facing homeowners into renters” (3-23-12)

“Bank of America: Lenient landlord? The bank is launching a pilot program that would allow customers with underwater mortgages to avoid foreclosure by becoming renters.  In its testing stages, the Mortgage to Lease program will involve fewer than 1,000 customers in Arizona, Nevada and New York who are at least 60 days behind on payments for their Bank of America loan. Their homes must be worth less than what is owed on their mortgages.”

Housing Wire“Mass layoffs decline, 345 metros report falling jobless rates” (3-23-12)

“Mass layoffs declined in February, and 345 metro areas reported lower unemployment rates for the month of January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

DS News“AREAA Launches International Networking Platform” (3-23-12)

“The Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) recently launched AREAA Net, an international networking platform to connect members with 400,000 real estate professionals from over 100 countries, according to a release from the association.”

Bloomberg“NYC Office Leases Lowest Since 2009 on Wall Street Cuts” (3-23-12)

“Manhattan office leasing in the first quarter is poised to be the lowest in almost three years as Wall Street cut jobs and needed less space, according to preliminary data from brokerage Studley Inc.”

Housing Wire“Freddie CEO signals GSE principal reduction could be soon” (3-23-12)

“Freddie Mac CEO Charles “Ed” Haldeman gave a strong signal Friday that new incentives from the Treasury Department may be enough to start principal reduction on mortgages backed by the government-sponsored enterprises.”

Mortgage Bankers Association“CampusMBA Teams with The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg (LLI) to Offer Unique Leadership Development Opportunity” (3-23-12)

“CampusMBA, the award-winning education division of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), today announced it is teaming up with The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg (LLI) to offer a unique and innovative team and leadership development program, A Transformational Journey from Gettysburg, a comprehensive on-site training program which uses the Battle of Gettysburg as a metaphor to address current real estate finance industry challenges.”

Inman“Top 10 markets to invest in” (3-23-12)

“’s latest top 10 investment markets report shows metros just off the beaten path leading the way.  Built from data updated through February 2012, the report put Tucson, Ariz.; Austin, Texas; and Kansas City, Mo., as the top current real estate markets to invest in.”

DS News“Former Fannie Mae VP Joins Veros as SVP of Strategic Initiatives” (3-23-12)

“A former Fannie Mae VP of single-family strategic initiatives joined Veros Real Estate Solutions as SVP of strategic initiatives.”

Hard Money Loan Closed

Altadena, California hard money loan closed by The Norris Group private lending. Real estate investor received loan for $375,000 on a 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom home appraised for $618,000.

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 and Saturday, March 23 and 24, 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 Commerce Department said single-family home sales dropped 16.9% in February 2011.  However, a survey from Bloomberg showed many economists believed home sales probably increased in February. Mortgage applications increased 2.7% the previous week, according to the MBA.

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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