The Norris Group Real Estate News Roundup 5/31/11

Today’s News Synopsis:

S&P claims home prices fell 5.1% year over year. Freddie will allow servicers to reduce or suspend mortgage payments for up to 12 months for borrowers in disaster areas. AOL Real Estate is becoming one of the most popular real estate websites.

In The News:

CNN “Home prices: ‘Double-dip’ confirmed” (5-31-11)

“Home prices hit another new low in the first quarter, down 5.1% from a year ago to levels not reached since 2002.”

Bloomberg “Rising Housing Rents Risk U.S. Inflation” (5-31-11)

“For all the attention given to almost $4-a-gallon gas, the biggest threat to containing U.S. inflation may be the shift away from homeownership, which is pushing up the cost of leases across the nation’s 38 million rented residences. Shelter represents about 40 percent of the consumer price index excluding food and energy and accounted for almost one quarter of the 1.3 percentage point rise in April.”

Housing Wire“Freddie Mac offers mortgage relief to Midwest storm victims” (5-31-11)

“For borrowers living where President Obama declares major disaster areas, Freddie will give servicers the ability to reduce or suspend mortgage payments for up to 12 months. Each case will be individually evaluated.”

Housing Wire“Economists predict no immediate end to government debt purchases” (5-31-11)

“Economist Roger Meiners, a professor with the University of Texas at Arlington, says the day of reckoning has already come in a sense and some economists believe the government will have to continue buying debt regardless of whether or not it is referred to as quantitative easing. Several market observers say they expect a third round of government debt purchases.”

Orange County Register“L.A./O.C. home prices down 8th straight month” (5-31-11)

“L.A./O.C. prices were down 0.29% from February to March after falling 0.96% the previous month. March’s dip was the smallest decline since September. L.A./O.C. prices were down — on a year-to-year basis – 1.66% in March. It was the fourth consecutive year-over-year drop but down from the 2.07% annual rate of decline seen in February.”

Inman “Top 10 real estate websites in April” (5-31-11)

“After rising from 16th to eighth position to break into the Hitwise top 10 in March, AOL Real Estate continued to boost its audience in April, rising to fifth place with a 2.91 percent market share in the real estate category, Hitwise said.”

Realty Times“10 Reasons to Sell” (5-31-11)

“Risk of Foreclosure. This is listed as number one because around one-third of all sales in today’s current market are distressed properties. Many homeowners find themselves in mortgages they cannot afford, whether due to job loss or to rising monthly payments. It is far better for their credit score to sell or short sale before they are foreclosed upon.”

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