Today’s News Synopsis:
The sales for existing homes increased 2.4% in June according to Bloomberg. However, chief economist for Fannie Mae warned this does not necessarily mean a turn-around in the market. In other news, despite a huge decrease in foreclosures in 84% of U.S. cities, there are still ten cities with high foreclosure rates and thus not indicating a positive turn in the market.
Housing Wire - “Vacant foreclosures in Ohio forming housing black hole“ (7-28-11)
“Every single vacant, foreclosed property in Ohio is proving to be a black hole that sucks down home prices, sits on the market for significantly longer, blights entire neighborhoods and boggles the mind through the sheer amount of REO volume.”
Bloomberg - “Existing Home Sales in U.S. Rose 2.4% in June” (7-28-11)
“The number of contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly rose in June as buyers tried to take advantage of lower prices and borrowing costs. The 2.4 percent rise in the index of pending home resales followed an 8.2 percent May gain, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. Economists forecast a 2 percent drop, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.“
NAHB - “Remodeling Activity Slows Under Economic Uncertainty” (7-28-11)
“The remodeling market slipped under pressure from a sluggish economy according to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI), which dipped during the second quarter to 43.9 from the first quarter result of 46.5. An RMI below 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is lower compared to the prior quarter than report it is higher.”
DS News - “Increase in Pending Sales May Not Indicate Market Upswing” (7-28-11)
“The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released its Pending Home Sales Index Thursday, revealing an increase in pending home sales for the month of June,
marking the third of the last four months that the index has increased.”
Inman - “Trulia launches agent recommendation system” (7-28-11)
“Real estate search and marketing site Trulia today launched an agent recommendation system that incorporates endorsements from Facebook friends.”
Realty Times - “Chase, BofA Offer Modifications Without Homeowner Request” (7-28-11)
“JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are reportedly modifying loans for borrowers who haven’t asked for help, in some cases slashing mortgage balances in half. The two major banks were among others recently criticized for mishandling federally sanctioned mortgage modifications and slammed for botching foreclosures.”
“Nearly 25 million homeowners across the country would face more expensive mortgages if a proposal by federal regulators goes unchanged. A proposal released by six federal agencies to implement credit risk retention provisions included in the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act would require homeowners to have at least 25 percent equity in their homes in order to qualify for a lower-rate “Qualified Residential Mortgage” (QRM) for refinancing.”
Mortgage Bankers Association - “MBA Statement on Debt Ceiling Negotiations” (7-28-11)
“‘The Mortgage Bankers Association is very concerned about the implications to the financial system of the United States if the U.S. defaults on its debt. The likely impact to the financial markets, interest rates, and to every family in America will be costly if the ceiling is not raised. We implore policymakers to act swiftly and find a workable solution, given the short time left, to take this step and not put the credit rating of the United States in jeopardy’.”
The Wall Street Journal - “UBS Is Sued for Mortgage Losses” (7-28-11)
“The federal regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Wednesday sued UBS AG, accusing the Swiss investment bank of costing the two mortgage giants at least $900 million by selling them shaky mortgage-backed securities during the housing market boom.”
Realtor Magazine - “Foreclosures Fall, But 10 Areas Still Hard-Hit” (7-28-11)
“During the first half of the year, foreclosures have dropped in more than 84 percent of U.S. metro areas, RealtyTrac reports. Is this a sign of a turnaround? Not quite, say analysts.”
Commercial and multifamily mortgage origination increased by 35 percent in the second quarter of 2010. Mortgage application volume decreased 4.5 percent from the previous week, according to the MBA. Freddie Mac reports Americans took out $8.3 trillion in home equity during the second quarter of 2010. The number of foreclosure starts for 2010 was at 1.46m.
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