The Norris Group Real Estate News Roundup 3/21/11

Today’s News Synopsis:

Existing home sales dropped 9.6%, according to the NAR. A San Joaquin County investor pleaded guilty to rigging foreclosure auctions, and is now facing a federal prison sentence and $1 million in fines. LPS claims the current mortgage delinquency rate is 8.8%.

In The News:

NAR “February Existing-Home Sales Decline following Sustained Gains” (3-21-11)

“Existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dropped 9.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in February from an upwardly revised 5.40 million in January, and are 2.8 percent below the 5.02 million pace in February 2010.”

Housing Wire“California pending home sales spike in February” (3-21-11)

“The California Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index rose 20.6% in February to 112.1 from 93 in January. The index uses 2008 housing market activity as a baseline because it represents a more normal level of purchases and sales. An index reading of 100 corresponds with activity in 2008.”

Recordnet.com“Guilty plea in home auction rigging” (3-21-11)

“A San Joaquin County investor pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to charges he illegally rigged bids with others at home foreclosure auctions in Stockton, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento reported. Gregory L. Jackson is the sixth defendant so far to plead guilty in the federal probe. He faces a federal prison sentence and $1 million in fines under terms of the negotiated plea deal.”

Orange County Register“‘Normal’ new-home market is 3-5 years off” (3-19-21)

“We decided to add Southern California (especially the O.C. market) into our business plan since we believe this market has bottomed. In today’s home building market, there is an imbalance between used and new homes in Orange County as a limited amount of new homes have been built over the last five years.”

Orange County Register“Demand for O.C. homes at 7-month high” (3-21-11)

“Demand, the number of new pending sales over the past month, increased by 225 in just two weeks and now totals 2,982. At the beginning of the year, demand was at 1,856 pending sales. Since then, it has increased by 61%. Last year at this time there were 288 additional pending sales, propped up by the $8,000 first time homebuyer tax credit.”

Housing Wire“Mortgage delinquency rate drops 18.4% annually: LPS” (3-21-11)

“Out of the 40 million loans evaluated by LPS last month, 8.8% qualified as delinquent (30 days or more overdue). That delinquency rate is down 1.2% from January and 18.4% from February 2010.”

Housing Wire“Stress tests suggest economy may slide back into crisis: IRA” (3-21-11)

“Recent stress tests conducted by the Federal Reserve suggest the banking industry and economy ‘may be sliding back into crisis’ because of deflation in the housing sector, according to a new report from Institutional Risk Analytics.”

Housing Wire“Moody’s expects temporary GSE exemption from mortgage risk rules” (3-21-11)

“Analysts at Moody’s Investors Service said Monday regulators may exempt Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from upcoming mortgage risk retention rules – at least temporarily.”

Housing Wire“Distressed property sales decline on foreclosure issues facing servicers” (3-21-11)

“Overall, investors stepped up their homebuying game last month even as distressed property sales fell, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. The report shows the HousingPulse Distressed Property Index — a barometer of distressed home sales — fell to 47.3% in February from 49.6% in January.”

Bloomberg“Treasury to Sell Mortgage-Backed Holdings at Up to $10 Billion Per Month” (3-21-11)

“The U.S. Treasury Department plans to wind down its $142 billion portfolio of mortgage bonds guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by selling as much as $10 billion per month.”

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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