The Norris Group Real Estate News Roundup 4/30/10

Today’s News Synopsis:

MetLife is expecting a comeback in the commercial real estate market. According to LPS, More than 7.3m mortgages in the US are non-current or in REO status this month. Orange County apartment rent rates fell 5 percent during the first quarter of 2010. President Obama nominated Janet Yellen, Peter Diamond and Sarah Bloom Raskin for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors to the US Senate.

In The News:

Bloomberg “D.R. Horton Gains After Quarterly Profit Tops Analyst Estimates” (4-30-10)

“D.R. Horton Inc., the second-largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue, climbed the most in three months after reporting its second straight quarterly profit on increased demand for houses. Net income was $11.4 million, or 4 cents a share, for the quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of $108.6 million, or 34 cents, a year earlier, the Fort Worth, Texas-based company said today in a statement. The results beat the average of 11 estimates in a Bloomberg survey that showed analysts predicted the company would roughly break even.”

Bloomberg “MetLife Expects Commercial Real Estate to Rebound” (4-30-10)

“MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. life insurer, said there are signs of a recovery in the commercial real estate market after property values dropped about 40 percent from their peak. The company gained the most in seven weeks in New York trading.”

Housing Wire“Obama Nominates Three to Federal Reserve Board of Governors” (4-30-10)

“President Barack Obama on Thursday sent three nominations for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors to the US Senate. His nominees include Janet Yellen, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; Peter Diamond, an institute professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); and Sarah Bloom Raskin, commissioner of financial regulation for the State of Maryland.”

Housing Wire“Geithner Threatens Crack-Down on HAMP Servicers” (4-30-10)

“‘I want to be clear that we do not believe servicers are doing enough to help homeowners, not doing enough to help them navigate the difficult and often frightening process of avoiding foreclosure,’ he said in prepared remarks.”

Housing Wire “Non-Current Mortgages, REO Reach 7.3m in March: LPS” (4-30-10)

“More than 7.3m mortgages in the US are non-current or in REO status through March 2010, according to the Lender Processing Services (LPS) (LPS: 38.065 -0.41%) Mortgage Monitor report. Data and analytics firm LPS reported the modest improvements in the amount of loans becoming current has been overshadowed by this large pool of non-current assets, which represent more than 12% of all active loans in the country. The volume of distressed mortgages is up 19.3% from a year ago.”

Orange County Register“O.C. apartment rent down 5%” (4-30-10)

“The average rent for a unit in a large Orange County apartment complex fell 4.8 percent during the first quarter of the year, down to $1,475 a month, according to RealFacts. However, the average asking rent pulled out of its nose dive, rising $2 a month from the previous quarter. Rents had fallen steadily for the previous 15 months.”

Orange County Register“County seeks fee for property tax appeals” (4-30-10)

“An Orange County administrator wants to impose a $30 per parcel fee on property tax appeals this summer to help offset the costs of administering the hearings and to discourage fraudulent and frivolous actions. The proposal was made by Darlene Bloom, clerk of the Board of Supervisors, whose office administers appeals of property tax assessments.”

Realty Times“Seniors Looking to Downsize, Seek Opportunities to Socialize in Urban Living Areas” (4-30-10)

“there’s a changing mindset emerging. ‘Senior citizens no longer want to be in an isolated place.’ Many are selling their homes and looking for a community connection in the location where they plan to purchase their next home. ‘Like the rest of America, there was this movement going out toward suburbia. Now, there’s a movement going back toward more urban areas and towns are starting to be challenged,’ says Matthews.”

Looking Back:

One year ago, foreclosure filings increased dramatically during March. The U.S. Senate rejected legislation letting U.S. bankruptcy judges cut mortgage terms to help borrowers avoid foreclosure. The average rate of a 30-year mortgage dropped to 4.78 percent.