The Norris Group Real Estate News Roundup 4/5/11

Today’s News Synopsis:

Two Wall Street firms claim housing prices will continue to fall through the present quarter. REIS reports the national office vacancy rate fell to 17.5% in the first quarter. A Harris Poll shows 22% of U.S. homeowners are having difficulty making their mortgage payments. A new RealtyTrac feature allows users checking home listings to see how much equity each property has.

In The News:

NAHB “Home Builders Applaud Congressional Passage of 1099 Repeal” (4-5-11)

“The Senate today approved legislation supported by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to repeal a burdensome tax paperwork requirement that could cost small businesses thousands of dollars each year. The bill now goes to President Obama for his approval.”

Orange County Register“59% of H.B. homes pending sale are distressed” (4-5-11)

“59% of homes in escrow are short sales, in foreclosure or bank owned. 42% of homes sold in March were distressed.”

Housing Wire“Democrats’ homeownership assistance bills face fiscal resistance” (4-5-11)

“Senate Bill 690 and H.R. 1238 — would create a new executive position under the Treasury Department to advocate for homeowners and free up remaining TARP funds to help distressed homeowners with legal assistance.”

Housing Wire“KBW says eight GSE reform bills barely dent mortgage market” (4-5-11)

“the proposed legislation addresses oversight issues, which means little structural change will manifest because of them, according to a report released by KBW Tuesday.”

CNBC “No Spring Break in Housing: Prices Likely to Keep Falling” (4-4-11)

“Housing prices will not get a Spring bounce and will actually fall during the industry’s historically best season as buyers continue to wait for that elusive ‘housing bottom,’ according to surveys and analysis by two top Wall Street firms.”

Wall Street Journal“Lenders Near Pacts With Regulators in Foreclosure Probe” (4-4-11)

“Fourteen U.S. lenders are on the verge of agreements with federal bank regulators to overhaul their handling of foreclosures and treatment of delinquent borrowers in response to allegations of abuses that emerged last fall.”

Bloomberg “KB Home Reports Wider First-Quarter Loss as Revenue and Orders Plunged” (4-5-11)

“KB Home (KBH), the Los Angeles-based homebuilder that targets first-time buyers, fell the most in four months in New York trading after reporting a bigger-than- expected loss as orders plunged.”

Bloomberg “Office Market in U.S. Begins Recovery as Vacancy Rate Declines” (4-5-11)

“The national vacancy rate fell to 17.5 percent in the first quarter from 17.6 percent in the previous three months, Reis Inc. said in a report today. The drop was the first since July through September of 2007.”

Orange County Register“U.S.: World’s 7th worst housing market” (4-5-11)

“The United States had the 7th worst housing market in the world in the fourth quarter, according to year-to-year price changes tracked by the Knight Frank Global House Price Index.”

Orange County Register“32 million people struggling to pay mortgage” (4-5-11)

“A new Harris Poll shows that 22% of U.S. homeowners with mortgages — 32 million people — are having a tough time making payments, including 7% — 11 million folks — who say they’re experiencing ‘a great deal of difficulty’.”

Orange County Register“Irvine housing speeds up 17%” (4-5-11)

“Irvine’s housing market has 85 days worth of inventory of residences to sell vs. 96 days countywide. That’s according to the latest inventory math of Orange County broker Steve Thomas.”

Housing Wire“New RealtyTrac feature lists property equity” (4-5-11)

“RealtyTrac unveiled a new feature on its website Tuesday that enables users going through the home listings to see how much equity each property has.”

Housing Wire“Wells Fargo-Wachovia settles CDO claim with SEC for $11 million” (4-5-11)

“A Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into Wachovia Capital Markets’ sale of two collateralized debt obligations supported by residential mortgage-backed securities resulted in Wells Fargo Securities agreeing to pay $11 million in fines and penalties this week.”

Looking Back:

Pending home sales increased by 8.2 percent from January to February. A new rule will require all new lender applicants for FHA programs to possess a minimum net worth of $1 million. According to LPS, the average loan in foreclosure is 401 days delinquent.  A proposed bill, House Resolution 4935, will prohibit mortgage servicers from holding another mortgage on a property that also secures the serviced mortgage.

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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