The Norris Group Real Estate News Roundup 4/6/10

Today’s News Synopsis:

A recent Fannie Mae survey shows that approximately two-thirds of Americans would still prefer to own a home. Independent mortgage bankers and subsidiaries made an average profit of $890 on each loan they originated in the fourth quarter of 2009. The National Bankruptcy Research Center claims that bankruptcies could total over 1.5 million this year. According to Reis Inc, rent prices declined by 1.6 percent from last year.

In The News:

CBIA “Road to Recovery” (4-6-10)

“The economic downturn has put California in a critical position, but homebuilders could play a major role in helping with the state’s recovery. CBIA has focused on six pieces of legislation this session that could help lead the state on that road. None is more important than an extended homebuyer tax credit, but all six are vital to helping the state, and the building industry, move forward.”

CNN “With caution, Americans still want a house” (4-6-10)

“Nearly two-thirds of Americans would still prefer to own a home, although the recent housing market turmoil and uncertain economy have made them a little more cautious about how and when, according to a survey released Tuesday. A nationwide survey conducted by mortgage lender Fannie Mae found 65% of the homeowners and renters believe there is still value in owning a home.”

Mortgage Bankers Association“Production Profits Held Steady in 4th Quarter 2009, According to MBA Study of Independent Mortgage Bankers and Subsidiaries” (4-6-10)

“Independent mortgage bankers and subsidiaries made an average profit of $890 on each loan they originated in the fourth quarter of 2009, down from $902 per loan in the third quarter of 2009, but up from $296 in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).”

Sacramento Bee“California expected to cancel tax on forgiven mortgage debts” (4-6-10)

“Relief appears imminent for thousands of Sacramento homeowners hit with state tax bills for mortgage debts forgiven in 2009. State lawmakers said Monday they plan to cancel the state tax obligations with a vote Thursday.”

Inman “Bankruptcies could exceed 1.5M this year” (4-6-10)

“More consumers filed for bankruptcy in March than in any other month after Congress overhauled federal bankruptcy laws in 2005, according to a release by the American Bankruptcy Institute. Monthly filings for March reached 149,268, a 34 percent increase from the month before when filings totaled 111,693, and a 23 percent year-over-year increase when consumers submitted 121,413 filings, the institute said. The findings are based on data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center.”

Housing Wire“Lenders Look to Prevent Mortgage Fraud Before Origination With New Software” (4-6-10)

“Wells Fargo (WFC: 32.10 +1.87%) recently implemented mortgage fraud detection software, called LoanSafe Fraud Manager and developed by First American CoreLogic. At least 10 other lenders are following Wells’ lead and testing out the software to see how well it works against their current systems.”

Bloomberg “U.S. Apartment Rents Decline as Vacancies at Record, Reis Says” (4-6-10)

“U.S. apartment rents dropped in the first quarter and the vacancy rate remained at a record as unemployment near a 26-year high limited tenant demand. Actual rents paid by tenants, known as effective rents, declined 1.5 percent from a year earlier, Reis Inc. said in a report today. Asking rents fell 1.6 percent, according to the New York-based property research firm. Vacancies were unchanged at 8 percent, the highest level since 1980, when Reis began tracking the number, said Victor Calanog, director of research.”

Looking Back:

One year ago, General Growth announced that its bankruptcy would not occur quickly. Altera Real Estate reported a total of 4,092 distressed properties in Orange County. One-third of California’s 267,000 foreclosure sales in 2008 were rental units