The Norris Group Real Estate News Roundup 8/11/10

Today’s News Synopsis:

The MBA’s weekly survey shows mortgage application volume increased by 0.6 percent. The Obama will provide the Treasury Department and HUD with $3 billion for aiding homeowners. The NAR reports that most U.S. metro areas experienced a decrease in home prices during the second quarter, and distressed homes accounted for 32 percent of second quarter sales.

In The News:

Mortgage Bankers AssociationMortgage Applications Essentially Unchanged Despite Lowest Rates in MBA Weekly Survey” (8-11-10)

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending August 6, 2010.  The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 0.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.  On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 0.4 percent compared with the previous week.”

Associated PressObama administration to provide $3B in housing aid” (8-11-10)

“The Treasury Department says it will send $2 billion to 17 states that have unemployment rates higher than the national average for a year. They will use the money for programs to aid unemployed homeowners. Some of those states have already designed such programs. Another $1 billion will go to a new program being run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It will provide homeowners with emergency zero-interest rate loans of up to $50,000 for up to two years.”

NAR “Broad Stabilization in Second Quarter Metro Area Home Prices with Strong Sales” (8-11-10)

“In the second quarter, 100 out of 155 metropolitan statistical areas1 (MSAs) had higher median existing single-family home prices in comparison with the second quarter of 2009, including 14 with double-digit increases; two were unchanged and 53 metros showed price declines. In the first quarter of this year 91 areas had higher prices, while only 26 MSAs experienced annual price gains in second quarter of 2009. The national median existing single-family price was $176,900 in the second quarter, up 1.5 percent from $174,200 in the same period of 2009. The median is where half sold for more and half sold for less. Distressed homes accounted for 32 percent of second quarter sales, down from 36 percent a year ago.”

Sign on San Diego“Price reductions on San Diego homes increase” (8-11-10)

“As of Aug. 1, 23 percent of all the homes for sale in the City of San Diego had seen a price reduction, says a report by Trulia.com, a real estate website. That’s compared to July where 20 percent of the homes for sale in San Diego had experienced a price cut. The average price reduction was 8 percent. On a national level, Trulia estimated that 25 percent of all home listings have had at least one price reduction. The average size of the cut was 10 percent of the original list price, chopping an estimated $30.1 billion in value.”

Housing Wire“Foreclosures Down 5% in First Half of 2010: Foreclosure Listings Nationwide” (8-11-10)

“Foreclosure Listings Nationwide said second-quarter foreclosures rose 1% from the year ago and declined 4% from the prior quarter. More than 1.6m properties began the foreclosure process during the six months ending June 30, representing a nearly 7% decline from a year ago.”

Housing Wire“Fitch Sees $100bn in Special Servicing CMBS Loans by Year End” (8-11-10)

“Commercial real estate loans that require special servicing continue to climb with the total volume projected to reach $100bn by the end of 2010. These loans are used as collateral in commercial backed mortgage securitizations (CMBS).”

Housing Wire“FHA Postpones Premium Changes until October” (8-11-10)

“Last week, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) commissioner David Stevens announced plans for implementing FHA’s new mortgage insurance premium structure. Based on industry feedback to the announcement, the FHA postponed the premium fee changes on all new case numbers for one month, and will now implement them on Oct. 4, 2010.”

Housing Wire“Most Borrowers Choose Fixed-Rate Mortgages for Refinancing, Freddie Says” (8-11-10)

“Borrowers who are refinancing their homes are taking advantage of the lowest fixed-mortgage rates in the past 50 years, according to Freddie Mac’s quarterly Product Transition Report today. The report indicates 95% of refinance loans completed in Q210 were processed with a fixed-rate mortgage (FRM).”

Bloomberg “Fed Reverses Exit Plans, Sets $2 Trillion Floor for Holdings” (8-11-10)

“Officials directed the New York Fed’s trading desk to reinvest what economists estimate will be $15 billion to $20 billion a month in maturing agency and mortgage-backed securities back into U.S. Treasuries. The purchases will help keep Treasury yields and mortgage costs low and prevent the level of monetary stimulus from shrinking further.”

Realty Times“Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Self-Directed IRAs” (8-11-10)

“IRAs Can Purchase Almost Anything. A common misconception about IRAs is that purchasing anything other than CDs, stocks, mutual funds or annuities is illegal in an IRA. This is false. The only prohibitions contained in the Internal Revenue Code for IRAs are investments in life insurance contracts and in ‘collectibles.’ Since there are so few restrictions contained in the law, almost anything else which can be documented can be purchased in your IRA. A ‘self-directed’ IRA allows any investment not expressly prohibited by law. Common investment choices include real estate, both domestic and foreign, options, secured and unsecured notes, including first and second liens against real estate, C corporation stock, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, trusts and a whole lot more.”

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