The Norris Group Real Estate News Roundup 8/4/10

Today’s News Synopsis:

Mortgage application volume increased 1.3 percent this week, according to the MBA. Large home builders, such as PulteGroup and DR Horton, are claiming a quarterly profit. Analysts expect total payrolls to decline in official Census data which is due Friday. The American Bankruptcy Institute expressed concerns that consumer bankruptcies might total 1.6 million this year.

In The News:

Mortgage Bankers Association“Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey” (8-4-10)

“The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 30, 2010. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 1.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 1.4 percent compared with the previous week.”

Washington Post“FHA tells Congress: Mortgage insurance claims are down; home prices a concern” (8-4-10)

“Mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration have performed better than expected so far this fiscal year, though the improvements could be overturned if home prices sink, according to a report the agency submitted to Congress this week. That audit found that as the FHA’s loan volume expanded, its default rate rose and the excess cash it set aside to deal with unexpected losses eroded to dangerously low levels as of Sept. 30. The auditors concluded taxpayers would be on the hook for losses if worst-case scenarios played out — a first for the agency, which has always used fees it charges borrowers to pay lenders for losses.”

Housing Wire“Healthy Quarterly Reports from Homebuilders may be Short-Lived” (8-4-10)

“The country’s top four homebuilders all posted profits in their most recent quarterly earnings report, but with the tax credit gone, analysts predict the bounceback will likely be short-lived, as demand dries up. DR Horton (DHI: 10.48 -1.13%) added its third consecutive profitable quarter while Michigan-based PulteGroup (PHM: 8.38 -0.59%) returned to profitability after years of losses as it continues to try to meet its earlier projections of a profitable 2010.”

Housing Wire“Census Firings Expected to Weigh on Weak July Private Sector Job Growth” (8-4-10)

“Nonfarm private sector employers added an estimated 42,000 jobs to payrolls in July, according to the Automatic Data Processing (ADP) national employment report published today (download here). The ADP’s estimates do not include layoffs of temporary workers no longer needed for the 2010 Census, however, and analysts are expecting total payrolls to decline in official data, due Friday. ADP also revised its estimate for the increase from May to June up 46% to 19,000, from the initial 13,000 estimate.”

Housing Wire“20m Borrowers Could Be Underwater before 2012: Deutsche Bank” (8-4-10)

“More than 14m borrowers were underwater as of Q110, owing more on a mortgage than the value of the underlying property. But with a further 10.8% decline in house prices expected relative to Q409 levels, another 6m borrowers are likely fall into negative equity by the end of 2011, according to commentary today by Deutsche Bank.”

Bloomberg“U.S. Consumer Bankruptcies May Exceed 1.6 Million, Report Says” (8-4-10)

“U.S. consumer bankruptcies, after rising 9 percent last month from June, might exceed 1.6 million this year, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. The 137,698 bankruptcy filings in July also represent a 9 percent increase from a year earlier, the institute said yesterday in a statement posted on its website, citing data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center.”

Orange County Register“O.C. apartment rents creep up” (8-4-10)

“A 15-month run of falling rents appears to be at an end, with the biggest landlords doing an about face and raising rents again as their apartments fill up. The average rent for a large Orange County apartment complex increased $4 during the quarter ending on June 30, rising to $1,482, according to apartment tracker RealFacts.”

Looking Back:

One year ago, the NAR announced pending home sales increased by 3.6 percent during July. The nations biggest homebuilders recorded quarterly losses. Approximately 9% of eligible borrowers had received a trial loan modification under the Obama administration’s $75 billion foreclosure prevention plan.

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