Archives for February 2010

Affordability Reaching New Highs

By Kevin Chiu It’s no secret homes cost less to buy these days. But one of the oldest affordability indexes in the industry is at the lowest level in its history. As home prices decline in the majority of markets, affordability is increasing for wannabe homeowners at near record levels. Bolstered by low mortgage rates and lower home prices the National Association of Home Builders index finished 2009 at the highest level in its 18 year … [Read more...]

Battle Brewing over America’s Money Pit

By Mike Colpitts A battle is brewing in Washington, D.C. over the fate of America’s biggest money pit, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the nation’s two largest purchasers of home mortgages. The White House is quietly using the two companies as part of its housing rescue plan to cover an unlimited amount of mortgage losses on foreclosed properties at tax payer expense. The program is being administered by the Treasury Department as it buys … [Read more...]

Senator Calls for Expansion of Homeowner Relief

A U.S. Senator is asking President Barack Obama to expand his administration’s mortgage relief program. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is the first member of the senate to request an expansion of the $1.5-billion bail-out program to include his home state, which may signal an increase in the plan even before it gets off the ground. The program was announced by President Obama late last week to provide aid to homeowners at risk of foreclosure, who … [Read more...]

Homeowner Bail-Out Moves Forward

By Kevin Chiu The $1.5-billion government bail-out plan targeted to save homeowners from foreclosure in the worst impacted states will be handled by local housing finance agencies working in conjunction with the Treasury Department. A formula will be designed to allocate funding in each of the state’s most harshly affected areas, according to a White House statement. California, Florida, Michigan, Nevada and Arizona are targeted by the … [Read more...]

Housing Bail-Out to Help Limited Number

By Mike Colpitts The White House $1.5-billion bail-out of troubled homeowners will help only a small fraction of those in need of aid, administration officials acknowledge. The foreclosure crisis, first forecasted by Housing Predictor nearly three years ago has claimed an estimated 4.5 to 5-million homes since it began. The crisis has become so massive that Obama administration officials realize its enormity and the cost that it is … [Read more...]

Obama Pledges $1.5-Billion in Housing Aid

On a visit near Las Vegas, Nevada, the worst affected city in foreclosures in the country President Barack Obama pledged $1.5-billion in federal aid to help the five states most heavily impacted by the real estate crash. Nevada, California, Florida, Michigan and Arizona will get federal aid under the program. In each state the average price of homes has fallen more than 20% from the markets peak, according to the White House, which will … [Read more...]

Home Prices Forecast to Deflate More

Anchored by severe headwinds, including high unemployment, lack of equity in real estate, rising foreclosures, a tight mortgage market and the expiration of government programs home prices in the majority of U.S. markets will deflate more in 2010, according to the latest national forecast by Housing Predictor. The average price of a home is now forecast to deflate 8.5% for the year, a slight two-tenths of a percent improvement over the … [Read more...]

Foreclosure Numbers Decline

Foreclosure notices declined in January, but still remain at record high levels for the year, according to the latest Realty Trac monthly report. Some 315,716 properties were tagged with notices during the month nationwide. The decline in notices marked a 10% drop from December numbers, but shows that one in every 409 housing units is in jeopardy of foreclosure as government measures to stem the tide of defaults do little to halt the … [Read more...]

Fueling the Fire of Second Housing Bubble

By Kevin Chiu Government efforts to stabilize the financial system have kept interest rates low, and bought up more than $1.4-trillion in mostly failed mortgage-backed securities. But widespread fraud and other government efforts may already be driving the development of another housing bubble. The FBI says mortgage fraud is still at epidemic levels, which may be fueling the development of local bubbles. Government backed low interest … [Read more...]

Losing Money on House Hard to Handle

By Mike Colpitts Nobody wants to think about it and nobody wants it to happen to them. Losing money is an awful thing to go through. But millions of Americans have seen their stock market portfolios blow-up and their home values erode. Losing money is a hard thing to do. The run up of America's real estate market lasted nearly a decade before it blew up. The bubble came to a screeching end, and millions don't ever see recovering from … [Read more...]