Archives for July 2010

Investing in Real Estate When the Majority Doesn’t

By Lois A. Vitt, Ph.D. Anyone who knows how to pick stocks well will tell you that successful investments start with understanding the business of the companies you choose. The same is true investing in real estate, whether it's a single family home, town house or apartment complex. If you are thinking of buying a second home for vacation, retirement, or trying your hand at investing in real estate take your time. Study the options. … [Read more...]

Mortgage Rates Strike New Record Low

Mortgage rates hit a new record low for the week at 4.54%, according to Freddie Mac down from 4.56% last week as lenders try to attract more home buyers back to the market. The rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 5.25% a year ago. Rates have been tracked by Freddie Mac since 1971. “For the sixth week in a row, interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages eased to all-time record lows during a week of mixed housing data reports," said Frank … [Read more...]

Metro Foreclosures Surge

Foreclosures in the first half of the year increased in the majority of U.S. cities, but declined in nine out of the ten largest metropolitan areas of the nation, according to the midyear Realty Trac report. The foreclosure numbers showed a drop, however, in the Fort Meyers, Florida metro area, nearly 22% down from the prior six months. Other Florida cities in the index among the top 10 included Orlando and Miami, two of the nation’s harshest … [Read more...]

Government Launches Ad Campaign on Home Rescue

By Mike Colpitts In government efforts to make it look like it's taking a more active roll in the housing crisis, HUD has announced a major national advertising campaign to urge homeowners at risk of foreclosure to learn more about the White House’s Making Home Affordable program. More than 1.5-million homeowners have received assistance through the program, which has been heavily criticized for failing to meet expectations the Obama … [Read more...]

Housing Resale Fees Next Wall Street Rip-Off

A coalition of real estate related companies have launched an effort to stop a 1% home resale fee added to some new home developments being offered by a Manhattan based financial firm by sending a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. The effort was revealed during a news conference with reporters, which included the National Association of Realtors, American Land Title (ALTA) and the Institute for Liberty, which is active in housing … [Read more...]

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Reform Conference Set

By Kevin Chiu In a major effort to heal its tarnished reputation in relationship to the real estate crash, the White House will stage a conference on the future of housing finance in the U.S. as it tries to repair troubled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the nation’s giant mortgage lenders. The White House conference was announced by administration officials following the passage of Financial Reform legislation signed into law by President … [Read more...]

Mortgages Applications Decline as Refinances Slow

Despite record low interest rates, mortgage applications declined for the first time in weeks last week, including an unexpected slow down in applications for home refinances, the Mortgage Bankers Association said. Applications declined 4.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis from a week ago, and a whopping 5.9% on refinancing alone. The decline marks a slowdown in the number of homeowners applying to refinance their mortgages after nearly a two … [Read more...]

Gulf Oil Spill to Drop Homes Only 10%

By Mike Colpitts Gulf coast homes and condos on the immediate coastline in the path of the BP oil spill in Alabama and Florida will suffer only a 10% drop in average values as a result of the oil disaster, according to a new Housing Predictor forecast compiled after more than three months of research. The impact of the disaster has already taken a toll on Louisiana and Mississippi coastal properties, gaining momentum as real estate brokers … [Read more...]

Mortgage Loan Fraud Declines

By Kevin Chiu Mortgage loan fraud has declined 25% since its peak in 2007, according to a survey conducted by Core Logic, a real estate research firm that monitors more than 3,000 local U.S. housing markets. The study was released on the heels of the largest Justice Department crackdown in history on perpetrators of mortgage fraud. Some 1,200 people, many of whom were mortgage brokers were arrested in a nationwide crackdown more than a … [Read more...]

Home Builder Sales Boom with $99 Down

By Mike Colpitts While most home builders are struggling to survive or have already gone out of business, one company is flourishing as it sells homes for just $99 down, taking advantage of a government program that provides the financing. Homebuilder Highland Homes sales are booming as it helps home buyers move into new Central Florida homes in six counties through the USDA no money down program, which requires just $99 for a credit check. … [Read more...]