Archives for April 2011

Chinese Drywall Second Housing Crisis

By Kevin Chiu A second housing crisis is slowly working its way through 20 states as more victims fall ill from poisonous fumes emitting from their very residences. From the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, where workers are replacing toxic Chinese drywall in new homes built for victims of Hurricane Katrina across the country it’s being called “the silent hurricane.” Toxic emissions from the drywall spew into the indoor air streams and are … [Read more...]

Interest Rates Fall Slightly

By Mike Colpitts Mortgage interest rates fell slightly on 30-year fixed rate loans to 4.78% from the previous week, according to Freddie Mac following bond yields as weak economic conditions and declining home prices drove rates lower. The fall in interest rates was only 0.02 from last week, but kept the bellwether rate well below the 5% threshold. Despite the lack of government incentives to increase home sales, the number of single … [Read more...]

Record $1 Billion Real Estate Auction

By Mike Colpitts A leading real estate auction company will put $1-billion in commercial property and notes up for auction, marking a new record for the largest real estate auction in U.S. history. The Las Vegas event illustrates the enormity of the real estate auction business selling-off assets for banks and mortgage service companies handling the foreclosure crisis. “The quality and condition of these assets will compel even the most … [Read more...]

Freddie Mac Buys Fewer Mortgages

By Mike Colpitts Already on a path to reduce the number of mortgages it buys, Freddie Mac purchased fewer loans in March, reducing its share of the mortgage market as calls to eliminate the government sponsored lender increased in Congress. The number of mortgages Freddie Mac bought in March dropped 4.7% for the month to total $2.14-trillion. The volume of mortgages purchased has been steadily dropping since December and have now been … [Read more...]

Mortgage Rates, Loan Applications Fall

Mortgage purchase applications, driven by a sharp decline in applications for FHA loans fell for the week as home buyers reversed the trend of applying for mortgages in greater numbers. Mortgage rates also dropped slightly. The fall off in applications was driven by an increase in higher FHA premiums that went into effect after months of notice. The average interest rate on a fully executed 30-year fixed rate mortgage decreased to 4.80% … [Read more...]

New Home Sales May Have Hit Bottom

By Kevin Chiu The housing market has some good news to celebrate after the Commerce Department reported a new home sales increase of 11.1% in March, which may represent a bottom for the new home sales market. The rise in sales reached an adjusted rate of 300,000 homes, but still remains below the 700,000 annual sales rate to be considered healthy. The drop in sales last month struck a 50 year low, meaning that the bottom of the new home … [Read more...]

Almost Half Are Distress Sales

By Mike Colpitts Nearly half of all U.S. home sales are now either foreclosures or bank-assisted short sales, according to the Campbell Inside Mortgage Finance survey taken monthly. Distress sales composed 48.6% of sales in March. The survey polls more than 3,000 real estate agents and brokers monthly. The latest poll also found that buyer demand among traditional buyers and investors is waning as the usually busy spring buying season … [Read more...]

States Outlaw Extra Home Sale Charges

By Kevin Chiu Washington State became the twenty-fifth state in the country to outlaw extra home sale charges to the new owners of homes for 99 years. The action means that half of all U.S. states have now outlawed private transfer fees by adopting new state laws prohibiting their collection. But a federal effort to eliminate the charges may be held-up for years. The fees are often hidden in the small legal print that new homeowners sign as … [Read more...]

U.S. May Dump Homeowner Aid

By Mike Colpitts Little government aid is available to homeowners struggling to hold on to their homes caught in the grip of economic hardship, according to a leading attorney who is spearheading legal action against seven of the nation's largest banks in the foreclosure crisis. Attorney Philip Kramer, whose firm Kramer-Kaslow of Calabasas, California has filed mass joiner lawsuits against Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, CitiBank, and … [Read more...]

More Lose Money Investing in Real Estate

Despite conventional wisdom being that real estate is one of the safest investments that can be made, slightly more people have lost money investing in real estate than have cashed out a profit, according to a new Housing Predictor poll. The online survey found that 37% of respondents have lost money as a result of investing in real estate compared to 35% who said they turned a profit. The new poll follows nearly five years of slumping home … [Read more...]