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Eight of the Top 10 Hottest New Home Sales Markets Are in the South

home-for-sale-sign-twoUsing two both new home sales figures and new home sales share, CoreLogic determined that eight out of the 10 hottest markets for new home sales are located in the South, let by Nashville, Tennessee, at 17 percent year-over-year growth.

In CoreLogic's recently-released May 2015 MarketPulse, Chief Economist Sam Khater noted that Nashville is one of only five markets nationwide which has had a greater number of home sales in 2015 than it had in the pre-crisis years of the early 2000s.

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Rising Rents Not Motivating Consumers to Buy Homes, Research Shows

home-keyNew Freddie Mac research reveals that despite rising rents, the majority of renters are not motivated to purchase a home and positive perceptions about renting are increasing. Harris Poll was selected by Freddie Mac to conduct the survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults online in March 2015 to get their renting viewpoints.

"We've found that rising rents do not appear to be playing a significant role in motivating renters to buy a home," said David Brickman, EVP of Freddie Mac Multifamily. "This contradicts what some in the housing market think as they expect more renters ought to be actively looking to purchase a home. We believe rising rents are primarily a sign of increased demand rather than a signal that home purchases will be increasing."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than one-third of U.S. households are renting homes, and renters make up all net household growth over the last several years.  Read More at Source

1 in 4 renters use half their pay for housing costs

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than one in four U.S. renters have to use at least half their family income to pay for housing and utilities.

That's the finding of an analysis of Census data by Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit that helps finance affordable housing. The number of such households has jumped 26 percent to 11.25 million since 2007.  Since the end of 2010, rental prices have surged at nearly twice the pace of average hourly wages, according to data from the real estate firm Zillow and the Labor Department.

"It means making really difficult trade-offs," said Angela Boyd, a vice president at Enterprise Community Partners. "There are daily financial dilemmas about making their rent or buying groceries." 

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Study Reveals Housing Market To Be At Its 'Healthiest' Level Since 2001

In its first-ever analysis of the U.S. housing market released Thursday, Nationwide Economics indicated that the national market was at its healthiest level in 14 years. 

Nationwide's Health of Housing Markets (HoHM) Report – Q1 2015 is the first report in a planned quarterly series of reports. Using a metric known as the Leading Index of Healthy Housing Markets (LIHHM), Nationwide said the health of the overall housing market in the United States suggest there is little reason to believe that another downturn will occur in housing during the coming year.  Read More

GSEs to Streamline Modifications for Homeowners at Risk of Default

Servicers are now required to evaluate mortgage loans backed by the two GSEs and actively reach out to borrowers to offer a streamlined loan modification if the mortgage loan was previously modified to include a step-rate feature (which allows for a gradual rate increase in the first few years) and if the mortgage rate becomes 60 days delinquent in the first 12 months following a rate increase.  Read More

Negative Equity Remains a 'Serious Issue' Despite Year-Over-Year Decline

Despite the year-over-year decline in the percentage of underwater residential properties, negative equity remains a serious issue, according to Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. For the full year of 2014, 1.2 million borrowers regained equity – but nearly five and a half million properties remained in negative equity as of the end of the year after approximately 172,000 homes slipped into negative equity from the third quarter to the fourth quarter in 2014.  Read More

Freddie Mac Economist Expects Best Year for Housing Since '07

Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer, who will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming Five Star Government Forum in Washington, D.C., on March 18, predicted in Freddie Mac's March 2015 Economic and Housing Market Outlook that the coming year would be the best for housing since 2007, immediately prior to the crash.  Read More

Legislation to Extend Tax Relief to Distressed Homeowners Currently in House, Senate Committees

Congressman Tom Reed (R-New York) introduced the Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act of 2015 (H.R. 1002) on February 13, and that bill is now being heard in the House Committee on Ways and Means. Two weeks later, Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) and Dean Heller (R-Nevada) introduced a similar bill (S. 608), which is currently in the Senate Banking Committee. Both bills would extend relief to homeowners on forgiven mortgage debt – the remaining mortgage balance when a borrower sells a home in a short sale to avoid foreclosure.  Read More
 

Survey: Investors Still Prefer Flipping Despite Rising Rents, Low Vacancy Rates

Survey: Investors Still Prefer Flipping Despite Rising Rents, Low Vacancy Rates
In its February 2015 Real Estate Investor Activity Report, Auction.com reported that overall, 56 percent of investors preferred flipping compared to 42.8 percent who preferred renting. The percentage of investors surveyed in February who preferred flipping was 6 percentage points higher than in Q4 2014.  Read More

Equity Firms Are Lending to Landlords, Signaling a Shift

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, large private equity firms spent tens of billions of dollars buying foreclosed homes across the United States to operate them as rental properties.

Now some of those same firms are providing loans to smaller investors seeking to do much the same.

Three big private equity firms — the Blackstone Group, Colony Capital and Cerberus Capital Management — are betting that so-called landlord loans to small and midsize investors will become the next big opportunity to profit from the rebound in the United States housing market. The private equity firms are providing financing indirectly to hundreds of real estate funds buying single-family homes, something that until recently was not widely available.  Read More

Orlando renters stretch paychecks further

With rent and home prices fast rising, renters are paying their Orlando landlords an average of about a third of their monthly income, according to a new report by Zillow.

Long considered one of the more affordable markets in the country, Orlando renters now spend a greater share of their income to rent than the national average. Historically, Orlando-area renters spent 20 percent to 25 percent of their paychecks for rent.

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Landlord in trouble after refusing to rent housing to families with children younger than 6

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Fair Housing Contact Service against an Akron property owner accused of refusing to rent housing to families with children younger than 6.

John Gourley of Akron, owner of Fleetwood Properties, published an advertisement that appeared to limit the family makeup of prospective renters.   Read More

Deltona backs off tougher standards for rental properties

DELTONA — Landlords who complained about a new ordinance regulating rental properties got what they wanted Monday night.  The City Commission unanimously repealed the higher standards — including inspections and fees — on homes for rent.

The ordinance was one of three aimed at fighting blight in a city where the percentage of rental homes has grown since the Great Recession and housing crisis pushed thousands of Deltona homes underwater or into foreclosure.  Read More

This Democrat Is Giving Up on ObamaCare

By:Burke Beu

Las Vegas Suburb Launches Foreclosure Registry

City officials in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Nevada, have announced the launch of a foreclosure registry in order to help monitor the number of abandoned residential properties in the area from falling into disrepair or becoming blighted.

The goal of the registry is to urge the owners of homes that have either been abandoned or are at risk of being abandoned due to foreclosure to perform maintenance and upkeep on them so that the homes do not fall victim to blight, squatters, or vandals.  Read More

Detroit ‘Blight Bundle’ Buyer Withdraws Offer

Earlier this week, real estate developer Herb Strather withdrew his offer to buy a bundle of more than 6,000 blighted properties in Detroit for slightly more than $3.1 million, Wayne County officials announced.

Wayne County officials confirmed through discussion with John Page of Eco Solutions, the registered bidder and Strather's partner in the deal, earlier this week that the offer had been withdrawn.

Strather had been meeting with casino online county officials on a developing plan for the properties, but the two parties were unable to come to an agreement. Strather had reportedly hoped to receive federal funding from the Detroit land bank to demolish the worst properties in the bundle while keeping the best properties for his own investment purposes, but that plan fell through when it was discovered the land bank would pay to demolish only those properties it owns and would not do so for the profit of private investors.  Read More

Republicans Expected to Use New Majority Power to Push for CFPB Overhaul

The U.S. Midterm Elections have been over for less than a week, and already Democrats are circling the wagons to protect what will certainly be a top priority on the Republicans' list of changes to make – the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Republicans have hinted, some not-so-subtly, that the Bureau is in need of reform, and they intend to do just that now that they have a majority in both the House and the Senate. It is widely speculated that financial regulation overhaul, which includes the CFPB and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, along with Obamacare will be two issues Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Senate Banking Committee Chair Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) will go after first when they take their new seats in January.  Read More

Real Estate Developer Pays $3.1 Million for Blighted Property Bundle In Detroit

Wayne County, Michigan, sold a bundle of more than 6,000, distressed and blighted properties to a single bidder for more than $3 million in the county's tax foreclosure auction earlier this week, according to Wayne County Chief Deputy Treasurer David Szymanski.

Eco Solutions, the party that made the winning bid, was represented by Detroit-area casino developer Herb Strather. For the sum of slightly more than $3.1 million, Eco purchased a package of 6,365 parcels from Wayne County in the auction, an average of close to $500 per parcel.  Read More

Serious Delinquencies Decline by 21 Percent in September

The number of seriously delinquent mortgage loans, which are those that are more than 90 days past due or in foreclosure, dropped nationwide by 21 percent year-over-year in September, according to CoreLogic's September 2014 National Foreclosure Report released on Wednesday.

While the number of seriously delinquent mortgages continues to decline, CoreLogic's chief deputy economist, Sam Khater, said that the rate of decline has slowed; every month from October 2013 to July 2014, serious delinquencies declined nationwide by at least 25 percent with a high of 25.9 percent in June 2014, according to CoreLogic.  Read More

Servicer Takes $100 Million Charge for Potential Settlement Over Backdated Foreclosure Notices

Ocwen Financial, the nation's top non-bank mortgage servicer, announced Thursday that the company has taken a $100 million charge for a potential settlement regarding claims that Ocwen sent backdated foreclosure notices to thousands of borrowers.

New York's Financial Services Superintendent, Benjamin Lawsky, sent a letter to Ocwen on October 21 stating that an investigation of Ocwen's servicing practices revealed that the company sent backdated notices of foreclosure to about 7,000 borrowers after the payment deadline had passed. Lawsky's office just concluded a year-long investigation after the backdated foreclosure issue was first brought to light.  Read More

Fed Announces End of QE3 Asset Purchase Program

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System announced today that its asset purchase program, known as QE3 (quantitative easing), will end this month, citing sufficient economic growth.

Following months of speculation of the end of the program, Fed made the announcement in today's FOMC statement, following the FOMC's seventh of eight meetings this year. Unlike the Fed's first two QE programs, which were launched in 2008 and 2010, QE3 allowed for the unlimited purchase of mortgage-backed securities; the Fed planned to continue the stimulus program until the economy was deemed healthy enough.  Read More

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