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Home » Author Archives: Steve Cook

Author Archives: Steve Cook

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

fuzzy-TV

  April is supposed to be the month that real estate agents’ phones ring off the hooks, yard signs sprout like dandelions, buyers line up for showings and offers fall from the sky like cherry blossom petals. Above all, this was to be the spring season when at last all the stars were properly aligned in the real estate galaxy ... Read More »

Underwater Homeowners Surface More Slowly

D15961

In the first quarter some 9.1 million U.S. residential properties were seriously underwater — where the combined loan amount secured by the property is at least 25 percent higher than the property’s estimated market value — representing 17 percent of all properties with a mortgage. That’s the lowest level since RealtyTrac began reporting negative equity in the first quarter of ... Read More »

Closing Rates Rate a Smile

smile

It’s nothing to cheer about, but the latest data from Ellie Mae’s March data gave home buyers reasons to smile slightly.  Median FICO scores for FHA purchase loans have steadily risen over the quarter and closing rates for all mortgages took a big step upward. Some 58% of mortgage applications were approved in March, a significant improvement over February (55.3%) ... Read More »

Buyers Bloom in the Springtime

Robin

Daffodils, April showers, robins and a new crop of For Sale signs seem to be working their seasonal magic on home buyers.  The latest Fannie Mae survey, conducted in March, reports that the gloominess that shrouded buyers during the bitter winter months has melted away and attitudes are nearly as positive as they were a year ago. Consumers who said ... Read More »

Don’t Blame the Weather!

Igloo

It might have been the worst winter in a decade or more and no one doubts it impacted housing, but a new analysis by CoreLogic economists concludes there’s more to blame for the winter’s sorry numbers than the Polar Vortex, Single-family housing starts, a closely watched indicator of housing market health, fell by 13 percent month over month in January ... Read More »

Luxury Digs Stake out New Turf

silicon-valley-746836

  Market forces are changing the shape of luxury locations, expanding borders to enlarge the supply of million dollar plus homes just outside of historically affluent neighborhoods.  Unlike homes at the other end of the price scale where inventory shortages fueled double digit price increases, the new growth is a result of the reviving economy Coldwell Banker Previews International® released ... Read More »

How Far will Investors Fade?

trustme

The bloom may be officially off the boom in investment sales as they declined in 2013 for a second straight year after soaring in 2011 at the height of the large foreclosure inventories. Investor purchases declined 15.9 percent last year from the 1.23 million sales peak set in 2011. Investment-home sales fell 8.5 percent to an estimated 1.10 million in ... Read More »

February Prices: CoreLogic ups the Ante

poker-hand

Despite slow sales and paralyzing storms in much of the nation, February year over year prices rose to 12.2 percent, an increase of two points over January and monthly prices rose 0.8 percent, CoreLogic reported today. Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, rose 12.2 percent in February 2014 compared to February 2013, the 24th month of consecutive year-over-year increases in ... Read More »

Texas Tops LMM List of Investment Targets

texas1

Three Texas markets lead the list of markets facing  a housing shortage that will boost home prices even higher than expected in the spring buying season, according to Local Market Monitor’s quarterly top investment targets. “The economy has been growing quickly in these markets, there are lots of renters, and there aren’t many foreclosed properties to provide competition,” noted Ingo ... Read More »

Pocket Listings Pop up in Chicago

pocket_listing

Once solely the province of high end and celebrity markets like the San Francisco Bay area, Beverly Hills and Malibu, pocket listings now are increasingly popular in lower brow parts of the Chicago market, according to local RE/MAX broker/owners. The broker/owners of RE/MAX offices in Chicago, Buffalo Grove, Rockford and Belvidere, Ill. report an upswing in requests from clients for ... Read More »