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The Dry Rot in America’s Housing Stock: A Sad Legacy of the Foreclosure Era

abandoned-house

  What would an influx of 3.8 million entry-level homes do for housing affordability? Limited inventory and strong demand continue to push home prices higher in America’s hottest housing markets, leading to declining affordability.  Forecasters are raising their predictions as tight inventories of homes, particularly lower priced properties, keep first-time buyers on the sidelines. Those 3.8 million homes, nearly twice ... Read More »

How the Rent Trap is Killing Off First-time Buyers

mousetrap

This is the year when the stars are aligned perfectly for record numbers of tenants to tear up their leases and kiss the renting life good-bye. Historically low mortgage rates won’t last much longer.  Home prices will only rise. New three percent down programs from Fannie and Freddie sweeten the deal for new buyers.  FHA’s mortgage insurance premium cut makes ... Read More »

Why Lending Standards Won’t Get Any Better

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Anybody who works with young home buyers today knows the definition of heartbreak.   It’s when young couples with good jobs and dreams of homeownership can’t overcome the barriers to getting financing that have been erected since 2006. Of all the players still on the field today—lenders, politicians, regulators, brokers, GSEs—they are the only innocent ones.  They were in high school ... Read More »

Nascent Demand, Tight Inventories Supercharge April Prices

rising-house-prices-toronto1

  Prices took an unexpectedly big leap upward in April as rising demand collided with tight supplies to propel sale prices. With headlines like The Re-Explosion of U.S. House Prices Is Over, most forecasts in January had prices rising 4-5 percent over 2014.  Only the CoreLogic and NAR were on the sunny side, predicting 5/9 and 6 percent respectively. Only ... Read More »

Homeowners vs Investors: The Devil is in the Details

trustme

  Vacation Home Sales Soar to Record High in 2014, Investment Purchases Fall or Homes Sold to Owner-Occupants Drops to New Low in First Quarter, Smaller Investors Picking Up Slack Time for a quiz.  Which headline do YOU think is right?  The first, the second, both or neither? The right answer is that you should never believe a real estate ... Read More »

Take a Closer Look at the Spring Boomlet: It’s a Remarkable Start

Take a look

It’s official.  Early signs and forecasts of an extraordinary sales season are proving to be true.  NAR’s March existing home sales rocketed to their highest annual rate in 18 months. Total March sales increased 6.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million in March from 4.89 million in February—the highest annual rate since September 2013 (also 5.19 ... Read More »

HELOC Resets? No Worries!

noworries

Perhaps you’ve seen the headlines crafted to conjure up fearful memories of Alt-A and Option ARM loan defaults during the depths of the housing depression. Tidal wave of HELOC resets about to hit! HELOC Resets Will Undermine Any Housing Recovery. Boom-Era HELOC Resets Raise Concerns. Not to worry.  Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) resets are not going to cripple the housing ... Read More »

Is it Cold Feet or Just the Weather?

coldfeet

With the opening of the 2015 home selling season just a few weeks away, are sellers showing signs of getting cold feet?  Do many plan to sit out 2015 or are they just moving slowly because their toes are still numb from the latest winter wallop and all will be well with the first daffodils? Fannie Mae’s monthly National Housing ... Read More »

Case Shiller: Maybe They Just Don’t Like December

christmas

Which of the following statements were made today by Standard & Poor’s David Blitzer about the December Case Shiller price indices? “Gains are slowing from month-to-month and the strongest part of the recovery in home values may be over. Year-over-year values for the two monthly Composites weakened and the quarterly National Index barely improved. The seasonally adjusted data also exhibit ... Read More »

What’s Happening to the Most Important Homes in Real Estate?

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  What’s really happening with homes in the bottom price tiers? These are the most important homes in the entire real estate economy.  They are where the housing ladder begins: they are then entry point for new buyers, the starter homes that MUST be available and affordable for Millennials if the housing economy is to ever function again as it ... Read More »

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