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Hello Moderation, Bye Distress Sales

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As a percent of all sales, distressed sales fell to 18 percent in July from their peak of 40.8 percent in March of 2011. The major shift in home sale type, from distressed to fair market, will continue to impact future growth potential for markets overall, reports Clear Capital’s July Market Report. Does that mean home price gains will continue ... Read More »

Consolidation Creates Megalandlords Dominating Single Family Rentals

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“Now we’ll sweep up everybody over the next two years who got stuck, who says I have home price appreciation, which they do. They bought right, but now they are stuck.” The chief executive officer of the second largest hedge fund landlord articulated in an interview with Bloomberg why a handful of megalords are the process of dominating the single ... Read More »

The Problem isn’t Student Loans, it’s Student Dropouts

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Student loans have been a problem for first-time buyers for generations, but they didn’t stop first-timers from buying 40 percent of the homes sold ten years ago. So what’s the whining all about? One thing that’s different is the size and scope of the problem.  Overall student loan debt recently breached the $1 trillion mark. There are more individuals with ... Read More »

Zillow: Coming Soon to an MLS Near You

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  Zillow’s “Coming Soon” program raises important questions about potential role of  ”pre-listings” in MLS marketplaces and whether economists should use them to track prices and inventories. Zillow now is posting properties that are “not yet on the market, but expect to be listed for sale within 30 days” so that buyers can “identify homes that will be listed for ... Read More »

Why Won’t Buyers Make the Leap?

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Halfway through the spring buying season, mortgage applications fell 1.2 percent for the week ending May 21 and the  unadjusted Mortgage Bankers Association’s Purchase Index fell even more.  It was down 2 percent in just one week–15 percent lower than it was a year ago at this time. Such a decline in borrowing to buy a home in the third ... Read More »

Who’s Gonna Love Ya When You’re Down and Out?

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The problem with the housing market this spring may not be that inventory is too small.  It also may not be tight lending standards, massive student loans, lingering levels of negative equity or a peripatetic economy. Maybe it’s just that nobody wants to buy what’s listed. Inventory trends are closely monitored but nobody keeps track of many ugly ducklings linger ... Read More »

Is L.A. the Next Detroit?

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Is L.A. the Next Detroit? By Octavio Nuiry   According to the latest UCLA Anderson School of Management study, Los Angeles, Detroit and Cleveland share the dubious distinction of cities with the weakest job growth since 1990. The researchers at UCLA say Los Angeles has lost 3.1 percent of its employment base since 1990, more than Detroit (-2.8 percent) and ... Read More »

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

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  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 »

Will this be a Spring for Happy Dancing?

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Six months ago all the stars were aligned for a spring market that would take America’s housing recovery to new levels and perhaps the rest of the national economy with it. Since then too many things have gone wrong take for granted another good year.  First, inventories dragged, failing to replenish at a healthy rate through most of the winter ... Read More »

Who Should be Cheering for Falling FICO Scores?

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One third—33% of closed loans—had an average FICO score of less than 700 compared to 24% one year ago, yet another sign that lending standard are easing.  Or are they? According to Ellie Mae’s latest monthly origination report, great progress is being made in reducing the average FICO score to give more average American families a shot at a mortgage, ... Read More »