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Housing Crisis

1.8 Million Bubble-Era HELOCS Could Bust

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More than half, 56 percent, of the 3.3 million Home Equity Lines of Credit scheduled to reset over the next four years with fully amortizing monthly payments replacing interest-only payments are on properties that are seriously underwater, according to a new report from RealtyTrac. With no equity remaining in the Bubble-era HRLOCs, the risk is high that the resets will ... Read More »

Flips Flopped in 2014

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Don’t tell the HGTV producers who find audiences for their endless stream of shows devoted to house flipping, but it’s looking like flipping is losing popularity. RealtyTrac® reports that last year flips fell to their lowest market share since 2011.  Some 136,269 U.S. single family homes were flipped in 2014, 5.4 percent of all single family home sales during the ... Read More »

REO’s: They’re B-A-A-A-A-A-ACK

Theyre Baaack

Four years of declining distress sales quietly ground to a halt last year and now real estate owned properties (REOs) have increased steadily for four months in a row, rising to 23.2%, based on a three-month moving average, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. The distressed property share of home sales peaked at 45.5% in March ... Read More »

Concern over Inventory Shortages Escalates

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A fourth national market report has added to the evidence that winter inventories are extraordinarily—even dangerously—low.  Realtor.com has joined RE/MAX, NAR and Zillow in reporting levels significantly below last year. (See Tight Inventories Propel Prices and Winter Inventories Plant Seeds for Spring Surprises). The realtor.com January National Housing Trend Report shows that inventory has decreased 6.7 percent month over month ... Read More »

Foreclosure Inventory Fell 34 Percent in 2014, but January Repos Add New Starts

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  Foreclosures in the national inventory fell to about 550,000 in December, a 38 month decline, but the New Year may break that pattern as banks ended their traditional holiday grace periods with a 55 percent increase in repossessions. The national foreclosure inventory fell by 34.3 percent year over year in December 2014 to approximately 552,000 homes, or 1.4 percent ... 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 »

Nearly Ten Million Homeowners Still Lack the Equity to Sell or Buy

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Almost 273,000 U.S. homes returned to positive equity in the third quarter of 2014, bringing the total number of mortgaged residential properties with equity to approximately 44.6 million, or 90 percent of all mortgaged properties, according to the latest report from CoreLogic. Borrower equity increased year over year by approximately $800 billion in Q3 2014. The CoreLogic analysis indicates that approximately ... Read More »

Can Traditional Buyers Save the Recovery?

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  The recovery is at a tipping point because traditional buyers are not making up for the decline in sales to investors, who cannot find enough houses to buy profitably.  Cash buyers competing for distressed and low-tier inventory who helped to jump start the overall recovery now are fading from the market.  They have fallen to just 16.8% of all sales, suggesting ... Read More »

Wells Circles the Wagons

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Growing concern over the faltering housing recovery has inspired an unusual vote of confidence for housing’s fundamentals from two of Wells Fargo’s top economists. In a “special commentary” published in the bank’s web site, senior economists Mark Vitner and Anika R. Khan argue that too much progress has been made restoring growth to the overall economy for the recovery to ... Read More »

With Equity on the Mend, Homeowners Hit on HELOCs

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Equity is now piling up in homes that have been money pits for years and now their owners are rushing to spend their new found wealthy. In the past two years, housing gains and a strong stock market have restored $14.22 trillion to household wealth, the largest such increase in any two-year period in US history, according to the Federal ... Read More »