Archive for the ‘banks’ Category

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What is a Housing Bubble? Is One Forming?

July 7, 2015

Bubble-2-KCM

The recent talk of Greece and its financial challenges has some questioning whether the U.S. could also return to the crisis we experienced in 2008. Some are looking at the rise in real estate values and wondering whether we are in the middle of another housing price bubble.

What actually is a price bubble?

Here is the definition according to Jack M. Guttentag, Professor of Finance Emeritus at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania:

“A price bubble is a rise in price based on the expectation that the price will rise. Sooner or later something happens to erode confidence in continued price increases, at which point the bubble bursts and prices drop. What makes it a price bubble is that the cause of the price increase is an expectation that the price will increase, which sooner or later must reverse itself.”

Does Professor Guttentag believe we are in another housing bubble?

In a recent article, he explained:

“My view is that we are a long way from another house price bubble. Home buyers, lenders, investors and regulators now understand that a nationwide decline in house prices is possible — because we recently lived through one.”

What are home prices doing?

Though home values are continuing to appreciate, the acceleration of the increases has slowed to year-over-year numbers which reflect a healthy housing market. Here is a chart showing year-over-year appreciation since January of last year:

Case-Shiller

We can see that appreciation rates have dropped from double digit numbers to more normal rates of 5% or lower.

Bottom Line

We think Nick Timiraos of the Wall Street Journal put it best in a recent tweet:

“Predictions of a new national home price bubble look unfounded for now, according to data.”

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Show me the money – from contract to close on a home…

July 16, 2013

In today’s real estate world…financing is critical. It is often the difference between deal or no deal. So, how do you make it work? There are a number of factors to consider:

1. Is the buyer’s lender local and reputable?
2. Has the buyer been pre-APPROVED?
3. Is there a significant down payment?
4. Will the house appraise?

Without a yes answer to the above questions, your contract could be in jeopardy. It is always important to work with a lender who properly qualifies prospects, No ambiguous language allowed on that pre-approval letter (look for the “out” clauses”)! Make sure you actually talk to the lender and find out the specifics on the borrower. Is the buyer putting down some funds…money talks in this market and deals are done when the buyer has contributed to the bottom line. Finally, is the home priced right? In today’s market…we don’t want to be a part of the problem. We have to be problem solvers!

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What’s happening in Orlando real estate?

July 1, 2012

What an interesting time in real estate. Homes ARE selling and I have had a great year to date. I’m grateful for that. But there is a lot of work to be done. In what direction are we moving as a nation?

The majority of homes sold are still distress sales. Homes that are NOT distressed (in foreclosure or short sale) are selling fast and furious. These homes are generally well cared for and the Seller can make a decision quickly. People are tired of waiting on banks and on being required to accept homes in shabby condition or AS IS without regard to repairs. I truly believe that buyers want to work with homes that they KNOW are well-maintained and show pride of ownership.

So who is buying distressed properties? Mostly investors with a lot of cash. Are we turning into a society of renters? Time will tell. I can tell you that there are a lot of people looking for rental homes. I probably get five to ten calls per day of someone looking for a rental house.

I am happy for the uptick in home sales but I will be happier when we see loans easier to obtain (even qualified buyers are unduly pressured during the loan process), appraisers realizing that the market is getting stronger and buyers not afraid to make decisions. WE NEED TO MOVE TOWARD A COUNTRY OF CONFIDENT CITIZENS.

I love our country as we approach this July 4th holiday and I pray that we will see our nation move in a positive direction with everyone working to the better good of our nation. May it be so.

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Short Sales Get Shorter: New Deadlines to go into Effect

March 16, 2012

As part of a settlement with state attorneys general, the five largest mortgage servicers are adopting new requirements for short sales, which is expected to speed-up what has been known as a lengthy process.

Here are some of the new requirements for servicers under the settlement:

·     1.   Servicers must provide borrowers with a decision within 30 days after receiving a short sale package request.

·      2.  Servicers will be required to notify a borrower, also within 30 days, if any necessary documents are missing to process the short sale request.

·      3. Servicers must notify a borrower immediately if a deficiency payment is needed to approve the short sale. They also must provide an estimated amount for the deficiency payment needed for the short sale.

·      4.  Servicers are also required to form an internal group to review all short sale requests.

·     5.    Banks will be considered in violation of the settlement requirements if they take longer than 30 days on more than 10 percent of the short sale requests.
Violations can carry fines of up to $1 million and $5 million for repeat offenses.

“If a real estate broker can get a checklist from the bank detailing what documentation is needed, everything can be provided up front, and the bank will be required to give a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down within 30 days,” short sale specialist Chris Hanson with the Hanson Law Firm told HousingWire. “That’s not a bad deal.”

Source: Realtor Magazine

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STOP massive sale of foreclosed homes.

December 16, 2011

There is a simple way to address our current housing crisis – the sale of distressed properties could be easily slowed or stopped with ONE SIMPLE STEP. Banks need to write down the loans on homes that are underwater and allow good borrowers to refinance at today’s lower interest rates.

The most distressing things for most homeowners is that their homes are so UNDERVALUED that they will NEVER see a time when their home will be worth what they owe on it. It’s a reality and it is discouraging. Banks can start to turn the economy and housing around by going to people who are not in distress and beginning the process of re-evaluating value and re-negotiating outstanding balances to make home ownership attractive. To ignore this is fact is going to result in increased defaults and more short sales and foreclosures. It’s going to happen!

Recently, Moody’s released the following statement on the sale of foreclosed homes: They found that on average, a foreclosed property will be valued about 18 percent lower than average home prices, and will be subject to an additional sales discount of about 15 percent.

The banking industry is creating the depreciation of home values when they are personally responsible for the sale of homes at 30% less than fair market rate resulting in the downturn in value on surrounding homes. Banks are making a bad situation worse. I am shocked that no one seems to address this issue in the media or in Congress.

Who wins? Investors. Who loses? Everyone else – especially the American public.

If this fact is true then why not reduce the principal balance on underwater loans by 30% thereby rewarding homeowners who choose to stay in their homes and pay their mortgages. Does anyone really think that people are going to pay their loans out of a sense of obligation and responsibility? Seriously? I predict a mass exodus as people figure out that they are better off renting and getting out from a debt they can never actually pay off and for which their home will never be worth.

Let’s get serious about solutions to real estate and the housing crisis. Do I think this is going to happen? Hell, no. We have a government that is ineffective and impotent and a banking industry getting rich on investments. The American public continues to struggle with no one reaching out a helping hand. Is there anyone out there who can make a stand for the people?