Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Prices Up, Volume Down

Ah, some rare good news from the IL Association of Realtors. Prices are up .7% from 2006. But sales volume is down over 16%.

As Owners Feel Mortgage Pain, So Do Renters...

An article discussing how renters can often be "collateral damage" as the foreclosure rates increase. Non-owner occupied, investor properties have been particularly hard hit in this current credit crunch.

Obviously a tenant would not see his equity wiped out from a foreclosure but he would still face some troubles. First, there's the cost and inconvenience of moving. Second, there's the issue of knowledge. How or when would a tenant know that a property is in foreclosure? Very likely the tenant wouldn't know of the foreclosure (at least in Cook County, Illinois) until the day before the Sheriff is coming out to evict him. Lastly, although not legal, I would guess that many landlords in financial ruin will not be returning that security deposit either.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

NAR and truth

How 'bout the new National Association of Realtors ad campaign...

Here's one of their points:

On average, the value of a home nearly doubles every 10 years. Then beneath this statement it reads, home values have increased an average of 6.6% per year. Hmmm...6.6 * 10 = 66%. Well, they did say "nearly".

Never confuse NAR with objectivity.

Osama Bin Laden and the slow real estate market

The Tribune had an interesting piece about the decline in real estate purchases made by illegal immigrants.

In 1996, the IRS began providing individual taxpayer identification numbers, or ITINs, to foreign investors and immigrants -- both legal and illegal -- so that they could pay taxes. Several years later, some banks began accepting those numbers for loan applications from undocumented workers who had steady jobs and a proven track record of paying bills on time.

Its seems that illegal immigrants have gotten spooked about the ITIN mortgages being used to track illegals.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Cardinal versus the Cardinals

So Stanford was the most expensive and Ball State was the least expensive in Coldwell Banker's annual survey of Division I college town real estate prices. There was a recent piece in the NYTimes about how Stanford has to subsidize some of the assistant football coaches housing so that they're able to attract solid coaching talent.

Are you even the mortgage holder, judge asks?

There was an interesting federal court case out of Ohio profiled here. It may provide some further ideas on possible defenses in foreclosure suits.

It seems that Deutsche Bank brought suit as trustee for various securitization pools that allegedly held a number of mortgages. However when the judge asked to see proof that the "pools" actually held the mortgages they couldn't produce any loan assignments showing that the mortgages had indeed been transferred to the "pools." Oooops!

Friday, November 09, 2007

It's the Media's Fault...

So says Toll Brothers CEO Robert Toll in this NYTimes piece. He provides an interesting evaluation of the strength of different real estate markets around the country.

The F-minus grade went to the vacation communities of Hilton Head, S.C.; Palm Springs, Calif.; the Maryland shore; and the Poconos area of Pennsylvania, as well as to Michigan and Atlanta.

The F grade was the one most often given, going to Arizona, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Minnesota and Southern California outside of Palm Springs. The cities of Chicago; San Antonio; Charlotte, N.C.; and Reno, Nev., got the same mark, as did the eastern and northern parts of Florida. Mr. Toll noted that Minnesota had improved to get its grade up to an F.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

5:1 Ratio - For Sale vs. Sold

Alex Periello, CEO of Realogy, Inc., says that for every 5 homes adversised for sale, one ad ought to feature one that has been sold.

No closings in months but the blogging is great...

Hey, if the open houses aren't drawing crowds and you aren't sitting through the closings waiting for that commission check how 'bout developing a real estate blog. Some folks are doing okay in that "property" area.

Foreclosures Rising...

A total of 446,726 homes nationwide were targeted by some sort of foreclosure activity from July to September, up 100 percent from 223,233 properties in the year-ago period, according to Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac Inc. The most recent figure is also 34 percent higher than the 333,731 properties in foreclosure in the second quarter of this year.

As for the Land of Lincoln...Illinois had 20,008 filings, or one for every 257 households. That's up 80 percent from the third quarter of 2006.

Governor signs new mortgage counseling law...

This replaces the controversial HB 4050 which was to impact only a small segment of the South Side of Chicago. Here's part of the Trib.'s story:

The new law has some requirements that affect all of Illinois; others apply only in Cook County.

The statewide provisions take effect June 1 and require mortgage brokers to verify that borrowers can afford the full costs of a loan, including principal, interest and taxes, according to the governor's office.

All brokers in Illinois also must fully disclose material facts about the loans, such as how much the broker will be paid, and it limits some prepayment penalties....

Starting July 1, it will require counseling for first-time buyers and refinancers in Cook who obtain an interest-only loan; loans with negative amortization, causing the principal to increase; loans with points and fees that total more than 5 percent of the loan amount; loans with a prepayment penalty; or an adjustable-rate mortgage of three years or less.

Can you say overkill!