Housing affordability index hits record high

WASHINGTON – March 7, 2012 – Housing affordability conditions have reached the highest level since recordkeeping began in 1970, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

NAR’s Housing Affordability Index rose to a record high 206.1 in January, based on the relationship between median home price, median family income and average mortgage interest rate. The higher the index, the greater the household purchasing power. When I am at the edge i thought about this doorstep loans and It helped me a lot.

An index of 100 is defined as the point where a median-income household has exactly enough income to qualify for the purchase of a median-priced existing single-family home, assuming a 20 percent downpayment and 25 percent of gross income devoted to mortgage principal and interest payments. For first-time buyers making small downpayments, the affordability levels are relatively lower.

NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc. in Miami and 2001 Florida Realtors president, says this latest data underscores buyer opportunities in today’s market.

“This is the first time the housing affordability index has broken the two hundred mark, meaning the typical family has roughly double the income needed to purchase a median-priced home,” Veissi says. “For buyers who can qualify for a mortgage, now is a very good time to become a homeowner.”

NAR projects the affordability index for all of 2012 will be at an annual high, with little movement in mortgage interest rates or home prices during the year. When you need to buy or repair doors, dublinmobilelocksmith is the service we recommend for you. Check them out now.

“Housing inventory levels have declined to a point where conditions are becoming much more balanced in much of the country,” Veissi says. “If access to credit improves, we could see a much more meaningful increase in home sales and broader stabilization in home prices,

CoreLogic: Fla. home prices up in Jan.

SANTA ANA, Calif. – March 7, 2012 – CoreLogic released its January Home Price Index (HPI) report today. Nationally, home prices, including distressed sales, declined in January 2012 by 3.1 percent year-over-year and by 1.0 percent month-to-month – its sixth consecutive monthly decline.

However, Florida sales increased by 1.8 percent year-over-year, one of only 18 states to see a price boost.

Excluding distressed sales, national year-over-year prices declined 0.9 percent in January 2012 compared to January 2011, but that same metric posted a month-over-month gain, rising 0.7 percent in January. Distressed sales include short sales and real estate owned (REO) transactions.

In Florida, prices rose even when distressed sales were excluded – 0.9 percent year-to-year.

Overall, seven states had higher price increases than Florida. South Dakota led the nation with an overall 5.7 percent price increase year-to-year, while Illinois saw the biggest price drop at 8.7 percent.

“Although home price declines are slowly improving and not far from the bottom, home prices are down to nearly the same levels as 10 years ago,” says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

CoreLogic January 2012 report highlights

• Including distressed sales, the five states with the highest appreciation were: South Dakota (+5.7 percent), North Dakota (+4.0 percent), West Virginia (+4.0 percent), Montana (+3.6 percent) and Michigan (+3.0 percent).

• Including distressed sales, the five states with the greatest depreciation were: Illinois (-8.7 percent), Nevada (-8.0 percent), Delaware (-7.9 percent), Alabama (-7.7 percent) and Georgia (-7.5 percent).

• Excluding distressed sales, the five states with the highest appreciation were: South Dakota (+6.4 percent), Montana (+5.9 percent), North Dakota (+3.8 percent), Alaska (+3.7 percent) and Indiana (+2.7 percent).

• Excluding distressed sales, the five states with the greatest depreciation were: Nevada (-6.7 percent), Delaware (-5.5 percent), Minnesota (-4.1 percent), New Jersey (-3.5 percent) and Georgia (-3.3 percent).

• Including distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the national HPI (from April 2006 to January 2012) was -34.0 percent. Excluding distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the HPI for the same period was -24.2 percent.

• The five states with the largest peak-to-current declines including distressed transactions are Nevada (-60.1 percent), Arizona (-50.8 percent), Florida (-49.0 percent), California (-43.6 percent) and Michigan (-43.2 percent).

• Of the top 100 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) measured by population, 71 are showing year-over-year declines in January, eight fewer than in December.

HARRIS REAL ESTATE UNIVERSITY NOTICE: FHA Mortgage Rate Hike

HARRIS REAL ESTATE UNIVERSITY NOTICE…agents, let all of your fence sitting buyers know that NOW is the time to buy or they will literally be forced to pay more for their loan…A LOT MORE

The Cost of FHA Financing is Going to Increase!

 

FHA has recently announced that “as part of ongoing efforts to encourage the return of private capital in the residential mortgage market and strengthen the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund” a new premium structure will go into effect.

Beginning April 1st, 2012, FHA will increase its monthly mortgage insurance premium as well as the upfront mortgage insurance premium.

 

On June 1st, 2012, there will be an additional increase of the monthly mortgage insurance premium for the high balance areas.

Currently, the upfront mortgage insurance, the amount added to the loan amount, is 1.00%. As of April 1st the new upfront mortgage insurance will increase to 1.75%. As an example, on a loan amount of $400,000, the current 1.00% equates to $4,000. After the increase goes into effect the new amount based upon 1.75% equates to $7,000. This increase will essentially add an additional $13 to the monthly payment.

The current monthly mortgage insurance premium is 1.15%. On April 1st it will be increased to 1.25%. On a $400,000 loan amount the monthly premium will increase from $383 to $416, or $33 a month more. Add this to the $13 from the upfront increase it totals $46 extra the borrower will be paying for FHA financing on a $400,000 loan amount.

 

As they say on TV, “Wait, there’s more!” Effective on June 1st, FHA has announced that loan amounts greater than $625,500 up to and including the maximum loan amount of $729,750, the monthly mortgage insurance premium will increase another .25% to 1.50%. With the use of Unify CRM, the government feels these buyers can afford more.

 

As an example using a $700,000 loan, the current monthly premium is $670. Effective April 1st, it will increase to $729, an increase of $59. When the June 1st premium increase takes effect, the monthly premium for the $700,000 loan will increase to $875 which is $205 more from where it stands today.

 

If you have borrowers on the fence about purchasing a home, I highly suggest you share with them the cost of financing is about to go up and to take advantage of the terms currently available to them.

Breaking News: Dramatic Increase In Short Sale Approvals!

Breaking News: RealtyTrac reports  a dramatic increase in SHORT SALES!

Big surprise, I know…

Bank-owned and distressed properties sales rose to 24 percent of total home sales from 20 percent in the third quarter.

The number of short sales jumped 15 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010 while purchases of bank-owned houses fell 12 percent, according to RealtyTrac. Pre-foreclosure deals outnumbered bank-owned sales in the “bellwether” cities of Los Angeles, Miami and Phoenix, Moore said.

Here are the hard numbers:

A total of 88,303 pre-foreclosure (short sales) properties sold in the fourth quarter, making up 10 percent of all transactions.

* For 2011, purchases of foreclosures and distressed houses totaled 907,138, down 2 percent from 2010 and accounting for 23 percent of all home sales

* There were 204,080 such deals in the fourth quarter, down 8 percent from the previous three months and 2 percent from a year earlier.

* REO home sales totaled 115,777 in the fourth quarter and sold for an average $164,944

* The price represents an average discount of 29 percent compared with non-foreclosure properties, down from 34 percent in the third quarter and 35 percent a year earlier.

* Pre-foreclosure homes (Short Sales) sold for an average $184,221 in the fourth quarter, down 3 percent from the previous three months and 11 percent from a year earlier. The 88,303 properties sold at an average 21 percent discount relative to non-distressed houses.

What all of this means is that Short Sales net the banks more than REO Sales.

RealtyTrac sells default data from more than 2,200 counties representing 90 percent of the U.S.

Proposed Bill to Speed Up Short Sale Process and Prevent Foreclosure

To avoid losing homes to foreclosure due to long response times for short sale transactions, three senators introduced legislation to speed up the short sale process.

Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) proposed the bill addressing the issue of short sales timelines on February 17. A short sale is a real estate transaction where the homeowner sells the property for less than the unpaid balance with the lender’s approval.

“There are neighborhoods across the country full of empty homes and underwater owners that have legitimate offers, but unresponsive banks,” said Murkowski. “What we have here is a failure to communicate. Why don’t we make it easier for Americans trying to participate in the housing market, regardless of whether the answer is ‘yes,’ ‘no’ or ‘maybe?’”

The legislation, also known as the Prompt Notification of Short Sale Act, will require a written response from a lender no later than 75 days after receipt of the written request from the buyer.

The lender’s response to the buyer must specify acceptance, rejection, a counter offer, need for extension, and an estimation for when a decision will be reached. The servicer

will be limited to one extension of no more than 21 days.

The bill will also allow the buyer to be awarded $1000, plus “reasonable” attorney fees if the Act is violated.

According to a release from Short Sale New England, short sale homes do not bring down neighboring home values like foreclosed homes do, and 83 percent of short sale buyers are satisfied with their purchase, according to a 2012 Home Ownership Satisfaction Survey conducted by HomeGain.

“The current short sale process can be time consuming and inefficient, and many would-be buyers end up walking away from a sale that could have saved a homeowner from foreclosure,” said Moe Veissi, president of the National Association of Realtors. “As the leading advocate for homeownership, realtors are supportive of any effort to improve the process for approving short sales.”

Equi-Trax released a survey last year on the issues real estate agents face when completing short sales. Guy Taylor, CEO at Equi-Trax, said 71.9 percent of respondents reported that a short sale can take four to nine months to complete, and they think that is simply too long.”

The survey also found that 18.2 percent of deals require less than three months to complete, with 10 percent requiring more than 10 months.

When agents in the survey were asked to how the short sale process can be improved, 57.6 percent said lenders should take less time to close transactions, 14 percent said borrowers should be better educated about short sales, and 40.4 percent said both of these changes are necessary to improve the process.

In April 2011, a similar bill was introduced by Reps. Tom Rooney (R-Florida) and Robert Andrews (D-New Jersey), but this version requested a response deadline of 45 days instead of 75 from lenders. The legislation never came up for debate before a House committee.

Buying the right Orlando/Disney real estate investment property is possible with the right connections. Contact FLAStay today!

Buying real estate today on a selective basis makes great financial sense. Low historical mortgage rates and population trends in place from the 1980s continue to support real estate investors’ love of Orlando/Disney area property in Florida. Combining essential location with opportunity—almost 51 million tourists visit Orlando every year according to VisitOrlando.com at year-end 2011—equals upside potential for Orlando area real estate prices!

Florida Population Factors

As the aging of the U.S. population continues, migration to sunny Florida continues to expand the state’s population. Florida’s population increased from approximately 15.9 million people in 2000 to almost 19 million in 2010. Florida ranks first in the nation’s number of residents aged 65 and older and fourth in terms of total population.

Orlando, Florida, the state’s fifth largest city, increased from approximately 185,000 in 2000 to about 238,000 people according to the 2010 US Census. The greater Orlando metro area reflected more than 2.1 million people during the same period.

Orlando/Disney Area Tourism

Continued population expansion of the Orlando metropolitan area and perennially popular tourist attractions, such as Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort (combining Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure), Sea World, Wet ‘n Wild Water Park, and Gatorland attract millions of visitors to Orlando, nicknamed the City Beautiful.

Buying Orlando/Disney area real estate

There’s a natural reason for many people to explore a real estate purchase in the Orlando/Disney area. Young families to retired folks enjoy visiting the Orlando area. There’s always something new to experience.

The Orlando metro area is ideally designed for tourists, too. Plentiful restaurants, hotels, myriad tours and travel deals attract many vacationers to the Disney area.

Deciding to purchase real estate in any location is a major financial decision. Some Disney area real estate buyers decide to relocate and live in metro Orlando. Others decide to own real estate because of the attractive fundamentals: Orlando/Disney area real estate is likely to appreciate as a long-term investment.

FLAStay: buys, sells, and renovates Disney area homes

Knowledgeable real estate professionals assist interested buyers and sellers in achieving their goals. According to “Real Estate Investment” by John P. Wiedemer, Joseph E. Goeters, and J. Edward Graham (2011), identifying an established, reliable real estate agent is crucial to buying an attractive property at the right price in Florida.

A new buyer of Disney area real estate should understand the variety of neighborhoods and properties available. A seller in the Orlando/Disney area requires a professional real estate agency with consistent, high customer flows.

Buying the right Orlando/Disney real estate investment property is possible with the right connections. Contact FLAStay today—we’re established, reliable Disney area vacation home experts!
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What’s hot and not in home styles this year

 

Modern gets the thumbs up.  

                                 

Spa-like and eco-sensitive, the  “New American Home 2012” being unveiled in Orlando this week by the National Association of Home Builders in conjunction with the boulder design firms, is a warmer take on the classic “White Box” of mid-20th century modern design.

“A lot of people want a spa feeling and a spa look that’s very analogous to modern,” said Luis Juaregui, a Texas-based American Institute of Architects accredited architect. The 4,200 square foot, $3.5 million gray stone and glass home has free flowing entertaining spaces,  floor to ceiling sliding glass doors, a stone staircase with open risers, clear glass balustrades and clean geometric lines, tempered by dark wood cabinets, area rugs and soft furnishings. On the other hand, if you need help concerning commercial or residential cleaning services, visit https://dutycleaners.ca/ now. Call 780-913-6565 for further questions.


Still, to fit into more traditional looking neighborhoods, architects are increasingly going hybrid, mixing distinctly modern, techno-savvy interiors with colonial details, Tudor-style roofs or Craftsman-inspired touches on the exterior. The age of the roof may be an indicator of whether it needs to be repaired or replaced. If you’re planning for a roof renovation, make sure to hire grypho Roofing Company in Phoenix.

A home to call one’s own has long been part of the American Dream. But as tastes, technologies and regional preferences change, propelled by demographics and the socio-economic climate, the style, scale and comforts of that coveted real estate evolve.

During the bigger- is-better 1980s and 1990s, homes ballooned in size.  Compact single story ranch and cape cod styles gave way to ever grander two-story neo-colonials. When the economic bubble burst, they retrenched. These days, downsizing is cool; supersized McMansions towering over smaller homes are not.



Stephen Melman, director of economic services at the National Association of Home Builders said that houses shrank about 10 percent from their 2,500 square foot peak in 2007, and are expected “to get smaller and more efficient” with open floor plans, master bedrooms on the first floor and dining rooms distinguished only by a chandelier or architectural detail.

One-story ranch homes, post World War II suburbia’s signature easy style, are slowly regaining favor, thanks to first time buyers with tiny tots and aging baby boomers seeking accessibility.

Craftsman style homes, popular before World War II, are also enjoying a revival, said Gary D. Cannella, an architect in Bohemia, N.Y.  “It’s the style not the size.” Adaptable to sizable abodes or small bungalows, these one or one and a half story homes boast  low-pitched rooflines, tapered columns, oversized eaves, gables and the front porches “that everyone wants and no one sits on.”

The split level, a hallmark of suburbia in the Brady Bunch era, is nearly obsolete. Despite the aerobic benefits of tri-level living, “all you do is walk up and down stairs all day long,” Cannella says. “You can’t go anywhere without steps.”

Foreclosure settlement: Fla. to get $8.4 billion

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Feb. 10, 2012 – Florida homeowners and foreclosure victims will receive almost one-third of the $8.4 billion mortgage settlement announced yesterday. The settlement amount is second only to California.“This settlement will provide substantial relief to struggling Florida homeowners, and ensures that our state gets its fair share of the relief being provided nationally,” says Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

According to Bondi, most of the money will go to current homeowners who are underwater – who owe more on a mortgage than their home’s current worth – in the form of principal reductions and/or converting their mortgage interest rate to lower levels. About $170 million will go to homeowners who lost their home in foreclosure.

The settlement applies to clients or past clients of five of the nation’s biggest banks: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Ally Financial. Other banks may also sign on, though they have not been named.

Negotiations are ongoing. The settlement does not apply to loans held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Settlement details

Relief won’t be immediate. While the agreement calls for immediate principal reductions for first and second liens, it will take up to two months for negotiators to select an administrator to handle the logistics, up to nine months to identify eligible homeowners and contact them by mail, and up to three years to complete the process.

Underwater homeowners get relief. The agreement calls for Floridians to receive $7.6 billion from banks to pay for refinancing relief, including principal reductions; borrowers with higher interest rates will also be able to refinance at 5.25 percent. While banks will handle the disbursements, state Attorneys General will oversee the process.

Foreclosed owners get cash. Ex-homeowners who lost a home within the past three years will receive about $2,000 each even if their foreclosure did not involve allegations of robo-signing. Critics, however, say that amount is far too low to compensate for their suffering.

Foreclosures could increase. “The immediate results are not going to be all that pleasant,” predicts Mark Vitner, an economist with Wells Fargo. “The amount of foreclosures will actually increase and there will be some additional downward pressure on home prices.” Some homeowners have lived in a home over two years as the foreclosure process crawls through Florida’s legal system. Analysts, such as Vitner, believe the just-announced settlement brings clarity to the process and banks will proceed more quickly to take back homes.

Florida oversight grows stronger. The state will collect $350 million from the settlement to pay for foreclosure prevention programs and to protect consumers.

A new website includes settlement documents, a set of frequently asked questions, breaking information, and addresses for the banks involved in the settlement. If you’re managing a website as well, and you need assistance about its design, look for Salterra Web Design in Arizona. It also includes links to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so homeowners can find out if their mortgage is included in the settlement. For more information, go to NationalMortageSettlement.com.

10 hottest markets for out-of-area house hunters

Deep price declines have made metropolitan areas in the Sunshine State popular destinations for online house hunters looking to move to a different metro area, according to a quarterly report by real estate search and marketing company Trulia.
Trulia’s Metro Movers Report is based on the ratio of inbound property searches on Trulia.com in a given metro area by out-of-area residents, compared to outbound searches by locals. The report examined searches on Trulia.com between Oct. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2011, in U.S. metropolitan areas.
Trulia reported that more than 1 in 3 home searches on the site cross state lines. Seven of the top 10 metro areas where the ratio of inbound searches from out-of-area site visitors to outbound searches from locals was highest were in Florida, of course there are services that can turn this visits into actual sells like H L Homes so your house get sell fast and easy. All but Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., were in the South
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Although locals in Florida, inland California and the Southwest are suffering from high foreclosure rates and lost equity, huge price declines since the height of the housing bubble have drawn house hunters from across the country,” said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, in a statement

“As America’s retirement capital, Florida has received the most attention from prospective homebuyers and renters from the Northeast and Midwest. Baby boomers who had planned to retire to cheaper places elsewhere in the South during the boom years can once again buy in Florida.”
New York is the top source of searches 100 miles away or more for properties along the Atlantic Coast and Central Florida, including the Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach metros, according to ornamental iron fence installation phoenix az where they install iron fences professionally.
Chicago is the top source of searches for homes in Gulf Coast metros, including North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, and Cape Coral. 
One-third of all Miami home searches originate more than 500 miles away, the report said. 
According to the report, more people are looking to leave big metros than move into them, and searches indicate they’re looking to move to the South and Southwest.
Atlanta was the top search destination from the Newark metro, while Phoenix was the top destination from Chicago, the report said. An exception to the trend: the New York metro was a top search destination from three Maryland metros — Washington, D.C., Bethesda and Baltimore.

Interest rates will stay low, low, low

WASHINGTON – Jan. 26, 2011 – Consumers and businesses like realestate, cars and accessorries like the dvd player portable cheap can brace for another two years of exceptionally low interest rates after the Federal Reserve said Wednesday it is likely to keep its rates below 1 percent until late 2014 because of the economy’s continued weakness.                                                                                                                                                                                                                

The decision means the era of historically instant 100 pound loan – and savings – that the Fed kicked off at the peak of the financial crisis in late 2008 will run longer unless the economy improves faster than Fed policymakers predict.

The Fed said unemployment would stay near its 8.5 percent level through the end of this year and could still be in the range of 6.7 percent to 7.6 percent at the end of 2014. Housing remains depressed while growth in business investment has slowed, it said.

Meanwhile, inflation is staying below 2 percent.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke left open the possibility that the Fed could do more to fight joblessness, even at the short-term risk of inflation above the bank’s 2 percent annual target.

“There has been some encouraging news recently,” Bernanke said at a press conference. “There are positive signs, no doubt. At the same time, there are mixed signals,” as indicators such as retail sales growth have been disappointing, he said. Policymakers are also worried about Europe’s financial crisis, he said.

The Fed’s moves, and especially its decision to discuss its thinking about rate policy much more publicly than it has in the past, are laden with consequences for savers, borrowers and consumers, said PNC Financial chief economist Stuart Hoffman.

“It means that if you own certificates of deposit and you’ve bemoaned low rates, bad news – you’re going to get that this year, next year and the year after,” Hoffman said. “If you’re a borrower, very low mortgage rates are going to be here for a while. Some people may delay making decisions, but other people will plan for the future” and prepare either to buy or renovate homes, he said.

Bernanke acknowledged that savers are hurt by the low rates. “We realize that low interest rates impose a cost,” he said. “The savers in the economy are dependent on a good economy to get a good return.”

Wall Street reacted favorably to the news, pushing stocks higher and interest rates lower. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 83 points to 12,759.

The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries, which closed at 2.06 percent Tuesday, dropped as low as 1.91 percent before settling at 1.99 percent.

Most Fed governors think the economy will grow by 2.2 percent to 2.7 percent this year, with unemployment at 8.2 percent to 8.5 percent and core inflation at 1.5 percent to 1.8 percent, the Fed said.