Monday, December 31, 2007

Existing home sales edge up from record low

To close the year with a positive note, this news is a relieve for the Real Estate market.

Existing home sales edge up from record low
By Emily Kaiser
Mon Dec 31, 4:36 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The pace of existing U.S. home sales edged up in November from a record low, according to a report on Monday that offered some tentative signs of stabilization in the still-ailing housing market.

Sales of previously owned homes rose 0.4 percent to a 5 million-unit annual rate, the first increase in nine months, the National Association of Realtors said.

Economists and investors breathed a small sigh of relief that the glut of unsold homes was smaller than a month earlier, dipping to 10.3 months' supply at November's sales pace from 10.7 in October, as falling prices spurred stronger demand.

Wall Street economists had expected home resales to hold steady at October's previously reported 4.97 million-unit pace. October sales were revised up to a 4.98 million unit rate, still the lowest on records dating to 1999.

The data initially helped stocks trim losses, while weighing on prices for U.S. government bonds. However, the moves were short-live and major stock indexes closed down, with the blue chip Dow Jones industrial index (.DJI) falling 101 points to 13,264.

"The second consecutive month of steady sales seemingly hints at a possible bottom in housing demand," said Haseeb Ahmed, an economist with JPMorgan in New York. However, Ahmed said the stability was "quite possibly temporary."

While the inventory of unsold homes moved down, it remained elevated at 4.27 million homes as the ongoing turmoil in the credit markets thinned the pool of potential buyers, suggesting it may be some time before the market regains solid footing.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Real Estate Professionals --
Meeting the Needs of Home Sellers
by Dr. Paul C. Bishop, Harika “Anna” Barlett and Jessica Lautz, NAR Survey Research

Selling a home is a major decision for most households but sellers can choose from many options when looking to successfully complete a home sale. Sellers can work with a real estate agent who will manage the entire transaction, or they can take on the entire selling and marketing responsibility themselves, without the assistance of an agent.

2007 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers indicate that among recent home sellers, 85 percent were assisted by a real estate agent

How those home sellers select their real estate agent, what they expect their agent to do for them in the home sales transaction, and whether or not they would use that agent again are just a few of the questions that the report answers...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Latest Real Estate News

Foreclosure Activity Decreases 10% in November
“The 10 percent drop in November is the first double-digit monthly decrease we’ve seen since April 2006,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac.

FHA Legislation to Help Homeowners, Economy
The FHA Modernization Act of 2007, passed Friday by the U.S. Senate, would help protect the interest of America’s current and future homeowners by giving borrowers a safer alternative to riskier mortgage products while also helping many homeowners who may be facing foreclosure, according to the National Association of Realtors(R)

Realtors® Urge President To Sign Tax Relief Bill
Realtors® Urge President To Sign Tax Relief Bill Quickly To Ease Foreclosure Burdens
WASHINGTON, December 18, 2007 - Many families and individuals are one step closer to seeing tax relief, thanks to the passage of the Mortgage Cancellation Tax Relief Act by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Since the early 1990s, NAR has advocated repealing the current law that forces individuals to pay an income tax when they have had a loan forgiven in either a foreclosure, a sale in a market where prices are declining or because the lender grants new mortgage terms.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Housing Markets That Are Still Thriving

Daily Real Estate News | December 11, 2007
Housing Markets That Are Still Thriving

Home prices also jumped more than 10 percent in second home markets in Utah, Idaho, and Colorado.

"They're doing so well because they're getting the run-off from California, Nevada, and Arizona," says Jeannine Cataldi, senior economist for Global Insight. "When prices got so high [in those states], people said, 'there must be places that are more affordable.’”

The best-performing housing market in the country during the third quarter was picturesque Wenatchee, a city of more than 35,000 that is the seat of Chelan County, Wash. Prices in the Wenatchee metro area increased by 15.7 percent year over year, according to RealtyTrac.

Here are the top 10 best performing markets in the country:

Wenatchee, Wash.: 15.7 percent
Provo-Orem, Utah: 14.35 percent
Grand Junction, Colo.: 14.05 percent
Ogden-Clearfield, Utah: 13.95 percent
Salt Lake City: 13.37 percent
Idaho Fall, Idaho: 11.69 percent
Austin-Round Rock, Texas: 9.67 percent
Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas: 9.44 percent
Asheville, N.C.: 9.44 percent
Billings, Mont.: 9.07 percent

Source: BusinessWeek, Prashant Gopal (12/10/07)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Mortgage rate freeze reached

Today President Bush announced a big program for the relief of the Mortgage crunches for the homeowners. Here is the newsbrief:

Mortgage rate freeze reached

11 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Hundreds of thousands of strapped homeowners could get some relief from a plan negotiated by the Bush administration to freeze interest rates on subprime mortgages that are scheduled to rise in the coming months

There is no perfect solution," President Bush said Thursday as he announced an agreement hammered out with the mortgage industry. "The homeowners deserve our help. The steps I've outlined today are a sensible response to a serious challenge."

Seeking to counter criticism he is violating his free-market principles, Bush said the private-sector plan does not represent the imposition of a government solution to the mortgage crisis.

"We should not bail out lenders, real estate speculators or those who made the reckless decision to buy a home they knew they could not afford," Bush said after meeting with industry leaders at the White House. "But there are some responsible homeowners who could avoid foreclosure with some assistance."

Bush said 1.2 million people could be eligible for help. But only a fraction will be subject to the rate freeze. Others would get assistance in refinancing with their lenders and moving into loans secured by the Federal Housing Administration, Bush said.

Also, the aid will only come to those who ask for it, he said. Thousands of borrowers who are falling behind on their payments have been sent letters about the options, and Bush also urged people to call a new hot line: 1-888-995-HOPE.

The announcement followed news earlier Thursday that home foreclosures surged to an all-time high in the July-September period. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that the percentage of all mortgages that started the foreclosure process in the third quarter jumped to a record 0.78 percent. That top the mark of 0.65 percent of all mortgages in the second quarter.;_ylt=And28tZReMbDjxW5ai5ZDXyb.HQA