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No New Posts   Comprehensive Market Reports for the Colorado Springs Market

May 6, 2014

Check out for the most complete and up-to-date real estate statistics for the Colorado Springs market anywhere on the web.  Click Here for the reports

No New Posts   Meryl Streep Lists L.A. Home at a 50 Percent Profit 1 Year After Buying

April 30, 2014





Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep put her Los Angeles mansion up for sale this week, and is looking to cash in on the recent upward trend in California home prices.  Streep bought the property last February for a tidy $4.5 million, but listed the home this week for a staggering $6.75 million.  That'll be a hefty 50 percent profit for the legendary actress if she gets what she's asked for.  The median home price for Southland homes sold in March reached $400,000, marking a year-over-year improvement of just under 16 percent.






No New Posts   Understanding Short Sales

April 2, 2014

Why do short sales take so long? It's a loaded question with no easy answer. Short sales have long been transactions that banks go to great lengths to avoid. After all, who wants to be repaid a portion of the money they've loaned out. Of course, lenders were forced to become more open to short sales when the housing market collapsed, because of the overwhelming number of underwater homeowners. Banks had to accept that it's better to take less than borrowers owed than to foreclose on the property and get even less than that in a foreclosure sale. Even with the market recovering, however, millions of Americans still owe more on their home loans than the homes are worth, so short sales are likely to continue as a viable option for many borrowers for several years to come.  Read Entire Article

Started By: TW

Comments: 0

Views: 2504

Last Post: Apr 2 22:42:22 2014 by TW


No New Posts   La Jolla Home Sales Report for August 2012

September 20, 2012

The new report for La Jolla home sales is now live, located here.

The new report for La Jolla condo sales can be found HERE.

No New Posts   Kochi real estate soars high

August 13, 2012

Kochi is soaring higher and higher, and so is kochi real estate. The outlook of the city has changed recently to a great extent with the emergence and upsurge of the IT field. Those who are employed with these firms migrate to the city to stay conveniently near their job location. Furthermore, many others prefer to settle down in the city in pursuit of better living standards. This comes as a boon for the real estate property dealers and owners. People approach them to select land or building that suits their budget and preferences. The popularity of Kochi tourism, with its historic palaces, churches and other scenic spots also brings in tourists, thus helping the real estate sector to boom.


The cost of properties vary with the location and other added advantages it can offer. A property near a tourist spot or near an IT Park will certainly cost more than those in other locations. In spite of high prices, demand is always higher for properties in such locations. Thus the builders and property dealers concentrate on such locations and gain profits. Each builder tries to bring novelty in each of his projects. They aim to present themselves as unique in the real estate market. After sales customer relations are maintained with care by the builders in order to remain cordial with the existing customers and to convince more prospects to choose the builder.


Leasing properties is also practiced in the real estate sector of Kochi. Properties are leased out for a stipulated period of time, mostly for business concerns and commercial purposes.

Started By: derina

Comments: 0

Views: 3016

Last Post: Aug 13 23:05:18 2012 by derina


No New Posts   US Homebuilder Stocks Fall on Weaker KB Home Results

March 24, 2012


US home builder stocks slumped during Friday's session as a weaker-than-expected earnings report from KB Home sparked fears about the all-important upcoming spring selling season.  KB Home reported that new orders fell 8 percent in its fiscal first quarter, fueled by sharp declines in the Southwest and West regions.  The company also said that 36 percent of its orders had been canceled during the three months through February, which furthered the concerns.

KB Home's CEO Jeffrey Mezger tried to downplay the results, saying they are not reflective of current conditions, noting that a large portion of the builder's order cancellations were a result changes made by its primary lender MetLife, which resulted in 140 contract cancellations.  The builder has since switched to Nation Star as its primary lender, and Mezger said the move should result in a steep decline in canceled contracts moving forward.

Nonetheless, KB Home's report stood in stark contrast to recent forecasts from other builders, which painted a picture of a vastly improving housing sector.  The results spooked investors, sending shares of KB Home, Hovnanian, DR Horton, Lennar, Toll Brothers and other builders down sharply.  Analysts were not so quick to panic, however, saying that a better indicator of where the home construction sector is heading will be provided by results from the spring selling season, typically the busiest season for new home sales.

No New Posts   Churches Feeling the Pinch of the Foreclosure Crisis

March 13, 2012

According to data obtained from real estate tracker CoStar Group, lenders have been foreclosing on churches in record numbers over the last two years, as the weak economy has caused donations to shrink, making it difficult for religious groups to keep up with mortgage payments.  In 2011 alone, 138 churches were seized by lenders and sold at auction, compared to just 24 in 2008 and even less than that in the entire decade leading up to the recession.

This wave of foreclosures has impacted a wide array of communities, with small and medium sized churches bearing the brunt of the trend.  The majority of churches foreclosed upon have been purchased at auction by other religious groups, either to expand their congregation or to move from an existing building that they had been renting.  Not surprisingly, the foreclosure epidemic has impacted states like California, Florida and Michigan the worst, as well as other states that were hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis.

Unlike most US home loans, which are repaid over a 30-year period, church loans are generally commercial loans with very low payments that mature in five years, when the balance of the loan becomes due in full.  Thousands of churches across the country have been in default for several years, but banks have been reluctant to foreclose on the loans because of the damage their images have already suffered since the financial collapse.

During the housing boom, when Americans were taking advantage of easily accessible credit to buy homes, churches also looked to take advantage by purchasing buildings to get out from under rent payments or move into newer or bigger facilities.  When the recession struck, church donations declined drastically as millions of Americans lost their jobs and struggled to support their families, leaving little or nothing to tithe to their churches.

No New Posts   Fixed Mortgage Rates Drop

July 17, 2009

Mortgage rates continue to drop. For the third straight week 30 year fixed rate mortgages are at 5.14% and averaging 0.7 point for the week. Just last week mortgage rates were averaged at 5.20%, and a year ago, around this time, it was 6.26%.


Started By: PMP

Comments: 1

Views: 4177

Last Post: Feb 7 01:10:26 2012 by AdelleS


No New Posts   Bank of America Settles Borrower Discrimination Charges for $335 Million

January 26, 2012

Bank of America agreed to pay $335 million to settle accusations of discriminating against African American and Latino borrowers at its Countrywide Financial subsidiary, which the bank acquired in 2008.  The settlement was announced by a spokesman for the Justice Department, which brought the charges.  According to a statement from US Attorney General Eric Holder, a federal investigation found that at least 200,000 minority borrowers were discriminated against between 2004 and 2008, by steering those who qualified for prime loans into subprime offerings with higher interest rates.

According to Justice Dept. Officials, the majority of these borrowers did not even realize they had been diverted into costlier loans, and were simply elated to have gotten a loan and were realizing the dream of homeownership.  Many analysts say that this discriminatory lending practice was a chief cause of the subprime mortgage meltdown and ensuing housing crisis, when the more expensive loans began failing.

According to sources close to the probe, the practice was prevalent across the country, with about 30 percent of the identified cases happening in California and about two-thirds of the victims being of Latin American origin.  Bank of America reportedly put an end to Countrywide's questionable practices when it bought it in 2008, and was even praised for its efforts by the National Council of La Raza, a leading Latino civil rights group.

No New Posts   Occupy Movement Turns Attention to Housing

December 14, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street movement turned its attention to the plight of millions of struggling homeowners Tuesday during a nationwide day of demonstrations against home seizures.  Marching behind a banner that read Foreclose on banks, not people,  at least 300 protestors worked their way through a Brooklyn neighborhood to claim a Bank of America-owned home for a local family.

According to data provided by RealtyTrac, the neighborhood had a foreclosure rate of 16.8 per 1,000 homes receiving a filing, the highest rate in the city.  Similar demonstrations were undertaken at more than 20 major cities across the country as the Occupy movement refocused on the nation's battered housing market.  Since 2006, more than 4 million US homeowners have lost their homes, and discontent with the foreclosure process has intensified.

The East New York neighborhood was affected disproportionately by the foreclosure epidemic because its largely black and Latino population was heavily targeted by predatory subprime lenders, according to a statement from the Occupy protestors.  The Occupy Our Homes day of protesting comes nearly a month after Occupy Wall Streeters were kicked out of Zucotti Park, the birth place of the movement, which they had inhabited for about two months.

Similar marches occurred in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and other cities, with most of the protestors drawing attention to homeowners who were facing foreclosure or eviction.  The movement also has garnered the support ot various consumer and homeowner advocacy organizations, including Take Back the Land, a Washington-based group that fights evictions.

No New Posts   Sacramento Housing Agency Awarded $150,000 HUD Grant

December 1, 2011

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on Tuesday that Sacramento's Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) has been awarded a $150,000 Community Challenge Planning grant from the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities.  The grant was included in the highly competitive 2011 Sustainable Communities grant program, which awarded a total of $97 million, though only 27 communities will be awarded with the Community Challenge grants.

The goal behind the Sustainable Communities program is to assist cities in improving their economic competitiveness by connecting their real estate markets with jobs, schools, and transportation.  The program was set up to encourage reforms, influencing communities to transform into affordable, sustainable and economically competitive communities.  The SHRA will use the grant to establish a Transit Oriented Development Loan Fund in partnership with local companies and organizations.  The goal of the fund will be to capitalize on historically low home values by improving the availability of financing for projects deemed important to the Sacramento community.

In addition, the grant will be used to try to address the lack of jobs and neighborhood services in TOD neighborhoods by investigating the possibility of creating a food distribution hub there.  In addition to creating jobs for local residents, the food hubs would also provide access to fresh fruit and vegetables in urban neighborhoods that do not have access to full service grocers.

No New Posts   Freddie Mac to Ask for Another $6 Billion

November 16, 2011

Government-run mortgage insurer Freddie Mac indicated this week that it will seek another $6 billion in federal bailout assistance following its worst quarterly loss ever.  The mortgage giant posted a comprehensive loss of $4.4 billion for the three months ended September 30th, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which was four times the size of its $1.1 billion loss in the previous quarter.

Part of the loss was attributed to a $1.6 billion dividend payment which Freddie was required to pay to the Treasury, forcing the company to declare a net worth deficit of $6 billion.  Since being placed under a government conservatorship along with Fannie Mae in September 2008, Freddie has drawn more than $72 billion in taxpayer-funded bailout funds. 

The two firms were seized in an attempt to prevent the collapse of the housing market when mounting mortgage losses threatened to bankrupt them.  Between the two companies, they own or guarantee more than half of all mortgages in the United States.

No New Posts   Protest Launched as Freddie Mac CEO Speaks

November 6, 2011

A large group of protesters gathered outside the Boston Harbor Hotel Wednesday as Freddie Mac CEO Ed Haldeman Jr. gave the keynote speech at an exclusive luncheon held by the Boston College Chief Executives' Club.  Haldeman was invited to discuss the role of Freddie Mac, the government-run mortgage financing firm which he serves as chief executive, in the collapse of the housing market as well as its role in the recovery.

Hotel employees had to draw the curtains in the hotel's outside in order to block the attendees' view of the protesters, mostly from the Boston-based activist group City Life, or Vida Urbana.  Haldeman said in an interview that he understands the protesters' complaints.  The protesters, who had also staged a rally in front of the Financial District offices of Fannie Mae, were mainly criticizing a policy prohibiting rental of foreclosed properties to their former owners.

City Life is a Jamaican Plain organization that was founded to fight for tenants' rights and affordable housing for lower-class city residents.  Earlier in the day, Freddie had announced that Haldeman would be stepping down as the agency's CEO after two years on the job.  He will, however, stay on as the agency searches for his replacement.

No New Posts   Housing Policy Conspicuously Absent from Presidential Debate

November 6, 2011


Revival of the US housing market is a vital cog that would help fuel a recovery in the overall economy, yet the topic was consistently absent from this week's debate between Republican Presidential candidates.  Despite the debate taking place in Las Vegas, in one of the states hardest hit by the foreclosure epidemic, there was no ideas exchanged about how the potential candidates would tackle the pressing problems plaguing real estate.

The absence of ideas to spur housing growth is not limited to Republicans, however, as the Obama administration has not put forth any concrete programs to boost the market, a fact that economists say is impeding an overall economic recovery.  In a healthy economy, housing accounts for an estimated 17 percent of total US economic output.  According to industry insiders, the construction of 100 single-family homes creates just over 300 full-time jobs and generates over $23 million in wages and nearly $9 million in tax revenue.

A handful of markets around the nation have actually begun showing signs of improvement, but there are still an estimated 1.4 million residential construction workers that have been without jobs since 2006.  Economists say that new policies are needed to get those workers back on the job, which would bring more buyers into the market, and further strengthen the economic recovery that is underway, albeit at a much slower pace than Americans would like.

One issue plaguing a housing recovery is extremely tight lending standards adopted by the nation's banks following the mortgage-backed securities fiasco.  These strict criteria, in addition to keeping many potential homebuyers unable to secure a home loan, are also preventing smaller builders from securing financing to start construction projects, which would create jobs and generate tax revenue for their communities.

No New Posts   Former Santa Cruz Broker to Stand Trial in December

October 16, 2011


A former Santa Cruz County  real estate broker has been charged with stealing more than half a million dollars from her clients, and will stand trial beginning in December.  54 year-old Louisa Katrina Dubinsky faces 39 separate charges ranging from embezzlement to financial abuse of an elder to writing bad checks for thousands of dollars.  Dubinsky was listed on the county's most wanted list in January, but claimed she didn't know there was a warrant out for her arrest when she turned herself in February 1st.

Dubinsky was the president of Vision Lending and Investment, which had offices in Capitola and Santa Cruz, at the time of her alleged crimes.  According to state records, her broker license was revoked in 2008 because of issues with her company's reciept of funds from lenders, borrowers and investors in connection with mortgages.

The broker is accused of failing to forward mortgage payments made to her on to the lender who the money was meant for.  In several cases, this theft went on for several years, resulting in homeonwers falling months behind on their mortgage payments.  Dubinsky, who is out on bail pending her trial, appeared in front of Judge Ariadne Symon on Friday, and her trial was set to begin on December 5th.  If convicted, the woman faces up to 15 years in a California prison.

La Jolla Real Estate

No New Posts   Chicago Home Prices Up for 1st Time in Nine Months

July 28, 2011

Thanks to the usual spring-time pickup in home sales in the Chicago area, prices rose in the region in May, though that uptick in values has done little to alleviate fears that the nation's housing market will continue to struggle for the remainder of the year.  The Standard & Poor's / Case-Shiller home price index, which tracks prices in the nation's 20 largest metropolitan areas, showed that prices of single family homes in the greater Chicago area rose 1.7 percent from April to May.  Prices were still lower than they were in February, however, and were 8.1 percent below where they were a year ago.  In fact, prices in May were about the same as those in May of 2001.

Condo prices in Chicago, meanwhile rose 2.9 percent from April to May, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index, but remain at about the same level they were in the mid-2000s.  On a national basis, home prices increased in May for a second consecutive month, and 16 of the 20 cities tracked by the increase showed gains.  Prices fell in Detroit, Las Vegas and Tampa Bay while they were unchanged in Phoenix.

Demand for homes typically surges in May so the pickup in prices was somewhat expected.  Combined with other recent housing market reports, it appears as if the market is still basically bouncing along the bottom, as it has for the last couple of years.  The market continues to be held back by tough lending standards and poor consumer outlook thanks to the nation's continually struggling job market.

No New Posts   Marin County Real Estate Statistics for July 2011

July 17, 2011

Here's all the latest stats for the areas of Marin County


Mill Valley Home Sales Report

San Rafael Home Sales Report

San Anselmo Home Sales Report

Belvedere Home Sales Report

Sausalito Home Sales Report

Corte Madera Home Sales Report

Inverness Home Sales Report

Larkspur Home Sales Report

Novato Home Sales Report

Marin County Home Search

Search Marin Homes by Area

Marin Real Estate Blog

No New Posts   Home Prices Up Modestly in April

July 13, 2011

Last week's release of the Standard & Poor's / Case-Shiller home price index showed that the freefall in home prices took a breather in April, but analysts caution that it's too soon to say that prices have reached a bottom.  The index, which tracks prices in the 20 largest metro areas across the nation, was up 0.7 percent in April, largely due to the pickup in home sales usually seen in the spring.  In fact, when the index is seasonally adjusted, prices actually fell 0.1 percent.

As with most data in real estate, prices vary widely from city to city and region to region.  Many areas remain entrenched in a rut, with prices falling continuously for several years now.  While prices have been relatively stable in middle and upper class neighborhoods, prices for lower-priced homes have continued to fall.  Some cities have seemingly reached a bottom in terms of home prices, while others are still falling.

Washington, DC, for example, saw the biggest price increases in April, followed by San Francisco/Marin, Atlanta and Seattle.  Prices have remained about the same for several months, meanwhile, in Los Angeles and San Diego.  But prices in six of the index's 20 cities reached their lowest levels in almost four years in April.  These cities were Charlotte, North Carolina, Detroit, Michigan, Chicago, Miami, TampaBay, and Las Vegas.  Across the nation, prices have now fallen further since the housing market collapsed than they did in the Great Depression.

No New Posts   Foreign Buyers Snatching Up Cheap U.S. Homes

June 17, 2011

A report last issued last week from the National Association of Realtors showed that international real estate investors are taking advantage of near historic-low home prices in the United States.  The report showed that $82 billion worth of homes across the nation were purchased in the twelve months ended March 31st by buyers born overseas, a 24 percent increase over the previous twelve months.  Canadian buyers were particularly active in the U.S. housing market, accounting for 23 percent of all sales to foreign buyers.

China ranked second, accounting for 9 percent of international sales, followed by Mexico, India, and the U.K., which all accounted for about 7 percent.  In recent years we have seen more and more foreign buyers coming here to take advantage of low prices and plentiful inventory, explained the NAR's president Ron Phipps.  The reasons for the increase in foreign-born buyers are pretty obvious, home prices are down a staggering 33 percent from peak levels set in July 2006, and unemployment still high and credit harder to obtain, American buyers are largely staying on the sidelines so there's plenty of homes to choose from.

Foreign-born buyers accounted for nearly 8 percent of just over $1 trillion in U.S. home sales in the twelve months ended in march.  About half of those sales went to immigrants who moved to the U.S. in the last two years, while the other half went to international real estate investors.  According to the NAR, homes are typically cheaper here than elsewhere in the world, and are viewed as a safe investment with income opportunity through renting and long-term appreciation value.

Among states, foreign buyers seemed to favor Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona, which accounted for a combined 58 percent of foreign sales.  About 62 percent of these international buyers paid cash for the properties, rather than buying with financing.

No New Posts   Foreclosures Fall to 4-Year Low In May

June 17, 2011

The number of foreclosure filings in the U.S. fell to their lowest level in nearly four years in May as banks began delaying filings due to the massive inventory of distressed properties already on their books.

Read the entire article:

No New Posts   HUD Audits Find Banks Defrauded Taxpayers

May 24, 2011

Five audits conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have accused the nation's five largest mortgage servicers of fraud against American taxpayers in their handling of foreclosures bought with government guaranteed loans.  The agency conducted five separate investigations into the foreclosure processes of Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Ally Financial.

In the end, the audits accused the lenders of violating the False Claims Act, a law that stems back to the Civil War designed to prevent criminals from defrauding the U.S. government.  According to sources familiar with the investigations, the audits were conducted between February and March this year.  The internal watchdog division of HUD has referred the results of the audits to Department of Justice officials, which now will decide whether or not to file charges against the lenders.

The audits are just the latest developments stemming from the national foreclosure crisis that has struck the nation since the end of the last housing boom.  Federal and state agencies launched a number of probes into lenders' practices after it was discovered that many had improperly accelerated the process by failing to gather required paperwork.  The most damning discovery was that many lenders used so-called robo-signers, or employees who just signed off on hundreds of documents a day without verifying their authenticity.

Sources say that the findings of these investigations are alarming, implicating many major lenders of improper procedures.  State officials are now using the findings as leverage in talks with the lenders aimed at reaching settlements to avoid official charges.  State officials want fines to be levied to settle the charges, rather than allow for individual cases to be brought against the lenders.

HUD's audits, meanwhile, allege that the banks essentially defrauded taxpayers by presenting false claims to the Federal Housing Administration when they filed for compensation for failed mortgages in cases where the foreclosure process was improperly conducted.  Two of the firms, including BAC, the nation's largest mortgage provider, refused to cooperate with the HUD investigation.  The audit on BAC found that the bank failed to remedy improper practices even after a self-imposed moratorium on seizures, which it lifted last October.



No New Posts   La Jolla, California Real Estate Overview

May 15, 2011

From February 11th to April 11th, 2011, the median sales price for homes sold in La Jolla was $864,000, based on 165 homes sold during the period.  The median is about $92,000, or 11.8%, higher than the median from the same quarter in 2010.  The number of homes sold, meanwhile, is down about 3.4%.  There are currently 536 homes listed for sale in La Jolla, and another 120 homes in some stage of foreclosure.  In the week ended May 4th, the average asking price for homes on the market in La Jolla was just over $2,535,000, an increase of $36,000, or 1.5%, from the average asking price the week prior.   The average price per square foot for homes listed for sale in La Jolla in the first week of May was $490, a decrease of 3.1% from the same period in 2010.

No New Posts   Cuba to Open Real Estate Market

April 19, 2011

Cuba announced this week it will begin allowing people to buy and sell homes on the island nation for the first time since the Communist regime took over in 1959.  For the last 50 years, Cubans have only been permitted to pass their homes down to their children, or to swap them through an often corrupt and very complicated state run system.

The move to open up Cuban real estate was decided by the first congress held by the ruling Communist in 14 years, held with the hope of breathing new life into the communist government.  There were no details offered, however, on how the new property sales system would function.  Cuba's President, Raul Castro, warned that concentration of property would not be allowed under the system.  Castro also said during the congress that top political positions should be limited to two five-year terms, and vowed to deliver systematic rejuvenation of the government.

Castro said that the party's leadership was in desperate need of renewal and should be subject to severe self-criticism.  The proposals are considered unprecedented under Cuba's communist rule.  In an editorial published by state-run media, former president and leader of the 1959 revolution Fidel Castro endorsed the proposed changes, saying that a new generation is needed to fix the mistakes made by former leaders to ensure that the communist system will survive.

The reforms were overwhelmingly passed by officials of the Communist party on Monday.  State media outlets reported that new leaders were voted on at the meeting, but results of those votes have not been disclosed.

No New Posts   Mill Valley Real Estate Trends

April 18, 2011

Here are the latest Mill Valley real estate trends.  - located here

No New Posts   Mortgage Market Limiting Housing Recovery

April 8, 2011


Reis, Inc. released data on Wednesday that shows a big surge in net absorptions, despite the fact that there is very little new supply of apartment units.  Apartment vacancies dropped 40 basis points, the report showed, to 6.2 percent.  It's the biggest drop in apartment vacancies ever recorded.  But while rents continue to rise, vacancy rates continue to drop.

The stars are currently lined up in a big way for the US apartment market.  The nation's job market is steadily improving, and as people get jobs, demand for housing also rises, especially for younger Americans.  But with single family homes still not selling, and prices expected to continue falling for at least the rest of this year, few of these newly employed Americans are willing to commit to buying a home.

Furthermore, home sales have been hindered by an increasingly tight mortgage market.  Although mortgage applications rose 6.7 percent last week, much of that increase came in the form of a ten percent increase in requests for FHA loans from buyers looking to lock in before FHA insurance premiums are raised on Friday.  FHA-loans are essentially the only low down payment loans available anymore, as most non-FHA lenders are now requiring 20 percent down payments.

So even though improvements in the job market and the overall economy have helped to increase demand in the battered US housing market, strict lending standards and a lack of confidence in the housing market are pushing more and more people into renting, rather than owning their homes.

No New Posts   U.S. Apartment Vacancy Declining

April 6, 2011

The vacancy rate for apartments across the US fell sharply in the first quarter and average rent prices rose slightly as the nation's job market continued to improve and many Americans remained either unwilling or unable to purchase a home.  Reis's quarterly report, released Wednesday, showed the national apartment vacancy rate dropped to 6.2 percent in the first three months of 2011, from 6.6 percent in 2010's fourth quarter.  The drop is the biggest decline in the measure since Reis began tracking it in 1999.

Analysts say that the falling vacancy rate can be partially attributed to increased employment, especially for Americans between the ages of 20 and 34.  Many of these new additions to the labor force are unable to fork over tens of thousands of dollars required for down payments, thus they become renters.  And all these new renters were thrust into a market where supply grew by just 44,184 units.

With new construction at a level of just one-fourth what has been typical in recent years, landlords could exploit the supply and demand imbalance by raising rents.  Analysts say that conditions are stacking up very favorably for landlords, investors, and managers of multifamily properties, which means bad news for renters.

So far, however, rent prices appear to be remaining relatively stable, as Reis reported that the average US rent price increased just 0.5 percent in the first quarter to $991 per month.  The group also said rent increases occurred in 75 of the 82 markets it tracks. 

No New Posts   Mortgage Rates Up Slightly - 03/14/11

March 14, 2011

15-year mortage rates remained the same as last week, while 30-year rates rose .7 points from 4.87% to 4.88%.  Read More

No New Posts   “Sovereign Citizens” Squatting On Foreclosed Properties In Atlanta

March 12, 2011

The US Federal Bureau of Investigations is reporting that members of an anti-government group in the Atlanta area is moving into foreclosed homes based on its belief that banks can't own property.  Exact numbers are not known, but an FBI spokesman says the number of sovereign citizens taking over homes by fraudulent means has grown by dozens in recent weeks.

An influx of bank seizures of properties in the Atlanta area has provided ample opportunities for the group, and others like it.  Sovereign citizens, the FBI spokesman said, believe they are above federal law, and thus don't have to obey it.  As a result, they believe they don't have to answer to any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments or law enforcement, the man said.

A number of these sovereign citizens have begun filing fraudulent paperwork at banks and at courthouses.  It's interesting to note that the homes that sovereign citizens chose to occupy are often high-dollar homes, often in the million-dollar range, the FBI agent said.  We find (it) very hypocritical that they seek out these nice homes in nice neighborhoods to occupy.

Just last week, sheriff's deputies in an Atlanta suburb evicted a couple who had allegedly filed fraudulent papers claiming ownership of the house.  The couple had been living in the foreclosed home for months, authorities said.  The man was cooperative through the eviction process, but had previously made threats to shoot trespassers, so deputies used a SWAT team to execute the eviction.

No New Posts   US Mortgage Rates Fall - 3/03/11

March 5, 2011

US Mortgage Rates Fall

The average rate for a 30 year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.87 percent for the week ending today, compared to 4.95 percent last week. The average for a 15 year, meanwhile, dropped from 4.22 percent to 4.15.  Read More

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