Monthly Archives: March 2008

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Stresses Importance of Managing Commercial Real Estate Concentrations

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has issued a letter re-emphasizing the importance of strong capital and loan loss allowance levels, and robust credit risk-management practices for state nonmember institutions with significant concentrations of commercial real estate (CRE) loans, and construction and development loans.

Single-Family Housing Starts Decline 6.7 Percent In February

March 18, 2008 - Single-family housing starts continued on a downward trajectory in February, posting a 6.7 percent decline to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 707,000 units, according to figures released today by the U.S. Commerce Department. Meanwhile, production in the more volatile multifamily sector registered a 14.4 percent gain to 358,000 units, limiting the decline in total housing starts to a rate of 1.065 million units -- 0.6 percent below the revised January pace.

Builder Confidence Remains Unchanged In March

March 17, 2008 - Builder confidence in the market for new single-family homes remained unchanged in March, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today. The HMI held firm at 20, which is near its historic low of 18 set in December of 2007 (the series began in January of 1985).

HUD proposes mortgage reform to help consumers better understand their loan, shop for lower...

WASHINGTON – In an effort to significantly improve the complicated, unclear and costly homebuying process, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today proposed mortgage reform designed to help consumers better understand their loan terms so that they can shop more effectively for the largest purchase of their lives.

Foreclosure Activity Decreases 4 Percent in Februrary

RealtyTrac today released its February 2008 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — were reported on 223,651 properties nationwide during the month, a 4 percent decrease from the previous month but still a nearly 60 percent increase from February 2007. The report also shows one in every 557 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing during the month.

FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion to Examine Asset-Building Opportunities for Individuals and Banks

The FDIC Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion (ComE-IN) will meet on March 19th to explore saving and asset-building opportunities for individuals and banks. The committee will hear from a panel of experts, who will address:

Industry Thwarts Action on Bill to Stop Foreclosures and Strengthen Economy

February 29, 2008 - Yesterday the mortgage lending industry successfully stopped a Senate bill, "The Foreclosure Prevention Act" from moving forward. This bill (S. 2636) includes key provisions that would prevent well over 1/2 million foreclosures and avoid property declines of $200 billion.

Urgent Fixes Needed in the Federal Section 8 Housing Program to Avoid Loss of...

WASHINGTON, DC - Tens of thousands of affordable housing residents are at risk of losing their housing unless Congress acts to force changes at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Home Buyer Tax Credit Won’t Fix the Foreclosure Crisis

HOME BUYER TAX CREDIT WON'T FIX THE FORECLOSURE CRISIS AND WON'T KEEP PEOPLE IN THEIR HOMES Congress Should Focus on Restructuring Mortgages, Not on Housing Oversupply

America’s Rapidly Rising Foreclosure Areas

Though delinquencies continue to mount in Detroit, Stockton, Calif., and Las Vegas, markets where the number of foreclosures are relatively low, but rapidly rising, are also causing concern

Fundamentals Holding in Commercial Real Estate

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2008 - Commercial real estate market fundamentals are fairly stable, although investment is waning following a record year in 2007, according to the latest COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE OUTLOOK of the National Association of Realtors

Builder Confidence In Condo Market Declines Again

March 11, 2008 - The Multifamily Condo Market Index (MCMI) ended 2007 on a low note, with the component of the index tracking builder confidence in current conditions standing at 18.8, down nearly 11 points from the same time a year ago, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

NAHB’s Cost Of Doing Business Study Helps Builders Evaluate Their Financial Performance

March 11, 2008 - Builders now have an opportunity to see how their business stacks up against the competition. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently released the 2008 edition of the Cost of Doing Business Study, a national study of builders’ business practices and financial performance.

Why Now is a Smart Time to Buy

Now is a great time to buy a home, say the financial gurus at the Wall Street Journal. The Journal calls it a buyers market and offers these suggestions for first-timers getting their feet wet. While their advice is solid, it’s not revolutionary, but some potential customers might find it reassuring

Homes Of The Billionaires

That's right. Legendary investor Warren Buffett, 77, still calls his humble digs in Omaha's Happy Hollow suburb home, despite a $62 billion fortune that eclipses the gross domestic products of Croatia and Jordan combined.

Studies Show Alternatives More Effective In Addressing Affordability Problems

March 6, 2008 - Mandatory inclusionary zoning requiring builders to sell a certain number of homes at below-market prices is a complex market intervention that can act like a tax on housing and worsen the affordable housing problem it is meant to solve.

Housing Finance System Reform Vital For Housing And Economy, Builders Tell Congress

March 6, 2008 - To help bolster a faltering housing market, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) today called on Congress to move quickly to enact comprehensive regulatory reform for housing government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks that will ensure their financial safety and soundness and allow them to vigorously pursue their housing mission.

Recognizing Inspection Red Flags

Practitioners can protect themselves against potential liability by learning how to pick out visible defects in new and older homes.

Weak Economic Reports Drive Mortgage Rates Downward

McLean, VA – Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.03 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending March 6, 2008, down from last week when it averaged 6.24 percent.

Flat Existing-Home Sales Likely Before Gradual Recovery

WASHINGTON, March 06, 2008 - The volume of existing-home sales is expected to hold steady through late spring, with a gradual recovery during the second half of the year as the mortgage situation improves in high-cost areas, according to the latest forecast by the National Association of Realtors®. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said many buyers have been waiting for higher mortgage loan limits.

REALTORS Urge Increased National Loan Limit as Vital to Housing Market

WASHINGTON, March 06, 2008 - The National Association of Realtors® today called on the U.S. Senate to enact reform legislation for the nation’s government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that will protect the vibrancy, liquidity and stability of the U.S. housing finance system.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to Use Radar Logic as a...

NEW YORK, NY – March 6, 2008 – The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today released the new median home price guidelines for use in establishing conforming loan limits as part of the Economic Stimulus Act.

Economic Stimulus’ Biggest Real Estate Winners

There's some good news on the horizon for homeowners in cities like San Diego, Washington D.C. and Sacramento, Calif., where the real estate boom and bust has left those markets reeling from the effects of overbuilding, bad loans and foreclosures.

REALTORS® Reach More Consumers with New NAR Strategic Alliance

WASHINGTON, March 05, 2008 - The National Association of Realtors® has established a strategic alliance that will help Realtors® identify potential home buyers and sellers more efficiently. infoUSA Inc. joins NAR’s roster of REALTOR Benefits® partners as a leading provider of sales leads, mailing lists and database marketing tools.

HUD AWARDS $50 MILLION TO AID PUBLIC HOUSING SENIORS AND FAMILIES

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded more than $50 million in grants to assist senior citizens, disabled individuals and families living in public housing across the U.S, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. HUD is awarding nearly $34 million to offer public housing residents greater access to education and employment and another $16 million to help elderly and disabled public housing residents to live independently

FORECLOSURE ACTIVITY INCREASES 8 PERCENT IN JANUARY

RealtyTrac the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its January 2008 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sales notices and bank repossessions — were reported on 233,001 properties during the month, an increase of 8 percent from the previous month and an increase of nearly 57 percent from January 2007.

Children of Late Singer Fight Sale

Some of the singers’ 10 children don’t want the property sold. Ho himself put the home on the market for $10 million before he died last year. Family members never thought it would sell, but Ho’s trustees lowered the price to under $7 million and a sale is pending.

$1 Million Homes: A Prestigious Purchase

BusinessWeek Online surveyed million-dollar homebuyers in 20 markets across the country and concluded that buyers today who are seeking $1 million homes can truly afford them and see the purchase as a confirmation of their success – even when there are lots of other nice homes available for less.

FTC Sues Two Mortgage Foreclosure “Rescue” Operations

As part of the Federal Trade Commission’s intensified efforts to protect consumers from mortgage foreclosure rescue scams, the agency has filed two lawsuits charging six individuals and their businesses with falsely claiming that they will stop foreclosure.

Popular Government & Nonprofit Press Releases

ABC National

ABC CEO Mike Bellaman Appointed to Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion...

Michael D. Bellaman, president and CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), has been appointed by U.S. Department of Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta  to the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, created by President Trump’s June 15 Executive Order 13801.

Recent Government & Nonprofit Press Releases

ABC National

ABC CEO Mike Bellaman Appointed to Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion...

Michael D. Bellaman, president and CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), has been appointed by U.S. Department of Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta  to the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, created by President Trump’s June 15 Executive Order 13801.