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Median Household Wealth Takes Big Dip

by Roberts Johnson and Rachel Diedrich, Real Estate B

Daily Real Estate News | Tuesday, June 12, 2012

From 2007 to 2010, American households lost nearly 39 percent of their wealth, reaching 1992 levels (when adjusting for inflation), the Federal Reserve reports.  Homes by email

How much households were affected depended on how they spread out their investments, where they lived, and how much they earned, analysts say.  How much is your home worth?

"Richer people owned more bonds that didn't get killed," Scott Hoyt, an economist at Moody’s Analytics, told USA Today. "For middle-income households, their primary asset is their house, and the government stimulus backstopped incomes at the low end." 

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Americans lost about $7 trillion in home equity during the housing crisis, starting in 2006, the Fed notes.

The overall losses in median households’ wealth wiped out any gains households that had been seen in the late 1990s during the technology and Internet boom and the post-2000 housing boom, the Fed noted in its report.  Get your daily bank owned Denver homes

While incomes started improving somewhat in 2011, economists note that incomes began regressing again this year.

"Incomes went down more during two years of this recovery than during the recession itself," Gordon Green, co-founder of Sentier, told USA Today. "I don't think we've seen anything like this."

Source: “Fed: Recession Kicked Median Household Wealth to 1992 Level,” USA Today (June 11, 2012)

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Landlords Cash in on Higher Demand

by Roberts Johnson and Rachel Diedrich, Real Estate B

Landlords Cash in on Higher Demand

Taking advantage of an increase in home owners-turned-tenants, apartment landlords are raising their rents and expect to continue to do so.  Be the 1st to get new listings.

During the first quarter, monthly apartment asking rents increased 2.2 percent year-over-year, reaching an average of $1,070, according to Reis, a property research firm.

Vacancies are at lows and developers are trying to rush projects of multifamily housing to meet the increased demand from renters, but continued constraints on lending has put the brakes on many projects, particularly in smaller markets.  Homes by email

"I'm optimistic about the multifamily sector, certainly for the next two years," Kevin Thorpe, chief economist at Cassidy Turley, a commercial property brokerage, told Investor’s Business Daily. "We've entered a period of sustained rent growth.

The reason behind analysts’ optimism: Young professionals are increasingly turning to renting and more than 3 million former home owners, who have been displaced by foreclosures or short sales, are turning into renters. 

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Demand for single-family home rentals is increasing too, according to CoreLogic. A four-month supply of single-family homes is now available for rent, which is down from five months a year ago, according to CoreLogic data.  How much is your home worth?

Source: “Rents Rise as Apartments See Demand,” Investor’s Business Daily (June 7, 2012)

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Home Buyers Find Market Isn't What They Expected

by Roberts Johnson and Rachel Diedrich, Real Estate B

Home Buyers Find Market Isn't What They Expected

A shortage of “move-in ready” homes and bidding wars over houses in good condition are leaving potential buyers scrambling to find a home to buy, according to media reports.  Be the 1st to get new listings.

Housing inventories have sunk nationwide, leaving home shoppers with fewer options. Bidding wars are back, and in some markets the shortage is prompting buyers to try to bid on homes even before they are listed, reports The Los Angeles Times.  How much is your home worth?

In April, the number of for-sale homes was 2.5 million, which marks the lowest number for an April since 2006, according to National Association of REALTORS®’ housing data.

“The sharp drop in inventory along with rock-bottom interest rates have helped stabilize even some of the hardest-hit markets, including the Southland, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Miami,” The Los Angeles Times reports. “Some real estate professionals are concerned that the lack of inventory might turn off potential buyers, stifling the recent recovery in home sales.”  Homes by email, be the 1st to see new listings as they hit the market.

While buyers are suddenly feeling a sense of urgency, sellers are feeling they can wait, says Glenn Kelman, chief executive of Redfin. 

Meanwhile, investors are snatching up bank-owned properties at bargains, new construction remains at historic lows, and home owners are taking a “wait-and-see-approach” before they list their homes. That’s left many buyers scrambling to find a property.  Get your daily bank owned Denver homes.

Some home owners are hesitant to sell, held back by negative equity and waiting for more of a bounce-back in home prices before they list.

"With the downturn, it seems like there are a lot of people who have been waiting in the wings to pounce, and because the rates are low, there is just a lot more competition," says one LA-area home shopper, Eddie David, who says he and his wife have been outbid on three different properties recently. "We tried to get in on a couple other homes, and even though it had been just a week or two weeks, it was just too late."

Source: “Shortage of Homes for Sale Creates Fierce Competition,” The Los Angeles Times (June 10, 2012)

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Risk Changes in Emerging Foreclosure Tide

by Roberts Johnson and Rachel Diedrich, Real Estate B

Risk Changes in Emerging Foreclosure Tide

Banks are expected to pick up the pace of foreclosures, which will send a new wave of these properties on the market soon, housing experts say. This anticipated “wave” will occur at a time when the housing market has been showing signs of strengthening in pockets across the country, they also note.

But this time around, the increase in foreclosures is expected to come from a different source — everyday home owners with low interest-rate mortgages, housing experts say.

Borrowers “with ordinary mortgages whose ability to meet payment have been hit by the hard economic times” will be the ones dominating the foreclosures in the next round, CNNMoney reports in a recent article.

The last time that foreclosures dramatically increased nationwide, they were dominated by borrowers who had subprime loans with high interest rates and loans in which banks often had asked for no money down or even proof of income. Since then, underwriting standards by lenders has gotten a lot stricter.

"The subprime stuff is long gone," says Michael Redman, founder of 4closurefraud.org. "Now the folks being affected are hardworking, everyday Americans struggling because of the economy."

While unemployment has seen improvement, recently falling to 8.3 percent from its 10 percent peak in 2009, many Americans still remain without a job and are struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments. More than a quarter of home owners are considered “underwater,” owing more on their homes than they are currently worth, according to fourth quarter 2011 data from Zillow Inc.

"We're seeing more people coming through who have good loans with reasonable interest rates," says Ed Jacob, executive director of Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago Inc., a non-profit that provides foreclosure counseling. "But in many households only one person works now instead of two, or they had their hours cut. The answer to the housing crisis now is job creation."

Experts Warn: It’s Coming ...
The signs of the next tide are already taking shape as banks set out to quicken the pace of reviewing backlogs of defaulting loans: Foreclosure starts soared 28 percent in January, according to Lender Processing Services’ report last month. RealtyTrac reported that while overall foreclosures saw a slight drop nationwide in February from January, 21 cities saw large spikes, such as Tampa (increasing 64 percent), Chicago (43 percent) and Miami (53 percent).

In previous reports, RealtyTrac has predicted that completed foreclosures will jump 25 percent this year and will likely reach 1 million in 2012.

Source: “New Foreclosure Wave to Hit ‘Everyday’ Borrowers,” Reuters (April 4, 2012)

 

Higher Rents Open Eyes to the Value of Owning

by Roberts Johnson and Rachel Diedrich, Real Estate B

Higher Rents Open Eyes to the Value of Owning

Economists and real estate agents say entry-level home buyers are once again jumping into the market in time for the spring selling season, spurred by ongoing price declines and higher apartment rents.

Reis Inc., a real-estate research firm, reports in its quarterly survey that the average apartment rents rose by 2.7 percent in 2011, and vacancy rate fell below 5 percent nationwide for the first time since 2001 .

This year is poised to be the first since 2005 that the number of apartment renters buying homes rises year-over-year, according to Zelman & Associates. Moreover, Deutsche Bank housing analyst Nishu Sood says rental costs exceeded homeownership costs by 15 percent at the end of last year.

Source: "As Home Rents Head Higher, Owning Regains Its Appeal," Wall Street Journal (04/04/12)

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Great Deals Are Still Out There!

by Roberts Johnson and Rachel Diedrich, Real Estate B

Next Foreclosure Wave Coming: Reason for Alarm?

Economists have been warning that a flood of foreclosures will soon be hitting the real estate market, likely this summer. Increases in foreclosures traditionally pull down nearby home prices. So should home owners be worried?

As of now, housing reports continue to show month-over-month drops in foreclosures. CoreLogic released a report late last week that showed completed foreclosures fell from 71,000 in January to 65,000 in February.

But as more banks look to clear a backlog of defaulting home loans from their books, economists say the public should expect a turn with foreclosures and the numbers are expected to soar in the coming months. Mark Fleming, CoreLogic’s chief economist, expects the wave to hit this summer.

However, Fleming doesn’t view the increase as a bad thing for the overall housing market. "I would like to see the pace increase, because that means we'll be able to work off the inventory faster," Fleming told AOL Real Estate. He says that recent improvements in the real estate market and economy may mitigate any traditional downward pressure seen on overall home prices by foreclosures.

In fact, despite an increase, Fleming still expects home prices to rise in some markets.

RealtyTrac has predicted that completed foreclosures will jump 25 percent this year, reaching 1 million.

"All of this will result in more foreclosure pain in the short term as some of the foreclosures that should have happened last year instead happen this year," Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, said in a public statement in February.

Source: “Home Prices May Withstand Foreclosure Wave,” AOL Real Estate (March 30, 2012)

 

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