Skip to content

Lending Cafe Bookmark and Share

Monthly Archives: January 2013

Sales Of Expensive Homes Take Off In California During 2012

California was arguably the state hardest hit by the burst of the housing bubble. According to recent reports, the number of foreclosed-upon properties in the state far exceeds the national average, accounting for almost 20 percent of all homes in this condition nationwide.

However, new reports are showing that certain areas of the state are picking up steam when it comes to an improved real estate market. Although many parts of California are still struggling for a solution to spur new home sales, some demographics seem to have started taking off over the past few months.

Following Strong 2012, Home Sales Dip Slightly In December

According to reports from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), home sales were down during December 2012 from the month prior due to a shrinking housing stock. However, more homes were sold over the past year than any since the onset of the Great Recession in 2007 - a telling sign that the national economy is on the path to recovery.

The trade group's pending home sales index declined 4.3 percent in December, to 101.7, from 106.3 in November, as the number of affordable properties available to consumers dwindled.

Foreclosure Rates Plummet In Even The Hardest-Hit States

RealtyTrac, a real estate market analytics group, recently released its data on foreclosures for December 2012, which shows that the number of filings nationwide was down more than 10 percent from the previous month.

Roughly half of all filings were concentrated in five states that have had the hardest time recovering from the collapse of the housing bubble and the recent recession. However, each one of these states saw a decrease in foreclosure rates that surpassed the national average, with filings down at least 20 percent in most cases for the month.

Much-Derided Solution To Help Underwater Californians Shelved

A controversial proposal that was designed to help distressed and underwater homeowners in San Bernardino County, California has been taken off the table following a unanimous vote from local lawmakers.

The proposal, which was first floated earlier in 2012, would see the county using eminent domain to purchase mortgages that were worth significantly more than the value of their properties. The county would then restructure the loans to reflect current market conditions, making the terms more affordable for local homeowners, and then sell the mortgage off to other investors.

Before Applying For Mortgage Refinance, Review Your Credit Report

When a homeowner undertakes a mortgage refinance, the lender will be reviewing the borrower's entire credit history to determine the terms of the new loan agreement. In order to attain the best rates possible on a restructured mortgage, homeowners need to be sure that their history of borrowing works in their favor.

As part of the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970, the federal government mandated that each of the three credit bureaus are obligated to supply citizens with one free report a year. After that, a borrower can request subsequent reports for a small fee.

Negative Equity Decreasing Rapidly Across The Country

CoreLogic, a real estate tracking firm, recently released their analytics report for the third quarter of 2012, which found the number of homeowners with negative equity on their properties has shrunk significantly.

Nevada continues to lead the nation in the number of homeowners who are currently underwater, owing more on their residences than their property is currently worth. However, the number shrank markedly in this quarter compared to previous periods, and is still showing a slow but steady improvement to the local housing market.

Home Sales Hit Five-Year High In 2012

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced in a press release on Tuesday that home sales for 2012 have reached a five-year high, improving the overall economic outlook many analysts have for the new year.

Total home sales last year were up roughly 9.2 percent compared to 2011 according to the NAR, with a total of 4.65 million properties moved. Because of a shrinking number of new homes available on the market, the figures could have theoretically been much larger, the NAR explained in its white sheet.

A Look At The Most Affordable National Housing Markets

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), because the drop in average interest over the past year has outpaced the increase in home prices, housing has been more affordable for Americans than in any other period in recorded history.

A recent study from the NAHB found that 74.1 percent of homes sold over the past 12 months were affordable to citizens earning the median national income. However, different parts of the country were far more affordable for homeowners than others.

Real Estate Markets Favor New Retirees

Mortgage refinance has led the way in new loan applications over the past two years, accounting for roughly 80 percent of total mortgage volume. With rates reaching new lows consistently over this span, the market has been buoyed by homeowners looking to restructure their mortgage agreements while new home sales have stalled.

This has been an especially important development for certain kinds of homeowners who have been in unique financial positions. Whether they are underwater on their homes or simply burdened with too much debt, mortgage refinance has been a particularly attractive option that makes monthly payments more manageable.

Another solid week for the mortgage markets

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) published their market index survey for the week ending January 11 today, which shows overall application activity was up again over the previous period.

The MBA survey covers more than three-quarters of all U.S. mortgage applications, making it a leading indicator of the market conditions week to week.