Record Drop in January Index of Home Prices
The New York Times
The decline in housing prices maintained its record-breaking descent in January, according to data released Tuesday.
Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index, a widely watched measure of 20 metropolitan areas, fell 19 percent in January from January 2008. That was slightly faster than it dropped in December.
In the Exurbs, the American Dream Is Up for Rent
The Wall Street Journal
PLANO, Ill. — Kim and Robert Discianno had the American dream. Now, they rent a few streets away.
The Disciannos moved from Aurora, Ill., to their home here in Plano three years ago, lured to the outermost fringes of suburbs, known as the exurbs, by the promise of owning their first home. Today, their credit is shot and they no longer own, but Ms. Discianno still has a four-hour commute.
What Might Be Hurting Home Values
The Washington Post
Are low-balled value estimates on short sales and bank-owned foreclosures artificially depressing property values in neighborhoods across the country?
Growing numbers of appraisers and consumer groups think the answer is yes Â¿ and are demanding that Congress or state regulators crack down. Their complaints focus on what are called "broker price opinions," or BPOs, which substitute for appraisals.
Dramatic increase in prime-loan foreclosures
Foreclosure starts and foreclosure sales of homes purchased with prime loans increased dramatically from January to February, and the percentage of homes completing the foreclosure process approached highs not seen since last summer.
The latest report from mortgage servicers participating in the lending industry's HOPE NOW alliance shows that despite continued strides in helping subprime borrowers avoid foreclosure, foreclosures and foreclosure sales among prime borrowers continue to climb.
California housing may have a new foundation
Los Angeles Times
Other than perhaps McDonald's hamburgers, what is selling better today than it did a year ago? Resale homes in California.
Sales in the last six months have gone up 89% compared with sales for the same period a year ago, according to the California Assn. of Realtors. Despite a worsening economy and a media and government afflicted with a bad-news disorder, something strange is happening in the California housing market. There is strong evidence that basic economics is addressing the housing meltdown in a direct manner, which might set the stage for stability and give a hint as to what policies work best.
Program could help thaw out mortgage lending
Detroit Free Press
In a nation still struggling to break the grip of a credit crisis, no local housing market is more hamstrung by the lack of mortgage financing than the city of Detroit.
Oh, some banks will tell you they're making mortgage loans in Detroit. But read the fine print and you'll find that down payments of 30% or more are needed, even for borrowers with impeccable credit history.
Study: Land trusts lead to lower foreclosure rates
A recent survey conducted by the National Community Land Trust Network and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, based in Cambridge, Mass., revealed that foreclosure rates are lower among community land trust homeowners than the average owner of market-rate houses.
According to the survey, at the end of last year homeowners in community land trusts had a foreclosure rate of 0.52 compared to the overall national rate of 1.08.
Those who rent foreclosed property in US at risk of losing everything
More and more tenants in the US are returning home to find their property locked and their possessions in bags outside as landlords default on their mortgages.
Renters of foreclosed properties are now amongst the most at risk of homelessness but their plight is virtually unknown, according to a new report.
Lennar Lowers Mortgage Rate To 3.625%
NEW YORK — A mortgage-rate war among home builders continues, this time with Lennar Corp. (LEN) offering a fixed rate of 3.625% "for life," which it says is its lowest ever.
The nation's largest builder by revenue is offering the special "on select homes." Closings must occur by April 30, and the loan amount can't exceed $417, 000, according to the terms listed on its Web site. The minimum credit score is 700.