Obama administration ramps up mortgage refinancing effort

From McClatchy News Service

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration, worried that the housing crisis is strangling the economic recovery, is stepping up efforts to aid the battered market as another wave of home foreclosures threatens to drive values down further and rattle consumer confidence again.

But the administration’s piecemeal approach — giving temporary reprieves to the jobless, converting empty homes into rental properties, allowing more people to refinance mortgages — isn’t going to help much, said industry leaders and even some lawmakers in the president’s own party. Continue reading “Obama administration ramps up mortgage refinancing effort”

Mortgage rates at all-time lows, but few qualify

Carolyn Said, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, October 7, 2011

Steven Senne / AP
A home with a for sale sign in front, in Newton, Mass. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.94 percent this week, the lowest rate ever. For those who can qualify, it’s an extraordinary opportunity to buy or refinance.

Mortgage rates hit historic lows on Thursday, falling below 4 percent for the first time since Freddie Mac started keeping track in 1971.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed was 3.94 percent for the week ended Thursday, it said. The average 15-year rate was 3.26 percent.

The bad news is that only a small pool of borrowers can qualify to take advantage of those cheap mortgages – and many of them have already done so during the past months of falling rates.

“It’s certainly a historic and psychological barrier to go below 4 percent,” said Guy Cecala of Inside Mortgage Finance. “But I don’t think it will have a huge impact because people are not buying homes for other reasons than the interest rate. We tend to be refinancing the same group of qualified borrowers, not really opening up the market to other people.”

Mitchell Chernock, president of Sky Valley Financial, a mortgage broker in Benicia, put it more bluntly. Continue reading “Mortgage rates at all-time lows, but few qualify”

Vacant Condos Trade in Short Sale, Buyer to Lease Units

Article by Bob Howard of GlobeSt.com

LOS ANGELES COUNTY
EAGLE ROCK, CA-The newly built Oxy Lofts condominiums at 4547-4555 Eagle Rock Blvd. have traded in a lender-assisted short sale in this week’s roundup of commercial real estate news in the West. Marcus & Millichap executive vice president Ron Harris and associate director Paul Darrow in the company’s Downtown L.A. office, who represented both the buyer and the seller, tell GlobeSt.com that the buyer paid $8.6 million in the all-cash transaction. Harris and Darrow point out that the property, which includes 32 residential units and one commercial space, features loft and townhome style floorplans designed by architect Jay Vanos to appeal to young professionals who have begun moving eastward to Eagle Rock from areas like Silverake and Los Feliz. “Although the units were individually parceled for condominiums, the buyer will lease the apartments and consider selling the units as condos in a future market cycle,” Harris said. Darrow noted that, “This is the second transaction that Eagle Rock has seen this quarter in which an institutionally profiled buyer purchased a site from a local developer.  Continue reading “Vacant Condos Trade in Short Sale, Buyer to Lease Units”

Gov. Brown signs AB 771

For release:
September 1, 2011

Governor Brown Signs Bill Preventing Gouging of Condominium/Townhome Buyers

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 1) – The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) applauds Gov. Jerry Brown for signing AB 771, a bill that prevents home buyers in a common interest development (CID), such as a condominium or townhome, from being charged excess document fees. Continue reading “Gov. Brown signs AB 771”

July Pending Home Sales

For release:
August 23, 2011

Fewer distressed property sales in July; California pending home sales decline, C.A.R. reports

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 23) – California pending home sales dipped in July, as did the share of sales of distressed properties, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today.

Pending home sales:

Pending home sales in California fell 1.7 percent in July, according to C.A.R.’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)*.  The index was 117.0 in July, down from June’s index of 119.0, based on contracts signed in July.  The index was up 4.9 percent from July 2010.  Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, providing information on the future direction of the market. Continue reading “July Pending Home Sales”

July sales and price report

For release:
August 15, 2011

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 15) – California home sales fell in July but were up from the previous year, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today.

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California dropped 4.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted 458,440 units in July, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.  July home sales were up 4.5 percent from the 438,850 units sold in July 2010.  The statewide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2011 if sales maintained the July pace throughout the year.  It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales. Continue reading “July sales and price report”

Is the HAFA Short Sale Program Right for You?

HAFA Pays Sellers $3,000 to do a Short Sale

By , About.com Guide

The HAFA short sale program, effective from April 5, 2010, through December 31, 2012, has been touted as the answer to every short sale agent’s nightmare. HAFA promises short sale approval within 10 days and gives the seller up to $3,000 in cash at closing. But because HAFA is a government-sponsored program, it’s a lot more complicated than that.HAFA is an acronym for Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives, and it’s part of President Obama’s Making Home Affordable Program. The first step is for a borrower to apply to HAMP, Home Affordable Modification Program. Here are the rules to be eligible for the HAMP program: Continue reading “Is the HAFA Short Sale Program Right for You?”

C.A.R.-Sponsored Bills, 2011

July 11, 2011

AB 278 (Hill) DRE Citation and Fine Authority – Currently, real estate licensees subject to discipline for any violation must go through the Department of Real Estate’s (DRE) administrative hearing process. Notice of discipline, no matter how minor the infraction, is published in the DRE bulletin, widely circulated among real estate agents. AB 278 would allow the DRE to issue a “civil citation” with a maximum fine of $1,000 for minor infractions. Licensees would be permitted to contest the citation through the current hearing process if they wish. The action would not be published in the DRE bulletin, unless there is a contested hearing and judgment, although it could still be discovered in the public record. Continue reading “C.A.R.-Sponsored Bills, 2011”

CAR Blog – Once a Short Sale’s Done, it is Done!

On Friday of last week the Governor signed C.A.R.-sponsored SB 458 (Corbett) into law! This measure, for any short sale transaction closing escrow after July 15, 2011, will prohibit deficiency judgments from being imposed after a short sale on sellers of one-to-four unit homes. Because the bill was “urgency” legislation, it took effect immediately upon signature.

Continue reading “CAR Blog – Once a Short Sale’s Done, it is Done!”