Real Estate Archives

Foreclosure Crisis Black Magic Report Released

Foreclosure Crisis Black Magic Report Released

Foreclosure Crisis Black Magic Report Released-Image via Wikipedia

Occupy Wall Street adds another exhibit to the Wall Street Hall of Shame and call it Deconstructing the Black Magic of Securitized Trusts by Oppenheim Law’s foreclosure defense team Roy Oppenheim and Jacquelyn Trask-Rahn.

The banks must be held accountable for their conduct on all levels

The Black Magic article will be published in Stetson Law Review’s Spring 2012 issue and is posted on OppenheimLaw.com. In the article the attorneys analyze the continued failure of the banks to follow the rules, and how their fraudulent documentation involving millions of foreclosures opened the door on an even larger scandal regarding the improper securitization of “mortgage-backed” securities, that were never mortgage-backed. The article chastises a court system that has become a private collection agency for the banks, and which has seen the practice of “lore” rather than law as rules of evidence and civil procedure are blatantly disregarded in order to promote expediency rather than protecting the due process and property rights of homeowners.

The article calls for members of the legal community and implores them to protect the integrity of the judicial system through the foreclosure epidemic: “The judicial system was never meant to be evaluated by how swift justice could be dispensed or by how quickly a particular judge could dispose of cases on his or her docket. As officers of the court, both judges and attorneys are responsible for protecting the integrity of the system, ensuring that the system is never compromised solely for financial expediency.”

Going viral with corporate greed and systematic fraud

Legal documents don’t typically go viral, but this article caught the attention of highly influential consumer advocates and bloggers such as April Charney and Neil Garfield, who both commented on the article.

“Exceptionally well written and I am looking forward to these authors going forward to tackle the negotiable/non-negotiable debate raging right now …,” consumer advocate and attorney April Charney said in an email to legal peers.

Charney is an attorney with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and has been called the “Angel of Foreclosure Defense.” She has been at the forefront of the legal fight against home foreclosures in America.

“Explicitly articulates the basic problem with foreclosures today as well as providing insight into the changing mortgage approval process,” noted Garfield on his highly trafficked website Livinglies. “The authors clearly explain how the system was rigged to provide the appearance of passive entities to avoid tax consequences and in so doing ignored basic requirements of substantive law.” Garfield stated that the article “is balanced and … should be used as an authoritative treatise in memos to the Court.”

Are banks too large to be governed and too big to be caught?

In fact, the article has gone viral due in large part to the notion by a growing segment of the population that the banks have become too large for government to control. “We pinpoint how securitized trusts are emblematic of the problems inherent in the whole system, ranging from robo-signers to fraud-closure,” said award-winning blogger and real estate attorney Oppenheim.

Homeowners finally have a fighting chance in court

The other reason that the article has gone viral is that the court system is finally paying attention to the fact that there are real defenses available to homeowners. Homeowners are now in a better position to bring a defense and fight the banks rather than just walking away. Further, when they fight, they become part of the overall protest movement.

When Oppenheim was asked what should be done with the conclusions drawn from the article, he said, “It’s simple! Like all people the banks must be held accountable for their conduct on all levels. Management must go and the owners and bondholders must be responsible for allowing management to run amuck. Finally, the banks have proven to be too big and powerful to be adequately regulated and governed, taking on the illusion of being a fourth branch of our government. To restore true capitalism and democracy, they must be broken up. It’s just plain common sense!

For a copy of the executive summary or full article submitted to Stetson Law Review, the online versions of the full article are available on OppenheimLaw.com or the Executive Summary on the South Florida Law Blog at http://southfloridalawblog.com/2011/10/25/executive-summary-deconstructing-the-black-magic-of-securitized-trusts/

Oppenheim Law
2500 Weston Rd Ste 404
Weston FL 33331
954-384-6114

Contact:

Lisa Buyer
954-354-1411 x 14

Web Site: http://www.oppenheimlaw.com

Foreclosure Rate Climbs Again

Lender Processing Services, Inc. (NYSE: LPS), a leading provider of integrated technology, data and analytics to the mortgage and real estate industries, reports the following “first look” at September 2011 month-end mortgage performance statistics derived from its loan-level database of nearly 40 million mortgage loans.

Total U.S. loan delinquency rate (loans 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure): 8.09%
        Month-over-month change in delinquency rate: -0.5%
        Year-over-year change in delinquency rate: -12.7%
Total U.S. foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate: 4.18%
         Month-over-month change in foreclosure presale inventory rate: 1.7%
         Year-over-year change in foreclosure presale inventory rate: 8.9%
Number of properties that are 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure: (A) 4,202,000
Number of properties that are 90 or more days delinquent, but not in foreclosure: 1,844,000
Number of properties in foreclosure pre-sale inventory: (B) 2,172,000
Number of properties that are 30 or more days delinquent or in foreclosure:  (A+B) 6,373,000
States with highest percentage of non-current* loans: FL, MS, NV, NJ, IL
States with the lowest percentage of non-current* loans: MT, AK, WY, SD, ND

 

*Non-current totals combine foreclosures and delinquencies as a percent of active loans in that state.

Notes:

(1)  Totals are extrapolated based on LPS Applied Analytics’ loan-level database of mortgage assets

(2)  All whole numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand

The company will provide a more in-depth review of this data in its monthly Mortgage Monitor report, which includes an analysis of data supplemented by in-depth charts and graphs that reflect trend and point-in-time observations. The Mortgage Monitor report will be available on LPS’ Web site, http://www.lpsvcs.com/NEWSROOM/INDUSTRYDATA/Pages/default.aspx, on October 27, 2011.

For more information about gaining access to LPS’ loan-level database, please send an e-mail to LPSAAsales@lpsvcs.com.

About Lender Processing Services

Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS) is a leading provider of integrated technology, services and mortgage performance data and analytics to the mortgage and real estate industries. LPS offers solutions that span the mortgage continuum, including lead generation, origination, servicing, workflow automation (Desktop®), portfolio retention and default, augmented by the company’s award-winning customer support and professional services. Approximately 50 percent of all U.S. mortgages by dollar volume are serviced using LPS’ Mortgage Servicing Package (MSP). LPS also offers proprietary mortgage and real estate data and analytics for the mortgage and capital markets industries. For more information about LPS, visit www.lpsvcs.com.

CONTACT: Media, Michelle Kersch, +1-904-854-5043, Michelle.kersch@lpsvcs.com, or Investor, LPS Investor Relations, +1-904-854-5086, investor@lpsvcs.com

Web Site: http://www.lpsvcs.com

Foreclosure and Mortgage Trends Revealed in New Report

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CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX), a leading provider of information, analytics and business services, today released its U.S. Housing and Mortgage Trends, a report that provides data on housing sales, valuation, negative equity, shadow inventory and foreclosure activity and trends.  The latest trends report from CoreLogic shows that homeownership rates for the 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 prime homebuyer age cohorts are down almost 10 percent in 2010 compared to 1980.  The report also shows:

  • Real median income for prime home-buying age segment in 2010 was at the same level as in the late 1970s.
  • Median income fell by 2.3 percent from 2009 to 2010, and real median income has declined more than 7 percent since its peak in 1999.
  • Consumers continue to allocate a higher share of household expenditures to housing, which means they have less money left to spend on non-housing consumption.
  • Of the foreclosure properties that were auctioned in 2006, 66 percent became REO properties. Once in REO, 85 percent have only sold once and have not gone back into REO.
  • The REO recidivism rate within five years of the initial REO sale is only 2 percent.
  • Investors have shifted from buying properties at foreclosure auction to buying properties at the REO sale, increasing the burden of losses on the banks holding REO properties.

The full CoreLogic U.S. Housing and Mortgage Trends report is available at http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/researchtrends/us-housing-and-mortgage-trends.aspx

About CoreLogic

CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) is a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information, analytics and services to business and government. The company combines public, contributory and proprietary data to develop predictive decision analytics and provide business services that bring dynamic insight and transparency to the markets it serves. CoreLogic has built the largest U.S. real estate, mortgage application, fraud, and loan performance databases and is a recognized leading provider of mortgage and automotive credit reporting, property tax, valuation, flood determination, and geospatial analytics and services. More than one million users rely on CoreLogic to assess risk, support underwriting, investment and marketing decisions, prevent fraud, and improve business performance in their daily operations.  The company, headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., has more than 6,500 employees globally with 2010 revenues of $1.6 billion.  For more information visit www.corelogic.com

CORELOGIC and the stylized CoreLogic logo, are registered trademarks owned by CoreLogic, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. No trademark of CoreLogic shall be used without the express written consent of CoreLogic.

CONTACT: real estate industry and trade media, Bill Campbell, +1-212-995-8057 (office), +1-917-328-6539 (mobile), bill@campbelllewis.com, or general news media, Jordan Hassin, +1-202-232-6601, jhassin@crosbyvolmer.com, both for CoreLogic

Web Site: http://www.corelogic.com

Mortgage Lender Expanding Operations with High Expectations for 2012

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America’s Most Convenient Bank to expand mortgage processing staff, majority to be based in South Carolina

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, will hire 87 employees to support its mortgage operations growth from Maine to Florida.  Fifty of these roles will be based at the bank’s Lexington, South Carolina loan center. The other 37 positions will be spread across the footprint.

These positions will encompass every aspect of mortgage operations, including loan processing, appraisals, underwriting, and customer care.  The roles will support the bank’s mortgage operations throughout its footprint.

“Expanding our mortgage team ensures that TD Bank will continue providing our customers with legendary service and hassle-free lending as our mortgage business continues to grow in 2012,” said Mike Copley, Executive Vice President, Retail Lending, TD Bank. “We are expanding our mortgage lending capabilities thanks to the strength of our credit rating, our commitment to portfolio lending, and the high performance of our employees.”

TD Bank is committed to providing a transparent mortgage procedure, providing consumers with what they need to know to turn a house into a home. TD’s hassle-free mortgage application with no hidden fees makes purchasing a home as smooth and worry free as possible. TD Bank’s loan origination strategy is focused on providing customers with simple products that are easy to understand and conveniently accessible through various channels.  TD offers a simplified product set including FHA and jumbo loans at competitive interest rates with a WOW! customer service experience.

To learn more about TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, stop by a store, visit us at www.tdbank.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter at www.facebook.com/TDMoneyLoungeUS and www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.

About TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 7.4 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,275 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized wealth management services through TD Wealth, and insurance products and services through TD Insurance, Inc. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., and Portland, Maine. To learn more, follow TD Bank on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US or visit www.tdbank.com.

TD Bank is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America and one of the few banks in the world rated Aaa by Moody’s. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol “TD.” To learn more, visit www.td.com.

CONTACT: Erin Potts, +1-856-470-3002, Erin.Potts@td.com

Web Site: http://www.tdbank.com

 

 On September 28, Blu Homes (www.bluhomes.com), a leading designer and manufacturer of beautiful, green, precision-built homes, unfolded a Glidehouse for the first time since unveiling the Company’s updated, more spacious version of the iconic home last year. The two-bedroom, two-bath home, which is located on Vashon Island, Washington, is Energy Star-rated and LEED certifiable. The home also features a 16-foot detached Glidehouse Pod with an extra bedroom and bath.This is the sixth Glidehouse built in Washington state and the second on Vashon Island, which, with its rugged landscape and multitude of organic farms and wineries, is a stunning location for the eco-conscious Glidehouse. Overall, the Glidehouse is a great fit for the Pacific Northwest’s climate and culture.

“We first fell in love with the Glidehouse after seeing it in the pages of Sunset. With its 60-foot ‘wall of glass,’ 14 foot-high ceilings, and abundant clerestory windows we knew this was a house that would allow us to take full advantage of the spectacular views from our lot,” said Rich Mintz, who with his wife Diana, is the owner of the new Glidehouse on Vashon Island. “We’ve waited to build on our land for 30 years, so we wanted our new home to be perfect. In addition to showcasing our breathtaking views, we love the way the home lets in the light and cool breezes, saving on energy costs as well as creating an uplifting living environment.”

Ami McElroy, who has lived in her Seattle-area Glidehouse for the last six years continued, “Even when I’m inside my Glidehouse, I feel like I’m connected to nature. The floor-to-ceiling windows work in harmony with the clerestory windows on the back wall to balance the natural light inside. Even on the grayest Seattle day—and there are plenty of those—it’s light and bright in my house.”

Making a Great Home Even Better

The new Glidehouse is constructed with Blu’s proprietary steel framing, making the home extraordinarily durable, which is particularly important in challenging coastal and marine climates. The steel framing also results in more spacious, light-filled floor plans that are almost 30% wider with 20% higher ceilings than the original. The Glidehouse, like all of Blu’s homes, is now available nationwide and is durable enough to comfortably handle a wide range of challenging weather conditions—from the snow loads of the Rockies and seismic activity on the San Andreas Fault to high winds of the Coasts. Blu’s proprietary building science technology allows its homes to be finished completely and to precision quality in its weather-controlled factory by trained, well-tooled craftsman. The homes are then folded for quick and cost-effective setting on-site.

“We plan to live in this home for the rest of our lives, so we wanted something strong that requires minimal maintenance. The steel framing and engineering behind the construction of the Glidehouse is remarkable for its durability and precision,” said Mintz, who served in the Air Force and then as an engineering manager for Boeing. “Given my engineering background, the cutting-edge technology used in the building and unfolding of our Glidehouse was of great importance to me. That technology also made the building process so much faster than it would have been with an average home, which was a huge draw for us.”

Customers like Mintz begin the Blu homebuilding process by customizing their own homes for free online and in 3-D with Blu’s proprietary Configurator™, which allows users to style, visualize and spend time in their own Blu Home. After selecting from a wide variety of designs, floor plans, interior design ‘palettes’ and appliance packages, homebuyers are able to visualize their new home in real time—all from the comfort of their home or office. Blu then builds each home with precision tooling and trained craftsman in its climate-controlled factory to meet the highest quality construction standards.

After leaving the factory, Blu’s homes are installed on-site in one day and completed in just two weeks by Blu’s teams of craftsmen. This speed and convenience is a result of Blu’s proprietary building science technology, which allows its homes to be folded for quick and cost-effective setting on site. All of this is done at a pre-agreed, fixed cost.

All Blu finishes, fittings, appliances and systems are selected by Blu designers for their leading environmental performance, resulting in healthy and beautiful living spaces and high indoor air quality. Blu homes offer at least 50% energy savings over comparably sized existing homes and include high-end features like luxurious radiant floor heating, Energy Star appliances, low-flow fixtures, an energy recovery ventilation system, sustainably forested flooring, healthy Greenguard finishes for indoor air quality and a roof with a 50-year life.

For more information on Blu Homes go to www.bluhomes.com, follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/bluhomes) and Twitter (@BluHomes), or email us at build@bluhomes.com.

About Blu Homes
Blu Homes, Inc. is a Massachusetts- and California-based builder of green, architect-designed, and precision-built homes. Blu has built a variety of residential and institutional eco-friendly home designs for families and organizations across the U.S., from New York to the Colorado Mountains and the California Coast. Blu’s proprietary steel framing and building technology allows Blu to build homes that are as strong as they are beautiful and then fold them for quick and cost-effective setting across the continental U.S. and Canada. For more information on Blu Homes, contact build@bluhomes.com, or visit www.bluhomes.com.

 

Buying a Home Shouldn’t be This Hard

Buying a Home Shouldn't be This Hard

Buying a Home Shouldn't be This Hard-Image via Wikipedia

Mortgage rates are low, real estate is at rock-bottom prices and there are plenty of qualified buyers looking for a home; so why is it so difficult to buy a home?

“The biggest challenge facing home buyers is often they don’t know if their mortgage has been approved until a few days before closing,” said David Kent, President, National Buyer’s Agent Alliance.  “This creates stress for buyers as they try to arrange movers and get utilities transferred.” It also affects sellers too because they need to know that the loan will be approved to plan their move out.

One of the results of the banking crisis is that mortgage lenders have become very diligent in their review of mortgages. Understandably, the lender wants to make sure that every loan requirement is reviewed and verified. What makes this especially challenging is that mortgage underwriting guidelines are subject to interpretation. This not only slows down the process, but it can bring it to a grinding halt. The anxiety in the market and the pressure on underwriters to not miss anything has made the home-buying process extremely challenging for even the most qualified buyers.

The difficulty became all too real for one couple trying to purchase a condo in South Carolina. In this case, they thought their closing would proceed as scheduled after being told that their financials had been approved by the underwriter. However, a different underwriter with the same financial institution determined that they needed additional information regarding the condominium association. The information was provided and the buyers again thought they were ready to close. Just prior to their closing date, the buyers were shocked to learn that a mortgage insurance underwriter did not approve the insurance and thus the loan was not approved. Fortunately, their buyer’s agent sent their information to another financial institution where a different underwriter approved the loan and the couple was able to move into their new home. This is not an isolated case. These types of underwriting problems are echoed across the country.

Luckily, “the buyers were fortunate to have an exclusive buyer’s agent, one whose total focus is on the buyer, representing them,” said Kent. To avoid conflicts caused by agents trying to represent both the seller and the buyer and to help buyers overcome the hurdles of mortgage underwriting, the National Buyer’s Agent Alliance helps home buyers find a buyer’s agent in their desired location that will help them move through the process successfully.

http://buyersagent.net

Press Contact

David Kent, President, National Buyer’s Agent Alliance
Phone: 843-367-0388
Email: david@buyersagent.net

Web Site: http://buyersagent.net

General Growth Properties, Inc. (NYSE: GGP) (“GGP”) today announced the refinancing of four shopping malls representing $966 million of new mortgages. These four new fixed-rate mortgages have a weighted average term of 9.1 years and a weighted average interest rate of 4.63%, as compared to the 5.66% rate on the prior maturing loans. After adjusting for GGP’s ownership interest, the Company’s pro-rata share of the new four non-recourse mortgages totals $483 million.

The four newly refinanced malls have the following terms:

Natick Mall (Natick, MA—Boston): $450 million at 4.60% due 2019
Galleria at Tyler (Riverside, CA—Los Angeles): $200 million at 5.05% due 2023
First Colony Mall (Sugar Land, TX—Houston): $185 million at 4.50% due 2019
Northbrook Court (Northbrook, IL—Chicago): $131 million at 4.25% due 2021

Year-to-date, GGP has completed nearly $3.9 billion ($3.1 billion at GGP’s pro-rata share) of new property level non-recourse financings with a weighted average term of 9.9 years and an interest rate of 5.1%. These mortgages successfully conclude GGP’s 2011 financing plan and replace $3.2 billion ($2.5 billion at GGP’s pro-rata share) that had a weighted average term of 2.4 years and an interest rate of 5.81%.

“At the start of 2011, one of GGP’s stated goals was to strengthen the Company’s balance sheet and liquidity while also reducing interest rates and extending the average debt maturity profile,” said Sandeep Mathrani, chief executive officer of General Growth Properties. “We have accomplished our 2011 goals and are now focused on 2012 financing opportunities.”

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from the results suggested by these forward-looking statements, for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, our ability to refinance, extend, restructure or repay our remaining debt (including that of our Unconsolidated Real Estate Affiliates) with maturities in the short to intermediate term, our ability to raise capital through equity issuances, asset sales or the incurrence of new debt, retail and credit market conditions, impairments, our liquidity demands and retail and economic conditions. Readers are referred to the documents filed by General Growth Properties, Inc. with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which further identify the important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this release. The Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

ABOUT GGP

General Growth Properties has ownership and management interest in 166 regional and super regional shopping malls in 43 states. The Company portfolio totals 169 million square feet of space.  A publicly-traded real estate investment trust (REIT), GGP is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GGP.

CONTACT: David Keating, vice president of corporate communications, +1-312-960-6325, david.keating@ggp.com

Top Mortgage Brokers Reveal their Secrets

A survey of some of the highest-volume loan originators provides valuable insight into the practices and services used by this elite group. The report addresses marketing, technology and mortgage compliance.

Conducted in July 2011, the 2011 Loan Originator Survey from MortgageDaily.com indicates that mega-producers are maintaining elevated originations despite increased regulatory burdens.

The report was based on a survey of 80 respondents who fall within the top 1 percent of all U.S. originators. Originators who are “the best of the best” were asked more than 50 questions.

Three quarters of this group make at least $250,000 a year.

The co-sponsors of the report include EZ Rate Quotes LLC, Mortech Inc., Mortgage Information Services Inc., Motivity Solutions Inc. and Mortgage VCO.

Most of the respondents were male, and three quarters were between the ages of 36 and 55.

Taking care of existing referral sources was considered very effective by a majority of the respondents. Almost all of the participants indicated that customer satisfaction is “very important.”

The originators also commented on marketing efforts through other channels and had some surprising responses to questions about the use of social media and mortgage leads.

The report also examines the use of smart phones and tablet devices such as the iPad.

The “best of the best” commented on how they select service providers. They identified which providers they use for loan origination systems and pricing engines.

Mortgage brokers and originators who use wholesalers or correspondent lenders listed their top-three third-party lenders. There was a trio of indirect lenders that dominated these rankings.

The loan officers are highly concerned with the growth of mortgage regulations, though the group has managed to succeed despite stiffer compliance requirements and more cumbersome loan processing.

The report discusses how this successful segment of the mortgage sales workforce complies with requirements for the appraisal ordering process. Also covered are automated valuation models.

The report will help sales managers develop a better sales force, while loan originators can learn from the best. Service providers can use the study to learn about what makes these super-producing loan originators tick.

The 2001 Loan Officer Survey is available at:

http://www.mortgagedaily.com/LoanOriginatorSurvey2011.asp

About MortgageDaily.com

Founded in 1998, MortgageDaily.com is a dominant online source of mortgage news and mortgage statistics for the mortgage industry

CONTACT:
Holly Himelright
NewsAlert@MortgageDaily.com

Foreclosure Abuses by Banks Spurs Demonstrations

Foreclosure Abuses by Banks Spurs Demonstrations

Foreclosure Abuses by Banks Spurs Demonstrations-Image by Getty Images via @daylife

While thousands of Americans are rallying as part of the Occupy Wall Street protests, community development and consumer advocates in Raleigh are calling upon state and federal officials to protect consumers against big banks overstepping their legal authority.

The rally sponsors include Community Reinvestment Association of N.C., N.C. Association of Community Development Corporations, N.C. Community Development Initiative, and N.C. United.

While not a part of the national movement, advocates will hold a rally and march on the grounds of the state capital at noon today to call attention to the same kinds of illegal activities that are driving Occupy Wall Street and putting Americans in danger – namely, the widespread legal violations used by some banks to pursue foreclosures.

Speakers at the rally will be calling on key public officials to serve as “cops on the beat” to enforce the laws that govern the mortgage industry and to be vigilant in protecting consumers from manipulative practices that have widespread impact on local property values and home sales.

The rally coincides with a N.C. Supreme Court hearing of Dobson vs. Wells Fargo, a case in which the bank is pursuing a foreclosure without proper documentation to show its ownership of the loan. If the court finds in favor of Wells Fargo, it will overturn well-established N.C. property rights laws, place extreme burdens and inequities on low- and middle-income families when defending against foreclosures, and cause devastating decreases in property values for thousands of North Carolinians.

“Our system of protecting private property is what makes it safe to invest in this country,” said Peter Skillern, executive director of Community Reinvestment Association of N.C. “The big banks cannot be allowed to turn that system on its head by falsifying documentation in order to snatch property back from homeowners.”

Additional events will take place in cities throughout North Carolina during the month of October in order to spread awareness of the consequences of fraudulent foreclosure practices and the remedies that are needed.

CONTACT: Peter Skillern; office: +1-919-667-1557×22; cell: +1-919-667-4201; Michael De Los Santos; office: +1-919-667-1557×23; cell: +1-919-672-4755; or Susan Perry-Cole; cell: +1-919-608-1158

Web Site: http://www.cra-nc.org

Housing Sales Up 7.6% Over Last Year: RE/MAX

Housing Sales Up 7.6% Over Last Year: RE/MAX

Housing Sales Up 7.6% Over Last Year: RE/MAX-Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The September 2011 RE/MAX National Housing Report, a survey of housing data from 53 metropolitan areas, shows that the number of home sales were 7.6% higher than September 2010.  This follows a trend from August and July, when sales were up 18.0% and 13.1% respectively.   With higher sales, the inventory of homes on the market fell for the 15th consecutive month by 20.2% from September 2010. Despite brisk sales at the end of summer, home prices continued a slight downward trend, falling 3.3% from last year.

“It’s a good omen that home sales remained at a level higher than last year, and if this pace continues, we would hope to see prices start to rise too,”  said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, LLC.  “The market is trying hard to recover, and favorable policies from Washington would reduce the possibility of a further decline.”  

Transactions – Year-Over-Year Change

In the month of September, closed transactions followed an expected seasonal trend and dropped 14.6% from sales in August.  However, compared to September 2010, home sales were up 7.6%, which marks the third month in a row that sales were higher than the same month a year ago.  Transactions have shown positive growth for 4 of the 9 months in 2011.  Of the 53 metro areas surveyed, 44 experienced a rise in home sales from 2010, including: Des Moines, IA +31.3%, Minneapolis, MN +30.1%, Wilmington, DE +28.4%, Trenton, NJ +27.3%, and Providence, RI +23.5%.

Median Sales Price

The RE/MAX National Housing Report showed that the Median Sales Price was $183,762  for the month of September.  This is just 2.5% lower than the median price for August and 3.3% lower than prices seen in September 2010.  Home prices have increased for 4 of the last 7 months, while on a year-to-year basis, median price losses have been improving for 6 consecutive months. Of the 53 metro areas reviewed for this report, 17 saw price increases from last year, including:  Detroit, MI +13.4%, Miami, FL +8.4%,  Orlando, FL +7.8%,  Anchorage, AK +5.1%, and Indianapolis, IN +4.5%

Days on Market – Average of 54 Metro Areas

For the 53 metro areas in the report, all properties sold in the month of September had an average Days on Market of 94.  This was just 4 days higher than the average of 90 seen in August, and 6 days higher than the average seen in September 2010.  This past July and September 2010, both had an average Days on Market of 88, which represents the lowest average in the last 12 months.  Days on Market is the number of days between first being listed in an MLS and when a sales contract is signed.

Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 54 Metro Areas

Perhaps due to a falling foreclosure rate, the total number of homes for sale, or inventory, has dropped for 15 straight months.  The average inventory of homes-for-sale in the 53 metro areas surveyed dropped 4.8% from August  and 20.2% from September 2010.  This results in an 7.7 Months Supply of homes for September, which is up from 6.8 in August, but down from the 9.8 supply seen in September 2010.  Months Supply is the number of months it would take to clear a market’s active inventory at the current rate of sales.  A six-month supply is considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers.

About the RE/MAX Network:

RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, real estate industry visionaries who still lead the Denver-based global franchisor today. RE/MAX is recognized as a leading real estate franchisor with the most productive sales force in the industry and a global reach of more than 80 countries. With a passion for the communities in which its agents live and work, RE/MAX is proud to have raised more than $100 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and other charities. Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX. Please visit www.remax.com or www.joinremax.com.

Description

The RE/MAX National Housing Report is distributed each month on or about the 15th. The first Report was distributed in August 2008. The Report is based on MLS data in approximately 54 metropolitan areas, includes all residential property types, and is not annualized. For maximum representation, many of the largest metro areas in the country are represented, and an attempt is made to include at least one metro from each state. Metro area definitions include the specific counties established by the U.S. Government’s Office of Management and Budget, with some exceptions.

Definitions

Transactions are the total number of closed residential transactions during the given month.  Month’s Supply of Inventory is the total number of residential properties listed for sale at the end of the month (active inventory) divided by the number of sales contracts signed (pended) during the month.  Where “pended” data is unavailable, this calculation is made using closed transactions.  Days on Market is the number of days that pass from the time a property is listed until the property goes under contract for all residential properties sold during the month. Median Sales Price is the median price of all residential properties sold during the month.

MLS data is provided by contracted data aggregators, RE/MAX brokerages and regional offices.  While MLS data is believed to be accurate, it cannot be guaranteed.  MLS data is constantly being updated, making any analysis a snapshot at a particular time.  Every month the RE/MAX National Housing Report re-calculates the previous period’s data to ensure accuracy over time.  All raw data remains the intellectual property of each local MLS organization.

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