The housing recovery will come in two phases. First, home prices will rise by just under 1 percent in the second half of 2012. In 2013, prices will rise by 1.5 percent, then go up another 2.5 percent in 2014. For the second phase, home prices will increase 3 to 3.5 percent between 2015 and 2017. These are the predictions from a report released by the Demand Institute, which is jointly operated by The Conference Board and Nielsen.
The report, titled The Shifting Nature of U.S. Housing Demand, stated investors who buy rental properties will lead phase one of the recovery, as opposed to buyers who purchase properties as their own residence.
However, Bart van Ark, chief economist at The Conference Board and co-author of the report, said the expectation for homeownership rates is not expected to change in the long-term.
“Over 80 percent of Americans in recent surveys still agree that buying a home is the best long-term investment they can make. What will be intriguing to watch is how their aspirations around home ownership are affected by this period of extended austerity,” he said.
During the first phase, the demand for rental properties will come from young people hit hard by the recession and immigrants.
As investors buy up the oversupply of homes to take advantage of low prices and rising rents, the report also predicts that this will lead to the absorption of the existing surplus, which will clear by the start of 2015.
Then, phase two will begin with higher home prices and a return to home ownership.
According to the report, currently, 11 percent of homeowners say they would like to sell their home, but about half of these homeowners say they aren’t listing their property because they won’t get the price they want.
The prediction is that once prices rise by 3 percent in 2015, homeowners will start to return to the market, increasing the volume of home sales. Credit will also become more accessible as standards ease, leading to more renters to become buyers. The report stated a crash in demand for rental properties is unlikely.
According to the report, about $7 trillion in American wealth was lost when home prices dropped 30 percent after the housing bubble burst.
Bank of America Launches 'Test-and-Learn' Short Sale Program in Florida
Bank of America has begun a pilot program in Florida offering extra incentive payouts to distressed homeowners who agree to and successfully close on a short sale.
Incentive payments for relocation assistance range between $5,000 and $20,000. The program is being offered on a limited basis for investor-approved, pre-offer short sales.
Bank of America is calling it a pilot “test-and-learn” program.
spokesperson for the bank explained that Florida is experiencing higher foreclosure rates than other parts of the country, and is therefore seen as a “viable market to gauge incremental short sale response and completion rates when presenting homeowners with relocation assistance at closing.” If successful in Florida, Bank of America says the “test-and-learn” could be expanded to other states. The short sale must be initiated between September 26 and November 30, 2011 and close by August 31, 2012.
Florida homeowners who qualify for the “test-and-learn” program will receive a solicitation mailer directly from Bank of America, or may learn about the program if they are working with a real estate agent who handles pre-approved short sales for BofA. The bank has a dedicated team of short sale specialists standing by to help agents determine if their homeowner client qualifies for the short sale relocation assistance at: 877.459.2852 .
Bank of America has already been offering short sale payouts in the state of Florida, albeit for smaller amounts.
Susie Kirkland with RE/MAX Southern Realty in Destin says she’s closed five transactions within the past couple of months through what BofA calls its Cooperative Short Sale Program. The bank awarded Kirkland’s short sellers $2,500 upon closing. BofA is even extending short sale incentives to some investors. Steve Kravitz of Bankers Realty Services, Inc. in Fort Lauderdale just completed a short sale transaction last week on an investment property. BofA offered the non-occupant owner/seller $3,600. Kravitz says his client had been late on a few payments, but there was no foreclosure filing on the property. BofA and other lenders are looking to short sales earlier on in the process, and getting ahead of the foreclosure crisis in areas where the system is already bogged down with distressed properties.
“We’ve had cases here where we’ve gotten short sales through where there haven’t even been any late payments at all,” Kravitz said. Kravitz says short sales just make sense for a market as hard-hit as Florida. Not only can a short sale be more cost efficient when lenders are facing a foreclosure timeline of nearly two years, but it “gets more product and better product out to buyers.”
He explained that oftentimes, a foreclosure property can sit vacant for more than a year, whereas with a short sale, the home is typically occupied up until a week or a few days prior to changing hands, which translates to a better quality home in better shape.
Kravitz says banks are becoming “more cooperative” and approving short sales more quickly. The investment property short sale Kravitz closed last week took just 45 days.
Other lenders are also extending incentive payouts to short sellers in Florida and some other hard-hit states such as California.
In July, DSNews.com reported that Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Citi were all offering extra relocation assistance to borrowers opting for a short sale in certain markets.
Robert Valenzuela with Century 21 Schwartz Realty in Key Largo, Florida, says he’s completed six short sale transactions in which the seller was given money to help with relocation, the largest of which was a $45,000 payment from Chase Bank.
Banks dealing with lengthy, complicated and frequently messy foreclosures are starting to see "short sales" as a quicker and cheaper way of getting bad loans off their books. The nation's biggest mortgage servicers- Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo - are beginning to step up their efforts to ease the short sale process for borrowers who are unsuccessful in getting loan modifications and face the threat of foreclosure. Servicers are attempting to reach out to borrowers and are paying out more incentives to those suffering financial hardship to help proceed with a short sale. They are also cutting down the time taken to approve short sales, although realtors still complain that the process takes too long.
JPMorgan has processed 120,000 short sales through its proprietary program since June 2009 and now averages 5,000 short sales a month. The bank says its average response time to approve a short sales transaction is 30 days. "We think the short sale is a good solution for many struggling homeowners and we let them know that it's an option," said Christine Holevas, spokesperson for JPMorgan in an email. "Our outreach efforts have increased in the past year or so. Foreclosure can be an expensive and lengthy process for all parties. It's a good deal for the homeowner and a good deal for us (a cheaper way to get a bad loan off the books.)"
The average time for the foreclosure process- from the time of notice to the completed foreclosure- is now 318 days in the U.S., according to RealtyTrac. The foreclosure process in the state of New York, which follows a judicial process, took 966 days on average for properties foreclosed in the second quarter. New Jersey and Florida followed with an average processing time of 944 days and 676 days respectively. The longer it takes for a foreclosure to be approved, the longer bad loans stay on banks' books. Foreclosures are also more expensive than short sales, because of the legal expenses involved as well as the expenses for maintenance and upkeep while the property is in foreclosure.
Wells Fargo, for instance, incurred expenses on repossessed homes to the tune of $305 million in the second quarter and $408 million in the first quarter, according to data from SNL. Data for the other big banks wasn't available. According to real estate analytics firm CoreLogic, the number of short sales in the market have tripled in the last two years and transactions are anticipated to grow by 25% in 2011. The markets with the largest short sale volume are California, Arizona, Colorado and Florida.
"Bank of America and Fidelity National Financial have reached an agreement confirming that Fidelity will provide title insurance on the sale of foreclosed properties," said B of A spokesman Dan Frahm.
Under the agreement, Fidelity will defend the new homeowner in court if a foreclosed owner challenges the title. B of A will cover the costs and, if necessary, any damages awarded to the previous owner.
"Bank of America and Fidelity National are taking this step to facilitate the continued availability of title insurance that is vital to the marketability of foreclosed properties," Frahm said.
The giant bank is seeking similar agreements with other title insurers.
American Land Title Association chief executive Kurt Pfotenhauer welcomed the B of A/Fidelity agreement.
“Title insurers are looking to lenders to provide appropriate indemnities," he said. ALTA also has approached the GSE regulator about title indemnifications.
"We will continue to work with federal and state regulators, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and lenders to bring certainty to the marketplace," Pfotenhauer said.
One in every 29 Nevada homes received a foreclosure filing during the third quarter. Looking at total numbers of foreclosures, neighboring California was worst, with 191,016, followed by Florida, Arizona, Illinois and Michigan. Combined, the five states accounted for half of all foreclosures last quarter. Of course, once the moratorium ends, we can expect a new tidal wave of foreclosures. John McGeough, a broker, said that the current foreclosure freeze may give distressed homeowners extra time to do a short sale and avoid having their homes repossessed by the banks. "Foreclosure should be the last resort."
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The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage hit its lowest point in more than 50 years. The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey reported the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 4.19% with an average 0.8 origination point for the week ending Oct. 14, down from last week's average of 4.27%. A year ago the average was 4.92%. This is the lowest rate the survey has recorded since its inception in 1971. Mortgage rates were last at this level in April 1951, according to Freddie Mac. The Bankrate survey of large banks and thrifts reported the average rate for a 30-year, fixed mortgage is 4.47% with a 0.32 origination point, slightly above the 25-year-old survey's record low of 4.45% posted last month. Rates for 15-year FRMs are falling steeply, setting a new low for Freddie Mac.
The GSE said the rate was down to 3.62% with an average origination point of 0.8. The rate for a 15-year FRM was 4.37% a year earlier. Bankrate said the average rate for 15-year, FRMs of 3.85% is a new record low and down from 3.87% a week earlier. Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, attributed the declining rates to the loss of 95,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in September. The GSE said the average for a 5-year, adjustable-rate mortgage is 3.47% with an average 0.6 origination point, down from 4.38% a year ago. The average remained flat with last week. Bankrate reported the average rate for a 5-year, ARM fell last week to 3.62% from 3.64% previously. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.43% with an average 0.7 point up slightly from 3.4%. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 4.6%.
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All Rights Reserved.