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In The News

JULY 28, 2011

Housing Market Will Probably Not See Double Dip, Says Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac does not believe that the housing market will double dip, but believes it will instead increase by 3% to 5% this year. Even though the unemployment rate remains high and is not expected to recover soon, the housing market is expected to improve throughout 2011 alongside the GDP.

SOURCE: HousingWire.com, 7/18/11

URL: http://www.housingwire.com/2011/07/18/freddie-mac-says-housing-sector-unlikely-to-see-double-dip

JULY 21, 2011

Additional Help Available for Unemployed Ohio Residents Who Face Foreclosure

Relief for Ohioans who are unemployed and facing foreclosure has been expanded through new FHA and MHA requirements and timelines. This change has increased flexibility and will help families as well as the neighborhoods in which they live. The qualification period for the FHA Loss Mitigation Program has been extended from four to 12 months. Plus, MHA is now requiring that servicers extend their three-month eligibility period to 12 months. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown helped expand this program to Ohio through contact with President Obama.

SOURCE: Ohio RealEstateRama

URL: http://ohio.realestaterama.com/2011/07/07/brown-announces-new-relief-for-unemployed-ohioans-facing-foreclosure-ID0378.html

JULY 21, 2011

Underwater Homeowners Refinancing Bill Gains Momentum

A bill written by Barbara Boxer and currently moving through the U.S. Senate could help millions of homeowners whose homes are underwater (they have a mortgage balance amounting to more than the home is worth). This bill would remove the barriers to refinancing that millions of homeowners have struggled with. Called “Helping Responsible Homeowners Act,” it would order Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to remove refinancing barriers and waive fees so borrowers could refinance and obtain a lower rate.

SOURCE: Mike Colpitts, HousingPredictor.com

URL: http://www.housingpredictor.com/2011/underwater-homeowners-refinancing.html

JULY 13, 2011

Trending Up: Older Populations Looking Into Shared Housing Options

As shared housing becomes more popular, its benefits become more apparent. Sharing housing allows older adults who are retired or single to afford a higher standard of living as well as increase their capacity to hire help if necessary. It also provides the added benefit of companionship and peace of mind as each individual finds someone with whom to share responsibilities. As the boomer population ages, this trend is expected to become more popular.

SOURCE: Reuters, 7/1/11

URL: http://blogs.reuters.com/reuters-wealth/2011/07/01/golden-girls-2-0-shared-housing-as-a-retirement-strategy/

JULY 13, 2011

Housing Values Expected to Recover Faster Than The Economy

Housing values are expected to recover faster than the economy, according to Radar Logic, a firm based in New York. In May, the unemployment rate increased from 9.0% to 9.1%, demonstrating that consumer confidence is still weak and the GDP is not growing. The housing market, however, is expected to slowly stabilize as excess housing is absorbed by new homeowners. Still, it could be years before this happens.

SOURCE: DS News, 6/3/11

URL: http://www.dsnews.com/articles/housing-recovery-to-precede-economic-radar-logic-2011-06-03

JULY 6, 2011

Are Land Banks the Answer?

Although land banking is not a new idea, it has emerged during the housing crisis as an innovative method for redeveloping abandoned or vacant properties. While foreclosure and the subsequent increase in vacancies remains a major issue, land banks can be a successful community-based solution. This strategic tool allows communities and municipalities to take control of properties and turn them around during periods of economic difficulty and housing distress.

SOURCE: Buffalo Rising

URL: http://www.buffalorising.com/2011/06/land-banks-called-a-long-term-solution-to-vacant-property-problem.html

JULY 6, 2011

Land Bank Benefits from Donated Properties

Wells Fargo and Bank of America have donated REO low-asset properties to the Cuyahoga Land Bank in Ohio. Along with the properties, Wells Fargo is providing $3,500 for demolition of each property in NSP target areas and $7,500 per property in other areas of Cuyahoga County. Bank of America has agreed to donate up to 100 vacant and foreclosed properties along with a similar monetary contribution.

SOURCE: Safeguard Properties

JUNE 29, 2011

Distressed Property Sales Fell During May

From April to May of this year, distressed sales dropped from 37 percent to 31 percent of all sales. Banks are pushing short sales since they already have a large supply of REO properties, but are also pushing REO sales due to new sales incentives from lenders and government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs). This article looks at the issue of distressed property disposal from different angles.

SOURCE: CNBC, 6/21/11

JUNE 29, 2011

New York Assembly Passes Land Bank Bill

The land bank bill that passed in the New York State Assembly would help revitalize communities by allowing municipalities to create land banks that put vacant or abandoned properties, or those that are tax-delinquent, back to productive use. Many communities are struggling with vacant buildings in both rural and urban settings, and this bill would strengthen and revitalize these communities by providing additional options for responding to troubled units. Land banking helps cities to rehabilitate and reuse vacant land by creating green space, housing developments or public works projects.

SOURCE: Center for Community Progress, 6/17/11

JUNE 24, 2011

When it Comes to Losing Value, Lower-Priced Homes Suffer Most

Over the past few years, the loss in home values has affected lower-priced homes more than higher-priced homes, according to Zillow.com. It reports that since 2007, top-tier homes have lost 38% of their value, while bottom-tier homes have lost 63% of their value. This difference in lost value is consistent from one city to the next, but reasons for the drop vary. In some areas the problem is due to exaggerated price increases for typically lower-priced homes during the pre-bust era — meaning they had further to fall. In other areas the problem was due mostly to issues with income.

SOURCE: USA Today, 6/6/11

URL: http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2011-06-06-high-price-homes_n.htm

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