Real Estate Information Archive
Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4
The nation experienced a 5.24% decline in housing inventory this July. At the same time, the national median listing price increased by 5.27%.
“The recovery is entering a new phase where inventory shortfalls are no longer the driving force behind changes inhousing prices in many markets. Larger inventories, especially in the hotter markets that experienced rapid price increases in the spring, are expanding buyers’ choices and helping to moderate price increases,” said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, Inc. “This month’s report also underscores the uneven nature of the housing recovery and its dependence on the strength of the local economy.”
This new trend boasts the following highlights:
No More Year-Over-Year Inventory Declines
Local Markets Inventory Declines Decrease Leading to Slower Price Growth
Freddie Mac is making a bold move by threatening legal action against the city of Richmond, CA because they are planning to use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages.
- Richmond’s Stance: In offering to buy troubled loans at below market value from mortgage companies, they are then able to write down the loan balances for the new home owners and refinance the loans into government-backed mortgages. IF the mortgage companies refuse to allow them to buy the loans, they city will play the eminent domain card and seize them. This whole plan is theorized to help residents curb the loan debt and avoid foreclosure. Circumventing the federal government in this process is the key point. Richmond officials hope this new method will speed up the currently stagnantly moving foreclosure aid assistance. “We’re not willing to back down on this,” says Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin. “They can put forward as much pressure as they would like, but I’m very committed to this program, and I’m very committed to the well-being of our neighborhoods.”
Richmond is not the only city considering this option for their residents. About two dozen local and state governments — including Newark, N.J., Seattle, and several other cities in California — have been considering similar uses of eminent domain.
- Freddie Mac’s Stance: Voicing cautionary rhetoric, Freddie Mac feels the loan sales will be made only under pressure instead of being clean, tidy, and voluntary as assumed by Richmond. Freddie Mac and its backer, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, are considering taking legal action against such a plan.
This new method of circumvention may threaten real estate recovery. "We are concerned that the proposed use of eminent domain would slow the return of private capital to the housing finance system, and threaten our fragile housing recovery," writes California House Republicans John Campbell, Gary G. Miller and Ed Royce in a letter to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. "We do not believe this is appropriate public policy, even if this use of eminent domain were to survive the inevitable legal challenges that would follow any decision to seize mortgages.”
After the thralls of summer begin to fade into the dry grasslands that signal in fall, parents start thinking about the school season. In fact, a recent realtor.com survey found that school districts impact 60% of home buyers. This carries so much clout with some buyers that are willing to spend more in order to buy within a the district they want their children to belong in. This oftentimes takes a higher priority than parks, trails, and other amenities.
A majority of the home buyers surveyed said that school-district boundaries will have an impact on their buying decision:
- 23.59 percent would pay 1-5 percent above budget
- 20.70 percent would pay 6-10 percent above budget
- 8.98 percent would pay 11-20 percent above budget
- 40.33 percent would not go above budget
For home buyers who said that school-district boundaries will have an impact on their decision, the majority rated the boundaries as an “important” consideration:
- 90.53 percent said school-district boundaries are “important” or “somewhat important”
- 2.04 percent were “neutral” about the importance of school-district boundaries
- 7.43 percent said school-district boundaries are “unimportant” or “very unimportant”