New residential construction numbers for March 2012, shorter short sales, is the housing crash over & what does this mean for you plus much more!
New Residential Construction March 2012
In what seems to be a strange or conflicting signal about housing, the latest data from the Census bureau and HUD shows that housing permits are up 4.5% in March but housing starts are down. As a matter of fact, housing starts fell for the 3rd time in the past 4 months.
Shorter Short Sales
A short sale is where a seller owes more than they can sell a home for and they are trying to get the bank to accept less than the bank is owed so that the home does not end going into foreclosure. Considering the high cost to the banks, it would seem logical that short sales would be the best choice for them
Wait a minute…
Banks act in a logical manner?
Alright, once you stop laughing, consider the recent news that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are requiring that mortgage servicers review and respond to requests for short sales within 30 calendar days from receipt of a short sale offer. Not sure how they can prevent the mortgage servicers from claiming they never received the short sale request…
This change is long overdue. Most buyers we have worked with want to buy a home NOW and not wait months on end for a decision. However now the final decision about the short sale must happen within 60 days of the receipt of the short sale offer. While 2 months sounds like a long time to wait to find out if the bank will agree to the short sale, it is an improvement!
Will the changes mean more short sales in 2012? Because if there are more short sales, some people might think that means fewer foreclosures.
Heck Bloomberg just reported more short sales than foreclosures the other day!
Something to Consider
Consider these quotes from Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics from a recent article:
The housing crash is now over…and by this time next year, housing will no longer be a drag for the economy but a tailwind
Sounds Great! But what does this mean for buyers and sellers?
Well Zandi answers that also:
Another year from now if prices stay flat and rents rise another 4, 5 or 6%, then the decision to rent or buy will be firmly in favor of buying rather than renting
Sellers: If you are thinking about selling, this means that Zandi is saying to expect prices to remain flat. BUT Zandi seems to think there will be more buyers as rents continue to rise. However, we are seeing much more buyer activity NOW compared to the Spring of 2011…
Buyers: Zandi is not seeing prices dropping or increasing in the coming year. Since rents are projected to keep climbing, the combination of low mortgage rates and lower home prices does make buying look attractive. Something to consider…
March 2012 Real Estate Data From Realtor.com
The inventory of for-sale single family homes, condominiums, townhouses and co-ops in the US fell 21.48% in March 2012 compared to a year ago, and declined in one month in all but two of the 146 markets covered by Realtor.com.
If we look at the Housing Supply Outlook for March 2012, we see that inventory in Upstate SC fell 8.8% compared to one year ago. However, it is still way too high since there is a 17.4 month supply of homes in the WUAR MLS.
More Real Estate News & Links
While only 3 months in a row, it is great news for the economy and real estate that Mortgage Default Rates Fell Again Of course, the extremely high level of homes already foreclosed upon is still high. But at least this is positive news!
Obama said he was going to crack down on mortgage fraud during his State of the Union address but now we find out that the Mortgage Fraud Investigation Not Even Staffed
Sarcasm Alert: Not that investigating or stopping foreclosures is that important. After all, only 1 in 10 Children Feel the Impact of Foreclosures. Sarcasm Alert is now over…
Difficult or plain impossible? Difficulties in forecasting the impact of shadow inventory on the housing market