Selling a Town on Rentals →
DESPITE a dearth of buyers and a glut of renters these days, an effort to make a rental community of 284 previously approved two-bedroom condominiums in a new Central Islip development has hit several major speed bumps.
Stronger Lure for Prospective Home Buyers →
Home prices and mortgage rates have fallen so far that the monthly cost of owning a home is more affordable than at any point in the past 15 years and is less expensive than renting in a growing number of cities.
To Sell Green, First Teach Green →
Turns out Connecticut’s “House of the Year” is small, inexpensive to heat, and priced at a surprisingly low $220,000.
Sharga: Several More Years with Nearly 1M... →
The housing market faces several more years with 800,000 to 1 million new foreclosed properties per year, according to Rick Sharga, an executive vice president with Carrington Mortgage Services.
REOs: Where Are They Now →
What’s become of all those properties seized by banks? CoreLogic delved into the stats to find out. The company’s analysts took a closer look at the post-foreclosure outcomes of properties since 2006.
Bill Would Give U.S. Visas to Foreign Home Buyers →
The reeling housing market has come to this: To shore it up, two Senators are preparing to introduce a bipartisan bill Thursday that would give residence visas to foreigners who spend at least $500,000 to buy houses in the U.S.
Home Forecast Calls for Pain →
Home prices are expected to drop 2.5% this year and rise just 1.1% annually through 2015, according to a recent survey of more than 100 economists.
Developers Cater to Two-Wheeled Traffic in... →
Portland is nationally recognized as a leader in the movement to create bicycle-friendly cities. About 7 percent of commuters here travel by bike.
U.S. Hits Builders With Pay Probe →
The Labor Department is investigating pay practices at many of the top companies in home building, hitting them with a broad demand for records that has led to complaints of regulatory overreach.
A Lifeline for Underwater Homeowners →
Help may finally be on the way for borrowers stuck in high-interest-rate mortgages. Shaila Dewan and Louise Story reported in The Times that the White House is considering a proposal that would ease refinancings for millions of underwater homeowners whose loans are owned or backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled mortgage companies.
Little Risk of Home Builder Liquidity Woes,... →
Home building companies don’t appear at risk of failing to meet their short-term financial obligations, a Citi Investment Research analyst said on Wednesday.
The Lock, Stock, and Barrel Listing →
Long common in resort and second-home communities, the practice of selling houses with all the furnishings is turning up more frequently in the high-end market of Fairfield County.
Why It's Time to Buy →
Despite all the gloom, there are growing indications that it is a good time to buy.
Bottom May Be Near for Slide in Housing →
How low can the market go? For real estate, some economists say, an end to the seemingly endless decline in housing values might be in sight.
Infusion from China for Toledo, Ohio, Real Estate →
Two investors from China bought a formerly city-owned tract and said they intended to build a new multipurpose riverfront district.
As Housing Goes, So Goes the Economy →
The Great Recession began with the bursting of the housing bubble. Today, nearly two years after the recession officially ended, the housing market is still in trouble.
As Lenders Hold Homes in Foreclosure, Sales Are... →
The nation’s biggest banks and mortgage lenders have steadily amassed real estate empires, acquiring a glut of foreclosed homes that threatens to deepen the housing slump and create a further drag on the economic recovery.
Strains Visible in Homes Data →
The number of American households behind on mortgage payments hovered at its lowest level in nearly two years during the first quarter, but the number of borrowers in foreclosure stayed near record high levels, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Thursday.
Bill Proposes Mortgage Shake-Up →
Two lawmakers, a California Republican and a Michigan Democrat, are set to unveil legislation Thursday to replace mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with at least five private companies that would issue mortgage-backed securities with explicit federal guarantees.
Pulte to Cut Executives →
PulteGroup Inc., the country’s second-largest home builder by annual sales, is terminating as many as 10 executives at the divisional president level or higher as part of a management-consolidation plan.
Senior Living Sees a Boom in NY Area →
The biggest real-estate mergers so far this year involved national health- care landlords seeking to expand their senior housing exposure including Ventas’s $5.8 billion acquisition of Nationwide Health Properties in February several months after it acquired Atria Senior Living, one the biggest regional operators in the New York region. In addition, Health Care REIT recently enters a...
Nonbank Mortgage Lenders Staging a Comeback →
So-called nonbank lenders are trying to stage a comeback through two relatively new lobbying groups based in Washington that are seeking to burnish the image of those nonbank lenders that steered clear of risky lending.
Problems With New Good Faith Estimate Forms →
THE revamped Good Faith Estimate form, which arrived just over a year ago, has helped give home buyers and homeowners looking to refinance their mortgages a better understanding of their borrowing costs. But industry experts say the three-page, line-by-line disclosure still falls short of telling borrowers exactly what they will be paying.
Minkow to Plead Guilty in Lennar Insider-Trading... →
Barry Minkow, a former Wall Street whiz kid who spent seven years in prison for stock fraud and later emerged to become a church pastor and a financial-fraud investigator, will plead guilty to insider trading and could spend up to five years in prison, according to his attorney.
New Worries for Buyers Seeking Mortgages →
The dread of not finding a lender after the market collapsed in 2009 has been replaced by uncertainty, confusion and frustration. According to brokers and lenders, the list of demands that stand between finding a place to buy and signing on the dotted line simply never stops morphing.
MERS? It May Have Swallowed Your Loan →
An obscure company claims to hold title to roughly half of the home mortgages in the nation — 60 million loans.
Berkowitz Wins Battle for St. Joe Board, CEO Steps... →
Monday marked another twist in the saga at Florida land developer St. Joe Company, with the departure of Chief Executive Britt Greene and the news that Fairholme Capital Management’s Bruce Berkowitz’s slate of four proposed directors will replace Greene and three others on the company’s board.
Housing Crash Is Hitting Cities Once Thought to Be... →
The rolling real estate crash that ravaged Florida and the Southwest is delivering a new wave of distress to communities once thought to be immune — economically diversified cities where the boom was relatively restrained.
Mortgage Finance Overhaul to Raise Costs, Reduce... →
In spite of differences between Democrats and Republicans on reforming housing finance, both sides back proposals that would make mortgages more expensive and difficult to obtain.
Westchester Spec Builders Test the Waters →
As the high end of the Westchester market shows tentative signs of rallying and the inventory of houses for sale is finally being absorbed, a handful of “spec” builders are re-entering the field — though more cautiously than during the real estate boom.
If Martha builds it, will they come? →
The home is built as a net-zero energy home (the first KB Home project that generates as much energy as it consumes) with a 9kW rooftop solar array integrated into the roof’s concrete tiles, energy-efficient Whirlpool appliances, Kohler Water Sense plumbing fixtures, a rainwater collection system, and a composting bin in the kitchen. An electric vehicle charging station is also one of the...
Housing Market Slips Into Depression Territory →
Home values have fallen 26 percent since their peak in June 2006, worse than the 25.9-percent decline seen during the Depression years between 1928 and 1933, Zillow reported.
Massachusetts Ruling on Foreclosures is a Warning... →
The highest court in Massachusetts ruled Friday that U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo erred when they seized two troubled borrowers’ properties in 2007, putting the nation’s banks on notice that foreclosures cannot be based on improper or incomplete paperwork.
In Manhattan, Luxury Real Estate Market Continues... →
The 2010 real estate market in Manhattan will be remembered for slow but steady growth, with luxury sales of $3 million and up finally making a strong return in the final months of the year, according to fourth-quarter market reports to be released on Tuesday.
Faith themes click with Oklahoma City homebuilder... →
In the case of Jeff Click Homes’ latest offering — the “Urbana” series — the plans’ names have been chosen from more subtle biblical references.
M&I Bank's loan troubles extended to... →
The news of Marshall & Ilsley Corp.’s sale to BMO Financial Group included the oft-repeated lines about M&I Bank ‘s losses, and plunging stock price, tied mainly to loans gone bad to developers in Arizona.But the bank also made some bad loans to Milwaukee-area developers.We saw proof of that in foreclosure suits, bankruptcy filings and properties deeded to the bank in lieu of...
The Single-Story House Makes a Comeback - In the... →
“The ranch is coming back,” he added. “People are looking to the future and realizing that the up-and-down on the staircase is not likeable for them.” In trying to avert “the senior condo route,” they are “willing to pay extra for the convenience of the ranch.”
Mortgage-Servicing Methods, Exposed in a Court... →
“No one really knows what is in the black box known as loan servicing, and most investors don’t even think of their servicer taking advantage of them,” Mr. Bickel said in an interview. “There’s not a lot of transparency, and I think this case is going to bring to the forefront the potential for abuse.” It is obvious that we are in the litigation stage of the financial debacle of 2008. That usually...
In California, Homeowners at Risk Struggle to Find... →
Lawyers throughout California say they have no choice but to reject clients like Ms. Bell because of a new state law that sharply restricts how they can be paid. Under the measure, passed overwhelmingly by the State Legislature and backed by the state bar association, lawyers who work on loan modifications cannot receive any money until the work is complete.
Florida regulators issue warning to mortgage... →
As of Dec. 1, about 10,000 of the almost 43,000 mortgage industry professionals in the state have submitted new applications under the system, regulators said.
More Foreclosures Expected in 2011 - WSJ.com →
What’s more, there’s a growing feeling that modifying mortgages doesn’t get to the heart of the housing crisis: “There is the perception that the answer to this involves trying to get job growth,” which will help homeowners pay their loans and enable others to buy homes, said Jay Brinkmann, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, during a recent...
Lenders Aim to Push Nevada Development Into... →
Toll Brothers chairman Robert I. Toll said that the project had encountered difficulties along with the rest of the Las Vegas housing market, and characterized the dispute as one of who should take the biggest losses. He also said J.P. Morgan’s legal actions were without merit. “It’s like the rest of Vegas, it didn’t go as it should, but the question is, who should take the...
Foreclosures Creep Along in New York - WSJ.com →
It takes longer to foreclose on homes in New York than any other state—and it’s getting longer every month. Two years ago, the state began requiring that banks and borrowers attend settlement conferences before a foreclosure takes place. While the conferences are popular with borrowers and have succeeded in helping some families keep their homes, banks have been reluctant to participate....
Hidden Medical Debts Kill Refis - WSJ.com →
Two erroneous $11 doctor bills stopped Jeanne White from refinancing her home. The 49-year-old resident of Colleyville, Texas, pays 7% on the mortgage for her three-bedroom house. In October, she says, she was shocked to learn that the two medical bills, which had been turned over to a collection agency, had caused her credit score to fall to 680 from 757—making refinancing far too expensive....
Mortgage Rates, at Six-Month High, Threaten Refis... →
“The rate increase has been so sudden and so sharp that it’s almost too late for many borrowers to refinance,” said Kevin Cavin, mortgage strategist at Sterne Agee in Chicago.
The Outlook: Housing Market on Edge as Lenders Get... →
Economists are worried that the housing sector may be heading into another downdraft as mortgage lenders continue to tighten already restrictive lending standards.
Rentals soar as more people steer clear of... →
For much of the past decade, renters have typically been college students, people who could not afford to buy, or upwardly mobile professionals who change jobs frequently. Now, an uncertain economy, sputtering housing market, and changing attitudes about homeownership have widened the pool of renters.
New Homes: Comeback for McMansions? →
One Florida builder, Meritage Homes, has turned such a model into a recent bestseller. The difference between its new homes and the McMansions of the early 2000s is a simplified architectual style, more energy-efficient features and a more reasonable price. And luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers is beginning construction in Florida on Fontana Estates, where new homes of 3,000 to 4,000 square feet...
BofA Blames Investors for Lack of Loan... →
But a recent study  looked at the contracts covering subprime deals from 2006—at the height of the boom—and found that only 8 percent actually prohibited modifications. The contracts sometimes had some limitations  on modifications, like saying the servicer couldn’t extend the term of the loan, but almost two-thirds of the contracts explicitly gave servicers the authority to make...
Bank of America’s Call Center for Foreclosure... →
At the Senate banking committee hearing on Tuesday, Barbara J. Desoer, president of Bank of America Home Loans, plans to announce new initiatives like assigning a single case manager so homeowners do not get passed from one bank employee to another. The bank also will start providing checklists so borrowers know exactly where they stand in the modification or foreclosure process.