“A resourceful person can see opportunity when others only see obstacles.”
— Garrett Gunderson: is an entrepreneur and author
BANKS, GSEs SPEND MORE MONEY TO SPRUCE UP REOs
Foreclosed homes continue to hamper nearby property values. In some cities, foreclosures were found to decrease nearby property values up to $17,000, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.
More programs are being aimed at rehabbing foreclosed homes so the harm to property values won’t be as great.
According to the GAO report, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac doled out $953 million last year to maintain and fix up vacant homes.
“We are committed to stabilizing communities and helping the housing market recover,” a Fannie Mae spokesperson told HousingWire. “Our goal is to sell REO properties at a competitive market rate, and maintaining our properties is an important part of achieving that goal.”
Since 2008, investors and nonprofits received $6 billion in grant money from HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program to maintain and fix up vacant homes. In Detroit, the city spent $20 million last year demolishing vacant homes or rehabbing ones that could still be saved after neglect.
Wells Fargo & Co. said recently it will donate $5.53 million to 52 nonprofit groups through its Leading the Way Home Program Priority Markets Initiative so that the groups can purchase and redevelop foreclosed and abandoned homes.
“These grants will help stabilize and rebuild local communities,” Kimberly Jackson, executive director of Wells Fargo’s Housing Foundation. “We want to do what we can to make resources available to support efforts led by nonprofits to revitalize neighborhoods in cities that have felt the effects of financial difficulties and a challenging economy.”
WHERE ARE THE GENERATION “Y” HOME BUYERS?
Many buyers are delaying a decision to purchase a home because of the volatility of the real estate market. There is no larger category exhibiting this behavior than those of Generation Y. To define this segment of the population, we go to Wikipedia:
Generation Y, also known as the Millennial Generation (or Millennials), Generation Next, Net Generation, or Echo Boomers, describes the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when the Millennial generation starts and ends, and commentators have used birth dates ranging somewhere from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s.
Does this generation wish to own a home?
Yes. A recent survey completed by Trulia shows people between the ages of 18-34 still believe in the concept of home ownership. 65% of those surveyed said “their American Dream includes owning a home”.
Where are these adults living?
Recent research form John Burns Real Estate Consulting shows the number of adults living with their parents has dramatically increased over the past eight years. Below is a graph showing the numbers:
Generation Y believes in homeownership. Yet, they are delaying the decision to purchase a home of their own. When they do decide to buy, they will impact the housing market in a big way.
BofA CONSIDERS RENTING REOs BACK TO FORMER OWNERS
In facing large inventories of foreclosures, Bank of America is considering a program that would allow investors to buy a foreclosed home and then rent it back to the former home owner, HousingWire reports.
Bank of America is looking for ideas on how to handle the large inventories of foreclosures in some areas where demand hasn’t picked up.
“We are looking at programs where you can capture somebody before the REO process and offer a deed-for-lease,” Ron Sturzenegger, who leads the bank’s legacy asset servicing division, explained to HousingWire. “We would go to the customer and say, ‘We’ll do a short sale. Will you be interested in leasing your property back? We’re still going to sell the property. You will no longer be the owner. But you can be a tenant now in that same property and save you from moving on.”
The program is still in very early stages and more details need to be worked out, Sturzenegger noted.
HOUSING STILL GREAT INVESTMENT, AMERICANS SAY
Sixty-two percent of Americans say that purchasing a home is a good investment over the next 10 years, according to the Mortgage Index Study conducted on behalf of Bank of America.
Affordability ranks high among the 1,104 consumers surveyed nationwide. For those considering a home purchase within the next year, 62 percent reported contacting a lender or using online tools to determine affordable monthly mortgage payments, according to the survey. Seventy-four percent also said they plan to use their personal savings for a down payment on a home.
According to the survey, consumers most popular piece of advice for others looking to buy a home soon: Don’t “buy more house than you can afford.”
LOW MORTGAGE RATES KEEP HOUSING AFFORDABILITY HIGH
Mortgage rates continued to be near record lows this week, keeping housing at affordable levels for most households.
“Thirty-year fixed-rate loans have declined 0.62 percentage points from a year ago, and median sales prices on existing homes are off 4.7 percent in the year ending with October,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement. “These low rates and home prices have pushed housing affordability to record highs this year.”
Monthly principal and mortgage interest payments accounted for 12.6 percent of a median family incomes in October, Nothaft notes. For the sixth time this year, the National Housing Affordability Index reached another all-time record high, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
Here’s a closer look at mortgage rates for the week ending Dec. 8.
• 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.99 percent, with an average 0.7 point, down from last week’s 4 percent average. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.61 percent.
• 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.27 percent, with an average 0.8 point, just slightly above the all-time low of 3.26 percent it reached on Oct. 6. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.96 percent.
• 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.93 percent this week, with an average 0.5 point, ticking up slightly from last week’s 2.90 percent average. Last year at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.60 percent.
• 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.80 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, edging up slightly from 2.78 percent last week. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 3.27 percent.