By Ashley R. Harris | 12/11/2013
Pacific Union has partnered with FirstREX to providing down-payment funding through its REX HomeBuyer program.
The Bay Area is known for having some of the most expensive residential real estate in the country, which means even high-income families can feel challenged or uncomfortable committing to the required down payment.
By Carrie Bay | 12/10/2013
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to raise their guarantee fees (g-fees). The g-fee increase consists of three components: the base fee for all mortgages will increase 10 basis points; the g-fee grid will be updated to ensure pricing is aligned with credit risk; and the adverse market fee of 25 basis points is being eliminated except in four states where foreclosure carrying costs are exponentially high.
By Howard Goldthwaite | 12/09/2013
Inventories of homes for sale have been slow to bounce back since the 2007-09 recession, despite steady price appreciation since January 2012. Normally, higher prices reflect robust sales. But lately, prices have been rising even though sales remain stuck at relatively low levels, largely due to a lack of inventory. So why are there so few homes for sale? Two Fed economists examine the many factors affecting today's inventory levels.
By Sandra Lane | 12/06/2013
Perhaps you've known someone who raised money for a documentary or civic project by making an appeal through crowdfunding on the Internet. Now, the concept of pooled resources is being used as an investment vehicle offering equity in homeownership to investors and loan assistance to selected prospective homeowners.
By Krista Franks Brock | 12/06/2013
While rising home prices have lifted many underwater homeowners to positions of positive equity, the real estate information and analytics provider DataQuick warns tight credit will still preclude many traditional buyers from the market. Instead, investors will continue to carry an outsized portion of the purchase market for the foreseeable future, according to DataQuick.
By Carrie Bay | 12/04/2013
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged the holding company of Fifth Third Bank and its former CFO with improper accounting of commercial real estate loans during the financial crisis. Fifth Third will pay $6.5 million to settle the charges. Former CFO Daniel Poston must pay a $100,000 penalty and has been suspended from practicing as an accountant for any publicly traded or SEC-regulated company.
By Krista Franks Brock | 12/04/2013
In a report released this week, Clear Capital linked high levels of distressed sales activity with high levels of home price appreciation, something that may seem out of the ordinary. However, in a conversation with DS News Wednesday, the company's VP of research and analytics explained that this trend is in keeping with the "first-in-first-out" recovery the nation has been experiencing over the past 18 months.
By Krista Franks Brock | 12/03/2013
Speaking at an industry symposium recently, Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council for the White House, stressed the importance of securitization in the housing market, saying it makes mortgages cheaper and enables banks to free up limited capital to support additional home purchases and other forms of lending. However, he says the current securitization market is in need of major reforms.
By Carrie Bay | 12/02/2013
To address widespread negative equity, at least 15 cities and counties are considering using eminent domain to seize underwater homes and lower borrowers' mortgage principal balances, according to the Urban Institute. The institute conducted a study to see what commonalities these communities share and found that all 15 suffer from high levels of poverty and unemployment, stagnant incomes, and low housing prices.
By Krista Franks Brock | 12/02/2013
Home prices and home sales have been rising over the past few years, pointing to a recovery in the housing market, but some warn that what we are seeing may not be a true recovery but instead a mirage created by investors--a dangerous mirage that could lead to trouble in the years to come. According to multiple industry studies, cash purchases made up about half of all home sales across the nation in September.