How long can you breathe underwater?

August 27, 2010

Inman News

Top 10 states with highest share of negative equity mortgages

1. Nevada (68 percent of 592,000 mortgages)
2. Arizona (50 percent of 1.3 million mortgages)
3. Florida (46 percent of 4.5 million mortgages)
4. Michigan (38 percent of 1.4 million mortgages)
5. California (33 percent of 6.9 million mortgages)
6. Georgia (28 percent of 1.6 million mortgages)
7. Idaho (24 percent of 243,000 mortgages)
8. Virginia (23 percent of 1.2 million mortgages)
9. Maryland (22 percent of 1.4 million mortgages)
10. Utah (20 percent of 470,000 mortgages)

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Expect prices in Tampa Bay to drop even more

April 29, 2010

We hear so many different opinions on the subject of home values and the overall real estate industry that it is very difficult to know who or what to trust. I’m here to tell you that nobody really knows and anyone who claims to be an expert on the subject is trying to sell you something.

As someone who lives and breaths real estate I can say with complete confidence that I don’t know what the future holds. All I know for certain is that there are too many homes on the market for the quantity of buyers, and as a result prices are down and will remain down. If you’re looking to sell now or in the immediate future you need to face the music. You’re not going to get what you probably feel you deserve for your home should you decide to sell in 2010.

According to Inman News

National home prices were up slightly in February from a year ago — the first annual increase in more than three years — but are expected to give up those gains and more later this year, according to a report from First American CoreLogic.

First American CoreLogic’s LoanPerformance Home Price Index showed prices up 0.3 percent in February from a year ago, compared to a 0.5 percent year-over-year price decline in January.

The index currently shows a 30.6 percent decline in national home prices from an April, 2006 peak, or 21.7 percent if distressed properties are excluded.

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Only 1 in 8 short sales ever close

December 10, 2009

Fannie Mae recently released statistics showing the difficult nature of a Short Sale transaction and how that relates to Foreclosure statistics.

In 2008, Fannie Mae found that for every one short sale that closed, eight homes went into foreclosure. This speaks to the difficult nature of the Short Sale process and the backward nature of how lenders handle them.

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President Obama Signs Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension

November 11, 2009

This last Friday, President Barack Obama signed the new tax credit legislation which provides:

  • Extends the First-Time Home Buyer Credit of up to $8,000 to first-time home buyers until April 30, 2010.
  • Expands the credit to grant up to $6,500 credit to current home owners purchasing a new or existing home between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010.

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Tampa Bay market is starting to heat up!

November 8, 2009

The statistics show that the real estate market in the Tampa Bay area is really starting to pick up. If you’re thinking of buying a new house or condo you might want to start getting serious now. Have prices hit rock bottom yet? There is no way to tell, but most people in the business don’t see them going much lower. If you can buy real estate priced relatively cheaper than comparable properties you should be in good shape over the course of the upcoming months or even year.

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Gus Bilirakis responds to my letter supporting extending the $8,000 tax credit

October 20, 2009

Dear Chris:

Thank you for contacting me to express your support for extending and expanding the federal tax credit for first-time home buyers. I appreciate hearing from you.

I support lowering taxes on home purchases. As you may know, H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, was signed into law in February of this year. This legislation provided an $8,000 refundable credit for all first-time homes brought between January 1 and November 30, 2009. Several bills have been introduced in the House and the Senate that would extend the tax credit from anywhere from six months to one year, expand eligibility of the credit to multi-family properties used as the borrower’s primary residence, and eliminate income caps of $75,000 and $150,000.

I am reviewing these bills to determine how best to make home ownership more affordable and stabilize prices in the housing market. Your comments have provided a valuable perspective as I evaluate these bills. You may be certain that I will remember your support for expanding and extending the tax credit for first-time home buyers should I have the opportunity to consider relevant legislation in the future. I will also share your comments with my House colleagues, who will benefit from your views.

As a resident of Florida’s Ninth District, your comments and opinions are an important source of information to help me carry out my duties as your federal representative. In hat regard, please do not hesitate to contact me in the future on any issue important to you. Also, if you would like to be informed more frequently about my work in Congress and in Florida’s Ninth Congressional District, please visit my website at to sign up for regular email or to send me a message.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

Sincerely yours,

Gus M. Bilirakis
Member of Congress

I’m aware that this letter was probably sent out to 23,000 other people that sent similar letters expressing support for expanding and extending the tax credit.

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Housing indicators are pointing in a positive direction

October 13, 2009

A recent Washington Post article pointed out that many of the housing indicators are pointing in the same positive direction. Several analysts attribute the improvements to the soon to expire $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers, historically low interest rates, and rock bottom prices in many areas.

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3 States Account For Half Of The Country’s Foreclosures

June 6, 2009

foreclosures-mar-2009-by-stSince 2007, foreclosures have dominated national real estate news. You can’t turn on the news or open a paper without seeing at least one foreclosure-related story.

But for all of the discussion, even two-and-a-half years after the peak of the housing market, home foreclosures continue to be geographically concentrated.

In looking at the latest stats from foreclosure marketplace RealtyTrac, more than half of the country’s foreclosure actions from March 2009 occurred in just 3 states — California, Florida and Nevada.

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Homes Still Cost Too Much

June 3, 2009

cul-de-sac-syndromeBy John F. Wasik,
Author of Cul-de-Sac Syndrome: Turning Around the Unsustainable American Dream

You would think with home prices still dropping like hailstones in most areas, that homes would be bargains.

The present buyer’s market obscures a key fact about the housing crisis though: millions sought the refuge of cheap credit, subprime and adjustable loans during the boom because they were the easiest routes to homeownership in a time when house prices far outpaced income growth.

The sad fact is that the Great American Dream is still out of reach for far too many and it was the declining affordability of decent houses that was one of the triggers of the housing bust.

It’s not that home prices haven’t plummeted as banks unload foreclosed homes at fire-sale prices. The national median home price fell to $169,000 in the first quarter, according to the National Association of Realtors. Bank-owned properties are selling at 20-percent to 50-percent discounts.

“Contrary to popular belief,” says Jeffrey Lubell, executive director of the Center for Housing Policy, “the recent decline in home prices has not resolved the nation’s housing affordability problem.” Read more

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Government plans stimulate hope for Florida’s real estate markets

May 13, 2009

0204-0601-1815-1104_tnGAINESVILLE, Fla. – May 13, 2009 – The first signs of confidence in Florida real estate are starting to appear, along with hopes that government stimulus plans will unfreeze markets and reinvigorate business, the latest University of Florida (UF) survey finds.

“Positive responses to several questions lead us to believe there is light at the end of the tunnel,” says Timothy Becker, director of UF’s Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies, which conducts the quarterly survey.

Perhaps most significant is that respondents’ perception of their own business outlook has improved after three years of steady decline.

“If real estate investors think there are opportunities out there for their firms to make money, that means there are deals that will be getting done. And when deals start getting done, various participants in the transactions make money, and it’s almost like a snowball effect,” Becker says. Read more

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