What do you know about Affordability at worst point

Home prices increased once again in November by 6.8% as housing inventory dropped 8%, making affordability that much worse, according to the existing home sales report from the National Association of Realtors.

The report analyzed median home prices derived from publicly recorded sales deed data collected by ATTOM and average wage data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 447 U.S. counties with a combined population of more than 184 million. The affordability index is based on the percentage of average wages needed to make monthly house payments on a median-priced home with a 30-year fixed rate and a 3% down payment — including property taxes and insurance.

An index of 100 indicates market affordability on par with historical norms while above 100 indicates more affordable than historic norms and below 100 indicates less affordable than historic norms.

Affordability decreased in the fourth quarter, but remained above the 100 mark at 103, down from 108 last quarter and 116 last year.

“Rapid home-price appreciation and tepid wage growth have combined to erode home affordability during this housing recovery, and the recent uptick in mortgage rates only accelerated

Home price report that you should to know

The FHFA monthly HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Because of this, the selection excludes high-end homes bought with jumbo loans or cash sales.

For the nine census divisions, the East South Central division saw the least increase in home prices and in fact even saw a decrease of 0.6% from September. The Mountain division, however, increased the most month-over-month at 1.2%.

Annually, the Middle Atlantic division saw the lowest increase at 3.6%, while the Mountain division again led the way with an annual increase of 8.3%.

A report from the National Association of Realtors indicated the median existing-home price increased in October to $232,200, up 6% from last year’s $219,100.

“Based on the responses of title agents and real estate professionals and their relative preference for Donald Trump, it appears that the uncertainty created by increased regulation and the growing complexities of compliance have many title agents and real estate professionals believing that less regulation would be more beneficial to the housing market in the long run,” Fleming said.

Since President-elect Donald Trump

Access for mortgage credit

She reported that borrowers who took out mortgages in the past five years are better at paying their mortgages than any other group of mortgage borrowers in history, putting real data to talk about the credit box being too tight.

In light of the current situation, the second blog post in the Treasury Department’s series on reforming the housing finance system focuses on the need to preserve access to mortgage credit through the U.S. economy’s ups and downs.

The first blog discussed the need for housing finance reform to provide access to affordable housing for all Americans.

In the coming weeks, the Treasury said it will also address the need to create a level playing field for financial institutions of all sizes and to promote robust regulatory oversight to protect the broader housing system.

Jane Dokko, deputy assistant secretary for Financial Economics, and Sam Valverde, a counselor in the Office of Domestic Finance, start the blog off saying, “A clearly defined government role in the housing finance system is necessary to protect families from this harm. The specific tools can be incorporated across a range of frameworks for housing finance reform.

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The Beginners Guide To

What time to close a loan

Ellie Mae’s report, which is pulled from a “robust” sampling of approximately 75% of all mortgage applications that were initiated on Ellie Mae’s Encompass system, typically shows a variance in the time to close for refinance mortgages versus purchase mortgages, but it appears that gap is calming down as well.

The industry became hyper focused on the time it takes to close a loan after the implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule last year, since the rule was expected to drastically impact and delay the closing process.

To put it in perspective, before the rule went into effect on Oct. 3, 2015, it took 47 days to close a loan in August 2015, 46 in September 2015 and 46 in October 2015.

In the following month, right after TRID took effect, the time to close shot up to 49 days, reaching a yearly high in January 2016 of 50 days.

But this didn’t last long, and come February 2016, the time was already back down to 46 and even went as low as 44 days in March and April.

And finally, by September 2016, it started to look like the time to close a loan settled at 46 days.

That is, until this latest report. After August, the

Lost confidence in your housing before election

“Overall, bullishness about transaction volumes in the coming year waned, largely driven by the decline in refinance transaction expectations,” First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming said. “Uncertainty leading into the election, as well as increasing confidence in the likelihood of Federal Reserve rate increases, tempered expectations for housing demand and lowered the overall price growth forecast.”

The title agents and real estate professionals surveyed answered that market production, which combines respondents’ answers on changes in transaction volume and prices over the next year, decreased by 3.8% annually in the fourth quarter.

Confidence over transaction volume over the next 12 months fell 11.8% from the third quarter and 3.8% from last year.

Similarly, confidence for growth in purchase transaction volume over the next 12 months also decreased by 8% from last quarter and 8.8% from last year.

Confidence in refinance transaction volume growth over the next 12 months decreased by 15.6% from last quarter, however it is still up 2.4% from last year.

Respondents expect home prices to continue rising, but at a slower pace than before. Prices across all property types are expected to grow by 3.5% over the next 12 months, down from last quarter’s growth expectations of 4.1%.

“Based on the responses of title

If you would like to know about home prices

The 10-City Composite recorded a 4.3% annual increase, up from 4.2% the previous month, while the 20-City Composite reported a year-over-year gain of 5.1%, up from 5.0% in September.

Last month’s report showed that home prices finally surpassed all-time highs set in July 2006, with prices recording a 5.5% annual gain in September.

On a monthly basis, after seasonal adjustment, the National Index recorded a 0.9% month-over-month increase, while both the 10-City and 20-City Composites each reported a 0.6% month-over-month increase.

“Home prices and the economy are both enjoying robust numbers,” says David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “However, mortgage interest rates rose in November and are expected to rise further as home prices continue to out-pace gains in wages and personal income.”

The most recent mortgage rate report from Freddie Mac posted that mortgage rates jumped to a two-year high, with the 30-year fixed-rate coming in at 4.3% for the week ending Dec. 22, 2016.

“Affordability measures based on median incomes, home prices and mortgage rates show declines of 20-30% since home prices bottomed in 2012,” he continued. “With the current high consumer confidence numbers and low unemployment rate, affordability trends do not suggest an immediate

Program of community redevelopment

According to Cuomo’s office, through this program, more than 8,700 homes “have been created or made safer and more affordable” with $168 million in Affordable Housing Corporation awards.

This latest round of funding will make improvements to existing owner-occupied single or multi-family homes, condominiums, or cooperatives; acquire and rehabilitate owner-occupied homes for sale, including single and multi-family homes, condominiums, or cooperatives; and construct new owner-occupied homes for sale, including single and multi-family homes, condominiums, or cooperatives including replacing dilapidated mobile and manufactured homes, Cuomo’s office said.

“We are committed to helping all New Yorkers achieve and preserve the American Dream of homeownership, and this funding will build and improve affordable owner-occupied housing in every corner of the state,” Cuomo said. “This program supports this administration’s efforts to build stronger, more resilient communities and helps to create a stronger, fairer and more affordable New York for all.”

According to Cuomo’s office, the latest round of awards include:

  • $1,200,000 to SBP, Inc. home improvement of approximately 30 units located on scattered sites in Queens and Kings County for homes damaged in Superstorm Sandy
  • $1,825,000 to Housing Partnership Development Corporation for the new construction of 49 units located on scattered sites in the Brownsville and East New York sections of

Avoid for hacked on your home

Here are a few tips that will mitigate the risk of getting your personal data stolen.

1. Be suspicious of emails

Cale Guthrie Weissman

A great deal of cyberattacks are launched through simple malicious email campaigns. Email is a wonderful communication platform because you can sending anything to anyone, but that means it can be a huge security risk. Phishing, for example, sends victims seemingly innocuous emails that will lead victims to fake websites asking to update their personal information.

The best way to avoid being scammed by phony emails is to just make sure the recipient is who you think it is. Check the email address to see if they match with website you think it’s from. To be extra cautious you can check the IP address of the sender.

You can do this by finding the source information from the email and looking for the IP address that follows the line “Received: from.” You can then Google the IP address to learn the email’s source. (Here is a good primer on finding email IP addresses.)

2. Check link locations

Unknown messages contain links to unknown sites. Surfing to a mysterious website can

Slowing home sales

And according to NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, one of the main causes for the decline is rising interest rates.

“The budget of many prospective buyers last month was dealt an abrupt hit by the quick ascension of rates immediately after the election,” Yun said in NAR’s latest report. “Already faced with climbing home prices and minimal listings in the affordable price range, fewer home shoppers in most of the country were successfully able to sign a contract.”

According to NAR’s report, pending home sales fell in November to their lowest level in almost a year as the increase in mortgage rates and a lack of available inventory impacted some prospective buyers.

NAR’s latest Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, fell 2.5% to 107.3 in November from 110 in October, which was the highest reading since July.

But after November’s decrease in activity, the index is now 0.4% below November 2015 (107.7) and at its lowest reading since January 2016 (105.4).

According to NAR’s data, only the Northeast saw monthly and annual pending sales gains in November.

Per NAR’s report, the PHSI in the Northeast inched forward 0.6% to 97.5 in November, and is now 5.7% above a year ago.

In the Midwest, the

Choose for housing tips

In the September issue of HousingWire Magazine, our own Kelsey Ramírez wrote a feature story on the impact of Airbnb in New Orleans and asked whether the short-term rental industry is going to disrupt the entire housing market. For more on that story, click here.

A new report from Bloomberg furthers that point, and shows just how contentious the fight over Airbnb is becoming in certain expensive markets, like San Francisco.

As these types of fight always do, lawyers are involved. But it’s not just lawyers, private investigators are involved too.

Here’s Bloomberg’s David Levitt:

In a gentrifying neighborhood of San Francisco, a couple exit their cab and head toward an apartment, rolling suitcases behind them. Unbeknownst to them, a private investigator by the name of Michael Joffe sits in his parked car just across the street, discreetly snapping pictures.

This is not a divorce case waiting to happen or an international spy caper. Nothing that salacious or mysterious. It is instead an episode that provides a window into how bitter the feud between struggling tenants and home-sharing websites like Airbnb Inc. has become. Joffe works for a tenant lawyer who in turns represents a family that was evicted from their apartment — the one

Talk about Ohio based banks

In this case, the DOJ accused Union Savings Bank and Guardian Savings Bank, which are based in Cincinnati and share common ownership and management, of redlining “predominantly African-American” neighborhoods in Cincinnati; Columbus, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; and Indianapolis.

The complaint alleged that from at least 2010 through 2014, the banks extended credit to the residents of predominantly white neighborhoods to a “significantly greater extent” than they extended credit to majority African-American neighborhoods in the same cities.

According to the DOJ, those neighborhoods are “easily recognized because each of the four metropolitan areas in which the banks operate has long maintained highly-segregated residential housing patterns for African Americans.”

The DOJ said the lending practices of Union Savings Bank and Guardian Savings Bank were in violation of the both the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

As part of the settlement, Union will open two full-service branches and Guardian will open one loan production office to serve the residents of the African-American neighborhoods in question, the DOJ said.

Additionally, Union and Guardian will invest at least $9 million in majority African-American neighborhoods in the Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Indianapolis metropolitan areas.

According to the DOJ, that investment includes $7 million in a loan subsidy fund that

The easy way to search for new CEO

They begin their search immediately.

This means, after 36 years of service,  current CEO Dale Stinton will retire from the association in 2017.

Stinton took over as CEO in November 2005.

Previously, he served as chief financial officer and chief information officer since 1998 and was named acting CEO and executive vice president in 1996.

In the email, NAR applauded Stinton’s leadership during the financial crisis.

“Dale Stinton has had a long and distinguished career at NAR and has made immense contributions to the association, and we thank him for his service,” said Chris Polychron, president of NAR in 2015 who is now serving as chair.

“This continues to be a dynamic time for the association and the industry, and I am confident that we will find and hire the best candidate to position NAR for long-term success as it continues the important role of advocating for Realtor members, consumers and the industry,” he added.

Additionally, Union and Guardian will invest at least $9 million in majority African-American neighborhoods in the Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Indianapolis metropolitan areas.

According to the DOJ, that investment includes $7 million in a loan subsidy fund that will be used to increase the amount of credit that Union and Guardian extend to residents of

Real estate agent arrested for allegedly

John Rose Jr., 49, who works for the William Raveis agency, was arrested Christmas Eve after police said he was caught burglarizing a home on Lordship Road along with a friend who is a hairdresser.

Rose and Raymond Feliciano Jr., 47, of New Britain, were each charged with third-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit third-degree burglary and possession of burglar tools.

Police said that on Christmas Eve they received calls from neighbors on Lordship Road reporting two men carrying large sacks from the home of a man who had recently died.

Local police are also investigating several other burglaries at other nearby houses that Rose would have had access to as well.

The number of investors who flipped a house in the first nine months of 2016 reached the highest level since 2007. About a third of the deals in the third quarter were financed with debt, a percentage not seen in eight years.

Trying to win business, big banks in the past few weeks have flown executives to Southern California—where much of the house-flipping activity is occurring—to organize funding deals, say people familiar with the meetings.

The article has much more on how flipping is coming back, riding a wave of both reality TV and crowdfunding.

All about home flipping

After nearly being felled by real-estate forays almost a decade ago, a number of banks are now arranging financing vehicles for house flippers, who aim to make a profit by buying and selling homes in a matter of months. The sector is small—participants say roughly several hundred million dollars in financing deals have been made in recent months—but is expected to keep growing.

In recent months, big banks, including Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. have started extending credit lines to companies that specialize in lending to home flippers. Earlier this month, J.P. Morgan agreed to lend an estimated $60 million to 5 Arch Funding, an Irvine, Calif., company that offers financing to flippers, according to people familiar with the deal.

In the words of one flipper, “the floodgates have opened” when it comes to finding financing for flipping.

Again from the WSJ:

The number of investors who flipped a house in the first nine months of 2016 reached the highest level since 2007. About a third of the deals in the third quarter were financed with debt, a percentage not seen in eight years.

Trying to win business, big banks in the past few weeks have flown executives to

How to find the hottest neighborhoods

Redfin, the online real estate brokerage, set out to find the most competitive neighborhoods of 2016, as measured by a number of factors, including:

  • Year-over-year median sales price growth
  • Percentage of listings that sold above asking price
  • Median days on market
  • Average ratio of sale price to list price
  • Percentage of homes that sold for all cash

So, without further ado, here are the 10 hottest neighborhoods of 2016, as determined by Redfin.

1. The Factoria neighborhood of Bellevue, Washington

In this Seattle suburb, the median home sales price was $352,500, which is 25.9% above 2015’s total.

The average sale-to-list price was 104.9%, meaning the average sale price in Factoria was 104.9% of the list price. Additionally, 62.1% of the homes in the area sold above asking price.

The median number of days on the market in Factoria was just seven, while 46.3% of the home sales in the neighborhood were all cash.

2. The University District neighborhood of Seattle

In this area, the median home sales price was $559,000, which is 22.2% above 2015’s total.

The average sale-to-list price was 105.1%. Additionally, 66.1% of the homes in the area sold above asking price.

The median number of days on the market in the University District was just seven, while 34.8% of the home sales in

House Realty with Open House acquisition

The companies rebranded as OpenHouse, boasting that the new company was a real estate lifestyle search company that combines property search, data-driven real estate agent recommendations, and in-depth neighborhood and community information.

Now, OpenHouse is selling its technology platform to In-House Realty, which says that it is seeking to combine all of the elements of the home buying process into one platform.

“In an effort to eliminate the complexities and stress that can sometimes accompany buying or selling a home, we are focused on combining online home search, obtaining a mortgage and connecting with an agent into a more seamless experience for consumers,” said Doug Seabolt, In-House Realty CEO.

The deal will see In-House Realty acquire OpenHouse Realty, and its home and real estate agent search technology platform.

According to In-House Realty, the deal will “further strengthen In-House Realty’s core business of matching homebuyers and sellers with qualified pre-screened agents across the country, providing them a superior real estate experience.”

A spokesperson for OpenHouse said that the company is retaining its brand and its brokerage, but selling its technology platform.

“Finding a reputable agent and a great home go hand-in-hand,” said Ron Frankel, OpenHouse Realty CEO.

Tax business with acquisitions

Precedent said that the deal will help the company “gain traction” in the real estate component servicing space.

“The acquisition has been a natural transition for our team,” said Amy Sanchez, Precedent Management’s co-CEO.

“We were able to retain key executives and associates, proprietary technology and gain significant market share,” Sanchez added. “All of which contributes to our overall goal of offering comprehensive HOA, tax and utility solutions for mortgage servicers, lenders and agencies nationwide.”

Rob DeWald, Precedent’s other co-CEO, said that the company is looking to the future.

“We are excited to expand our product lines using the acquisition of technology rights as a basis to develop and offer new and innovative lien curative solutions for our clients,” DeWald said. “Keeping our client’s position in first place is our ultimate priority.”

Detroit Police spokesman Dan Donakowski said officers were called to the location after the body was discovered. The home, he said, was being rented to a family and did not use the garage.

The potential homeowner “opened up the car door and observed this decomposed body inside,” Donakowski said. “We talked to the current tenants of that location and they were told that the actual homeowners had said basically don’t go in the garage, don’t

Find mummified body in Detroit

The case is currently under investigation by the Detroit Police.

So how did the human remains go unnoticed for so long?

According to the original report by The Detroit News:

Detroit Police spokesman Dan Donakowski said officers were called to the location after the body was discovered. The home, he said, was being rented to a family and did not use the garage.

The potential homeowner “opened up the car door and observed this decomposed body inside,” Donakowski said. “We talked to the current tenants of that location and they were told that the actual homeowners had said basically don’t go in the garage, don’t put anything in the garage.”


The news is a reminder of a story back in September 2015 of a home in San Francisco that sold for $1.56 million. So what’s the catch? Just a few months before, a mummified corpse of the homeowner was found in the house. Apparently the homeowner’s daughter was living in the house and was a hoarder. But the shocking news didn’t keep buyers away from the home.

Rubin’s account may seem to some the rants of a disgruntled former employee; we all have our share of those. There is no doubt in my mind the CFPB

New way to search for houses

Buyers tell Alexa what kind of home they want — size, price, location, etc. — instead of scrolling through listings on a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Alexa asks questions to narrow down the search and responds to commands.


“It’s a conversational search,” Berger said. “That’s a huge difference.”

Zillow’s report shows that housing stock showed an increase of $1.6 trillion from 2015, a 5.7% increase in value to reach that record level.

That increase also means that the U.S. housing market has now regained all of the value that was lost during and after the housing crisis.

According to the report, the cumulative value of all homes in the U.S. declined by $6.4 trillion from 2006 to 2012 as the housing market collapsed.

But now, all of that value has been gained back.

It’s important to note that Zillow’s report is a national total of housing values. As the report shows, there are more than a few markets where housing values have not completely recovered from the crisis yet.

In fact, according to Zillow’s report, there are several markets that are now more valuable than they were at the height of the housing bubble, but roughly 60% of the markets in the U.S. are still below the maximum values reached