According to the Zillow Home Value Forecast, prices are projected to fall 0.4 percent over the next year, but not all markets are expected to see this decline, with several already appearing to have reached bottom.
Of the 30 metro areas covered by the Zillow forecast, 19 are expected to, or already have hit their lowest point in 2012, with nowhere else to go but up.
Markets that seem to have bottomed out already are Boston, Dallas, Denver, Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Tampa. Zillow expects Baltimore, Los Angeles, and San Jose to follow suit.
Metro areas that are expected to see significant gains following their low point in the next 12 months include Phoenix (6.5 percent), Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (5.6 percent), and Tampa (2.5 percent), according to the forecast.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will require loan servicers who need more than 30 days to make a decision on a short-sale offer to provide weekly status updates and give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down no later than 60 days after receiving an offer.
The new short-sale timelines, announced this week by Fannie and Freddie's regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, take effect in June as the first step in a broader effort to "develop enhanced and aligned strategies for facilitating short sales, deeds-in-lieu and deeds-for-lease in order to help more homeowners avoid foreclosure."
Fixed rates made a slight upward tick this week, Freddie Mac reported in its weekly market survey.
“Fixed mortgage rates held relatively stable this week amid signs that inflation remains in check,” said Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac.
Nothaft also added that industrial production was flat in March, while both headline inflation gauges such as the consumer and producer price indexes for March were in line with market expectations.
With the number of short sales increasing and even outnumbering REO sales in certain states, experts are speculating short sales might become key to preventing an even greater swelling of foreclosed properties on the market.
Compared to a year ago in January 2012, pre-foreclosure sales, which are typically short sales, increased 33 percent, according to a RealtyTrac report released Thursday.
Short sales even outpaced bank-owned REO sales in 12 states, including Utah, California, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Colorado, New York and New Jersey.
Also, 32 states saw annual increases in pre-foreclosure sales, with the top five being Georgia (+113 percent), Michigan (+90 percent), Wisconsin (+77 percent), South Carolina (+76 percent) and Utah (+70 percent).
Despite the increase, Daren Blomquist, VP of RealtyTrac and author of the report, points out that short sales have declined on a long-term basis, but January’s report could signal a turning point.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Thursday that existing home sales decreased 2.6 percent, in March, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.48 million units, falling short of the 4.62 million economists had forecast. In response to this data, economists representing different institutions provided their insight to explain what the recent numbers might indicate.
Patrick Newport, U.S. economist, IHS Global Insight
“Existing home sales declined in March mainly because fewer investors bought homes. Sales to those looking for a home to live in have been flat (and weak) for the past six months, despite low borrowing rates, low home prices and rising rents.
Being the parent of two young boys, I tend to watch a lot of programs on the Disney Channel. One program that gets a lot of airtime there (and on its sister channel Disney XD) is Phineas and Ferb, a cartoon about two imaginative young boys, whose wild schemes always seem to succeed regardless of the efforts of their sister/half-sister Candace to stop them (to those of us who remember the late 1960s/early 1970s, Candace could be a metaphor for what some of us called "the man").
A recent survey from staffing firm Robert Half International finds many chief financial officers believe their office environment has been successful in their Candace role of stifling worker creativity.
Approximately 35% of the CFOs said a lack of new ideas is the greatest barrier to making their company more innovative. To me that answer is more about the symptoms and less about the cause. But the next two responses are more revealing; nearly one quarter said their firms have too much bureaucracy, while one in five felt employees are getting too bogged down in their daily tasks or being forced to put out fires rather than being innovative and productive.
By: Mark Lieberman, Five Star Institute Economist
Existing-home sales fell to 4.48 million (seasonally adjusted annualized rate) in March from an upwardly revised February rate of 4.60 million, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Thursday. Economists had forecast the March sales pace would be 4.62 million. At the same time, the median price of a new home rose to $163,800, its highest level since last November’s $164,000 and up 2.5 percent since March 2011, the first year-year increase in prices since December 2010.
The sales pace was the weakest since November 2011. Sales have slipped in three of the last four months.
The inventory of homes for sale dropped to 2.37 million, the first decline in three months, bringing the months’ supply of homes on the market to 6.3.
March sales – completed transactions – were down 2.6 percent from February but are up 5.2 percent from March 2011. February’s sales pace was originally reported as 4.59 million
While the term “foreclosure victim” generally brings to mind images of struggling homeowners, one report released by First Focus addressed the impact of foreclosures on an overlooked segment: children.
Julia B. Isaacs of the Brookings Institution authored the report, which revealed five years into the housing crises, 2.3 million children have lost their homes to foreclosure, and 3 million more are at serious risk of losing their home in the future. In addition, approximately 3 million children were evicted, or may face eviction, from rental properties.
Overall, one in 10 children were found to be affected by foreclosures.
“Children are the often invisible victims of the foreclosure crisis,” said Issacs.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The Federal Housing Finance Agency laid out new rules aimed at speeding up the short sale process, a move that could keep many homes from falling into foreclosure.
Single-family rental investing is a $3 trillion market, according to CoreLogic’s MarketPulse report, which further stated that the single-family rental market accounts for $21 million rental units, or 52 percent of the residential rental market.
The report, authored by Sam Khater, said that unlike multifamily rentals, single-family rents increased during the recession.
With reports showing rental prices have gone up and home prices have decreased, it’s no surprise that large investors have shown interest in buying up single-family homes at a discount to convert them to rental units.