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By: Mark Lieberman, Five Star Institute Economist / 1/29/13
Despite seeing a month-over-month drop, the 10- and 20-city Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes registered their strongest year-over-year improvement in two and a half years on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Standard & Poor’s reported Tuesday.
The 10-city index fell 0.2 percent, and the 20-city index dropped 0.1 percent from October to November. On an annual basis, however, the 10-city index was up 4.5 percent, and the 20-city index rose 5.5 percent. It was the strongest yearly gain in the 10-city index since June 2010 and in the 20-city index since May 2010.
For the month, prices rose in 11 of the 20 cities surveyed. For the year, prices were up in 19 cities.
Economists had expected the 20-city index to fall 0.1 percent in November, calculating to a 5.8 percent year-over-year gain.
The Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) index for November, reported last week, showed 5.7 percent yearly gain. The median price of an existing single family home, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), rose 1.4 percent in November and registered a 9.4 percent year-over-year increase.
Of the nine cities in which prices fell in November, seven showed a drop in employment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Prices declined 1.3 percent in Chicago in November—where according to BLS, employment fell by almost 12,000—and 1.1 percent in New York, where employment fell by 8,102. Prices fell 0.9 percent in Boston. where employment dropped 737, and 0.8 percent in Cleveland, where employment fell 2,661. The unemployment rate in Chicago in November was 9.7 percent (a drop of 0.2 percentage points), 8.6 percent in New York (a drop of 0.6 percentage points), 5.9 percent in Boston (a drop of 0.4 percentage points), 8.8 percent in Cleveland, an increase of 0.9 percentage points.
The cities where prices rose in November were led by San Francisco, which saw a 1.4 price gain, and Minneapolis, where prices rose 1.0 percent. In San Francisco, according to the BLS, employment edged up 784, and the unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percentage points to 6.7 percent. In Minneapolis, employment rose 348 in November as the unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage points to 5.2 percent.
The only city which saw a year-over-year price drop was New York, where prices fell 1.2 percent, even though the city’s employment rose 14,090 and unemployment rate fell 0.3 percentage points for the year.
Phoenix showed the strongest yearly price increase, up 22.8 percent from November 2011 to November 2012, with San Francisco a distant second, recording a 12.7 percent price gain. Prices rose double digits year-over-year in only two other cities: Detroit, up 11.9 percent, and Minneapolis, up 11.1 percent.
The unemployment rate fell 1.4 percentage points year-over-year in Phoenix and 1.2 percentage points in San Francisco, though it increased 0.5 percentage points in Detroit in the year. The unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percentage points in Minneapolis in the year.
The 10-city index in November was down 30.1 percent from its June 2006 peak, and the 20-city index is down 29.4 percent from its July 2006 peak.
Hear Mark Lieberman Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 8:45 a.m. and again at 11:45 a.m. Eastern time.
The 10 American Housing Markets That Made Tremendous Turnarounds In 2012
Mamta Badkar|Jan. 4, 2013, 6:00 AM
Dave Gates via Flickr
The U.S. housing market turned the corner in 2012. The latest home price report from Trulia says home prices were up 5.1 percent year-over-year nationally.
And the pace of increases has also picked up in the year. With home prices up 0.8 percent quarter-over-quarter in Q1, and up 2.3 percent in Q4.
We drew on Trulia's latest report to highlight the top "turnaround markets" of 2012, i.e. markets with the biggest increase in home prices between December 2011 and December 2012.
Note: The report looks at the 100 largest metros in the U.S. All price and rent changes are on a year-over-year basis.
By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Oct 11, 2012 8:37AM
The number of foreclosure filings in September dropped to the lowest level since July 2007. The number of properties that experienced foreclosing filings — 180,427 nationwide – was down 7% from August and 16% from September 2011.
But the story was not the same nationwide, according to the latest statistics from RealtyTrac. Foreclosure actions increased significantly in some judicial foreclosure states, including Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey and New York. Those states all saw more foreclosure actions in September than they did a year ago.
The national decline was driven by decreases in many states where foreclosures don’t go through the judicial process, including California, Georgia, Texas, Arizona and Michigan.
By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Oct 1, 2012 1:22PM
Have you ever dreamed of having your mortgage disappear?
For about 150,000 customers who have second mortgages with Bank of America, that dream is coming true. The bank is sending letters to eligible customers, informing them that the bank is planning to wipe out their second mortgages completely.
They don't even have to send in reams of documentation and wait months for an answer, as sometimes occurs in a conventional mortgage modification. The forgiveness of all the remaining principal of the second mortgage will be automatic, unless the borrower objects within 30 days.
Unfortunately, borrowers can't volunteer for the program. If you're eligible, you'll get a letter, the bank says. The letters started going out in July and will continue to be mailed until the end of the year.
Bank of America customers to get more principal reduced
Basically, the relief is offered to borrowers who have second mortgages — usually, home-equity lines of credit — that Bank of America owns and services and that "meet certain threshold delinquency or property value criteria, or a second lien mortgage associated with a first lien mortgage that is severely delinquent."
Bank reneges on short sale — after it closes
The forgiveness of the second mortgage won't end foreclosure proceedings on a delinquent first mortgage, the bank noted.
By: Carrie Bay
Foreclosure filings — including default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions — were reported on 180,427 U.S. properties in September, according to RealtyTrac. The total number of filings last month was down 7 percent from August, down 16 percent from September 2011, and was the lowest monthly total recorded by RealtyTrac since July 2007.
The foreclosure tracking company says the decrease in September helped pull Q3 2012 numbers down to make it the lowest quarterly reading since the fourth quarter of 2007.
Foreclosure filings were reported on 531,576 properties during the third quarter of this year, a decrease of 5 percent from the second quarter and a decrease of 13 percent from the third quarter of 2011. It marks the ninth consecutive quarter of annual declines in foreclosure activity.
According to RealtyTrac’s report, one in every 248 U.S. homes received a foreclosure filing during the July-to-September period. The company says U.S. foreclosure starts in the third quarter decreased both from the previous quarter and a year ago, reversing the rise seen in new foreclosures during the second quarter.
Posted: 07/23/2012 06:40:49 PM PDT
Updated: 07/23/2012 07:39:33 PM PDT
Foreclosure activity plunged last quarter to the lowest levels in five years in California and Los Angeles County, a sign the residential real estate recovery is continuing, a market tracker said Monday.
The number of homes foreclosed on by lenders fell 48.5 percent across all of California and dropped 47 percent in the county during the second quarter compared with 2011, said San Diego-based DataQuick. Foreclosures are now at their lowest levels since the second quarter of 2007.
Lenders also filed fewer default notices compared to a year earlier, but that percentage decrease was relatively smaller.
It's another positive development for the long-suffering housing market, said Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist at the Kyser Center for Economic Research at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.
"I think this is good news because one of the woes for the housing market was the foreclosure overhang," Kleinhenz said. "This doesn't mean that the story line is over, but we are moving to the end stage of it."
Locally, most South Bay communities saw a major drop in foreclosures.
By: Esther Cho
Los Angeles’ city attorney, Carmen A. Trutanich, announced his office filed a civil lawsuit against US Bank over allegations that the bank allows its foreclosures to deteriorate into slum conditions and executes illegal evictions, according to a release Tuesday.
The complaint cites more than 170 properties as examples of US Bank’s illegal conduct.
The city alleges that in the past four years, US Bank acquired 1,500 properties in Los Angeles through foreclosure, and in some cases, the bank failed to make necessary repairs on the foreclosures.
The city also accuses the bank of applying deceptive and dishonest tactics when evicting tenants, including “serving notices requiring unreasonable demands, demanding occupants leave in an extremely short time in exchange for small amounts of money, causing or allowing utilities to be shut off, charging excessive rent in excess of the amounts under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, and threatening legal action.”
The lawsuit seeks immediate injunctive relief including a stop to all illegal evictions, inspection of foreclosed properties, and compliance with all applicable state and municipal code requirements.
By: Tory Barringer
The California Homeowner Bill of Rights is one step closer to becoming law as the Legislature sends some of its key provisions to the governor, state attorney general Kamala Harris announced Monday.
AB 278 and SB 900 provide protection for borrowers and struggling homeowners, including a restriction of dual-track foreclosures (in which a lender forecloses on a borrower despite being in discussions to try and save the home). They also guarantee struggling homeowners a single point of contact at their lender with knowledge of their loan and direct access to decision makers. In addition, the bills impose civil penalties for the practice of robosigning.
The bills passed 53-25 in the Assembly and 25-13 in the Senate. They will be sent to the desk of governor Jerry Brown for consideration.
By: Tory Barringer
Attorney General Kamala Harris’ “Homeowner Bill of Rights” continues to work through the California Legislature as two more bills pass, the Office of the Attorney General announced Thursday.
AB 2610 and SB 1473 will require buyers of foreclosed homes to allow tenants at least 90 days before starting eviction proceedings. Under the bills, if the tenant has a fixed-term lease, the new owner must honor it unless they can demonstrate that certain exceptions apply. The bills are intended to correct incongruities within California law and between state and federal law.
“Tenants are unsuspecting victims in the mortgage and financial crisis,” said Harris. “They can rent on time but may suddenly find themselves forced to move. These bills will give tenants important rights and fair treatment when they live in a rental that is under threat of foreclosure.”
SB 1473 passed out of the Senate in a 25-13 vote. AB 2610 passed the Assembly in a 54-13 vote.
The Homeowner Bill of Rights, introduced by Harris in February following the National Mortgage Settlement, has been a topic of much debate on both a state and national level.
By: Mark Lieberman, Five Star Institute Economist
The nation added 69,000 jobs in May, far below expectations of 150,000 new jobs and a drop from April’s revised payroll growth of 77,000, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. The closely watched unemployment rate inched up to 8.2 percent – a function of an increase in the nation’s labor force to the highest level ever.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected the number of jobs to increase by 150,000 and the unemployment rate to remain at 8.1 percent.
But while the jobs total was certainly disappointing for a President seeking re-election, the White House could find a glimmer in the employment data – the result of a survey of 60,000 households – which put the number of people employed in May at 142,287,000 – the highest level since January 2009 when President Obama took office.