ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL- 10/15/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 10/15/2012

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Financial markets are surprisingly stable, especially credit markets. Following the Fed’s September QE3 announcement of open-ended intent to buy mortgage-backed securities, the 10-year Treasury note was left to the mercy of markets.

Since then, 10-year Treasurys have not traded above 1.75 percent or below 1.5 percent. Meanwhile, 30-fixed mortgages have broken as low as 3.25 percent. Today, the main thing holding rates above 3 percent is the profiteering of big banks, increasing their margins as the Fed tries to shrink them.

The worst of the piracy: jacking margins on refis of underwater households. I would say, “Shame,” but to no effect on bank boards and executive suites ethically unreformed through this whole process. All the new rules in the world cannot substitute for a sense of citizenship.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

The strongest positive here is housing, but its improvement is far oversold in media commentary. Most economic punditry comes from financial markets, which had housing wrong all the way down, and can be counted upon to have it wrong on the way up. Housing industry analysts tend to perpetual optimism, correct only by accident.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Housing now enjoys very gradual improvement, especially in states whose foreclosure-by-trustee has speeded the process. However, the “recovery” that finance types see propelling the entire economy is still over the horizon.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

“Mortgage equity withdrawal” is a measure of net contribution of housing to personal income, during the bubble adding as much as 10 percent per year(!). Since 2008, MEW has subtracted about 3 percent annually from personal income, and still does — no mere headwind, but hail in the face.

That leadership had a signal week on other grounds. France-based EADS and U.K.-based BAE were close to merger, $90 billion in combined aerospace and defense sales, the merger a benefit to both, enabling competition with the likes of Boeing.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

The global balance is delicate, but the economic/political weakness in Europe, China and emergings still strongly favors the U.S., if only by removing any threat of inflation, which is the prerequisite for continuing QE3 and super-low rates here.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL– 10/15/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 10/01/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 10/01/2012

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Bernanke will scuttle QE3 at first sign of inflation and the  Financial markets are still trying to digest the Fed’s QE3 announcement (and the prospect of intervention by other central banks around the world), as well as newly arriving economic reports.

Housing data continue to improve. One of the best indicators has been the Fannie-Freddie combined “serious delinquency” rate, loans 90+ days late or in foreclosure. From a normal level way below 1 percent (of 29,000,000 loans, $5.2 trillion) this category rose to 4.93 percent in Q1 2010. Down to 4.02 percent by Q1 2011, and in the most recent data to 3.50 percent in Q2 2012. Slow, but very good news.

Right-wing propaganda notwithstanding, the serious delinquency problem has been far worse in private-market trash than at Fannie and Freddie. Nevertheless, total-market numbers are making progress, too. In August 2011, we had 3,840,000 homes somewhere between 90+ days late and in foreclosure, plus another 500,000 or so REO post-foreclosure.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Today REO is about the same, but the pipeline is down by 300,000. Very slow, slower than Fannie and Freddie, but gradually draining this ocean of pain, and not so fast as to undercut stabilizing markets.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

None of this data supports the need for and extent of QE3. Thus I stick to my guns of last week: the Fed acted from deep concern for instabilities in Europe and China.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

The following is the “dual mandate” language from the 1977 amendment to the Federal Reserve Act:  At the time, everyone in the markets hooted at the revision. Which is it? Maximum employment OR stable prices? Can’t have both for any length of time.

The amendment was actually designed to prevent the Fed from doing anything bad to stop the inflation then plaguing the economy. Didn’t stop Volcker — he found his own fig leaf in phony “monetarism,” selling the nation on the need to control the money supply to stop inflation. He knew perfectly well that high rates and unemployment were necessary.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 09/27/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 09/27/2012

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Demand for mortgages continues to pick up as rates head deeper into record territory, according to surveys by Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.40 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending Sept. 27, down from 3.49 percent last week and 4.01 percent a year ago, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. That’s a new low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971.

For 15-year fixed-rate loans — popular for refinancing — rates averaged 2.73 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from 2.77 percent last week and 3.28 percent a year ago. That’s a new low in records dating to 1991.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Rates on five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans averaged 2.71 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from 2.76 percent last week and 3.02 percent a year ago. Rates on five-year ARM loans hit a low in records dating to 2005 of 2.69 percent during the week ending July 19.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

For one-year Treasury-indexed ARM loans, rates averaged 2.60 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from 2.61 percent last week and 2.83 percent a year ago. Rates on one-year ARM loans have never been lower in records dating to 1984.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

The Federal Reserve’s Sept. 13 announcement that it would embark on a third round of quantitative easing (“QE3”) by stepping up its purchases of mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by $40 billion a month has pushed mortgage rates into uncharted territory.

The first round of quantitative easing — $1.25 trillion in purchases of Fannie and Freddie debt and MBS — wound down in 2010, and helped push mortgage rates below 5 percent.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL- 09/26/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 09/26/2012

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The market response to QE3 has been different than to the first and and second rounds of “quantitative easing.” It’s subdued this time. The initial upward burst in Active Real Estate Foreclosures and stocks has fizzled, and the run to commodities by those either fearful of inflation or hoping for it has also stalled.

The 10-year Treasury note jumped almost to 1.9 percent from summer in the 1.5s, but has now retreated to 1.75 percent. Only mortgages have behaved as expected, sitting at or slightly below the 3.5 percent all-time low, depending on the deal.

Every 90 days the Fed releases Z-1, its compilation of every nickel rolling and landing in the U.S. economy. Some good news: The net worth of U.S. households is today only $3.5 trillion below its 2007 level, and up $9 trillion from its 2008 nadir.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

However, 80 percent of the gain has been from stocks, a paper loss and rebound. Home values are still rumbling along bottom, little changed from the initial $7 trillion loss. Active Real Estate Foreclosures continue to hurt the economy.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Mortgages guaranteed by Fannie, Freddie and FHA/VA have been remarkably steady at $5.8 trillion. That pattern requires some thinking. The Fed has bought $1 trillion. The refi churning is a null set. Amoritization knocks down the balance, but not much.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Loans for home purchase add to the account, but only as they exceed payoffs from sales. There is no alternate supply of mortgage credit. Those who dream of privatized mortgages might glance at another Z-1 line: Banks have dropped first mortgage holdings by 20 percent since 2007, the remainder only 43 percent of the government-sponsored sum.

The National Association of Realtors reports that the distressed fraction of sales of existing homes fell to 22 percent last month, down from 49 percent in 2009. No matter how analysts try to adjust prices for distress, fewer of those homes selling unquestionably makes price increases look better than they really are for individual homes.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 09/25/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 09/25/2012

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Rising home values helped 1.3 million homeowners get out from “underwater” in the first half of the year, and another 2 million would get equity if national home prices increase by another 5 percent, data aggregator CoreLogic said today.

CoreLogic estimates that 22.3 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage were worth less than what was owed on their mortgages at the end of June, down from 23.7 percent at the end of March.

That translates into 10.8 million homeowners who owed more than their homes were worth at the end of June, down from 11.4 million at the end of March and 12.1 million at the end of 2011, CoreLogic said. “Surging home prices this spring and summer, lower levels of inventory, and declining REO sale shares are all contributing to the nascent housing recovery and declining negative equity,” CoreLogic Chief Economist Mark Fleming said in a statement.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Nevada had the highest percentage of mortgaged properties that were underwater (59 percent), followed by Florida (43 percent), Arizona (40 percent), Georgia (36 percent) and Michigan (33 percent). Those five states accounted for 34.1 percent of the $689 billion of negative equity in the U.S.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Most of that negative equity is concentrated in the low end of the housing market, CoreLogic said. About 32 percent of homes worth less than $200,000 are underwater, compared with 17 percent of homes valued at more than $200,000.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Borrowers with second loans on their homes tend to be more deeply underwater. About 39 percent of underwater borrowers (4.2 million homes) had second loans, and the average loan balance among that group was $300,000 — about $84,000 more than their homes were worth, on average.

Among the 61 percent of underwater borrowers without second liens (10.2 million homes), the average mortgage balance was $216,000, about $51,000 more than their homes were worth on average.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 09/24/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 09/24/2012

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Mortgage rates were at or near record lows this week following the Federal Reserve’s announcement that it will buy tens of billions in mortgage bonds every month for an indefinite period in order to reduce the cost of borrowing and stimulate the economy.

Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.49 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending Sept. 20, down from 3.55 percent last week and 4.09 percent a year ago, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

That matches an all-time low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971 last seen during the week ending July 26.

For 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, rates averaged 2.77 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from 2.85 percent last week and 3.29 percent a year ago. That’s a new low in records dating to 1991.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

In announcing a third round of quantitative easing, or “QE3,” last week, the Federal Reserve said it would step up its purchases of mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (“agency MBS”) by $40 billion a month. That’s on top of the Fed’s existing policy of continuing to reinvest principal payments from its existing holdings of agency MBS and agency debt into agency MBS.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Those moves, along with a continuation of “Operation Twist” — the swapping of short-term Treasurys for long ones — will increase the Fed’s holdings of long-term securities by about $85 billion each month through the end of the year, and “should put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative,” the Fed said in announcing the decision.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

The Fed’s purchases of mortgage bonds pushes their prices up, and yields down. But lower rates don’t make it easier for borrowers to qualify for mortgages in the first place, and the benefits of QE3 could be limited if new rules governing mortgage lenders proposed by regulators go into effect, the National Association of Realtors warned.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 09/19/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 09/19/2012

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Sales of existing homes were up 7.8 percent from July to August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million,  the National Association of Realtors said today.

 

Looking back a year, home sales increased 9.3 percent in August. At $187,400, the national median price for all housing types including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops was up 9.5 percent from a year ago was up 9.5%

NAR is now forecasting that despite tight credit conditions, 2012 home sales will be up 8 to 10 percent from last year. If most qualified buyers could obtain financing, NAR projects home sales would be about 10 to 15 percent stronger.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

NAR estimated there were 2.47 million existing homes listed for sale at the end of August, a 6.1-month supply at the current sales pace. That’s down from a 6.4-month supply in July, and an 18.2 percent decline from the 8.2-month supply on the market a year ago.

Many analysts view a six-month supply of housing as an even balance between buyer and seller demand.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

First-time buyers accounted for 31 percent of purchasers in August, down from 34 percent in July. Distressed homes sold for 19 percent below market value, on average, and accounted for 22 percent of August’s sales.Yet, All-cash deals accounted for 27 percent of August’s sales — the same as July and down two percentage points from last August.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

All U.S. regions saw existing-home sales and prices swell in August from a year ago — except the West, where sales were even — with the Midwest leading the way with a 17.9 percent year-over-year increase to 1.12 million units. The median price in the Midwest also rose in August from a year ago, up 7.8 percent to $152,400.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 09/15/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 09/15/2012

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The Federal Reserve will attempt to put a tailwind behind the housing sector by purchasing $40 billion a month in mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a move that’s intended to keep downward pressure on interest rates.

Under the third round of “quantitative easing,” or QE3, announced today, the Fed will also continue to reinvest principal payments from its holdings of Fannie and Freddie debt and MBS.

Wrapped up in 2010, the Fed’s first round of quantitative easing — $1.25 trillion in purchases of Fannie and Freddie debt and MBS — helped push mortgage rates below 5 percent. The European debt crisis has kept demand for government-guaranteed MBS — seen as a safe haven by investors — high.

Newsweek Daily Beast columnist Daniel Gross said that the apparent goals of QE3 — keeping banks’ cost of capital “at an extremely low level” and bringing mortgage rates low — would be “really important moves” if the economy was plagued by a crippled banking system and high mortgage rates.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Low interest rates alone, he explained, “don’t help people scrape together the larger down payments required to buy a house. And low interest rates alone won’t magically reflate housing values in areas where supply far exceeds demand.”

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Data received since the committee’s August meeting suggested that economic activity has continued to expand at a “moderate pace,” but growth in employment has been slow, and the unemployment rate remains elevated.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

Homebuyers finally seem to be responding to lower mortgage rates, with a survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association showing demand for purchase loans during the week ending Sept. 7 up a seasonally adjusted 8 percent from the week before.

Demand for purchase mortgages was up 7 percent from a year ago, the MBA said. Mortgage rates held near record lows this week after a disappointing jobs report Friday cast doubt on the strength of the economic recovery and boosted expectations for QE3.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL– 09/15/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 09/11/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 09/11/2012

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While millions of struggling homeowners have had to jump through all sorts of hoops trying to refinance their mortgages, Michelle and Bob Irwin a few barely had to lift a finger, such as Michelle and Bob Irwin

As part of the $25 billion mortgage settlement that was struck between the nation’s five biggest banks and the state attorneys general and federal government, Chase had pledged $4.2 billion in mortgage relief for tens of thousands of borrowers by either reducing the interest rate or the principal owed (or both) on their loans.

Under the settlement, banks get more credit for modifications that are completed in the first year so the banks are trying to move quickly. By the time the deal was approved in April, Chase had already put together a team to mine through its mortgage paperwork and identify candidates who met the modification guidelines.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

 The borrowers’ loans had to be directly held by Chase, not divvied up among investors or backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. And many of the eligible borrowers also either had to be delinquent on their loans or owe far more on their homes than they were worth.

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Chase identified thousands of borrowers who fit the bill and mailed them letters asking them to call the bank to discuss a modification of their loan, according to spokeswoman Amy Bonitatibus. Yet, getting customers to respond was more difficult than the bank thought. It heard back from only about half the customers it contacted.

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According to a preliminary report on the progress of the settlement issued by its official monitor, Chase claimed $369 million in credits for modifying 3,086 mortgages between March 1 and the end of June.

The bank has offered modifications to another 11,500 borrowers (for credit worth up to $1.2 billion) but those had yet to be completed.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL- 09/10/2012

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL – 09/10/2012

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ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

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The IRS has recently issued a helpful list of 10 tax tips all homeowners should keep in mind when selling a home:

1. You are usually eligible to exclude the gain from income if you have owned and used your home as your main home for two years out of the five years prior to the date of its sale.

2. If you have a gain from the sale of your main home, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of the gain from your income ($500,000 on a joint return in most cases).

3. You are not eligible for the exclusion if you excluded the gain from the sale of another home during the two-year period prior to the sale of your home.

4. If you can exclude all of the gain, you do not need to report the sale on your tax return.

5. If you have a gain that cannot be excluded, it is taxable. You must report it on Form 1040, Schedule D, Capital Gains and Losses.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

6. You cannot deduct a loss from the sale of your main home.

7. Worksheets are included in Publication 523, Selling Your Home, to help you figure the adjusted basis of the home you sold, the gain (or loss) on the sale, and the gain that you can exclude.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

8. If you have more than one home, you can exclude a gain only from the sale of your main home.

9. If you received the first-time homebuyer credit and within 36 months of the date of purchase the property is no longer used as your principal residence, you are required to repay the credit. Repayment of the full credit is due with the income tax return for the year the home ceased to be your principal residence.

ACTIVE REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES FOR SALE IN MOBILE AL

10. When you move, be sure to update your address with the IRS and the U.S. Postal Service.