Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Housing News Digest, March 29

House GOP works to end Obama mortgage plan
House Republicans will consider a bill to stop any new funding for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). The program taps the federal bailout that saved the big banks, providing incentives to mortgage servicers to modify mortgages for borrowers behind on their payments.

US housing prices continue to slump
Today’s release of the S&P/Case-Shiller (CSI) home price indices for January reported that the non-seasonally adjusted Composite-10 price index declined a notable 0.90% since December indicating that housing is continuing slump into a double-dip.

U.S. Property Taxes Fall by Most Since Housing Market Crash
U.S. state and local property-tax collections dropped in the last three months of 2010 by the most since home prices peaked more than four years ago, slowing the overall growth in government revenue.

Real-estate-tax collections, a main source of income for cities, slid $5.3 billion, or 2.9 percent, from a year earlier to $177.1 billion, the Census Bureau reported today. The drop exceeded a 2.5 percent decline in the first quarter of 2010, the data show.

Servicers to Meet with Officials Wednesday to Discuss Settlement
After reports that the timeline to iron out final details of the robo-signing settlement is “ambitious,” representatives from several major servicers, attorneys general, and some federal regulators are said to have a meeting planned for Wednesday, marking their first face-to-face discussion of terms.

Why house prices will keep falling
Unless Ben Bernanke sets off a big inflation wave, house prices are doomed to keep falling for years.