Thursday, April 7, 2011

Housing News Digest, April 7

Forecast: Rising Rents to slow House Price Declines
The vacancy rate is back to early 2008 levels, and is not far above the rate of 2006 (around 5.7%). As the vacancy rate falls, rents will rise and this will help support house prices. See this post on the price-to-rent ratio.

Loan mods continue fall
The number of people in Colorado entering the Obama Administration’s largest program to prevent foreclosures hit a new low in February, with only 1,658 people being accepted into the Home Affordable Modification Program.

The number of people entering the required “Active Trials” portion of HAMP was down 5.9 percent from the previous monthly low of 1,759 set in January. There are 7,827 people in the permanent modification program in Colorado, compared with 7,587 in January. Nationally, 557,076 people are in the permanent program, a far cry from the 3 million to 4 million homeowners the Obama Administration hopes would be helped by HAMP, the signature portion of the Making Home Affordable Program.

Let's Make a Deal: Feds Move on Robo-Signing Settlement Without AGs
Mortgage servicers have reportedly reached an agreement with federal regulators to change their foreclosure procedures as part of a settlement for the robo-signing transgressions that were uncovered last fall.

Clear Capital Says Home Prices in the West Now in Double-Dip
New data released by Clear Capital Thursday shows that home prices in the western part of the country are sliding again, down 4.3 percent over the first three months of this year.

Short Sales Pressure Home Prices
Home prices fell 6.7 percent in February year over year, according to a new report from CoreLogic. That numbers includes distressed sales, that is, sales of foreclosed properties or short sales, where the bank agrees to let the homeowner sell for less than the value of the mortgage. If you take those sales out, however, home prices were basically flat.