Thursday, December 22, 2011

Housing News Digest, December 22

US homeowners cast doubt on loan ‘lifeline’

Over Christmas 2007, Jylly Jakes realised she could no longer make her mortgage payments. Eighteen months after losing her job as a corporate bond trader, she was out of options. “I called up my bank servicer [the institution entrusted with collecting mortgage payments] and asked for a six-month forbearance,” she says. The bank said no.

Ms Jakes found work at a boutique bond firm a few months later and offered to pay the missing five payments over 12 months and stay up-to-date on her mortgage. The bank said no again and began repossession proceedings.

Home Sales Drive KB Home's 4Q
KB Home (KBH) reported net income of $13.9 million or 18 cents per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 as opposed to $17.4 million or 23 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

However, excluding inventory impairments and land option contract abandonment charges of $2.3 million (non-cash) and an income tax benefit of $2.5 million, adjusted net income came in at $13.7 million or 18 cents per share, much higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a profit of 3 cents per share.

Cap rates key in valuing commercial real estate

Roughly four years ago, commercial real estate investments abruptly flatlined due in part to the collapse of the country’s capital markets.

The Great Recession halted lending on commercial real estate investments throughout the United States.

The FDIC tightened its grip on lending institutions, requiring them to either raise additional capital or dispose of non-performing commercial real estate assets.
In some cases, this meant disposition of actual performing assets, placing both investors and bankers in compromised positions.

U.S. Foreclosures May Delay Housing Rebound
The two-bedroom Denver row house that Kyle and Jennifer Zinth bought in 2005 is a tight fit now that they have an 18-month-old son, Max, and a coonhound named Beauregard. They plan to put it up for sale next month, hoping to at least break even so they can buy a larger home.

“My understanding is it’s a better time to buy than sell,” Kyle Zinth, 34, a paralegal, said in a telephone interview. “If we can get out of this one without financial harm and get a good deal on the next place, then that’s ideal under present market realities.”

Housing Slump Was Deeper

The housing slump was deeper than initially estimated but new data indicate that the worst of the downturn may have passed.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday it over-estimated home sales by 14.3% between 2007 and 2010, meaning that 2.9 million fewer homes sold during those years than thought earlier.