Monday, July 18, 2011

Housing New Digest July 18

BofA reports worst ever loss, margins shrink
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Bank of America Corp reported a record quarterly loss -- $8.8 billion -- as low interest rates squeezed lending margins at the largest U.S. bank.
The loss was widely expected after the bank said in June it settled with mortgage bond investors for $8.5 billion and was taking more than $14 billion of other home loan-related charges in the quarter.
But the bank's results, including its shrinking interest income, underscore the difficulties Chief Executive Brian Moynihan faces even if the bank moves past its mortgage problems. The bank's shares were down 2.8 percent, or 28 cents, at $9.44 in midday trading.

Firm picked to fill space Borders is vacating
DJM Realty of Melville, N.Y., has been retained to manage the disposition of the Borders Group real estate in the United States, which includes seven stores in Colorado. The closing of Borders leaves property owners with sizable vacant spaces, including 28,123 square feet at the Park Meadows mall.

Summary Box: Apartments drove June construction gains, but housing market remains weak
JUNE SURGE: Builders broke ground on a seasonally adjusted 629,000 homes last month, a 14.6 percent increase from May. Still, that is roughly half the 1.2 million homes per year that economists say must be built to sustain a healthy housing market.

APARTMENT GAINS: Apartment and condo construction jumped more than 30 percent last month. Renting has become a preferred option for many Americans who lost their jobs and were forced to leave their homes.

RPT-Behind foreclosure corner-cutting, troves of missing documents
NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters) - Why have sketchy mortgage procedures been so difficult to root out? Some lawyers blame misguided efforts to cut costs. Most foreclosures are uncontested, they note. And so servicers save money by avoiding costly searches for missing original documents or hiring additional staff to deal with the surge in foreclosures.

Huge Jump in Housing Starts Does Not Point to Solid Recovery

Miller Tabak's Peter Boockvar provided that: "Bottom line, I repeat again that we don't need an increase in single family housing starts with a 9.3 month inventory to sales ratio of existing homes, but hopefully the pace of permits will prove the June jump as being an outlier (admittedly, the pace is still extremely depressed). Multi-family is where the housing construction benefits are being seen, and that will be the case for years to come."