Friday, July 1, 2011

Housing News Digest, July 1

Home prices rise, but it's only seasonal
The latest CSI data clearly indicates that the price trends are experiencing a bit of a lift into the typically more active spring season and, as I recently pointed out, the more timely and less distorted Radar Logic RPX data is continuing to capture rising prices driven primarily by seasonality.

Commercial Lenders Take Step Into Riskier Deals
The market for commercial real estate loans is coming back, but already some industry professionals are warning that risky practices that were common in the recent boom are returning.

National Apartment Market Pushes Toward 6.0% Annual Effective Rent Growth
DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Axiometrics Inc., a provider of data and analysis on the multi-family housing sector, announced today in its latest research report that, like the weather, the national apartment market continued to heat up in May, with effective rents (rents net of concessions) increasing 0.70% from April levels. Based on results year-to-date, Axiometrics estimates that effective rents will rise 5.9% in 2011, which would be the largest annual increase since a rate of 5.8% in 2005. The top performing major markets for annual effective rent growth in May included San Jose (13.0%), San Francisco (9.7%), Austin (8.7%), Seattle (8.5%), Boston (7.4%), and Dallas (6.5%).

New Hawaii Foreclosure Law Controversial in Industry
Act 48 was signed into law by Gov. Neil Abercrombie in May of this year in an attempt to stem the state’s increasingly high number of mortgage foreclosures and to ensure that borrowers had a fair chance to communicate with lenders and attempt to keep their homes.

The bill essentially requires lenders to meet face-to-face with borrowers via a neutral third party, to assure that compromising on a loan - instead of simply foreclosing - is a primary option.

Act 48 also forces lenders to actually show proof that they have the legal right to foreclose on a home - something that consumer advocates claimed was skirted in certain non-judicial foreclosure processes.

Oregon judge voids foreclosure sale, casting doubt on others
Last week's action appears to be the first in which an Oregon judge has halted an eviction and declared a foreclosure sale void after the fact. The ruling, if it stands, raises questions about the validity of other recent foreclosures in the state and could create serious problems for lenders and title companies, as well as for buyers of such properties.