Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Housing News Digest, March 21

FHFA Blames State Laws for Excessive Foreclosure Timelines
State and local governments across the nation responded to the foreclosure crisis by introducing a wave of new laws aimed at protecting homeowners and preventing foreclosures. Unfortunately, according to Alfred M. Pollard, general counsel for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), some of these laws are hurting more than helping as the housing market struggles toward recovery.

Home prices expected to fall 0.7% in 2012: Zillow
Home prices could fall another 0.7% by the end of 2012, according to a Zillow ($33.40 -0.18%) survey of more than 100 economists and real estate experts.

"Looking at the longer history of these forecasts by top economists, the bottom in home prices always seems just around the corner but never quite here," said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries.

Home Re-Sales Dip, but Post Best Winter in 5 Years

The National Association of Realtors said home sales fell 0.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million. That followed a revised 4.63 million sold in January — the highest level since May 2010.

The last three months have been the best for winter sales in five years. The progress is encouraging ahead of the spring buying season, although sales remain below the 6 million that economists equate with healthy markets.

Tennyson 7 tour on tap
One Realty broker Jeff Plous on Thursday will officially launch the Tennyson 7 Townhomes he is co-developing in the up-and-coming Berkeley neighborhood.

Plous will provide tours of the seven units under construction at 4539 Tennyson St., from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m. Prices start at $339,000 for a 1,530-square-foot unit. The most expensive unit is $375,000, with most of them priced around $350,000. Plous said that similar units in Lower Highland, or LoHi, are priced from about $460,000.