Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Housing News Digest, May 30

Mountain Real Estate Capital & Oakwood Homes Acquire Banning Lewis Ranch in Colorado COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 30, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Mountain Real Estate Capital (MREC) announces the closing of a new investment with Oakwood Homes of Denver to acquire and build out Banning Lewis Ranch, a 2,600-acre, 8,500-approved-lot master-planned community located in Colorado Springs, Colo. The transaction represents MREC's second investment in Colorado and first with Oakwood. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Housing Recovery: A Rethink I predicted since the Summer of 2011 that a housing recovery was building and that it would “kick” around April of 2012. That prediction was based on the assumption that collapsing vacancies and rising rents would fuel a boom in multi-family housing construction. To date, multi-family has experienced a strong turn-around but is well short of the boom I had been calling for.

City law freezes foreclosures in Washington, D.C. The Washington, D.C., foreclosure system remains frozen 18 months after the city council passed a law that made it possible to void a future filing. In November 2010, the D.C. city council passed an emergency ordinance forcing lenders to provide mediation to borrowers in danger of foreclosure. The meeting must take place within 45 days of the notice of default, and mortgage servicers must navigate a slew of other requirements.

 Expiring Mortgage Debt Relief Act Fuels Strategic Default: Survey conducted a national survey and found 34 percent of respondents indicated that the act, which is set to expire December 31, 2012, contributed to their decision to walk away sooner rather than later from their property. Those surveyed were clients who were actively considering or navigating through the foreclosure process.

 Colorado AG requests foreclosure lawyers' documents from 4 counties Mortgage fraud investigators with the Colorado Attorney General's office have gathered documents filed with at least four county public trustees' offices by some of the state's largest foreclosure law firms, according to several people familiar with the request. Trustees in four counties confirmed they each provided hundreds of pages of documents — mostly bid and cure statements associated with foreclosures spanning a five-year period — in response to a request by the attorney general's consumer protection division.