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In The News

OCTOBER 6, 2011

Town Center in the Works for Long Island Town

The site of a closed movie theatre could bring new life to the hamlet of Coram, New York, on Long Island. The building has been vandalized, burned, and used by the homeless. Community Development Corporation of Long Island now plans to redevelop the site into a town center in $59 million project in partnership with Conifer Realty of Rochester, NY. As envisioned, 90 “work force” apartments would be built in second stories over retail shops, while three-story residential buildings would house another 70 town-house-style units.

SOURCE: The New York Times

URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/realestate/a-town-center-in-the-works-for-coram-in-the-region-long-island.html

SEPTEMBER 29, 2011

Realtors’ Recommendations To Reduce High REO Inventories

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has made suggestions to HUD, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and Treasury that it believes will reduce the number of REO properties held by government agencies. The suggestions included

  • creating an advisory board that will develop new options for selling REO properties
  • increasing consumer and investor lending
  • taking more aggressive steps to modify loans or to quickly approve short sales
  • avoiding bulk sales of REOs whenever possible
  • being careful about large-scale lease-to-own programs

SOURCE: Marketwire.com, 9/15/11

URL: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/increased-lending-short-sales-necessary-to-reduce-high-reo-inventories-say-realtorsr-2011-09-15

SEPTEMBER 29, 2011

Two Housing Markets and Two Directions

For most Americans, housing prices have dropped 30% since their peak in 2007. Almost a quarter of American homeowners are underwater, and a quarter have less than 20% equity in their homes. But whereas in the past luxury home sales followed the same trends as less expensive homes, now prices of luxury ($1 million+) homes are growing while prices of homes under $1 million are continuing to decline.

SOURCE: Boston.com

URL: http://articles.boston.com/2011-09-21/business/30185216_1_housing-market-housing-outlook-zillow-com

SEPTEMBER 23, 2011

New Rules May Inhibit Home Purchases

Regulators are proposing a rule that would require a buyer to make a 20 percent down payment on a home in an effort to create loans that are safe investments for the secondary market. The problem with this strategy is that it may make 60 percent of potential buyers ineligible for a mortgage.

SOURCE: Middletown (OH) Journal

URL: http://www.middletownjournal.com/news/middletown-business-news/get-ready-to-rent-if-home-buying-rules-change-more-than-half-cant-afford-it-1244656.html

SEPTEMBER 23, 2011

Choice Neighborhoods Grants — The Specifics

Specific details have been released about HUD’s Choice Neighborhood Implementation grants that will serve the cities of Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle. The total amount, $122 million, will be used to redevelop homes in high-poverty, distressed neighborhoods and target blighted areas with comprehensive revitalization.

SOURCE: HUD.gov

URL: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD

SEPTEMBER 15, 2011

Yes, Energy Efficiency Measures Save Homeowners Money

Several years ago, a program called Efficiency Vermont was created to increase energy efficiencies for homeowners across the state of Vermont. However, many families have resisted such changes. Why the resistance?

SOURCE: WAMC

URL: http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wamc/news.newsmain/article/715/0/1835556/WAMC.New.England.News/Reports.Indicate.Greater.Saving.Via.Energy.Efficiency.Achievable

SEPTEMBER 15, 2011

Five U.S. Cities To Receive Concentrated Support from HUD

Boston, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago are collectively receiving $122 million from HUD as part of its Choice Neighborhood Implementation grants. These funds may be used to redevelop housing and revitalize distressed neighborhoods that are plagued with blight, violence, poverty and poor school performance. The targeted sites must be located near areas that are more prosperous in an effort to increase the probability that these neighborhoods will recover.

SOURCE: New Urban Network, 9/2/11

URL: http://newurbannetwork.com/article/hud-will-help-five-cities-redo-troubled-neighborhoods-15222

SEPTEMBER 12, 2011

A Lifeline for Struggling Borrowers

Mortgagekeeper.org (www.MortgageKeeper.org) is a referral service database that lists hundreds of nonprofit and government resources from across the nation that can help borrowers remedy their financial and housing issues. The database includes up-to-date resources for 75 markets in all 50 states.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune, 8/26/11

URL: http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/foreclosure/sc-cons-0825-foreclosure-intervention20110826,0,2431118.story

SEPTEMBER 12, 2011

BofA Donates Then Demolishes Housing to Cut Glut of Foreclosures

As the REO inventory continues to cause problems for large lenders, some have adopted new strategies for dealing with the issue: namely, demolition. For example, Bank of America has donated 100 foreclosed homes in Cleveland to a local organization that manages properties and is also contributing funds to cover the demolition of some of those homes. BofA is planning to do the same in Detroit and Chicago and has tentative plans in nine additional cities. Other lenders, such as Wells Fargo, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Fannie Mae, are considering this strategy as well.

SOURCE: Bloomberg, 7/27/11

URL: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-27/bank-of-america-donates-then-demolishes-houses-to-get-rid-of-foreclosures.html

SEPTEMBER 1, 2011

Consider Long-Term Leases as a Solution

The Neighborhood Preservation Act of 2011, co-sponsored by Representative Gary Miller (AL), Representative Barney Frank (MA), and Representative Carolyn McCarthy (NY), allows depository institutions to lease foreclosed properties. The act would allow institutions and GSEs to enter into long-term leases for up to five years with the occupant. The goal is to decrease the number of homes entering the housing inventory and stabilize the market through reduced losses.

SOURCE: Safeguard Properties

URL: http://www.safeguardproperties.com/News_and_Events/All_Client_Alerts/2011/08/Neighborhood_Preservation_Act_of_2011.aspx

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