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Real Estate Market Trends

What to Expect now That the FHA's 90-Day Waiver has Ended

by Eric Allee 21. January 2015 09:45

FHA 90 Day RuleFor the past 4 years, investors and home buyers benefited from the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA’s) waiver of its 90-day flip rule that addressed a housing market which was flooded with foreclosures.  This waiver ended at midnight, December 31, 2014.  This means that, effective January 1, 2015, FHA has reverted to its former policy of not insuring a property loan where title was transferred within 90 day or less.  There are some exceptions to the FHA’s suspension of the 90-day rule.  They are as follows:

1. HUD properties under REO 

2. Sales by other federal agencies of REO properties

3. Sales of properties by non-profit organizations approved for resale by HUD 

4. Sales by state or federal financial institutions such as Fannie, Freddie or GSE

5. Sales of HUD properties where the President declares it a federal disaster area

What are not exempted from the rule are properties that were bought by investors and/or developers looking to do quick fixes and then flip the property.  Financing will still be available, but selling prices of the end product — rehabbed houses for moderate-income buyers — are almost certain to be more expensive and may have a detrimental impact on entry-level homebuyers.  The 90-day flipping restriction by FHA might also have some negative impact on some investors. However, it might be very minimal as many property flips are either cash purchases or financed with hard money loans, which enable investors to fast-track their property re-sales and maximize their profits.

 

Here are five points to consider with respect to the suspension of the 90-day waiver:

1.  An Inconvenience for Investors: The 90-day rule reduces the pool of homebuyers to those who are not using FHA financing.  Investors who are flipping at price ranges prime for FHA financing will definitely feel the negative impact of this rule.

2.  Missed Homeownership Opportunities for New Buyers: Some would-be FHA buyers will miss the opportunity for homeownership because investors will be more likely to work with conventional buyers who can be processed more quickly than the FHA rule allows.

3.  Less Available Housing Inventory: We are no longer experiencing the glut of home foreclosures that existed in 2010 when the FHA waiver was initially implemented.  With fewer available foreclosures, the suspension of the 90-day rule is not too significant. When FHA first implemented the waiver in 2010, bank-owned sales represented 44% of the entire California housing market (Source:  RealtyTrac), and by the last quarter of 2014, they comprise only 5.7% of all sales in the state (Source:  DQNews).

4.  Longer Selling Timeframes: Realistically, many investors easily take 30 to 60 days to flip a property regardless of the 90-day ruling status.  Once rehabbed, the property is commonly on the market for 30+ days.  Consequently, many homes will meet the time guidelines to qualify for FHA financing.  For example, in large metropolitan areas in 2014, housing flips in the third quarter of 2014 took an average of  185 days, slightly less than the 187 of the previous quarter (Source:  Yahoo! Finance and RealtyTrac 2014). 

5.  A Boost to Conventional Loan Products: The FHA’s suspension of the 90-day waiver will steer some buyers to use conventional financing.  More creative financing options are likely to emerge as buyers seek new ways to accomplish quick flips without FHA financing.

Vanguard Hard Money and its affiliates have provided this overview.  For a detailed explanation of the FHA’s ruling please consult the Federal regulations and/or legal counsel.

What to expect with rising mortgage rates.

by Eric Allee 11. August 2013 10:26

Home Prices and Mortgage RatesSince early May 2013 to mid-July 2013, 30-year fixed interest rate mortgages have jumped from 3.35% to 4.51%.  This has led people to the question of what, if any, impact this trend will have on home sales prices.  To address this question, The Federal National Mortgage Association, FNMA or more commonly known as Fannie Mae, studied mortgage rates going back to the 1990s.  Fannie Mae’s research came to the surprising conclusion that rising interest rates had no impact on home sales prices but decreased the number of homes sold.


Fannie Mae’s study examined two time periods with increasing mortgage interest rates:  1) October 1993 – December 1994 when interest rates increased from 6.8% to 9.2%; and 2) October 1998 to May 2000 when interest rates increased from 8.5% to 6.7%.  During the first interest rate increase, home prices leveled and fell slightly.  During the second period, there was no impact whatsoever on housing prices.  The historical study showed increasing mortgage interest rates are more likely to be linked to a decrease in the number of home sales not in home prices.   The study concluded that home sellers are reluctant to lower prices regardless of the interest rate and homebuyers are eager to  purchase and are willing to take on an adjustable rate mortgage loan to achieve their goal.  The Mortgage Bank Association supports the study’s conclusion by saying people’s motivation for purchasing a home is primarily linked to personal factors such as, the need to relocate, changing space needs, and human emotion where the buyer simply falls in love with a particular house and wants to buy it.

Nonetheless, some experts predict that the rapid increase of mortgage points to 4.51% since May 2012 will have a negative impact on housing prices and the housing market recovery.  An economist with Moody Analytics predicts, however,  that buyers will not shy away from the current mortgage rate because it is far lower than the historical average of 6%. 

Regardless of the viewpoint, it appears that the rising interest rate will not hurt housing prices but will simply reduce the volume of houses being sold.  

 

If you would like to read more about the current trends in home sales, please refer to the following links that were used to write this article:

http://money.com

http://www.housingwire.com

http://www.fanniemae.com


Eric Allee

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Real Estate Market Trends

California Foreclosure Activity

by Eric Allee 11. October 2011 07:34

California Foreclosure Activity

Research the number of California homes going into foreclosure.

 

Click Here

Helpful websites for rehab property investors

by Carla Palmer 22. May 2011 06:19

Need some easy ways to determine property values, monitor foreclosures and short sales, and follow housing market trends? Here are several websites that we’ve found to be reliable and informative. (Some may require a subscription):

Zillow – www.zillow.com

  • Homes for sale, past sales, and estimated property values throughout the entire U.S.
  • Current mortgage rates and mortgage calculator
  • Information on loan options, refinancing, and equity lines of credit
  • Advice from professionals
  • List your own property for sale

Foreclosure Destination – www.foreclosuredestination.com

  • Details, photos, and videos of over 15,000 foreclosure and short sale properties across all cities in Southern California
  • Easy sorting by zip code, price, size, home age, and other criteria
  • Demographic and school district information included
  • General foreclosure and short sale information
  • Access to local real estate experts
  • Sponsored by First Team Real Estate

Foreclosure Radar – www.foreclosureradar.com

  • Targeted to the real estate professional
  • Tracks foreclosures and pre-foreclosures throughout the U.S.
  • Search by over 60 criteria
  • Reports and charts by state and area
  • Daily auction updates
  • Financial analysis software available
  • Title research services, among others
  • Learning center with blogs and forums

Loop Net – www.loopnet.com

  • Information on commercial properties listed and sold throughout the U.S.
  • Boasts over 800,000 active listings
  • Property records and comparables research available
  • Monitoring of housing market trends
  • Auction and distressed properties featured

Realtor – www.realtor.com

Over 100 million property listings, including 3.5 million homes actively for sale

  • Local mortgage rates and mortgage calculator
  • Free home value reports based on comps in the area
  • Monitoring of market conditions
  • Financing options presented
  • Find a realtor
  • Check your credit
  • Moving and storage services

- Carla Palmer

Better Times Ahead Predicted, But Patience is Still Required

by Carla Palmer 11. May 2011 17:08

Rehab property investments are always available, even when times are good, but with a housing rebound almost certain, the time might be ideal to buy a fixer-upper and sell for a profit when conditions improve.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, at the annual spring construction forecast conference of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), said “I’m optimistic and I’m confident that everything seems to be falling into place for a better economy and a better housing market.” He cautioned, however, that a real recovery won’t occur until this time next year, confirming NAHB’s own predictions.

Chief economist for NAHB, David Crowe, said “momentum will begin to build as we get into 2012” and is forecasting a 51% increase in single-family housing starts next year, compared to 2011. Apartment builders will see results sooner, with 140,000 units projected for 2011, up 23% from last year.

Zandi asserted that the market is ready to “pop”, but warned that the foreclosure crisis isn’t over, with most 90-day delinquent mortgages likely to end up as distressed sales, and account for 33-35% of all sales in 2011.

He also shared his assessment that most houses are now priced correctly, and Crowe noted that when distress sales are factored out, prices are holding steady.

“The really good news,” according to Zandi, is that demand will increase faster than supply because the building infrastructure has been “significantly impaired” by the inability of builders to get funding.

“Most states are underproducing,” to meet the estimated 2 million unformed households, called “shadow buyers” by Crowe, who are ready to move out of Mom’s basement. “The underlying demographics call for more production.

”Zandi backed that up, saying that there’s “a lot of juice” in store for the coming years, as home builders work to make up for the deficit between a strong demand and a lack of supply.

- Carla Palmer

Subprime Residential Mortgage Bonds Make a Comeback

by Carla Palmer 25. April 2011 19:10

In a sign that long-term investors are becoming less risk-adverseas the economy recovers, subprime* and other non-agency residential mortgagebonds are becoming popular again.

Prices in the subprime bond market have doubled from theirlowest point during the crisis, of 30 cents on the dollar, to roughly 60 centstoday.

This resurgence signals that investors are willing to takeon more risk, and is reflected in increased prices among a large segment ofriskier assets, including stocks, commodities and even junk bonds.

First quarter 2011 marked the stock market’s best since1999, and strong first quarters usually bode well for the entire year.

Helping to push investors back into the subprime market is thequest for higher yields, at a time when the Federal Reserve has set interestrates on safe investments at historically low levels.

This new trend helps ordinary borrowers, too, as banks makeavailable more non-traditional loans like jumbo mortgages, and reduce theirinterest rates.

Equally reassuring to investors is that the prices on riskierbonds have stabilized over the past few months, giving conservative investorsmore confidence.

Even the Federal Reserve is taking advantage of changes inthe market by announcing it will sell off billions of dollars worth of subprimemortgage bonds it took on as part of its bail-out of AIG in 2008.

While sub-prime financing is not likely to be the same as itwas in the past, opening of the market may allow borrowers with less than 700credit scores to obtain financing in the near future.

*Subprime bonds are securities backed by hundreds orthousands of loans to homebuyers with spotty credit records.

- Carla Palmer 

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Real Estate Market Trends

REO Investing in Todays Market

by Carla Palmer 23. November 2010 10:12

Potential profit making REO purchases still exist, but be careful!!

REO Investing in Todays Market

Even with the recent halting of a limited number of foreclosure proceedings by some of the biggest mortgage lenders in the nation, over fears of possible defects in their file documentation and foreclosure procedures, foreclosure action is heating up.

Meeting rooms at convention centers are becoming the sites of distressed-property auctions, with buyers competing for properties sometimes only based on an exterior photo.

Many first-time investors are jumping in, hoping to ride a wave of increasing home values.

And there is some good news on that front. According to the Zillow Home Value Index (www.zillow.com), home values in California, overall, rose in August of 2010, by .2% for the month, .6% for the quarter, and by 2.8% compared to August of 2009.

Some areas of California are showing modest-to-good growth compared to August 2009. Los Angeles Metro is up 3.3%, San Francisco, 2.7%, Santa Barbara Metro, 1.4%, San Jose and Ventura metros, 2.5%, and San Diego Metro, by a robust 5.3%.

But there are some areas of real weakness, too. Bakersfield is down 2.5%, Fresno, down 5%, San Luis Obispo, 2.8%, Sacramento, 2.4%, and Visalia, down by 10.5% from August 2009.

Riverside is holding steady, with 0% growth for the month, .1% for the quarter, and .1% compared to August of last year.

With the foreclosure machine now gearing up for full operations, an ongoing glut of distressed properties will continue to have a dampening effect on sale prices for some time to come, especially in the areas that have been hardest hit.

So what does all this mean for rehab property investors? Keep your expectations for home value growth at a moderate, realistic level. Research the heck out of market trends in the geographical areas you are looking to invest in. Be particular about the neighborhoods and properties in the immediate area. Lastly, realistically estimate potential net return after rehab, holding and resale.

 

- Carla Palmer

REO / Rehab Purchase Market is Getting Crowded

by Carla Palmer 26. September 2010 14:28

 

Fannie Mae’s “First Look” program and HUD’s “Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP)” give state and local governments the right to buy foreclosed properties before they go on the market.

First Look restricts offers during the first 15 days to only those from owner-occupants, public entities or their designated partners. Offers from investors can be submitted, but won’t be considered until after the initial 15-day period.

Buyers who qualify under First Look or NSP may also be entitled to a discount of up to 10% off the appraised market value.

On top of that, many professional investors are now channeling their funds into California’s collapsed housing market, buying foreclosed homes at distressed prices and hoping to quickly refurbish and sell the homes for a profit.

In the past, the typical “flipper” was an amateur using lines of credit or savings for an investment property. But professionals, primarily private equity funds and groups of wealthy individuals, have increasingly entered the field, driven by a lack of investment opportunities elsewhere.

Public auctions of foreclosed properties are held daily on the steps of local courthouses, and are heavily attended by pros.

This influx is driving auction prices higher and making profit margins tighter. The bidding process can be fierce, and oftentimes bids are made on homes that have not even been inspected in order to gauge repair costs. Many of these homes are also still occupied by the original owners.

Despite these barriers, opportunities still do exist for the “little guy”. 

- Carla Palmer

 


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