Sometimes folks in the military receive Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders — essentially, it’s time for them to pack up and move, often on short notice.
Of course, if they own a home they’ll have to sell it, and that’s not always easy.
To help them, at least a little, servicers of Fannie and Freddie loans have received instructions from no fewer than five federal agencies — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the FDIC, the Fed, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency:
- Military members with PCS orders will be able to make short sales even if they’re current on their payments.
- Once a short sale is concluded, they can’t pursue a deficiency judgment — meaning they won’t try to recoup the difference between the mortgage owed and the amount of the short sale, which happens in some states.
Virginia’s median sales price of $249,900 in May 2012 marks an 11% increase over one year ago ($225,694 in May 2011) and is the second highest monthly median sales price we have seen in the past two years in Virginia. This increase in prices is likely due to the continued increase in the pace of home sales in Virginia.
Download the full May 2012 Virginia Home Sales Report below which also highlights:
- Monthly median sales pace increased 5% over the past year.
- Monthly sales volume increased 13% over the past year.
Yesterday I reported that building permits and housing starts both increased in May. Something I missed: Dan Green points out that not only did housing starts jump, May was the fourth straight month they did so.
Here’s his chart:
According to LPS’s just-released May “First Look Mortgage Report,” the number of delinquent loans in the U.S. fell about 15% from 2011, while the number in foreclosure fell 6%.
While some of that decline is because there are fewer loans out there to be delinquent, in general this is Yet Another Good Sign.
What, you want numbers? Fine.
A Bloomberg study found that Americans’ total home equity has hit the highest level since 2008, thanks to lower mortgage rates and more cash on the table.
Total home equity in the US in the first quarter of the year: $6.7 trillion. That’s six-point-seven thousand billion. I just like big numbers.
Bloomberg says that’s up 7.3 percent, but it doesn’t say from what. (I’m guessing the first quarter of 2011, but who knows?)
This might be the money quote:
“The willingness of homeowners to carry housing debt has been radically altered,” said DeKaser, former chairman of the American Bankers Association’s Economic Advisory Committee. “When the market was booming, a mortgage was used as a leveraging tool, and now it’s seen as a risk.”
Ah, election season — when the myths fly fast and furious. An old classic is popping up again. So let’s be clear:
THERE IS NO 3.8% REAL ESTATE TAX NOW OR IN 2013. It’s a myth. It’s a lie. It’s not true.
Ah, but rumors have basis in fact, no? There must be some kind of tax or something, right? Sure is… sort of.
Despite the tightening of credit, it’s still possible to qualify for a mortgage even if you haven’t earned much (or even anything) for a year. Lenders, explains Dan Green, are accepting offer letters — with certain caveats — as proof of income.
The caveats? Cut and pasted from Green’s site:
There’s diamonds in the sidewalk, the gutters lined in song
Dear, I hear that beer flows through the faucets all night long;
There’s treasure for the taking, for any hard workin’ man
Who’ll make his home in the American land.
–Bruce Springsteen, “American Land”
Low prices and a favorable exchange rate has made owning a piece of America even more appealing for foreign, er, international buyers. And they’re taking advantage of it, even with (or because of?) the mess that is the European financial situation.
According to NAR, international buyers accounted for almost nine percent of residential purchases from April 2011 through March 2012 — that’s $82.5 billion worth.
Economist (and former senior VP for Fannie Mae) Thomas Lawler gave Calculated Risk his estimates for NAR’s forthcoming sales and inventory statement.
He’s expecting to see May home sales were up 12.3% over last year. That’s good, but there’s a bit more good news hidden in that number: The May-to-May jump was significantly higher than the April-to-April jump. Meaning that the pace of the recovery is increasing.
Lawler also expects NAR to report that inventory was down about 21% in May, and median sales prices were up about 6.6%.
Several dozen members of Congress, led by Reps. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Md.) and Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) sent a letter to HUD secretary Shaun Donovan, urging that FHA reconsider some of the standards it has set for condos to be certified — and thus allow potential buyers to finance their purchases with FHA loans.
Thousands of condos across the country are no longer FHA certified, making units significantly harder to sell as many buyers can’t get financing.
As we reported before, some of the requirements for certification include