Life ring image via Shutterstock. Distressed homeowners may not realize they can sell

Distressed homeowners may not realize they can sell

Some owners of homes in the foreclosure process may not realize that their properties have risen so much in value that they could sell or refinance, according to a report from foreclosure data aggregator RealtyTrac. Fewer properties in the foreclos...
By Inman News | 13 hours ago
Punch bowl image via Shutterstock. There is no party for the Fed to take the punch bowl away from

There is no party for the Fed to take the punch bowl away from

Events this week could be mistaken for a cartoon if not so serious. And the cartoonish aspect magnified by clowns squirting lapel flowers in your eye every time something starts to make sense. The setup this week was for higher ......
By Lou Barnes | Friday, April 11, 2014
Home affordability image via Shutterstock. Eroding home affordability carries bubble concerns

Eroding home affordability carries bubble concerns

As home prices and mortgage interest rates rise, potential homebuyers are finding that fewer homes are within their financial grasp, prompting parallels to the most recent housing bubble. A study by real estate portal Zillow has found that, for a .....
By Paul Hagey | Friday, April 4, 2014
Burden image via Shutterstock. Sacrifice youth on the altar of panic and we'll pay a high price

Sacrifice youth on the altar of panic and we'll pay a high price

To the silent consternation of markets, today’s report of March payrolls arrived exactly as expected, a gain of 192,000. Zounds. Since this report has never before come in as forecast, no one knows what to make of it. On our ......
By Lou Barnes | Friday, April 4, 2014
Home within reach image via Shutterstock. Investor activity taking outsized toll on Hispanic buyers

Investor activity taking outsized toll on Hispanic buyers

Hispanics have powered more than half of the growth in homeownership in recent years, but a severe shortage of for-sale homes exacerbated by a flood of institutional investors significantly constrained Hispanics’ contribution to homeownership g...
By Teke Wiggin | Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Growth in real estate image via Shutterstock. Sales of vacation homes skyrocketed in 2013

Sales of vacation homes skyrocketed in 2013

Sales of vacation homes surged in 2013 as substantial growth in equity markets furnished more well-heeled households with additional cash to spend on property, according to an annual report from the National Association of Realtors. Vacation-home sal...
By Teke Wiggin | Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Russian soldiers marching in Perevalne, Crimea in this March 5 file photo. Credit: photo.ua / Shutterstock.com Why Putin's Crimean adventure is worth keeping a close eye on

Why Putin's Crimean adventure is worth keeping a close eye on

The action has been overseas this week, with little new economic data, all forces — anxiety, mostly — pushing long-term rates lower. Domestic information was on the weak side of hopes. Orders for durable goods, net of volatile items crept...
By Lou Barnes | Friday, March 28, 2014
Retro homeownership image via Shutterstock. The 'seductive formula' that could scuttle homeowner tax perks

The 'seductive formula' that could scuttle homeowner tax perks

Widely dismissed as DOA when it was introduced, a massive overhaul of the tax code including perks for homeowners proposed by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp contains a seductive formula that will be at the core of a major tax refor...
By Ken Harney | Monday, March 24, 2014
Mainframe computer image via Shutterstock. No reason to second-guess Janet Yellen, Fed science

No reason to second-guess Janet Yellen, Fed science

We interrupt coverage of Flight 370 for brief news from the world … Interest rates rose this week on receding worry about Ukraine, and in the aftermath of the first Fed meeting with Janet Yellen in the chair, including her ......
By Lou Barnes | Friday, March 21, 2014
Detail from infographic produced by the Illinois Association of Realtors. Illinois Realtors looking to scare up sellers with infographic

Illinois Realtors looking to scare up sellers with infographic

The Illinois Association of Realtors is not shying away from publicizing some rather disconcerting numbers — sales of existing homes in the state were down 6.2 percent in February from a year ago, and the inventory of homes for sale ......
By Inman News | Friday, March 21, 2014
Weakening housing activity image via Shutterstock. Inventory shortage eases as sales of existing homes slip

Inventory shortage eases as sales of existing homes slip

Declining affordability and disruptively cold weather stymied sales of existing homes in February, but the number of homes for sale climbed heading into the spring buying season, the National Association of Realtors reported. “Some transactions ar...
By Teke Wiggin | Thursday, March 20, 2014
Housing markets image via Shutterstock. Market conditions growing more local

Market conditions growing more local

Different regions will offer diverging levels of negotiating power for buyers and sellers across the country heading into the spring homebuying season, signaling advancement toward a healthier housing market where market conditions tend to be local r...
By Teke Wiggin | Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Sea of homes image via Shutterstock. Listings soar 10 percent in February from a year ago

Listings soar 10 percent in February from a year ago

Rising home prices are bolstering seller confidence, fueling rapid growth in the number of homes for sale in many markets in February, according to a report issued by realtor.com today. Median list prices were up 7.6 percent from a year ......
By Inman News | Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Fairy tale home image via Shutterstock. 'Semiprivatization' of Fannie and Freddie's role is a fantasy

'Semiprivatization' of Fannie and Freddie's role is a fantasy

The White House and a bipartisan group of senators have decided on a liquidation of Fannie and Freddie and a completely reconstituted U.S. system of mortgage finance. These are the same people who brought us “Obamacare” and Dodd-Frank. Fe...
By Lou Barnes | Friday, March 14, 2014
zillow logo (use this one) Housing confidence index shows consumers bullish on real estate

Housing confidence index shows consumers bullish on real estate

Zillow’s new survey-based index gauging consumer sentiment about housing markets and homeownership indicates that more U.S. consumers feel positive about real estate market than not. All households had a real estate confidence index of 63.7, ac...
By Paul Hagey | Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Sunrise image via Shutterstock. Glimmers of hope in wages and lending, but jobs are holding back housing

Glimmers of hope in wages and lending, but jobs are holding back housing

The first week of each month brings a blizzard of fresh data from the month immediately prior, and an even more blinding wave of contradictory analysis. Except when the data reveal a big change in trend, the best way to ......
By Lou Barnes | Friday, March 7, 2014
Federal Reserve seal image via Shutterstock. Fed meeting transcripts an astounding revelation into our continuing crisis

Fed meeting transcripts an astounding revelation into our continuing crisis

The big news this week is an astounding historical revelation useful in the present, but before that a few current events. In congressional testimony Janet Yellen acknowledged weakness in new economic data, but confirmed a continuing QE taper. Even c...
By Lou Barnes | Friday, February 28, 2014
REO for sale image via Shutterstock. Short sales and distressed properties accounted for nearly 1 in 5 January sales

Short sales and distressed properties accounted for nearly 1 in 5 January sales

A scarcity of nondistressed inventory in many markets in January helped bank-owned properties, short sales and foreclosure auctions account for nearly 1 in 5 existing-home sales in January, a new report from data aggregator RealtyTrac suggests. Short...
By Inman News | Wednesday, February 26, 2014