In its first-ever analysis of the U.S. housing market released Thursday, Nationwide Economics indicated that the national market was at its healthiest level in 14 years.
Nationwide's Health of Housing Markets (HoHM) Report – Q1 2015 is the first report in a planned quarterly series of reports. Using a metric known as the Leading Index of Healthy Housing Markets (LIHHM), Nationwide said the health of the overall housing market in the United States suggest there is little reason to believe that another downturn will occur in housing during the coming year. Read More
Servicers are now required to evaluate mortgage loans backed by the two GSEs and actively reach out to borrowers to offer a streamlined loan modification if the mortgage loan was previously modified to include a step-rate feature (which allows for a gradual rate increase in the first few years) and if the mortgage rate becomes 60 days delinquent in the first 12 months following a rate increase. Read More
Despite the year-over-year decline in the percentage of underwater residential properties, negative equity remains a serious issue, according to Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. For the full year of 2014, 1.2 million borrowers regained equity – but nearly five and a half million properties remained in negative equity as of the end of the year after approximately 172,000 homes slipped into negative equity from the third quarter to the fourth quarter in 2014. Read More
Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer, who will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming Five Star Government Forum in Washington, D.C., on March 18, predicted in Freddie Mac's March 2015 Economic and Housing Market Outlook that the coming year would be the best for housing since 2007, immediately prior to the crash. Read More
Congressman Tom Reed (R-New York) introduced the Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act of 2015 (H.R. 1002) on February 13, and that bill is now being heard in the House Committee on Ways and Means. Two weeks later, Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) and Dean Heller (R-Nevada) introduced a similar bill (S. 608), which is currently in the Senate Banking Committee. Both bills would extend relief to homeowners on forgiven mortgage debt – the remaining mortgage balance when a borrower sells a home in a short sale to avoid foreclosure. Read More
Survey: Investors Still Prefer Flipping Despite Rising Rents, Low Vacancy Rates
In its February 2015 Real Estate Investor Activity Report, Auction.com reported that overall, 56 percent of investors preferred flipping compared to 42.8 percent who preferred renting. The percentage of investors surveyed in February who preferred flipping was 6 percentage points higher than in Q4 2014. Read More
The Ohio Civil Rights Commission has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Fair Housing Contact Service against an Akron property owner accused of refusing to rent housing to families with children younger than 6.
John Gourley of Akron, owner of Fleetwood Properties, published an advertisement that appeared to limit the family makeup of prospective renters. Read More