Mortgage And Real Estate News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

NYC Luxury Listings Jump as Lower-End Buyers Shut Out

Newly constructed luxury condominiums are proliferating in Manhattan, creating an excess of high-priced homes for sale at a time of limited supply for buyers seeking more affordable options.

At the end of the first quarter, 1,345 units in new developments were listed for sale, a 22 percent jump from a year earlier, according to a report Wednesday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Purchases of such properties dropped 13 percent.


Monday, March 16, 2015

REITs offer inexpensive way to invest in real estate

early two-thirds of Americans are homeowners, and for many people their dwellings are the biggest investments they own. But does this make the vast majority of homeowners real estate investors in a broad sense? Not really.

Homes clearly are investments, but they're also places to live. They require ongoing expenses for maintenance, repairs and property taxes. They aren't very liquid and can't be accurately valued, in real time, without a sale or appraisal. All this differentiates homes from stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other standard investments.


Mall-acquisition feud has major implications for Arizona

Arizona is a top potential prize in the proposed $22.4 billion purchase of the Macerich Co. by rival mall operator Simon Property Group — a transaction that could set in motion a musical-chairs shuffle of some of the state's most prominent shopping centers among three companies.

Macerich owns more malls and office parks in Arizona than in any other state, including marquee properties such as Scottsdale Fashion Square, Arrowhead Towne Center, Chandler Fashion Center and Biltmore Fashion Park. By contrast, Simon, the industry's biggest player, has two shopping centers in Arizona, both in the southeast Valley, with a third under construction in Tucson.


Along Chandler's Price Corridor, not all businesses are created equal

Nestled in the southwest corner of Chandler, along a path generally aligned with Price Road as it extends from the Loop 101 freeway, is an economic development specialist's dream.

Here, a drive of just a few miles reveals a who's who of big-name companies that employ thousands of people in well-paying jobs. Names like Intel, Orbital Sciences, Well Fargo and Bank of America are among the companies with major operations along what is proudly dubbed the Price Road Corridor.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Rate cuts: 24 so far and there's more to come

An interest rate cut from South Korea Thursday takes the number of central banks that have stepped up their monetary easing this year to 24 and that number is likely to rise, analysts say.
South Korea's decision to cut its key rate by 25 basis points to a record low of 1.75 percent follows a rate cut by Thailand's central bank on Wednesday and easing by central banks in China, India and Poland since March began.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Why Is The Euro Falling? Here Are Four Factors Driving The Currency's Slide

The euro is approaching parity with the U.S. dollar, something the world hasn't seen since 2002. The eurozone's official currency has tumbled 12 percent since the start of 2015, hitting a 12-year low of $1.0495 against the greenback Thursday.

Here are the four main factors driving the euro's steep decline this week:


Looking for a mortgage? Shop around, watch for fees to ensure you get the best deal

Mortgage interest rates have hovered near historic lows in recent years, but change may be on the horizon.

The Federal Reserve is considering increasing the short-term interest rate it controls as early as June. That could send mortgage rates moving higher again.

For now, rates remain homebuyer-friendly. The national average rate for a 30-year, fixed mortgage fell to 3.75 percent last week. It was 4.28 percent a year ago.


10 highly ‘salable’ factors of a real estate property

An ability to distinguish what will sell is an absolute must for any broker to survive and succeed in the real estate industry. Whether it is a condo, a townhouse or a detached home, there are some aspects that are inherent to the property itself and there are others that can be worked on by brokers and sellers.

What comprises a saleable property depends on the buyers' needs. Millennials prefer fuss-free units in the metropolitan area, while the affluent peruse multiple vacation homes in the countryside for recreation. Also, renovations and amenities that are specific to the property count. For instance, buyers on an apartment or condo hunt pay attention to convenient parking space, elevators and the like.


The Top 3 IRS Audit Areas Real Estate Investors Should Know

As income for real estate investors increases, so have IRS audits in these areas. While it is important to minimize our tax liabilities, it is just as important that we do so in the most strategic way to protect ourselves from unwanted correspondence from the IRS.

Today, I want to write about some of the top issues that the IRS is focusing their audit efforts on. These are some of the areas where IRS agents are being trained to specifically focus on in the coming years. It's always good to know what these areas of interests are so that we can plan for and document accordingly in case of a potential audit.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Gundlach Sees ‘Blockhead’ Fed Repeating European Errors on Rates

(Bloomberg) -- Jeffrey Gundlach said if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates in the middle of 2015 the central bank will have to reverse course.

The billionaire co-founder of DoubleLine Capital made the comments in an investor presentation Tuesday that covered bond markets, U.S. housing, global demographics and currencies. He criticized the Fed for not learning from errors made by global counterparts, which raised interest rates and then had to cut them, and Chair Janet Yellen for spending too much time with foreign officials.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Credit Bureaus to Make It Easier to Fix Errors in Credit Reports

The three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – will be making consumer-friendly changes to how they resolve disputes as well as how they handle the reporting of medical debts. Just don't expect the changes to take effect immediately. The new provisions, the result of a settlement agreement between the bureaus and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, will be phased in nationwide over about three years, according to John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at credit Web site


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Reset Risk Worse than Expected for Underwater HELOCs: RealtyTrac

Home prices have not recovered enough to protect the states with high concentrations of home equity lines of credit whose rates are scheduled to reset in the next few years.

Forty percent of these HELOCs were seriously underwater in 2014, and this year more than half of these loans will have loan-to-value ratios of 125% or more, according to RealtyTrac. When homeowners owe more than their homes are worth, they are more likely to default, particularly if their monthly bill spikes, all other things being equal.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Phoenix rents rise 5.6 percent in year, top U.S. average

Phoenix-area apartments and rental homes remain affordable compared to those in other big U.S. cities, but rate increases here are starting to rise faster than the national average.

Median rents in the Phoenix metro area climbed 5.6 percent over the 12 months through January, according to the Zillow Rent Index. That was higher than the 3.3-percent average hike in the 35 larger cities studied.


They're back: Boomerangers returning to housing market

Many former homeowners could start buying again this year and give metro Phoenix's housing market a much-needed boost.

They are called boomerang buyers because they were thrown out of the mortgage market after foreclosures or short sales during the crash but now can qualify for a home loan again.

Most lenders require a seven-year sitting out period for borrowers who default on home loans. That waiting period is over this year for the first wave of people to lose houses during the crash.


Plans Revived for $1B PV Ritz-Carlton

"There's a lot of beautiful oceanfront property all over the world, but there's only one Camel."

So says Jerry Ayoub, president of Scottsdale-based Five Star Development, which has revived long-delayed plans for a Ritz-Carlton resort in Paradise Valley at the foot of metro Phoenix's most-recognized landmark, Camelback Mountain (AZBEX, Nov. 24, 2014).

Five Star is gearing up to submit formal plans for the luxury hotel to Paradise Valley officials this month and hopes to get approval by the end of the summer. Construction would begin around January 2016, and the Ritz-Carlton could open by September 2017.


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