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FBR Expects $1.6B in Mortgage Volume for 2013

With third-quarter numbers from most of the industry's heavy-hitters in, analysts with FBR Capital Markets say their forecasts--$1.6 billion in mortgage volume for 2013 followed by $1.4 billion in 2014--are still well within reach, even though they argue that declining interest rates and lower overall loan volume translated to disappointing mortgage numbers last quarter.

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Existing-Home Sales Slip with Affordability

Existing-home sales slipped in September after reportedly reaching their highest level in nearly four years in August, according to the National Association of Realtors. Analysts attribute the drop to declining affordability resulting from limited inventory and rising home prices. Total existing-home sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.29 million last month. August's sales were revised downward to 5.39 million.

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Chase Hits Major Milestone in Home Donation Program

The dollar volume of homes donated or sold at a discount through JPMorgan Chase's Community Revitalization Program has crossed the $250 million mark. Initiated in 2009 as an effort to help customers and communities cope with the housing crisis, the program has seen more than 5,300 properties donated or sold to nonprofit housing organizations over the last few years.

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Survey: Hispanics View Homeownership Favorably

As the fastest-growing segment of the population, Hispanic Americans will play an important role in the future of the housing market. Since the recession, homeownership has declined faster among Hispanics than among the overall population, dropping from 64 percent in 2012 to 46 percent today. Despite the decline, Hispanics are even more likely to view homeownership favorably than the general population, Fannie Mae reports.

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Creative Buyers, Brokers Keep Sales Humming Despite Lack of Listings

Many in the real estate industry believe there is a listing shortage, but a close look at the numbers suggests buyers in most markets are purchasing homes in increasingly larger volumes--even if some of those sales involve off-market homes not yet listed. Buyers and their real estate brokers are getting creative in buying off-market inventory in a number of ways.

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Fed Report Shows ‘Cautious Optimism’ for National Economy

Even with concerns elevated over the government shutdown, sentiment among contacts of the Federal Reserve Districts remained ""cautiously optimistic"" about the nation's economic future, according to the Fed's Beige Book released this week. Reports on regional housing activity were generally positive, with most markets growing or at least not faltering. The Philadelphia District was the one exception.

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High-End Home Flipping on the Rise

Real estate investors made an average gross profit of $54,927 on single-family home flips in the third quarter, RealtyTrac reported Thursday. The tracking company's data indicates investors' Q3 profit was up 12 percent from the average gross return a year earlier, driven in part by an increase in high-end flips of homes that were sold for $750,000 or more and concentrated in California and New York.

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Foreclosures Lowest Since Q2 2007 as Starts Plummet to 7-Year Low

There were a total of 376,931 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings in the third quarter of 2013, RealtyTrac reported Thursday. The Q3 figure represents a 7 percent decline from the previous quarter and a 29 percent decline from the third quarter of 2012. By RealtyTrac's calculations, one in every 348 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing last quarter, which puts Q3 foreclosure activity at its lowest level since the second quarter of 2007.

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Shadow Inventory Falls to Lowest Level Since August 2008

Overall residential shadow inventory, as of July 2013, was 1.9 million homes, according to CoreLogic. That's the lowest shadow inventory tally reported since August 2008. The industry's current shadow inventory carries a value of $293 billion, down from $380 billion in July 2012. It represents 3.7 months' of supply and accounts for 85 percent of the 2.2 million properties that were seriously delinquent, in foreclosure, or bank-owned at July month-end.

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