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DS News Webcast: Wednesday 1/21/2015

A nationwide survey of real estate investors bidding on properties offered for auction during the fourth quarter of 2014 revealed that flipping was the preferred investing strategy over renting, according to Auction.com's Q4 2014 Real Estate Investor Activity Report. Though various reports have suggested in the last year that flipping opportunities are dwindling, Auction.com's latest survey affirms that flipping is still going strong: 50 percent of investors said they intended to flip the homes they purchased, compared to 47.3 percent who said they intended to rent them out.

In areas such as California and Northeastern states, investors are more likely to flip due to the difficulty of renting out higher-priced homes profitably, according to Auction.com executive vice president Rick Sharga. Lately, there has been more of a shift toward flipping over renting in Washington State and in Arizona that can be tied to two factors – home price appreciation combined with lack of inventory. The survey also showed that investors who purchased properties at live auctions were more likely to flip than to rent, while the reverse was true for investors who purchased properties through online auctions.

Four national banks agreed to pay a combined $2.7 million in penalties to resolve claims that they unlawfully foreclosed on properties in Massachusetts, according to an announcement from Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo were accused of violating Massachusetts foreclosure laws and the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act by foreclosing on properties in the Commonwealth when they did not hold the rights to the mortgages, and therefore did not legally have the right to foreclose.

About Author: Jordan Funderburk

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