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Tag Archives: First-Time Homebuyers

GAO Reports 6,327 Tax Debtors Received FHA-Insured Mortgages

Under federal policy, those who are behind on their taxes are ineligible for FHA mortgage insurance unless they repay their debt or are in a valid repayment agreement with the IRS. However, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that FHA insured over $1.44 billion in mortgages for 6,327 borrowers who had a total of $77.6 million in federal tax debt. The watchdog group explained that the borrowers benefited from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which includes a provision that increased mortgage insurance loan limits and provided an estimated $12 billion in Recovery Act First-Time Homebuyer Credits (FTHBCs) to 1.7 million individuals.

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Lack of Distressed Properties Led to May’s Drop in Existing Home Sales

The drop in existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Thursday likely stemmed from a lack of distressed properties on the market, according to IHS Global Insight. In May, existing-home sales made a fall of 1.5 percent from the month before. The share of investor purchases also declined, which IHS economist Patrick Newport said is likely due to a drop in the number of distressed homes. According to the NAR report, investor purchases made up 17 percent of homes sales in May, down from 20 percent in April and 19 percent in May 2011.

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Prices to Gain by 2% in 2012 and 5% in 2013: Capital Economics

The recent softening of economic activity will not stop the country's housing market recovery, Capital Economics said in a report Wednesday. The US Housing Market Analyst for Q2 2012 speculated that modest recovery in the housing market will not only continue for the rest of the year, it will spread and cause an increase in house prices. With the modest upturn in home sales going on, Capital Economics revised its house price forecast to show gains of 2 percent in 2012 and 5 percent in 2013.

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Optimism Can Be Bad for Recovery, Rental Market is Bubble-Proof: Trulia

Optimism is good for the recovery, but too much optimism can lead us back on the path to the next housing bubble, said Trulia Chief Economist Jed Kolko during a conference call Wednesday. Although home prices are rising, renters might be overconfident, with 58 percent of respondents expecting home prices to return to peak in the next 10 years. In this case, Kolko said optimism is outpacing reality, and it is very unlikely that prices in those hardest hit markets will return to the peaks in the next 10 years. As for the rental market, Kolko said there is no danger of a bubble and if anything, we are in danger of the rental market becoming extremely tight in some markets.

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IRR: Down Payment Biggest Obstacle to Homeownership

Feelings about homeownership remain positive in the face of a diminished market, but an uncertain economy and increasing down payments are keeping Americans from making purchases, a report from Integra Realty Resources (IRR) said. Wednesday's report detailed results from an IRR-commissioned survey of non-homeowners ages 22-50 in 11 major markets. While 85 percent of potential buyers indicated that market conditions are favorable for purchasing a home, unemployment and job instability make many respondents reluctant or unable to buy a home.

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Churchill Survey: Homeownership Still Part of American Dream

The survey, released Wednesday, revealed that more than 83 percent of 2009-2010 homebuyers believe owning a home is still an integral part of the American Dream. Furthermore, 88.7 percent of respondents said they were happy with their purchases, citing a multitude of reasons such as the ""stability of owning [their] own property,"" the relief of ""getting away from renting,"" and ""having a yard and a real 'neighborhood feel,'"" to name a few.

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Freddie Mac Offering Home Warranty Credit to Buyers

The incentive comes as an extension of Freddie Mac's First Look Initiative, a program designed to stabilize communities and support housing recovery. The initiative offers owner-occupants, second purchasers, and neighborhood stabilization non-profits a chance to purchase HomeSteps homes for a brief period after listing with no competition from investors.

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Demand for Foreclosures Triples for Homebuyers: Realtor.com

The stigma associated with foreclosure purchases has apparently faded with interest in foreclosures nearly tripling in the past two years, according to a survey released Wednesday by Realtor.com. The survey, conducted over 1,004 phone interviews at the beginning of May, suggested that homebuyer interest in foreclosures has jumped 159 percent since October 2009, when foreclosures made up 29 percent of all home sales. The vast majority of buyers said they would want to live in their foreclosure purchase, with 92.1 percent looking for a home to live in and only 6.9 percent looking for foreclosure investments.

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South Carolina Signs Bill to Ban Third Party Fees on Home Sale Contracts

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill to ban Wall Street Resale Fees, which require a percentage of the sale of a home to go to a third party. Carolina is the 38th state to sign the bill banning these fees, also known as Private Transfer Fees. The fees are added to home sale contracts by private third parties and typically require that over the next 99 years, a percentage, usually 1 percent of the sale of a home, be paid to the third party.

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