New home sales reverse course, increase in May

June 24th, 2017 Real Estate

After a drop in new home sales in April, the market reversed course, seeing an increase in May. Home prices and housing inventory also reversed course in May as home prices rose and inventory dropped.

Economists draw mixed conclusions over May new home sales report

June 24th, 2017 Real Estate

New home sales increased in May, partially reversing April’s drop. But while new home sales are at a post-recession high, they are still down significantly from historical norms. Here’s what the experts say about May’s new home sales report.

Chicago mortgage originator accused of bilking elderly homeowners out of $7 million

June 24th, 2017 Real Estate

A mortgage originator from Chicago stands accused of running a reverse mortgage scam and defrauding elderly homeowners and lenders out of $7 million. Mark Diamond is currently facing seven counts of wire fraud after being accused of fraudulently causing lenders to make reverse mortgage loans to homeowners who either did not sign up for the loans or did so after Diamond allegedly misrepresented the terms of the loans.

Affordable homes: An issue that should unite both parties

June 24th, 2017 Real Estate

[Expert commentary] Amidst the partisan rancor in Washington, there is one issue that should unite both political parties: the urgent need to expand access to affordable rental housing. The situation is dire. The good news is that many of the solutions to the rental affordability crisis already enjoy broad bipartisan support. Here are the solutions to the crisis that are already hiding in plain sight.

Forestar preparing to spurn Starwood Capital after D.R. Horton improves its offer

June 24th, 2017 Real Estate

Thanks to a bidding war between two real estate giants, Forestar Group and its shareholders find themselves squarely in the catbird’s seat. As recently as one day ago, Forestar said that it still planned to sell itself to Starwood Capital Group for $15.50 per share despite D.R. Horton attempting to swoop in and buy 75% of the company for a higher price, $16.25 per share. But things can change quite a bit in 24 hours.

Senior home equity hits all-time high in Q1

June 24th, 2017 Real Estate

Senior home equity increased in the first quarter of 2017 to $6.3 trillion, an all new high since the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association began tracking the figure in 2000. Experts pointed out this will benefit seniors who want to modify their homes after becoming empty nesters.

Douglas Elliman Real Estate wins $4.75 million from rival agency over agent poaching

June 24th, 2017 Real Estate

One of the nation’s largest real estate companies is in line for a nearly $5 million payout after a jury found that a rival agency poached a dozen agents from the company. Earlier this week, a jury in New York Supreme Court, Westchester County, ruled in favor of Douglas Elliman Real Estate and ordered William Raveis Real Estate to pay $4.75 million.

Texas hot markets begin to see slowdown

June 24th, 2017 Real Estate

The market for new home sales in major Texas metros is slowing down as the number of days on market increase and home prices increase at slower rates. But while most major markets are slowing down, one market saw competition rise as the number of days on market for new homes dropped for the second consecutive month.

Former “We Buy Ugly Houses” franchisee admits to running real estate ponzi scheme

June 24th, 2017 Real Estate

The former owner of a “We Buy Ugly Houses” franchise admitted in federal court recently that she mislead investors, misused investors’ money, forged investors’ signatures on deeds, and ran what amounted to a real estate ponzi scheme.

Bob Goldberg Named CEO of National Association of Realtors®

June 23rd, 2017 Real Estate

WASHINGTON (June 23, 2017) – Bob Goldberg has been named CEO of the National Association of Realtors®. Goldberg currently serves as NAR senior vice president of Sales & Marketing, Business Development & Strategic Investments, Professional Development and Conventions for NAR.

Goldberg was the choice of NAR’s leadership team after an extensive national search. He succeeds Dale Stinton, who is retiring after 36 years at NAR and 12 as… Read More

FHFA: Home prices continue soaring to new highs

June 23rd, 2017 Real Estate

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly home price index showed home prices continue to increase, hitting new highs after surpassing the previous peak back in 2016. The report breaks down which regions saw the highest gains in home prices, and the one division which saw a decrease in home prices from March to April.

Louisiana Real Estate Appraisal Board fights back against FTC price-fixing allegations

June 23rd, 2017 Real Estate

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisal Board, accusing the regulatory body that oversees property appraisals in the state of stifling price competition by requiring appraisal management companies to follow the state’s established polices for the fees that AMCs pay to appraisers. Now, the board is fighting back.

Renters now setting their sights on homeownership

June 23rd, 2017 Real Estate

A recent study from TransUnion showed American renters are increasingly setting their sights on homeownership. The number of renters shopping for a home increased from last year and from 2015.

Here are the 5 most unaffordable cities in the world

June 23rd, 2017 Real Estate

The U.S. isn’t the only country seeing high rents. A new study from RentCafé showed the five most unaffordable cities in the world among top emerging or striving economies based on median income for the area. Even in cities where the median income is very high, it’s still not always enough to keep up with rising rents.

Starwood Capital ups its offer for Forestar as battle with D.R. Horton intensifies

June 23rd, 2017 Real Estate

There’s a battle brewing between two real estate titans as Starwood Capital Group and D.R. Horton are both angling to acquire Forestar Group, a residential and mixed-use real estate developer. Starwood wants to buy the company for $14.25 per share, while D.R. Horton wants to buy 75% of the company for $16.25 per share. But Thursday, Starwood upped the ante by raising its offer for Forestar.

Housing industry’s largest trade groups want CFPB director replaced by bipartisan commission

June 23rd, 2017 Real Estate

More than 20 of the housing industry’s largest trade groups are calling on Congress to enact legislation that would change the leadership structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from a single director to a bipartisan commission. The groups say that a bipartisan commission would help provide a “balanced” approach to financial regulation and supervision.

Puerto Rican foreclosure crisis sends residents flooding to U.S.

June 23rd, 2017 Real Estate

The Puerto Rican foreclosure crisis is currently worse than the U.S. foreclosure crisis at its peak in 2010. As the economy worsens, residents continue to flee the island, flooding into Texas and Florida. Some homeowners even leave their keys in their home, abandoning everything on their way out.

Zillow on track to pay $4 million to VHT after judge chops jury award in half

June 23rd, 2017 Real Estate

VHT, a real estate photography company, was all set to receive $8.32 million in damages from Zillow Group after a jury found that images from VHT appeared on the Zillow Digs site without VHT’s consent, but that’s not the case anymore. This week, a judge cut the original $8.32 million award in half because there wasn’t sufficient evidence that anyone saw the majority of the pictures in question.

As existing home sales rise, median home price hits new high

June 22nd, 2017 Real Estate

Existing home sales increased in May as low inventory levels pushed median home prices to an all-new high. NAR explained that home prices keep chugging along at a pace that is not sustainable in the long run. Demand levels suggest home sales should be stronger, but low inventory levels are keeping them suppressed.

Feds announce 2017 list of distressed, underserved non-metro areas

June 22nd, 2017 Real Estate

On Wednesday, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced the 2017 list of distressed or underserved non-metro areas where banks can receive Community Reinvestment Act credit for certain activities.