Top Investors are Looking at Houston for 2012!

According to a new survey that has been conducted by Jones Lang La Salle, investors will be focusing on multifamily properties. Home ownership rates are still declining and rental rates are still rising….When investors were asked where in the US would they invest their money next year, Dallas, was a top choice. Top investors included in this survey also said they would focus on selling their Houston properties in 2012.

I don’t know if I entirely agree with this survey. We are seeing a tremendous amount of investor traffic here in the Houston area. They don’t necessarily want to sell…..they are looking to buy and take advantage of the low prices of our housing market.

A Christmas Gift from Fannie?

Fannie Mae has just announced that it will halt all evictions of foreclosed homes from December 19th of this year until January 2nd of next year. During this 13 day period, both legal and administrative actions will continue, but homeowners living in these foreclosed properties will be permitted to remain in their homes.

Shadow Inventory. What is it and how will it effect you?

When making the decision to sell, buy or invest in today’s real estate market the most valuable asset a buyer or a seller can have is the most current and up to date information of what is going on locally and nationally.While in a real estate meeting this week, I came across some interesting statistics I think would be valuable to share.   I had the opportunity to meet with top foreclosure real estate specialists who had just come from a very informative meeting with top administrators of both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Statistics of future foreclosures were projected.   This is called “shadow inventory”.   These are homes that Freddie or Fannie has not received a mortgage payment on in the past 90 days to 2 years.   These are homes that will be foreclosed on in the future.   So what is the number?   Well, Fannie Mae is projecting about 5 million, Freddie Mac is projecting 3.5 million, and other national banks are looking to foreclose on 2 to 3 million homes.   Now these are national projections.   These foreclosed homes will be spread out across the country.

Keep in mind that Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and other financial institutions already know that these foreclosures are going to happen.   What is being discussed is how to do it, without completely glutting the market with foreclosures.   It will be interesting to see how they go about dumping these homes onto the market little by little.

Housing Market Getting Worse? Let’s take a look….

There’s been quite a bit of bad news concerning real estate in recent weeks.   I have received many calls from potential sellers wondering if prices are going to continue to fall even more….On the other hand, my buyers can’t figure out why they can’t get a better deal…..What is causing this concern?

The Media

Let’s take a step back and remember that we are now into September.   In my opinion, once August hits, we begin to see a decline in the number of buyers looking for homes.   Yes, buyers are still out there, but the numbers are significantly less as compared to the April, May, June and July months.

Homes are still selling….and from what I see in the market, traditional sells are still selling for 10K to 25K more than foreclosures and short-sales.   This week new home builders were hit with bad news on their production statistics, but almost every new home builder I take my clients to are sold out…..there is no more inventory.   Also, keep in mind, that in the Northern Virginia area, we are still seeing multiple offers on traditional sales.

Of course, there are many of us still upside down in our mortgages and foreclosures are something that we see in almost every neighborhood, but our real estate market is still alive and homes are moving, and moving fast.

The big question I always get this time of year is….”Should I sell now?”

In the coming months, while we do see a shortage of buyers, home inventory is low.   This could be a positive for the seller.   Buyer’s in our market usually pay more for a traditional sell, and if there is less inventory, this translates to less competition.   This means your home has more opportunities to stand out.

In my opinion, our real estate market is recovering.   It is going to take years to recover completely.   It took many years to create this mess, and unfortunately, the majority of the public did not realize what was happening until it was too late.

Great News For Home Buyers

The United States Congress has passed a bill extending the Homebuyer Tax Credit closing deadline to September 30th of this year.   This is a huge win for and home-buyers. Please note that the extension only applies only to transactions that had ratified contracts in place as of April 30, 2010, and have not yet closed.

Update on Real Estate Tax Credit Extension…..Time is Running Out!

Today the House of Representatives voted on legislation to give 1st time home buyers 3 additional months to settle on their new home and still qualify for the federal income tax credit.   The Senate still needs to vote. The deadline for the Senate to act is tomorrow.   (Wednesday)  

There have been many reports that this bill will help buyers shopping for a house now.   This is false and has caused much confusion among our buyers.    This legislation will only help buyers that have previously  signed a contract by the April 30th deadline.

Short-Term Help or A Step in the RIght Direction?

 How does the $250 Billion Bank Stabilization Program have anything to do with real estate?  

In my opinion the two go hand in hand, and if we want to actually see substantial growth and rebound in our market, both real estate and financial institutions need to be on the same path.

 This plan’s goal is to stabilize the United States banking system.   In essence, this legislation will allow the government to purchase stocks in 9 major banks around the country.   Then, as financial markets start to recover, these banks will buy the stock back from the United States government.