Archive for the ‘Mortgage’ Category

Existing home sales explode as spring homebuying season officially arrives

Spring House

Kennesaw’s Ashford Capital Partners’ Managing Partners Matt Riedemann brings you news you can use.
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Existing-homes sales surged to their highest annual rate in 18 months, showing a promising beginning to the spring homebuying season, the latest report from the National Association of Relators said.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, jumped 6.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million in March from 4.89 million in February—the highest annual rate since September 2013 (also 5.19 million).

This is positive news for the industry after existing-home sales collapsed 4.9% in January to the lowest rate in nine months, falling well below analyst expectations. And while they did pick up in February and edged up by 1.2%, there was still some stagnation in the market.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the housing market appears to be off to an encouraging start this spring.

“After a quiet start to the year, sales activity picked up greatly throughout the country in March,” he continued. “The combination of low interest rates and the ongoing stability in the job market is improving buyer confidence and finally releasing some of the sizable pent-up demand that accumulated in recent years.”

Furthermore, sales have increased year-over-year for six consecutive months and are now 10.4% above a year ago, the highest annual increase since August 2013 (10.7%). March’s sales increase was the largest monthly increase since December 2010 (6.2%).

Total housing inventory at the end of March grew 5.3% to 2 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 2% above a year ago (1.96 million). Unsold inventory is at a 4.6-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.7 months in February.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in March was $212,100, which is 7.8% above March 2014, marking the 37th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains and the largest since February 2014 (8.8%).

“The modest rise in housing supply at the end of the month despite the strong growth in sales is a welcoming sign,” adds Yun. “For sales to build upon their current pace, homeowners will increasingly need to be confident in their ability to sell their home while having enough time and choices to upgrade or downsize. More listings and new home construction are still needed to tame price growth and provide more opportunity for first-time buyers to enter the market.”

The percent share of first-time buyers was 30% in March. This marks the third time since last March that the first-time buyer share was at or above 30%. First-time buyers represented 29% of all buyers last month; they were 30% in March 2014.

“The jump in March’s existing sales beat expectations and is welcome news for those who have been waiting for the spring housing market to kick into gear,” said Quicken Loans Vice President Bill Banfield. “Purchase applications have been steadily increasing over the last month and rates remain low (for now) – both of which could be signals of continued momentum in the coming months.”

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast increased 6.9% to an annual rate of 620,000, and are 1.6% above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $240,500, which is 1.6% below a year ago.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales escalated 10.1% to an annual rate of 1.20 million in March, and are now 12.1% above March 2014. The median price in the Midwest was $163,600, up 9.7% from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South climbed 3.8% to an annual rate of 2.19 million in March, and are now 11.7% above March 2014. The median price in the South was $187,900, up 9.3% from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West rose 6.3% to an annual rate of 1.18 million in March, and are now 11.3% above a year ago. The median price in the West was $305,000, which is 8.3% above March 2014.

Surges to highest level in 18 months

Fannie Mae Offers First-Time Home Buyers Big Help With Closing Costs

This 5 bedroom, 3-bath house qualifies for 3% closing cost from Fannie Mae

 

Kennesaw’s Ashford Capital Partners’ Managing Partners Matt Riedemann brings you news you can use.

If you’re a first-time home buyer just entering the market, you’re in for a springtime treat: Fannie Mae will now pay your closing costs, up to 3% of the price of the home—provided you take the mortgage giant’s home-buyer counseling course first.

The new HomePath Ready Buyer program, announced on Wednesday, allows first-time buyers (defined as those who have not owned a home in the past three years) to take an online course, get certified, and become eligible for what could amount to significant savings. For instance, on a $150,000 home, Fannie Mae could contribute up to $4,500 toward your closing costs—which typically range from 2.5% to 3% of a home’s price—and even reimburse you for the $75 online course.

“This could actually get someone in the game,” said Frank Montro, a Chicago-area real estate broker who specializes in selling rehabbed homes. “This goes straight to the buyer’s needs.”

Montro says first-time home buyers are usually either “cash-poor or credit-poor. They pay their bills on time and they qualify for the mortgage, but they just don’t have the savings.”

By offering closing cost assistance on their properties, Fannie Mae is opening the gates to a pool of people who have largely been left behind in the housing market recovery. Traditionally, first-time buyers have made up about 40% of the market. Last year, they accounted for 33%, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

While this announcement marks the mortgage giant’s latest step in loosening credit availability—it also announced a new 3% down loan program in December—it does so with some strings attached. The closing cost credit applies only to properties in Fannie Mae’s own inventory.

Fannie Mae owns thousands of houses across the country, all seized in foreclosure proceedings, and now the government-backed private corporation is actively trying to unload that inventory. Searching our own site’s listings, we found 7,075 single-family homes listed as Fannie Mae HomePath properties.

April 17th, 2015 – Chrystal Caruthers – http://www.realtor.com/news/fannie-mae-first-time-home-buyer-closing-costs-help/

Kennesaw’s Ashford Capital Partners’ Managing Partners Matt Riedemann brings you news you can use.  Check back tomorrow for more.

FICO announces new credit program for risky borrowers

Kennesaw’s Ashford Capital Partners’ Managing Partners Matt Riedemann brings you news you can use.

FICO (FICO), LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Equifax (EFX) released the official details to the new pilot program that was first reported on Wednesday, potentially opening the door to help millions of borrowers secure financing for a home.

The three firms are working together to create a pilot program that will allow 12 of the largest credit card issuers in the U.S. to use alternative data to identify creditworthy individuals who would otherwise be unlikely to obtain traditional credit.

After the pilot program is complete in the coming months, FICO expects to make the score based on alternative credit data available to more lenders later this year.

FICO’s data scientists found that alternative data such as property records, telecommunications and utility information can reliably be used to score 15 million consumers who do not have enough credit data to generate FICO scores.

By using alternative data from LexisNexis and Equifax, FICO will give card issuers a FICO Score that complies with relevant regulations that they can use to extend credit responsibly to millions of additional people.

Card issuers will be able to use the alternative score without having to “rip and replace” existing systems, significantly lowering the cost and accelerating time to market.

“Working with Equifax and LexisNexis, we set out to help unbanked, under-banked and disadvantaged people gain equal access to the standard credit products enjoyed by millions of Americans,” said Jim Wehmann, FICO’s executive vice president for Scores.

“We’re excited by our pilot program’s strong results thus far. FICO’s focus is on expanding access to credit; not simply scoring more people. Our approach also addresses a paradox for people seeking their first traditional credit product – you often need a credit history before you can get traditional credit,” added Wehmann.

This falls in lines with recent talks from housing regulators on finding alternatives to traditional credit scoring.

Several real estate trade groups spent Wednesday discussing the challenges that credit standards pose for access for some would-be borrowers and alternatives to traditional credit scoring.

The event, co-hosted by the National Association of Realtors, the Asian Real Estate Association of America and the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, included two roundtable discussions and a keynote address from Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro.

Come back tomorrow to http://www.AshfordCP.com/blog  where Kennesaw’s Ashford Capital Partners’ Managing Partners Matt Riedemann brings you news you can use.

Author: Brenda Swanson – http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33445-its-official-fico-announces-new-credit-program-for-risky-borrowers

$4.5 Billion in Nonperforming Loans, Delinquent Debt to Hit the Market

Nonperforming mortgage loans delinquent debt

 

 

 

 

Kennesaw’s Ashford Capital Partners’ Managing Partners Matt Riedemann brings you news you can use.

Three of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders have put sizable packages of nonperforming and reperforming mortgage loans on the market for investors to buy,according to New York-based loan broker Mission Capital Advisors.

First reported by Bloomberg, The loans are worth a combined $4.5 billion, Mission Capital said. Bank of America has put up approximately $2.56 billion worth of delinquent debt for sale, including nonperforming loans, reperforming mortgages (those in which the borrower was 90 days or more behind but has resumed making payments), and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), according to Mission Capital. Citigroup has put up $1.8 billion worth of reperforming mortgages for sale, and JPMorgan Chase is looking for a buyer for $143 million worth of nonperforming mortgage loans, Mission Capital said. The sale was first reported by Bloomberg News.

According to Mission Capital, there has been an increased demand for delinquent mortgage loans, troubled debt, and nonperforming mortgages among hedge fund investors and private equity firms. Last month, Freddie Mac announced that it intended to sell $410 million worth of delinquent mortgage loans. But there has been so much of a demand that the suppliers cannot keep up, Mission Capital said.

“The supply has yet to meet the demand that’s out there,” Mission Capital managing director Luis Vergara said. “A lot of capital has been set aside to invest in residential product.”

Spokespeople from Citi and JPMorgan Chase declined to comment on the sale of the delinquent or nonperforming loans. A spokesperson from Bank of America said the bank did not comment on “market rumors.”

Data compiled by Mission Capital shows that about $4.2 billion worth of nonperforming loans and $3.2 billion worth of modified or reperforming loans have traded or been put up for sale so far this year.

Author: Brian Honea February 13, 2015 http://dsnews.com/news/02-13-2015/4-5-billion-in-nonperforming-loans-delinquent-debt-to-hit-the-market?utm_source=DSNews.com&utm_campaign=6128f3d2ec-Your_Daily_Dose1_28_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1924082bfe-6128f3d2ec-175200045

Come back tomorrow to http://www.AshfordCP.com/blog  where Kennesaw’s Ashford Capital Partners’ Managing Partners Matt Riedemann brings you news you can use.

Twice as Many Consumers Prefer New Homes to Existing

Larger closets, open floor plans, and roomy kitchen islands seen as big draws of new homes.

 

While twice as many American consumers prefer a newly built home compared to an existing dwelling, many are reluctant to pay extra for new, according to the results of a new survey from Trulia.

Forty-one percent of respondents said they prefer to buy a new home over a previously lived in one, compared to 21 percent who said they would prefer an existing home at the same price. But of those buyers interested in new homes, only 46% were willing to pay the 20% premium that new homes typically require. In fact, only 17% of respondents said they would pay at least 20% more for a new home.

Trulia compared median prices for a new home adjusted for property features and location and found that new homes are typically priced 20% higher than older homes with similar attributes such as square footage and number of bedrooms in the same zip code.

The survey explored consumer preferences for each type of home. The top reasons respondents prefer a new home are for modern features such as bigger closets, a kitchen island, open floor plan, walls pre-wired for flat screen TVs, radiant floor heating, to be able to customize the home before construction is completed, and to spend less on maintenance and repairs.

Fans of existing homes have their reasons, too. The most compelling reason to buy an existing home is to pay less. However, among respondents who strongly prefer an existing home, the top reasons to buy an existing home are for one-of-a-kind finishes such as original wood floors, woodwork, ornate details, or stained/leaded glass windows, and to live in a more established neighborhood.

Interestingly, respondents are much more likely to mention the neighborhood as a reason to prefer an existing home than as a reason to prefer a new home. This suggests that for many Americans, the ideal home might be a new home in an established neighborhood, the survey concludes.

By  – Builder Online – May 5, 2014

Selling in May…

You’ve probably heard the old Wall Street axiom: “Sell in May and go away.”

 

From an investment perspective, this is a warning of difficult times ahead. Summer can be a challenging period in the stock market because so many managers are off the desks, vacationing at the beach, or on the golf course. Statistically, individual investors are better off cashing out of their positions and coming back to the market once the summer is over

 

For the real estate market, the saying “Sell in May…” has an entirely different meaning. This is because the summer months are actually the most profitable months for real estate transactions!

 

A Window of Opportunity

 

From a logistical perspective, summer is the absolute best time to consider a move.

 

For families with children in school, the summer makes for a perfect time to relocate to a new district, and give the kids time to make new friends before the next school year.

 

Employees and small business owners typically have much more freedom to take a week off for a move during the summer – making it much easier to consider purchasing a house and moving across town (or across the country) before the workload picks back up again in the fall.

 

So for homeowners who have been considering putting their house on the market, the term “Sell in May…” is one of opportunity as real estate activity picks up.

 

This Year Is Different…

 

Over the past few months, I’ve spoken with a number of homeowners who feel “trapped” in a home because of lower prices, mortgage issues, or the lack of real-estate activity. Last summer, these challenges weighed on the market, keeping would-be home sellers from being able to sell attractive houses.

 

But this year, the environment is completely different! Real estate transactions have been picking up significantly, due in part to the fact that private equity companies have been buying up millions of dollars of properties in the Atlanta area.

 

If you missed the headlines, let me fill you in…

 

Companies like Blackstone Group have been investing in a few key cities like Atlanta, purchasing thousands of properties and putting the homes up for rent. There are two key consequences from this activity:

 

1) Home prices have been increasing dramatically. 

 

2) The number of available homes for sale has decreased.

 

It’s a natural result of the supply and demand curve. If there is significant demand (for example, the Blackstone purchases), prices will naturally rise. And of course as Blackstone takes houses off the market, a natural shortage of supply results.

 

This puts you as a seller in the driver’s seat – with much more control and negotiating power than you might have had last year.

 

Let Me Help You Get Top Dollar For Your Home

 

If you’re in the market to sell a home (your primary residence, or even an investment property), let me help you get the maximum value for your property.

 

This year, the “Sell in May” mantra could net you thousands of dollars more than you could have made during the winter months. And it’s my job to help you list and negotiate your sale so that you’re able to capture the largest profit possible for this transaction.

 

As you can tell, I’m excited about the opportunity in today’s market. We’ve got a defined window of time, and you owe it to yourself to make money in this healthy environment.

 

Please give my office a call this week. We’ll set up an appointment to chat, and figure out the best plan of attack for your real estate transaction.

 

Don’t let this summer go by without exploring the opportunity to lock in an attractive price on your home or investment property.

 

Wishing you every success,
Matt

Matthew J. Riedemann
Founder, President, & Managing Director
Ashford Capital Partners, Ashford Advisors

678-231-4579
Matt@AshfordCP.com

Mortgage Relief May Be Easier Than You Realize

Today, I want to have a conversation about mortgages… Specifically, I want to talk about the options that are currently available to homeowners who may find themselves in challenging situations.

As I talk to a number of our current and prospective clients, I continue to see a familiar good news / bad news scenario:

The good news is that the local real estate market is heating up, driving home prices higher and giving homeowners more options with their property. This new surge in demand for residential real estate comes from both organic and institutional buyers.

Organic buyers are essentially individual purchasers who are buying homes for the purpose of occupying the properties. This is the traditional idea of a home buyer. Institutional buyers, on the other hand, are buying properties up for the purpose of either renting or reselling the homes for a profit. In particular, the private equity company Blackstone Group is active in the Atlanta market, plowing hundreds of millions into local home purchases.

The bad news is that many local homeowners are finding themselves in a difficult situation. This can be a result of a change in income since the home purchase, a change in interest rates (as teaser rates expire and payments balloon), or a general change in life as family dynamics evolve.

More and more, we are seeing homeowners in a spot where an adjustment to their mortgage would make a big difference in the financial and life balance picture…

Homeowners Have More Options Than They May Realize

When it comes to challenging mortgage situations, many homeowners have a great deal more flexibility than they have had in the past. This is due both to new government programs, and to an increased willingness to lend on the part of the banks.

A number of government programs have been created to help homeowners who have adjustable-rate mortgages that are in the process of resetting to higher rates. Many mortgage payers don’t even realize that their rates are increasing until they receive a notification of payment change from the mortgage company.

Other programs focus on homeowners who are in a hardship situation. This can result from a change in employment, a medical or disability situation, or other life issues that arise and cause difficulty for homeowners.

Finally, with property prices increasing, the banks are now much more willing to consider a mortgage adjustment because the underlying property now has value and can be sold in the event of a foreclosure. When banks see valuable collateral, they are much more willing to set up an attractive mortgage arrangement.

My point here is that as a homeowner, you are no longer arbitrarily stuck with your current mortgage. There are many ways to work out a new solution, and at Ashford Advisors, we can help find the perfect program to meet your mortgage needs.

Rental Property Owners Now Have Flexibility Too

As a result of the housing boom (and subsequent bust) many individuals have found themselves in the position of owning extra homes that are being rented out. I’ve seen a number of families that moved to larger homes during the housing bubble, and simply kept their old house for the purpose of renting and creating additional income.

Of course there are a number of individual real estate investors who purchased multiple homes with the intent to flip them – only to be stuck underwater when the real estate tide turned.

With the tremendous amount of buying pressure now lifting real estate values in the Atlanta area, investors who have been stuck with properties now have options as well…

The low interest rates and higher collateral prices can now be a help to investors with mortgage needs. Even though investment loans typically carry a higher rate of interest than mortgages for homes that are lived in, there are a number of banks who will now offer competitive rates for investment properties that can be rented.

This type of mortgage arrangement could be helpful if your investment home needs some remodeling or upkeep. And some investors are able to re-negotiate loans, taking out some equity for repairs, and then get the home into great shape for selling and exiting their investment with a profit.

Setting Up Meetings To Discuss Opportunities

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be scheduling appointments with homeowners and residential real estate investors to discuss mortgage options. If you are in the position of needing some help with your mortgage – or you just want to check into where your mortgage stands, when it resets, or what the terms are – I hope you will call me.

Given the resources that we have at Ashford Advisors, and the network of contacts we have developed in the Atlanta real estate market, I’m sure that we can help with your situation. You may be able to free up additional cash, rid yourself of an unwanted investment, or lower your monthly payments.

It would be my pleasure to help you and your family, and I look forward to sitting down with you. Please give my office a call to schedule your appointment today!

Wishing you every success,
Matt

Matthew J. Riedemann
Founder, President, & Managing Director
Ashford Capital Partners, Ashford Advisors

Spring Comes to the Atlanta Real Estate Market

Spring Comes to the Atlanta Real Estate Market

 

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As we approach spring in the Atlanta area, real estate activity is picking up (even if the outside temperature is not).

On the Ashford Capital side of the business – where we own a number of developed parcels of land – we have seen a dramatic increase in traffic. The premier homebuilders in Atlanta know that our company is the go-to asset holder for high-quality neighborhood opportunities.

Demand for new homes is on the rise, and builders are finally in a spot where inventories are relatively low and they need to be putting up new structures to meet demand.  So as we approach the second quarter, Ashford Capital Partners is in an excellent position to negotiate with these builders.

This year we expect to sign contacts to liquidate a number of these properties at attractive prices, netting a gain for our investors who helped us purchase these properties at distressed prices during and after the financial crisis.

 

Ashford Advisors Expanding Services Offered

services_consulting

 

On the advisory side of our business – where we help facilitate real estate transactions – we have also seen a significant pickup in activity.

A number of our clients have commercial real estate holdings that are for lease or for sale. We have been able to assist in the process of leasing these properties, helping the client generate a reliable stream of income. In other instances, we have helped facilitate an actual sale of the client’s property, capping off a profitable investment transaction.

On a more personal level, we have been active in helping a number of clients with mortgage issues. Today, there are a number of programs available to homeowners and business owners to help lower both the level of monthly payments as well as the principal value of the overall loan.

Taking advantage of the options available today can allow some owners to remain in homes that they might otherwise not be able to afford. And in other cases, a mortgage adjustment can free up capital to cover other areas of need.

Depending on your situation, Ashford Advisors may be able to help modify your loan, lease your property, or facilitate a sale that frees up needed capital. If you would like to sit down and discuss what options are available to you as a homeowner, I would be happy to set up a meeting and be your advocate – whatever the need.

 

Mortgage Activity Casts an Encouraging Light on Real Estate

 

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There is one other area of interest that I want to bring up…

For the month of January (the latest month data is available), mortgage activity increased 38% over the level from last year. This is important because it shows that economic activity around residential real estate is picking up.

This is particularly encouraging as we head into the spring season which is historically an active time for home purchases. Young families typically pick the spring season to make a move, allowing their children to adjust to a new location at the end of a school year.

So with real estate activity already beginning to increase, this spring is shaping up to be a great period for selling a home or for leasing rental property. If you have been considering a move, or if you have a house, condo, or business that needs to be leased, please give me a call and find out how Ashford Advisors can assist you in achieving your financial goals.

Wishing you every success,

Matt

Matthew J. Riedemann
Founder, President, & Managing Director
Ashford Capital Partners, Ashford Advisors

678-231-4579
Matt@AshfordCP.com