News-Alerts Digest: Real Estate & Other Links, Aug. 8, 2013

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  1. Mortgage closing costs are on the way up
    Higher mortgage rates aren't the only things driving up the cost of buying a home. Mortgage closing costs are up, too. Loan origination and other fees rose 6% over the past year.

  2. Hindsight to Insight: The Lure of Land | BlackRock Blog | ETF Global market intelligence

  3. Huge Geographic Differences | John Burns Real Estate Consulting

  4. Report: Why Default Rates Were Lower in Europe Compared to the U.S.
    Even though both the United States and Europe experienced price declines starting in 2007, the increase in mortgages default rates over time was much more severe in the United States compared to Europe. For example, in the United States, prices fell 7.7 p

  5. Fed tapering will be for wrong reason: El-Erian
    There won't be enough economic growth to justify the Fed's tapering, Pimco's Mohamed El-Erian tells CNBC.

  6. Sober Look: Freddie Mac takes the first step in transferring mortgage default risk to the private sector

  7. Manhattan Homes Under $3 Million Never Harder to Buy - Businessweek
    With $1 million to spend and no need for a mortgage, Laiyan Wong expected to be able to easily buy a two-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. What she didn’t anticipate was how much competition she’d have.

  8. Freddie Mac posts $5B profit | 2013-08-07 | HousingWire
    Freddie Mac posted a profit of $5 billion in the second quarter and advised no Treasury draws will be required for the period. That income is up from $4.6 billion in the first quarter, making this the enterprise’s seventh consecutive quarter of profitability and the second highest profit in the company’s history. Given Freddie’s net worth of $7.4 billion, the firm's September dividend obligation to the Treasury came in at $4.4 billion. Meanwhile, credit quality continues to improve at the GSE as it benefits from . . .

  9. New Life for Older Buildings in Europe
    When applying the idea of recycling to old or underused buildings, it is not just a matter of reusing the structure or materials, but also of best use, said speakers at ULI Europe’s annual conference in Paris. "It’s about up-cycling our old buildings," said Laura Muller, head of corporate social responsibility for Corio N.V., who led the discussion.

  10. Mortgage originator News: SEC points finger at brokers in BofA suit
    The SEC has accused mortgage brokers of originating the majority of the bad loans that went into an $855m mortgage- - Mortgage Professional America Magazine

  11. Church Property Sales on the Rise | Brokerage content from National Real Estate Investor
    The Roman Catholic Church has made headlines in recent years for closing parishes across the country from New York to Detroit in a major effort to restructure its archdioceses. Yet the mass closings reflect a broader shift impacting a variety of religious organizations. The downsizing stems from declining revenues, shifting demographics and high costs associated with maintaining aging facilities.

  12. Florida AG alleges Broward mortgage relief scam - South Florida Business Journal
    Parkland resident Nicholas Torgerson ran a mortgage relief scam through two companies...

  13. Improving Housing Market List Drops 11 Metros | Realtor Magazine
    A housing index that tracks improving housing markets showed signs of cooling this month, following consistent climbs in recent months.

  14. Bidding Wars are Back | Multi-Housing News Online
    5 things multifamily investors need to know in this seller’s market.

  15. Student-Housing Sector Gets “A” Grade from Experts | Atlanta content from National Real Estate Investor
    After showing impressive resilience during the Great Recession, the student-housing sector is set for a strong future and is attracting increased interest from investors.

  16. Buying Real Estate Investments While Nearing Retirement
    Buying real estate as a retirement investment can be a good decision when you follow a few simple rules.

  17. Strengthening Economic Activity Seen Offsetting Investor Concerns Over Interest Rates - CoStar Group
    Analysts believe it is becoming more and more likely that commercial real estate loans coming due in the next few years will face a higher rate environment. However, the strengthening economy is expected to offfset near-term investor...

  18. Screen Test: Major Credit Bureaus Sharpen Tenant Screening - Credit - Multifamily Executive Magazine
    Tenant screening has come a long way since its inception. The three major bureaus are much more accurate in how they portray residents, and the information is finally growing more consistent from bureau to bureau.

  19. Mortgage Applications Plummet Throughout July
    According to Capital Economics, mortgage application volume fell 18.6 percent from June to July, doing slightly better than the 22.5 percent drop from May to June. Applications for refinancing dropped 24.2 percent over the month, again performing slightly

  20. Micro News - Mortgage News Daily

  21. Best practices: photography and your real estate brand | Inman News

  22. Pimco, BlackRock Seek to Bar California Mortgage Seizures - Bloomberg
    Pacific Investment Management Co. and BlackRock Inc. are among bond investors seeking a court order blocking Richmond, California, and Mortgage Resolution Partners LLC from seizing mortgages through eminent domain, saying the initiative would hurt savers and retirees.

  23. Best case: Rates drift lower from current levels | 2013-08-07 | HousingWire
    It seems that move-up and luxury builders are less susceptible to the consequences of higher mortgage rates than an entry-level buyer would be, according to Sterne Agee analyst Jay McCanless. Repeat homebuyers should have equity already built up from their previous homes, reducing monthly payments and improving affordability. In an analyst report from McCanless, he estimates the worst case scenario for mortgage rates as of now is that they advance to the high 5% to low 6% range which approximates the 265 basis points average mortgage rate . . .

  24. How To Take Care of a Rental Property Remotely, Landlord Rental Tips
    The biggest concern here is how the property can be managed remotely without paying huge property management and leasing fees to a real estate company.

  25. Top Ten Mistakes Businesses Make Regarding Insurance | McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC - JDSupra
    10. No Flood Insurance - The standard commercial property policy does not cover flood damage. To be covered for flood damage, a business owner has to purchase a separate flood...

  26. Koreans Look to the U.S. for Real Estate -
    So far this year, South Korea has become the biggest foreign investor in real estate world-wide.

  27. GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares, dollar drop on Fed tapering uncertainty - Yahoo! Finance UK
    'GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares, dollar drop on Fed tapering uncertainty' on Yahoo! Finance UK. The dollar fell to a seven-week low on Wednesday while U.S. and European stocks waned as investors mulled when the Federal Reserve may start to remove the massive stimulus it has injected into the economy ...

  28. Fed Will Need Treasury's Help Exiting QE - Business Insider
    A two-step plan.

  29. Moby on Photographing LA Architecture
    In addition to being an internationally successful musician, Moby is also an avid photographer. He began shooting photos at the age of 10, and has since he

  30. Ten forces forging China’s future | McKinsey & Company
    In this executive briefing, read highlights and takeaways from the 2013 McKinsey Quarterly special edition on China. A McKinsey Quarterly article.