News Alerts, Aug. 12, 2013: Real Estate Plus

Linking does not necessarily constitute endorsement. Where we've added text beyond the given site's default article-description, we've placed that added text in quotes. We've also added our own commentary where we were moved to do so. Enjoy (share on social networks if you appreciate PropertyPak's efforts to keep you informed):

    News Alerts, Aug. 12, 2013: Real Estate Plus

  1. The race to head the Federal Reserve: Summers v Yellen | The Economist

    "Janet Yellen, an esteemed economist and vice-chairman to current Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, has been dismissed as lacking "gravitas" in what could easily be mistaken for thinly veiled sexism (no woman has yet held the role). Another front-runner, the brilliant and polarising Larry Summers, is caricatured as a nightmare to work with and a handmaiden to Wall Street."

  2. Houserie | Five Main Reasons to Screen Tenants

    1) Tenant history will tell of any past issues. ...
    2) Late payments. ...
    3) Property damage or loss. ...
    4) Liability. ...
    5) Early lease termination. ...
    See the original post for details.

  3. How Tech Companies Are Potentially Exploding San Francisco's Mid-Market

    Gentrification Debate San Francisco style:

    "... critics are not as optimistic about the outcome and consider the exemption to be a form of corporate welfare. Gabriel Haaland, political director of SEIU Local 1021, openly disapproves of the direction in which Mid-Market is going. 'The path you have chosen is big business running the show,' he said. 'The path that you have taken will gentrify the neighborhood.'"

    "But is gentrification such a bad thing?" (

    This issue will go on so long as people feel pushed out by quickly rising prices and rents and with no good options but rather looking at worse conditions farther from services, etc.

  4. Bank of America, Wells Fargo cut mortgage banking jobs - Dallas Business Journal

  5. Europe's Fake Normal by Mohamed A. El-Erian - Project Syndicate

    "Long-struggling European citizens — especially the long-term unemployed — have yet to gain any sustained benefit from the austerity measures to which they have been subjected. And the result is not just general disappointment and worrisome social unrest. In the last few weeks, political stability in Greece and Portugal has been threatened as governments struggle with declining credibility and a rising popular backlash."

    "In essence, Europe (and the West more generally) owes its recent tranquility to a series of experimental measures by central banks to offset the troubling combination of too little demand to generate sufficient job creation, inadequate structural reforms to revamp growth engines, debt overhangs that undermine productive investment, and insufficient policy coordination. Consequently, the resulting surface calm masks still-worrisome economic and financial fundamentals."

    Site's post description: This summer's sense of economic normality in Europe is neither natural nor necessarily tenable in the long term, because it reflects temporary and potentially reversible factors. If Europe does not return to addressing its economic challenges in a more comprehensive manner, the current calm may quickly give way to renewed turmoil.

  6. BBC News - Is India in danger of another crisis?

    Site's post description: The new head of India's central bank [Raghuram Rajan] has a huge challenge ahead of him, and how he manages it could have global implications given the importance of India in the world economy.

    "India still has a persistent current account deficit - the widest measure of trade that includes investment flows. And a weak rupee doesn't help with the cost of borrowing to finance that deficit."

    "The world will certainly be watching how Asia's third largest economy fares, as this is likely to be only the beginning since the Fed will at some stage reverse its extraordinary injection of cheap cash instead of just talking about tapering the amount injected each month."

  7. The Trick For Beating Lenders And Their Rising Closing Costs

    Site's post description: A study shows mortgage closing costs 6 percent higher in 2013. Here's what to do, and how you can beat the increase.

    "... just ignore the individual line items which make up lender's origination fees completely. Instead, savvy shopper should focus on the sum of origination charges -- it's inclusive of all fees and makes for simpler comparisons."

    "In many refinance scenarios, zero-closing cost mortgages are an economically-sound decision. When you pay no costs, you get a refinance with infinite ROI -- there are measurable monthly savings and no closing costs to recoup. You break-even on the mortgage before it ever even starts.

    "On purchases, they can work out, too. Paying fewer closing costs means that you can increase the size of your home downpayment, or reserve some money for repairs."

  8. 2013 Spring Selling Season Was Hottest Since 2004, As Recovery Accelerates & Widens | Zillow Real Estate Research

    "The Zillow Rent Index (ZRI) covers 496 metro areas, and 57% of those metros reported annual increases in rents in June. As a point of comparison, nearly 72% of the metro areas covered by the ZHVI experienced annual home value increases. Nationally, rents increased 1.6% in June from year-ago levels, denoting a slowing. This is a significant annual decline in the rental appreciation rate from its peak appreciation of 6.2% nationally in September 2012. This development combined with rising home values is another contributor to investors exiting some markets as they had often bought for-sale inventory to convert them to for-rent properties."

    "The U.S. housing market as a whole is currently not experiencing a bubble, but in many places it may feel like one, with some markets (Sacramento, Las Vegas, San Francisco) experiencing annual home value appreciation approaching 30 percent."

  9. macroblog: Myth and Reality: The Low-Wage Job Machine

    Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

    "The lowest-wage sectors have consistently produced 40 percent to 50 percent of the job gains in recent recoveries. Though the percentage was slightly higher in July, it was not materially so. And this recovery does not look at all unusual when taken as a whole."

  10. Cities in China brace for financial drought|Finance|Business|

    "Many municipalities in China are feeling the squeeze on their finances, and it is not just because of the economic slowdown. A decrease in disposable funds, administrative approvals leading to lower fee income, transferred payments by the central government, as well as the maturity of municipal bonds has gotten their buttons close to popping."

    "53% of municipal bonds will mature by the end of this year, forcing many municipalities to refinance their debts by issuing new bonds."