News Alerts. Sept. 25, 2013. Evening Edition. #RealEstate

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  1. Investing in Real Estate Rentals | Windermere | Windermere Real EstateNews Alerts. Sept. 25, 2013. Evening Edition. #RealEstate

    Real estate investments are a large percentage of all home sales, accounting for 24 percent of real estate transactions in 2012, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. If you are looking to feather your retirement nest, rental properties can provide an additional source of monthly income. They’re also a good way to diversify you[r] investment portfolio if your 401(k) or other retirement plans are primarily held in stocks and bonds.

    To determine if investing in a rental property is the right choice for you, here are a few things to consider.

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  2. Latvian lessons: Extreme economics | The Economist News Alerts. Sept. 25, 2013. Evening Edition. #RealEstate

    Interesting point:

    Precisely because it is so small, Latvia had more scope than larger countries to adjust through emigration: its population has shrunk by almost a tenth since 2007.

    Read the source article …

  3. Exit-path implications for collateral chains | vox News Alerts. Sept. 25, 2013. Evening Edition. #RealEstate

    This is an excellent overview by Peter Stella.

    QE is still on, but central banks are pondering exit pathways. Exit requires vacuuming up excess reserves, winding down massive securities holdings, and restoring normal interest rates — all without killing the recovery. This column points to the importance of a seemingly technical issue — the impact of the exit on the supply of high-quality collateral. This matters since collateral plays a critical role in today’s credit and money creation processes. When reducing excess reserves, the ‘how’ matters as much as the ‘when’ and ‘how much’.

    There has been talk at the Fed of simply letting the bonds mature. The Fed could also even forgive some debt. The things the Fed could do are only limited by the statutes and imaginations of those in charge.

    Read the source article …

  4. The ignorance of markets News Alerts. Sept. 25, 2013. Evening Edition. #RealEstate

    To me, the behaviour of markets in relation to monetary policy suggests that most traders and strategists haven’t a clue how it works. They base their strategies on irrational assumptions formed from prior beliefs, many of which are known to be wrong – such as the widespread expectation that QE will increase inflation when there is not a shred of evidence that it has ever created significant inflation in any country where it has been used for any length of time; the irrational belief that excess reserves necessarily lead to more bank credit, when the fact is that banks cannot and do not lend out reserves; and the equally irrational belief that rising bond yields are always a bad sign for an economy, when for developed economies in a slump rising bond yields can actually indicate that economic prospects are improving. This last is particularly irritating, because trading strategists of all people really should understand the pro-cyclical nature of bond investments. People invest in bonds when they have little confidence and are therefore risk averse. QE leans against this tendency by reducing the yields on bonds to encourage investors to diversify into riskier assets. And it has achieved this, but unfortunately the result has not been increased domestic investment: instead the money has gone into emerging markets. Hence Carney’s change of strategy.

    Actually, Frances Coppola is mistaken on one point.

    it’s not that banks don’t lend reserves. They don’t, but it’s that they can make more money doing other things right now than lending against reserves, on which they are also earning interest from the Fed.

    If regulations tighten so that banks can’t make so much elsewhere and if good creditors are available and want to borrow at rates where the spread above what the Fed is paying on excess reserves is good enough and if the Fed still has huge excess reserves, then banks will lend against those reserves, in which case, they won’t be excess anymore but regular.

    Read the source article …

  5. Phoenix area sees dramatic drop in empty houses News Alerts. Sept. 25, 2013. Evening Edition. #RealEstate

    PHOENIX — More than 100,000 houses stood vacant across the Phoenix area barely three years ago — roughly one of every 10.

    Today, it’s more like one out of every 100.

    Where have all the empty houses gone?

    …buyers and renters live in those places — in properties re-floored, re-countertopped, repainted and re-landscaped. The number of empty houses in the Phoenix area today stands at about 10,000, according to an Arizona Republic analysis of housing data.

    “About 25,000 to 30,000 vacant houses is normal and healthy for metro Phoenix,” said economist Elliott Pollack. “More new houses will need to go up in 2014 to meet population growth.”

    He, too, said the increase in new construction will be gradual over the next few years. Even though the market will continue to improve, he said it will be “a long slow recovery.”

    Read the source article …

  6. Multifamily Construction Remains Brisk | Development content from National Real Estate Investor News Alerts. Sept. 25, 2013. Evening Edition. #RealEstate

    Make no mistake—developers are building a lot of new apartments. But demand is more than strong enough to absorb the new supply, according to the latest from leading apartment analysts.

    “We are having a very stable recovery. Our fundamental look very positive, very strong over the next seven, eight, ten years,” says John Sebree, vice president and national director of the national multi housing group for Marcus & Millichap.

    The apartments in the first wave of new construction are already opening their doors. Developers will finish an estimated 145,000 new units of multifamily housing this year. That’s well above the level new construction over the last few years. So far, demand for apartments is easily absorbing the new supply. The percentage of vacant apartments remains hovers at just 4.7 percent, according to Marcus & Millichap.

    Developers continue to start construction of new apartments that will probably open two years from now—though the volume of these new projects started this summer is slightly less than researchers anticipated.

    Read the source article …

  7. NAR Objects to DeMarco’s Rumored Loan Limit Changes News Alerts. Sept. 25, 2013. Evening Edition. #RealEstate

    This is interesting.

    The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) sent a strongly worded letter to Edward J. DeMarco, Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency yesterday, directed at several issues impacting the cost and potential availability of credit. A particular target of the letter is DeMarco’s rumored intentions to lower loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSE) loans. Gary Thomas, NAR president said the letter was intended “to raise concerns about continued attempts to increase the cost and reduce access to conventional mortgages for an ever increasing amount of borrowers.” He specifically alluded to a September 8 article in the Wall Street Journal which stated that DeMarco would reduce the conforming loan limit, currently set at $417,000, notwithstanding the statutory prohibitions against such a change.

    Thomas noted that DeMarco had not yet made public any legal theory for overriding the statutory prohibition but doubted that he had the authority. Congress sets the loan limits and adjusts them annually and after an effort by the FHFA predecessor agency OFHEO to unilaterally reduce limits in 2007 Congress made its policy against such reductions permanent in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA).

    Thomas’s letter acknowledges the broad authority granted FHFA as conservator of the GSEs but said NAR believes it is required to exercise it within the statutory framework established by the GSE’s Charter Acts.

    Thomas said the supposition that higher costs for GSE loans will help return the private sector to the mortgage market runs contrary to history: In the 1990s the GSEs had more than a 60% share of the market, FHA and other federal programs had approximately a 20% share, and the private sector had less than a 20% share.

    Where do you come down on this issue/debate?

    Read the source article …