News Alerts. Oct. 14, 2013. Afternoon Edition. #RealEstate

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  1. Is Houston’s landlord’s market here to stay? – Houston Business Journal

    Overall, whether it’s the Woodlands, the Galleria area or the Energy Corridor, while activity has slowed somewhat in the third quarter, the commercial real estate scene in Houston remains a landlord’s market, said Doug Little, managing director at Transwestern.

    “I think we’re going to see continued growth and demand,” he said. “I don’t think it will be as fever pitched as it’s been throughout the year. It will be a slowing of the market, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing.”

    “We’re going to see good job growth and I think we’ll see robust growth across all sectors, mainly energy,” he said.

    Source … g_call/2013/10/is-houstons-landlord-mark et-here-to.html?r=full

  2. New short sale rules send foreclosures skyrocketing in Nevada | Smart Real Estate Investing

    The burst of activity came before Nevada’s “Homeowner’s Bill of Rights” took effect Oct. 1. The law, Senate Bill 321, might stretch out the foreclosure process and make it easier to avoid foreclosure through renegotiating a loan or completing a short sale, in which a bank agrees to sell a house for less than what’s owed on the mortgage. The law requires lenders to have a single point of contact for struggling borrowers, who complain that banks are bogged down by bureaucracy and give conflicting information. It also bars bankers from trying to seize a person’s home while also pursuing a short sale at the same time, and it forces lenders to provide homeowners with foreclosure prevention options and other information before seizing a house.

    Source …  /new-short-sale-rules-send-foreclosures -skyrocketing-in-nevada

  3. L.A. County is among least affordable housing markets –

    Chad Sells agrees. The 31-year-old would like to move out of his two-bedroom Pomona apartment and purchase a house — a steadier environment for his 6-year-old son. But the single parent sees no way into the housing market on his $53,000 income as an information technology specialist.

    “It just seems impossible,” he said.

    The Trulia analysis assumes buyers get a 30-year fixed mortgage at a rate of 4.5% and put down 20%. The analysis also includes property tax and insurance. Housing is deemed affordable if it costs less than 31% of the median household income.

    Many middle-class families simply pay more than that, money that could have been spent elsewhere, stimulating the economy.

    “A lot of people spend 40% on their housing” in Southern California, said Richard Green, director of USC’s Lusk Center for Real Estate.

    Declining affordability is driven not only by rising values and higher mortgage rates but also a shortage of homes for sale. Investors have scooped up many lower-cost homes, including foreclosed properties, to rent or rehab and sell at higher prices. Many owners in more affordable neighborhoods remain underwater — owing more on their homes than they are worth — limiting their ability to sell.

    The lack of affordable housing in California creates a drag on the economy, said Christopher Thornberg, founding partner at Beacon Economics. Businesses and the public sector must pay employees more, he said, hampering the bottom line and swelling state and local budgets. Manufacturers, he said, have a tough time finding workers.

    Investors caused rising prices to get rolling and benefit by renting out their properties; but if they hadn’t started investing, the whole market would have stayed in a deep depression.

    Source … a te/la-fi-median-home-buyer-20131010,0,12 60288,full.story

  4. Calculated Risk: California State Controller: Revenue and Spending Tracking Budget, Warns on impact from Shutdown

    Another in a long (endless) list of reasons why the federal-government shutdown is a bad idea:

    Decisions or a stalemate in Washington related to defense outlays, research funds, Medicare, and other federal programs could ripple back to California in major ways.

    Just as the states are starting to recover … the House pulls the football away.

    Source … 10/california-state-controller-revenue-a nd.html

  5. The Dollar And The Debt Ceiling

    The dollar is the world’s go-to currency. But for how much longer? Will the dollar’s status as the only true global currency be irreparably damaged by the battle in the US Congress over raising the federal government’s debt ceiling? Is the dollar’s “exorbitant privilege” as the world’s main reserve currency truly at risk?

    To be sure, the purveyors of dollar doom and gloom have cried wolf before. When the subprime-mortgage crisis hit, it was widely predicted that the dollar would suffer. In fact, the greenback strengthened as investors seeking a safe haven rushed into US Treasury bonds. A year later, when Lehman Brothers failed, the dollar benefited from the safe-haven effect yet again.

    Data from the International Monetary Fund confirm that these shocks caused little (if any) decline in the dominance of the dollar in central banks’ holdings of foreign-currency reserves. Likewise, data gathered by the Bank for International Settlements show that the dollar dominates global foreign-exchange transactions as much as it did in 2007.

    But a default on US government debt precipitated by failure to raise the debt ceiling would be a very different kind of shock, with very different effects.

    Sane governments do not default when they have a choice — especially not when they enjoy the “exorbitant privilege” of issuing the only true global currency. We are about to find out whether the US still has a sane government.

    Yes, it’s that important, that big a deal.

    Source … -dollar-and-the-debt-ceiling/