Thursday, August 27, 2015

US economy much stronger than believed

There are many headwinds keeping U.S. growth more moderate than in the past–including leverage levels and an aging population—and the latest gross domestic product (GDP) revisions testified to this.

However, while the corridor for U.S. growth is likely to remain lower than in the past, I believe the persistent hand-wringing and skepticism regarding the U.S. economy is grossly overstated, especially when you consider the technology renaissance occurring around us today.

Read more... http://www.businessinsider.com/us-economy-much-stronger-than-believed-2015-8

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Single-Family Property Renters May Be More Likely to Buy a Home Than Those in Apartments

New research conducted by Freddie Mac released Tuesday indicates that people living in single-family rental (SFR) properties (a house, townhouse, or condo) may be more likely to buy a home than those living in apartments.

Freddie Mac's latest survey, conducted in June, found that overall, about 55 percent of renters in both single- and multifamily properties intend to continue renting in the next three years. When dividing up the two categories, however, the data indicated that 53 percent of renters in SFR properties intend to buy a house in the next three years compared to just 36 percent of multifamily renters who plan to buy in that period.

Read more... http://dsnews.com/news/08-25-2015/sfr-property-renters-may-be-more-likely-to-buy-a-home-than-those-in-apartments

New Home Sales Regain Momentum

While the disappointing new home sales reported last month for June were revised even lower today July sales redeemed at least some of the loss.  The Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development said that sales of newly constructed homes were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 507,000, a 5.4 percent increase from the revised June level of 481,000.  Last month the report had put new home sales at 482,000 units, a drop of 6.8 percent from May.

Read more... http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/08252015_new_home_sales.asp

Wall Street rally goes up in smoke

In a dramatic session, major indices turned negative in the final minutes of trading after previously climbing almost 3 percent.

Investors cited more worries that a slowdown in China could hobble global growth, even after the country's central bank cut interest rates on Tuesday for the second time in two months. The move came after Chinese stocks slumped 8 percent on Tuesday, on top of an 8.5 percent drop on Monday.

Read more... http://mobi.iol.co.za/#!/article/wall-street-rally-goes-up-in-smoke-1.1905661

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Regulators delay APS solar-fee decision

Utility regulators voted Tuesday to set hearings that could lead to a vote on higher fees for Arizona Public Service Co. customers who install solar, but only after an analysis of the costs and benefits of rooftop panels.

The regulators split 3-2 on the matter.

APS, the state Residential Utility Consumer Office and other utility supporters hoped the five elected Arizona Corporation Commission members would raise the fees that solar customers pay to an average of $21 from about $5 today.

Read more... http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/consumer/2015/08/19/regulators-delay-aps-solar-fee-decision/31963553/

Friday, August 21, 2015

Manufactured home industry pushes for GSE-backed loan programs

The manufactured-housing industry wants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to be required to fund higher-risk loans most commonly used to purchase mobile homes.

Industry representatives said this week that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the agency that oversees the government-sponsored enterprises, has been too slow to adopt a mandate in the 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) that required additional financing for the industry.

Read more... http://www.scotsmanguide.com/News/2015/08/Manufactured-home-industry-pushes-for-GSE-backed-loan-programs/?utm_source=TopNews082115&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=TopNews

REOs Are Back on the Rise

Foreclosure filings were on the rise in July, as bank repossessions rapidly began to tick up, according to RealtyTrac's July 2015 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.

Foreclosure filings – including default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions – were up 7 percent in July month-over-month and are up 14 percent from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac.

Read more... http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2015/08/20/reos-are-back-rise?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DailyRealEstateNews+%28Daily+Real+Estate+News%29

Home Sales Rise, Along With Bank Repossessions

The latest industry data finds more people purchasing existing homes and more lenders repossessing homes that fell into foreclosure.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that existing-home sales in July increased two percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million in July from a downwardly revised 5.48 million in June. The level of sales activity last month remained at the highest pace since February 2007 (5.79 million) and represents the tenth consecutive months of year-over-year sales.

Read more... http://nationalmortgageprofessional.com/news/55429/home-sales-rise-along-bank-repossessions

Japan's finance minister warns China on currency moves

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said Friday that recent moves by China to allow its currency to depreciate are a concern and could pose problems for Tokyo.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index fell 3 percent to 19,435.83 on Friday, slipping below the psychological 20,000 mark on widespread selling.
"Chinese factors are a big part of this, without a doubt," Aso said at a regular news briefing.

Read more... http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2015/Japan-s-finance-minister-says-China-s-currency-moves-a-concern-for-Tokyo/id-12828832fb994b9992aa1e3f415840e8

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Vietnam Devalues Dong for Third Time in 2015 on Yuan Fallout - Bloomberg Business

Vietnam devalued the dong for the third time this year and widened the currency’s trading band, the latest sign of stress in Asian exchange rates after China depreciated the yuan last week.
The State Bank of Vietnam weakened its reference rate by 1 percent to 21,890 dong a dollar and increased the scope for fluctuations to 3 percent on either side, after doubling the range on Aug. 12. The dong fell 1.2 percent to 22,360 as of 3:04 p.m. in Hanoi, extending its drop this month to 2.4 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Malaysia’s ringgit leads regional losses so far in August with a 6.4 percent slide.


Read more...Vietnam Devalues Dong for Third Time in 2015 on Yuan Fallout - Bloomberg Business

Monday, August 17, 2015

Hackers stole secrets for up to $100 million insider-trading profit: U.S

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An alliance of mainly U.S.-based stock traders and computer hackers in Ukraine made as much as $100 million in illegal profits over five years after stealing confidential corporate press releases, U.S. authorities said on Tuesday.

Prosecutors announced charges against nine people in an insider-trading case that marks the first time criminal charges have been brought for a securities fraud scheme involving hacked inside information, in this instance 150,000 press releases from distributors Business Wire, Marketwired and PR Newswire.

Read more... http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0QG1EY20150811

Plans for Arcadia Frank Lloyd Wright House include tours, weddings

Early plans for the David and Gladys Wright House envision the Arcadia home as a visitors' destination, including a shaded garden and underground education center for tours, performances and weddings.

Read more... http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2015/08/05/plans-arcadia-frank-lloyd-wright-house-include-tours-weddings/31170683/

West Valley cities seek to save desert land

Rocks stacked 3 feet high mark the remains of an ancient Native American marketplace on a dirt road in northern Peoria. Past saguaro cactus and spiky shrubs, cars zoom by on the freeway headed toward suburban neighborhoods that blur the landscape to the south.

"We're at a crossroads now," said Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat as she walked past the ruins. "We are at the situation where growth is about to boom again. We have a lot of areas that have beautiful land at stake right now, so if we don't do something to preserve and conserve those spaces, it will be lost to us forever."

Read more... http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2015/08/13/phoenix-west-valley-cities-seek-save-desert-land/31656917/

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Currency Pegs & Their Risks

The devaluation of the Chinese renminbi (Yuan) raises serious implications both economically and politically. The mere fact that a peg exists allows for political criticism as if this were some currency war. First, China acted with devaluing the renminbi for its economy to remain on an even keel, trying to keep growth and employment high. Secondly, China acted to help make its currency a pre-eminent global currency which helps promote the country's diplomatic goals and solidify the country's centrality to the global economy. However, these two goals can also emerge in conflict with one another.

Read more... http://www.armstrongeconomics.com/archives/35944

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Want to catch a Millennial homebuyer? Make ‘em laugh

If the only visitor to an open house is the cat from next door, then the real estate agent needs a new social media and marketing approach.

That was part of the advice Millennial real estate agent Wes Pinkston of Los Angeles gave to thousands of real estate executives, agents and entrepreneurs last week at Inman Connect in San Francisco. His comment drew laughs ... and nodding heads.

Read more... http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/real-estate/catherine-reagor/2015/08/07/humor-appeals-millennial-homebuyers/31266785/

Arizona developer, family plead guilty to 20 years of fraud

A Mohave County developer has admitted using other people's money to fund a lavish lifestyle as an international jet-setter and multimillionaire — and then filing a fake bankruptcy to try to get away with it.

John Hoover, owner of the El Rio Country Club and Golf Course in Mohave Valley, bought million-dollar homes in Arizona, Newport Beach and Paris. Records show he also owned a $150,000 Bentley, expensive artwork and jewelry and sent his daughter to a French school.

Read more... http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/2015/08/05/arizona-developer-john-hoover-guilty-plea-fraud/31135127/

SEC Adopts CEO Pay Ratio Rule, Five Years After It Became Law

A new federal rule will require public companies to list their chief executives' total annual compensation as a ratio to their workers' median pay, after the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted the rule Wednesday.

Today's vote comes five years after Congress approved the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which includes the pay ratio rule. The vote also comes nearly two years after the SEC formally proposed the requirement.

Read more... http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/08/05/429628037/sec-to-vote-on-requiring-companies-to-disclose-ceo-pay-ratio

Technology making it easier to submit mortgage documents, close on loans

Doug Johnson serves as the chief financial officer of two hospitals in the Wisconsin-Minnesota border area but doesn't consider himself to be especially tech-savvy.

Nevertheless, he was able to complete the entire mortgage-application process entirely online for an Arizona vacation home that he and his wife wanted to buy. That included shopping for interest rates and terms, inputting personal information and uploading the required supporting documents including copies of income-tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements and more.

Read more... http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/consumer/2015/08/07/technology-improves-home-mortgage-application-process/31293929/

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Chinese buyers feed new energy into Texas real estate

With investors nervously watching the Shanghai stock market, Chinese are the now biggest foreign buyers of American real estate, and they are setting their sights on the biggest state in the Lower 48.

Read more... http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/28/chinese-buyers-feed-new-energy-into-texas-real-estate.html

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Housing Market Is On Fire

We just got another sign the housing market is on fire.

On Wednesday, we learned that existing home sales jumped to the fastest pace since February 2007.

Sales rose 3.2% month-over-month to an annualized pace of 5.49 million.

Economists had forecast a rise of 0.9% to an annualized pace of 5.40 million.

Read more... http://www.businessinsider.com/existing-home-sales-july-22-2015-7?utm_source=trove&utm_medium=referral

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Owners turning to auctions to sell their high-end properties

EDWARDS, Colo. (AP) — Bob and Karin Weber built their dream home 14 years ago, creating an 11,000-square-foot mountaintop oasis. Now that the couple is in their 70s, they're ready to downsize and possibly move to nearby Vail.

After trying the traditional list-and-wait method of selling the 35-acre Elk Ridge Ranch, the Webers are putting their estate up for auction, hoping for a streamlined process and a more lucrative result.

Read more... http://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2015/08/01/owners-turning-to-auctions-to-sell-their-high-end-properties

Seniors’ Skyscraper on Tempe Town Lake

Plans are now moving forward for a high-rise senior-living complex and two high-end apartment buildings on some of Tempe's last remaining lakefront real estate.

Southbank is on the north side of Rio Salado Parkway about one-half mile east of Rural Road, flanked on two sides by Arizona State University's Karsten Golf Course. Eventually, the complex could include offices, hotels, shops and restaurants.

Read more... http://azbex.com/seniors-skyscraper-on-tempe-town-lake/

Down Payment Programs Not a Scam, FHA to Tell Watchdog

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Housing Administration is expected to rebuff a government watchdog report that criticized down payment assistance programs, questioning why low-income borrowers are charged nominally higher mortgage rates for such programs.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Inspector General took issue in a report earlier this month with the so-called "premium pricing" of two down payment assistance programs in Arizona.

Read more... http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/news/compliance/down-payment-programs-not-a-scam-fha-to-tell-watchdog-1057497-1.html?site=default_on&utm_campaign=origination%20news-jul%2031%202015&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&ET=nationalmortgage%3Ae4859235%3A3925073a%3A&st=email

Is it true? Is Valley homebuilding recovery here?

When a dozen people camped out to buy a new house in Mesa four months ago, it appeared to be a sign metro Phoenix's new-home market might soon rebound.

The numbers are in, and it was.

Read more... http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/real-estate/catherine-reagor/2015/07/31/metro-phoenix-home-building-recovering/30901395/

Boutique hotel, luxury homes replace PV blight

For more than a decade, the shuttered Mountain Shadows resort at the foot of Camelback Mountain was the Valley's own "paradise lost," a once-flourishing Eden fallen into development purgatory.

The opulence that made Paradise Valley's Mountain Shadows a premium destination upon opening in 1959 gave way to years of blight after Host Marriott closed the resort in 2004. Boarded-up buildings became public eyesores, left to rot on some of the Valley's most-coveted real estate.

Read more... http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/scottsdale/2015/07/30/arizona-camelback-mountain-boutique-hotel-luxury-homes-replace-pv-blight/30897021/

5 reasons to consider working with international buyers [feedly]

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5 reasons to consider working with international buyers
// Inman » Next

Are you set up for success in 2016? Join 2,500 real estate industry leaders Aug. 4-7, 2015, at Inman Connect in San Francisco. Get Connected with the people and ideas that will inspire you and take your business to new heights. Register today and save $100 with code Readers.

Takeaways:

The number of agents working with international clients rose by 7 percent from March 2014 to March 2015.

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