Weekly Recap (07/11/11-07/16/11)by Tim Manni
There’s a thin line between a cash gift and loan fraud.
HSH.com contributing writer Marcie Geffner explains how to walk that thin line safely in her latest article for HSH titled, “Is it a gift or mortgage fraud“:
If you’re ready to buy a house, but don’t have enough cash to make a down payment and cover your closing costs, you might want to ask your parents or other family members to make up the difference with a monetary gift.
The longer foreclosed homes remain on the market, the worse off we all are (simple as that). While homeowners struggle to stay afloat thanks to distressed real estate bringing down local home prices, potential buyers of these properties face different issues, seen and unseen.
As these foreclosures sit vacant, their landscaping becomes overgrown and they’re open to squatters and vandalism. However, another new problem is growing inside these homes: mold.
Do foreigners play a big role in U.S. real estate?
The answer is “absolutely.”
A new study by the National Association of Realtors estimates that foreign purchases of U.S. real estate amounted to $41 billion in the one year period that ended in March. That’s about 3.8 percent of all existing home sales.
In addition, recent immigrants–those who have been in the U.S. for less than two years–purchased property worth another $41 billion, according to the study.
HSH.com VP Keith Gumbinger provides us with a “friendlier” version of the June Fed minutes which begin to describe how it will begin to remove itself from the market and the impact it may have.
The minutes from the June Fed meeting were released yesterday, revealing a general format for how the Federal Reserve will end and exit all the extraordinary programs (”policy accommodation”) it employed to help push the economy out of the recession.
It’s all about timing
To begin, the Federal Open Market Committee will determine the timing and pace of policy normalization. (Note: Since adjusting policy as needed is what they do, this seems like it was unnecessary to include in the statement.)
If you’ve heard people discussing the “housing recovery” or that we are seeing the recession’s end, you might reasonably wonder what they’re talking about. If so, you’re not alone.
“There never was a housing recovery,” said Scott Simon, head of the mortgage- and asset-backed securities teams with PIMCO, a massive investment management firm with nearly $1.3 trillion in assets.
Friday’s employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was a huge let down, in no way following the cues from Thursday’s ADP report which painted a picture of stronger national job growth.
The mere 18,000 new hires in June, following two months worth of downward revisions, has really taken the steam out of any possible rally in the employment sector, and continues to foster some mortgage rate volatility at the moment.