Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hispanic Homeownership Dropped to 49.1%


Homeownership fell in '08; Asians hit worst
By ALEX VEIGA (AP) – Sep 21, 2009

LOS ANGELES — Asians, many of them living in foreclosure-ravaged California, suffered the sharpest drop in homeownership last year, eclipsing declines felt by whites, blacks and Hispanics, according to new Census data.

The decline was surprising, because Asians tend to earn more than other minority groups and have less debt. But one out of three Asian homeowners lives in California, which has seen foreclosure rates skyrocket and home values plummet since the housing bubble burst. And that appears to have disproportionately exposed them to the effects from the housing collapse, experts suggested.

The U.S. homeownership rate fell to 66.6 percent last year, the lowest in six years, after hitting a peak of 67.3 percent in 2006, according to figures from the American Community Survey, which was released Monday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Homeownership for Asians fell 1.24 percentage points last year to 59.4 percent.

The decline was 0.88 percentage points for blacks to 45.6 percent. Hispanics experienced a similar decline, down 0.80 to 49.1 percent. Whites suffered the smallest decline, down 0.40 to 73.4 percent.

But because Asians only represent 3.3 percent of all U.S. homeowners, the decline in the number of black and white households was greater. The number of Hispanic homeowners actually rose, reflecting trends in immigration and higher birth rates.

Nevertheless, as a population group, Asian homeowners fared far worse than others.

That revelation surprised some experts such as Edward Wolff, an economist at New York University.

"Based on their income and relatively low debt, one would expect that they would have a smaller decline in homeownership," Wolff said.

The median annual household income for Asians was just over $70,000 last year, higher than for any other racial group.

"It's possible that it's a regional effect," Wolff suggested. "There's a high concentration of Asian-Americans in California, and California got particularly hard hit by property (price) declines and high foreclosure rates."

While foreclosures have been declining on a monthly basis in California this year, the state continues to have the most foreclosures in the country and one of the highest rates of foreclosure-related filings, according to RealtyTrac Inc.

The drop in homeownership is a reversal after the housing boom years, when minorities in the U.S. took advantage of easy access to financing and became homeowners.

Minorities haven't lost all the gains reaped during the housing boom years, but data from 2009 could begin to show otherwise, said demographer Mark Mather with the Population Reference Bureau in Washington D.C.

"So far these rates are still higher than they were back at the beginning of the decade, but it could be that this data are too young," he said. "We need to wait for the 2009 data because we're really just capturing part of the recession at this point. And the really high double-digit unemployment didn't hit until earlier this year."

Jennifer Nguyen and her husband Mike Truong are among this year's once-again renters, who will be counted in the 2009 Census survey that will be released next year.

The couple owned a townhome and sold it in 2004, making a $200,000 profit that they put toward a $555,000, three-bedroom, two-bath house in Anaheim two years later.

But financial problems mounted after Troung, a truck driver, saw business slow along with the economy. The couple fought to hang on to their home, but couldn't refinance because the property's value had dropped sharply. Attempts to get their mortgage loan modified also failed.

In June, the bank took possession and sold it at auction.

"At that moment my body was numb," Nguyen, 30, wrote in an e-mail. "Our first chapter of our life has been shredded and we are now ready for a new fresh start."

AP data specialist Allen Chen in New York contributed to this report.

On the Net:
Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov

Friday, September 25, 2009

Consumers Group Takes Mortgage Modification Programs to Task

By David Morrison
The National Consumer Law Center, a Washington based consumer protection organization released a 50 page report sharply criticizing federal, state and local mortgage modification programs for not really pushing mortgage servicers to help homeowners.

“Ultimately, under most of the existing foreclosure mediation programs servicer discretion prevails,” the report said in its executive summary. “If the programs continue to demand little or no accountability from servicers, they will likely go the way of other efforts to control foreclosures that relied on voluntary compliance by the lending industry. They will become another piece of imagery the industry uses to support its

claims that voluntary efforts work, that statutory and other government mandates for loan modifications are unnecessary, and that jargon about the benefits of communication can solve the foreclosure crisis.”

In order to better the process for consumers, the NCLC recommended forcing mortgage servicers to disclose more about their modification calculations, bargain in good faith and not allow judicial or non-judicial foreclosures to move forward unless the servicer can show it has tried in good faith to modify the mortgage.
The National Consumer Law Center, a Washington based consumer protection organization released a 50 page report sharply criticizing federal, state and local mortgage modification programs for not really pushing mortgage servicers to help homeowners.

“Ultimately, under most of the existing foreclosure mediation programs servicer discretion prevails,” the report said in its executive summary. “If the programs continue to demand little or no accountability from servicers, they will likely go the way of other efforts to control foreclosures that relied on voluntary compliance by the lending industry. They will become another piece of imagery the industry uses to support its

claims that voluntary efforts work, that statutory and other government mandates for loan modifications are unnecessary, and that jargon about the benefits of communication can solve the foreclosure crisis.”


In order to better the process for consumers, the NCLC recommended forcing mortgage servicers to disclose more about their modification calculations, bargain in good faith and not allow judicial or non-judicial foreclosures to move forward unless the servicer can show it has tried in good faith to modify the mortgage.

Source: Credit Union Times

RELN Weekly Real Estate Blog-Briefing


• Maine Warns of Phone Housing Scam
Homeowners in Maine have been receiving phone solicitations of fake foreclosure or refinancing help and the Maine Housing Authority is warning them to watch out for more housing scams.... Read more »

. Mortgage Applications Up Again After Rate Decline Read more »

. Home seminar offered by Hispanic agents
AZ Central.com - Craig Anderson - ‎Sep 23, 2009‎
The Hispanic Association of Real Estate Professionals event will be 10 am to 5 pm at Christown Spectrum Mall, 1703 W. Bethany Home Road. Read more »

Interested In Targeting The Latino Market?

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Another Sales Spike But Prices Down.OverView

Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes,
condominiums and co-ops – rose 7.2 percent to a seasonally
adjusted annual rate of 5.24 million units in July from a
level of 4.89 million in June, and are 5.0 percent above the
4.99 million-unit pace in July 2008. The last time sales rose
for four consecutive months was in June 2004, and the last time
sales were higher than a year earlier was November 2005.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said he is encouraged. “The
housing market has decisively turned for the better. A
combination of first-time buyers taking advantage of the housing
stimulus tax credit and greatly improved affordability conditions
are contributing to higher sales,” he said.

Total housing inventory at the end of July rose 7.3 percent to
4.09 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a
9.4-month supply at the current sales pace, which was unchanged from
June because of the strong sales gain. Raw inventory totals are
10.6 percent lower than a year ago when the number of unsold homes
was at a record.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was
$178,400 in July, which is 15.1 percent lower than July 2008.

In new sales there were also month-to-month increases in activity but
decreases from a year ago. Sales of new one-family houses in July 2009
were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000, according to
estimates released jointly August 26th by the U.S. Census Bureau and
the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 9.6
percent (±13.4%) above the revised June rate of 395,000, but is 13.4
percent (±12.9%) below the July 2008 estimate of 500,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in July 2009 was $210,100;
the average sales price was $269,200. The seasonally adjusted estimate
of new houses for sale at the end of July was 271,000. This represents
a supply of 7.5 months at the current sales rate.

There are several pieces of good news in these reports. The decline
in sales actvitydefinitely has stopped for at least the last several
months. In addition, total inventory in both resale and new homes
is slowly declining. Finally, prices are still dropping (good news
for buyers) but there is a good deal of analysis that points to a potential
bottom--whether temporary or more permanent--in the current environment.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

CLose More Leads With RELN's Solution! RE-Think Latino


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HomePath® Renovation Mortgage Financing, a Great Opportunity for a Home Buyers

By Bill Arce.
Fannie Mae offers buyers an opportunity to purchase their primary home in need of renovation to include the rehab cost in the home loan. This special financing is available if purchase a Fannie Mae home, make sure your real estate agent and lender are aware of this program.

This program is available only on homes you make your primary residence and offers these benefits:

•Financing to fund both your purchase and light renovation
•Low down payment and flexible mortgage terms (fixed-rate or adjustable-rate)
•Down payment (at least 3 percent) can be funded by your own savings; a gift; a grant; or a loan from a nonprofit, state or local government, or employer
•No mortgage insurance*
•HomePath Renovation Mortgage financing is available from several lenders, make sure to ask for a bilingual representative.

More Free Tips and Advise @ www.RealEstateLatino.com

Monday, September 14, 2009

Acculturation vs. Translation


Acculturation vs. Translation: Your Path to Cultivating the Latino Real Estate Market
by Bill Arce
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Make no mistake, the integration of generations and diverse countries of origin within the U.S. Latino market has created a complex culture that requires experience and research to understand, Real Estate Latino Network with over 5 years on the market can assist you reach this market of opportunity. The time to act is now! Visit www.RealEstateLatino.net for more information.

Cuatro razones por las que 2016 será el año para comprar casa en Estados Unidos

(CNNMoney) -  Si has estado renuente a comprar una casa, 2016 es el año para dar el paso, al menos en el mercado estadounidense. Las ta...