Thursday, July 12, 2012

More Americans Expect to See Home Prices Rise

Seventy-two percent of Americans say they expect property values to improve in the next two years, according to the Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey of home buyers and sellers.
As such, nearly 70 percent believe real estate makes a good investment, despite the market volatility over the last few years, according to the survey.
“Americans are feeling better about home ownership and the ongoing recovery taking place in residential real estate,” says Earl Lee, president of Prudential Real Estate. “Many are increasingly optimistic about their personal circumstances and, with housing affordability near all-time highs, they want to act on the opportunity.”
Many of the Americans surveyed are placing a higher priority on the emotional draws to home ownership over financial reasons. For example, Americans reported wanting a home so they can have more “control over living space,” “more space for family,” a “safer neighborhood,” and a “good place to raise a family.”
“Normalcy is returning to the U.S. real estate market and more people are buying homes for traditional reasons — to raise a family, feel secure and build a future,” Lee says. “Every last emotion is rolled up into owning a home — it’s where life happens — so it’s no surprise that the emotional side outweighs financial reasons for owning a home among respondents.”
Still, many survey respondents reported the housing crisis reminds them to take more caution when buying and selling a home.
Source: “Survey Shows Americans Are Increasingly Confident About Home Ownership,” RISMedia (July 11, 2012)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Foreclosure Inventory Remains Near All-Time Highs

The U.S. foreclosure inventory — consisting of loans that have been referred to an attorney for foreclosure but have not yet completed the process through a sale — hit 4.1 percent of all active mortgages in May, holding near-record highs.
Lender Processing Services reported significantly higher numbers in judicial foreclosure states, at 6.5 percent of all loans, compared to non-judicial states, where the foreclosure inventory settled at 2.5 percent.
Also, according to LPS, more than half of loans in foreclosure in the judicial states have been delinquent for at least two years, compared to just over 30 percent in non-judicial states.
Source: “Foreclosure Inventory Remains Near All-Time Highs,” Inman News (07/09/12)

NYC Mayor's Challenge to Architects: Build Smaller

New York City is already known for its small apartments, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants apartments to get even smaller.
He is challenging architects through his competition, “adAPT NYC,” to submit design plans for apartments that are 275 to 300 square feet. The competition is part of Bloomberg’s efforts to create more affordable, one- to two-person housing. His goal is 165,000 affordable, smaller homes by 2014.
New York City faces a shortage of housing for one- to two-person households, Bloomberg says. The city has about 1.8 million one to two-person households but has about a million studio and one-bedroom apartments available. Bloomberg says the city needs to address the shortage.
Eighty of the small apartments plans from the competition will be constructed in a building on a city-owned lot in Manhattan over the next two months. The apartments then will be sold or rented.
Source: “NYC Mayor Challenges Apartment Builders to Think Smaller,” Reuters (July 9, 2012)