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Loan delinquency levels remain high, but are improving

The number of mortgages that are at least 30 days delinquent hit nearly 5.6 million in March, and LPS reports that the decline in delinquency levels for the month does not necessarily spell out a housing recovery.

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Loan delinquencies decline

According to Lender Processing Services’ (LPS’) new First Look report for March, although the percent of loans in the foreclosure process remain at a very high level, the percentage declined in March from February, dropping 6.3 percent, marking an 8.8 percent drop from March 2011. The number of properties that are 30 or more days delinquent or in foreclosure hit 5,591,000 in March.

LPS reported that the U.S. mortgage delinquency rate (loans 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure) fell to 7.09% from 7.57% in February, which is the lowest delinquency rate since August 2008. This is a marked improvement, as the percent of delinquent loans remains high above the normal rate between 4.5 percent to 5.0 percent and delinquencies peaked at 10.97 percent, so the volume is slowly getting back to what is considered normal.

Foreclosure pre-sale inventory remains steady

The total U.S. foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate is 4.14 percent, increasing only 0.1 percent from the month prior and dropping 1.6 percent from March 2011.

The ?number of properties that are 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure is 3,531,000 as of March, while properties 90+ days delinquent but not in foreclosure is at 1,643,000. There are 2,060,000 properties in foreclosure pre-sale inventory.

Florida and Wyoming stand out, but for opposite reasons

Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey and Illinois have the highest percentage of non-current loans while Montana, Alaska, South Dakota, Wyoming and North Dakota have the lowest percentage of non-current mortgages.

LPS’ report is based on their March 2012 month-end mortgage performance statistics derived from its loan-level database of nearly 40 million mortgage loans.

Future expectations

As banks reshuffle the decks after settling a historic the way forward, the foreclosure backlog will continue clearing up which will put more foreclosures on the books, but give a more realistic depiction of the housing market.

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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