Friday, 28 September 2012

Know anyone who wants a GREAT pied-a-terre in DTLA?
Corner loft in the Sexy Eastern Columbia building...1 BR, 
Furnished, linens & dishes included
$3150 per month--conference/dining table--plenty of space
 for artist to create.
...Rooftop pool, fitness center, great lobby
Fun, social building--wine club, book club, gardening club,
and more....

who do YOU know?

Attention Demolition Enthusiasts: the UNNC has important news & info concerning Carmageddon, the Sequel

Wilshire Ramps 

The September 29 and 30 demolition of the north side of Mulholland Bridge can be described by the 53 hours the work is expected to require or the approximately 4,000 cones to be used during the closures.
Gardeners might be impressed by the 1,200 cubic yards of soil to be spread under the bridge, to a height of approximately four feet, to cushion the freeway surface from falling debris.
If you enjoy trivia, you might appreciate that 38,000 pounds of miscellaneous iron and steel will be removed. The metal jackets surrounding the four pillars to be removed that weekend weight 90,333 pounds each, a total of 361,332 pounds. As a comparison, the Washington Monument, according to the National Park Service, weighs 162,240,000 pounds.
If you want to see the demolition up close, will feature a live feed of the demolition, beginning very early Saturday morning, September 29. If demolitions do not interest you, Metro offers dozens of discounted offers and events through its Eat, Shop and Play Locally program that weekend.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Better Late Than Never

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced today that the final components of the Homeowner Bill of Rights have been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, to take effect January 1, 2013.

“California has been the epicenter of the foreclosure and mortgage crisis,” said Attorney General Harris. “The Homeowner Bill of Rights will provide basic fairness and transparency for homeowners, and improve the mortgage process for everyone.”

Designed to prohibit numerous unfair bank practices that pushed many thousands of Californians into needless foreclosures, the law restricts lenders from initiating foreclosure on a homeowner while simultaneously negotiating a loan modification on said home...a wildly popular practice in our experience. 

The new law also guarantees distressed homeowners a single point of contact with their lender, thus avoiding the temptation for lenders to simply pass borrowers around the horn of bureaucracy from department to department, lulling them into complacency while initiating foreclosure proceedings.

The final components enacted today include:

SB 1474, giving the Attorney General leeway to use a statewide grand jury to indict financial criminals with victims in multiple counties,

AB 1950, extending the statute of limitations on mortgage-related crimes to three years,

and AB 2610, requiring buyers of foreclosed homes to give tenants at least 90 days notice prior to starting eviction proceedings.

All steps in the right direction for sure, but one wonders why such regulations are only being considered AFTER such a crisis...

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


This article rings true. The ever-expanding arsenal of new tech tools are precisely that--tools to serve a trade based in old-fashioned, 1-on-1 dialogue between client and professional. Surely such tools are invaluable in collecting information and dispersing it to clients and colleagues quickly, but their purpose is to augment, not replace, that old school, personal touch. Whatever happened to the chat-and-a-handshake?

"In the last few years real estate has changed more radically than ever before. Externals in the economy such as high unemployment, a stagnant economy, lack of corporate transferees, high gasoline prices, foreclosures and short sales that never close, homes that do not appraise and buyers that do not qualify for a loan on the last day have taken a heavy toll on our industry both in rank and file membership and real estate offices and brokerages. As agents, we have become gun--shy because we are afraid of alienating those dwindling ranks of buyers and now we are afraid to ask real questions and meet them face to face. We've shied away from dialog because we are afraid of more rejection and failure.

Dialog is a lost art! The new buzz words in real estate are 'Text me, go to my web, make your loan application online, see the attached file, or please electronically sign the contracts…!' However such impersonal communication and service may not be the right answer to closing more business. Erroneously, our industry has embraced the notion that Internet, social media and Blogging are the new bonding opportunities and they've replaced those 1--on--1 relationships that we employed so successfully just a short while ago. They have not! They are just tools that are being improperly used to facilitate the marketing and sales process, but they may not increase your bottom line. Perhaps they are beneficial tools for business, but they cannot replace the personal touch!..."

Published: September 26, 2012


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Received a a wonderfully interesting phone call today from a blogger who researches historic LA,...and had a lengthy conversation with him...more info on his blogs coming soon!

also interviewed this afternoon by a journalist from USC's Anneberg School for NeonTommy--stay tuned!

A Time To Lend

Following the Sept 19 post re: NAR's call for more "sensible" lending standards, yesterday LPS released its first look data for the month of August, indicating a further fall in the total delinquency rate to 6.87%, down 2.3% from July.  Declining delinquency, historic mortgage rates, a market slow to turn...the time seems ripe for lending...turn! turn! turn!

Delinquencies Fall Further in LPS First-Look Data 

"Loan delinquency in the United States continued to drop in the month of August, according to first-look data from Lender Processing Services (LPS).

According to data released Monday, the total delinquency rate (for loans 30 or more days past due but not in foreclosure) was 6.87 percent in August, down 2.3 percent from July. Year-over-year, delinquencies fell 10.6 percent.

An estimated 3,430,000 properties were 30 days or more past due (but not in foreclosure) at the end of August. Approximately 1,520,000 were 90 or more days delinquent but not in foreclosure.

A total of 5,450,000 properties were 30 or more days overdue or in foreclosure.

The foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate fell 1.0 percent from July, with the number of properties estimated at 2,020,000. Yearly, the inventory rate dropped 2.0 percent. The estimated foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate was 4.04 percent.

Nevada and Florida once again made the list of the top five states with the highest percentage of non-current loans. They were joined by Mississippi, New Jersey, and New York.

The list of states with the lowest percentage of delinquent loans included Montana, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wyoming, all of which consistently rank near the top."

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Fixed Mortgage Rates Find New Lows in Wake of QE3 Announcement

The Federal Reserve’s announcement confirming a third round of quantitative easing sent long-term mortgage rates tumbling to all-new record lows this week.

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed a drop in both the 30-year and 15-year fixed. According to the survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.49 percent (0.6 point) for the week ending September 20, down from 3.55 percent the week before.

The 15-year FRM also fell this week, averaging 2.77 percent (0.6 point). The previous survey showed an average of 2.85 percent.

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) saw some slippage, however. The 1-year ARM saw no change from last week, averaging 2.61 percent (0.4 point). The 5-year ARM actually increased, rising to 2.76 percent (0.6 point) from 2.72 percent before.

The Fed’s announcement adds to the other good news the housing market has been seeing, said Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist at Freddie Mac.

“Following the Federal Reserve’s announcement of a new bond purchase plan, yields on mortgage-backed securities fell, bringing average fixed-mortgage rates to their all-time record lows, which should aid in the ongoing housing recovery,” Nothaft said. “New construction on one-family homes rebounded in August, rising by 5.5 percent to the fastest pace since April 2010. In addition, existing home sales increased by 7.8 percent in August to its strongest pace since May 2010.”

Bankrate’s weekly survey showed drops in all categories. The 30-year fixed plummeted to 3.70 percent from 3.81 percent last week, while the 15-year fixed fell to 2.95 percent from 3.04 percent. Meanwhile, the 5/1 ARM dropped to 2.69 percent from 2.75 percent.

While the new stimulus may be good for housing, Bankrate wondered if the Fed’s plan will be able to achieve its intended goal.

“Unhappy with the pace of economic recovery or job growth, the Fed felt compelled to take additional measures, even if those measures will be more effective at boosting the stock market and reducing interest rates than the stated intentions of lifting economic output and aiding job growth,” Bankrate said in a release.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Need Support Letters
Trader Joe's and Nike Town have approached the Council Office with interest in locating at District Square (Crenshaw and Rodeo; where Ralph's is located) This entire site is going to be redeveloped; Rodeo to Starbuck's; Crenshaw to the alley.
Since they have shown interest, we want to show them we are interested. We would like letters, emails from community groups and individual residents that express support for these two stores.
Please make the support for Trader Joe's and/or Nike Town in separate emails or letters so that we can pass them on to the correct entity.
Thank you so much.
Pass this along to all on your list and we would like to have them within a week to 10 days. Thanks again.

Sylvia Lacy
District Office Director, Council District 10
President, Los Angeles City Council 
1819 S. Western Avenue 90006
Phone: 323-733-8233 Fax: 323-733-5833
Visit CD 10's Website

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Home Sales and Job Creation would Rise with Sensible Lending Standards

WASHINGTON (September 17, 2012) – New survey findings, combined with an analysis of historic credit scores and loan performance, show home sales could be notably higher by returning to reasonably safe and sound lending standards, which also would create new jobs, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said there would be enormous benefits to the U.S. economy if mortgage lending conditions return to normal.  “Sensible lending standards would permit 500,000 to 700,000 additional home sales in the coming year,” he said.  “The economic activity created through these additional home sales would add 250,000 to 350,000 jobs in related trades and services almost immediately, and without a cost impact.”

A monthly survey* of Realtors® shows widespread concern over unreasonably tight credit conditions for residential mortgages.  Respondents indicate that tight conditions are continuing, lenders are taking too long in approving applications, and that the information lenders require from borrowers is excessive.  Some respondents expressed frustration that lenders appear to be focusing only on loans to individuals with the highest credit scores.

Even though profits in the financial industry have climbed back strongly to pre-recession levels, lending standards still remain unreasonably tight.

Yun said all it takes is a willingness to recognize that market conditions have turned in the wake of an over-correction in home prices, with all of the price measures now showing sustained gains.  “There is an unnecessarily high level of risk aversion among mortgage lenders and regulators, although many are sitting on large volumes of cash which could go a long way toward speeding our economic recovery.  A loosening of the overly restrictive lending standards is very much in order,” he said.

Respondents to the NAR survey report that 53 percent of loans in August went to borrowers with credit scores above 740.  In comparison, only 41 percent of loans backed by Fannie Mae had FICO scores above 740 during the 2001 to 2004 time period, while 43 percent of Freddie Mac-backed loans were above 740.

In 2011, about 75 percent of total loans purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are now a smaller market share, had credit scores of 740 or above.

There is a similar pattern for FHA loans.  The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has defined a prime loan as having a FICO score of 660 and above.  However, the average FICO score for denied applications on FHA loans was 669 in May of this year, well above the 656 average for loans actually originated in 2001.

Loan performance over the past decade shows the 12-month default rate averaged just under 0.4 percent of mortgages in 2002 and 2003, which is considered normal.  Twelve-month default rates peaked in 2007 at 3.0 percent for Fannie Mae loans and 2.5 percent for Freddie Mac loans, clearly showing the devastating impact of risky mortgages.

Yun said home buyers in recent years have been highly successful.  Since 2009, the 12-month default rates have been abnormally low.  Fannie Mae default rates have averaged 0.2 percent while Freddie Mac’s averaged 0.1 percent, which are notable given higher unemployment in the timeframe.

Under normal conditions, existing-home sales should be in the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million.  “Sales this year are projected to rise 8 to 10 percent.  Although welcoming, this still represents a sub-par performance of about 4.6 million sales,” Yun said.  “These findings show we need to return to the sound underwriting standards that existed before the aberrations of the housing boom and bust cycle, and thoroughly re-examine current and impending regulatory rules that may cause excessively tight standards.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

# # #

*Data derived from a monthly survey for the Realtors® Confidence Index based, on over 3,000 member responses, posted at

Monday, 17 September 2012

Why FHA Buyers Should Purchase Soon!!!


In case you did not hear, the FHA will probably be raising its monthly mortgage insurance "MIP" premiums yet again. "The FHA Emergency Fiscal Solvency Act of 2012" (H.R.4264) has overwhelmingly passed the House and is on its way to the senate. Among other powers, the bill grants the FHA authority to raises its monthly mortgage insurance premiums to as high as 2.05% -- nearly twice the 1.25% rate most FHA-insured homeowners pay today. This would be the highest annual MIP increase in FHA history. For example, on a $400k home with the new monthly MIP of 2.05%, a buyer will pay an extra $267 a month.

Why are the FHA doing this, quite simply they need to shore up dwindling reserves and prevent a bail out! Increasing the monthly mortgage insurance "MIP" premiums is the easiest way to raise money.

*This is a clear signal from the FHA to the housing market that they will be increasing their mortgage insurance premiums "MIP" soon, just as they telegraphed 4 times already in the recent past (see below)

Recent FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium Changes!

The FHA is no stranger to changing MIP rates. Since 2008, the agency has changed its monthly mortgage insurance premiums four times.

In 2008, the FHA charged 0.50% in MIP to home buyers using 30-year fixed rate mortgages and a 3.5% down payment. Since then, those rates have climbed.

In 2009, the FHA charged 0.55 percent
In 2010, the FHA charged 0.90 percent
In 2011, the FHA charged 1.10 percent
In 2012, the FHA charged 1.25 percent (or 1.50 percent in high-cost areas)

If a buyer has been holding off on purchasing a home, now might be a good time to start looking soon before they get stuck with this increase! Of course FHA mortgage interest rates may be dropping, but they're not dropping as fast as FHA mortgage insurance premiums may rise.

You can check out details of the FHA Emergency Fiscal Solvency Act of 2012 here

Please feel free to contact me with any questions

Michael Deery