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Housing News: October 28, 2009 October 28, 2009

Posted by John Watch in AccuriZ News, AccuriZ Reports, News Feed.
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We take a “closer” look on real estate and mortgage news!



Housing News: 10/13/09 October 13, 2009

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For statistical reports on property data from public records and property valuation click here.

Treasury to Announce New Program to Avoid Foreclosure

FHA Head Rejects Calls for Higher Down Payments

Housing In Crisis

Mortgage Rates Are Not As Low As Newspaper Are Reporting

Real Estate Mania: Bulls and Bears

Jumbo Loan Rates Dip Below 6%, Lowest in Four Years

Mortgage Assistance Program

Banks Getting Better at Processing Foreclosures

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Manhattan Apartment Market’s Quick Rebound October 8, 2009

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It’s good to see industry analysts confirming what we predicted roughly two months ago. A recent MSNBC articleindicates a surprisingly quick rebound in the Manhattan apartment market as of late. As consumer confidence builds, stability strengthens in the market as stated in our August Manhattan Condo Report and NYC Square Footage and Median Price Differentials report.

In our August report, we projected a sales activity and property values increase in the months of July, August and September.

Source: AccuriZ.com

The recent MSNBC article indicated a sales increase of apartments and co-ops between 46 and 69 percent from the second to the third quarter, with the number of New York’s unsold apartments falling from the peaks of April. Our projections of a 4th Quarter level of stability are appearing to be valid. In the real estate market there are few trusted sources and AccuriZ has been proven to be an authoritative source consistently.

For more statistical reports on property data from public records and property valuations click here.

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Mortgage Delinquencies Rising September 30, 2009

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The housing market needs mortgage assistance. As we push towards recovery, the rising delinquency rates from borrowers remains the elephant in the room. Today’s news of Fannie and Freddie Delinquencies Moving into Uncharted Territory highlights this point. According to the article, the delinquency rate in single-family home loans backed or held by Fannie Mae crossed over 4% in July for the first time. Freddie Mac reported a rise to 3.13% in August. As loans approach recasting for many borrowers – especially borrowers with “Alt-A” loans – potential recovery in the market will dampen.

This Mortgage Assistance Program looks to curtail rising foreclosure rates by keeping homeowners in their homes. If structured correctly, homeowners can sustain a monthly mortgage payment. Here is an example of how it can work:

• Mr. and Mrs. Z have a mortgage payment of $1,170 ($200,000 loan with 30 year payout at 5.75% interest).

• The Z’s lose their job and can only pay $470, so the government pays the difference of $700

• The Z’s remain homeowners and work through their problem. It takes the Z’s 10 months to get back on their feet, the government paid out $7,000 and now the Z’s owe the government.

• But the government says okay, you can start paying us back in seven years and the payment will be over 10 years at an interest rate of 3%.

See the rest of the Program here. While there are some obstacles to overcome with this program, it can be done.

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Construction in a Different Direction: Infrastructure September 24, 2009

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The Housing in Crisis report showed that at the end of 2008, we had an excess of 5  million vacant homes on the market (excluding vacation homes and foreclosures). During this second quarter, about 18.7 million vacant housing units remained on the market (including foreclosures, residences for sale and vacation homes) based on property data from public records. With incentives like the $8,000 tax credit, there has been a push for new home construction, even if the 581,000 new single family homes this year is a dismal comparison to the booming days of 2005/2006.

New construction creates employment and stimulates growth, which are all positive necessities. In the real estate market, housing starts and building permits are signs of recovery, as we are witnessing today. But with the national population growth at about 4 million people annually and a swelling number of vacant units, it will take at least three more years before true market levels begin to appear. The housing market does not need to cease construction, but construction directed at different sectors of the ecnonomy could provide the same employment without further straining the housing market.

America faces serious problems with deteriorating roads, highways and bridges. In January, the American Society of Civil Engineers produced a Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, raising critical concerns. The report states that in New York, 42% of bridges are structurally deficient on functionally obsolete. This is just a small fraction of the problems faced all over the country. Construction in these areas is not only critical for our current downturn, but for generations of Americans to come.

Until the demand of new housing comes back into balance with the overwhelming supply we have seen this decade, the housing market’s true levels will remain unseen. But what is clearly forseeable is the further deterioration of America’s infrastructure that we must act on now to see a change in the future.

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Case-Shiller Index Faulted by Founder Robert Shiller? September 22, 2009

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As reported in the Taipei Times, Economist and Ph D. Robert Shiller states that faulty models are one of the culprits that led to the lack of forecasting of the financial crisis by economists.   Shiller states these models lack the study of economic bubbles necessary to prevent crashes like our recent crisis one;

“The widespread failure of economists to forecast the financial crisis that erupted last year has much to do with faulty models. This lack of sound models meant that economic policymakers and central bankers received no warning of what was to come…the current financial crisis was driven by speculative bubbles in the housing market, the stock market, energy and other commodities markets. Bubbles are caused by feedback loops: rising speculative prices encourage optimism, which encourages more buying and hence further speculative price increases — until the crash comes.”

Real estate is Cyclical, Seasonal and Emotional, and Dr. Shiller appears to believe this as well. The “faulty models” caused an emotional stir that led to speculative prices until the crash.  The question is; which faulty models is Dr. Shiller referring to exactly?  

Is the Case-Shiller Index included in his broad statements?  Some economists argue that Case-Shiller is one of the faulty models that contributed to the increasing optimism and rising speculative prices in the market; as well as the panic and fear when the markets began to decline.  (Case-Shiller articles).

Developed in the 1980’s, the Case-Shiller Index evaluates trend changes in housing prices on a monthly basis of homes being purchased.  The index appears to be limited in the data it considers and analyzes, disregarding specific property data elements that assessment offices began to collect after its creation. Basic property data collected from public records such as school districts, location factors, square footage, age of home, land area, garages, bathrooms, views, waterfront, public amenities such as water/sewer and other property structures  appear to have limited influence in the calculations of the index.

For example, does the index adjust for the increased average size of a home built after 1995?  Using the same brush from 1980 and repainting over the same picture causes one to have an obscure view of a localized market like real estate.    In recent Index reports, Case-Shiller has inaccurately weighted metro areas suffering more foreclosures, which drag down the overall value of the Index.  Yet, it remains the leading index in the market; unaltered, unaccounted and underperforming during our most recent crashes.  

Dr. Shiller’s Index lacks the very ‘sound’ that he rebukes in his own article.

So can we expect an overhaul of the Case-Shiller Index?  Hindsight is always 20/20, and this article sounds more like a promotional piece promoting his latest books, than an honest challenge to fellow economists to revise models and develop more reliable measurement tools for the future.

When Dr. Shiller sold the Case-Shiller Index in 2001, what were the terms of the sale?  Did the conglomerate he sold to make adjustments to the index?  And the final question, what benefit did the conglomerate gain by having S&P promote the index starting in 2005?

Hopefully Dr. Shiller is taking his own advice and examining the fundamentals of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index and seeking ways to improve on a model, that when developed was the only one of its kind.  Today, many economists and computer technicians have access to so much data, that more complex models offer better solutions with limited influence from corporate rating organizations.

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Stability for the Manhattan Market in Fruition September 21, 2009

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In a recent New York Times article, fall expectations for the Manhattan real estate market were optimistic as listings show normal levels compared to last year, indicating confidence. Stability is now appearing in the Manhattan market, which was reported in our Manhattan Condo Market article a month ago, as well as the NYC Square Footage Report.

In our Manhattan Condo article, we projected a 4th Quarter of stability after increases in sales activity and property values for the July, August and September months. The recent New York Time article confirmed our predictions. According to the article, 40 percent of new listings in Manhattan after Labor Day were condos while 60 percent were co-ops.

With actual analysis using property data from public records, we indicate the trends accurately and determine the market outlook. While many were concerned with the proposed Shadow Inventory spelling disaster for the Manhattan Market, the numbers projected are now proving otherwise.

Heading into the 4th Quarter, AccuriZ will continue to provide accurate analysis on the market. Hopefully the media outlets like The New York Times will continue to as well.

For additional statistical analysis on Manhattan and other boroughs including property data and valuation, click here.

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Housing Market News: 9/18/09 September 18, 2009

Posted by John Watch in Uncategorized.
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For property data from public records, statistical analysis and market reports click HERE.

Toll’s CEO Sells More Stock

Where is the Market Today? Cyclical, Seasonal and Emotional

Clock ticking on first-time homebuyer tax credit

The Bulls and Bears of Real Estate

NY Real Estate Market Continues Rapid Decline

The Homeowners Mortgage Assistance Program

No Easy Exit for Government as Housing Market’s Savior

The Housing in Crisis Report

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Housing Market News: 9/15/09 September 15, 2009

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Home Sales Picking Up on Long Island

Where is the Market Today? Cyclical, Seasonal and Emotional

Rent-to-Own your home: Pro and Con

The Bears and Bulls in the Market

One Year After, What About the Impact on Average People?

A Mortgage Program to Directly Assist Homeowners

American Held Hostage by Large Financial Firms

Square Footage and Median Sale Price: Differentials?

Your House: Just A Home

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Real Estate News: 9/3/09 September 3, 2009

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Prime Jumbo Trouble: The Foreclosures Keep Coming

Real Estate Mania: Bulls vs. Bears

Price Rise 7% Nationwide Says Clear Capitol

How to Read Bewteen the Lines of Real Estate News

In Climate of Good News, Some Argue Housing Crisis Will Continue

Square Footage and Median Price Differentials

Who Will (And Should) Get Credit for a Recovery

Pending Sales of Existing Homes in U.S. Increases 3.2% in July

Real Estate is Cyclical, Seasonal and Emotional

Mortgage Brokers Association Propose Dismantling of Freddie, Fannie

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