I collected a few real estate related articles this week. The first couple of paragraphs of each are quoted here and the complete stories are linked. All three are somewhat interrelated. The first, from the National Association of Realtors says that the market is picking up on its own. The third article suggests that the Feds might act lower interest rates even further in order to stimulate the housing market. The middle article underscores how important it is to make money available to those that qualify or even those who do not qualify under new (and needed) lending requirements . Loan modifications have never worked the way they should have.
NAR released its latest pending home sales index figure last week and for the second month in a row the index is up. But more than that, the index has broken 100. This is significant because the only time since the housing boom collapsed that the index has broken 100 is when the home owner tax credit was in effect. The fact that the index has returned to that level a year since the credit has been in effect means the housing market is strengthening completely on its own, without any stimulus.
More Portland area homeowners lost their property or fell behind on their mortgages in October but the region is still performing better than average. CoreLogic Inc. , a Santa Ana, Calif.-based real estate firm, said Thursday the foreclosure rate for Portland rose to 2.45 percent in October, an increase of 0.24 percentage points compared to one year ago.
Portland’s highest rate was 2.72 percent, recorded in July 2011. The national foreclosure rate in October was 3.51 percent, a 1.06 percentage point increase from the prior year.
Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley called on the U.S. government to try new programs to revive the housing market while saying the central bank may still consider ways to cut interest rates.
“Implementing such policies would improve the economic outlook and make monetary accommodation more effective,” Dudley said today in a speech to bankers in Iselin, New Jersey. At the same time, it’s “appropriate” for the Fed to consider steps to ease monetary policy, he said.