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23 April 2010

Week in Review: Things We Liked from the Week That Was

We talked a lot last week about the swirling arguments in the real estate industry. This week, it seems as if we are starting to see some solutions. Fannie Mae is reducing the waiting period by two years for distressed borrowers to become eligible for a new mortgage. Great news for those who can take advantage! Would you like some more encouragement? Consider the March numbers… Home mortgage rates declined and mortgage delinquencies fell 8.6 percent, while housing construction posted a better-than-expected performance. Also, as confidence rises, companies like Redwood Trust are backing “private label” mortgage securities, a dead zone for the last two years as banks considered them risky investments. All in all, that’s what I call a good month!

We are still expecting to see a flurry of activity in the next week as the tax credit comes to an end. The FederalHousingTaxCredit.com website reached a milestone 10 million visits. Impressive! We should expect to see some of these queries turn into buyers before the end of April. But all of this good news could start to slip, though, in the next few months. Let’s hope the interested homebuyers stay interested.

Now on to prices… Hedge-fund billionaire John Paulson believes that house prices could climb 8-10 percent nationwide in 2011. Perhaps leading the pack, the Minneapolis housing market has finally started to bounce back. Way to go City of Lakes!

For those of you with clients looking to sell in the near future, I’m sure you’re running into difficulty getting them to invest in remodeling projects. But let Earth Day be an inspiration: there are many cost-effective, energy efficient projects, ranging from cosmetic to appliances, which can make a big difference. What are you recommending?

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