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8 October 2010

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

The F-word was thrown around a lot this week.

For us in the real estate industry, that is “foreclosures.”

Recently, paperwork technicalities have stirred much debate, and legal action, Bankers admitted they signed foreclosure documents without reading them, rightly dubbed “robo-signers.”  Until the issues are addressed, Ally Financial and J.P. Mortgage Chase & Co.’s home-loan unit announced this week that they will delay foreclosures in many states, with Bank of America halting foreclosure sales in all 50 states.

The foreclosure debate continued as Nancy Pelosi and a team of 30 democrats sent a letter to the Attorney General accusing big banks from making it difficult for struggling borrowers to get foreclosure relief. I wonder what would happen if Lady Gaga, who was voted more powerful than Speaker Pelosi by Forbes, got involved?

One thing is for sure, this debate is sure to heat up as a bill, sponsored by Republican Representative Robert Aderholt, passed which would make it more difficult to challenge improper foreclosure attempts by big mortgage processors. So the status of many homes potentially on the market is still in discussion.  Hold tight and stay tuned.

Good news for sellers: the number forced to lower their asking price fell in September. According to Zillow, 7 percent fewer homes listed for sale had to make any reductions.

In this market, agents are dealing with a colorful clientele. The jittery-first time home buyer is more and more eagerly signing closing papers. Also, foreign investors are swooping into the biggest cities in the country to snag real estate while the prices remain at near record lows. What trends are you seeing in your area?

Much like the childhood game of “hot and cold,” certain areas are the hotter or colder spots for real estate recovery. According to Moody’s, Las Vegas tops the “hottest list” with the fastest appreciation between now and 2020 projected. The coldest market is Virginia Beach, go figure.

Speaking of hot, the White House goes green with plans to add solar panels and a solar hot water heater on its roof early next year. It’s nice to see 1600 Pennsylvania Ave jumping on the green train!

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