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25 October 2010

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

With the tents officially up for the famous Big Apple Circus, the real estate industry is dealing with what has become a three ring circus of its own: the foreclosure chaos.  After only 24 days into its freeze of foreclosures in 50 states, Bank of America this week announced that in 23 states, it will begin selling the distressed properties again. Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan and others are likely welcoming the swift and fair resolution of the foreclosure mess which is only increasing uncertainty in the market.

For the short term at least, one group is happy: U.S. homebuilders. In October, confidence in the group rose to the highest level in months. Perhaps the number of housing starts had something to do with this?

On Thursday, news broke that Fannie and Freddie would need anywhere from $142 billion and $259 billion in capital through 2013 from the government as they absorb losses from bad mortgages. Who thought it would get this far?

NACA — Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America— the federally-funded organization that aims to help struggling homeowners by offering services ranging from renegotiated loans to mortgage restructuring, has been holding “huge marathon events” around the country. “Save the Dream,” an event in California, recently attracted over 10,000 people. I wonder if people driving by thought it was an American Idol audition?

Extreme city makeover? Much like the hit show, many cities are trying to reinvent themselves to not only attract but keep residents. From Detroit to Buffalo, cities are improving landscape, among other things, in an attempt to spice up their images. Anything happening in your area?

We must give her credit for her bravery… A 20-year-old mother and college student in Mexico has taken on the ‘most dangerous job in the world’ by accepting the position as police chief of Praxedis Guadalupe Guerrero, a border city in the center of the country’s violent drug war. Her day-to-day will be a far cry from that of Ponch and Jon’s of CHIPS, I imagine.

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