All the Real Estate News That’s Fit to RE-Print™

Welcome to our weekly edition of Hot Real Estate Investment News.
New this week:

  • We’re getting new short sale guidelines on November 1
  • Only one-half of Fannie Mae REOs are on the market or being prepared for sale
  • Existing home sales are up, but not where they should be
  • Q2 saw the largest quarterly growth in home prices in nearly seven years

Here are the details about real estate investing related news items that caught our attention this past week…

New Short Sale Guidelines…Will Make Process Easier’s Esther Cho reports:

Underwater House

Relief coming for underwater borrowers on November 1st.

“Starting November 1, 2012, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will implement new short sale guidelines to make the approval process easier for eligible borrowers.
‘These new guidelines demonstrate FHFA’s and Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s commitment to enhancing and streamlining processes to avoid foreclosure and stabilize communities,” said FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco in a statement. ‘The new standard short sale program will also provide relief to those underwater borrowers who need to relocate more than 50 miles for a job.'”

Nearly half of Fannie Mae REO unable to reach market

HousingWire’s Jon Prior reports:
“Only half of the previously foreclosed homes owned by Fannie Mae are either on the market or being prepared for sale. The remaining properties are currently locked away in some step of the foreclosure system….
Many market participants long claimed the government – including Fannie, Freddie Mac and the Department of Housing and Urban Development – are deliberately holding these homes off the market in order to get more for them when home prices recover.”

Existing Home Sales Improve in July, Shy of Expectations

From’s Mark Lieberman:
“Existing homes sales rose to an annual rate 4.47 million in July, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday. Economists had expected the sale pace to be 4.51 million….
Even with the improvement in the sales rate, Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the sales pace was far below what it should be.”
See also:

FHFA: Q2 Price Growth Largest Since 2005, Distressed Sales Drop

From Tony Barringer at
“This year’s second quarter saw the largest quarterly growth in home prices in nearly seven years, according to FHFA’s purchase-only home price index (HPI).
The agency issued a report Thursday showing that house prices rose 1.8 percent from the year’s first quarter to the second quarter-the largest growth since the fourth quarter of 2005-and 3.0 percent year-over-year.”

More Signs Housing is Past the Bottom… S&P/Case-Shiller Next Tuesday

Chairman of the Index Committee S&P Dow Jones Indices, David Blitzer states:
“Recent news points to further improvements in housing… New Home Sales up 3.6% in July to a two-year high, Existing home sales rebound from June to 4.47 million units at annual rates, and Permits for new construction jump 6.8% despite 1.1% drop in starts.
Consumer and builder sentiment reports also positive as preliminary University of Michigan report rose to 73.6 and National Association of Home Builders survey rose to 37 from 35 in June.  Overall economy continues to see slow growth with initial unemployment claims four week moving average at 368,000.”
The full June S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price report will be available on Tuesday morning.