Real Estate Investing News This Week 2013-02-23

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

Welcome to our weekly edition of Real Estate Investing News This Week. Here are the highlights this week:

  • Nearly 2 million homeowners were freed from negative equity in 2012
  • Home construction is off to a strong start
  • Foreclosure starts and the foreclosure inventory rate made history with their decreases

Here are the real estate investing related news items that caught our attention this past week. We hope they help you stay up-to-date with your real estate investment strategies and inspire some profitable real estate deals for you.

Nearly 2 Million American Homeowners Freed From Negative Equity In 2012

From Zillow Real Estate Research:
According to the fourth quarter Zillow Negative Equity Report, the national negative equity rate continued to fall in the fourth quarter of 2012, dropping to 27.5 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage from 28.2 percent in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter result also represents a significant decline from the one year ago level of 31.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Overall, almost 2 million American homeowners were freed from negative equity over the course of the year. However, 13.8 million homeowners with a mortgage remain underwater.
Of all homeowners – roughly one-third of homeowners do not have a mortgage and own their homes free and clear – 19.4 percent are underwater.

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Happy Construction Worker

Builders filed for the greatest number of permits in more than four years.

Home Construction Off to Strong Start

CNNMoney’s Chris Isadore reports:
“Home construction got off to a strong start in 2013, as builders filed for the greatest number of permits in more than four years in January.
Permits are a sign of builders’ confidence in the market. It’s also less affected by weather than housing starts. Last month, builders filed for permits at an annual rate of 925,000, up about 2% from December and up 35% from a year earlier. It was the best month for permits since June 2008.”

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Starts Plunge in January; Permits at 4 1/2-Year High

From Mark Leiberman:
“Housing starts plunged 8.5 percent in January—the steepest drop in two years—to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 890,000, the Census Bureau and HUD reported jointly Wednesday….
The decline in starts was led by a steep drop in multi-family activity, which fell 24.1 percent to 277,000—the steepest month-over-month decline since December 2011, when starts fell 28.6 percent in one month….”

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Delinquency, Foreclosure Rates See Steep Declines in Q4

Esther Cho reports:
“The national delinquency rate moved against the seasonal trend and declined from the third to fourth quarter, while foreclosure starts and the foreclosure inventory rate made history with their decreases, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) National Delinquency Survey.
In the fourth quarter of 2012, the national delinquency rate fell to 7.09 percent, a quarterly and yearly drop of 31 and 49 basis points, respectively, the MBA reported Thursday….”

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Housing Statistics Steady

From S&P Dow Jones‘ David Blitzer:
“Recent data shows the housing recovery is holding steady.  Housing permits and starts in January were close to December levels with single family homes showing small gains and total starts off slightly.
Sales of existing single family homes were little changed in January from December and the inventory of homes for sale was down modestly.
Overall the picture is continued strength even though we’re not seeing the strong advances of a few months ago.  Given the winter season and difficult weather in much of the nation, these flat reports are not a cause for concern.”

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