Monday, December 31, 2007

Existing home sales show gain, rates at 2yr lows

The National Association of Realtors announced today that existing home sales in November were 0.4 percent higher than in October. The report also showed that the inventory of unsold homes decreased 3.6 percent during the month.

Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters said the increase was somewhat unexpected as consumers are typically more focused on the holidays in November than they are on buying homes.

"It is good news, if not a bit surprising, to see existing home sales climb in November, especially considering that most people are more interested in preparing for the holidays than they are in looking for the perfect home. However, buyers were likely pulled into the market by attractive long-term interest rates at two-year lows, including those on jumbo loans, and the sheer number of favorably priced homes available on the market."

-- Published on Dec 31, 2007 in Here

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Asian Markets Largely Fall On Bhutto Death

Asian Markets Largely Fall On Bhutto Death

Posted by WBZ-TV 15 hrs ago | via WBZ-TV This link will take you off Topix

“Looking ahead to next year, we must keep our eyes on Wall Street.”

Most Asian markets fell Friday amid anxiety over the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto and lingering worries about the outlook for the U.S. economy.

Bhutto's death on Thursday, just ahead of Jan. 8 elections, sent shock waves through international markets on worries that global instability may follow, although some analysts said the impact is likely to be limited.

"The sudden event has caught worldwide attention because Pakistan is not any other developing country. It is a nuclear-power country. However, we view the current response to the event to be short-term," Westcomb Securities said in a note.

eNet Advertising `Domain Sell-off' Presents Opportunities

It's no surprise that smart investment money is into Real Estate these days, and publisher Financial News Network is no exception... well sort of... FNN, as part of a 10 year business plan has increased the value of its Real Estate, only we're not talking brick'n mortar here folks... We're referring to Internet real estate in the form of established domain names. Now this real estate is for sale or lease. FULL STORY

Thursday, December 27, 2007

5 Indicted for Mortgage Fraud and Ponzi Schemes

Darryl G. Moore, 41, Solon, Ohio, Leon S. Heard, 72, Cleveland, Ohio and Steven I. Helfgott, 54, Cleveland, Ohio, were charged in eleven-count superceding indictment charging them with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and securities fraud; one count of securities fraud; one count of wire fraud; one count of money laundering; and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering resulting from defrauding investors in an extensive “Ponzi” scheme. Moore and Heard, along with Mark C. Olds, Robert E. McNair, Avis D. Scott, Lee A. Granger, and Craig …


US Mortgage Applications Sink to Year Low

U.S. mortgage applications sank last week to the lowest level since the end of last year despite falling borrowing costs, an industry trade group said Thursday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's mortgage application index fell 7.6 percent last week.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted mortgage application index fell 7.6 percent in the week ending Dec. 21 to 603.8, its lowest reading since falling to 575.6 in the Dec. 29, 2006 week.

The MBA's weekly indexes have been exaggerated on the high side much of the year. Borrowers facing stricter loan standards often apply numerous times in search of getting one request approved.

The applications slump this week and last, however, appears to more closely reflect the status of ailing housing sales.

"Maybe late in 2008 we'll see some markets beginning to recover," said Gregory Miller, chief economist at SunTrust Banks in Atlanta, on Wednesday prior to the MBA report.

"But for the nation as a whole, I think the end of 2008 is probably as optimistic as one would want to get," he said. "More likely, we'll be well into 2009 before we start describing this housing cycle as 'in recovery"'.


Missouri Mortgage-Real Estate News

The nationwide mortgage meltdown of 2007 spurred some of the biggest news stories of this year, affecting homeowners and big corporations in Missouri.

Option One Mortgage Corp., a Kansas City based mortgage company, specialized in sub-prime mortgage loans got caught in the meltdown that claimed dozens of mortgage lenders as mounting borrower defaults created huge losses.

Cerberus Capital Management LP announced plans to buy Option One back in April, but due to the worsening real estate market the plan fell through in early December.

NovaStar Financial Inc., another Kansas City mortgage company, was hammered by the sub-prime mortgage meltdown as their stock price dropped from $105 in January to less than $2 a share at one point. With losses mounting, NovaStar Financial Inc. was forced to give up its status as a real estate investment trust and its stock was de-listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

With 2008 quickly approaching us NovaStar now has a work force of roughly 600, compared to the 2,000 employees at the beginning of 2007.

A.G. Edwards Inc. once headquartered in St. Louis, was purchased by Wachovia Corp. for $6.8 billion. By purchasing A.G. Edwards Inc., Wachovia Corp. became the nation’s second largest retail brokerage firm, which will be based in North Carolina.

More On Missouri Mortgage

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Mortgage woes yield checks for many New Yorkers -

Mortgage woes yield checks for many New Yorkers, NC - 3 hours ago
The fallout from the national subprime mortgage lending practices could see more than 13000 New York residents receiving a payment check from Ameriquest ...
AMERIQUEST MORTGAGE $18 million paid in lending settlement Chicago Tribune

Nearly 14000 in NY to receive payments in predatory lending case Newsday
New Yorkers to receive $18M in Ameriquest settlement
New York Daily News - Mid-Hudson News
all 26 news articles

ARM Freeze Yields Solution To All World Problems

ARM Freeze Yields Solution To All World Problems
Fri, 21 Dec 2007 08:40:02 EST
Contributor Donna Robinson gives her view on the recent ARM Rate Freeze announcement.

Morgan Stanley Latest to Accept Foreign Aid

Morgan Stanley Latest to Accept Foreign Aid
Wed, 19 Dec 2007 13:39:49 EST
Another big bank admits to massive mortgage losses.

Market Drastically Altered in Past 14 Months

Market Drastically Altered in Past 14 Months

In prophetic comments delivered just over a year ago, Freddie Mac's chairman and chief executive officer warned mortgage bankers that too much capital was chasing too little product. Since that time, the residential subprime sector has unraveled -- destroying an industry that, during the past quarter century, had gone from the shadows of mortgage lending to the forefront. Losses, which have spread far beyond U.S. subprime lenders and have wiped billions of dollars off the balance sheets of international financial institutions, may continue into 2009. (Dec. 24)

OH Servicers to Face Barrage of Lawyers

OH Servicers to Face Barrage of Lawyers

An Ohio chief justice is pleading with lawyers in the state to offer their services free to assist in that state's foreclosure crisis. (Dec. 21)

Mixed Mortgage Data

Mixed Mortgage Data

A new report on mortgage activity during the first half of this year indicated that while the subprime share of overall originations has tumbled, the proportion of subprime loans with higher loan-to-values and lower credit scores has risen. Meanwhile, total loan volume has risen from the second half of last year -- though the number of loans fell. (Dec. 21)