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MONTHLY SALES REPORT: August 2012 Sun Valley Idaho Area

Attached is a monthly sales report that shows all sales activity in the greater Sun Valley area for single family residential homes, condos and townhomes, vacant land, plus farms and ranches.


As always, more information is available by request.

Mortgages Tumble near Record Lows Again

Mortgage rates tumbled this week as investors awaited moves by the world’s major central banks. The drop put rates near record lows again and ended a four-week streak of increases, giving borrowers some extra time to grab a low rate.

The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.8% from 3.91%, according to the Bankrate.com national survey of large lenders. The mortgages in this week’s survey had an average total of 0.4 discount and origination points. One year ago, the mortgage index stood at 4.37%; four weeks ago, it was 3.77%.

The benchmark 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.03% from 3.12%. The benchmark 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 2.8% from 2.9%.

Weekly national mortgage survey

Results of Bankrate.com’s Aug. 29, 2012, weekly national survey of large lenders and the effect on monthly payments for a $165,000 loan:

30-year fixed 15-year fixed 5-year ARM

This week’s rate: 3.8% 3.03% 2.8%

Change from last week: -0.11 -0.09 -0.1

Monthly payment: $768.83 $1,141.84 $677.98

Change from last week: -$10.37 -$7.17 -$8.80

Big event this week may affect rates

Helping rates this week was speculation that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may announce plans for additional monetary stimulus at an annual conference scheduled for Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

The rumors started after the Federal Open Market Committee’s latest meeting minutes were released. In the minutes, some Fed members indicated they support additional stimulus, including additional bond purchases. Two years ago, the Fed announced its second bond-buying program, QE2, during this same annual summit.

Even if a supposed QE3 is not announced this week, Bernanke’s speech may still affect the direction of mortgage rates in coming days, says Michael Becker, a mortgage banker at WCS Funding in Baltimore.

“We are in a strange market these days where statements from central bank heads move markets more than economic data,” Becker says. “So it’s hard to tell where rates are going, but if you’re ready to lock, I’d say do it.”

Rumors aside, it’s unlikely Bernanke will announce additional help for the economy Friday, analysts say. That’s partly because recent reports show the U.S. economy and the housing market have been improving — slowly but surely. The improvements make it more challenging to persuade Fed members who are against additional stimulus that more help is needed.

 

Time Running Out On Foreclosure Review Program

Were you involved in a mortgage foreclosure action in 2009 or 2010? If so, you may be eligible for relief through a widely ignored governmental program targeting homeowners that have lost the place they call home.

Last year, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Office of Thrift Supervision announced enforcement action against 14 large residential mortgage servicers and two third-party vendors for unsafe and unsound practices related to residential mortgage servicing and foreclosure processing.

Among the sanctions received by mortgage servicers was an obligation to independently review problematic foreclosures. In an effort to reach as many Americans as possible, the government has extended the “Independent Foreclosure Review” program through September 30.

Homeowners who lost their home to foreclosure are not eligible to have it returned but may be eligible for a cash payment of up to $2,000. Affected homeowners may also be eligible to have most, if not all, of any deficiency balance waived.

There were more that 6.6 million foreclosures nationwide between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010, according to RealtyTrac. A consulting firm acting on this information and on behalf of federal bank regulators mailed almost 4.4 million letters to homeowners who may be eligible to have their foreclosures reviewed for mistakes.

The three-month extension provides not only the 14 sanctioned mortgage servicers who may have harmed homeowners more time to notify them of the federal enforcement action, but also the 13 additional mortgage servicers — who joined the program in an effort to identify impacted borrowers — an opportunity for independent foreclosure review as well.

So far, the response has been extremely disappointing.

As of May 31, the independent consultants have received 193,630 requests for review. The servicers themselves, through their own sampling, selected an additional 144,817 cases, for a total of 338,447.

Although the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency believes the number of applications will dramatically increase by the end of July, just 7.7 percent of the estimated 4.4 million homeowners believed eligible have applied for review.

“If a homeowner believes they were wrongfully injured by a foreclosure error in 2009 and 2010, they should request a review,” stated Bryan Hubbard, a spokesman for the OCC. “They give up no rights by requesting a review.”

To be eligible for relief, affected mortgages must have been for a homeowner’s primary residence and in active foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010.

The following mortgage servicers are participating in the Independent Foreclosure Review process:

America’s Servicing Company , Aurora Loan Services, BAC Home Loans Servicing, Bank of America, Beneficial, Chase, Citibank, CitiFinancial, CitiMortgage, Countrywide, EMC, EverBank/EverHome Mortgage Company, Financial Freedom, GMAC Mortgage, HFC, HSBC, IndyMac Mortgage Services, MetLife Bank, National City Mortgage, PNC Mortgage, Sovereign Bank, SunTrust Mortgage, U.S. Bank, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo and Wilshire Credit Corporation.

The Independent Foreclosure Review should not be confused with the $25 billion national mortgage settlement recently negotiated between most of the states’ attorneys general and the big five mortgage servicers: Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial (formerly GMAC). Every state in the nation but Oklahoma is participating.

According to the government-mandated oversight website IndependentForeclosureReview.com, some primary examples of mortgage servicer mistakes that may have resulted in financial injury are:

— The mortgage balance was overstated or miscalculated at the time of foreclosure

— Foreclosure proceedings were initiated despite the fact that the homeowner was in bankruptcy, waiting to hear about a request for mortgage modification or abiding by terms of a mortgage modification

— The foreclosure proceedings coincided with active military service.

The Independent Foreclosure Review process is free and can be completed online at www.independentforeclosurereview.com or through the mail. Applications must be processed by September 30 to be eligible for review.

Homeowners in need of assistance should call 888-952-9105. In an effort to assist with the application process, the Federal Reserve has put together a short “Independent Foreclosure Review PSA” video. The video provides program details in English and in Spanish.

 

House Buyers Worried They’re Losing Bargaining Power

While home buyers have been holding a lot of bargaining power in the housing market the last few years, more of them say they are now feeling the market shift against them, according to a new survey.

Seven in 10 home buyers say they’ve faced competition on a home for at least one offer, according to a recent survey of 982 buyers in 19 markets conducted by Redfin. Of those surveyed, 46 percent say now is a good time to purchase a home — that’s down from 56 percent in the first quarter. On the other hand, the number of those who are saying it’s a good time to sell grew by 13 percent in that period. Thirty-two percent now say it’s a good time to sell.

“Many buyers who emerged from hibernation this spring eager to take advantage of low rates and near-bottom prices now seem to have become demoralized by the intense competition for a limited selection of homes for sale,” Redfin said in a public statement about the survey results.

Home buyers surveyed by Redfin…
  • Believe that the market may be shifting against them: 46% of respondents believe now is a good time to buy, down two quarters in a row; in the first quarter it was 56%. Thirty-two percent believe now is a good time to sell, up two quarters in a row; in the first quarter it was 13%.
  • Are more confident that home prices are on the rise: 61% believe prices will increase, up two quarters in a row; in the first quarter it was 32%.
  • Increasingly prefer a conventional sale over a foreclosure or short sale: 62% of respondents were “very interested” in conventional sales, up from 57% in the second quarter and 48% in the first quarter, marking a return to normalcy after years of bargain-hunting;
  • Are more likely to back off when faced with multiple offers: 31% said they would step back from a bidding war, compared to 28% in the second quarter, the first time we asked this question. Just 8% would do whatever it takes, compared to 10% a quarter earlier.
  • Have growing concerns about the economy, despite rising home prices: 27% of respondents cited general economic weakness as a concern about buying this year, up from 24% in the second quarter and 20% in the first quarter.

Home buyers may feel more urgency too. The survey found the number of buyers expecting home prices to rise drastically grew — 61 percent say prices will rise compared to 32 percent during the first quarter. However, they are reluctant to get in a multiple-offer situation. Thirty-one percent of those surveyed said that if they faced a multiple-offer situation, they would back off.

SOURCE: Redfin

Foreclosures Decline Nationwide in July

CoreLogic has released its National Foreclosure Report for July which provides monthly data on completed U.S. foreclosures and the overall foreclosure inventory. According to the report, there were 58,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. in July 2012 down from 69,000 in July 2011 and 62,000 in June 2012. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 3.8 million completed foreclosures across the country. Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure. Approximately 1.3 million homes, or 3.2 percent of all homes with a mortgage, were in the national foreclosure inventory as of July 2012 compared to 1.5 million, or 3.5 percent, in July 2011. Month-over-month, the national foreclosure inventory was unchanged from June 2012 to July 2012. The foreclosure inventory is the share of all mortgaged homes in any stage of the foreclosure process.

“The decline in completed foreclosures is yet another positive signal that the housing market is continuing on a progressive path of stabilization and recovery,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive officer of CoreLogic. “Alternative resolutions are helping to reduce foreclosures and often result in a more positive transition for the borrower and lower losses for investors and lenders.”

Highlights of the July 2012 National Foreclosure Report include:

►The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in July 2012 were: California (118,000), Florida (92,000), Michigan (61,000), Texas (57,000) and Georgia (54,000). These five states account for 48.1 percent of all completed foreclosures nationally.

►The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in July 2012 were: South Dakota (32), District of Columbia (120), Hawaii (445), North Dakota (575), and Maine (608).

►The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Florida (11.2 percent), New Jersey (5.7 percent), New York (5.2 percent), Illinois (4.9 percent) and Nevada (4.7 percent).

►The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Wyoming (0.5 percent), Alaska (0.8 percent), North Dakota (0.8 percent), Nebraska (0.9 percent) and South Dakota (1.1 percent).

“Completed foreclosures were down again in July, this time by 16 percent versus a year ago, as servicers increasingly rely on alternatives to the foreclosure process, such as short sales and modifications,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Completed foreclosures remain concentrated in five states, California, Florida, Michigan, Texas and Georgia, accounting for 48 percent of all completed foreclosures nationwide in July.”

SOURCE: Professional Mortgage Association

JUST LISTED: 4 Lots Close to Silver Creek $42,000

Rare opportunity to own and build your dream home or retreat near Silver Creek Preserve. World famous fly fishing less than a mile away. Fly into the air strip and joy the little community of Picabo, Idaho.  Build your own custom home on the 15,000 square foot lot or do a  duplex to maximize the investment. This won’t last.

Experts say “Multiple Offers Possible” in tough housing market

Bidding wars are back as the housing market continues its recovery.

After years of lackluster sales and sagging prices, demand is growing while the number of homes for sale shrinks.

Those market conditions drive multiple offers in many areas, but real estate agents and other housing followers say sellers still can take practical steps to boost the level of interest among buyers.

  • Price it as low as possible. Many sellers and their agents obviously underprice homes to attract bidding wars. Douglas Rill, a broker at Century 21 America’s Choice in West Palm Beach, Fla., refers to the tactic as “drama pricing.”

Rill said he was instructed by the lender to list a West Palm Beach home with a leaky roof and other problems for $37,600, even though comparable sales supported a listing close to $50,000.

“Do you know what that does to my cell phone?” Rill said. “It blows it up.”

The bank’s strategy worked. More than 70 potential buyers toured the home, which eventually sold for $51,000.

At the very least, sellers should list their homes at the low end of market value, which will draw in buyers who sense they’re getting good value, agents say.

  • Pay for an inspection, lien search. Buyers typically cover those, but motivated sellers can go on the offensive to prove the home is in good condition and free of title problems that would delay closing.
  • “You may be able to attract multiple offers just because the buyers will know what they’re getting,” said Marta DuPree, a broker for Keyes Co. in Broward County, Fla.
  • Offer owner-financing. This only works for sellers who own the property outright. But it’s an option to consider, especially for condominiums in which government financing is limited, DuPree said.
  • De-clutter. Getting rid of all those books, magazines and board games you haven’t touched in years will help make the home seem bigger and more appealing.

“Buyers are visual,” said Judy Trudel, an agent for Balistreri Realty in Lighthouse Point, Fla. “Clean and crisp sells.”

If you can smell it, you can’t sell it!

Sandra Holmes, a professional home stager in Weston, Fla., said properties should be “Q-tip clean” and free of smoking or pet odors. “If you can smell it, you can’t sell it,” she said.

A paint job freshens up a room, and it doesn’t cost a lot. Even replacing a light bulb to improve a room’s brightness can make a difference to a skeptical buyer, agents say.

“When a buyer goes in and flips on the light switch and it doesn’t work, they think there’s an electrical problem,” Rill said.

  • Spruce up the landscaping. Planting fresh flowers, laying mulch and keeping the hedges trimmed will make a solid first impression on a buyer.

“When buyers walk up to a house that’s (in poor shape) – even if it’s just the landscaping – there’s going to be a sense that the seller doesn’t care about it,” said Ron Rosen, an agent in Broward. “And the buyers will think that they can really lower their offer or they just won’t be interested at all.”

SOURCE: Real Estate Today

 

INTERACTIVE SALES REPORT: What’s Selling In The Sun Valley Area

Ever wonder what’s really happening in the local Sun Valley Real Estate market without all the sales hype?

Attached is a link to a Interactive Sales Reportshowing all pending single family homes sales within the Sun Valley Board of Realtors MLS. This report is also updated in “Real Time”.

For more detail, click on the MLS # for additional listing information, descriptions, photos, etc.

Click Here to review the report. 

We also have reports available for condo/townhomes, vacant lots/land, etc.  by request

The Wagon Days Schedule

AUG. 29

6 p.m.: Historian Ivan Swaner presents a free talk on the Wood River Valley’s mining history at Ketchum City Hall.

AUG. 30

5:30-7:30 p.m.: Artist Tom Teitge signs copies of the 2012 commemorative Wagon Days poster in Ketchum Town Square. Bluegrass band Dewey, Pickette and Howe plays.

AUG. 31

9 a.m.-7 p.m.: Hailey Main Street Antique & Art Show.

5:30-7 p.m.: Grand marshal reception featuring Mary Jane Conger, at Ketchum’s Memory Park on Main Street between Fifth and Sixth streets.

5-8 p.m.: The Wagon Days Gallery Walk will feature photographs of Wagon Days parades at Gallery DeNovo, 320 First Ave. N. in Ketchum.

7 p.m.: The Blackjack Ketchum Shoot-Out gang will close down Ketchum’s Main Street near the Casino Club.

SEPT. 1

8 a.m.-noon: The Papoose Club’s pancake breakfast at Ketchum Town Square; $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and teens, $5 for kids, free for those 3 and younger.

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Children’s Carnival at Fourth and Washington streets in Ketchum. A pass for unlimited rides on the mini-train, astro-jump, climbing wall, bungee run and other rides costs $10.

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Wagons Ho activities allow children to visit a re-created camp with trappers and miners dressed in period clothing at Fourth and Washington streets.

9 a.m.-8 p.m.: View vintage cars at the Silver Car Auction at Sun Valley Resort.

9 a.m.-6 p.m.: Hailey’s Antique Market at Roberta McKercher Park; and Hailey’s Main Street Antique & Art Show at 730 N. Main St.

10:30 a.m.: Eh-Capa Bareback Riders performance at Festival Meadows on Sun Valley Road.

12:15 p.m.: Blackjack Ketchum Shoot-out Gang at Ketchum’s Main Street in front of the Pioneer Saloon.

1 p.m.: Big Hitch Parade down Sun Valley Road and Main Street, Ketchum.

3 p.m.: Live bluegrass music at Ketchum Town Square.

3 p.m.: The Great Wagon Days Duck Race at Rotary Park on Warm Springs Road; $5 per duck, six for $25 and 13 for $50, at 208-720-8236.

7 p.m.: Black Jack Shootout Gang, Ketchum’s Main Street in front of the Casino Club.

7 p.m.: Pro Rodeo Finals at the Hailey Rodeo Grounds; $12 for adults and $5 for kids, at 208-521-7708.

Dusk: Sun Valley Ice Show, 1-888-622-2108 for tickets.

SEPT. 2

9 a.m.-6 p.m.: Antique fairs in Hailey and Ketchum.

8 a.m.-noon: Papoose Club’s pancake breakfast at Ketchum Town Square.

9 a.m.-7 p.m.: Silver Car Auction at Sun Valley Resort.

3 p.m.: Pro Rodeo Finals at Hailey Rodeo Grounds.

All day: Bellevue’s Labor Day events.

SEPT. 3

9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Hailey’s Antique Market in Roberta McKercher Park.

All day: Bellevue’s Labor Day events.

CAMPING AND PARKING: RV parking is available at the River Run parking lot for a suggested donation of $10 per day. Parade spectators may also park in the River Run lot and take a free shuttle bus to the parade courtesy of Mountain Rides.

 

Fannie Mae Tightens Mortgage Standards For Some Home Buyers

Fannie Mae, the largest source of money for U.S mortgages, told lenders that it’s tightening some of its qualification standards for people buying homes or refinancing loans.

The changes include a reduction of the maximum loan-to- value ratios for some adjustable-rate mortgages to 90 percent, from as much as 97 percent, and an increase in required credit scores for certain loans, the Washington-based company said yesterday on its website. Fannie Mae also will start demanding more tax returns from self-employed borrowers, according to Matt Hackett, underwriting manager at New York lender Equity Now Inc.

“This can knock a decent portion of borrowers out of the picture who had a rough year in business two years ago,” Hackett said of the tax-information demand, tied to an update of itsunderwriting software used by originators. Two years of personal and business returns will be required to verify incomes, up from one year of personal returns. “You’d be surprised how much of an effect this has,” he said.

Tougher guidelines from Fannie Mae (FNMA), which along with smaller rival Freddie Macguarantees mortgage-backed securities financing about two-thirds of new loans, may add to challenges for a housing market that’s showing signs of recovering after a six-year slump. Pacific Investment Management Co., manager of the world’s largest mutual fund, said in commentary yesterday that while “record-tight” credit standards are impeding real- estate sales, they “will not last forever.”

Home Sales

Sales of existing homes rose 2.3 percent to an annual rate of 4.47 million in July from an eight-month low, National Association of Realtors figures showed today. The median forecast of 73 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an increase to a 4.51 million rate.

Andrew Wilson, a spokesman for Fannie Mae, declined to comment on the changes to its standards, most of which will start being applied in October. The company told lenders that the adjustments were part of regular reviews of data and loan performance.

The firm, which along with Freddie Mac has tapped almost $190 billion of U.S. capital since being seized in 2008, will need to provide annual reports on actions they are taking “to reduce taxpayer exposure to mortgage credit risk.” The requirement is part of changes to the companies’ bailouts agreements the Treasury Department announced Aug. 17.

Credit Scores

Fannie Mae’s tightened standards include an increase of minimum credit scores for adjustable-rate mortgages not vetted by its Desktop Underwriter computer software. Scores will need to be at least 640, up from a previous minimum of 620, on a scale ranging from 300 to 850, according to the memo. It is also eliminating a policy that provided lenders the flexibility to accept scores 40 points below its normal requirements for specific products if borrowers had other strengths.

Changes to its guidance on so-called underwriting exceptions also will eliminate the concept of a “benchmark” ratio between borrowers’ income and housing costs of 36 percent, according to the memo. Instead, 36 percent will be the “stated maximum,” though the ratio can be as high as 45 percent if the borrowers meet credit score or cash reserve thresholds.

The new approach “provides more transparent requirements with regard to how compensating factors must be applied,” Fannie Mae said.

The company will end its FannieNeighbors product that offered underwriting flexibility for borrowers in so-called underserved areas. The loans were part of a program that also offers the aid to low-income individuals or public safety, education, military and health-care professionals.

Borrowers without traditional credit will be limited to loans for one-unit homes that they plan to live in, and the company will no longer accept “exterior-only” property appraisals for mortgages run through its computer software.

Fannie Mae is loosening some standards, according to the memo. The loan-to-value ratio allowed for some fixed-rate loans on two-unit properties will increase to 85 percent, from 80 percent. Down payment requirements also will fall for certain co-op loans, according to the document.

SOURCE: Fannie Mae / Bloomberg