The U.S. Census Bureau and HUD recently released the 2011 American Housing Survey, a biennual comprehensive national housing survey that provides data on housing inventories, demographics, home improvements, mortgages, and more.
The 2011 survey indicates that almost 20 percent of new home owners chose their neighborhood based on convenience to the workplace.
The poll of the nation’s 115 million occupied homes also reveals the median size of single-family detached and mobile residences to be 1,800 square feet — versus 2,200 square feet for newly built homes — and the median year of construction for owner-occupied units to be 1976.
Sixty-four percent of homes have three or more bedrooms and 52 % have two or more bathrooms. In terms of accessibility, 64 % have floors with no steps between rooms, 48 % have entry-level bathrooms, and 36 % have entry-level bedrooms.
The survey also found that 20 % of recent movers located their current homes through a real estate agent, 17 % through Realtor.com, and 16 % by word-of-mouth. Additionally, households spend about 24% of their household income on housing.
This data and more is now available for the first time through the U.S. Census Bureau’s American FactFinder data access tool. Please review data and provide your comments!
Source: “HUD and Census Bureau Expand Access to Include Housing Info” National Mortgage Professional (01/04/13)
Extending tax relief on debt forgiveness is “a high priority,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said at a Senate Banking Committee hearing Thursday. His remarks come at a time when buyers are being drawn back to the housing market thanks to low mortgage rates and other factors.
Prices are rising because the number of foreclosures is declining and underwater borrowers are getting a break, as banks slash the balances of thousands of mortgages and let home owners sell for less than the value of their loans rather than go into foreclosure. Please comments about this and reflections of your market?
Source: “Housing Recovery Depends on Slashing Mortgage Debt,” CNBC.com (Dec. 6, 2012)
A move that will expedite foreclosures?
“Mary Berg, a spokeswoman for Wells, said its new policy on short sales was put in place “over the past couple of months . in response to various investor changes.”Those investors, she said, “would include the GSEs, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and those investing in private-label” MBS.
“It makes no business sense why they are doing this, since it’s wrong for the borrowers and for the government,” said Eli Tene, chief executive of IShortSale, a Woodland Hills, Calif., firm that advises distressed borrowers.
Wells said it will make an exception to the new policy for loans in its own portfolio, which includes those it acquired with Wachovia Corp. in 2008. For these loans, Berg said, Wells allows for one foreclosure postponement, provided the following: it has an approved short sale in hand that includes approvals from junior lienholders and mortgage insurers; the buyer has proof of funds or approved financing; and the short sale can close within 30 days of the scheduled foreclosure sale.
The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development recently announced a new agreement with the nation’s top mortgage lenders to offer select state and local governments, including California, and nonprofit organizations a “first look” or right of first refusal to purchase foreclosed homes before making the properties available to private investors.
The National First Look Program is the first-ever public-private partnership agreement between HUD and the National Community Stabilization Trust and is intended to give communities participating in HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program a brief exclusive opportunity to purchase bank-owned properties in certain neighborhoods so the homes can be rehabilitated, rented, resold, or demolished.
More information at: http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2010/HUDNo.10-187
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced last week it is pushing back the implementation date for new premium structures on FHA-insured mortgages to Oct. 4 from the original date of Sept. 7.
Following FHA Commissioner David Stevens’ recent announcement that up-front premiums for FHA-insured mortgages would be reduced beginning Sept. 7 from 2.25 percent to 1 percent, lenders expressed concerns that they would need more than five weeks to update loan disclosures and computer systems.
FHA previously raised up-front premiums from 1.75 percent to 2.25 percent in April to cope with rising losses on FHA-guaranteed loans. The Obama administration promised to reduce up-front premiums if Congress gave it the authority to raise annual premiums beyond their statutory limit of 0.55 percent. HR 5981, legislation raising the statutory limit on annual premiums to 1.55 percent, was approved by lawmakers on Aug. 4 and has been signed by President Obama.
More information at: http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/ver-1/HUD/federal_housing_administration/docs/BottStatementPremiumChanges.pdf