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The Federal Open Market Committee seems to be taking direct aim at mortgage rates

September 22nd, 2011, 9:32 am

The Federal Reserve‘s plan to reinvest principal payments on some bonds into mortgage-backed securities is already contributing to the nation’s record low mortgage interest rates, Bankrate said Thursday.

Bankrate said the Federal Open Market Committee seems to be taking direct aim at mortgage rates by shifting $400 billion from short-term holdings into long-term government bonds. The program, which begins Oct. 3 and runs through June, will involve longer-term Treasury securities with remaining maturities of six years to 30 years, and will be financed through the sale of shorter-term Treasurys with maturities of three years or less.

“This program should put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates and help make broader financial conditions more accommodative,” the FOMC said in a statement following its two-day meeting.

Analysts also said anemic economic growth and European debt fears are keeping investors on the sidelines.

Rates are unlikely to increase until mortgage refinancing and purchasing activity picks up, Bankrate said.

“In order to get the most economic impact out of low mortgage rates, the pool of prospective refinancers needs to be expanded. Deeply upside-down homeowners, those with second liens or mortgage insurance, and lender concerns about buyback liability are all formidable impediments to refinancing,” according to the firm, which aggregates rate data from across the country.

The Freddie Mac primary mortgage market survey showed the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage remained unchanged this week at 4.09%, while the 15-year, fixed rate dropped one basis point to a new record low of 3.29%.

Meanwhile, the five-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.02%, up from 2.99% last week and down from 3.54% a year ago.

The one-year, Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.82% this week, up from 2.81% a week earlier and down from 3.46% last year.

“A sluggish economy and investor concerns over the European debt markets left mortgage rates largely unchanged this week,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac.

“Manufacturing activity in both the New York and Philadelphia regions contracted in September,” he said. “Moreover, the Federal Reserve board reported that households lost nearly $150 billion in net worth in the second quarter, representing the first quarterly decline in a year.”

Bankrate data show the 30-year FRM at record lows for the fifth consecutive week. The average rate for a traditional mortgage fell to 4.29%, from 4.32% last week, while the 15-year FRM declined to 3.42% from 3.44%.

In addition, the 5/1 ARM decreased to 3.05% from 3.07% last week.

 

The City Council declined to set aside a spot for a cultural arts venue in the Town Center

STEFANI PETERSON / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
YORBA LINDA – The City Council declined to set aside a spot for a cultural arts venue in the Town Center.
“To move ahead with the Town Center, we need to take out any consideration for a performing arts center at this time,” Councilman Mark Schwing said.
A performing arts center had been proposed by the Yorba Linda Arts Alliance, a grassroots movement to network and promote the arts. The plan originally called to set aside city-owned property for the future construction of a privately funded and operated cultural arts venue in Town Center.
The venue proposed would include a theatre with 900 to 1,200 seats, a smaller black box theater, art gallery, gift shop, workshop space and bistro among other components.
The council voted 4-1, with Councilman Tom Lindsey dissenting, Tuesday night not to earmark a site.
“I will not be supporting this center in this location, but I would certainly support it somewhere else,” Mayor Nancy Rikel said.
The city is seeking pitches for revamping the Town Center.
Some council members questioned whether the project was viable. Lindsey pointed out a lot of unknowns in the proposal.
But the Yorba Linda Arts Alliance isn’t giving up.
Though she wouldn’t give a dollar amount, Gabriella Rollins, director of the Yorba Linda Arts Alliance, said there are substantial funds committed to the project from a wide variety of sources.
The organization is exploring other locations where a performing arts center could be built, she said. It must secure land before designs can be planned.
The Arts Alliance also plans to raise awareness within the community through workshops and fundraisers.
“We are determined to provide some culture to this city,” Rollins said. “We absolutely need a theater, an art gallery and a gathering place.”

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa To Host Grape Stomp & Blessing of The Vines

TEMECULA In a tradition that dates back centuries to European vineyards,two-time California Winery of the Year, South Coast WineryResort & Spa, invites everyone to squish a littleMerlot between their toes at the 7th annual Harvest CelebrationBlessing of the Wines and Grape Stomp.Their ceremony, steeped in tradition, is a fun-filled celebration for the whole family. There will be a special wine blessing officiated by Pastor Phil Hottsenpillar of the Yorba Linda Friends Church, followed by delectable,hot off-the-grill BBQ, along with award-winningwines. Take a tractor-pulled hay ride through the vineyards and dance the night away to the Bayou Brothers Band. Those who enter in the grape stomping contest can win from an assortment of fabulous prizes.

The South Coast WineryBlessing of the Wines and Grape Stomp will be held on Sunday, Sept. 25, from4 – 7 p.m. at the South Coast Winery Resort & Spain Temecula.Adult tickets are $55 dollars and kids 12 and under are $15 dollars. Reserve tickets at SouthCoastWinery.com or call(951) 587-9463. South Coast Winery Resort & Spa is located at 34843 Rancho California Road in the heart of Temecula’s Wine Country.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa is a 38-acre destination property in the heart of Southern California Temecula Wine Country that produces award-winning wines.Since opening doors in 2003, South Coast Winery has garnered over 1,600 awards and medals in both regional and international competitions, and has been named Best Winery in California two years in a row. For the second year in a row, South Coast Winery’sVineyardRoseRestauranthas been awarded the prestigious Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. This award recognizes select restaurants whose wine lists offer interesting selections, are appropriate to their cuisine, and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers.Additionally, Fodor’s, the leading name in travel information, has recognized South Coast Winery Resort & Spa as a 2011 Fodor’s Choice selection. This distinction designates South Coast Winery Resort & Spa as a leader in its field for service, quality, and value.

Dramatic Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 Events Set at Nixon Library

Dramatic Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 Events Set at Nixon Library

Click here to see images

By Richard Nixon Foundation

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011 – 2:21 pm

YORBA LINDA, Calif., Aug. 31, 2011 — Focal point of all Southern California ceremonies begins Labor Day with police, fire, and highway patrol motorcade escorting 20 tons of steel burned and blown off the Twin Towers, and a damaged FDNY fire truck used for search and rescue efforts at Ground Zero.

YORBA LINDA, Calif., Aug. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Richard Nixon Foundation will mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on America with events from Labor Day, September 5 through Sunday, September 11.

Labor Day, September 510:30 am, the planned week of remembrance will begin with the dramatic arrival ceremony welcoming the motorcade transporting 20 tons of steel burned and blown off the World Trade Center, and a damaged first-responder FDNY aerial ladder fire truck. These symbols of one of our nation’s darkest hours will be escorted from Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, and will arrive at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library accompanied by police, fire, and Highway Patrol vehicles. The program will feature 60 members of the Navy Sea Cadets, a blessing by clergy, patriotic choral presentations by local high schools, a display of an antique 1969 American La France fire engine from the Rancho Cucamonga Fire Department, and a solemn bagpipe arrangement and bell tolling in honor of those who lost their lives. The event is free and open to the public.

Sunday, September 1110:30 am, the week will culminate with a free public Remembering 9/11 event in the East Room, featuring a military honor guard, remarks by Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Congressman Ed Royce, and an eyewitness account of heroism by 9/11 survivor and first-responder fireman Joe Torrillo, who was on the scene during the attacks and survived the collapse of both towers.

September 6, 8 and 9, 10:30 am, there will be free presentations featuring members of the Armed Forces and 9/11 first-responders sharing tales of bravery, heroism, and patriotism. The educational programs are free and open to school-aged children and the general public.

For more information, visit nixonfoundation.org.

FOR COVERAGE OPPORTUNITIES: CONTACT JONATHAN MOVROYDIS AT (714) 364-1126 OR EMAIL AT jonathan@nixonfoundation.org

The Richard Nixon Foundation, a not-for-profit organization located on the campus of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda. The museum is open daily 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sundays 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information about events or exhibits, please call (714) 993-5075 or visit the Foundation online at www.nixonfoundation.org.

SOURCE Richard Nixon Foundation

 

Mortgage Rates Fall = Second Chance for Procrastinators

Falling mortgage rates are opening a new window for some borrowers, including those who missed their opportunity to refinance last year when rates hit similar lows.

Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.39% for the week ending Aug. 4, the lowest level for the mortgage in 2011, according to the latest survey from Freddie Mac, released Thursday.

Looking for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage? Those averaged 3.54% in the latest survey – the lowest they’ve been in the history of Freddie Mac’s survey. Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages also hit a record low, averaging 3.18%.

The rate drops came courtesy of glum economic reports as well as continued concerns about economies abroad. A sharp drop in the stock market also may have sent more investors toward bonds and mortgage-backed securities – which brings mortgage rates down.

History suggests that rates won’t go much lower, and it’s also anyone’s guess as to when rates will begin an upward trend once more. While the economy looks grim right now, a dose of optimism from some report or another could turn things around. Expectations are so low now that even slight surprises could cause rates to rise. Should the Federal Reserve adopt additional “quantitative easing” to stimulate the economy, that also could affect mortgage rates for the worse.

All of which is to say that if you’re in the market to refinance, get moving now. Below are some points to keep in mind before you start shopping.

What’s your home worth?

One of the biggest hurdles to refinancing today is a drop in house prices: If your home’s value has dropped since the origination of your last mortgage, refinancing might not be quite as appealing as you thought.

If your home value has fallen, you might need to pay down your principal in addition to whatever closing costs you’ve agreed to pay, in order to get the best rates. According to Freddie Mac, 26% of people who refinanced in the second quarter of 2011 brought cash to the closing table.  The whole concept of cash-in refi isn’t unheard of, but you’re taking money out of savings and plunking it into an equity situation. And with falling home prices, there’s the fear of “I’m going to put 10 grand in and it could be gone tomorrow.”

Others simply aren’t able to pay down principal for a refi. We’ve got a generation of borrowers out there who have been paying on their mortgages and carrying an above-market rate, but can’t refinance because the appraisal won’t allow them to do so.  At least have a ballpark idea of what your home is worth before calling a lender – and before wasting $400 or so for an appraisal that tells you your home value has drastically fallen.  To protect our clients, we regularly pull property profiles to make sure the expected and/or needed value is likely.

Make sure it makes sense.

An old rule of thumb is that refinancing makes sense if you’re able to get a rate that shaves a percentage point off your mortgage. For instance, on a $200,000, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the monthly payment is $1,136 per month if you have a 5.5% rate and $1,013 if you have a 4.5% rate.  That kind of savings probably makes a refinance worthwhile.

Another way to look at it is the client’s “break-even point.”  At TNG Mortgage, we typically like to see our clients be able to break even on the cost of the refinance in 36 months. Every situation is unique, and clients have wide-ranging goals.  In some cases, for instance, longer break-even periods could make more sense, if the homeowner plans on living in the home for a long amount of time to come.



For all real estate in Orange County please visit www.RajQsar.com

Mortgage servicers bypass foreclosure delays with more short sales

by JON PRIOR

Mortgage servicers contending with attorney general investigations and extended foreclosure delays turned more to short sales in the past year.

In August 2009, short sales accounted for 8% of all liquidations of distressed properties. That number grew to 25% by the middle of 2011, according to research from Moody’s Investors Service.

Meanwhile, the time it took from a borrower default to eventual REO liquidation grew from an average 14 months in early 2009 to 24 months by the summer of 2011.

The delays pushed the timelines out and as a result, losses on the eventual sale of those properties higher. Servicers had to halt the foreclosure process in October 2010 to correct forged documents and mishandled foreclosures as part of the robo-signing scandal. Since then, new regulations from federal agencies and still ongoing negotiations between the state AGs left servicers turning toward an early sale of the property before a filing a foreclosure.

“To reduce their expenses and mitigate the high loss severity on liquidated loans, servicers are increasingly opting to bypass the foreclosure process and liquidate properties more quickly through a short sale,” Moody’s analysts said.

Researchers at Deutsche Bank said servicers are using the transactions to also cut into the shadow inventory of properties stuck somewhere in the foreclosure process.Standard & Poor’s said the market actually cut into the shadow inventory during the second quarter for the first time since 2009.

Deutsche Bank found short sales actually take less time to complete than REO sales because of the documentation problems.

The average REO took 17 months to sell in the middle of 2011, compared to just under 12 months for short sales completed in that time, according to Deutsche Bank.

Loss severities dropped as well. Servicers experienced a 70% loss rate on REOs sold in the middle of 2011, compared to less than 60% for short sales.

These transactions also do less damage to a borrower’s credit score, dropping it between 50 and 200 points compared to an REO sale, which can slash the FICO score for the borrower as much as 400 points.

Borrowers who manage a short sale can buy a new home between one and two years as well, according to researchers. Those whose homes sell through REO must wait between five and seven.

However, short sales continue to be a struggle as investors often squabble over whether or not to approve the transaction.

“Short sales, like other servicer loss mitigation strategies, may stir a fierce ‘class warfare’ between investors in different parts of the deal capital structure,” Deutsche Bank researchers said.

Moody’s analysts said short sales steadied loss severities over the past year, as foreclosure problems continue to plague the recovery.

“We can attribute the stabilization of average loss severities in part to a rising number of liquidations through short sale, which by reducing liquidation timelines, foreclosure expenses, and legal costs, can reduce the losses incurred on defaulted loans,” Moody’s said.

O.C. property index up again

August 11th, 2011, 1:00 am · 29 Comments · posted by Jon Lansner

By The Big Orange Index’s math for the second quarter, local real estate enjoyed its sixth consecutive advance — but the smallest gain in the streak. Homebuying and lending is down, but hiring and construction are up.
 

That’s the springtime read of my Big Orange Index, a compilation of three dozen measures of local economic patterns. Overall, Big Orange Property Owner index was 124 for last quarter. That’s up 0.38% vs. the previous three months and up 9.84% vs. a year earlier.

FULL BIG ORANGE INDEX ANALYSIS HERE!

Here’s benchmarks that comprise the Big Orange Property Index and how they’re doing:

  • People working in real estate and finance jobs averaged 157,700 in past year. That’s up 0.21% vs. the previous three months and down 0.19% vs. a year earlier. Employment Development Dept. is the source.
  • Homes sold ran 29,426 in past year. That’s down 4.08% vs. the previous three months and down 10.32% vs. a year earlier. DataQuick is the source.
  • Local home value ran at an estimated 453,108 in past year. That’s down 0.24% vs. the previous three months and up 1.63% vs. a year earlier. Compilation of data from Real Estate Research Council and Federal Hosuing Finance Agency is the source.
  • Residential building permitting pace was $1.16 billion in past year. That’s up 3.90% vs. the previous three months and up 30.29% vs. a year earlier. Chapman U. estimate is the source.
  • Mortgage making of all sorts in Orange equals $62.68 billion in past year. That’s up 0.85% vs. the previous three months and up 43.07% vs. a year earlier. DataQuick is the source.
  • Large-complex rents in O.C. averaged 1,425 in past year. That’s up 1.33% vs. the previous three months and up 1.82% vs. a year earlier. RealFacts is the source.

 

Real estate for sale in Yorba Linda looks brighter by one set of statistics.

Every two weeks, Orange County broker Steve Thomas publishes a report on the supply of local homes for sale. Here’s what the latest report — as of July 7 — has to say about Yorba Linda …

Compare these trends to countywide patterns:

  • Cities with highest level of distressed properties among their listings? Anaheim was tops — 60.3% — followed by Rancho Santa Marg. at 58.3% of listings and Santa Ana at 57.8% of listings.
  • Fewest? Corona Del Mar was tops — 3.1% — followed by Seal Beach at 3.7% of listings and Newport Coast at 8.1% of listings.
    • 384 residences listed in brokers’ MLS system with 94 new deals opening in the past 30 days.
    • By Thomas’s math, this community has a “market time” (months in would take to sell all inventory at current pace of new escrows) of 4.09 months vs. 4.87 months found two weeks earlier vs. 4.58 months seen a year earlier. Countywide, latest market time was 3.96 months vs. 3.78 months a year ago.
    • So, homes in this community sell — in theory — in 3% more time than the countywide pace.
    • Of the homes listed for sale in this community, 96 were either foreclosures being resold or short sales, where sellers owe more than the home’s value. So distressed properties were 25.0% of supply of homes for sale vs. 33.1% countywide.
    • Homes for sale in Yorba Linda represent 3.4% of Orange County inventory — and 2.6% of all the distressed homes listed for sale in Orange County. New escrows here are 3.3% of all Orange County’s new pending sales.

     

    Housing Starts up 14.6% in June to 629,000 units

    Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

    Housing starts rose 14.6% in June, according to Commerce Department data, continuing gains of the prior month and coming in well above most analysts’ estimates.

    On a seasonally adjusted basis, starts increased to the highest level since January at 629,000, up from a revised 549,000 for May and nearly 17% higher than 539,000 a year earlier.

    Analysts polled by Econoday were expecting housing startsto come in at 575,000 with a range of estimates between 550,000 and 600,000. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch projected starts to come in at 580,000 for June.

    In a joint release, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development said single-family starts climbed 9.4% in June to a seasonally adjusted rate of 453,000 units, up from a revised 414,000 for May.

    June’s increase comes on the heels of a 3.5% increase in May. Starts dropped 22.5% in February, which was the largest monthly decline since March 1984.

    Building permits in June rose 2.5% to an annual rate of 624,000 from a revised 609,000 for the prior month.

    To search all homes for sale on the MLS please visit www.RajQsar.com/search