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Friday, February 27, 2009

Good News for Real Estate Investors Looking for Financing



As of last Friday, there is good news for real estate investors with more than 4 financed properties. Fannie Mae is lifting their ban on financing investors with more than 4 financed properties raising the total number to 10. According to Fannie Mae, the rationale for the change is that experienced investors can “play a key role in the housing recovery”. Until now, foreclosure auctions have gone at less than full speed because investors unable to pay cash have been halted by the existing 4-property Fannie Mae limit.

These new guidelines will take effect on March 1st, 2009. There are some particulars to keep in mind however if you are an investor looking to capitalize on this. Investors buying a 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th or 10th home must meet the following standards:

720 credit score
25% downpayment for a 1-unit (30% for a 2-4 unit)
No mortgage delinquencies in the last 12 months
6 months of reserves for each investment property
Going forward, expect a more expedient foreclosure liquidation nationwide which should, in turn, provide further support for the housing market. This should help get things flowing again. Also, if you are an investor that has more than 4 financed properties currently, you can now look to refinance and capitalize on the historically low interest rates.
Author: Steve Heideman • URL: http://www.arizonamortgagenews.com
February 16th, 2009 •


If you turn down Pandora and listen closely, you can hear real estate investors in Chicago cheering all the way from Cincinnati.
Read the Fannie Mae official announcement -- you get the sense that the nationalized group is getting with the program. This excerpt comes from the lead paragraph: "Fannie Mae is committed to providing financing opportunities for high-credit quality, bona fide investors. Experienced investors play a key role in the housing recovery."
The use of the phrases "high-credit quality," "bona fide" and "experienced" was a conscious one, by the way. Fannie Mae is averse to first-time investors and other foreclosure opportunists. Instead, it wants to serve individuals with a history of owning and successfully managing rental property.
To that end, Fannie Mae will now finance the purchases of one-unit homes for investors with an interest in between 5-10 properties, provided that all of the following guidelines are met:
• 25 percent down payment on the investment property; • Minimum credit score of 720; • No mortgage payments late within the last 12 months; • No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the last seven years; • Two years of tax returns showing rental income from all rental properties; • Six months of principal, interest, taxes and insurance reserves on each of the financed properties. And lastly, to reduce fraud, Fannie Mae will now require all real estate investors to sign a form granting lenders permission to verify supplied tax returns against the official, IRS-filed version. This document is less commonly known as a 4506-T. But lest we think this guideline change is Fannie Mae's olive branch to the people, let's remember that our nation's banks are holding record numbers of foreclosed homes on their balance sheets right now while the most likely buyers of those homes have been to-date locked out from financing. Real estate investors want to buy REO, but Fannie Mae had made it impossible. The guideline change is meant to extend banks and lenders a lifeline first; bringing experienced investors back into the fold is just how it's getting done.
That said, real estate investors are lovin' it. For the first time since September, investors can go to auction and know that (relatively) cheap financing will be available from the government. This should speed the reduction of REO inventory nationwide. In addition, with more investors eligible for financing, expect greater competition for prime foreclosed properties, helping to keep home prices from falling into the abyss. The rollback gives a secondary benefit to investors, too -- even those not buying additional property. See, when the four-property restriction went into effect it was a surprise , 11th-hour announcement made on the Friday before Fannie Mae's nationalization. This date, meanwhile, has come to be known as the day before the refi boom started. So, on the following Monday, when mortgage rates instantly plunged three-quarters of a percent, homeowners with five properties or more found themselves ineligible. They couldn't refinance their investment homes; they couldn't refinance their vacation homes; and they often couldn't refinance their primary homes, either. While rates fell for nearly every borrower class, experienced real estate investors were locked out. Today, that's no longer the case. "High-credit quality, bona fide" real estate investors are back in the game. It's good for them; it's good for the banks; and it's good for housing.
Not every bank sells loans to Fannie Mae, however, so if you think the new guidelines will impact your mortgage plans, be sure to check with your loan officer first. Originally posted at The Mortgage Reports blog, Copyright (c) Dan Green [6]





Buying or Selling a home in Stone Harbor or Avalon, or if you need a Summer Rental, it would be my pleasure to help you with your Real Estate needs.

e~mail me at Nancy@NancyMAlexander or Call me! I love to talk Real Estate! Call my cell 609.425.7521

Please visit The Address For Luxury Real Estate at http://www.StoneHarborRealtor.com/. I'd love to be your Realtor

Market Conditions

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke yesterday on the state of the economy, noting that "if actions taken by the Administration, the Congress, and the Federal Reserve are successful in restoring some measure of financial stability--and only if that is the case, in my view--there is a reasonable prospect that the current recession will end in 2009 and that 2010 will be a year of recovery."

This is welcome news for those inclined to believe the optimism.

The chairman did acknowledge that the end of the housing boom, or what some consider the bursting of the bubble, was the "immediate trigger" of the crisis our nation now finds itself in.

Bernanke continued, "Conditions in housing and mortgage markets have proved a serious drag on the broader economy both directly, through their impact on residential construction and related industries and on household wealth, and indirectly, through the effects of rising mortgage delinquencies on the health of financial institutions."

Studies and data indicate that prices continue to fall at this time, and foreclosures continue to infect the market.

The Federal Reserve has taken drastic action in the last year in order to stave off a worsening crisis in the housing market. "To support housing markets and economic activity more broadly, and to improve mortgage market functioning, the Federal Reserve has begun to purchase large amounts of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities. Since the announcement of this program last November, the conforming fixed mortgage rate has fallen nearly 1 percentage point," Bernanke noted.
by Carla L. Davis . Realty Times

Published: February 25, 2009

Buying or Selling a home in Stone Harbor or Avalon, or if you need a Summer Rental, it would be my pleasure to help you with your Real Estate needs.

e~mail me at Nancy@NancyMAlexander or Call me! I love to talk Real Estate! Call my cell 609.425.7521

Please visit The Address For Luxury Real Estate at http://www.StoneHarborRealtor.com/. I'd love to be your Realtor

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Avalon Sales Activity for the Weeks of February 8 to February 22, 2009


Avalon Sales Activity for the Weeks of February 8 to February 22, 2009


Understanding the general direction of the current market conditions is of vital importance to both buyers and sellers in order to help you make a more informed decision when buying or selling a home in Stone Harbor or Avalon. Here is a summary of the Avalon Real Estate Market Activity.

There are currently 209 single family homes for sale in Avalon ranging in price from $549,000 for a two bedroom home at 667 22nd street to a whopping $16,875,000 for a seven bedroom south Avalon beach front home on 75th street.

In the two week period February 8 to February 22,2009, three properties went Under Contract.
246 44th street,a 4 bedroom,3 bath home listed for $1,250,000.Goes to settlement 4/25/2009.Was on the market 38 days

118 22nd street,a brand new 5 bedroom,5 bath home listed for $1,695,000 goes to settlement on 4/24/2009.Was on the market 118 days

74 West 11th street, a 5 bedroom,5 bath home listed for $1,750,000 goes to settlement 4/21/2009.This was on market 17 days

Condo/Townhouse Avalon
There are now 147 condo/townhouses for sale in Avalon ranging in price from $185,000 for an efficiency unit at 7900 Dune Drive,up to $2,200,000 for a beach front,4 bedroom,3 bath unit at 65 east 28th street

One townhouse is Under Contract at 502 20th street. This 4 bedroom,4 bath unit is listed for $719,000 and goes to settlement 3/7/2009. This has been on market 528 days.



Three condo units have Sold and Settled.
Two units at 7929 Dune Drive .One Sold for $340,000,and one sold for $353,140.

300 79th street ,a 3 bedroom,2 bath unit listed for $630,000,Sold for $550,000 on 2/18/2009 after 86 days on the market.

The data for this market report is based on statistics provided from the Cape May County MLS (private sales are not included)

Buying or Selling a home in Stone Harbor or Avalon, or if you need a Summer Rental, it would be my pleasure to help you with your Real Estate needs.

e~mail me at Nancy@NancyMAlexander or Call me! I love to talk Real Estate! Call my cell 609.425.7521 o

Please visit The Address For Luxury Real Estate at http://www.StoneHarborRealtor.com/. I'd love to be your Realtor

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Stone Harbor Sales Activity for the Weeks of February 8 to February 22, 2009


Stone Harbor Sales Activity for the Weeks of February 8 to February 22, 2009


Understanding the general direction of the current market conditions is of vital importance to both buyers and sellers in order to help you make a more informed decision when buying or selling a home in Stone Harbor or Avalon. Here is a summary of the Stone Harbor Real Estate Market Activity.

There are currently 112 homes for sale in Stone Harbor ranging in price from $525,000 for a one bedroom home on Weber Court to $5,990,000 for a beach front home on 97th street.

In the two week period February 8 to February 22,2009, one beach block home at 120 114th street which was listed for $2,900,000 SOLD for $2.400,000 on 2/11/2009 after 125 days on the market.

There are three single family homes currently Under Contract.
356 89th street ,a 3 bedroom,1 bath home listed for $990,000,goes to settlement 2/27/2009.This has been on the market 434 days.

8801 Pennsylvania Avenue, a 5 bedroom,5 bath home with a pool,listed for $2,849,000. which has been on market for 409 days.This goes to settlement March 7,2009

43 Weber Court,a two bedroom,one bath cottage listed for $559,000 went Under Contract same day it hit the market. it goes to settlement 3/31/2009

Stone Harbor NJ Condos – February 8 to February 22nd 2009. Market Recap:

58 Stone Harbor condos currently for sale ranging in price from $299,000 for an efficiency unit on 99th street up to $1,725,000 for a 5 bedroom,3.5 bath townhome with pool at 261 89th street.

Average asking price is $766,591
Average Days on the market - 297 days

One Condo in Stone Harbor is now Under Contract
312 88th street. Asking price $399,000
Days on the market-72 days

The data for this market report is based on statistics provided from the Cape May County MLS (private sales are not included)

Buying or Selling a home in Stone Harbor or Avalon, or if you need a Summer Rental, it would be my pleasure to help you with your Real Estate needs.

e~mail me at Nancy@NancyMAlexander or Call me! I love to talk Real Estate! Call my cell 609.425.7521

Please visit The Address For Luxury Real Estate at http://www.StoneHarborRealtor.com/. I'd love to be your Realtor.

Buy Now And Beat The Spring Rush


Here is an Excerpt from My February Newsletter 2009 in Realty Times



Down market. Up market. It doesn't matter. Spring showers typically bring spring buyers.
But if you wait for the seasonal thaw you'll join what could be a throng of market savvy buyers who have already scoped the lay of the land and are elbowing for position.

In many communities, an over-supply of homes for sale with reduced prices, foreclosures, auction sales and sellers shopping for short sale buyers, all make it an opportune time not to procrastinate.

"We are seeing a confluence of events that contributes to the increase in the number of closed sales," said Quincy Virgilio, president of the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors in San Jose, CA.

"Interest rates are at a record low and the affordability index nears a 5-year high. For first-time buyers, rents are skyrocketing and that's an added incentive to buy a home now," added Virgilio.

That doesn't mean every home is a Blue Light Special or that you can shop with reckless abandon. It's a better idea to prepare now, become a savvy buyer and beat the spring rush.

To help get you started we've gleaned some key tips from "Buying Your First Home Now" (Nolo.com, $24.99), by Ilona Bray, Alayna Schroeder, Marcia Stewart and a dozen contributing experts knowledgeable in everything from credit, borrowing and buying to escrow, insurance and taxes.

• Check your home-buying pulse. Just because there's a convergence of favorable market conditions doesn't mean it's your time to buy.
Base your decision solely on the state of your housing market and you'll overlook why the current market is littered with the former homes of those who borrowed more than they could afford.

Likewise, if you wait for prices to fall more your could miss out. No one knows when the market will hit bottom until it begins a sustained upward turn and you can look back and actually see bottom.

Buy a home because, for you, it's the right thing to do. Buy because it's more affordable than renting, because you plan on staying put until it pays off, buy because it is a good fit for your lifestyle and your personal goals.

• Learn your local market. While you certainly need to be up on the most recent housing news, get news from your local media outlets, your real estate agent and data providers that regularly generate information about your community.

• Get some basic training. Even if you've purchased before, bone up now. Regulations, local practices and market conditions change. Use well-established, frequently-updated information sources on and off line. Attend real estate industry-sponsored seminars, workshops, counseling sessions and post-secondary level realty classes.

Examine your credit. Pull your credit report and check your credit score before your lender does. You need to make sure both are where they need to be to land you a home loan. AnnualCreditReport.com (also at 877-322-8228) is the one and only official, federally sanctioned program giving you free annual access to your credit report. The nominal fee to obtain your credit score from one of the three credit reporting agencies is worth the cost.

Shop with money in your pocket. Get a mortgage approved before you begin to shop for a home. You need to know how much you can afford and how much home you can buy so you can negotiate from a position of strength. Shop around for the best mortgage possible.

• Buy like a savvy investor. Buy low now, sell high later. Shop in the least expensive neighborhood in the best community or the least expensive city in the region. Drill down to buy the least expensive home on the best block or the cheapest home in a neighborhood in transition.

Your Real Estate Agent. Use your real estate agent as your point person, tell friends, family and co-workers you are in the market.
For the immediate future, look for distressed properties to continue flooding the low-performing markets, which will keep sales high but hurt property values. In the more stable markets, the upper end will continue to cool, but record-low interest rates should keep demand relatively strong for well-positioned mid-value properties.



Read rest of my newsletter here
http://realtytimes.com/123/NancyAlexander
Wondering What Your Home Is Worth? -- Let me show you.


Buying or Selling a home in Stone Harbor or Avalon, or if you need a Summer Rental, it would be my pleasure to help you with your Real Estate needs.

e~mail me at Nancy@NancyMAlexander or Call me! I love to talk Real Estate! Call my cell 609.425.7521

Please visit The Address For Luxury Real Estate at http://www.StoneHarborRealtor.com/. I'd love to be your Realtor

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions About the $8,000. Federal Tax Credit

Frequently Asked Questions About the $8,000. Federal Tax Credit Recently Approved by Congress

Q:
A: How much is the tax credit?
The tax credit would be $8,000 or 10% of the purchase price, whichever is less.

Q:
A: Who is eligible?
Similar to the $7,500 tax credit included in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the $8,000 tax credit (included in the 2009 economic stimulus plan) is available for the purchase of the primary residence by first-time homebuyers.

Q:
A: If this is for first-time homebuyers, how do I know if I am eligible for the tax credit?
According to the IRS, any taxpayer who has not owned a home during the 3 years prior to the date of purchase can qualify for the credit.

Q:
A: Do I have to repay the $8,000.?
No. Unlike the previous $7,500 tax credit, the $8,000. does not have to be repaid UNLESS, the home is sold within three years of purchase; at that time, the credit will be reversed.

Q:
A: Are there any income limitations on the tax credit?
Yes. The tax credit is strictly for individuals with adjusted gross income of under $75,000 or $150,000 for joint filers.

Tax Credit vs. Tax Deduction

This is a tax credit, not a tax deduction, meaning its a dollar-for-dollar decrease to your tax liability. Also, the tax credit is refundable, meaning you can receive the full value of the credit even if you do not have an $8,000 tax liability.

Phase-Out


The tax credit phases-out for individuals making $75,000 or over modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), and couples making $150,000 or over MAGI. Below are examples of how the phase-out will apply to the two different scenarios.

Individual Making $75,000 or Over


Assume that an individual homebuyer has a modified adjusted gross income of $88,000. The buyer’s income exceeds $75,000 by $13,000. Dividing $13,000 by $20,000 yields 0.65. When you subtract 0.65 from 1.0, the result is 0.35. Multiplying $8,000 by 0.35 shows that the buyer is eligible for a partial tax credit of $2,800.

Couple Making $150,000 or Over

Assume that a married couple has a modified adjusted gross income of $160,000. The applicable phaseout to qualify for the tax credit is $150,000, and the couple is $10,000 over this amount. Dividing $10,000 by $20,000 yields 0.5. When you subtract 0.5 from 1.0, the result is 0.5. To determine the amount of the partial first-time homebuyer tax credit that is available to this couple, multiply $8,000 by 0.5. The result is $4,000.

Who Cannot Take the Tax Credit

If any of the following apply, you cannot take the tax credit:

1. Individuals making $95,000 or over MAGI, and couples making $170,000 or over MAGI; meaning you receive no tax credit if your income is this much or more a year.

2. You buy your home from a close relative, including: parent, sibling, spouse, grandparent, child, etc.

3. You sell your home within the first three years of purchasing it. If this occurs, the tax credit must be repaid.

4. You are a non-resident alien

First-time Homebuyer Definition

A first-time homebuyer is defined as someone who has not owned a home within the last three years. If married filing jointly, both spouses must meet the first-time homebuyer definition to take the tax credit.

When Can the Tax Credit be Claimed?

The $8,000 tax credit can be claimed for your 2008 tax year (filed by April 15th 2009), 2008 amended return or 2009 tax year.

Homes That Qualify

The tax credit is applicable to any home that will be used as a principle residence. Based on that guideline, qualifying homes include single-family detached homes, as well as attached homes such as townhouses and condominiums. In addition, manufactured or homes and houseboats used for principle residence also qualify. For new construction, the purchase date is considered the day you occupy the home; therefore you must move-in by November 30th 2009 to qualify for the tax credit.

Also, homes in the District of Columbia qualify for the tax credit.

How About Those Who Purchased Homes in 2008?

Homes purchased in 2008 are subject to the $7,500 repayable tax credit.

President Obama unveiled his plan to help stabilize the housing market and keep millions of borrowers in their homes.
The Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan includes two initiatives to help struggling homeowners. One is a refinancing program for homeowners with less than 20% equity in their homes, or who owe more than their home is worth. The second program attempts to lower monthly payments for homeowners at risk of losing their home. In addition, the plan includes a third initiative to support low mortgage rates by strengthening confidence in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Many of the plan’s details are still being worked out and will not be announced until March 4, here is an overview of the plan’s main components.

Refinancing Initiative
Under current rules, those families who own less than 20% equity in their homes have a difficult time refinancing and taking advantage of the historically low interest rates. Therefore, the refinancing initiative in the new plan provides refinancing help for homeowners with less than 20% equity in their homes or who owe more than their home is worth. This initiative is open to homeowners who have conforming loans which are guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who owe up to 5% more than their home is worth.

According to the plan, “credit-worthy” or “responsible” homeowners can refinance their mortgage into a 30- or 15-year, fixed-rate loan based on current market rates. The refinanced loan, however, cannot include prepayment penalties or balloon payments. For many families, this low-cost refinancing may help reduce their mortgage payments by up to thousands of dollars per year.

As with the rest of the plan, details about this initiative will be released at a future date—including what, if any, credit score requirements will be included.

Stability Initiative
This initiative aims at providing help to individual families as well as entire neighborhoods by helpingreduce foreclosures and stabilize home prices. It is intended to help homeowners who are struggling to afford their mortgage payments, but cannot sell their homes because prices have fallen significantly.

The goal of this initiative is simple: “reduce the amount homeowners owe per month to sustainable levels.” To accomplish this, lenders are encouraged to lower homeowners' payments to 31 percent of their income by lowering their interest rate to as low as 2% or by extending the terms of the loan. In addition, lenders can also lower the principal owed by the borrower, with Treasury sharing in the costs.

Homeowners who are current on their mortgages but are struggling can still apply for this program. As such, this is one of the few programs designed to help homeowners who may face delinquency soon, but are current at the moment.

Since the focus of this initiative is on helping families and neighborhoods, investment properties do not qualify. This initiative also includes a number of additional elements and incentives that benefit homeowners and lenders alike, including:

Incentives to Help Borrowers Stay Current: To provide an extra incentive for borrowers to keep paying on time, the initiative will provide a monthly balance reduction payment that goes straight towards reducing the principal balance of the mortgage loan. As long as a borrower stays current on his or her loan, he or she can get up to $1,000 each year for five years.
Reaching Borrowers Early: To keep lenders focused on reaching borrowers who are trying their best to stay current on their mortgages, an incentive payment of $500 will be paid to servicers, and an incentive payment of $1,500 will be paid to mortgage holders, if they modify at-risk loans before the borrower falls behind.
Supporting Low Mortgage Rates
As part of the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan, the Treasury Department is increasing its funding commitment to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure the strength and security of the mortgage market and to help maintain mortgage affordability. This portion of the plan will use using funds already authorized in 2008 by Congress for this purpose.

The increased funding will enable Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to carry out ambitious efforts to ensure mortgage affordability for responsible homeowners, and provide forward-looking confidence in the mortgage market.

Again, the government plans to unveil the final details of the plan on March 4, 2009. For now, you can download a sheet of common Questions and Answers produced by the government at: www.treas.gov/initiatives/eesa/homeowner-affordability-plan/ConsumerQA.pdf
FREE Home Buyer Tax Credit Webinar – April 3 at Noon

The countdown to December 1, 2009 has begun. Learn how to take advantage of the tax credit during a free Get the Real StorySM webinar on Friday, April 3, 2009 at noon. Register for the webinar on Friday by visiting http://www.njar.com/rs_register.php. The website address for participating will be e-mailed to you in advance of the event. Please note, space for the live event is limited.





Buying or Selling a home in Stone Harbor or Avalon, or if you need a Summer Rental, it would be my pleasure to help you with your Real Estate needs.

e~mail me at Nancy@NancyMAlexander or Call me! I love to talk Real Estate! Call my cell 609.425.7521

Please visit The Address For Luxury Real Estate at http://www.StoneHarborRealtor.com/. I'd love to be your Realtor.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Now Could Be the Time to Buy a Home in Stone Harbor!

Now Could Be the Time to Buy a Home in Stone Harbor

The old adage “There’s no time like the present” might not first come to mind when looking at today’s national housing market. But these homespun words of wisdom are quite appropriate when a closer look is given to individual local markets across the country and I’d like to point out these favorable factors that can contribute to making this, for many consumers, a most opportune time to buy a home:

Inventory is up. When the market is hot, new listings can’t replenish the supply of homes fast enough, and that works in the sellers’ favor. In today’s market, the opposite is true, providing more choices for buyers.

Sellers are motivated. Homes that in a hot market would have been snapped up in days are now lingering unsold for weeks, even months. Factor in bank-owned properties due to the recent and unfortunate spike in foreclosures and buyers find themselves in an advantageous negotiating position they haven’t enjoyed for years.

Interest rates are down. Recent cuts in the prime rate by the Federal Reserve have sparked drops in interest rates, which at the end of January were below 6 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. While banks have tightened lending requirements in the wake of increased loan defaults, homebuyers with few credit problems qualifying to purchase a home they can afford should still have little trouble securing favorable financing terms.

What’s more, a market climate like this especially favors buyers who don’t need to sell an existing property before their purchase, buyers like first-timers and those looking for a second home. This tilts the scale even more towards many buyers.
But regardless of the situation, for every buyer, the key is to work with a real estate professional that knows the local market and specializes in buyer representation – like an agent who has earned the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation.

Nancy Alexander is one of more than 50,000 members of the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, who have attained the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®) designation. As the world's largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer, REBAC is "The Voice for Buyer Representation," with more than 50,000 active real estate professional members of the organization throughout the world.


How the Stimulus Plan Benefits Homebuyers

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes elements of NAR’s housing agenda, including:

Homebuyer Tax Credit: The bill provides for an $8,000 tax credit that would be available to first-time home buyers for the purchase of a principal residence on or after Jan. 1, 2009 and before Dec. 1, 2009. The credit does not require repayment.



FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Loan Limits: The bill reinstates last year's 2008 loan limits for FHA, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae loans. These limits were equal to the greater of 125% of the 2008 local area median home price or $271,050 for FHA and $417,000 for Fannie and Freddie, with an overall maximum cap of $729,750.


The WSJ discusses the data:

Home prices continued their multiyear slide in December, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price indexes, as both the 10-city and 20-city index posted record declines, making 2008 the second-straight full year of declining home prices.

The Sun Belt continues to be hit hardest, and nationally, home prices are at levels similar to late 2003…

Both composite indexes and 13 of the 20 metropolitan areas have reported consecutive record year-over-year declines since December 2007.

As of December, average home prices are down 27% from their mid-2006 peak. The 10-city and 20-city indexes have fallen every month since August 2006, 29 straight.




Game Changer in Housing Numbers

“Housing completions fell a record 24.2% to a record low 776k annualized rate, the first reading below 1.0 million since 1982. The is extremely important because until now builders were still completing homes at a pace too strong for current conditions, preventing inventory levels from falling more rapidly than they recently have. Now that fewer homes are hitting the market for sale, the growing U.S. population will have fewer homes to choose from. This will accelerate the recent decline in home inventories. Have no doubt: this is a game changer for inventories and prices.


“Inventories are already falling … Now that they have fallen; the decline in inventories will accelerate and with it change the dynamic on prices and the whole ball game, basically.”


-- Tony Crescenzi, chief bond market strategist at Miller Tabak & Co., LLC, “Crescenzi: Game Changer In Housing Numbers,” CNBC.com, Feb. 18, 2009.

Affordability and Inventory Make 2009 a Great Time to Buy a Home
According to the National Association of Realtors® housing affordability index, homes were more affordable in December than at any other point since the group started the index in 1970.

In many places it is taking months to sell a home, creating loads of inventory -- from new homes to existing homes to foreclosures. But if you put off a purchase until inventory shrinks substantially, you might not get as good a price. It's nearly impossible to time the exact bottom of the housing market.

Mortgage Applications Soar
Homeowners' applications to refinance existing loans jumped 64.3% on a week-to-week basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly survey. Applications for mortgages to purchase homes for the week ended Feb. 13 also rose, up a seasonally adjusted 9.1% from the prior week.

“Mortgage Applications Rose 45.7% Last Week,” by Amy Hoak, MarketWatch, Feb. 18, 2009

Foreclosures Eased in January

Foreclosure filings - default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions - were reported on 274,399 U.S. properties during January, down 10% from December, according to RealtyTrac, the online marketer of foreclosed homes. “The extensive foreclosure efforts on the part of lenders and government agencies appear to have impacted the January numbers.”
James Saccacio, RealtyTrac CEO, “Foreclosures Eased in January,” by Les Christie, CNNMoney.com, Feb. 12, 2009.


Are you considering a move ? If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, in Stone Harbor or Avalon, please visit the address for Luxury Real Estate at www.StoneHarborRealtor.com. I'd love to be your Realtor.
It would be my pleasure to help you with your Real Estate needs. Call me ...I Love To talk Real Estate! 609-425-7521

Monday, February 9, 2009

Stone Harbor Sales Activity February 1 to February 8, 2009

Stone Harbor Sales Activity for the Week of February 1 to February 8, 2009
According to MLS figures the data below shows sales Statistics in Stone Harbor for the first week of February.

108 single family homes are currently for sale in Stone Harbor with asking prices range from $525,000 to $5,990,000
Average asking price is $2,339,795
Average Days on the market - 244 days

Two single family homes in Stone Harbor are now Under Contract.
120 114th street, a beach block home listed for $2.900,000 goes to settlement on 2/26/2009 Days on market =110
356 89th street, listed for $990,000 goes to settlement on 2/13/2009.Days on market =434

9200 First Avenue, a Beach Block home listed for $1,985,000, Sold for $1,890,000 0n 2/7/2009


Stone Harbor NJ Condos – February 1 to February 8th 2009. Market Recap:

53 Stone Harbor condos currently for sale ranging in price from $299,000 up to $1,725,000

Average asking price is $779,911
Average Days on the market - 312 days

Two Condos in Stone Harbor are now Under Agreement
275 103rd street. Asking price $789,000

312 88th street. Asking price $399,000
Days on the market-72 days

Are you considering a move ? If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, in Stone Harbor or Avalon, please visit the address for Luxury Real Estate at www.StoneHarborRealtor.com. I'd love to be your Realtor.
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Monday, February 2, 2009

Real Estate Outlook: What's in Store for 2009?

Excerpt from My February Newsletter 2009 Realty Times


Real Estate Outlook: What's in Store for 2009?


What will the new year bring for housing and real estate? It's easy to look at all the negative economic news in the headlines and say - there's no sign that 2009 is going to be any better than 2008.

But here's a different perspective to consider from one of the country's veteran financial analysts -- Richard Bove of Ladenburg Thalmann, an investment banking company.

In a research report issued late in December, Bove said he sees a positive dynamic taking shape in the current cycle. The government has intervened aggressively in the markets to push interest rates down -- most notably in the home mortgage sector.

Though it takes awhile for low-cost money to begin having its effect, Bove said he expects "housing prices to stabilize and/or rise (in 2009) after a likely boom in mortgage refinancings as rates fall and loan applications increase."

Add in the expected massive economic stimulus package being put together on Capitol Hill with the incoming Obama administration -- and there's a good chance we're going to see a gradual transformation of the downward cycle into a slow rebound over the coming several quarters.

Already there are positive signs of the turnaround Bove predicts:


Mortgage applications are off the charts, mainly for refis but also to buy houses at affordable prices.

Rates continue to hover at 50-year lows - five percent and even four and three quarters percent for 30-year mortgages, and still lower for 15 and 20 year mortgage terms.

Plus we're all paying a lot less at the gas pump, and sharply discounted prices for retail goods and autos.

And guess what? Americans are actually SAVING again, the national savings rate took a nearly three percent jump last month. That might sound small, but it's hugely important if it is the start of a trend.
There are also some signs that housing prices are stabilizing in some parts of the country. The latest monthly Federal Housing Finance Agency index found home prices UP by six-tenths of a percent in the Mountain states and UP by two tenths of a percent in New England.

You can ridicule small regional gains as statistically irrelevant, but here's an economic proposal to you for the New Year: Keep your eyes open for the small positive signs that are accumulating out there … because all downcycles tail off and come to an end.

The smartest players in real estate -- consumers and the industry - will make the most of the positives -- low-cost money, low prices, stabilizing local markets -- and thrive in the new year.


Written by Kenneth R. Harney

Read rest of my newsletter here

http://realtytimes.com/123/NancyAlexander
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Buying or Selling a home in Stone Harbor or Avalon, or if you need a Summer Rental, it would be my pleasure to help you with your Real Estate needs.

e~mail me at Nancy@NancyMAlexander or Call me! I love to talk Real Estate! Call my cell 609.425.7521

Please visit The Address For Luxury Real Estate at http://www.StoneHarborRealtor.com/. I'd love to be your Realtor.