March 15, 2013



  • From Realtor Magazine:  Sinkholes are more common than you’d expect – especially in Florida with 15,000 verified sinkholes.  6,000 of these are in Pasco County on the West Coast.  Homeowners Insurance often does NOT cover sinkhole losses.


Also from Realtor Magazine:  The FHFA announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will create a new joint company for securitizing home loans.  The move is viewed as a step toward shrinking the government’s role in the mortgage market.


  • RIS Media reports on an NAHB study of what home buyers really want
  1. Energy efficiency.

94% want energy star rated appliances

91% want energy star rating for the whole house

89% want energy star rated windows

88% want ceiling fans

  1. Help keeping the home organized.

98% want laundry rooms

90% want a linen closet in the bathroom

86% want space in the garage to store sports equipment and tools

85% want a walk-in pantry


  • The National Real Estate Post noted that OCWEN, the mortgage servicers was asked by the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) to contribute to the consumer relief fund.  OCWEN by refusing is facing a $135 million dollar fine and will fight the CFPB in court calling the demand an arbitrary “pay up or else”.  The Federal Reserve misallocated $1.5 billion to consultants of $8.5 billion intended for homeowners.  There has been no investigation or hearing.  Reading the comments to the piece, it is interesting to note that there is no love lost for OCWEN but even less for the CFPB.


  • From the KCM Blog:  “The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard released a study regarding young adults:  Surveys consistently find that the overwhelming majority of young adults plan to own a home in the future, but many would-be buyers have stayed on the sidelines waiting for the job outlook to improve and home prices to stop falling.  But as markets tighten, these fence sitters may begin to take advantage of today’s lower prices and mortgage rates.” 

This may already be happening:

The Census Bureau reported that annual household formations are almost back to boom time numbers.  This does not distinguish between renters and buyers.

Boom years                        1,250,000 annual household formation

2008-2011                               650,000 annual household formation

2012                                       1,150,000 annual household formation

Projected 2012                  1,250,000 annual household formation


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