Archive for June, 2013

New index reveals mortgage credit easing

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Continuing an upward trend, mortgage credit availability rose in May compared to the month before, according to a new index from the Mortgage Bankers Association and mortgage information provider AllRegs. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index, announced today, is designed to gauge whether overall mortgage credit is more or less available month to month by factoring…Read More »

Despite mangled policy, US economy growing toward fiscal repair

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

  Interest rates have stopped rising, but after a move as violent as this, markets should have improved. They have not. Central bankers have fallen all over themselves to reverse Bernanke’s Bungle: Draghi at the European Central Bank, King at the Bank of England, five regional Fed presidents and two governors, all to no result….Read More »

‘Storytelling’ helps luxury buyers picture themselves in a home

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Regardless of the price range in which you work, writing great ad copy is important. In the luxury market, it’s even more essential. What are the elements that distinguish features and benefits as opposed to telling a marketing story? In a recent post on the Raise the Bar Facebook Group, moderator Michael McClure asked a…Read More »

Bad loans to friends and family may be tax deductible

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

. Are you a soft touch? Have you lent money to relatives or friends and never been repaid? If so, you may at least be able to get a tax deduction for the bad loan. As far as the bad debt deduction is concerned, there are two types of debts: business and nonbusiness. Business debts…Read More »

Owning vacant land holds tax benefits

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

  Vacant land has long been viewed by many as an attractive investment. After all, it’s the stuff they’re not making any more of. You usually earn no income from vacant land, but you do have expenses for such items as property tax, interest and other carrying costs. Can you deduct these costs? It depends….Read More »

Agents target unlisted foreclosures with more success

Friday, June 21st, 2013

More than 8 in 10 real estate owned (REO) properties — 500,000-plus homes that could ease today’s sharp inventory shortage — are unlisted, according to an estimate provided to Inman News by data aggregator RealtyTrac. And more than 9 in 10 of the estimated 844,000 homes that are in the foreclosure process but not yet…Read More »

Existing-home sales increase as inventory shortage persists

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Existing-home sales in May hit their highest level since November 2009 when a tax stimulus was fueling sales, according to the National Association of Realtors. May’s seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 5.18 million units was up 12.9 percent from 4.59 million units in May 2012 and up 4.2 percent from 4.97 million units in April, NAR…Read More »

Isakson confirms mortgage interest deduction is ‘on the table’

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

ATLANTA — U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, a longtime ally of the real estate industry, confirms that the mortgage interest deduction is “on the table” in tax reform discussions. “It’s got to be on the table like everything else,” Isakson told a group of real estate journalists Friday. “It has to be evaluated on a cost-benefit…Read More »

US economy still in intensive care

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Interest rates, stocks and hopes for the economy all crested in the last week — not rolled over, just flattened, without acceleration. Applications for purchase mortgages fell, starts of new homes crept up 0.8 percent from December, and sales of existing homes rose 9.1 percent from the year-ago, dead-low base. Europe is still rolling downhill,…Read More »

U.S. homebuilder confidence soars to 7-year high

Monday, June 17th, 2013

WASHINGTON – June 17, 2013 – For the first time in seven years, most U.S. homebuilders are optimistic about home sales, a sign that construction could help drive stronger economic growth in coming months. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Monday leaped to 52 this month from 44 in May….Read More »