Apartment Loan Defaults Up

Apartment loans are defaulting at an increasingly higher rate. Fannie Mae, a major source of apartment lending, is showing loan delinquency rates up about 6-fold from a couple of years ago. Still the absolute rate is less than 1%, which isn’t outrageous. These numbers are nationwide and don’t represent Lane County.

In Eugene Springfield, apartments remain highly desirable, particularly smaller complexes under 2Mm dollars. These are affordable by individuals and can be financed by local banks and credit unions. Perhaps, most desirable of all are campus units, which are perceived to be low risk.

I had this campus apartment house listed at 900K, and it subsequently sold. It’s 10 units, each 2 bedrooms. There’s upside potential because with some cosmetics, the rents could be bumped. It has debt of about 550K that should be assumable. If you’d like to see it, give me a call at 517-6543.

Nice campus apartments, on the Millrace, with a view of the Willamette.

Cause of Housing Crisis: DC

So what caused our housing meltdown, which started in 2007? The short answer is policies from Washington, D.C. As a realtor, I occasionally get heat from people saying that I and my fellow realtors are responsible. Other mistaken villains are builders and bankers. Wall Street’s culpability is somewhat less clear.

Two excellent editorials pin the start of the problem on the 1992 GSE Act, which led to the issuance of more sub-prime loans, which as we all saw, default more. The goal of the act was a greater proportion of home ownership; that may or may not be achieved given the high rate of foreclosures.

So, what’s the eventual outcome? Housing will recover as will the economy. It’s just a question of when.

I recently represented buyers in the purchase of this foreclosed home. We got it for 81K, and from showing to closing it was under a month. If you’re interested in foreclosures in Eugene Springfield, give me a call at 517-6543.

Foreclosures are fallout from the housing crisis.

Pre-foreclosure in Santa Clara

This bargain was a pre-foreclosure, or short-sale, house in Santa Clara listed for 299K that sold quickly. It’s a really nice house and a great deal. It’s 2300 square feet, and only 5 years old. Someone will enjoy making a new home here.

If you’d like to see it, give me a call at 517-6543 and I’ll be glad to show it to you.

Good deal on recently listed short sale in Santa Clara

Home mortgage rates low, low, low

Mortgage interest rates tied historic lows this week at about 4 3/4 percent. This rate was for the fixed rate, 30 year, conventional (20% down-payment). Wow. This is down from about 6% a year ago, and 6 1/4 % two years ago. Why are the rates so low? The government is still snapping up the majority of mortgage paper, and is slated to do so through early next year.

Interest rates are tied for historic lows.

1 in 4 mortgages underwater

1 in 4 homeowners with mortgages now owe more than their homes are worth nationwide, said CNN in a recent story. In hard hit states like Nevada, the number climbs to 2 in 3. The number in Oregon isn’t known (at least by me) but it wouldn’t surprise me if we’re similar to the national average.

I speak to homeowners every day, and it’s common for their mortgage amount to play a big factor in their plans. It’s still possible to sell when you’re underwater or upside down through a short sale. It’s a little more work, but it can be a good solution.

It's better to be above water.


Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended

The homebuyer tax has been extended and expanded. The following is a summary of the new rules:

1) The $8,000 tax credit will be extended and available for first-time purchases before May 1, 2010.

2) A new $6,500 tax credit will be available for repeat buyers who purchase between December 1, 2009, and May 1, 2010. To qualify for this provision, buyers must have used the home sold or being sold as a principal residence consecutively for 5 of the previous 8 years.

3) Prospective purchasers with binding contracts in place as of April 30, 2010, will be allowed an additional 60 days to complete the transaction.

4) Income limits are expanded to $125,000 on a single return and $225,000 on a joint return.


Extended, but the rock will fall. I don't expect another extension of the credit.