Bank risk professionals are predicting positive shifts in the housing market, according to research conducted last month by the Professional Risk Managers International Association. The quarterly survey asks bankers about their predictions for the next six months. The findings show that bankers are more optimistic about various aspects of the housing market, from increasing home prices to dropping mortgage loan defaults.
Here are some of the results from the survey:
â€˘ Seventy-one percent of respondents say home prices are "rising at a sustainable pace."
Stringent mortgage standards have kept many potential home buyers on the sidelines the last few years. But 8 percent of banks say theyâ€™ve loosened up their mortgage standards in the last three months, according to the Federal Reserveâ€™s latest Senior Loan Officer Survey. The survey shows that credit conditions have either held steady or loosened for eight of the past nine quarters.
Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will begin next year to purchase only loans that meet new â€śqualified mortgageâ€ť requirements, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Monday.
In January, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized new rules that would require lenders to verify borrowersâ€™ ability to repay their loans. It capped loan terms and fees and the bureau said that qualified mortgages are borrowers whose debt does not exceed 43 percent of their income.
The requirements are to go into effect January 2014.
The average American spent a total of 28 hours sitting in traffic last year, according to INRIX, a traffic information group. But residents in some of the nationâ€™s most congested cities spent nearly double thatâ€”an average of 42 hours a yearâ€”sitting in traffic.
In its 2012 Traffic Scorecard, INRIX compared the average of the driversâ€™ actual speed on the road during peak hours with the average speed of drivers when there was no congestion.
Houston-based Dinerstein Group plans to replace the Lustre Pearl bar with a 250,000-sf mixed-use development.
The project, which Brian Dinerstein said will likely be called Millenium Rainey, will have 250 apartments and a ground-floor restaurant.
Dinerstein said the project will be at least LEED Silver-certified. He hopes to break ground by second quarter 2014.
Hopefully it has a good amount of parking inside of the building!
Read more from the Statesman here:
The state's housing market continues to benefit from population and job growth, according to the latest housing data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
Nearly 54,000 existing single-family homes in Texas were sold in first quarter 2013. That's up 17.5 percent from a year ago.
"There is clearly demand for Texas homes, and rising prices are encouraging more homeowners to consider listing their properties," according to Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Jim Gaines.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is reportedly going to be releasing more of its homes to the market, which could be welcome news to buyers who have faced slim pickings in for-sale inventories.
Over the next two years, experts predict that HUD homes on the market will increase significantly as lenders work through the backlogs of foreclosures and foreclosure reviews.
Construction began last week on downtown Austin's first office tower in more than a decade. Endeavor Real Estate Group is developing the 13-story, 195,000-sf IBC Bank Plaza at 500 West Fifth St.
More home owners and buyers are ranking energy-efficient and environmentally friendly home features high in surveys.
AOL Real Estate recently highlighted a few easy steps home owners can take to make their homes more â€śgreenâ€ť:
- Swap out the light bulbs: LED light bulbs are known as being 80 percent more energy efficient and lasting as much as 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
David R. Leopold, owner of Pillar to Post Home Inspection in Fairfield County, Conn., says home sellers and their real estate professionals have an important role in preparing for a home inspection to help ensure it goes smoothly. Leopold offers up some of the following tips in a recent article in RISMedia, including: