Las Vegas: Still a Place to Get Great Deals on Foreclosures

According to CNN Money, many investors are pulling out of once highly desirable cities like Phoenix and our own Las Vegas for less competitive and cheaper locales. What this means for the smart investor is to diversify and go to other cities for great deals.

But it also means bucking the trend and waiting it out for the competition in Vegas to clear. Investors looking for cheaper or less risky properties will abandon our city but the savvy investor will stay and look for the deals that will help in diversifying their portfolios.

If you are an investor, you’ll want to get an aggressive and creative Realtor who knows the Las Vegas market inside and out and what to look for. The “thinning of the herd” that is currently going on is normal and should be viewed as a positive.

Even though Vegas is no longer the “foreclosure” capital of the U.S. there are still deals to be had. If you are looking for a new real estate agent to help you aggressively search out rental properties, feel free to reach out to us. We would love to have an informative conversation with you and help you achieve your real estate investment goals.

Posted in Real Estate News | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Foreclosures May be on the Rise

With the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act expiring, the likelihood of banks foreclosing on properties has increased meaning foreclosures may be on the rise in 2014. Throughout 2012 and into 2013, short sales steadily declined –which was in part due to rising home prices.

So far, short sales –a type of home real estate transaction that the bank allows itself to be “shorted” the difference between a sale at current market values and the remainder on the current loan, have been on a steady decline.

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act was renewed and extended twice. It allowed borrowers to exempt the amount of forgiven mortgage debt from their income, making short sales a better option for those trying to avoid a foreclosure.

With the expiration of the act, a heavy taxable income would be created for the borrower if they go forward with a short sale –which may cause them to rethink doing a short sale.
There are other consequences as well to the act’s expiration. Forgiven debt is now taxable income, and a loan modification with a principle reduction –this presents more complicated decisions for the borrower and servicer. An increase on the taxable income could place more stress on a distressed homeowner. Servicers will need to become more creative and look for avenues to help the homeowners, possibly a rate reduction or principal forbearance.

The uncertainty of the extension of the act has put increased negative pressure on the volume of short sales and principal reductions. If you have questions about short selling your home and want to know what the potential consequences could be feel free to contact us, we’d be happy to answer all your questions.

Posted in Real Estate News | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

States May Start Fast Tracking Foreclosures

Even though the foreclosure market in Las Vegas and Henderson has dropped significantly, there are still homes: vacant and occupied that needs to move through the process. Here in Nevada foreclosures can happen faster than in other states but there are some properties that have sat for years, mired in litigation or the process itself.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland released a study suggesting states could save millions by fast tracking foreclosures on vacant properties. If a state requires a foreclosure to be done in a court to protect property owner’s rights, the homes in question could be left vacant for longer periods of time. They can be vandalized or squatted in which leads to costly repairs. If the process is sped up, the homes could sit vacant for shorter time periods.

Other concerns are unoccupied homes in neighborhoods decrease home values over time and safety concerns about squatters. Fast tracking foreclosures will result in lower costs to the lenders in repairs, reducing the inventory and getting the homes sold or rented will keep property values up.

Nevada’s foreclosure inventory is third in the nation, behind Florida and Maryland. Since we are a non-judicial state when it comes to foreclosures, they can take less time here. The issue of course is if the homes are no longer lived in, then the lender would have to take care of maintenance and repairs.

The bottom line is there are still great opportunities for homeowners and investors in the Las Vegas foreclosure market. If you are interested in looking for foreclosed properties, please contact us today.

Posted in Real Estate News | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Las Vegas Foreclosure Inventory Down

Foreclosure inventory in Las Vegas and Nevada as a whole is down. As of January Nevada was in the middle of the rankings compared to the rest of the 50 states. Accordingly, this means that the housing market seems to be “balancing out” more, and foreclosures are not dominating most markets in a majority of the states. Nevada is non-judicial foreclosure state and we have been working thru our inventory in a slow but steady manner.

This means good news for sellers as they won’t have the competition on the market when listing their properties. Prices have finally stabilized in the Las Vegas housing market, meaning they are no longer high and neither are they sinking. The bad news is buyers or investors looking for quick deals won’t be able to count on foreclosures to meet their criteria if they are not diligent in looking.

Though Las Vegas foreclosures are down, with the relaxation of key laws giving banks more leeway to pursue homeowners we may see a spike in foreclosures for 2014.

Here are some interesting stats regarding states with high and low foreclosure inventories:
1. The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged home are as follows:
• Florida – 6.4%
• New Jersey – 6.3%
• New York – 4.8%
• Connecticut – 3.4%
• Maine – 3.4%

2. The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes are as follows:
• Wyoming – 0.4%
• Alaska – 0.5%
• North Dakota – 0.6%
• Colorado – 0.5%
• Nebraska – 0.6%

If you want to find out more about what foreclosures are available in Las Vegas, click here and give us a call!

Posted in Real Estate News | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Las Vegas Foreclosure Home information, Foreclosures in LV & Henderson

Homeowner Bills of Rights in Nevada
(Senate Bill 321)

Many people believe lenders that pursue the foreclosure of homes go against the morals concerning borrower’s rights. Although this may be true, it happens all the time. Fortunately, the nation is making a genuine attempt to reduce the amount of foreclosures happening across the United States, and thus we see less foreclosure homes in Las Vegas.

On June 2, 2013 the Senate voted and passed Senate Bill 321 (SB 321), enacting a Homeowner Bill of Rights in Nevada, which takes effect October 1, 2013. The passing of this bill confirms that Nevada is following California’s lead by promoting legislation that creates foreclosure mediation requirements while constructing civil penalties for banks that do not follow service requirements outlined in the bill.

One of the many items SB 321 put into place is the elimination of “double tracking,” otherwise known as “dual tracking.” Double tracking or dual tracking refers to a lender’s effort to foreclose on a homeowner while the homeowner is involved in any type of foreclosure prevention method. These methods include loan modification or a short sale.

The new law is good news for homeowners that are in jeopardy of foreclosure in Las Vegas. In previous years, lenders were allowed to pursue a foreclosure action even though the homeowner was in the process of a short sale or loan modification. SB 321 prevents this action from taking place while a homeowner is using foreclosure prevention methods, even if they are pending. The homeowner must be current in their obligations and/or repayment arrangements in order for the bill to protect them against the lender pursuing the foreclosure action.

SB 321 not only prevents double tracking, but has other benefits as well. This bill requires all lenders to provide the homeowner with foreclosure prevention information at least 30 days prior to recording a Notice of Default or initiating judicial foreclosure and at least 30 days after the borrower’s default. Completion of the foreclosure process cannot begin until the lender has fulfilled all said requirements.

It is believed that SB 321 will permit more residents of Nevada to qualify for loan modifications with the security that the homeowner will be able to stay in their home without the fear of a foreclosure being pursued. This could mean a reduction in the number of foreclosure homes in Las Vegas.

With regard to short sales, the bill permits many rule changes. Effective October 1, 2013, lenders are not allowed to require sellers in a short-sale transaction to sign an agreement stating they not live in the home after the short sale is concluded. Prior to SB 321, homeowners were forced to sign an affidavit stating they had no connection with the buyer of their short sale and that they agree not to live in the home after the completion of the short sale. Now homeowners are permitted to receive help from family members or investors who can help them retain their homes. Nevertheless, the approval of the bank is still required in order for the short sale to go through.

The toll of the crashing economy does not warrant unfair practices among lenders. Kicking someone while they are down is disreputable, especially when efforts to recover their finances are in place. Luckily, SB 321 protects homeowners in this case and penalizes lenders that violate the new rules of this Nevada foreclosure law.

If you are a homeowner under pressure to fight off foreclosure, it is important to understand your options. At King Realty Group we are experts in foreclosures in Las Vegas and can help both homeowners who are facing foreclosures and buyers looking to purchase Las Vegas foreclosure homes.

For more foreclosure home information in Nevada, contact King Reality Group today.

Posted in Real Estate News | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Nevada Maintains Second Highest In Foreclosures

A plan was introduced to North Las Vegas city council members to use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages and foreclosures. This was an attempt to boost the city’s housing market. This proposal had never been tried in the U.S. so council members were skeptical but agreed to learn more about it. Continue reading to review the full story.

North Las Vegas City Council members will take a closer look at a controversial and complex proposal to use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages and foreclosures in an attempt to boost the city’s sagging housing market.

Council members and the public were first introduced to the plan to use private dollars to help underwater homeowners refinance their mortgages during a presentation by representatives from Mortgage Resolution Partners at a March 6 city council meeting.

Council members were skeptical of the proposal, which has not been tried anywhere in the country, but agreed to meet with Mortgage Resolution Partners representatives at a later date to get more information and have their questions answered.

Mortgage Resolution Partners’ plan calls for the company’s private investors to purchase a specific subset of underwater home mortgages that are held in mortgage-backed securities. The mortgages would be bought at market value significantly below their initial value and then refinanced back to the original homeowner with a lower principle.

North Las Vegas would serve as the middleman in the process, using its power of eminent domain to seize the mortgages from trusts that own the mortgage-backed securities. Once the mortgage is refinanced and the home is sold again, the city would receive a small fee for its troubles.

Investors would see a return on their investment whenever a home is refinanced and the company itself would receive a flat $4,500 per transaction fee.

Nevada representatives for the company — which include prominent Las Vegas attorney Byron Georgiou, developer Michael Saltman and Daniel Greenspun, a member of the family that owns the Las Vegas Sun — argue the program will help homeowners facing foreclosures in Vegas and to prevent blight in North Las Vegas neighborhoods still reeling from the recession.

But the plan has drawn fierce opposition from bankers and real estate agents who question whether the untested plan is even legal. Detractors warn of unintended consequences from using eminent domain to seize mortgages, with some bankers warning they would stop lending for home mortgages in cities that adopted the program.

As of March, four cities in California — La Puente, El Monte, San Joaquin and Orange Cove — have made similar agreements with Mortgage Resolution Partners, although the company has not yet purchased any mortgages, its representatives said.

The company estimates 4,700 homes in North Las Vegas could qualify for the program if it is approved by the North Las Vegas City Council.

Some council members in the city of North Las Vegas questioned if this plan was even legal. Although this particular plan has never been used similar plans have been approved by 4 cities in California, but it is too soon to tell if it has succeeded. About 4,700 homes could qualify for this program if it was approved.

Posted in Real Estate News | Comments Off

Mortgage Defaults on the Rise Setting an Alarm Trend

In the fourth quarter of 2011, mortgage defaults in America have significantly increased sending an alarm trend throughout the nation. Check out this article we found explaining this serious situation.

Mortgage defaults increased nationwide in the fourth quarter as more Americans began to default on all types of consumer debt.

The S&P Dow Jones/Experian credit default indices made this alarming trend more transparent in data released Tuesday.

The indices national composite, which measures all consumer defaults, increased for three consecutive months in a row, reaching 1.72% in December. This compares to a default rate of 1.64% in November and a much lower default rate of 1.55% in October.

The first mortgage default rate followed the same pattern, increasing from 1.47% in October to 1.58% in November, and then edging up again to 1.68% last month.

“The national composite rate was 1.72% in December, eight basis points above the November rate and 26 basis points above September’s post-recession low,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices. “It was primarily driven by the first mortgage rate at 1.68% in December, ten basis points above the previous month’s rate and 32 basis points above September’s post-recession low.”

From its historic low of 0.62% posted last month, the second-mortgage default rate reached 0.69% in December.

The surge in mortgage default rates mirrors a trend already occuring in the national composite of all consumer defaults. While all five cities covered by the report showed increases in their overall default rates in December, all five cities also remain below default rates posted a year ago in December 2011, said Blitzer.

As you can see, the rate at which mortgage defaults occurred in the fourth quarter of 2011 is not only alarming but downright scary. Thankfully, this dark period in the real estate and mortgage market seems to now have slowed down.

Source: HousingWire

Posted in Real Estate News | Comments Off

Tight Supply Limits Sales of High-Rise Condos in Las Vegas

As posted by the Las Vegas review journal in November of 2012, the sales of high rise condos declined significantly in the third quarter due to low supply. Continue reading below the posted story.

Sales of high-rise condos declined in the third quarter because of a limited supply of lower-priced units, with very few bank-owned properties on the market, Marc Ehrlich of Las Vegas-based HiRiseLiving.com said.

Condos in the process of foreclosure now represent less than 3 percent of the overall market, Ehrlich said.

Foreclosures are at their lowest point since 2007, down 90 percent from their peak.

He reported 229 sales transactions in the third quarter, excluding CityCenter, a 3.8 percent decrease from 238 in the previous quarter.

Sales fell 28 percent from a year ago.

Third-quarter sales volume totaled $66.3 million, compared with $68.7 million in the second quarter and $65.9 million in the year-ago period.

“I think the market is reasonably strong,” Ehrlich said. “There’s just not enough product for buyers to get their hands on, which bodes well for prices. People are willing to pay more, and traditional resales aren’t getting hammered as much because they’re not competing with distressed sales.”

HiRiseLiving.com showed a current available inventory of 5,655 condo units, including 51 bank-owned units and 125 units currently in default.

Banks are slowing down foreclosures and short sales, resulting in fewer units being offered at attractive prices, the condo market analyst said. Available units that are priced well move extremely fast, he said.

Highest average price was $329 per square foot for condo-hotel units, up 1 percent from the previous quarter. The south Strip market showed the largest increase of 7 percent, with an average price of $103 a square foot.

Some high-rise buildings are starting to show more stability with the number of condos that are “underwater,” where the mortgage balance is significantly higher than the current value of the unit, Ehrlich said.

A recent ruling by the Nevada Supreme Court validated the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, or MERS, which favors lenders and could lead to an uptick in foreclosures, he said.

“It could be backlogged, but we’ve been hearing about that for so long,” Ehrlich said. “It could be a function of underwater properties and existing owners that are going to ride it out.”

A third-quarter luxury condo market report from Las Vegas-based Northcap showed 245 sales transactions, including 90 condo-hotel units.

There were 493 sales in the past 180 days and 1,087 sales in the past 12 months.

A breakdown by property showed Signature at MGM with the most condo-hotel sales at 41, while the Martin (formerly Panorama North) had the most traditional condo sales at 29.

The average price for all condos sold in the third quarter was $262,963, or $180 a square foot, Northcap reported. For condo-hotel units, it was $196,291, or $260 a square foot.

Matt Brimhall, sales and marketing director for the 1,282-unit Trump tower on the Strip, said he closed 15 transactions in October, about one every other day, at $500 to $600 a square foot.

“I think that our brand and amenities are the key,” Brimhall said. “The fact that they can come and go as they please, yet still lease it out when they’re not here is a huge plus. These buyers from international destinations, they trust the brand.

“Owning at Trump is the ultimate status symbol for many of them.”

John Tippins, chief executive officer of Northcap and regional manager for ST Residential, said he’s seeing increased demand for living in downtown Las Vegas.

The Ogden is 98 percent occupied, and Juhl has signed 40 lease agreements in the past 30 days, he said.

“It’s unbelievable. We thought we’d lose some people from Ogden to Juhl. There really is no inventory downtown. As fast as they become available, they’re getting leased right away,” Tippins said.

Tippins said he signed seven letters of intent for live-work space at Juhl, or residential units above retail stores, something that hasn’t been successful in other markets.

Most of the condo resale inventory has been purchased has been put back into the rental market, he said.

“People have bought foreclosures and short sales at close to the bottom. They bought them right,” he said. “As foreclosures slowed down, people that bought now aren’t stuck. The investor that comes in and buys at $200 a foot typically paid cash, so they’re not forced to sell. You don’t have the competition that the garden-style (condo) has.”

As you can see due to the low supply of high-rise condos available in Las Vegas, this bodes better for sellers than for buyers. The market is reasonably strong and because supply is limited people are willing to pay more for these types of properties. Banks are slowing down the foreclosures and short sales which is also resulting in fewer units at rock bottom prices as it had been seen in the past.

Source: Las Vegas Review Journal

Posted in Real Estate News | Comments Off

57,000 U.S. Foreclosures Completed in September, 2012

In September of 2012 the number of foreclosures in the U.S. was down from 83,000 in September 2011 to 57,000. Complete foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis in 2008 there has been 3.9 million completed foreclosures in the U.S.

According to CoreLogic’s latest National Foreclosure Report for September, there were 57,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. in September 2012, down from 83,000 in September 2011 and 59,000 in
August 2012. Prior to the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month between 2000 and 2006. Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 3.9 million completed foreclosures across the country.

Approximately 1.4 million homes, or 3.3 percent of all homes with a mortgage, were in the national foreclosure inventory as of September 2012 compared to 1.5 million, or 3.5 percent, in September 2011. Month-over-month, the national foreclosure inventory was down 1.1 percent from August 2012 to September 2012. The foreclosure inventory is the share of all mortgaged homes in any stage of the foreclosure process.

“The continuing downward trend in foreclosures along with a gradual clearing of the shadow inventory are signs of stabilization and improvement in the housing market,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Increasingly improving market conditions and industry and government policy are allowing distressed homeowners to pursue refinancing, loan modifications or short sales rather than foreclosures.”

“Homes lost to foreclosure in September 2012 are down 50 percent since the peak month in September 2010 and 22 percent less than the beginning of the year,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “While there is significant progress to be made before returning to pre-crisis levels, the trend is in the right direction as short sales, up 27 percent year over year in August, continue to gain popularity.”

Highlights as of September 2012 include:

  • The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in September 2012 were: California (108,000), Florida (92,000), Texas (59,000), Georgia (55,000) and Michigan (51,000). These five states account for 47.7 percent of all completed foreclosures nationally.
  • The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in September 2012 were: South Dakota (20), District of Columbia (58), Hawaii (436), North Dakota (583) and Maine (625).
  • The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Florida (11.5 percent), New Jersey (7.3 percent), New York (5.3 percent), Illinois (5.2 percent) and Nevada (4.9 percent).
  • The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Wyoming (0.5 percent), Alaska (0.7 percent), North Dakota (0.7 percent), Nebraska (0.9 percent) and South Dakota (1.1 percent).

These numbers are signs of stabilization in the market. The U.S is going in the right direction although there is still more progress to be made in order to reach the numbers before the financial crisis in September 2008.

Source: World Property Channel, CoreLogic

Posted in Real Estate News | Comments Off

Foreclosure Decline Causes Inventory to Stay Flat

The number of foreclosures in the U.S. per month decreased from 83,000 in September 2011 to 57,000 in September 2012. This signifies improvement in the housing market, but there is still a long way to go before we have completed recovered from the housing meltdown in 2008. Before September of 2008 the number of foreclosures in the U.S. per month was 21,000.

Home foreclosures fell in September, pushing the nation’s inventory of distressed properties lower. Still, America is a long ways off from foreclosure activity levels set before the housing crisis. Total inventory, as a result, is not shifting greatly.

The number of completed U.S. foreclosures reached 57,000 in September, down from 83,000 a year earlier and slightly lower than August levels, CoreLogic said.

A month earlier, the nation saw 59,000 foreclosures, suggesting distressed activity levels continued to subside last month.

In the years leading up to the housing meltdown, foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month. That figure is still a long ways off with today’s foreclosure pace well above the 50,000 foreclosures a month pace, according to CoreLogic.

In the past four years, the nation lost 3.9 million properties to foreclosure. By September, 1.4 million homes, or 3.3% of all mortgaged real estate, remained in the foreclosure inventory. That compares to 1.5 million in the pipeline a year earlier.

For the last year, the rate of homes in foreclosure did not shift much, as a total. For example, in August 2011, about 1.3 million homes, or 3.2% of all homes with a mortgage, sat in foreclosure inventory. That inventory rate did not change year-over-year when looking at August 2012 data.

“The continuing downward trend in foreclosures along with a gradual clearing of the shadow inventory are signs of stabilization and improvement in the housing market,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.”Increasingly improving market conditions and industry and government policy are allowing distressed homeowners to pursue refinancing, loan modifications or short sales rather than foreclosures.”

September foreclosures fell 50% from the peak reached in September 2010 and remain 22% lower when compared to the start of 2012.

“While there is significant progress to be made before returning to pre-crisis levels, the trend is in the right direction as short sales, up 27% year over year in August, continue to gain popularity,” added Nallathambi.

You can see how much progress the U.S. has made, and how much more progress the U.S. needs to make. In order to recover from the housing crash in September 2008 the U.S. still needs to decrease these numbers about 36,000, but at least we are headed in the right direction.

Source: HousingWire

Posted in Real Estate News | Comments Off