November 21, 2014

A Jumbo Challenge for Retirees


ENLARGE

A lifetime of saving and investing can make retirees feel secure, but showing that assets translate into income remains key when qualifying for a jumbo mortgage.

Debt-free retirement has its allure, but with interest rates so low for jumbo mortgages, some retirees are calculating bigger returns if they leave cash invested and borrow to buy their retirement home, says

Brad Blackwell,

executive vice president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Jumbo mortgages have higher loan limits than government-backed loans, which top at $417,000 in most places but go up to $625,500 in some high-price areas. Average interest rates were 4.11% for the 30-year, fixed-rate jumbo and 3% for a five-year, adjustable-rate jumbo on the week ending Nov. 14, according to HSH.com.

A retiree, like any other borrower, generally must meet a 43% debt-to-income ratio (DTI), mandated by federal mortgage rules. This number reflects the borrower’s percentage of monthly debt payments relative to monthly income.

Retirees who plan ahead can qualify, and lenders have methods to translate investments into eligible income even if a borrower can’t produce a W-2, Mr. Blackwell says.

Today’s typical retiree will receive income from Social Security; distributions from IRAs, 401(k)s, annuities and other retirement accounts; and possibly a pension. Business owners may no longer get a salary but still receive profit shares and/or have significant wealth tied up in an enterprise, and many high-end retirees may draw revenue from commercial real-estate ownership, residential rental properties or other sources, says

Tom Wind,

executive vice president of home lending at


EverBank
.

High-net-worth individuals often will argue that they clearly have enough money in assets to pay off a loan at any time, says

Bill Banfield,

vice president at Quicken Loans. “They may be thinking that they have a big IRA and they could use that to take a distribution to make the loan payments,” he adds. “That’s all good and fine, but we’d like to see that all set up before they apply for the loan.”

The key to qualifying is showing that a retiree’s assets translate into income.

The key to qualifying is to demonstrate that a retiree’s assets translate into income via tax returns, bank statements and other documents, he adds. “The lender is going to want to make sure you have receipts for distributions and a schedule for receiving them,” he adds.

Retirees also need to show proof that the payments will continue in the same amounts for at least three years into the future, Mr. Banfield says. If a borrower is an early retiree under 59½ years old, the threshold for taking withdrawals from IRAs without tax penalties, the lender will adjust income estimates accordingly, he adds.

For retirees who don’t want to increase their distributions, another possible option is a nonqualified jumbo mortgage, which offers flexibility on the federal DTI rule, Mr. Wind says. Lenders have to waive liability protection to issue nonqualified mortgages, but some lenders will take that risk with retirees who have substantial invested assets they don’t want to liquidate, he adds.

To calculate an income estimate in such cases, EverBank will assign a conservative earnings rate to the total dollar amount of the assets and amortize the amount to the loan’s term length, Mr. Wind says. Wells Fargo uses a similar method to calculate DTI for nonqualified mortgages for borrowers with multimillions of dollars in assets, Mr. Blackwell says.

The first step for any retiree or person approaching retirement is a financial adviser, Mr. Blackwell says. An adviser can look at a retiree’s overall financial picture and advise whether to pay cash or borrow when buying as home. The adviser can also calculate retirement-account distributions that will help the borrower qualify for a loan, he adds.

Here are some more considerations that retirees may want to weigh when deciding whether to apply for a jumbo mortgage:

• Credit scores. Retirees with a sufficient income stream but lower credit scores still may not qualify for a mortgage or will receive a higher interest rate from a lender.

• Trusts. Retirees who want to buy a home and hold it in a revocable trust as part of their estate plan still have to demonstrate their ability to repay the loan, Mr. Blackwell says. Still, assets in the trust are considered in the ability-to-repay debt calculation, he adds.

• Capital-gains taxes. When deciding whether to cash out investments to buy real estate, remember to calculate not just lost returns but also the potential capital-gains-tax hit, Mr. Banfield says.

Article source: http://online.wsj.com/articles/jumbo-loan-challenges-for-retirees-1416413430?mod=residential_real_estate

Your $60K-a-Day Chalet

The high-end ski resort of Courchevel 1850 in the French Alps is a relative upstart. Created in 1946, it competes against other bastions of luxury like Switzerland’s St. Moritz and hubs for hard-core skiers like Austria’s Mayrhofen ski resort. But it has found another way to stand apart from the competition: The “super chalet.”

Edelweiss rents for upwards of $450,000 a week during high season.
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These sprawling lodges run over 20,000 square feet and feature amenities like screening rooms, private chefs, hair salons and personal discos. At the peak of the ski season, they can rent for up to €350,000 a week, or roughly $60,000 a day.

In the Three Valleys area of the Alps, Courchevel 1850, named for its altitude in meters, is completely encircled by ski slopes. In recent years, local authorities relaxed planning restrictions, allowing builders to tear down some relatively frumpy old chalets and construct luxury chalets loaded with amenities.

“Clients now want bigger and bigger chalets going deeper and deeper” underground, said real-estate agent

Caroline Chenal,

head of Immobilière Courchevel and the granddaughter of Francis Eugène Mugnier, one of the hamlet’s founding fathers.

A number of luxury properties are available for sale in the Courchevel area, but none of the so-called super chalets are currently listed. They are, however, available for rent. Among the most luxurious is Le Petit Palais chalet, which was completed in 2012.

Located in the Three Valleys area of the French Alps, high-end ski resort Courchevel 1850, named for its altitude in meters, is completely encircled by ski slopes. Sprawling lodges, or ‘super chalets’ in the area run over 20,000 square feet and feature amenities like screening rooms, private chefs and personal discos. Among the most luxurious is Le Petit Palais, which was completed in 2012, and is available for rent.

Built over five levels, Le Petit Palais is a ski-in, ski-out lodge right on the Bellecote slope, which is popular because it goes straight into the center of the village.

Behind the traditional facade of this mountain estate are contemporary interiors.

Six guest bedrooms and a large master suite can accommodate 14 guests.

Amenities include a screening room, a fitness center, an eight-meter swimming pool—plus its own nightclub to entertain guests and visitors.

The rate includes the services of a private chef, butler, garage attendant and concierge.

Le Petit Palais is for rent between $100,000 and $250,000 a week, depending on the season.

Le Petit Palais connects to Le Petit Château, shown, another luxury chalet built on smaller scale. Both can be rented for about $375,000 a week at the height of the ski season, which runs roughly from December to April.

Because of their location, ‘you can also walk into town, have a couple of glasses of wine and walk back home without having to jump in a taxi,’ said Dennis Crema, who owns both chalets.

Mr. Crema, a 53-year-old British hedge-fund manager and oil trader, grew up in the U.S. but moved to London in 1995. Winter holidays took him and his family to Courchevel in the 1990s, prompting him to buy the two chalets, one in 2008 and the other in 2010.

This is the indoor pool at Le Petit Château.

Mr. Crema declined to say what he spent on the chalets and improvements, but he now values them at well over $60 million. This is the massage room in Le Petit Château.

Edelweiss, shown, rents for upwards of $450,000 a week during high season.

The great room at Edelweiss.

An expansive bedroom.

A billiards room and lounge area at Edelweiss chalet.

The dining room can seat large gatherings.

Here is the screening room.

Edelweiss includes an indoor pool.

Art Chalet rents for up to $313,000 a week during peak season. Setting it apart is the owner’s artwork on display. ‘The chalet has originals from Dali, Picasso, Damien Hirst and others’ valued in the multimillions, said Jérôme Lagoute, manager with real-estate firm Savills, the company that looks after Art Chalet.

Art Chalet’s ski room.

Art Chalet has eight bedrooms for 16 guests and comes with a general manager, a butler, three housekeepers, laundry service, a masseuse, a chef and kitchen assistant, a driver and two waiters.

Chalet La Bergerie spans five floors and includes seven luxury suites.

All bedrooms have access to private terraces.

The home includes a screening room, ski room and a wine cellar.

Chalet Baltoro, with six en suite bedrooms, is listed for about $31.9 million. Large windows and balcony have sweeping Alpine views.

A modern ski-in/ski-out chalet on three levels can accommodate 10 guests. The middle floor has the kitchen, dining room and library, as well as two lounge areas.

The big draw for wealthy visitors coming to Courchevel isn’t just expensive properties and hotel-like services. Great skiing abounds, said James Sheridan, a 54-year old homeowner who has been visiting the area for roughly two decades.

Courchevel, which encompasses Courchevel 1850 and four other villages, offers 375 miles of slopes, roughly the equivalent of the five largest ski resorts in the U.S. combined. ‘You can spend a month and not go down the same trail,’ said Mr. Sheridan.

A view of Courchevel 1850.

For those less inclined to hit the slopes, the village has over 100 boutique shops, including Chanel, Prada, Hermès and Bulgari. Among the seven Michelin-starred restaurants is Le Chabichou, famous for its fish sourced from a nearby lake.

A view of the French Alps from the village.

Built over five levels, Le Petit Palais is a ski-in, ski-out lodge right on the Bellecote slope, Courchevel’s most popular because it goes straight into the center of the village. Behind the traditional facade of this mountain estate are contemporary interiors. Six guest bedrooms and a large master suite can accommodate 14 guests, and amenities include a screening room, a fitness center, an eight-meter swimming pool—plus its own nightclub and hair salon. It is for rent between $100,000 and $250,000 a week.

Le Petit Palais connects to its sister chalet, Le Petit Château, via a large underground parking area. Both can be rented for about $375,000 a week at the height of the ski season, which runs roughly from December to April.

The rate includes the services of a private chef, butler, garage attendant and concierge. Location is its selling point. “The Bellecote slope is just outside the two properties,” said

Dennis Crema,

who owns both chalets. “You can also walk into town, have a couple of glasses of wine and walk back home without having to jump in a taxi.”

Mr. Crema, a 53-year-old British hedge-fund manager and oil trader, grew up in the U.S. and moved to London in 1995. Winter holidays took him and his family to Courchevel in the 1990s, prompting him to buy the two chalets, one in 2008 and the other in 2010. Mr. Crema declined to say what he spent on the chalets and improvements, but he now values them at well over $60 million.

Art Chalet, named for the owner’s multimillion dollar art collection on display there, rents for up to $313,000 a week during peak season.
ENLARGE

Three other chalets are widely regarded as super prime: Edelweiss, which rents for up to $450,000 a week during high season, Chalet La Bergerie and Art Chalet. They all offer luxury accommodations and services. Art Chalet, which rents for up to $313,000a week during peak season, has eight bedrooms for 16 guests and comes with a general manager, a butler, three housekeepers, laundry service, a masseuse, a chef and kitchen assistant, a driver and two waiters. Setting this chalet apart is the owner’s artwork on display. “The chalet has originals from Dali, Picasso,

Damien Hirst

and others” valued in the multimillions, said Jérôme Lagoute, manager with real-estate firm


Savills
,

the company that looks after Art Chalet.

Edelweiss and Art Chalet both confirmed they’ve rented out their chalets at the maximum price of €350,000 and €250,000, respectively. But this price is only during two or three weeks in the year at the height of the season. Normally it would rent for less but not much less. “Those prices are upfront prices subject to negotiations,” said

Nicolas Feidt,

a civil servant and director of general services at Courchevel.

A handful of new chalets are under construction, but “new urban development rules are being prepared to prevent chalets building too big for their lot,” Mr. Feidt added. New rules also limit the height of chalets. To create the vast spaces, builders must go underground.

In Art Chalet’s case, Mr. Lagoute explained, the builders dug about 10 meters deep. “It was challenging to build a massive concrete structure around the walls to retain the soil around it,” he said.

The big draw for wealthy visitors coming to Courchevel isn’t just expensive properties and hotel-like services. Great skiing abounds, said

James Sheridan,

a 54-year old homeowner who has been visiting the area for roughly two decades. Courchevel, which encompasses Courchevel 1850 and four other villages, offers 375 miles of slopes, roughly the equivalent of the five largest ski resorts in the U.S. combined. “You can spend a month and not go down the same trail,” Mr. Sheridan said.

For those less inclined to hit the slopes, the village has over 100 boutiques, including Chanel, Prada, Hermès and Bulgari. Among the seven Michelin-starred restaurants is Le Chabichou, famous for its fish sourced from a nearby lake.

Courchevel, which encompasses Courchevel 1850 and four other villages, offers 375 miles of slopes.
ENLARGE

Still, Courchevel as a resort faces some challenges. The village has in the past been seen as a market predominantly for Russians or Eastern Europeans, so the locals and chalet owners have taken steps to market more broadly and diversify the clientele.

“We don’t want to put all of the eggs in one basket,” Mr. Crema said. “This year we’ve had many clients of many nationalities, Russian being the biggest, but also American, Brazilian and English clients.”

Super-prime properties in Courchevel also face competition from other European ski resorts. Chalet Mont Blanc, for example in Megève, France, is a high-end rental property with a helicopter pad, indoor/outdoor swimming pool and a spa with its own hair salon. Chalet Mont Blanc is available for $375,000 a week at the height of the season.

Article source: http://online.wsj.com/articles/luxury-chalets-in-the-french-alps-1416500088?mod=residential_real_estate

A Light-Filled Penthouse in Tribeca

  • Price: $13,500,000
  • Location: New York, NY

The large Tribeca penthouse in a luxury building features bright and open rooms, high ceilings and a terrace with Hudson River views.

Article source: http://online.wsj.com/articles/new-york-house-of-the-day-a-light-filled-penthouse-in-tribeca-1416498985?mod=residential_real_estate

News on 3% and G-Fee Changes; FDIC Training Video on ATR and QM

For
those of you who’d rather watch a video than read the written word, the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which knows a thing or
two about banking, announced the release of the first in a series of
three new technical assistance videos developed to assist bank employees
in meeting regulatory requirements. These new videos will address compliance with certain mortgage rules issued by the CFPB. This first video covers
the Ability to Repay and Qualified Mortgage Rule and is intended for
compliance officers and staff involved in ensuring the bank’s mortgage
lending operations comply with CFPB rules.

In Fannie Freddie news, during
testimony yesterday at the Senate Banking Committee, FHFA Director Mel
Watt opened the door to the possibility of ending the GSE
conservatorship. However, there is not a short-term fix and the Treasury
Department would need to make changes to the Senior Preferred Stock
Purchase Agreements. As a reminder, the Treasury Department has a
“sweep” established under the third amendment to the Senior Preferred
Stock Purchase Agreements which prevents Fannie and Freddie from
building capital. Thus, they are currently undercapitalized and until
they are allowed to build up their capital levels, they will remain in
conservatorship.

In fact, most think that Fannie and Freddie will remain in conservatorship and won’t be unwound, at least any time soon: any
road to administrative action addressing the GSE conservatorship is
long, complicated, and littered with political potholes. And everyone
has their own agenda – for example, Senator Warren’s exchange with Director Watt over the FHFA’s unwillingness to embrace principal reduction on GSE loans.

Of more interest to borrowers and lenders, Director Watt announced that the FHFA will release details regarding the return of the 3% down-payment product
in December, but expect it to include conditions such as housing
counseling, stronger credit scores, lower DTI ratios, or different
pricing. Analysts believe that there must be policy clarity on three
separate, yet interconnected, policy initiatives before fully assessing
the impact of the 97% LTV product’s return: the FHFA’s finalization of
the Private Mortgage Insurance Eligibility Requirements (PMIERs) as it
may impact mortgage insurer premiums, the FHFA’s forthcoming G-Fee
decision, and the FHA’s next step with its mortgage insurance premium.

Director
Watt stated that the FHFA will release its G-Fee decision in the first
quarter. Every LO out there can tell you that loan level price
adjustments (LLPAs) are a huge concern and hindrance in lending. But
many expect G-Fees to remain relatively static but for the LLPA grid to
be flattened in order to reduce pricing for borrowers in lower credit
bands. Recall that the FHFA suspended plans to raise guarantee fees in
January because the agency’s new director, Mel Watt, said more study was
required. There is a fine balance between increasing access to credit
and doing so in a prudent manner – making loans to borrowers who will
pay the loan back.

This morning we had Jobless Claims, and recently Wells Fargo Securities Economic group published a report
indicating that the recession created a greater share of part-time
employment
and the labor market is much weaker than unemployment rates
suggest.  While full-time jobs are growing again, the amount of these
jobs are well below the precession level. At the beginning of the
recession, total employment fell 8.6 million, but full-time employment
dropped 11.3 million. Today, there are still 2.1 million fewer Americans
working full-time than in November of 2007. The lack of full-time jobs
adversely affects the housing industry, as few part-time workers buy
homes. Fortunately, the share of full-time employment is growing which
should encourage consumer spending in 2015. Part-time employment rose by
414,000 workers since last October, but full-time employment has
increased by 3.4 million. At that pace, the level of full-time workers
would recover by July 2015.

We
had a fair amount of news yesterday. Housing Starts unexpectedly fell
in October, slipping by 2.8% but a 4.8% jump in permits to near a
6-1/2-year high suggested the housing market was steadily regaining
strength. Single Family starts rose from 668k to 696k, while
multi-family fell from 370 to 313. We are a long way from “normalcy” in
housing starts.

But everyone was yammering about the release of the Fed minutes. The Fed
focused on the sunny side things thus downplaying global woes in
October. Mortgage-backed securities held firmer most of the day although
they eventually closed the day worse by .250 than Tuesday’s closing
price levels.

But
that was yesterday, and today we’ve had weekly Jobless Claims at 291k, a
drop of 2k from a revised 293k. We also had the October Consumer Price
indices (seen lower core and headline but was unchanged and +.2%,
respectively), and ahead of us is the Philly Fed Index (20.7 last),
Existing Home Sales (5.17M prior) and October Leading Economic
Indicators (+0.8% previous). We saw a 2.35% close on the 10-yr on Wednesday. In the early going it is at 2.34% with agency MBS prices a shade better.

 

Jobs and Announcements

For jobs, Silverton Mortgage,
a highly respected direct retail lender with headquarters in Atlanta
continues to grow and is interviewing for a Regional Sales Manager.
 “Our production team is looking for an energetic, talented candidate
with a proven track record to grow and enhance their current sales force
of 60+ MLO’s with a focus on recruiting and training. The position will
be based in Atlanta and covering the southeast (while seeking growth
opportunities in the 12 licensed states). Silverton’s first to market
technology and marketing focus, combined with a strong company culture,
provides an amazing platform to grow sales. While being honored Inc.
500/5000’s list 4 consecutive years, Silverton continued to receive 98+%
client and agent satisfaction results, and prides itself on being a
communication company that excels at mortgages.  Candidates prepared to
make a difference should apply to Hr@silvertonmortgage. com.”

On the compliance side of things, The Compliance Group, Inc. is searching for Quality Control Auditors – and you may be able to work from home.
The Compliance Group is a nationwide compliance company and it is
looking for experienced Quality Control Auditors to perform Quality
Control Audits on closed mortgage loan files. Experienced candidates
should have a strong background in QC audits with underwriting
experience, DE and VA Lapp designations are preferred, excellent
communication skills, detail oriented and has the ability to work
remotely. Interested candidates should send confidential resumes to tcgcareers@thecompliancegroup. net  or if you have questions contact Shirley Rodriguez.

The
Houston area-based firm of Charbonneau Associates, Inc. has been
engaged by a publicly traded bank’s mortgage subsidiary to assist in the
expansion of the mortgage banking entity. The
bank is domiciled in Wisconsin and has assets of approximately $2
billion. The mortgage company is a retail mortgage banker who currently
originates approximately $175 to $200 million per month. The company is
looking for retail origination platforms that are originating $20
million or more per month. For inquires or more information, or to set
up a meeting at the MBA’s conference in San Diego, please contact Larry Charbonneau.

While we’re on MA, SNL Financial analysis finds banks have closed 2,599 branches this year vs. 1,137 opened for a net decline of 1,462.
That level is just below the yearly total of 1,487 of 2013. Total US
branches now sit at 94,752 and are down about 1.5% from the end of 2013
and the lowest overall level in 8 years. Speaking of which… First
National Corp. (VA) has agreed to buy six branches in Virginia from Bank
of America. (In July, the company announced the launch of its new
mortgage division, “First Mortgage”, not to be confused with Ontario,
CA’s First Mortgage.) Inland Bank Trust ($1.0B, IL) will acquire
College Savings Bank ($500mm, NJ) for about $30 million. In Michigan
Sturgis Bank Trust Co. ($307mm) will acquire The West Michigan
Savings Bank ($38mmI) for about $4mm. Bank of North Carolina ($3.7B, NC)
will acquire Valley Bank ($886mm, VA) for about $101mm in stock or
roughly 1.7x tangible book. In Minnesota Wells Federal Bank ($240mm)
will acquire St James Federal Savings ($27mm). BOKF ($27.6B, OK) said it
will discontinue its grocery store branch model and close 29 branches
and relocate an additional 10 in-store branches to new locations. The
bank expects to save $7mm to $8mm annually and said changing customer
behavior toward more mobile and online banking was a key factor.

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/channels/pipelinepress/11202014-3-down-payment-fhfa.aspx

MBS MID-DAY: Overnight Strength Meets Insane Philly Fed Numbers; Gains Holding

It’s been a solid day for bond markets so far, with most of that solidness coming courtesy of a big correction to yesterday’s European bond market weakness.  Some measure of positive bounce is logical given the boatloads of weaker economic data out overnight in Europe, but the rally was more aggressive than usual.

Treasuries took heart and followed German Bunds (the benchmark representative for “European Bond Markets”) lower in yield.  10yr yields hit 8am right in line with yesterday’s best levels and Fannie 3.5s opened roughly 6/32nds higher.  From there, the first round of morning data was largely ignored and gains continued.

The big turning point today was at 10am with the release of the Philly Fed survey, which beat its forecast by the largest amount ever, and rose to levels not seen since 1993.  What’s more, the survey made no mention of special circumstances that might have contributed to the insanely high number.  Bonds lost all their domestic session gains, but are still holding on to some of the overnight gains.  In other words, trading levels are still better than they were at yesterday’s close, and we’ve found just enough support to avoid negative reprices from all but one or two lenders.

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/mortgage_rates/blog/409538.aspx

Big News for Existing Home Sales: 1st Annual Gain of 2014

If October sales of existing homes are an indication
2014 may come to a better conclusion than has been expected.  The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said
today that sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops in
October were at their highest level since September 2013 and, for the first
time in a year
, exceeded sales a year earlier.

Existing home sales rose 1.5 percent in October to a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.26 million in October, the highest since the
same figure was reached in September 2013, from an upwardly revised rate of
5.18 million in September, the second consecutive month-over-month increase.   October’s
sales were also 2.5 percent higher than in October 2013. 

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the housing market this year has
been a tale of two halves. “Sales activity in October reached its highest
annual pace of the year as buyers continue to be encouraged by interest rates
at lows not seen since last summer, improving levels of inventory and
stabilizing price growth,” he said. “Furthermore, the job market has shown
continued strength in the past six months. This bodes well for solid demand to
close out the year and the likelihood of additional months of year-over-year
sales increases.”

Single-family home sales increased 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted
annual rate of 4.63 million in October from 4.57 million in September, and are
now 2.9 percent above the 4.50 million pace a year ago.  Existing condominium and co-op sales rose 3.3
percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 630,000 units in October from
610,000 in September, and were the same as a year earlier.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was
$208,300, an annual increase of 5.5 percent and the 32nd consecutive
month of year-over-year price gains.  The
median existing single-family home price rose 5.6 percent from a year earlier
to $208,700.  The median existing condo
price was $205,400 in October, which is 4.5 percent higher than a year ago.

Housing inventory was down slightly, falling 2.6 percent to 2.22 million existing
homes available for sale, up 5.2 percent from 2.11 million homes in October
2013.  The available homes represent a
5.1-month supply at the current sales pace, the lowest monthly supply since
last March. 

“The growth in housing supply this year will likely prevent the drastic
sales slowdown and coinciding spike in home prices we saw last winter due to
low inventory,” says Yun. “However, more housing starts are needed to increase
supply, meet current demand and keep price growth in check.”

Twenty-nine percent of existing home sales were to first time buyers in
October, the fourth consecutive month with the same percentage.  The first-time buyer share has been below 30
percent in 18 of the last 19 months and a separate NAR survey found that the
annual share of first-time buyer has fallen to its lowest level in nearly three
decades.  Individual sales to investors
accounted for 15 percent of the market in October and 65 percent of them paid
cash.  Cash sales overall accounted for
27 percent of existing home transactions, up from 24 percent in September but
down from 31 percent in October of last year.

Seven percent of October sales were foreclosures and 2 percent were short
sales.  Total distressed home sales were down
one percentage point from September and represented the third time this year
that those sales have fallen into the single digits.   Foreclosures
sold for an average discount of 15 percent below market value in October (14
percent in September), while short sales were discounted 10 percent (14 percent
in September).    

“Although distressed sales are trending downward, there are still areas
(such as judicial states Florida, Maryland and New York) plagued by
foreclosures, and homeowners faced with the awful choice between a tax bill
they are unable to pay and losing their home,” says NAR President Chris
Polychron.  He said that the NAR was continuing
to urge the U.S. House to vote on “The Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act.”   Passage would extend an expired provision
that exempts forgiven mortgage debt from being taxed as income. 

A property sold in October was typically on the market for 63 days compared
to 56 days in September and 54 days in October 2013.  Short sales were on the market for a median
of 150 days in October, while foreclosures sold in 68 days and non-distressed
homes took 61 days. Thirty-three percent of homes sold in October were on the
market for less than a month.

Regionally, October existing-home sales in the Northeast climbed 2.9 percent
to an annual rate of 710,000, and are 4.4 percent above a year ago. The median
price in the Northeast was $246,900, which is 1.2 percent above a year ago.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales jumped 5.1 percent to an annual level of
1.24 million in October, and are 2.5 percent higher than October 2013. The
median price in the Midwest was $164,100, up 6.8 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South increased 2.8 percent to an annual rate of
2.17 million in October, and are now 5.3 percent above October 2013. The median
price in the South was $178,000, up 5.1 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West declined 5.0 percent to an annual rate of
1.14 million in October, and remain 3.4 percent below a year ago. The median
price in the West was $296,800, which is 5.0 percent above October 2013.

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/11202014_existing_homes.asp

Santa Monica Apts Sold for $7.3M


American Alliance Capital Group acquired the multifamily building at 1236 9th St. in Santa Monica, CA for $7.3 million, or about $456,000 per unit, from a living trust.

The 16-unit apartment building totals 16,635 square feet built in 1962 in Los Angeles County. The property consists of 11 one-bedroom, three two-bedroom, and two two-bedroom units.

Tony Azzi, Hila Rubeni, Rabbie Banafsheha, and Thomas Jonsson of Marcus Millichap represented the seller.

Please refer to CoStar COMPS #3132751 for more information on this transaction.

Article source: http://www.costar.com/News/Article/Santa-Monica-Apts-Sold-for-$73M/166305?ref=/News/Article/Santa-Monica-Apts-Sold-for-$73M/166305&src=rss

Van Tuyle Joins BH Properties


BH Properties, a Los Angeles-based firm specializing in the acquisition and repositioning of challenged or distressed assets, has hired Andrew Van Tuyle as chief acquisition officer.

In his new role, Van Tuyle will handle the firm’s property and debt acquisition throughout the Southwest regions. The 15-year industry veteran specializes in multifamily, retail, industrial and office transactions, and has closed deals in more than 20 states.

“Andrew’s expertise with multifamily and shopping center investments will aid greatly in furthering BH Properties’ investment portfolio,” said Steve Jaffe, executive vice president and general counsel for BH Properties. “The addition of Andrew will certainly help to propel the team as we move forward with our acquisition goals.”

Van Tuyle was most recently the chief operations officer at Standard Management, a private real estate investment firm. Before that he was with BH Properties for more than two years, during which time he served as director of acquisitions and closed on nearly 2,000 multifamily units in Arizona.

A member of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), and the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Van Tuyle earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of San Diego.

Article source: http://www.costar.com/News/Article/Van-Tuyle-Joins-BH-Properties/166379?ref=/News/Article/Van-Tuyle-Joins-BH-Properties/166379&src=rss

Marcus & Millichap Launches Ventura Office

from left: Christofferson, Markel, Cohen, Shaw, Johnson, and DeBuiser.

Marcus Millichap (NYSE: MMI), a commercial real estate investment services firm with offices throughout North America, has opened its office in Ventura, CA.

Adam Christofferson, first vice president and regional manager will oversee the new office along with James Markel, sales manager. Gary Cohen joins as a director in the firm’s national office and industrial properties group (NOIPG). Joining the firm’s national multi housing group (NMHG) are Parker Shaw, associate and Brian Johnson, senior associate. Rounding out the team is James DeBuiser, agent candidate with NOIGP.

“We are excited to launch our new Ventura office with such a seasoned team of commercial investment professionals,” says Christofferson. “Gary Cohen brings over 25 years of experience to our new office. His expertise assisting clients through all aspects of commercial real estate ownership, acquisition, disposition, leasing and management is of great value. Brian Johnson and Parker Shaw are recognized multifamily experts along California’s Central Coast. Together they bring significant knowledge and experience to our clients in the marketplace.”

Located at 1000 Town Center Dr., the new location is MMI’s eighth sales office in southern California, according to John J. Kerin, president and CEO.

Christofferson concludes, “Our entire team is enthusiastic about the opportunity to add value to clients in the region by leveraging our firm’s investment specialization, financing capabilities, industry-leading research, innovative technology and extensive management support.”

Article source: http://www.costar.com/News/Article/Marcus-Millichap-Launches-Ventura-Office/166392?ref=/News/Article/Marcus-Millichap-Launches-Ventura-Office/166392&src=rss

Paramount Prices Biggest U.S. REIT IPO

Office-building landlord Paramount Group Inc. raised $2.29 billion in its initial public offering Tuesday, becoming the largest-ever IPO by a U.S. real-estate investment trust and helping breathe life into an anemic year for new property stocks.

The company, which boasts a portfolio of office buildings in New York, Washington and San Francisco, sold 131 million shares at $17.50 apiece before taking into account the overallotment…

Article source: http://online.wsj.com/articles/paramount-group-prices-biggest-u-s-reit-ipo-1416356059?mod=residential_real_estate