Realtors® Urge Regulators to Reconsider Narrow QRM Definition   Leave a comment

Washington, DC, June 22, 2011

The National Association of Realtors® is urging regulators to go back to the drawing board on the proposed Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) rule.

At a news conference on Capitol Hill today, the original sponsors of the QRM provision in the Dodd-Frank Act – Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) – joined Reps. John Campbell (R-Calif.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) to urge regulators to reconsider unnecessarily high down payment requirements under the proposed QRM rule.

“As the leading advocate for home ownership, NAR firmly believes Congress intended to create a broad QRM exemption – strong evidence shows that responsible lending standards and ensuring a borrower’s ability to repay have the greatest impact on reducing lender risk, and not high down payments,” said NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I.

NAR has forged the broad-based Coalition for Sensible Housing Policy, which includes 44 organizations focused on drawing attention to the proposed regulation’s onerous 20 percent down payment requirement. The coalition asked for and recently received an extension of the comment period until August 1, 2011. NAR and its coalition partners have also gathered the support of 44 U.S. Senators, who recently wrote to regulators expressing their intent on QRM and opposing the imposition of a sizable down payment; 282 House members signed a similar letter.

Concurrent with the event, NAR and the coalition unveiled a white paper, “Proposed Qualified Residential Mortgage Definition Harms Creditworthy Borrowers While Frustrating Housing Recovery,” an in-depth analysis of the impact of the proposed QRM rule. The white paper will be submitted as the coalition’s official comments to the rule.

NAR wants federal regulators to honor congressional intent by crafting a QRM exemption that includes a wide variety of traditionally safe, well documented and properly underwritten products.

“As written, the proposed QRM rule violates congressional intent, makes home ownership more expensive for millions of responsible consumers and jeopardizes the fragile housing recovery,” Phipps said. “We urge regulators to reconsider the proposed QRM definition to help hard-working, creditworthy Americans continue to realize their dreams of homeownership.”

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The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America ’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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Posted June 24, 2011 by Carol Banner in Mountain real estate

Hello, Fellow Realtors:   Leave a comment

After two very eventful back-to-back weeks at the C.A.R. and N.A.R. Midyear Legislative meetings in Sacramento 
and Washington DC, we are glad to be home!!!! At the CAR meetings, the Directors voted to support the N.A.R. 
dues increase of $40.00 for RPAC (Realtor Political Action Committee). Before attending these meetings, I polled 
your Board of Directors and all but one board member supported the dues increase. This was reflected in my vote 
at the C.A.R. meeting. The other item on the agenda is the MLS data sharing and lockbox issue with CRMLS, the 
state-wide MLS service. Talks are ongoing – we’ll keep you posted. 

On the political agenda – those items that we take to our legislatures for their support were our opposition to 
the elimination or reduction of the Mortgage Interest Deduction and the necessity to maintain the secondary loan 
market (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) in order to provide affordable mortgages. In Sacramento, the legislators 
with whom I spoke supported the Realtor concerns. We took these same concerns to Washington DC and addressed 
these, as well as reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program for at least another five years. The 
response at the Congressional level and among the Senators was mixed – there is work to do here! Watch for the 
Realtor RED ALERTS and please respond. 

We were three thousand strong in Washington DC. They do listen to us! The dues increase was voted in and issues 
concerning broker opt-in, opt-out on the IDX were discussed and the final motion that passed was the whole program 
be revisited and that brokers could opt-in until the task force made their recommendations and it was brought back 
to vote in the September N.A.R. meetings in Anaheim. 

In addition to the political agenda, I attended meetings aimed at Association Leadership and other issues pertaining 
to Presidents and Presidents elect of the local Associations. If you have concerns, questions – please call me at my 
office 909-336-7917. I look forward to talking with you and thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you and 
our Realtor Association. 

Carol Banner, President
Rim O’ The World Association of Realtors

Posted May 17, 2011 by Carol Banner in Mountain real estate

March Pending Home Sales Index   Leave a comment

When we talk to home sellers in our area wishing to put their homes on the market, the major question is: “How does the foreclosure market affect our asking price (our bottom line)?”  The foreclosure properties have a huge influence over current housing prices as illustrated in the following C.A.R. article. Locally, we do see prices being driven by foreclosure sales, creating opportunities for buyers and challenges for sellers. Now, more than ever, the necesity of using a welll informed Real Estate Professional is imperative. Call Carol Banner, the Banner Team at CB Sky Ridge Realty for all your Real Estate needs.

California distressed housing market improves in March; pending sales rise

LOS ANGELES (April 20) – The share of distressed homes sold in March declined from February, but was unchanged from a year ago,  the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported today. 

“Consistent with the state as a whole, nearly all the counties for which we have data also experienced an improvement in distressed sales,” said C.A.R. President Beth L. Peerce.  “However, distressed sales in most of the counties were higher than a year ago, as the market continues to work through large numbers of troubled mortgages.”

Distressed housing market data:

• The total share of all distressed property types sold statewide declined in March to 51 percent, down from 56 percent in February and unchanged from 51 percent in March 2010.

• Non-distressed sales made up the remaining share at 49 percent in March, up from 44 percent in February but unchanged from 49 percent in March 2010.

• Of the distressed properties sold statewide, the total share of REO (real estate-owned) sales was 31 percent in March, down from 33 percent in February, and down from 32 percent in March 2010.

• The statewide share of short sales also dropped in March to 20 percent, down from 23 percent in February but up from 19 percent in March 2010.

• The median price of homes sold in the state varied dramatically depending on the property type, with non-distressed properties selling for much higher prices than short sales and foreclosures.  Price differences across short sales, REOs and non-distressed properties reflect variances in the condition of the property, with REOs typically being in worse condition than short sales and non-distressed properties.  A seller’s circumstance, such as needing to sell under duress, is also a factor.

• The statewide median price of non-distressed properties sold in March was $386,500, $111,800 or 41 percent higher than the short sale median price of $274,700 recorded in March, and $181,500 or 88 percent higher than the March REO median price of $205,000.

Pending home sales:

March pending home sales in California rose from February, according to C.A.R.’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)*.  The index was 128.7 in March, rising 15.2 percent from February’s revised index of 111.7, based on contracts signed in March.  The index was down 0.3 percent from March 2010, when the presence of housing tax credits played a strong role in home sales.  Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, providing information on the future direction of the market.

Share of Distressed Sales to Total Sales
(Single-family)

Type of Sale March 2010 Feb. 2011 March 2011
REO 36% 32% 33%
Short Sale 19% 22% 23%
Total Distressed Sales 55% 54% 56%

Single-family Distressed Home Sales by Select Counties
(Percent of total sales)

Distressed Sales by County Mar-10 Feb-11 Mar-11
Solano 69% 77% 76%
San Bernardino 75% 76% 71%
Kern 70% 72% 71%
Sacramento 64% 71% 70%
Mendocino 46% 62% 68%
Riverside 73% 71% 67%
Sonoma 54% 58% 57%
Napa 54% 64% 53%
Los Angeles 49% 55% 51%
San Luis Obispo 46% 56% 47%
Orange 36% 48% 40%
San Diego 30% 34% 32%
Marin 25% 43% 28%
CA 51% 56% 51%

*Note:  C.A.R.’s pending sales information is generated from a survey of more than 70 associations of REALTORS® and MLSs throughout the state.  Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, offering solid information on future changes in the direction of the market.  A sale is listed as pending after a seller has accepted a sales contract on a property.  The majority of pending home sales usually becomes closed sales transactions one to two months later. 

You can view this article at www.car.org

Posted April 29, 2011 by Carol Banner in Mountain real estate

Now is the Time!!!!   Leave a comment

Have you been waiting for the market to “improve” or perhaps for the weather to “improve” – whatever your reason for waiting to put your Mountain home on the market – Now is the Time!  Talk to a listing agent with knowledge of the local market (not all of us do) who knows that, regardless of what’s said in the media or on the streets may not be the true story – especially regarding our very wonderful and unique area.  There are buyers and while they are seeking “good deals”, many of them have cash – we are seeing more cash buyers than ever before – in all price ranges.  Have you noticed Blue Jay lately?  Our little Blue Jay Village is blooming with new business and restaurants joining our wonderful Blue Jay standbys.  Weather is gorgeous, flowers are blooming, trees are leafing out – Now is the Time!

Whether selling or buying, Now is the Time.  Have you buyers been waiting for lower prices, lower interest rates, the market to “bottom out” – whatever the hesitation, if you really want to share in our Mountain Lifestyle, Now is the Time!!!  In my twenty five years of practicing real estate in the Lake Arrowhead area, I’ve never seen lower prices or better interest rates.  Granted, lenders do not make it easy – but than is anything really worthwhile in life easy?  Get busy, call me today to receive information on listings in your price range and on our market place in general.  My team and I make it our business to provide buyers and sellers with the most up-to-date market information and with all that is needed to make those important buying and selling decisions.

Posted April 1, 2011 by Carol Banner in Mountain real estate

Assemblyman Donnelly Honors Carol Banner as Woman of the Year   1 comment

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly honors Carol Banner as woman of the year. Click on the link  to watch the video.  http://www.arc.asm.ca.gov/member/59/?p=media&sid=427&id=10482

Posted April 1, 2011 by Carol Banner in Mountain real estate

The Closure of State Hwy 173   2 comments

Yesterday, a beautiful Monday morning in the Mountains, several of us Deer Lodge Park residents drove down the paved section of State Hwy 173 and parked at the end of the pavement.  We were joined by several other friends and neighbors residing on the North side of Lake Arrowhead to offer our protest to the closing of State Hwy 173 – that almost 5 mile stretch of the highway heading northwestwardly from beyond the Gun Club down to the base of the Mountain – the only “dirt” State Highway in California.  Even though our local fire services, the MAC and other Government appointees have declared that Highway 173 is not a “recognized emergency escape route” – we, who live here, own property here, pay taxes here – know otherwise!   For 40 years, Duane and I have lived on Grass Valley Road – second to the last house before it’s intersection with Highway 173.  In the 1980 Panorama Fire, Twin Peaks residents with their belongings packed in their cars filed past our house as they headed for the only escape access available to them – Hwy. 173 – after mandatory evacuation from their homes.  I knew that if the fire wasn’t stopped at Twin Peaks, I, too, with my family and belongings would be heading down that same road.  In the years since, we witnessed similar scenarios in three other major fires threatening our Community.  Fifty or so commuters use the road daily – at their own risk and with full knowledge that the road is winding dirt road that cuts off about one hour travel time for them daily. 

 

I was surprised at the emotion that swept over me as I stood there with my friends and family and looked at the chains, locks and K-Rail now blocking Hwy. 173.  The three armed Highway Patrol officers alerted to “keep the peace” by CalTrans stood by – along with the six CalTrans employees sent to put up the chains and to explain to us their version of just why this was happening.  Now I understand!  I understand what it’s like to go up against the Government.  I’ve always felt like a part of our Government process.  I’ve worked with state and county representatives in a collegial manner as the Chair of our local Chamber Government Affairs Committee, as a School Board Trustee, as a California Realtor.  Now I understand why We, the People, feel disenfranchised – on the outside looking in at a process that no longer makes sense.  We have ignored history.   We sat by and let it happen.  We are warned in the Declaration of Independence that a Government allowed by a complacent constituency to rule by its own laws, will turn us from a Government of the People, for the People, by the People to a People of the Government, for the Government, by the Government.  We are there!  Now I understand!

Funny, you say, that such a tiny matter in the Big Scheme of things should create this new feeling of distrust, dislike, despair – it’s not a tiny matter to us in our little tiny corner of this big, beautiful over-governed state.  It’s a big fat Wake Up Call!!

Posted March 15, 2011 by Carol Banner in Mountain real estate

Short Sales In Our Economy   Leave a comment

I just read this article on CAR Website      it is very informative.

write on behalf of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, whose 170,000 members continue to witness the devastating consequences the home foreclosure crisis is having on California’s families, neighborhoods, and communities on a daily basis. 

The number of families affected by foreclosure is staggering.  During the past three years, more than 640,000 Californians have lost their homes.  With the number of homeowners who owe more than their home is worth hovering at 30 percent, experts predict there will be many more foreclosures in 2011 and 2012.  Unless we take immediate, aggressive action to assist these homeowners, any meaningful recovery in the housing market and overall economy will continue to be delayed.

Tragically, only a fraction of those who face foreclosure will remain in their homes when all is said and done.  Those whose incomes and financial circumstances meet strict guidelines may qualify for a loan modification that will reduce their monthly payment to more affordable levels.   Yet the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is expected to prevent only 700,000 to 800,000 foreclosures nationwide before it expires at the end of 2012, and the program does little to help those homeowners who are unemployed or otherwise no longer able to meet their financial commitments.  Their last hope is to sell their home, which often means convincing their lender or the investor who “owns” the loan (and, in many cases, the holder of a second mortgage lien and the mortgage insurer) to accept a “short sale.”

With a short sale, homeowners with a proven hardship negotiate an agreement to sell their home for less than the balance owed.  Although not every homeowner or mortgage is eligible, those who are able to finalize a short sale avoid a foreclosure on their credit record and can move on with their lives.  Last year, 20 percent of home sales in our state involved short sales.

Short sales can play an important role in our state’s economic recovery by accelerating the pace of home sales and reducing the inventory of bank-owned homes on the market.  There are other benefits as well.  Homebuyers who can qualify for a mortgage at today’s low interest rates also are able to purchase a home at below-market prices.  Banks get a nonperforming asset off their books and avoid the headaches associated with disposing of assets they don’t want to own in the first place.  Neighborhoods have fewer abandoned homes, and local businesses have more customers with money to spend. 

Unfortunately, many homeowners are unable to successfully negotiate a short sale.  According to a recent survey of 2,150 California REALTORS® who have assisted clients with a short sale, only three out of five transactions closed – even when there was an interested and qualified buyer. 

What’s the problem?  For one, no two mortgage agreements are the same, so it can be difficult to standardize short sale processes and procedures.  Many homeowners have second mortgages, which further complicate matters.  Then there’s the challenge of convincing multiple parties to take a financial loss or, in the case of loan servicers, to forego fees they otherwise might earn during the course of the foreclosure process.  Poor and slow service by many banks and servicers has only exacerbated the problem.  Horror stories abound from potential homebuyers and REALTORS® forced to wait 90 or more days for a response to a purchase offer or being required to fax short sale applications or other paperwork as many as 50 times.   These delays discourage potential homebuyers from considering a short sale purchase and undermine the process for those who short sales are intended to benefit – the hundreds of thousands of families facing foreclosure.   
 
Increasing the number of closed short sales by speeding up and streamlining the short sale process is one important way we can help California families avoid foreclosure and move our economy closer to recovery. That’s why the California Association of REALTORS® is taking steps to enable more families to arrange a short sale.  Recently, we advocated for improvements to short sale guidelines established under the federal Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative (HAFA) program.  We’re meeting with major banks, U.S. Treasury officials, government-sponsored entities (including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), and others to urge them to standardize processes, comply with federal guidelines, improve communication with other stakeholders and increase staffing with the goal of eliminating service issues.  We’ve also offered our members training in every aspect of the short sale process so they can assist their clients.

But we can’t do it alone.  That’s why we’re focusing the spotlight on short sales and calling on regulators, elected officials, nonprofits, business organizations, companies, and individuals with a stake in California’s economic future to resolve this issue and others that get in the way of a recovery.   It won’t be easy, and some compromises will be required.  The important thing is that we need to act today.  Our families and our communities can’t wait any longer.

Posted March 11, 2011 by Carol Banner in Mountain real estate