Nevada’s economy continues to improve in a number of areas with notable stability in consumer spending, tourism, and the housing market. Click here to view the whole report.
Click here to listen to the Legal Hour on KDWN AM720 from March 13th, 2013 in which Managing Partner, Tisha Black Chernine, Esq. discuss wrongful military foreclosures (2:05), the lawsuit against Standard & Poor’s (4:30), getting mortgage loans with bad credit (9:45), rebounding housing market (14:00), “as is” real estate sales (15:45), how AB 284 affects the housing market (21:00) and banning sugary beverages (31:45).
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The Obama administration released its “white paper” outlining the winding down and replacement of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The goal of the proposals is to decrease the government’s involvement in the mortgage industry. The first proposal presented by the administration would create a government backstop under a federal reinsurance model. In the second proposal the government backstop would only be triggered in event of a crisis. The last option presented has no government backstop beyond existing federal agencies such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
The paper also proposes reforming the current industry standards. The paper recommends raising the fees that Fannie and Freddie charge to lenders in order to make mortgages that are not government-backed more competitive. Another proposal includes a gradual increase in minimum down payments so that Fannie and Freddie can buy loans with a minimum 10% down payment. Lastly, the paper recommends slowly reducing the maximum loan limits Fannie and Freddie can purchase but does not specify to exact loan limits.
As part of the recommended reforms to the current mortgage industry, the paper also recommends reducing the role and financial exposure of the FHA. The administration says it will increase the annual insurance premiums borrowers of FHA backed loans pay later this year. The administration is concerned with phasing in any reform gradually to prevent increased chaos in the fragile mortgage and housing market.
Tiffany N. Ballenger, Esq.
Unfortunately, Las Vegas home prices bucked the national trend by falling in May according to Standard & Poor’s monthly S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report. Prices in Las Vegas fell 0.5% from April to May and were off 6.5% compared to May 2009.
As for the rest of the country, home prices in May in the 20 markets tracked by the report rose 1.3% from April to May and were up 4.6% from May 2009.
“In May, Las Vegas posted a new index low as measured by the current housing cycle, where it peaked in August 2006,” S&P said in today’s report. ”The peak-to-trough figure is -56.4%, with that market generally returning any gains it had posted since 2000.”
The Las Vegas housing market has taken quite a beating due to the nation’s second highest unemployment rate, highest per-capita rate of foreclosures, failed short sales, and highest per-capita rate of bankruptcies.
Even more, the Las Vegas housing market will continue to decline due to the expiration of the first time home buyer credit. “We need to watch where the housing markets will go after these temporary stimuli go away. June’s existing and new home sales and housing starts data do not show much real improvement in those statistics either. It still looks possible that the housing market might bounce along the bottom for the foreseeable future before showing any real improvement that will filter through to the rest of the economy,” today’s S&P report said.
Randy M. Creighton, Esq.