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President’s Corner Home sales up, inventory down

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Diane Gallagher

Posted: Friday, May 18, 2012 12:13 pm | Updated: 12:15 pm, Fri May 18, 2012.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median existing single-family home prices are firming in many metropolitan areas. Improving sales and declining inventory are creating more balanced conditions, according to the latest quarterly report.

“2012 is expected to be a year of recovery for housing. Also, that first quarter sales closings, were the highest first quarter sales in five years. And the second quarter to be equally as good,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

 “The housing market has clearly turned the corner. Rising sales are bringing down inventory and creating much more balanced conditions around the county, which means home prices will be rising in more areas as the year progresses,” Yun added.

Last week I spoke of bulk sales. Here is a little background on what they are.

The federal government’s proposing to rapidly and dramatically reduce the supply of newly foreclosed homes coming onto the market, from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration through the bulk sale of foreclosed homes. This is not just two, three or even ten homes. This is hundreds of thousands of properties being sold into investment pools no less than $50 million, then to be auctioned to the highest bidder.

Of course, at such a high price, only your large investment syndicates or institutional investors will be the bidders. Whoever wins the bid must agree to turn these homes into rental properties for an unspecified period of time, which could possibly delay the housing recovery.

If this experiment is carried out, can you imagine the rental market and our home values? This might work where homes are sitting empty for months, like Nevada, but in California, where homes are selling, this type of sale would be a disadvantage. Again, we will just have to wait and see what happens.

On a more positive note: If you remember a few weeks ago, I touched on how long it took for a bank to approve a short sale. There were times it could take up to 120 days to get an approval, which is much too long. I am told by many agents that some of the banks are already implementing the new time frames, and indeed speeding up the process. This is definitely something that is long overdue and needed to be corrected.

If you are looking for an answer about whether to short sale or foreclose, contact a Reator to help answer some of those questions.

I look forward to next week. If you have any questions or concerns please contact me at: larpres2012@yahoo.com. Diane is the President of the Lodi Association of Realtors.

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