US sales of existing homes likely rose 1 percent in September, but market still struggling

The National Association of Realtors reports on sales of existing homes in September. The report is scheduled to be released Tuesday at 10 a.m. Eastern.

SLIGHT SALES BUMP: Economists believe that sales rose 1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.1 million last month, according to a survey by data firm FactSet. The Realtors reported an annual sales rate of 5.05 million in August, a 1.8 percent decrease compared with the prior month as real estate investors pulled back.

TOUGH 2014: Sales this year have fallen behind last year’s pace. Because of tight credit, rising home prices and relatively stagnant incomes, home-buying was off 5.3 percent during the 12 months ended in August.

The Realtors project that 4.94 million existing homes will be sold this year, down 3 percent from 5.09 million in 2013. Analysts generally associate sales of roughly 5.5 million existing homes with a healthy market.

First-time buyers have yet to filter back into the market, while many homeowners are still coping with the fallout from the meltdown in home prices that began roughly seven years ago. And prices continue to recover from the depths of that housing bust, growing at double digit levels in many markets last year.

Yet median household incomes have yet to rebound and remain below their 2007 levels after adjusting for inflation. Limited income growth has cut into the cash flow and down payment savings needed to purchase a home. The federal regulator overseeing mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is considering an option for lower down payments, so that more people can qualify for a mortgage.

More buyers may also return the market after the average 30-year fixed rate mortgages dropped below 4 percent last week, down more than half a percentage point from the start of 2014. Still, average rates were as low as 3.34 percent In January 2013, and there are few signs that home sales will surge any time soon.

A separate Realtors index tracking the number of signed contracts to purchase a home slipped in August, falling 1 percent compared with the prior month to 104.7. Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases. A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a contract and a completed sale.

Construction data suggests a shift away from home ownership toward renting.

The Commerce Department reported last week that housing starts rose 6.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.017 million homes, with almost all of the gains coming from the building of apartments.

Apartment construction has surged 30.3 percent over the past 12 months, almost three times the rate of growth for single-family houses.

Pending Home Sales Posted First Yearly Gain In 11 Months

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Qualified Mortgage rule could expand access to credit

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) October 31, 2014

Loan officers at The Federal Saving Bank were pleased to see that The National Association of Realtors latest September Pending Home Sales Index showed a slight rise during the month.

The index, which is based on contract signings and provides a view into future home sales, rose 0.3 percent from 107.4 points in August to 105 points in September. Compared to September 2013, the index increased 1 percent from 104 points. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 1 percent month-over-month rise.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said the market is currently favorable to buyers as a result of two factors: slower price growth and sustained inventory levels.

“Housing supply for existing homes was up in September 6 percent from a year ago, which is preventing prices from rising at the accelerated clip seen earlier this year,” he said. “Additionally, the current spectacularly low mortgage rates should help more buyers reach the market.”

One caveat is these buyer advantages are accompanied by tighter lending standards, and price increases that occurred mid-2013 are still affecting affordability in some markets. However, one economist told The Associated Press on October 27th that there have been “steady” and “modest” improvements in these areas.

Qualified Mortgage rule could expand access to credit

Yun acknowledged the home buying obstacles cited by surveyed Realtors and explained some relief is expected to come to consumers once the final rule for QM mortgages goes into effect in 2015.

“The rule provides clarity for lenders and is a win for creditworthy consumers by ensuring they continue to have access to safe and affordable loan products without overly burdensome down payment requirements,” Yun said.

This will likely be welcome news for home buyers, as the the latest Origination Insight Report from Ellie Mae noted 32 percent of closed loans in September had an average FICO score of less than 700. In September 2013, that share was 34 percent, indicating tighter lending standards.

Another bit of good news for more favorable underwriting standards is federal regulators, including the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission, recently approved measures to expand mortgage credit availability, the AP reported. The changes to lending rules would allow borrowers to furnish less than a 20 percent down payment under certain conditions that must be met by the lenders.

Contact the Federal Savings Bank, a veteran owned bank, for information about getting an affordable, low rate mortgage of your own.

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National Tenant Network Attends NAR Convention to Introduce New Management Services

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore., Oct. 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The National Association of Realtors will meet next week in New Orleans for this year’s Annual Convention, with more than 17,000 members and guests expected to attend. National Tenant Network’s Russell Smith, National Sales, Regina Kaupanger NTN Arizona, and Jaime Borodin, NTN New Jersey/NYC, will represent the company at the Convention, acquainting attendees with NTN products and services tailored specifically for the Real Estate industry. National Tenant Network recently provided the expertise required to facilitate an interface for NRT, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company.         

NTN offers a full suite of Secure Services to its subscribers, all designed to reduce vacancies and maintain positive rental income cash flow for investors. Founded in 1980, National Tenant Network has remained focused on serving investment property owners and managers, developing critical analytics and systems to provide them with the information necessary to make the best rental decisions possible. The high demand for NTN services has resulted in the screening of millions of rental applicants and recognition of the company’s continued role in industry innovation. 

National Tenant Network operates from 20 regional offices across the country, serving customers with local knowledge and access to the most extensive data in the industry. The company continues to develop cutting edge technology for its subscribers, enabling large property management companies as well as individual property owners access to efficient and cost effective programs for screening, leasing and property management.

For more information about all National Tenant Network products and services, contact NTN at 800.228.0989 to speak to our knowledgeable staff, or visit the company website at

NTN, Inc.
Edward F. Byczynski
525 SW First Suite 105
Lake Oswego, Or 97034
Phone 1.800.228.0989

NAR says US pending home sales rise modestly in September – The

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes ticked up only slightly in September, as it remained difficult to qualify for mortgage financing.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 0.3 percent over the past month to 105. The index remains half a percentage point below its 2013 average, although 1 percent higher than a year ago.

Tight credit and price increases through the middle of 2013 have limited buying activity. About 15 percent of the real estate agents surveyed for the index said they couldn’t close a deal because the buyer was unable to obtain a mortgage.

“We continue to see steady, albeit modest, improvement in this sector,” said Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases. A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a contract and a completed sale. The number of contract signings increased in the Northeast, South and West last month, while declining in the Midwest.

Federal regulators approved plans last week to expand the availability of credit. Five agencies — including the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission — backed changes to the rules on how much risk banks can accept when they package and sell mortgage securities in a multitrillion-dollar market.

The modified rules should enable buyers to put less money down on a home. Regulators ended the requirement that borrowers make a 20-percent down payment if the lending bank didn’t hold at least 5 percent of the mortgage securities tied on its books.

Additionally, average mortgage rates have fallen for the past five weeks. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage tumbled last week to 3.92 percent, a 52-week low, according to the government-supported mortgage firm Freddie Mac.

Affordability remains a fundamental problem. Steady job gains this year have pushed the unemployment rate down to 5.9 percent, yet average hourly wages are barely rising faster than inflation. Without higher incomes, the share of Americans with the cash flow and savings to buy a home has fallen, pushing more of them into rental properties.

Ahead of next week’s congressional election, the affordability woes even have something of a political tinge, according to new analysis by the real estate data firm Trulia.

In heavily Democratic communities, the median price for a home costs $227 per square foot. That’s nearly double the price of $119 per square foot in areas that vote Republican. This has encouraged Democrats to loosen lending standards, while Republicans have largely opposed such measures for encouraging consumers to become highly leveraged.

When the Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3-2 last week to adopt new mortgages rules, the two Republican commissioners, Daniel Gallagher and Michael Piwowar, opposed adoption.

Because Democratic housing markets “are less affordable, have lower homeownership, and have greater income inequality, political leaders in Democratic-leaning and Republican-leaning metros may push for different policies,” wrote Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia.

Baisden named Virginia Association of Realtors president

Deborah Baisden of Virginia Beach became president of the Virginia Association of Realtors earlier in October.

Baisden, a licensed Realtor since 1989, is consistently a top producer in the Hampton Roads area, according to a news release. Baisden has also served on the board of the Hampton Roads Realtors Association and was board chairwoman in 2004.

Baisden was awarded Realtor Salesperson of the Year in 1999 and the Code of Ethics Award in 2005.

In 2005, she was appointed to the public policy committee of the Virginia Association of Realtors. In subsequent years, she served on the to governance review workgroup, strategic planning group, budget committee, awards review group and was on the board of directors from 2008 to 2011.

Baisden has served on the National Association of Realtors board jurisdiction committee since 2010.

With a fine arts Degree from the University of Waterloo in Canada, Baisden served as the curator at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia until moving to Virginia Beach, where she began her real estate career.

Baisden is a supporter of the Relay for Life, Samaritan House, March of Dimes and the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

Copyright © 2014, Daily Press

Earnings up 22% at Old National

The Evansville-based holding company for Old National Bank on Monday reported third-quarter earnings of $29.1 million, or 26 cents a share – a nearly 22 percent increase from the same period a year ago when earnings were $23.9 million.

Old National Bancorp’s board of directors also declared a quarterly cash dividend of 11 cents a share on the company’s outstanding shares.

“For the second consecutive quarter, strong organic loan growth and a strong loan pipeline served as the catalyst for Old National’s earnings success,” Old National President and CEO Bob Jones said in a statement.

“It’s also worth noting that our earnings of $29.1 million exceeded analysts’ consensus estimates.”

Lakeland Financialsees earnings jump

Lakeland Financial Corp. of Warsaw on Monday reported third-quarter earnings of $11.5 million, a nearly 18 percent increase from the $9.8 million reported year ago during the same period.

Diluted net income per common share rose 17 percent to 69 cents, compared with 59 cents during the same period in 2013. The quarterly earnings and per-share performance represents a record level for the company.

”We are pleased with both the strength and quality of our record earnings performance in 2014,” David M. Findlay, president and CEO, said in a statement. “The expansion of our Indiana footprint, as well as our increased market share growth in every market we serve, has contributed to our success in 2014.”

Modest rise seenin home contracts

The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes ticked up only slightly in September, as it remained difficult to qualify for mortgage financing.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 0.3 percent over the past month to 105. The index remains a half-percentage point below its 2013 average, although 1 percent higher than a year ago.

Tight credit and price increases through the middle of 2013 have limited buying activity.

About 15 percent of the real estate agents surveyed for the index said they couldn’t close a deal because the buyer was unable to obtain a mortgage. Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases.

Valeant hikes bidfor Botox maker

The Canadian drugmaker Valeant said it would be willing to raise its takeover bid for Allergan by almost 12 percent, which would mean $200 or more a share for the maker of Botox.

The letter to Allergan’s board Monday did not break down the exact terms of the new offer, but Valeant said the increase would consist of added “consideration” and expected appreciation of Valeant’s own stock to be used in any deal.

The letter was released publicly just before Allergan released its third-quarter earnings, which topped Wall Street expectations.

Allergan said in a written statement that Valeant has not made a firm higher offer and the letter was intended to “distract investors from Allergan’s outstanding third quarter results.”

Piedmont CA Real Estate Agent Broker Anian Tunney Agrees with Real Estate Industry Optimism Shared in the October 2014 …

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Piedmont, CA (PRWEB) October 30, 2014

With continuing improvements to the economy, a majority of Realtors® and real estate firms are confident that profits will increase over the next year. This is according to the October 2014 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Real Estate Firms survey released in October. A press release(1) from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) summarized the survey of over 7000 real estate executives nation-wide. Recent sales in Piedmont include 5 Requa Place, offered at $2,495,000, which sold well over the asking price in 10 days. “The short time this home was on the market supports the notion of optimism by the real estate industry,” according to Tunney.

Some concerns surfaced in the NAR October 2014 survey, such as the Millennial generation’s ability to enter the real estate market. “There is concern over the ability of Millennials to enter the market,” Piedmont, CA real estate agent broker Anian Tunney commented in reference to the newest generation of home buyers. With stagnant wages and high debt to income ratios, Millennials are entering the market at a disadvantage. “Regardless, more agencies are growing than shrinking,” she noted. Of the survey respondents, 45% reported actively recruiting new agents, primarily due to business growth. Another of the recent sales in Piedmont at 212 Bonita, offered at $2,150,000 sold very much over the asking price with 5 offers in 3 days. “This demonstrates the high demand for high end real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area” commented Tunney.

“It is good to see the overall, yet realistic, optimism in the industry,” Tunney commented. She expanded, “we all have to be aware of our local economies, and that showed in what firms reported as their potential challenges over the next two years.” The new listings in Piedmont include 6 King Avenue, offered at $4,200,000. “ Homes priced at this level will most likely not attract the typical first time home buyer, yet is expected to sell quickly,” noted Tunney.

Another concern mentioned in the NAR Survey is enough inventory to satisfy demand. With the increase in home values, more owners are open to the possibility of selling, but the number of houses available is still far below “normal.” And with more demand than supply, prices will continue to increase, making it more difficult for first time home buyers, such as the Millennial to enter the market. And properties are not on the market long. For example, one home for sale in Piedmont, 5 Requa Place, was on the market for less than a month before entering a contract.

About Anian Tunney, Broker Associate

Anian Tunney is an agent broker with The Grubb Company. According to statistics collected by East Bay Regional Data, Inc., she was the 2013 number one real estate agent in Piedmont, CA for the number of units sold and sales volume. Additionally, Tunney is always in the top two in yearly real estate sales for The Grubb Company’s Piedmont, office. She is known for her knowledge, experience, and network in the Piedmont community; qualities which are invaluable for finding that special home or buyers for her clients.

A fifth generation Piedmont resident, Tunney has been with the Grubb Company for over 30 years. She raised her family of four in Piedmont and is active in community projects such as the Piedmont Beautification Foundation, the East Bay Museum Auxiliary, and the Piedmont school district. Her grandmother, Amy Sutton, was a real estate agent, and now Anian works with her daughter Adrienne Krumins, making Piedmont Realty truly a family vocation. Tunney negotiates with grace and clarity of purpose. She can be contacted at 510-339-0400 ext 217, and at Tunney(at)grubbco(dot)com. Her website is

Contact Information

Anian Tunney

The Grubb Company Real Estate Brokers

Oakland, CA 94611

510-339-0400 ext 217



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Pending home sales inch up 0.3 percent in September

The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes ticked up slightly in September, as it remained difficult to qualify for mortgage financing.

The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 0.3 percent over the past month to 105. The index remains half a percentage point below its 2013 average, although 1 percent higher than a year ago.

Tight credit and price increases through the middle of 2013 have limited buying activity. About 15 percent of the real estate agents surveyed for the index say they couldn’t close a deal because the buyer was unable to obtain a mortgage.

The pending home sales are the latest in a batch of data that suggests that housing market growth remains frustratingly slow. Friday, the Commerce Department reported that sales of new single-family homes ticked up just 0.2 percent. It was expected to be a slow month, but strong sales for August were also revised downward, as the Christian Science Monitor reported last week:

Sales of new single-family homes increased just 0.2 percent in September to an annualized pace of 467,000, according to figures released Friday by the Commerce Department. August sales, too, were revised downward substantially to a yearly rate of 466,000, from 504,000. 

Because of the bloated initial gains for August, economists had been expecting a slight dip for September. The report came in below the anticipated 470,000 in sales. Still, September sales were 17 percent above the level seen in September 2013 and represented the highest reading for new home sales of any month since July 2008.

The median sale price for a new home last month was $259,000; the average price was $313,200. There were an estimated 207,000 new homes available for sale, a 5.7 months’ supply. 

New homes make up a relatively small portion of US real estate transactions – just 8 percent – and sales figures can be volatile month to month. But September’s report was more in line with the often-frustrating incremental growth that analysts have come to expect from the housing recovery over the past year or so. “Here is little evidence that the new single family housing market is decisively breaking out of its medium-term flat pattern,” MFR Inc. economist Joshua Shapiro writes in an e-mailed analysis. “The best that could be said is that perhaps there is some modest upside impetus,” hinted at by an upward trend in housing starts, which are an important early indicator of new home sales.

The report comes on the heels of Tuesday’s data release on existing home sales, which posted a 2.4 percent gain in September to hit its fastest annualized pace for 2014. One of the more hopeful signs in that strong report was the rise in sales of homes to families, with downward trends in sales of distressed homes and purchases by investors. Such investors largely propelled the early stages of the housing recovery by snapping up large numbers of underwater and undervalued homes. More families and first-time buyers wading into home buying is more indicative of a healthier overall market.

Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases. A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a contract and a completed sale.

North American Title Co. to Showcase Its Services at Upcoming Realtors Conference & Expo

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North American Title heads to New Orleans for National Association of Realtors annual conference

North American Title showcases services at Realtors Conference Expo

The National Association of Realtors’ annual Conference Expo is the premier event for any company wanting to showcase services aimed at Realtors and their clients.

Miami, FL (PRWEB) October 28, 2014

When your national customer base is real estate professionals and you expect thousands of them to be in one place, you make it a priority to join the event. North American Title Co. (NAT) will be on hand to showcase its suite of national settlement services Nov. 7-10, during the Realtors Conference Expo in New Orleans. The annual event is again expected to see attendance surge past the 20,000 mark.

“The National Association of Realtors’ annual Conference Expo is the premier event for any company wanting to showcase services aimed at Realtors and their clients,” said Otto Suarez, national marketing director, North American Title Group, NAT’s parent company. “Last year’s event was our first year to exhibit, and we enjoyed getting to meet current and potential customers from all over the country.

“While the Realtors are there to learn and network, we know they attend the trade show to explore the newest and best real estate products and services,” added Suarez. “The entire real estate community – including buyers, sellers, the Realtors who represent them, lenders and settlement service providers such as NAT – is facing an Aug. 1, 2015, deadline to implement the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure mandated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“NAT is dedicating substantial resources and training to ensure that our agents and our systems are prepared long before that deadline,” said Suarez. “We are letting Realtors know at the expo that we will work knowledgeably with them and their clients to provide successful closings.

“On the festive side, NAT will have a ‘Boogie Booth’ photo booth in our space so Realtors can take a photo to remember their time at the conference,” he added. “Having the event in New Orleans definitely has a way of bringing out the fun while you are building relationships.”

NAT will also feature a raffle to win an iPad Mini or one of the iPad Shuffles given away each day of the expo. With 400 exhibitors, the expo is the largest trade show floor in real estate and begins Nov. 7 at 3 p.m. with a celebratory grand opening.

About North American Title

With well over 1,000 associates and a vast network of branches from coast to coast, North American Title (NAT) is among the largest real estate settlement service providers in the United States. Consisting of both agent and underwriter operations, NAT reported annual net revenues in fiscal 2013 of $185 million. The company also has the resources and stability of a wholly owned subsidiary of an SP 500 company with over $11.0 billion in assets (fiscal quarter ending Nov. 30, 2013). North American Title’s agency network operates nationally under the name North American Title Co. (NATC), and is located in 18 of the fastest-growing states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Through our relationship with our expanding affiliate network, NATC provides real estate settlement services in all 50 states. NAT is headquartered in Miami, Fla. To learn more, visit

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Pending Home Sales Positive From A Year Ago

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In the South sales increased 1.7% trending 1.7% above September 2013

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) October 28, 2014

Lenders like Peoples Home Equity were pleased to see pending home sales increase for the month of September. The monthly change also represent the first time pending home sales are positive on an annual basis since early 2013.

On October 27th, the National Association of Realtors released their latest pending home sale report showing a September increase of 0.3%. Some analysts regarded this report as disappointing, especially impressive existing home sale and mortgage application reports. However, Peoples Home Equity found the report uplifting given that sales were 1% above a year ago. A positive annual change in sales has not been recorded since early 2013. On a regional basis, pending home sales increased in the Northeast by 1.2% trending at 2.9% below last year. In the Midwest, where Peoples Home Equity centers most of its lending, sales decreased 1.2% and are trending 4% below last year. In the South sales increased 1.7% trending 1.7% above September 2013, and in the West sales also increase 0.8% at 3.6% above last year.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors said “moderating price growth and sustained inventory levels are keeping conditions favorable for buyers.”

Even if individuals find a desired property in an unfavorable market “tight credit conditions continue to be a barrier for some buyers. Of the reasons for not closing a sale, about 15 percent of Realtors® in September reported having clients who could not obtain financing as the reason for not closing.”

Peoples Home Equity strives to be different. The lender goes through a rigorous credit check to make sure everyone has a great chance of obtaining a home loan. Nothing is left unchecked; the lender truly finds every possible to way get its applicants approved.

If in need of a home loan, contact a Peoples Home Equity loan officer today at: 262-563-4026

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