Interesting Housing News Links (March 28, 2009)

* What’s the fed’s big moves this week mean to you? (Jim Wasserman, Sacramento Bee)

All the breathless media coverage of the Fed’s decision this week to spend another $1.2 trillion to buy mortgage-backed securities and more Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages insinuated that interest rates would take a quick and deep dive into 4 percent territory.

* Perkins’ One Man Show: Now Nearly Alone Among Politicians, Senator Stands Against CU (Melissa Repko, Columbia Daily Spectator)

As Columbias expansion plan for Manhattanville works its way through the public review process, State Senator Bill Perkins, D-West Harlem, is finding himself nearly alone among politicians as many fall in line with the University.

* Munich-based Focus Magazine looking for foreclosure interviews (Jim Wasserman, Sacramento Bee)

In an email from Germany this week, reporter Stefan Wagner says he is coming to Northern California in about 10 days to do a magazine story “on the effects of the financial crisis on Californians.” He has done some preliminary research and found that Merced has the state’s highest foreclosure rate – and would like to interview people in the foreclosure belt (my description) who are in process …

* Foreclosed homes draw crowd, but more investors than homeowners (Clay Barbour, News Herald)

The deals came fast Saturday as more than 500 homes across the Carolinas went on sale for bargain prices that, in some cases, amounted to less than half their previous asking prices.

* Chase opens its Sacramento center for loan modifications (Jim Wasserman, Sacramento Bee)

JPMorgan Chase opened its walk-in Sacramento foreclosure prevention center this morning with a 9 a.m. briefing for nonprofit loan counselors who have helping some of the bank’s troubled clients.

* Fannie, Freddie broaden refinance help (Kenneth Harney, San Francisco Chronicle)

Although initial reports suggested that the refis would be for owner-occupied primary residences, the guidelines sent to lenders March 4 by Fannie and Freddie say second homes and small rental properties are eligible, provided their mortgages already are in the companies’ portfolios or securitizations and have been paid on time.

* Immigration will fuel growth in GTA for next 25 years, CMHC says (Helen Morris, National Post)

There may be calmer times ahead for the housing market in the greater Toronto area. At this year’s Toronto Housing Outlook Conference, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) said it expects sales of existing homes in the GTA will fall 8.5% in 2009 and new listings will increase 1.2%.

* Soft Landing, Anyone? (Hannah Clark, Forbes)

It’s a confusing world out there for anyone trying to buy or sell a home. The markets that caught fire in 2003 and 2004, such as Florida and California, have definitely started to cool. But other areas are still going strong. Overall, the median home price actually increased 1% between 2005 and 2006, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In fact, the NAR expects sales and pri…

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