Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Appraisal





Real Estate Appraisal is the process of determining the value of a property, or its market value. It can be valued at market, as used, insurance, investment and liquidation values. The price of a property is not always its market value, it could be higher or lower. An appraisal can be used for:
  • Mortgage lending purposes
  • Tax assessments and appeals of assessments
  • Negotiation between buyers and sellers
  • Government acquisition of private property for public use
  • Business mergers or dissolution
  • Lease negotiations
Many realtor's are also appraisers and both are licensed to do so.

Posted by Chris Keeler

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_estate_appraisal
http://www.appraisalinstitute.org/
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos300.htm

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Are you better off buying or renting a home?



Posted by Nicholas Vanikiotis

Homeowners are still tackling the question of whether they are better off buying or renting a home. This is especially true for first time homeowners. With the current state of the economy it is understandable as to why this is such a daunting issue for people. Purchasing a home is one of the biggest commitments people make in their lives and the pros and cons need to be laid out on the table.

There are several issues that need to be addressed when considering whether to purchase or rent. The first is can you handle the monthly expenses that come with purchasing a home. These include maintenance expenses, mortgage payments, property and school taxes, and utilities. Whereas when renting you do not need to pay taxes, thus your costs are dramatically reduced, but you may run into a situation where your landlord is not good at keeping up with property maintenance. So there are other issues that arise besides money. Also, the $8,000 homeowner tax credit is something to consider. This is something that has been a deal breaker for some people when purchasing a home because of the monetary aid the government is giving.

Considering your income level is also very important to see what exactly you can and cannot afford. A lot of time people are irresponsible with their money and overestimate what they can afford. A final thing to consider is how easy it is to move from a rental property. With a home purchase you have to find a seller and incur all kinds of transaction fees.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125158404267969691.html

http://www.ginniemae.gov/rent_vs_buy/rent_vs_buy.asp?subtitle=ypth

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/12/your-money/mortgages/12money.html?_r=1

Syracuse housing market ranks high in new report on economies of 100 largest metropolitan areas



Posted by Nicholas Vanikiotis

Syracuse, NY -- A report to be released today by the Brookings Institutionsays the pace of economic decline slowed in most of the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas in the second quarter, but that the differences in overall performance among metro areas remained stark.

"Signs at the national level that job and income losses are slowing continue to mask the highly variable performance of individual metropolitan economies," said Alan Berube, research director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, a Washington, D.C., think tank, and co-author of the report.

The Syracuse area's housing market had one of the strongest rankings of any metro area.


Click here for more...

Real Estate Investing




Posted by Chris Keeler

Monday, September 28, 2009

NYC Real Estate Mogul to declare Bankruptcy



By Michael Rivezzo

Kent Swig , who is the the President of Swig Equities, is facing a series of lawsuits over several real estate deals that have gone under, he may be forced to file for bankruptcy if he loses a $28 million dollar judgement against him.

The case is from a lawsuit filed by the hedge fund Square Mile, Swig defaulted on a $21.15 million personal loan he received to help finance a project called Sheffield57, it actually ended up in foreclosure and was auctioned off. Square Mile claims Swig misrepresented his assets when he applied for the loan.

Swig made the mistake of signing for loans to finance his projects with his own name, which essentially means that he personally responsible for the deals. They also say that he lied about some of his assets to help secure the loan, he could face prosecution for fraud.There no word yet on whether when he will file bankruptcy. If he does he will be the biggest major real estate developer to for for bankruptcy since the financial crisis started a year ago.

Source 1

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Source 3

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Real estate: Exotic-loan resets could hit commercial market



By SANDRA BAKER
Posted By Rico K. Setyo

An increasing number of commercial property loans may go into default in the coming months, as interest-only loans that were issued in the past several years reset, an industry expert said.

"There’s a massive amount of these loans ready to hit market," said Ben Loughry, managing partner of Integra Realty Resources in Fort Worth and Dallas. "The commercial real estate bubble is continuing to grow."

Loughry spoke at last week’s monthly meeting of the Society of Commercial Realtors.

Moreover, commercial sales are down nationwide by 90 percent and locally by 70 percent, he said.

But some investors are pooling funds and sitting on the sidelines waiting for deals, Loughry said.

Commercial property foreclosures are up in North Texas, according to market figures. In addition, the Federal Reserve said during the summer that delinquency rates on commercial loans have doubled from a year ago, to 7 percent.

"Loan performance is deteriorating," Loughry said.

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Short Sales in the Real Estate Market



By Rico K. Setyo

Generally, when people sell, they sell for some type of profit, whether it is big or small. However, the real estate market has not been looking good for a lot of homeowners lately. During these tough economic times, many people have been forced to put their homes on sale. Even though their real estate is for sale, it does not necessarily mean that someone will buy it once it hits the market. Because of the buyer’s unwillingness to purchase homes for their listing price, many homeowners have desperately agreed to short sale their homes. Short sale is “a sale of real estate in which the proceeds from the sale fall short of the balance owed on a loan secured by the property sold” (Lara Jr.) No one really wants to sell their homes for less than what it’s worth but the recession has pushed many families to such decisions.

Short selling homes have been quite common in today’s market but it is debatable whether it is the best choice for homeowners. One issue that always comes up in short selling real estate is the duration of the process. Many buyers are not willing to wait out the short sale approval duration because sometimes it gives the buyer a sense of uncertainty. The duration of approval from the lenders of the mortgage is undeterminable because of the fact that it is all up to the lender. Another issue is the Short Sale Debt, which is the idea that getting debt relieved may not be as easy as it seems. Even though many lenders verbally say that you are approved of the short sale, an article by Benny Kass mentions that “no lender has ever expressly released the borrower from liability on the note in writing”. This can be a problem because to legally prove anything in the United States it requires proper documentation. It is advisable that short sales should not be your first alternative, it should be one of your last choices.

Sources:
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$1 million going further in many housing markets


Article by: Adrian Sainz
Posted by: Srividya Srinivasan


A million dollars doesn't buy you what it once did. In most U.S. neighborhoods, it now gets you a lot more.

During the housing boom, prices rose so high and so fast that even cookie-cutter homes in the paved suburbs of South Florida and California could cost a cool million. In Santa Clara, Calif., a high-tech hot spot, the median price hit $836,780 in 2007.

That was a long way from the days when a million-dollar home evoked images of marble columns and swimming pools with vanishing edges. Subprime loans allowed more people than ever to buy houses that were once above their means. Higher demand fueled ever-higher prices until the spigot of cheap money was turned off and the housing bubble burst. The recession forced many well-heeled buyers into unemployment lines. And sales of homes over $1 million cratered by more than 50 percent from the peak four years ago.

"Everyone has less money than they once had," said Amy Wright, an agent with The Real Estate Office in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. "That has certainly affected the nouveau riche, and that's definitely in that $1 million price point."




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Commercial Real Estate Lagging


Article by : Srividya Srinivasan

The real estate market is suffering even though there are signs that the economy is improving. General Electric’s real estate company made 1.1 billion dollars on commercial property during the first year of the recession. But as far as five years from now, it is estimated that GE will no longer receive any money. So why are losses in commercial property affecting GE now, when the market is stabilizing? Credit tightening, falling prices, and excess spaces will continue long after the recession ends.


As building leases are up for contract renewals, GE is forced to lower the prices other companies are competing to fill vacant spaces due to the recession. However, they will not be able to raise prices again until the contracts end and are stuck with these low rate leases on office spaces that are signed for 5 to 10 years; after the recession GE is affect by being forced to live with low rates despite the fact that market rents are increasing.


Commercial real estate is often the last think to bounce back. With an improving real estate market like Canada, we can see the commercial market still lags behind. Industry reports show that the housing market in Canada had its fourth-strongest sales figure in the second quarter as buyers take advantage of the low interest rates currently. However, the commercial real estate, in the meantime, had a 50 percent decline during the beginning of the year.


Sources:

1. Real Estate Drag on GE

2. Can Commercial Real Estate Sink the US Economy?

3. Getting Personal Canada: Real Estate Lagging


Real Estate in Hong Kong. Expensive??





By Minjune Kim


Hong Kong is the world’s fifth-most expensive residential real estate market, after Monte Carlo, Moscow, London and Tokyo, according to Global Property Guide.


Hong Kong home prices are up 26 percent this year, erasing losses posted between the Sept. 15, 2008, demise of Lehman Brothers and Dec. 31, 2008, according to the weekly Centa-City Leading Index. Mainland Chinese buyers and record mortgage rates lower than London and New York enabled Hong Kong to recover while the other financial centers struggle.


Hong Kong property recovered faster because its banks are healthy and residents save money, said Khiem Do, head of the multi-asset group at Baring Asset Management (Asia) Ltd., which holds $7 billion in assets, including shares of Hong Kong and China developers.


In another demonstration of how the recession is shaking up the global financial order, two luxury Hong Kong apartments have just gone on the market for a stunning $38.7 million each. If the developer, Sun Hung Kai, finds buyers at that price, the three-level penthouse dwellings, perched atop the 93-storey Cullinan towers with sweeping views of Hong Kong's harbor, could well qualify as the world's most expensive apartments. More than 4,000 sq. ft. in size, the apartments, which are still under construction, are selling for $9,677 per sq. ft. That's considerably above the $6,000-per-sq.-ft. price that top-end London flats were fetching in early 2007, when that city was reputed to be the world's priciest housing market.


With the boom in Hong Kong's property market, luxury apartments in the once-unglamorous Kowloon district have suddenly become some of the most expensive properties on the planet, thanks in part to strong interest from mainland Chinese investors.


Peter Churchouse, a director at a Hong Kong investment research and advisory firm, says he doesn't think Hong Kong's housing market is a bubble. But some analysts worry that low interest rates, high liquidity and a tight supply of new apartments could fuel irrational exuberance. Churchouse says: "I could easily see this market developing into a bubble, but it's not a bubble yet." That should be of some comfort for the buyer who just paid $3.16 million for a 590 sq. ft. apartment.







CA Real Estate Recovery: Home Sales Increase for 14th Straight Month, Median Prices for 6th Month





By Professor Mark J. Perry


Posted by Minjune Kim



LOS ANGELES (Sept. 25) – Home sales increased 9% in August in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home declined 16.9%, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (C.A.R.) reported (see chart above). Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled 526,970 in August at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR associations statewide. Statewide home resale activity increased 9% from the revised 483,400 sales pace recorded in August 2008.The median price of an existing, single-family detached home in California during August 2009 was $292,960, a 16.9% decrease from the revised $352,730 median for August 2008, C.A.R. reported (see chart above). The August 2009 median price rose 2.6% compared with July’s $285,480 median price.
“The statewide median price rose for the sixth consecutive month in August,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie-Appleton-Young. “Recent price gains are consistent with the low inventory levels of the past few months. Levels of distressed properties remain high, but have declined compared with earlier in the year, and are one reason why inventory levels are running below the state’s long-run average of 7.2 months.
C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes in August 2009 was 4.3 months, compared with 7 months for the same period a year ago (see chart above). The index indicates the number of months needed to deplete the supply of homes on the market at the current sales rate.MP: In a separate report, DQNews reported that the August increase in California home sales was the 14th consecutive monthly sales increase on a year-over-year basis. Increasing home sales for 14 straight months, increasing median home prices for the last six months, and an unsold inventory index of almost 40% lower than a year ago - if those conditions do not reflect a true, solid real estate recovery in the California real estate market, how would a real recovery be any different?



Real Estate Oppprtunity in Economic Struggles





By Adam Lindheim

In the wake of the U.S. economic struggles many investors are starting to see opportunity in cheaper real estate listings. Prices have dropped very low, and those who still have money are getting their best deals for their money. Emerging company Index Linked Properties and Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov are two examples of those investing when it is cheap.

Index Linked Properties which is structured in New Jersey is a closed end investment firm who has reportedly bought a 400 million-pound ($ 638 million) property portfolio from Tesco PLC this according to the Financial Times. Index Linked Properties goal is to acquire real-estate assets at low cost during the cycle, and then to transform the property into a more lucrative investment listing.

Mikhail Prokhorov Russia's richest man has signed a provisional deal to buy a majority stake in the New Jersey Nets a professional basektball team in the U.S. Prokhorov is investing $200 hundred million dollars in exchange for 80 % stake in the basketball team as well as a 45 % stake in the Barclays Center which is due to be built in Brooklyn which is to house the team when in moves to the borough. Prokhorov is a huge basketball fan and is anxious to be "the only N.B.A owner who can dunk !" Prokhorov was also offered an opportunity to invest in real estate nearby the arena which is intended to rev up the Brooklyn borough.

Both investment opportunities are at a time where real estate is cheap, and therefore offer lucrative returns for both investors. Those who have extra cash lying around should invest now because of how in expensive it is to find lucrative oppourtunities.


Source 1
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$1 million going further in many housing markets


Posted by Adam Lindheim group 6a
Written by ADRIAN SAINZ

A million dollars doesn't buy you what it once did. In most U.S. neighborhoods, it now gets you a lot more.

During the housing boom, prices rose so high and so fast that even cookie-cutter homes in the paved suburbs of South Florida and California could cost a cool million. In Santa Clara, Calif., a high-tech hot spot, the median price hit $836,780 in 2007.

That was a long way from the days when a million-dollar home evoked images of marble columns and swimming pools with vanishing edges. Subprime loans allowed more people than ever to buy houses that were once above their means. Higher demand fueled ever-higher prices until the spigot of cheap money was turned off and the housing bubble burst. The recession forced many well-heeled buyers into unemployment lines. And sales of homes over $1 million cratered by more than 50 percent from the peak four years ago.

"Everyone has less money than they once had," said Amy Wright, an agent with The Real Estate Office in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. "That has certainly affected the nouveau riche, and that's definitely in that $1 million price point."

For people who do have the money, however, it's the best time in years to buy luxury real estate.

Rancho Santa Fe is a luxury enclave in San Diego County that has over the years lured the likes of Howard Hughes and Bill Gates. Equestrian trails border golf courses, and the most expensive home on the market is listed for $29.9 million.



To read more

Finding A Realtor That's Right For You!

Posted By: Janielle Viggiano

Assembling the right team of professionals to assist you during a home purchase or sale is imperative, particularly in today's challenging home-sale market.

As in any business, there are good agents and agents who aren't so good. Don't confuse years in the business or number of homes sold with quality service. Some top-performing agents provide their clients with excellent service. Agents who do a lot of business have a wealth of experience to draw from that can be helpful when problems arise.

However, some agents are more interested in making a commission than they are in satisfying their clients. They might take the listing promising to sell your home quickly for the best price possible. After that, you may see or hear little from that agent. Rather, you'll interact with assistants who may or may not have the experience needed to adequately take care of your needs.

Make certain before you list your home for sale or select an agent to represent you as a buyer that you fully understand what your agent will and will not do for you. Find out if you'll be working one on one with your agent or if others will be involved.


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Real Estate Market Hitting Bottom

Posted by: Janielle Viggiano


When it comes to real estate, a million dollars doesn’t buy you what it once did. Now it gets you a lot more. According to the Associated Press, “During the housing boom, prices rose so high and so fast that even cookie-cutter homes in the paved suburbs of South Florida and California could cost a cool million. In Santa Clara, Calif., a high-tech hot spot, the median price hit $836,780 in 2007 (2009).” For the people who still have money even after the recession hit, this is the best time for them to purchase luxury real estate. “In the 20 largest U.S. metro areas, about 2,800 homes sold for more than $1 million in July — down by more than half from July 2005, according to MDA DataQuick. Nationwide, overall home sales were down about 27 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors (2009).” Homeowners looking to sell are putting the brakes on lowering their asking prices dramatically, indicating that the real estate market may be closer to salvation than everyone thought. In 20 major US housing markets, the percentage of homes that have suffered price reductions is starting to drop.
If you’re looking to buy right now, there is a wide selection of properties to choose from. According to Florida Today, “Slumping real estate prices have brought back a market segment that seemed to have all but disappeared during the rapid price acceleration earlier in the decade. The availability of the price point comes just in time for first-time buyers hoping to close on a home by Nov. 30, the final day to qualify for the federal government's $8,000 income tax credit (2009).”

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Don't Bank On Your Home As An ATM



Posted By: Lisa Matthys

Written By: Peter Hong

For generations of Americans, a home was seen not simply as a dwelling, but as an engine of personal wealth. That view was promoted by the home-building and real estate sales industries as well as the U.S. government, which subsidized home loans and provided tax deductions for mortgage interest.

There have been booms and busts along the way, but from the second half of the last century through the start of this one, nothing derailed the real estate locomotive on its uphill climb. The train stalled here and there and rolled back now and then, but each time it roared back up and got homeowners to the mountaintop.

Now, however, the worst housing crash since the Great Depression may mean that a home purchase ought to be considered with the same warning issued to investors in securities: Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Click here to read more!

Decline in Real Estate Investment Trust Prices Expected to Continue



Written By: Lisa Matthys

With the commercial real estate market facing its own crisis, investors are wary of plunging into commercial property debt. Two real estate investment trusts (REIT), Apollo Commercial and Colony Financial, reduced the size of their initial public offerings by half. Apollo Commercial, a New York-based REIT set up by Leon Black’s Apollo Management LP, cut its stock sale from 20 million to 10 million and Colony Financial, a Los Angeles-based REIT set up by Thomas Barrack’s Colony Capital LLC, reduced its stock sales from 25 million to 12.5 million shares.

Many investors are hoping to capitalize on forecasts that banks will sell commercial and real estate loans at distressed prices. However, the initial public offerings have hit numerous obstacles from too many deals in the market to changing federal tax laws and investor skepticism.

Consequently, Colony Financial stocks began trading in the red on September 24th at $19.50. Analysts say that some anticipated funds were lost to rivals who were raising money for the same type of vulture fund. Similarly, Apollo Commercial shares traded at $19.20 at the start of the day but by midday fell $1.14 to $18.86. The market, according to some analysts, is becoming temporarily glutted.

The results of these two initial public offerings show that trying to invest in the distressed commercial real estate market may be more difficult than companies anticipate.

Source 1
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Bubble Woes



By: Laura Reginelli

According to mahalo.com, a housing bubble occurs when there is an “increase in housing prices relative to interest rates and personal incomes. Once real estate values reach inflated levels, as compared to personal income, the bubble can collapse, resulting in a marked increase in loan defaults.” During a time of a housing bubble, prices of homes skyrocket in value without any physical changes being made to the actual house itself.

Sometimes the prices of homes become so greatly inflated that they are too hard to sustain causing the bubble to “burst.” As the housing bubble bursts, sales of homes decrease tremendously.

A particular case study conducted on the California real estate market explained that the mass availability of credit helped aid the housing boom in prior years. As credit became more available to the masses, it became easier for people to purchase homes that they may have not necessarily been able to afford otherwise. In respect to our recent economic downfalls, it is important to assess if you can really afford a house when deciding to take out a loan on a new one. Without doing so you may be in for a rude awakening.

Housing bubbles occur in a cyclic manner and are not necessarily predictable. When thinking about purchasing a home, make sure to check the market and where the bubble stands prior.

Sources: http://www.mahalo.com/housing-bubble
http://dailyreckoning.com/housing-bubble/
http://housing-bubble.com/news/no-housing-bubble-0406.html

You're Money is Worth More Than You Think...



Posted By: Laura Reginelli


$1 million going further in many housing markets


By ADRIAN SAINZ (AP) – 1 hour ago


A million dollars doesn't buy you what it once did. In most U.S. neighborhoods, it now gets you a lot more.


During the housing boom, prices rose so high and so fast that even cookie-cutter homes in the paved suburbs of South Florida and California could cost a cool million. In Santa Clara, Calif., a high-tech hot spot, the median price hit $836,780 in 2007.

That was a long way from the days when a million-dollar home evoked images of marble columns and swimming pools with vanishing edges. Subprime loans allowed more people than ever to buy houses that were once above their means. Higher demand fueled ever-higher prices until the spigot of cheap money was turned off and the housing bubble burst. The recession forced many well-heeled buyers into unemployment lines. And sales of homes over $1 million cratered by more than 50 percent from the peak four years ago.
Click here for full article.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Now, US govt is giving out subprime loans




Written by Vivek Kaul
Posted by Stefanie Marty

Once bitten, twice shy? Not if it's the government of the United States.
In a bizarre piece of logic, the Barack Obama-led administration has been giving out subprime loans through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a government agency.
Prime home loans are the best part of the market, where only borrowers with good credit ratings get a home loan. Subprime home loans are the worst, typically involving borrowers with very bad credit history and who won't get a loan in the normal scheme of things. No reiterating how the shower of such loans opened the floodgates of the current financial crisis upon us.

Why then is the US government giving out these loans again, and through a government agency? Experts say the idea may be to prop up the housing prices, which have gone on a free fall.

"It probably is to support the financing on the housing finance market and therefore housing prices generally, as well as supporting the home ownership aspirations of the lower socio-economic part of the society," says Satyajit Das, a risk consultant and author of Traders, Guns & Money: Knowns and Unknowns in the Dazzling World of Derivatives.

The US Federal Reserve has maintained interest rates at close to zero percent for some time now. Despite this, banks are not willing to lend.

"The US government is desperately trying to inflate the economy and it wants to get credit flowing again in order to stabilise American housing.


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How to Get a Home Equity Loan while Having a Bad Credit Score




Written by Stefanie Marty

I found interesting articles on the web about what you have to pay attention to when looking for a home loan. You want to get the best terms for your loan and you also want to be able to borrow a high amount. But especially today, when the average personal debt is increasing, this is difficult to achieve and one might think that home equity loans for people with bad credit scores do not even exist.
It is true that the most important factor to consider when buying a house is your credit score. But having a bad credit score does not mean you will not be able to borrow for your home equity. To improve your chances to get good terms and a low interest rate on your loan, do everything you can to increase your credit score before applying for a loan. This can be achieved in different ways. Your credit score reflects amongst others whether you are paying your bills on time or not, how much you owe and how much credit you have, how long you have had your accounts for and whether you got new accounts or not. So you should take your time before applying for a loan and pay attention to these factors.
If you have a bad credit score there are two types of bad credit home loans you can get. The first type is a bad credit mortgages loan, the second type a home equity loan with bad credit. In the first case you want to buy a home and you have to pay a high annual interest rate in order to compensate the bank for the risk it is taking by borrowing you money. In the second case you already have a house with equity built in it, but you might need extra cash. In order to get this you take out loan which is referred to as home equity loan with bad credit.

Source 1
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Colleges take advantage of cheap real estate prices




By ALISON GREGOR

Posted by Michael Rivezzo

The names of two higher educational institutions have blossomed recently on the marquees of some old Manhattan movie theaters. This development suggests that at least some professional schools are being pressured to expand, rather than contract, because of the recession.

The School of Visual Arts, which teaches fine and graphic arts to aspiring professional artists, added its name to the marquee of Clearview Cinemas’ former Chelsea West theater, at 333 West 23rd Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, where it now offers events for students and the general public.

In Columbus Circle, the New York Institute of Technology, a nonprofit private institution offering career-oriented professional education, took over Clearview’s former 62nd and Broadway Cinema, which closed early this year. Next month, the school will begin offering the renovated theater to its instructors and unaffiliated groups to use for lectures, film festivals and other events
Click here to read more

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Colleges Take Advantage of Cheaper Real Estate




Posted by Albert Tirado

The names of two higher educational institutions have blossomed recently on the marquees of some old Manhattan movie theaters. This development suggests that at least some professional schools are being pressured to expand, rather than contract, because of the recession.

The School of Visual Arts, which teaches fine and graphic arts to aspiring professional artists, added its name to the marquee of Clearview Cinemas’ former Chelsea West theater, at 333 West 23rd Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, where it now offers events for students and the general public.

In Columbus Circle, the New York Institute of Technology, a nonprofit private institution offering career-oriented professional education, took over Clearview’s former 62nd and Broadway Cinema, which closed early this year. Next month, the school will begin offering the renovated theater to its instructors and unaffiliated groups to use for lectures, film festivals and other events.

“We saw the opportunity to increase our footprint in the Columbus Circle area,” the institute’s spokeswoman, Rebecca Kogan, said. “The school is always interested in acquiring new spaces, whether it be on Long Island or here in Manhattan.”

Click to read more

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mortgage rates continue slide to near record lows




Posted By: Albert Tirado

Rates for 30-year home loans edged down for the third straight week and are close to record lows reached in the spring.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 5.04%, down from 5.07% last week, mortgage company Freddie Mac said on Thursday.

While higher than the record low of 4.78% hit earlier this year, rates are still considered very attractive for people looking to buy a home or refinance.



Click to read more

Home Prices Rise 0.3% in Sign of Halting Rebound


By:Kathleen M. Howley
Posted By: Stephen Barile

Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. home prices rose 0.3 percent in July from the previous month, less than analysts’ estimates, in a sign that the housing recovery is tenuous.
The house price index fell 4.2 percent for the 12 months ended in July, the smallest decline this year, the Federal Housing Finance Agency in Washington said today. The monthly gain was lower than the 0.5 percent increase forecast by 12 analysts in a Bloomberg survey.
“The general economic recovery is weak for one reason: because the housing recovery is weak,” said David Crowe, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders in Washington.
The U.S. housing market is struggling to stabilize after a three-year slump slashed values 28 percent and led to record foreclosures. While a federal tax credit for first-time buyers and lower prices are bolstering demand, the unemployment rate at a 26-year high has kept many buyers out of the market.

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