Tuesday, September 01, 2009

NAR - "Pending Home Sales on a Record Roll" (9-1-09)

"The Pending Home Sales Index,1 a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in July, increased 3.2 percent to 97.6 from a reading of 94.6 in June, and is 12.0 percent higher than July 2008 when it was 87.1. The index is at the highest level since June 2007 when it was 100.7."

San Francisco Chronicle - "Savvy buyers use self-directed IRA to buy homes" (9-1-09)

"With many properties at bargain-basement prices, more people have been turning to their self-directed IRAs as a ready source of capital to make real estate investments. Companies that manage self-directed IRAs say real estate investments by their clients are up as much as 30 percent over the past year."

Bloomberg - "Home Prices Rise 1.7 Percent, Gaining in All Areas" (9-1-09)

The average price of homes bought with mortgages funded by Freddie Mac rose 1.7 percent during the second quarter and for the first time in two years there were gains in every part of the U.S."

Bloomberg - "Housing Won’t Lead U.S. Out of Recession, Gross Says" (9-1-09)

Housing won’t lead the U.S. out of its recession, Bill Gross, who runs the world’s biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co., wrote in his September investment outlook."

Bloomberg - "California Fire Threatens 12,000 Homes North of Los Angeles" (9-1-09)

A wildfire north of Los Angeles threatened more than 12,000 homes and forced the evacuation of more than 4,300 people as hot, dry weather aggravated flames that have already destroyed at least 53 buildings."

Orange County Register - "Does Warren Buffett see a housing bottom?" (9-1-09)

"Does Wall Street investing legend Warren Buffett — who owns a vacation home in Laguna Beach — think real estate’s on the mend? The conglomerate he runs — which controls SoCal real estate brokerage Prudential California — just added to its collection of home-selling shops."

Orange County Register - "Fed should buy mortgage securities into 2010" (9-1-09)

"At least one Wall Street expert wants the Federal Reserve to buy fewer mortgage-backed securities now and extend the program into next year. The Fed’s buying of MBS likely is helping to keep mortgage rates low, as is its purchases of Treasuries."

The Wall Street Journal - "Drywall Clouds on Hovnanian Horizon" (9-1-09)

"When Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. reports fiscal third-quarter results on Wednesday afternoon, industry watchers will learn the usual details about contracts, cancellations and revenue. But they also want to hear about drywall. Builders have been disclosing their exposure to allegedly defective drywall -- also known as wallboard -- imported from China during the housing boom. A growing number of homeowners complain that it generates sulfurous odors and corrosion. These complaints have led to continuing investigations by several government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, and some of their results are expected next month."

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