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LOS ANGELES (AP) – April 15, 2015 – Living in an apartment? Expect your rent to go up again.

Renting has gotten increasingly expensive over the last five years. The average U.S. rent has climbed 14 percent to $1,124 since 2010, according to commercial property tracker Reis Inc. That’s four percentage points faster than inflation, and more than double the rise in U.S. home prices over the same period.

Now, even with a surge in apartment construction, rents are projected to rise yet another 3.3 percent this year, to an average $1,161, according to Reis. While that’s slower than last year’s 3.6 percent increase, the broader upward trend isn’t going away.

“The only relief in sight is rents in the hottest markets are going to go up at a slower pace, but they’re still going to go up,” says Hessam Nadji, chief strategy officer at Marcus & Millichap, a commercial real estate services firm… Compliments of Florida Realtors

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Over the past few months I have seen more sales of homes in Covered Bridge Estate from European buyers who have been paying cash. It would appear that we will continue to benefit from more European cash buyers over the next year. On the flip side most of our friends from across the pond are not living in these homes, but renting them.. We need to have a policy for renters in our community or we will be back to what we had 5 years ago.. more investors and more renters.. Please contact our board and stress the need for a New Owners Approval and Orientation, along with a Tenant Approval Policy.

Thanks for your interest.
Peter J. Poe

MIAMI – July 6, 2012 – Europe’s financial woes may be South Florida’s gain – at least when it comes to real estate.

Europeans with extra cash are looking to invest faster in second homes in South Florida before the value of their euro currency drops further, real estate specialists said.

Read More…

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Covered Bridge Estates needs to move on getting the Policies and Procedures in place to handle what is upon us now.. I need your help. I sent out an email last week and have only heard back from 1 person. I need 4 people to help with this committee.. Peter J. Poe

McLEAN, Va. – June 20, 2012 – Freddie Mac released its latest U.S. economic and housing outlook, which shows that rental market activity has been a bright spot for the housing market.“Further increases in rental demand are likely in the coming year as newly formed households postpone homeownership decisions until the economy strengthens, and they have accumulated sufficient savings,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac, vice president and chief economist. “Overall apartment market trends may show further vacancy declines and rent gains, with property values improving as well.”Outlook highlights

• Over the year ending March 2012, an additional 1.5 million households moved into rental housing – a 4 percent increase in a single year.

• Rental vacancy rates dropped roughly 2 percentage points over the past two years.

• While nominal rents rose (2 to 4 percent) during the year ending March 2012, average rent on an inflation-adjusted basis remained below where it had been for much of the decade prior to the Great Recession.

• Multifamily property values are up, on average, about 25 percent over the past two years from their trough during the first quarter of 2010, according to the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries index. But they’re still about 14 percent below their peak prior to the Great Recession.

• Starts of buildings with at least five apartments have jumped 48 percent in the first five months of this year when compared to the same period a year ago.

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Covered Bridge Estates Rental rates could rise in 2012

Rental rates forecast to rise in 2012

SARASOTA, Fla. – June 1, 2012 – Throughout Florida, such factors as an improving  job market, a lack of new apartments construction, and declining vacancy rates has Marcus & Millichap forecasting apartment rent hikes in most of the state’s major markets this year.

Bryn Merrey, vice president and regional manager in the firm’s Tampa office, remarks, “We’ve started hearing very frequently that people were able to raise their rents for the first time in a long time.”

However, there may be a bit of a lag in some areas, because such smaller markets as Bradenton and Sarasota have traditionally been slower to attract investment and have had somewhat higher vacancy rates than such cities as Miami.

Apartment rents have remained in check in and around Sarasota largely because of the number of foreclosed and bank-owned houses that are vying with the local stock of rental apartments.

Jayci Grana, rental division director at Michael Saunders & Co., notes that monthly rents began recovering this year and will likely go up between 3 percent and 5 percent in 2012 following a large decline that began in 2007. She adds that new apartment communities are finally being considered in many of Florida’s major markets and are poised to become a popular investment.

Source: 
Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) (05/28/12) Sword, Doug

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Manatee County Real Estate Update for March 2012

Click link for more information Manatee-County March 2012 Real Estate Update

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February Existing Home Sales fell 0.9% but are UP 8.8% over a year ago. And while the median price rose, a good thing, the supply also rose, not a good thing, but is still only 6.4 months. Friday, New Home Sales were off 1.6% for February, at a 313,000 annual rate, but the months’ supply is only 5.8, inventories are at record lows and the median price of new homes sold is UP 6.2% from a year ago, all good things.

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NEW YORK – March 23, 2012 – Bank of America says it has begun a pilot program offering some of its mortgage customers who are facing foreclosure a chance to stay in their homes by becoming renters instead of owners.

The “Mortgage to Lease” program, which was launched this week, will be available to fewer than 1,000 BofA customers selected by the bank in test markets in Arizona, Nevada and New York.

Participants will transfer their home’s title to the bank, which will then forgive the outstanding mortgage debt. In exchange, they will be able to lease their home for up to three years at or below the rental market rate. The rent will be less than the participants’ current mortgage payments and customers will not have to pay property taxes or homeowners insurance, the bank said.

“This pilot will help determine whether conversion from homeownership to rental is something our customers, the community and investors will support,” Ron Sturzenegger, legacy asset servicing executive of Bank of America, said in a statement.

Among requirements to qualify for the program, homeowners must have a BofA loan, be behind at least 60 days on payments and be “underwater,” owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

The bank based in Charlotte, N.C., said it will at first own the homes, then sell them to investors. If the program is successful, it could be expanded to include real-estate investors who buy qualifying properties and keep the occupants on as tenants.

“If this evolves from a pilot into a more broadly based program, we also see potential benefits from helping to stabilize housing prices in the surrounding community and curtail neighborhood blight by keeping a portion of distressed properties off the market,” Sturzenegger said.

Foreclosure tracking firm RealtyTrac says foreclosure activity has picked up in some states, as banks deal with a backlog of homes with mortgages that had gone unpaid yet remained in limbo due to delays stemming from foreclosure-abuse claims.

Nevada has the nation’s highest foreclosure rate as of last month, with one in every 278 households in the state receiving a foreclosure-related filing, twice the national average, according to RealtyTrac. Arizona ranks third behind California, while New York has not been as hard hit, with one in every 4,604 households receiving a foreclosure-related filing.

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This is exactly what I’ve been saying for the last 2 years. Don’t even start to think that the foreclosure problem is coming to an end or is over. All the Government has done is stalled the inevitable, and when the real wave of foreclosures come, hold on for dear life. Peter J. Poe

LOS ANGELES – March 15, 2012 – Foreclosure activity surged last month across about half of the nation’s states, as banks tackled a backlog of homes with mortgages that had gone unpaid yet remained in limbo due to delays stemming from foreclosure-abuse claims.

The increase occurred across 26 states where the courts supervise the foreclosure process. In contrast, the 24 states where the courts do not play a role in the process saw activity decline in February, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

While uneven, the pace of foreclosures is accelerating following a $25 billion settlement reached last month between the nation’s biggest mortgage lenders and state officials. The settlement was over the industry’s alleged foreclosure abuses.

Major banks temporarily put foreclosures on hold in the fall of 2010 after claims surfaced that lenders and mortgage servicers were processing foreclosures without verifying documents. As a result, many homes that would have normally ended up foreclosed were left in a procedural limbo, particularly in states where courts play a role in the process.

But that logjam has begun to ease, and banks are moving to sort out their roster of problem mortgages.

“We’re not just seeing an increase in properties starting the foreclosure process, as we have in previous months, but we’re starting to see dramatic increases in properties completing the foreclosure process in many of those judicial foreclosure states,” said Daren Blomquist, a vice president at RealtyTrac.

That means potentially more foreclosed homes hitting the market this year that could drag down the value of neighboring homes.

Among states with a judicial foreclosure process, foreclosure activity rose 2 percent last month from January, and climbed 24 percent from February last year, the firm said.

Foreclosure activity across states without a court-supervised process fell 5 percent in February from the previous month and declined 23 percent from a year earlier.

RealtyTrac bases foreclosure activity on filings that signal when a home is in some stage of the foreclosure process: an initial default notice, a scheduled home auction or a home repossession, which is when a property goes back to the lender.Overall, U.S. foreclosure activity dipped 2 percent from January and was down 8 percent from February last year.

Taken individually, some states registered far higher increases in foreclosure activity last month.

Default notices, the first step in the foreclosure process, edged up 1 percent nationally last month from January, but fell 7 percent on an annual basis. But several states posted big annual increases, including Hawaii (321 percent), Maryland (157 percent) and Florida (33 percent) – all three states where courts play a role in foreclosures.

Initial default notices fell sharply in several states, including Nevada (89 percent) and Michigan (72 percent). New York bucked the trend of other judicial states, posting an annual drop of 44 percent in default notices last month.

Banks repossessed 63,834 U.S. homes last month, down 4 percent from January and a decline of 1 percent from February last year, RealtyTrac said.

Once more, the national figures don’t tell the whole story, however.

Repossessions skyrocketed in February versus a year earlier in Massachusetts (114 percent), North Carolina (95 percent), Florida (90 percent) and Georgia (76 percent), among other states.

“At the end of the day in 2012, we are going to see an increase in foreclosures nationally from 2011,” Blomquist said.

RealtyTrac projects foreclosures will rise 25 percent this year to more than 1 million homes. Last year, lenders took back 804,000 homes.

More than 6 million homeowners were either behind on their mortgage payments or in foreclosure at the end of last year, by some estimates. And about a quarter of all U.S. homeowners, some 11 million, are underwater on their homes, owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, according to CoreLogic, a real estate data firm.

At the state level, Nevada continued to post the nation’s highest foreclosure rate last month, with one in every 278 households in the state receiving a foreclosure-related filing. That’s more than twice the national average.

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WASHINGTON (AP) – March 13, 2012 – The government filed in federal court Monday a $25 billion settlement with the five largest mortgage lenders, putting an official stamp on the landmark agreement over alleged foreclosure abuses.

The court papers offered few new details on the deal between the federal government, 49 states and Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial Inc. The deal was first announced last month.

Banks will pay roughly $20 billion to help borrowers avoid foreclosure. Most of that will go toward reducing loans for about 1 million of the 11 million U.S. households that owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

The banks will also pay $5 billion in cash to the federal and state governments. About a third of that money will go into a fund to be used for sending $2,000 checks to about 750,000 Americans who were improperly foreclosed upon from 2008 through 2011.

The banks will have to complete 75 percent of their loan relief requirements within two years and 100 percent within three years.

The banks did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement. Federal and state law-enforcement authorities could still pursue criminal action against them, the government says.

If a bank violates a requirement of the agreement, it would face penalties of as much as $1 million for each violation or up to $5 million for some repeat violations.

The settlement, reached after nearly a year and a half of contentious negotiations, is subject to the approval of a federal judge in Washington.

It is the largest settlement involving a single industry since the $206 billion multistate tobacco deal in 1998.

But consumer advocates have said far too few people will benefit. The deal applies only to privately held mortgages and not to those owned by mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Banks own about half of all U.S. mortgages, or about 30 million loans; Fannie and Freddie own the other half.

The banks will be required to make foreclosure their last resort. They won’t be allowed to foreclose on a homeowner who is being considered for a loan modification. The new standards are aimed at preventing recent abuses by banks such as lost paperwork and so called robo-signing – the practice of employees signing papers they hadn’t read or using fake signatures to speed foreclosures.

About 75 percent of the settlement money will go to California and Florida, two of the states hardest hit by the housing crisis and the ones with the most underwater homeowners.

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NEW YORK – March 12, 2012 – Bank of America is providing mortgage relief to about 200,000 homeowners.

Homeowners that qualify are those whose home values have fallen below what they owe on their mortgages. Bank of America will reduce the amount owed by the homeowners by as much as $100,000 in some cases. Only mortgages that are currently owned by Bank of America will qualify. Those that are owned by government entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or backed by the Federal Housing Administration will not be eligible.

The move will help the bank reduce the amount of penalties it owes to the government’s Housing & Urban Development agency by $850 million.

The penalties were part of a broader $25 billion settlement announced Feb. 9 by federal and state attorneys general and the largest mortgage lenders in the country to resolve investigations into abusive home lending and fraudulent foreclosure practices.

About 11 million American households are “underwater” on their mortgages, meaning they owe more than their homes are worth. The broader settlement with five mortgage lenders is expected to reduce loans for only about 1 million of those Americans and send checks to others who were improperly foreclosed upon.

Of the five major lenders, Bank of America’s penalties were the highest: $11.8 billion.

The settlement ended a painful chapter of the financial crisis, when home values sank and millions edged toward foreclosure. Lender abuses exacerbated the crisis. Many companies processed foreclosures without verifying documents. Some employees signed papers they hadn’t read or used fake signatures to speed foreclosures, a practice known as robo-signing.

In the fall of 2010, Bank of America along with other large lenders temporarily halted foreclosures after a furor over robo-signed documents.

Details of Bank of America’s and other mortgage lenders’ plans to help homeowners as part of the settlement will be contained in court documents that are expected to be filed Friday.

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