Piece by Piece
More Auction Sales
Wall Street's Gamble
2014 State of Land Banks
1st Time Owners Drops to 33%
Low DP Will Hinge on PMI
Demand for VA Mortgages Spur Request
Southface Employs Veterans
Student Debt Blocks Homeownership
Renters could afford mortgage...but
Final QRM Should Boost Credit
Calendar Items


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Piece by Piece Update

November 2014





We are thankful for our partners! Happy Thanksgiving. 

Please take note of the following news and calendar updates:


More Homes Sold at Foreclosure Auctions

(Courtesy of Housing Matters/Washington Post): Six years after the housing bust, lenders are still offloading homes that have been in foreclosure limbo. And they're stepping up their efforts.  In October, nearly 60,000 of those homes were scheduled to be auctioned off by banks, up 24 percent from the previous month and seven percent from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac. That's the highest level since May 2013.These auctions appeal to investors with lots of cash who can stomach the idea of buying a home without stepping foot in it first. Many of the homes are occupied at auction time, which means potential buyers often can't determine a home's condition before purchasing it.  MORE


Wall Street's Rental Home Gamble


(Courtesy of Al Jazeera America): Al Jazeera America's Fault Lines program convened a panel of experts, including Georgia Tech's Dr. Dan Immergluck, to get their takes on Wall Street's latest foray into housing. "There is nothing inherently wrong with rental housing, especially when investor-owners maintain it well and treat tenants fairly....at a neighborhood level, rapid declines in homeownership can lead to a loss of social capital from stable residents who are particularly vested in the area. Even the large Wall Street single-family investors who rent out homes look to invest in neighborhoods with relatively high homeownership rates." - Dr. Dan Immergluck.  MORE



National Report Explores State of Land Banks in 2014


(Courtesy of Center for Community Progress): An estimated 120 land banks exist in the United States, and at least half of them were created between 2008 and today.  Report includes profile of Fulton County/City of Atlanta Land Bank Authority.  MORE


First-Time Home Buyers Share of Market Drops to 33%; Lowest Share in 30 Years


(Courtesy of Housing Matters): First-time buyers bought about 33% of homes sold in the year ended in June, the lowest share of the market in nearly 30 years, says the National Association of Realtors. The historical norm for first-time buyers is about 40% of sales. MORE


Fannie Mae Low Down Payment Loan Will Hinge on PMI


(Courtesy of Housing Matters/New York Times): A program in the works to back mortgage loans with down payments as low as 3%, expanding credit to more borrowers, will require private mortgage insurance, says Fannie Mae CEO Timothy Mayopoulos. That could limit the program's scope. But Mayopoulos says insurers have told him they are ready to insure such loans.  MORE

Growing Demand for VA Mortgages Spurs HUD Request for Additional Insurance


(Courtesy of NHC/Rebekah King): HUD is asking mortgage insurers that work with Fannie and Freddie to provide supplemental protection to Veterans Affairs (VA) home loans. Twenty-five percent of VA loan amounts are backed by the VA which leaves smaller lenders uncomfortably exposed. Having mortgage insurers provide additional support could encourage more lenders to participate or participating lenders to do more VA loans. The share of mortgages made to veterans reached a 20-year high in the second quarter, and veterans represent the fastest-growing segment of the market.  MORE


Southface Finds Energy Efficient Ways to Employ More Georgia Veterans


(Courtesy of Saporta Report): Southface, a PBP partner, was recently approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to accept veteran education benefits from students who have served in the military, who are currently on active duty, or are dependents of a disabled or deceased veteran for most Southface courses.Classes include Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Building Performance Institute (BPI) courses, Lead Safety, OSHA Construction Safety, the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) and many more.  MORE



Student Loan Debt Blocks Path to Homeownership; NWA Releases 2014 "America at Home" Survey


(Courtesy of NWA): Nearly one out of four Americans knows someone who has delayed buying a home because of student loan debt, according to findings from the second annual America at Home survey commissioned by NeighborWorks America. While the survey shows 60 percent of adults say that owning a home is either the "most important" or a "very important" part of the "American Dream," the burden of student loan debt and today's tight lending environment appears to be working against many potential homebuyers. MORE



Many Renters Could Afford Mortgages, But Can't Afford Homes


(Courtesy of Atlantic CityLab): In all but the most heated metro area real-estate markets, where renters simply don't have the incomes to buy, young renters don't appear to be transitioning into homeownership at the rate they could be. Either renters are opting out of the American dream, or it remains out of reach for reasons beyond affordability. One factor is the tight credit market.  Another factor muddying the water for would-be homeowners: competition from corporations buying up houses.  All-cash buys make up more than half of home purchases in diverse markets, including New York, Detroit, Memphis, Atlanta, and Las Vegas, according to RealtyTrac.  MORE 



Final QRM Should Boost Credit Flow 


(Courtesy of NAHB News Blog): Six federal regulators finalized new rules under the Dodd-Frank Act which define the standards of a qualified residential mortgage (QRM). The final rule exempts securitizers from retaining 5% of the credit risk on qualifying home loans packaged and sold as securities. By aligning the definitions of a qualified residential mortgage (QRM) and the qualified mortgage (QM), the standard lenders must follow to demonstrate they have determined a borrower's ability to repay a mortgage loan, financial regulators have acted to alleviate confusion in the marketplace.  MORE





Share your calendar items with us! Please email Susan Adams at [email protected] with news of your upcoming events.


Wednesday, December 3 - GREFPAC Quarterly Educational Meeting. Topic: "Protecting Your Information... What If It Were You?"  MORE 

Wednesday, December 3 - Atlanta Regional Housing Forum.  Topic: "University Roles & Relationships in Communities."  MORE





Susan Adams

Piece by Piece Coordinator