Thursday Night News

Friday Figures is likely to run later than usual tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s some of the important real estate news items from this week.

A lot of people who would like to refinance their mortgages can’t in spite of a surge in HARP 2.0 refinancings. That’s a shame because — all together now — we are at yet another all time low interest rate on the 30 year fixed rate mortgage of 3.53%. This rate does several things. First it ensures that banks don’t really want to lend money to any but the best credit risks. Second, it raises the hopes of homebuyers and owners seeking to refinance — assuming they qualify. Smells like manipulation to me. If you can take advantage of the situation, go for it. I can’t see interest rates being this low a year from now.

Inventory is down nationwide by almost 20% over the last year. It’s not just in Vegas, where we’ve seen a drop of over 50% since the first of the year. Even better news is that the percentage of distressed property — bank owned and short sales — is down year over year locally.

Nevertheless, some experts say that housing isn’t going to save the economy.

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