Category Archives: Real Estate Law

Topics that are of interest to the real estate community, with an emphasis on commercial, industrial, or multi-dwelling units.

Sales of Mortgage-Servicing Rights Jumped in 2018

Wall Street Journal writer Ben Eisen reported last week that, “The mortgage-market slowdown is stirring up interest in a humdrum segment of American home lending: the rights to the arcane task of handling monthly payments. “Sales of so-called mortgage-servicing rights jumped 14% in 2018 from a year earlier, according to industry research group Inside Mortgage… Continue Reading

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Home Sales Tumbled in December

Wall Street Journal writers Laura Kusisto and Sarah Chaney reported earlier this week that, “Home sales tumbled in December to their weakest level since 2015, ending a difficult year at a new low and offering fresh evidence that the housing market could be in for a bumpy ride in 2019. “Some of the same forces that… Continue Reading

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Mortgage Rates Fall, Offering Potential Boost to Housing Market

Wall Street Journal writers Ben Eisen and Laura Kusisto reported last week that, “Mortgage rates have fallen to around their lowest levels in eight months, offering a potential boost to the housing market after a rough patch in recent months. “The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.51%, matching the lowest level since… Continue Reading

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Index Signals that Home Sales May Remain in Slump

Wall Street Journal writer Sharon Nunn reported last week that, “The number of U.S. existing homes going under contract declined in November, signaling home sales may remain in a slump in the coming months. “The National Association of Realtors on Friday said its pending home sales index, which tracks contract signings for purchases of previously owned… Continue Reading

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Housing Pressure: Many Nonbank Lenders are Shutting Down

Wall Street Journal writer Christina Rexrode reported recently that, “Small and midsize U.S. mortgage firms are trimming staff, putting themselves up for sale and closing up shop at a clip not seen in years, a sign of the mounting pressure on the housing market as interest rates rise and a long economic expansion matures. “The number… Continue Reading

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Proposed Regulations Would Allow for More Home Sales Without Human Appraisals

Wall Street Journal writers Ryan Dezember and Cezary Podkul reported last week that, “The battle between man and bot has a new front: your mortgage. “Federal regulators have proposed loosening real-estate appraisal requirements to enable a majority of U.S. homes to be bought and sold without being evaluated by a licensed human appraiser. That potentially opens… Continue Reading

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Recent Index Shows Slow Growth in Home-Prices

Bloomberg writer Sho Chandra reported yesterday that, “Home-price gains in 20 U.S. cities grew in September at the slowest pace in almost two years, adding to signs that buyer interest is waning amid higher mortgage rates and elevated property values. “The 20-city index of property values increased 5.1 percent from a year earlier, the least since… Continue Reading

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Real-Estate Use of So-Called 1031 Exchanges, Survived the GOP Tax Overhaul

Robyn A. Friedman indicated this week at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “The tax overhaul enacted last year made a lot of changes, but one provision cherished by real-estate investors survived: so-called 1031 exchanges. “It’s the name for a tax break that lets you defer capital-gains taxes on the sale of a property used… Continue Reading

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As Rates Rise, Mortgage Applications Fall

Bloomberg writer Scott Lanman reported today that, “A gauge of U.S. mortgage applications fell last week to the lowest level in almost four years as borrowing costs hit the highest since 2010, adding to challenges for the housing market. “The Mortgage Bankers Association’s market composite index fell 4 percent in the week ending Nov. 2 to… Continue Reading

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Home-Price Gains in 20 U.S. Cities Slowest Since 2016

Bloomberg writer Sarah Foster reported recently that, “Home-price gains in 20 U.S. cities cooled in August to the slowest pace since 2016, as high borrowing costs and property values limit buyer interest, according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller data released Tuesday. “August marks the fifth consecutive month that annual price gains in the 20-city index decelerated,… Continue Reading

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