1. NY Times -- "With home prices down more than a third from their peak and the market swamped with foreclosures,
large investors are salivating at the opportunity to buy perhaps
thousands of homes at deep discounts and fill them with tenants.
Investors believe the rental income can deliver returns well above those offered by Treasury securities
or stock dividends. At the same time, economists say, they could help
areas hardest hit by the housing crash reach a bottom of the market.
The big investors are wooed by what they see as a vast opportunity. There are close to 650,000 foreclosed properties sitting on the books of lenders
according to RealtyTrac, a data provider. An additional 710,000 are in
the foreclosure process, and according to the Mortgage Bankers
Association, about 3.25 million borrowers are delinquent on their loans and in danger of losing their homes.
With so many families displaced from their homes by foreclosure, rental
demand is rising. Others who might previously have bought are now unable
to qualify for loans. The homeownership rate has dropped from a peak of
69.2 percent in 2004 to 66 percent at the end of 2011, according to census data
Economists say that these investors could help stabilize home prices.
“If you have a lot of foreclosures in one community you will improve
everybody’s home values if you take them off the market,” said Diane
Swonk, the chief economist at Mesirow Financial. “If those homes are
renovated and even rented, it is a lot better than having them stand
Related story on bulk purchases in Miami.....
2. DQ News
-- "Miami-area home sales rose last month to the highest level for a February in five years. In February, 7,690 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the
metro area encompassing Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties.
That was up 2.0 percent from the prior month and up 4.5 percent from a
In the resale condo category last month, Miami-Dade County saw a
dramatic gain in its median sale price. The resale condo median surged
to $150,000, up 18.0 percent from January and up 42.9 percent from a
year earlier. But there's a catch: About half of that annual increase
can be explained by a bulk purchase of 181 condo units by a limited
partnership in February at a single luxury hotel-condo project in Miami
Beach (all of the transactions were recorded on the same day).
Another bulk purchase in February saw a limited liability company buy 38
existing condo units in Miami, paying a median $158,700 per unit."