Top 10 Real Estate Search Terms in May

Internet analytic site Hitwise identified these top 10 search terms in May:

· realtor.com
· apartments for rent
· zillow
· real estate
· remax
· century 21
· zillow.com
· unclaimed money
· houses for rent
· houses for sale

Realtor.com accounted for 1.8 percent of search terms that led to a real estate category site. Each of the rest of the terms accounted for fewer than 1 percent of visits.

Source: Inman News (06/11/2010)

FBI Renews Push to End Mortgage Fraud

The FBI says it will renew its efforts to end mortgage fraud. A spokesman said last week that the FBI anticipates arresting hundreds in crackdowns scheduled over the coming weeks.

Offenses agents expect to find range from schemes that encourage borrowers to lie about their incomes to scams that rely on falsifying foreclosure information.

The FBI has set up 23 fraud task forces across the U.S. to carry out the anticipated sweep.

Source: Financial Times (06/11/2010)

Find Out Which U.S. Cities Are Growing Fastest

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its most recent population estimates for the nation’s incorporated places, including cities, boroughs, and villages.

These are not 2010 population counts. They reflect administrative records, including updated housing unit estimates.

The first 2010 U.S. census counts will be available by April 1. 2011.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek used the data to identify the fastest-growing city in each state. These include Buckeye, Ariz., Lincoln, Calif., and Spring Hill, Tenn.

The Wall Street Journal identified where urban population growth is trumping suburban and vice versa.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau (06/22/2010)

Single Buyers Choosing Suburbia Over Cities

Some 52 percent of single home buyers in April chose suburban locations over urban and rural areas, according to a survey by Coldwell Banker of 1,000 single buyers.

· More than 53 percent of single home owners reported that they purchased a home because it was more cost effective than renting in their area, while 68 percent of single home owners purchased a home that was less expensive than they believed they could have afforded to pay.

· Some 55 percent have less than a 30-minute commute to their office or work from home.

· Singles don’t shy away from foreclosures – especially single men. Thirty-eight percent would currently consider purchasing a foreclosed/short sale home, compared to 29 percent of single women.

· Of the 13 percent of single home owners who own their home jointly with another person, 49 percent made the purchase with their parents. Forty percent live less than 30 minutes or even in the same neighborhood as their parents or extended family. An additional 12 percent live with at least one family member.

· Number of bedrooms is important to 27 percent of single women, while only 18 percent of men were concerned.

Source: Coldwell Banker Real Estate (06/18/2010)

Owners in Default Stay in Homes Anyway

An increasing number of home owners in foreclosure continue to live in their homes, mostly ignoring the foreclosure action and refusing to pay anything.

The average borrower in foreclosure is unlikely to be evicted for 438 days, says LPS Applied Analytics. LPS says more than 650,000 households haven’t paid their mortgage in 18 months, and in the case of 19 percent of those households, the lender hasn’t made any effort to repossess the property.

In some states like California and Texas, lenders can foreclose without a say-so from the courts. In those states, the action is likely to be quick. But in 19 states, including Florida and New York, the court must approve the foreclosure and resulting eviction and the process is slow.

Source: The New York Times, David Streitfeld (05/31/2010)