News

More Than 370,000 Homeowners Dodge Foreclosure in Second Half of 2007

New York–A group of mortgage counselors, lenders and servicing companies said Friday that more than 370,000 homeowners avoided foreclosure in the last six months of 2007, The New York Times reports.The Hope Now alliance said that the amount of homeowners who received help–as mortgage servicers tripled the rate at which they eased loan terms from the third quarter to last quarter–is “significantly higher” than originally thought.With guidance from the U.S. Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Hope Now said servicers made 120,000 loan modifications and settled new repayment plans for an additional 250,000 homeowners.

Appraiser Files Lawsuit Against WaMu Over Home Price Estimates

Sacramento–A California appraiser filed a lawsuit against Washington Mutual Inc., claiming she was blacklisted after reporting lower home prices, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.The suit, filed in state court in Sacramento, also named two appraisal-management companies and alleges the lower home evaluations made it difficult for the bank to get loans approved.The appraiser, Jeniffer Wertz, says she found prices were dropping in a neighborhood last May during the appraisal process and marked a box in one of her reports to show the decline. Marking that box typically causes a lender to cut loan amounts and ask for a greater…

U.K. Surveyors Say Home Prices Dropped Sharply in December

London–British property prices haven’t declined at their current rate since the early 1990s, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).Data from the group showed that 49.1 percent more chartered surveyors recorded a drop in home prices in December–the sharpest increase since November 1992, Forbes.com reports. In November, 40.6 percent more surveyors reported a home price decrease.London’s traditionally strong housing market also saw severe declines starting in December. In addition, the RICS said 25 percent more surveyors saw a drop in buyer inquiries.RICS data is an indicator of future home prices and is closely watched by the Bank of…

Hirco Makes Sales Worth $133 Million in Chennai, India

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorChennai, India–Hirco Plc, the investment vehicle for Hiranandani, one of India’s largest developers of luxury mixed-use communities, announced this week that the company had made sales worth $133 million for residential units in Phase 1 of its newest township development, Hiranandani Palace Gardens. Palace Gardens will offer a range of condominium sizes and styles. The three-phase development will contain offices, schools, health care facilities, shops, recreational facilities, and public space set within 369 acres. It is located in the south west part of Chennai, one of India’s premier Information Technology cities.The Palace Gardens was selling…

USA Technologies & Coinmach Launch Credit Solution for Multifamily Laundry Market

By Teresa O’Dea Hein, Managing EditorMalvern, Pa.–USA Technologies has introduced eSuds Credit, an online laundry service for the nation’s multi-housing laundry industry. eSuds Credit enables residents in multifamily housing to go online to see what washers and dryers are available in their shared laundry facility, pay for their laundry services with a credit or debit card, and also be notified via email, PDA or cell phone when their wash or dry cycles are complete.This system has already been installed by Coinmach in Potomac Place Tower, a high-rise apartment community in Washington, D.C.“Many Potomac Place residents appreciate how the online service…

Developer Launches Sales for 101 Condos Housed in Former Factory

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorJersey City, N.J.–Canco Lofts has started sales for the first phase of condominiums in Jersey City’s largest single-building industrial-to-residential conversion.Construction on the landmark American Can Co. factory began in late 2006. When completed in fall of this year, the building will have a total of 551 loft residences. Of these, 101 lofts are now for sale. “The revitalization of this building and adjacent properties signals the start of a new and vibrant neighborhood for Jersey City in an area that for a year was underutilized,” says Edward Yorukoff, director of marketing for Canco Lofts.The developer…

Senior Housing Facility Receives $7.9 Million from State of Illinois

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorSpringfield, Ill. – A new 67-unit senior housing facility, with financing worth $7.9 million from state loans and tax credit, opened in Springfield this week.Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich released a statement pledging his commitment to providing affordable housing to all residents of the state. “As more and more baby boomers reach retirement age, we need to make sure that our seniors have options when it comes to their housing needs, especially when they are on a fixed income. They deserve to have the choice of remaining in the community they grew up in,” he…

Former D.C. Public Housing Neighborhood Renovated Into Suburban-Style, Mixed-Use Community

By Erin Brereton, Content ManagerWashington, D.C.–The former site of homebuilder A&R Companies’ new Capitol Gateway development in Washington, D.C. contained affordable townhomes and apartments for families and senior citizens. But the development also was home to some unwelcome residents–crime, drugs and poverty.”It was a rather large site and was infamous,” says A&R founder Theo C. Rodgers. “Public housing has deteriorated all over the country; Washington is no exception.”Enter A&R and development partner the Henson Development Company Inc. (THC), who together have converted one of Washington D.C.’s most notorious urban areas into a new suburban-style neighborhood with rental, for-sale and retail…

SPECIAL REPORT: Negativity on Economic, Investment Outlook Is Evident in NMHC Conference Sessions 

By Keat Foong, Executive Editor Boca Raton, Fla.—Speakers at the National Multi Housing Council’s (NMHC) Apartment Strategies Conference held here contemplated the state of the economy, apartment industry and investment conditions. There is “a lot of anxiety and insecurity out there,” acknowledged Douglas Bibby, president of NMHC, at the start of the one-day conference. However, he noted the industry is also witnessing “some very strong tailwinds behind us.” Economists at the conference’s first session seemed to agree that the U.S. economy is likely to tip into recession this year. “As to the question of whether there will be a recession, frankly, I don’t…

DEAL OF THE DAY: Marcus & Millichap Arranges Sale of Student Property Portfolio for Over $148 Million

Encino, Calif. — Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, a  brokerage firm headquartered in Encino, Calif., recently negotiated the sale of four Class A student housing assets, containing a total of 1,212 units, for $148.5 million.The property portfolio consists of the 504-unit Cabana Beach development (pictured) in Gainesville, Fla.; the 276-unit Cabana Beach in San Marcos, Texas; the 192-unit Campus Lodge in Columbia, Mo. and the 240-unit Lodge of Athens in Athens, Ga.The average price for the portfolio was $122,525 per unit, or $114.59 per square foot.Peter Katz, a vice president of investments in the Phoenix Marcus & Millichap…