Real Estate News & Commentary

Real Estate News by the Numbers: Week of November 12 – November 18

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A quick rundown of the important real estate news from the week of November 12 – November 18, by the numbers:

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$729,750 – Maximum mortgage amount that can now be backed by the Federal Housing Administration. Congress voted to increase the limit from $625,500.

95% – Amount of metro areas, out of 384 that will see a rise in home prices in 2012 according to Fiserv. However, the increase is expected to be minimal.  “The median expectation among more than 100 economists and real estate pros surveyed by MacroMarkets is that home values will inch ahead by a mere 0.25%, compared to their 2011 median forecast decline of 2.8%.”

1.08% – Percentage of outstanding loans that received foreclosure filings in the third quarter of 2011, up from 0.96% in the second quarter. However, those who are 30 days late on their mortgage fell to 3.19%, the lowest level since second quarter 2007.

10.9% – Rise in permits for housing starts in October from the previous month. On a seasonally adjusted annual rate, there were 653,000 permits for housing construction in October, up from 589,000 in September.

63% – Increase in apartments permits from the previous year. Apartment permits are at a three-year high.

4.00% – Average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage this week according to Freddie Mac. The rate is up slightly from last week, when the average rate was 3.99%.

$16 Billion – Value of Archstone in a potential sale to Equity Residential. The value is down from the $22 Billion valuation from the 2007 sale to a group led by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

$41 Billion – Amount of real estate Spanish banks hold that are “unsellable.” All together, Spanish banks hold 308 billion euros of “troubled” real estate loans according to the Bank of Spain.

396,750 – Four-week average of applications for unemployment benefits. It’s the first time the average has dropped below 400,000 in seven months. Also, “weekly applications for jobless benefits dropped by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the fourth decline in five weeks.”