Latest scam: Fraudulent short sale approvals

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NEW YORK – July 13, 2012 – Each time the real estate industry changes, scam artists find a new way to commit fraud. In the latest scheme, they manage to duplicate short sale approval letters for extremely low amounts, enabling … Continue reading

Fannie Mae survey finds optimism about buying a home


South Florida Business Journal

Date: Monday, July 9, 2012, 3:09pm EDT – Last Modified: Monday, July 9, 2012, 3:11pm EDT


Housing market confidence among Americans continues to trend in a positive direction despite stalling optimism about the economy and personal finances, according to results from Fannie Mae’s    June 2012 National Housing Survey.

The report contrasts with the plummeting housing market during and after the recession, but mirrors a report by the University of Florida in June that the median price for a Florida house was $147,000, the highest since August 2009. Short sales now account for more sales than foreclosures.

Fannie Mae’s results indicate flattening economic trends may be contributing to waning consumer expectations about their personal financial situation, which was reflected by a 4 point drop in Floridians’ consumer confidence in June.

Americans’ continued positive sentiment about housing appears to remain buoyed by low house prices and interest rates at historically low levels, Fannie Mae said in a news release.

“While consumers remain cautious about the general economy, their attitudes toward the housing market continue to improve,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. “Although this positive trend may be short-lived if the general economy falters, one might ask whether consumers are increasingly seeing the current environment as a unique opportunity to buy a home while home prices remain depressed, rental costs are increasing, and interest rates are near historic lows.”

Respondents expect home prices to increase 2 percent in the next year, on average, and 35 percent of Americans say that home prices will go up in the next twelve months (also the highest level recorded since the survey began in June 2010). In turn, the share of consumers who say they would buy if they were going to move increased by 6 percentage points this month (the highest level seen in the survey’s two-year history)

At the same time, 36 percent of Americans think the economy is on the right track (down 2 percentage points since May) and 57 percent think the economy is on the wrong track (up 1 percentage point). The percentage of respondents who expect their financial situation to remain the same over the next year dropped by 4 percentage points from last month to 42 percent, while only 18 percent say their household income has improved (also down 4 percentage points).

Palm Beach Sale – Former Sony Music Chairman Tommy Mottola sells Palm Beach home

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Palm Beach Sale - Former Sony Music Chairman Tommy Mottola sells Palm Beach home

302 Caribbean Road, Palm Beach

Former Sony Music Chairman Tommy Mottola, and his singer-actress wife, Ariadna Sodi Miranda have sold their Palm Beach home for $6.53 million, according to the Palm Beach Daily News. The buyers were Connecticut natives Stephen and Muffie Bancroft Murray, who were represented by Liza Pulitzer of Brown Harris Stevens. The sale of the home, which is located at 302 Caribbean Road, netted $530,000 more than Mottola originally paid for it in 2008. It had originally been listed for $7.45 million by Corcoran’s Paulette Koch and Dana Koch

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Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser: “The real estate market has hit bottom”

Taxable property values in Miami-Dade County rose by 1.98 percent this year, according to the 2012 Tax Roll released by Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser Pedro Garcia. The county was led by Bal Harbour, which saw a 35 percent increase in values, caused by what Garcia’s office said was the impact of the new St. Regis Bal Harbour development. It was the first annual increase following consecutive years of declines. “For the first time since I was elected, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Garcia said. “In my opinion, the real estate market has hit bottom, and in some areas of Miami-Dade County we are seeing a recovery.” The county saw 18 municipalities boast increases in property values, according to the report. — Alexander Britell