Quarterly Real Estate News – Newsletter

Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows

The nation’s extremely favorable mortgage rates sank even lower this week, setting records for both the 30-year and 15-year fixed rate loans.

The 30-year fell to 3.31% from 3.34% last week, according to Freddie Mac (FMCC, Fortune 500), the government controlled mortgage backer. The 15-year rate averaged 2.63%, compared with 2.65% a week ago.

Home Building at 4 Year High

The pace of home building rose to its highest level in more than four years in October, according to a government reading issued Tuesday.

The Census Bureau report showed builders started construction at an annual pace of 894,000 homes last month, up 3.6% from the pace in September. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a slight slowdown in building.

The stronger-than-expected report came because of a surge in construction of buildings with five or more residences in them. Single-family home starts remained little changed from September. But the September and October readings were the two best months for single-family home starts since 2008 as well.

Tax Breaks Expiring for Struggling Home Owners

The clock is ticking on a tax break that saves struggling homeowners from paying thousands of dollars to the IRS.

If the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 does not get extended by Congress by the end of the year, homeowners will have to start paying income taxes on the portion of their mortgage that is forgiven in a foreclosure, short sale or principal reduction.

So if you owe $150,000 on your home and it sells for $100,000 in a foreclosure auction, the IRS could tax you on the remaining $50,000. For someone in the 25% tax bracket, that would mean paying $12,500 in taxes on the foreclosure. Similar taxes would apply for forgiven amounts in short sales and principal reductions.

Veterans Housing Planned in NJ

The Architectural Team has designed Valley Brook Village, a planned 62-unit veteran supportive multifamily community in Lyons, N.J., which will offer on-site resident services including a variety of individually tailored outpatient treatment and job training programs.

“There are a staggering number of veterans who are in trouble and really just need a little bit of a stepping stone to get back on their feet and back into society,” Michael D. Binette, The Architectural Team’s vice president and principal, tells MHN. “What’s happening is a lot of these veterans are coming back with injuries and need to mainstream back into society. On the psychological side, there are issues that they need to get help with as well.”

The project was developed under the United States Department of Veteran Affairs Enhanced Use Lease Initiative in cooperation with the State of New Jersey and N.J. Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.

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