And now for the not-so-great-news, this sent in by a reader:
“Seen this? I Think it might shake things up further.
From the Chicago Tribune website:
Because of underwriting changes by giant investors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, plus new restrictions by private-mortgage insurers, getting a loan on a condo or refinancing one you own could prove tougher than you imagined.
For example, starting May 1, AIG United Guaranty, a private-mortgage insurer, no longer will write coverage on condos in hundreds of ZIP Codes that it designates as “declining” markets. Applicants’ credit scores, assets or equity stakes don’t matter. Even in the healthiest real estate markets, United Guaranty will require buyers to put at least a 10 percent down and will reject applications in buildings where more than 30 percent of the owners are investors.
“Even if you had an 800 FICO score and50 percent equity,” said Lipes, “you still might not be able to get a condo loan.” It depends on whether the underlying project can pass the underwriting tests, whether it is in a declining market and whether there is a lender “concentration” limit on it. Some large private mortgage lenders refuse to finance more than a set percentage of units in a single condo project to limit their exposure to possible losses.”
But hey, on a macro level the CR thinks Roubini might be too pessimistic.
The Charlottesville area has its fair share of condos and condo conversions. The impact from the above may be far-reaching locally, especially in the context of the fact that there are fewer HUD-approved condo developments in the area. Without HUD approval, lending options are more limited; limited lending options may mean fewer approved buyers.
The market is starting to pick up; condos are yet to show their respective hands.
All real estate is local, but the money for the loans comes from all over.