New Real Estate Loan Tax Hitting Market Now, by Brett Reichel, Brettreichel.com


To pay for a two month extension in the payroll tax, Congress (both sides of the aisle), and the President have decided to tax real estate loans for the next ten years. This was voted in recently, and will now start affecting real estate transactions.

It’s not been publicized as a tax because it’s been identified as an increase in the agency’s “Guarantee Fee”. But the money does not go to the agency’s, it goes directly to the US Treasury. The fee is only 10bps(bps stands for “basis points” which means 1/100th of a percent, or .1%). But, when market factors come into play(like lock term, etc.), it will be more. The largest US mortgage lender said recently that some programs will be affected as much as 80 bps.

This will not be an additional fee on the Good Faith Estimate, but will be factored into pricing. Industry estimates conclude that the typical borrower will pay approximately $4,000 more during the life of their loan.

Let’s face it, this is a tax. A couple interesting thoughts come to mind when considering this new tax.

First, since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now a funding source for the US budget this works against the goal of both parties to “wind them down”, or eliminate them and replace them with private funding sources.

Second, for those of you who will immediately jump on this as “liberal” spending….the “conservatives” were also in favor of this new tax, despite their signing of the “no new taxes” pledge.

Third, housing has led the economy out of recession historically. Housing is still hurting nationally. The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates low to stimulate the economy and just last week wrote a letter to Congress expressing the importance of housing in revitalizing the economy. It makes you wonder why all these “job creators” in Washington, D.C. are for this tax that will serve as an additional barrier to stimulating housing and create jobs.

It would appear that the Nation’s leaders have other priorities. What they are, who knows

 

 

Brett Reichel
Brettreichel.com

 

Oregon Home Prices OFHEO DATA: Oregon Economics Blog


The OFHEO has come out with its latest house price data. Remember that these cover much more of the US than the 20 cities of the Case-Shiller report, but are based home sales only with conventional mortgages. Anyway, we can see the data for Oregon cities, Oregon and the USA.

Here (a bit messy) is the raw data since Q1 of 2004:

Here (even more messy) is the quarter to quarter % change in home values:

Here is the overall depreciation (so positive numbers are bad in the sense that they represent loss of value) since Q1 of 2007 when the market in Oregon really turned:

Overall, it is bad, especially for Bend and Medford which are seeing collapses of California proportions, but overall the state is not doing too badly in relative terms.

Here is a nice picture from their summary report that shows the national picture. Oregon is the 35th best state in terms of home value appreciation (or limited depreciation):